Sunday, 24 December 2006

Boxing Day Beers

We had an enjoyable Christmas Day and on Boxing Day it is tradition that we sit out on our deck and relax, watch the Boxing Day Test Cricket on TV (watched Shane Warne take his 700th wicket) and polish off a few beers. For a few years now a customer of my husband has given him a selection of imported beers to try, these are the ones we sampled;
From Italy - (Birra Superiore) "Peroni" Nastro Azzuro - a very light, enjoyable beer.
From India - "Kingfisher" a premium lager beer - Lots of malt and hops, with a bite.
From Matilda Bay in Western Australia - "Beez Neez" a honey wheat beer, hand crafted from pure light amber honey and premium malts. This one had a lovely flavour, very pleasant!

Falling Water
I have been reading a few blogs out there about Feng Shui and there are many sceptics out there. So I got to thinking about whether all you need is good design ie. good management of space, landscaping, lighting, position and direction, water features etc Anyone would be happy living in those ideal conditions and maybe Feng Shui makes no difference.

So, then I got to thinking about architects who are supposedly taking all the above requirements into consideration. I have always admired Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings were generally sympathetic with the environment and you would think they would be delightful places to live in. But apparently, "Falling Water", one of his most famous buildings had problems; the cantilevers used in construction couldn't support their own weight and the building sagged. Also being built over a waterfall meant that the building suffered from mildew to the degree that workmen started calling the house "Rising Mildew"!

So even one of the greatest architects in the world was beaten by the elements and if perhaps, he had used Feng Shui, he might have been successful in balancing the elements (fire, water, wind, earth, metal etc) Mmmm?

Book Review - "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.
This a beautifully written story about the author, a woman who has everything - a husband and a big house and is trying to have a baby, then discovers in her thirties that she doesn't want any of it. She breaks down, and in despair, begins to pray. After a bitter divorce from her husband she falls into another relationship, but is still unhappy.

So she decides to go to Italy for four months, where she learns how to speak the language while eating and drinking all the pleasures Italy has to offer. However she knows that she needs balance in her life and sets off to India spending four months living in an Ashram, meditating, chanting, doing Yoga. She can feel her life finding balance again.

Still searching, she takes off for Bali where she spends time with a medicine man who teaches her how to be happy again. It is in Bali that she finally finds love.
I have included a sketch I did of Iyengar (from a photo)

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Peace and Goodwill - Countdown to Christmas

I chose to use the Buddha picture because to me he embodies peace and goodwill. I wish everyone a Happy Christmas season.

Today I visited my Fishmonger to see how early he would be open on Christmas Eve. He told me 6am and he'd be the one singing! If I go through the secret entrance he told me about, I can get in earlier, but I think 6am is early enough for me! We plan to have fresh prawns and crumbed calamari with dipping sauces and of course, champagne on Christmas Eve night. Then Christmas Day we will spend with my sister-in-law eating more traditional ham, pork, turkey etc. So we get to taste the best of both worlds. Cool, overcast/rainy weather is predicted, so it won't be so much a beach christmas this year. I hope that means no more bushfires.

We are babysitting a cockatiel at the moment for friends who have just left for a holiday in Canada for a few weeks. Mercury is a cheerful little bird with grey feathers a yellow face and crest, with bright orange cheeks. He loves it when I empty the dishwasher as there is lots of clatter. There have been a few Sylvester and Tweety moments with Phoebe sitting right up close to his cage, but no serious incidents. Lets hope it stays that way.

I am currently nurturing a baby cycad (dinoasur plant) We have three large ones in our front garden and one had "pups" so we have transplanted two in the hope that at least one will survive. Below left is the baby and on the right the mother plant.