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Extrafahrten

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The Trivialista-Seriousimo caravan is once again on the road.  After a lovely Christmas dinner cooked by La Mamma and Il Pappa Trivialista, we took to the skies and landed in Zurich on Boxing Day.

Met this well-behaved guy at breakfast.

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On the recommendation of Ms Travel Without Tears, we stayed at the amazing Hotel Widder. Its little deco details gave La some Tonia Todman-style inspiration for Palazzo Trivialista.

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The shower was like some ninth wonder of the world.

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Srsly, there were jets pointing at crevices I didn’t even know I had, let alone knew were in need of a wash.

And — luxe of luxe — a schlosshaffen* of fluffy towelfleisch. Enough to cleanse four grubby Australians of all their travelling sins.

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Once officially clean enough to be in Switzerland, we went for a stroll. Signor Seriousimo, back in his Happy Place of old Europa, took in the vista.

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You have to hand it to old Europa, it does a great line in doors.

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La paid homage at one of my favourite breeds of retail institution, the European pharmacy.

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Swear La’m never walking into a Chemist Warehouse again.

We wandered by the river, and enjoyed the bella vistas.

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All was good, until we witnessed a swan self-harming.

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All those bits of white are his feathers, which he was aggressively plucking off his swanny body. The male Junior Cost Centre (JCC) was most distressed, so we pressed ahead until Seriousimo stopped to ogle a piccie of his favourite mountain…

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…La spotted Adele’s next Grammys frock (srsly, she can thank me later)…

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…and a few less-than-subtle hints were dropped about this puppy as a late 40th 35th birthday present.

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The male JCC was done in by all the excitement. Oh, and the viciously long flight from the Harbour City.

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We snoozed, and woke up to this:

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Snow! Which is handy, as that’s the whole point of this travelling malarkey.

We headed off to the station and La remembered that, to juvenile minds, some jokes never get tired. *sniggers*

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Next stop:

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Happy 2015 x

* Swiss-German collective noun for a large group of terry cloths.

What a week

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Welcome to los new menfolk readers! To prove La’s hospitality, here’s some blokespeak for you: Ice Road Truckers! Bunnings! Knock on! Ducting! Sarking! 106 not out!

Speaking of blokes, opened the male Junior Cost Centre’s (JCC’s) briefcase earlier this week to see what he’s stashing.

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It contained every dead gadget to be found beneath the dusty rafters of Palazzo Trivialista, plus a $20 note (the origins of which are dubious at best), Harry Potter specs, a ceramic dog, a compass, a taekwondo award and handcuffs. Draw your own conclusions.

He’s been getting up to a bit of this:

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…so he can fund a bit of this:

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Yes, Triv took him to the Flodge to spend his hard-earned busking spondoolies. And spend he did. (Wonder whom he gets that from?)

The female JCC has also been earning her keep.

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…so she can run away from home.

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Joking.

It’s been a tough week for those of us in the Harbour City. We need to squeeze loin fruits and Signor Seriousimos hard right now. And enjoy life’s bounteous gifts, such as…

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Tetsuya’s oysters.  And…

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…the ever-increasing spunkiness of Richard Glover. Dang! Only an officially middle-aged straight woman or gay man would actually type that sentence.

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Plus, delicious meals cooked by friends. (You know who you are, AP!)

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Wacky local doors that lead to nowhere.

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IKEA signs that associate your friend Marius with toilet matters.  *Cue Mutley snigger*

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Super-close proximity to Damon Albarn at the Sydney Opera House.

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Wine gifts from good friends, especially when it’s come straight from the fecund Provencal vines of Brangelina.

And finally…

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Dom.

La famiglia Trivialista-Seriousimo is off soon to Matterhornland, so will post from there. In the meantime, make the most of it.

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Ciao x

Grogs and blogs

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Lesson learnt. Piccolo now protected in case of sudden braking. IMG_3125 Hello good burghers of the Czech Republic! Lovely to have you drop by. La hears she’s huge in Bohemia. Yup, me and The Hoff. Pravda vitėzi! You are very welcome here beneath our virtual dusty Australian rafters. We loved watching your Velvet Revolution and welcoming you to the free world!

Went to the Mornington Peninsula with Brunnie Browser on the weekend. Always love a Ladyfest with Brunster. IMG_3110We shared a lovely bott of quality fizz here. Or rather, I had a glass and Brunnie hogged the rest. The old girl’s a lush who needs to find a 12-step program pronto*.

