Sunday, June 26, 2011

My favourite shoes

Since starting a new job this year, I've been looking out for more work-ified clothes that are comfortable, look good and aren't too crazy-expensive. Yes, I hang my head in shame to admit that I'd been mostly happy with workwear from ye olde chain stores in basically every shopping centre, with the occasional Jacqui E piece thrown into the mix. But I guess I got to a stage where I realised that things should be more Jacqui E, less Target all the time for work.

While looking around in David Jones one day, I found Sportscraft items. Even though the brand has been around since 1914 (first called Sportsleigh apparently), I had no idea they existed. Blissful ignorance for my bank balance. Anyway, I didn't like all of their stuff - most of it is probably more for people in their 30s/40s - but there have been a load of pieces that have stood out.

And then there are these shoes... Mmm. Leopard-print. Furry. Leather on the inside. Soft. So comfortable that I walked around a whole lot of Sydney in them the other weekend and didn't have sore feet at all, even though they're actually ballet flats. When I got home, I ordered another pair. See, that's the problem with sales. They're tempting! They enable things like that! Two pairs of leopard-print shoes!

I love them ^_^

Rainbow lorikeet

Chinese tallow

The old pitcher

More Morticia

This morning, I bought a larger pot and some sphagnum moss to repot the larger of the two nepenthes I own (not the one pictured above). That's all done now, and hopefully it'll settle in and not be too traumatised by the experience. I think the larger plant might be a nepenthes ventrata, even though the label from the nursery said it was an alata. It now has a name - Gomez II. The first Gomez was a sarracenia hybrid, and he didn't like winter last year.

Still haven't worked out what nepenthes Morticia might be, though. When I bought her, she was just a small plant with no pitchers in a tube stock kind of pot. Ignoring all advice about nepenthes, I planted her in orchid potting mix. She grew huge, green, glossy leaves but didn't really produce any pitchers (apart from some tiny ones that died). Since putting her into sphagnum moss and moving her into the greenhouse, her leaves have turned sort of reddish/speckled like the pitchers. Seeing as she continues to grow and pitchers are forming on each new leaf, I'd say she's happy enough.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Morticia the pitcher plant

I have a thing for nepenthes/sarracenias/pitcher plants and droseras. Or carnivorous plants in general, actually. For some reason, I keep managing to kill my forked droseras, which is unfortunate because they're so pretty. I've not had much luck with venus fly traps either. But the other droseras I have are doing well at the moment. The pitcher plants are also doing really well, even though it's winter. They're putting on lots of new growth and seem pretty happy in their greenhouse. A few months ago, I bought a larger pitcher plant and it's had some other, different pitchers grow up inside of the pot it came in. These have what can be best described as hairy lids. No idea what they are, but they're cute.

I'm not entirely sure how to coax the rest of the pitcher plants to grow more jumbo pitchers, but the size they're currently producing is pretty decent. And the ants go nuts for them, so that keeps them fed. There are also these worm/maggot sort of things in the compost bin that seem to make the plants happy about when they're fed them. A bit gross to catch, but still... It's worth it!


See more at RedBubble.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Light blur

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Wharf 1

Sydney city lights (and some thoughts on Baal)


Last Friday night, we went to see the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Bertolt Brecht's Baal at Wharf 1 (first pic). It was awfully good. I loved the minimalism, the way the wall came down, the rain, the intensity with which the actors played their parts. It was kept to a tidy one hour and 10 minutes, although that was too long apparently for the people behind us - they walked out part-way through after the guy kept getting elbowed by his wife for gasping such things as, "Oh my!" and, "Oh dear!" Which was rather amusing in itself.

It was interesting to see the play placed in a new context outside of the Weimar Republic or Hanns Johst's Der Einsame. Baal certainly is an anti-hero, and rejects what society has to offer him - particularly bourgeois society, with all of its conventions, mores and belief systems. But it's still rooted in Sturm und Drang - celebrating the "genius" who lives outside of the conventions set by society, only to be destroyed by this.

And yet... With the STC's production of Baal with it's bogan aesthetic (hoodies, bourbon and coke, etc), I couldn't help but think of some of the deeply antisocial bogans out there who aren't Baalian geniuses, but who still drink too much, punch on, try it on with any female they meet, etc. It amused me somewhat from that perspective. Still, what's to say that their brand of "genius" might not appeal to the bourgeois set who want to transform it, commodify it, constrain it to their own way of thinking and behaving? What might be a refreshing perspective for some in the art world is dull and stultifying to others who experience it on a daily basis. Who wants to constantly deal with someone who may be hailed as a genius, but acts like a three year old?

Anyway, there are some sort of consequences for Baal, even though he's allowed to indulge himself totally. People wonder how this can happen, but honestly, we see these sort of things happening every day in the real world. People often excuse a lot of bad behaviour if someone has a certain talent or skill they appreciate (like being good at football...). Baal leeches off of everyone else, and then finally runs out of sympathy, excuses and connections to die alone in a forest hut.

Ultimately, I thought it was a good production. I know there are others who disagree, but everyone has different perspectives on everything! And after such bleakness, it was refreshing to wander around the harbour area in Sydney, looking at all of the beautiful light displays, etc. Much as I don't have a load of love for Sydney, it is beautiful at night in the harbour area.

Food, drinks, things

There will never be anything as amazing as one of the Lindt Cafe's Excellence 70% Cocoa Chocolate macarons from their Delice Collection. It was like tasting the face of God, if there is a taste to something like that. So incredibly delicious. The passionfruit and pistachio ones were tasty, too, but not quite as amazing. And there are plenty more to try... So I might have to go back to Sydney sometime again and explore this.