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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Berry pleasant indeed, part “deux”

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Berry turned on its bestest blue skies on Sunday. Dontcha love a country lane? Somehow so pregnant with possibility.


Again, the peace continued to be marred by scary, shouty instructions. They reminded La of those “howlers” in Harry Potter, them what the mums send to their JCCs at Hogwarts shouting at them about something. Then they explode.


Swear when I buy my own country palazzo, I won’t plant howlers around the place to scare my guests. And I will even let them slice stinky cheese on the “bread” board.

Little lady JCC loved la swing.



On a stroll through Berry proper we discovered this retro-delicious dwelling. Think there are signs dotted throughout its innards shouting, “Don’t machine wash the sparkly kaftans!”? Or maybe, “Do not use the Spalyds in place of forks!” Or even, “Do not dry hump the Don Draper cut-out!”


And there was this early C20th gem…


…with a matching super-dinky mini palazzo letterbox.


The chilly temps called for fortification in the form of srsly amazing doughnuts.


Check out this puppy. None of that Krispy Kreme rubbish here. Just sugar, cinnamon and trans fats. Old skool.


Male JCC kept his eye on the prize.



Discovered an amazing shop called Roots & Wings — srsly super-stylish. Was KICKING laself for leaving my fantastic plastic in Sydney. An incomplete handbag swap before we left meant that if I wanted to buy anything — from a newspaper to a Tibi pant — I was to be in thrall to Signor Seriousimo, aka The ATM. Drats and blastedness. He was loving it, the sadistic sod. Grr.

Needless to say, this meant I was unable to purchase the amazing navy wool coat with black leather lapels in the front window, as that would have entailed Seriousimo finding out how much Nice Clothes cost. And we cannot go there, people. Best that, on that front, he stays in the dark. Like a fungus.


It also meant I couldn’t surreptitiously snaffle this uber chi-chi raffia motorbike. Though it would have been tricky to wedge it into the boot without him noticing.

So in what kind of shop, you might ask, would Seriousimo be happy to cleave himself from his cash?

Yesterday I showed you his happy breakfast place — a pain au raisin, a bowl of latte and a water. Today I present to you: this explosion of Switzernalia, where I had to be the voice of financial reason (for once) and convince him to think carefully before he spent $3,890 on a cuckoo clock.


You’ve likely worked out that the cost wasn’t the only thing that gave me pause. I mean, egads. It’s like an explosion of hideousness. Took me back to the moment I discovered an Ace of Base CD in his collection when we’d just begun courting. And still I married him. Had I known then what I know now about the cuckoo clock fetish, though, it’s safe to say the JCCs would have a different hair colour and a different surname. And no cuckoo clocks coming at them at the reading at the parental wills.

We all had to calm down after so much excitement. For the female JCC that meant some time with her favourite over-fed, over-ripe, overpaid BBC presenters.


And for us it meant this. The cuckoo clock near-miss called for celebratory bubbles.


And this. YES. Even after the doughnuts. Doesn’t count on holiday, does it?


Berry crumble. All that was missing was a shouty little sign saying, “Do NOT leave a crumb.”


Berry pleasant indeed, part “un”

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So come the Friday of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, we packed up the Trivialista-Seriousimo family wagon and headed south for an injection of bucolic healthfulness.

The Junior Cost Centres (JCCs) were overjoyed. Not necessarily at the prospect of spending three days with their parents, but at the fact that La Poocha Trivialista, Diggers, was allowed to come along on a famiglia jaunt.

We stayed here. Gorgeous grounds and a very comfy palazzo. The countryside peacefulness was marred only by many very shouty little signs that dotted the house… 20140609-100633-36393117.jpg 20140609-100633-36393956.jpg …often in the most unexpected places: 20140609-100635-36395523.jpg 20140609-100634-36394735.jpg

There was citrus. 20140607-113912-41952652.jpg

Quite a lot of citrus, in fact. 20140607-114220-42140715.jpg     20140607-115352-42832649.jpg

Berry is famous for the Berry Sourdough Cafe — and it never disappoints. Check out this plump, buttery puppy of deliciousness. 20140607-115420-42860324.jpg

Welcome to Signor Seriousimo’s happy place.  Now that you know where that is, you could srsly steal him from me. Welcome to Signor Seriousimo's happy place

Et voila, La Triv’s happy place.  Clock those golden yolks — no sign of chook PMT here, ladies.