23 view We absorbed the magnifico vista, blissfully inoculated against the disruptiveness of other people’s children due the absence of our own. Is anyone ever happier than a mother travelling sans loin fruits?!?

However, a young hotel employee whom we affectionately nicknamed the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel of Death tried to move us on sharpish. “I’m sorry ladies, but the grass is not hotel property and I must ask you to vacate the area,” Fuzz intoned robotically. Srsly?  La resorted to pulling the alcohol equivalent of that old Hollywood special, the Reese Witherspoon tried-and-tested, “Don’t you know who I am?!?”  Yup, I champagne-shamed him: “Don’t you know how much we spent on this bottle?!?”

It did sweet eff ay. He lurked, like a Dementor. We did as we were told and Moved On, a two-headed role model of assertiveness for downtrodden women everywhere.

When we checked into the Hotel Sorrento we discovered to our dismay that some oversized housekeeping trolleys had stolen our parking spot. But that Brunnie’s a woman of action; she took matters into her own pincers.

23 brunSrsly, never get in the way of a Queenslander and some shit that needs to be sorted.

Aside from an unfortunate case of Cheezel poisoning (Brunnie suffered a migraine and srsly puffy under-eyes after downing an entire box while reading trashy mags) and the buzz-killer that was the Angel, the weekend was relatively incident-free. 23 hedge We spotted some very srs hedging. This variegated number was particularly eye-catching.  (As you can tell, we partied *hard*.)

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There aren’t many visual mementos of the weekend really, more mental mementos (mentalmentos? No, sounds like a minty anti-depressant). La misses Brunnie and, as with so many good ladypals, wishes distance was less tyrannical. *Sigh*

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You can blame Brunnie for Triv being back on the grogs blogs, as she asked where La Triv had gone these past few months. Turns out all that was needed to lure old Trivster back into daylight was a yeasty champers with a fine bead, a few snorty laughs and a visitation from the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel of Death.

Who’da thought? X

* Just a josh to see if Brunnie’s reading. She is consistently moderate in her grogs consumption, except when she’s installed at Top of Waikiki just prior to happy hour wrapping.

It’s only natural

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Emotions have been running high beneath los dusty rafters of Palazzo Trivialista.

First up, someone was busted with his hairy butt in the vege patch.

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After a verbal drubbing, he popped that warm, guilty tail between his legs and walked that dog-gone guilty look over to…

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…Triv’s sun-soaked day bed.

Maybe he was ruminating on how much better life would be if he’d been born with crimped ear hairs.

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La Triv checked with this pooch’s owner, and its ear ‘do’ is indeed natural. Spooky.

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Speaking of grooming, La Triv was recently enjoying a moment of gratitude towards the universe, musing peaceably and happily on how thoughtful it was of Sydney Buses to provide a ledge deep enough on which to rest one’s morning piccolo.

Then this happened.

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Yup, a sharp turn and it was all over for this two-pocket Country Road white utility shirt. Mercifully, the fashion gods smiled on the J Crew embellished blush cashmere popover, which survived by the skin of its sequins. Although it was bought on sale, that was a capital write-down we would NOT have wanted to execute.

Coffee disasters continued on a visit to the insanely popular waited-80-minutes-for-a-table-buggered-if-I’m-going-there-again Grounds of Alexandria.

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La Mamma Trivialista was visiting from the Bane of Bris. Such an occasion always calls for a visit to a “now”-type brekkie venue. Off we headed to the Grounds, as the kids always like to visit with Kevin Bacon and we’ve hardly seen him since he was knee-high to a slops-laden trough.

He’s grown.

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I was standing next to his fence, admiring his markings and his delicate hooves when — PLOP! — la piccolo cup, which had once again been resting on an inappropriately unsafe ledge, dropped into his pen.

As Kevin began to walk towards my dropped cup, people started to holler at La, “Get it OUT!” Across 20 seconds that seemed like two hours, it became evident my fellow pork-loving patrons expected me to get down and dirty and retrieve my cup before greedy Kevin gobbled it up.

Needless to say, he got to it before La did.

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This is la piccolo cup, post a Kevin Bacon mauling. A braver and less selfish sheila than me reached beneath the battens of the pen and fetched it from Kevin’s salivating chops.

You know me, and you’d know I was NOT going to go there. Nature is nice from a distance, but holds no appeal up close. Except for this kind of nature.

