Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas Cooking


Hope you had a nice Christmas if you celebrate it, and a lovely day anyway if you don't.

I cooked lunch for my family this Christmas and thought I'd share some pictures of what we ate.

As soon as I saw this Double Stuffed Christmas Log recipe by Mouthwatering Vegan pop up online, I knew I had to try it. It looked so good, and it was. It tasted delicious and was pretty easy to make {though I had a bit of trouble rolling it up with out making a giant mess}! The rest of my non-vegan family liked it too so I would definitely recommend this recipe. This is what mine looked like:

{Not quite as pretty as Miriam's!}

It's double stuffed with a curried lentil mix and a hazelnut/herb mix. I really liked the hazelnuts - I think they were the perfect choice.

Then for dessert I decided to try making one of Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life's raw desserts. I chose this Chocolate Mousse Tart with Lemon Cashew Cream because it sounded delicious.  And it was. The avacado-chocolate-cashew-lemon filling was awesome.

This was my first time making a raw dessert, but I was happy with how it turned out. I had a bit of an issue with the cashew cream, I think because my blender is so old it wasn't as smooth as I wanted it to be so I strained it through I fine sieve. I also found that some of the hard skins from the dates I used didn't blend up - I'm not sure if it was the dates or my terrible blender - but next time I would soak the dates first to soften them up. I was amazed by how sweet it was without added sugar!

And finally, I also made some vegan shortbread using the non-vegan recipe from the back of the rice flour packet and substituting the butter with Nuttelex.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Holiday gift ideas

I think I am a little late in writing this as the Christmas holiday is fast approaching - but time has gotten away from me and I wanted to share this list I've been making in my head over the past month or so.

I wanted to make this list because, as much as I love things (I really do), I also think that we as a society have gotten a little bit carried away when it comes to consuming. Cheap, disposable, products & the waste we accumulate is hurting our planet and it's animals, hurting our pockets, and hurting the people who make them. Heck - it's probably even hurting our souls because we're always wanting more instead of focusing on what we already have.

I know I would like to buy less and live more simply.

So in that spirit, here's some ideas for ethical/eco friendly gifts these holidays...

1. Donate to the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan relief appeal on behalf of a loved one: Oxfam & Red Cross have relief funds you can donate too and many others including Food For Life International who provide vegan food relief.

2. Book: 'The Gift of Kindness' by Pam Ahern full of inspiring quotes and true stories of rescued farm animals at Edgar's Mission. All proceeds from the book go to Edgar's Mission. In fact, books in general make great gifts don't they!

3. LUSH Handmade cosmetics: I don't normally like promoting or up-selling products of big companies - it feels, in the words of Enid from Ghost World, "pretty sleazy" - but I do like LUSH products because they are cruelty free and many of them are vegan. So I guess I'll sleaze about their good qualities. Some products I would recommend are:

4. Wilderness Cards: Give someone the gift of environmental protection by purchasing a Wilderness Card - a donation of $15-100 to the Wilderness Society. In return you receive a cute card to give to your loved one in recognition.

5. Fair-trade clothing: Etiko make fair-trade clothing and converse-style sneakers. They also sell gift vouchers if you would like to let your loved one choose.

6. Sponsor a rescued farm animal: You can do this via many animal sanctuaries including Edgar's Mission through their 'Best Buddy' program and Brightside Farm Sanctuary where you can virtually adopt and animal.

7. Donate to an Animal Shelter: Donate money to an animal shelter on behalf of a loved one and help animals in need. Some animal shelters & rescue groups you can support in Melbourne are:

8. Fair-trade chocolate and coffee: Oxfam sell fair-trade coffee & chocolate. Visit their website.

9. Charity calendars: Many charities bring out a calendar each year for their supporters to buy. The Wilderness Society have calenders as do Edgar's Mission, Ingrid's Haven and no doubt many others.

10. ZINES: Zines are cheap, unique and quirky. Gift zines to your loved ones and support DIY culture/art/writing. Sticky Institute in Melbourne sell zines. You can also buy zines on etsy and from online zine suppliers such as Pioneers Press. OR you could make a special zine just for them!

11. Eco Undies! Thunderpants sell eco friendly undies made in New Zealand.

12. Goodwill Wines: Purchase your festive wine stock through Goodwill Wines and give back to a charity of your choice. 50%-70% of profits go back to your chosen charity. Or you could buy charity wines all year round...!

13. Second hand books: Buy your loved one a second hand book through Brotherhood Books - where all the proceeds go towards helping people living in poverty. Or just buy them a second hand book from your local second hand bookseller - you'll be helping to reduce waste! Plus you can find some real gems in old bookstores.

14. WWF Animal Adoption: Adopt an endangered animal through WWF and help fight

15. WSPA Really Wild Gifts: Donate money to help improve the lives of bears, donkeys, dogs and other animals through WSPA's really wild gifts.

16. Sponsor a child: Unicef, Plan (who are secular) and World Vision offer child sponsorship. While The Smith Family allow you to sponsor disadvantaged children within Australia.

17. Handmade gifts: Make your loved ones handmade Christmas edibles like shortbread or cookies or craft them a gift like handmade decorations. You could also write them a poem or paint them a picture! I think there's something really beautiful about homemade gifts.

18. Second hand or vintage homewares: One of my personal favourites! They can make special, one of a kind gifts and help reduce waste!