Here’s the devastation wreaked by the well-sated male JCC. Note the Pappa-love, hand-me-down, chunky ’90s-style BlackBerry he takes everywhere. 20140607-115605-42965290.jpg

La maison was truly bella. 20140607-115652-43012579.jpg   20140607-115654-43014319.jpg


La knew straight away I was really lichen this place.     I was really lichen this place so far

La Poocha was having the time of his rescue-doggy life.


Sadly, he wasn’t the only animal kingdom visitor. (Must speak to the owners about those dusty rafters.)


Was very happy with the performance of los new Hunters, specially sourced via the webs to accommodate a larger calf. Yay! 20140607-120118-43278343.jpg   20140607-120143-43303168.jpgConsidering we’re in country NSW, we’re actually having a so-Frenchy-so-chic kinda weekend. The JCCs have been French knitting for ‘Straya, while Seriousimo has been watching the French Open (practising his language skills so that one day when he begins to believe in blogs and finally reads this one, he’ll get the lingua).

Hope you’re having a Frenchy, Champagney, buttery croissant of a long weekend. x

La Unknownalista

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J and JWe love a bit of Jac & Jack here beneath the dusty rafters, but srsly, La’d look like I’d just been adopted by Madonna and dragged off to a Kabbalah meeting if I wore this.

Meanwhile, we also love some guerilla knitting, And guerilla crochet, for that matter.


Dragged Signor Seriousimo off to look at priceless antiques on sale at 40% off recently. This was la vistascape from the upper floor. Could have been in Avignon! Give or take the corrugated tin roof.

20140527-075050-28250588.jpgSadly all La left with was a Japanese Quince candle, and not a $9,500 gilt-inlaid commode from Napoleon’s bedchamber. Dang and blast that Seriousimo and his frugal, frugal ways; last time I take him shopping. It’s all much better done on the sly. Like an affair or something.


Do yourself a favour and buy this book NOW

My super ace and very clever friend, Ms Jacqueline Lunn, recently launched her second, yes you read that right, SECOND, novel. Oh, and she has three Junior Cost Centres (JCCs) and a Signor and a dog and is studying psychology. And she’s so pretty (see her author pic?!?) and slim; bet she requires no lycra whatsoever in her denim. Cow.

Her latest oeuvre, The Unknown Woman, could be about La — you know, super-enigmatic, now-you-see-her-now-you-don’t international ladyflesh of mystery (!). But it’s not. It’s about Lilith Grainger, an eastern suburbs housewife having a day best described as tricky.

La’m about four chapters in and all I can say is that Lunn really knows how to weave a cracking yarn. And pick a great cover pic.


Swear Jackie was only drinking from ONE of those glasses…

Here’s her and her fabulous hair signing some copies at the launch at Ariel in Paddo. We had wine and too much cheese. Her Signor, her JCCs, her mum and dad and her dad’s American penpal of 50 years were there too. They must all be very proud.



20140527-075343-28423759.jpgSaw thinking woman’s crumpet Alain de Botton recently at the Sydney Opera House. He shared his theory that humans, or “cumins” as the male JCC calls them, are attracted to curries disaster stories because they are our modern “memento mori“, or reminders of our mortality. Take or leave that theory, but Ariel’s selling an old-style MM in striking silver in case you want to remind yourself to throw as much Champagne down your gullet as often as possible because our ends are nigh. (Out of interest, mine are slightly split, too. I know. Too much info.)

20140527-075521-28521421.jpgHere’s a JCC who knows that when you have a book, you have a friend. Oh, and an apple helps too.

And so does a wrought iron antique French daybed on which to nestle. Even if it wasn’t 40% off.

Ciao x