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Cultivated, trimmed, scissored and wrapped – nature at its best.

Ciao x

Come to Jesus

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So aside from joining La in praising the Lord about furniture purchases, what’s been happening? Anyone? Anyone..?

OK, La’ll start.

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Met Jesus. No, srlsy, this is Jesus the guinea pig from a local pre-school. My friend Helen was minding him for the weekend. He looked cute but La’ve a general aversion to fur, so left the fondling to others.

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Played Boggle with the Junior Cost Centres. These words sound rude (go on, say them) but they aren’t.

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Had my hairs coloured (and contemplated Botox — los lines!!!). Such hard, high-maintenance work, being an Aryan Triv.

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Was happy with the results. And los new earlobe sparklepieces from J Crew.

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Pinched this pic of fat galahs from somewhere on the interwebs and installed it on the Triv Mobile Media Control Console, aka iPhone. Giggled repeatedly.

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Spotted these fleurs in the hood. Tried to remember their name – was it really “wee flowers”, or is that just what La and bro no 1, Sport Billy Super Dad, used to call them? (Can’t possibly imagine how we alighted on that name *coughs*)

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Read this quote from Michelle Bridges in Who Weekly. Face involuntarily squished into some sort of “WTF?!?!?!” expression. Then remembered the horrid noggin lines from the hairdresser’s and restored features to their usual resting bitchface Zen arrangement.

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Went to New Zealand. Sported unattractive but toasty footwear. Had very average holiday. When the best you can say about a break is, “Well, at least I didn’t have to get up and put make-up on every day”, clearly there was room for improvement.

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Snapped some piccies of the JCCs against bella backdrops.

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Had a ski lesson with this Yoda of Alpine Awesomeness, Tom Newmann. If you ever find yourself flailing on the white stuff in Queenstown or Beaver Creek, Colorado, Tom’s your man.

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Bought this painting by the incredible Olha Pryymak. She’s an old ami of Half Island Life’s (La Sista Trivialista) from their time together in Kyiv. They’ll always have Kyiv…

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Wore my new J Crew sparkletop to the Wordporium. Felt awesome and cheered the decor up no end.

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Appreciated the winter sunrises in the Harbour City.

Blogged.

You? x

The Daum of doom

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Old Triv can get quite obsessive. Scarily so. Like a chien with a bone. Just ask Signor Seriousimo about the process of us becoming engaged. (Put on your “listening” face, and pull up a chair – and maybe a scotch – beforehand. Prepare to mop his brow at some stage.)

One of la recent obsessions was this chair…and, specifically, how I could hunt one down, kill it, and put its bones in my house.

Shannon Fricke Thonet hallway

La spotted it in a mag; just your typical interiors p**n feature. Happened to be in the stylist Shannon Fricke’s Byron Bay bolthole. So La googled, and found out it’s a Thonet No. 4 settee, designed in 1849 for people to perch upon daintily while nibbling cake and sipping coffee at Vienna’s famous Café Daum. Googled some more, and discovered it’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to buy one – out of production, and even official modern repros are rarely out of the hands of collectors.

Damn that Shannon Fricke and her envy-inducing good taste.

So months passed, and from time to time the interiors devils would taunt me with sights such as this:

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…spotted at the now defunct Sydney Antique Centre. (Which, in itself, is very sad news.)

So I googled some more. And, a few months ago, the Deity Google threw up this little beauty on craigslist.com. Gods bless those clever algorithms.

Thonet Cafe Daum settee

And it was only $245! But here’s the rub: it was in some dude’s garage in Ohio, USA – a long way from the Harbour City.

But never underestimate Triv’s love of the kill, particularly during a period of fevered obsession. Where there’s a will (and some lira), there’s a way.

All the Triv powers of diplomacy and charm had to be pressed into service to get Ohio Dude to agree to let me shoot this puppy between the eyes and mount it, trophy-like, beneath los dusty rafters. First hurdle – no electronic funds transfers would be acceptable. No PayPal, no TT, no bank transfer. So, one morning while completing the Triv ablutions, it came to me: SEND CASH. When I told him I would do this, he responded thus:

Thank you for your response…I think I’ve deleted three e-mails this morning telling me Western Union has my 10 million dollar inheritance or funds are ready to be transferred to my bank account, etc. I believe you are real, but it is close to bizarre to be talking to someone in Australia and to be selling them something…Though we speak the same language, the Internet has essentially put the world’s connectivity pretty much the same as in the days of the tower of babel. [It was about here I started to worry.] It is phenomenal to experience this aspect of today’s world, but I truly believe that if it was not an acceptable situation then, the Lord will be doing something soon that will bring this to an end as well [And it was about here I started to really worry.].

I acquiesced to Ohio Dude’s request to send banknotes in denominations no greater than US$20, and told him the readies were in the mail, tucked safely inside a Sodoku book grabbed at the last minute at the post office. I told him La, too, was a Christian person, and trusted he would let me know when the lira arrived in Ohio.

I’m very impressed with the lengths you go to get what you want…You probably are as about as far away as anyone could be on this planet [No. I could be in Antarctica.]. I really find this amazing.

I’m so glad that you are a Christian. I don’t know if you give absolute authority to the Word of God – the Bible as most Christians today, not so much, or if you have interest in Prophecy. We are non-denominational hard core Bible believers and try to learn and study the Word, especially to try to understand the third of the book that is prophetic. We have a Bible study at our house weekly where the only book we use for study is the Bible. Our start up church held a prophecy conference 2 weeks ago. If you would be interested in hearing / seeing the teachings, I can send you a link.

It was right about now I knew I needed to do everything within my fevered, obsessed, considerable powers to rescue that settee from the garage in Ohio, and offer it redemption and some good beeswax in the Harbour City.

So I did — with the help of Shipporter. And a local shipper in Ohio. And a freight cost that completely dwarfed the price of the blinking chair.

But here it is, happily installed beneath los dusty rafters of Palazzo Trivialista.

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It — and La — are very happy, though we rarely pray together these days. But we may have to ask for divine salvation if Signor Seriousimo ceases to take me at my word that “it was only $245! Such a bargain!”

And, for now, we’ll set aside La Mamma Trivialista’s slightly ungracious comment: “Looks bloody uncomfortable.”

So, thanks Shannon. I hope that when the Four Horsemen come barrelling towards Byron Bay and the Harbour City astride their steeds of doom — as my friend in Ohio clearly believes they will — they’ll leap right on over our Daums and continue onwards to wreak ruination on far less elegant pieces of furniture.

I’m off to sit. Hallelujah. x

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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And there was this early C20th gem…

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…with a matching super-dinky mini palazzo letterbox.

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

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

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Male JCC kept his eye on the prize.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

x

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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

May day

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La’m missing my holidays. Or “holidoodles” as we call them beneath the dusty rafters of Palazzo Trivialista.

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Easter saw la famiglia Trivialista-Seriousimo retreat north of the border, up where it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy eleven months of the year. (The living is hard for a month if Queensland loses that wretched thuggish interstate mansports competition.) And where La Mamma Trivialista’s cooking is within easy gobble.

Then we went to Nyoooooooooooosa.

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Prepare yourselves for some srs holiday p**n. You may find this titillating if you go in for that palm frond-fringed, blazing blue sky, mauve-hued sunset, lychee-bobbing cocktail kinda thing. If not, head here for something to tickle your chilly bits.

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Nyoooooooooooosa was divine. We essentially based ourselves at Ricky’s on the river, as is our wont. If one more ignoramus bangs on to me about beachside dining on Hastings Street, I’ll slap them with a hard-backed menu. Trust La, the river’s the place to be.

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Watching some wedding preps happen, Signor Seriousimo and I debated the merits of renewing our vowels, but decided instead to settle for another martini (me) and mojito (him), clinked with a robust “cheers!”. Seemed cheaper.

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See — a cocktail and a wedding ring. That’ll do for now.

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Oh, and we shared a T-rex T-bone to cement our love.

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La Mamma and Il Pappa Trivialista visited from the Bane of Bris. As you can see, Il Pappa continues to rock a salt’n’pepa mo’, despite it only seeming groovy to the rest of the population in Movember. And how on-trend is he with his snow-white watch and loom band wristlet?

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Lali and K of Fab McK Women fame visited for a luncheon. It was great. Lali and La have a very long tradition of lunching. Seems to be something we do well.

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Surfing, eating, playing Monopoly, “Tom Gates”…all that holiday action was too much for the male Junior Cost Centre (JCC), who slept froggy-like most nights. “Child’s pose”: those yogis sure know what they’re talking about, non?

But that was then, this is now…

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Happy May x