And I'm sure there's more!
I have made a slightly different, more extensive list on my pinterest account if you're interested.

~ Happy holidays ~

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A whale of a day

Yesterday I finally took the plunge and saw Blackfish. I've been wanting to see it for a while, but it has only just come out in cinemas here, and I had been feeling a little trepiditious about watching it because I knew it would be sad. And it was. I got very emotional at the end thinking about all the whales that are still imprisoned there. Like Tilly, floating alone and depressed in his isolation pool.
But I'm also glad because I feel this film has the potential to change things - I think it already is! - and it's getting  a lot of publicity. Joan Jett recently filed a cease and desist order against SeaWorld when she discovered they were playing her song during there shows - go Joan! I just really hope this film will bring an end to SeaWorld, I really do. When I watch the footage of those shows it makes me sick to my stomach. Having read Death At Seaworld recently I already knew everything that was covered in the film - in fact the book covers it all in much greater detail. Keeping whales in captivity is so wrong on so many levels and they are such amazing, smart, beautiful animals. If you haven't seen this movie you totally should, it is devastatingly eye opening.

Then today, I traveled down to Williamstown to meet one of the Sea Shepherd crew - and I got to go onto the Steve Irwin ship - I had never been on any of their ships before, so I was super excited to be able to. It was amazing. Everyone there was getting ready and making preparations for when they set sail next week to do the amazing work they do protecting whales.

I took some photos of the ships and also some of the stunning view of the city across the bay - but they were on film so I will have to wait to get them developed.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Ode to the tee vee

Next week analog tv channels are closing down for good where I live, to be replaced by digital. They have already been shut down in NSW and some other states. I think Melbourne is one of the last to go.

It didn't really hit home to me until today when I came across this article - about an old tv collector who owns about 100 old televisions - in the morning paper, that this really is the (abrupt and sad) end of an era.

I've always wanted to buy an old television, I guess it has been on my 'To do someday' list for quite a while. And let's face it, if you own an old television it would be great to be able to use it. But now alas, that will not be possible. I have a soft spot for old televisions, like many other mid-century modern gadgets (radios, record players, cars etc.), because they really are just beautiful incarnations of design - they were designed to be beautiful. Whereas now most things seem to be designed for functionality, or to a sense of beauty that I do not understand. I certainly would not describe today's flat screen tv's as being beautiful.

But I think what really get's to me is the sense of finality. It is doubtful that analog will ever be brought back, because most people probably won't notice it's absence, and the one's who do, the nostalgics and collectors of this world, are drops in the ocean of new modernity. So this is it for the original tv. It is over.

In the article, Mr Lawson, the tv collector points out about one of his tvs that, ''It saw the very first TV broadcast, the parts are dated one month before that,'' - that it was in fact, probably bought to watch the first broadcast. And now it will also see it's last.

Goodbye old tee vee. You will be missed.

Saturday, 30 November 2013


Today I went out for a long drive as I am currently working towards getting my license (I can't wait to get it, then I'll be able to go on adventures). The day started off a little cloudy but by the afternoon the sun was shining over the sleepy little coastal town we were visiting.

While we were there we had a browse through the shops and I found this lovely little pair of retro, slightly odd looking, Mexican donkey salt and pepper shakers [made in Japan - go figure?] in the antique shop.

I look forward to using them to season my tacos...

Earlier in the week I also went op-shopping and came across a big pile of old fashion & home magazines from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They had quite a few old Vogues and LIFE magazines with missing covers. Even though I like old fashions I decided not to get a Vogue because a lot of them had pictures cut out of them, but also because over the last few years I've grown to greatly dislike fashion magazines for various reasons - and though the old fashions were interesting, they really weren't all that different from the fashion mags of today, content wise.

I ended up choosing this 'Home' magazine from January 1958, which makes for quite entertaining reading. It really is like stepping into a whole other world!

I might do a post about some of the contents another time.

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

7 Links

I wanted to share some links I've come across this week relating to animal issues, the environment and veganism...

Tiger nearly killed in making of Life of Pi

1. A couple of days a go this article came up on my dash:

Animals Were Harmed: Hollywood's Nightmare of Death, Injury and Secretary Exposed, a detailed article in the Hollywood Reporter that reveals how many animals have been negligibly injured and killed during the filming of Hollywood films such as Life of Pi, The Hobbit, HOB's Luck and many more.

I naively thought that nowadays there would be strict regulations in place to protect the well being of animals used in movies and that filmmakers would be forbidden from deliberately killing or harming animals for live action shots - but instead we have another corrupt system to add to our long list. Since reading Thanking the Monkey years ago I have opposed the use of wild animals for entertainment and films because wild animals have to be 'trained' to perform and do as they are told and this usually involves negative reinforcement such as hitting, prodding and beating.

And of course wild animals are just that, wild animals and cannot really ever be controlled. If they want to lash out at someone, they will.

This brings me to my second link...

2. Trainer Mauled by Tiger at Australia Zoo

The stupidity of the human race and the media never fails to amaze me. I think the outcome speaks for itself here. But I will say this - training tigers to interact with people and to perform tricks is not conservation.

3. Al Gore Goes Vegan

While I am a little skeptical about this one particularly since it also talks about Bill Clinton as being vegan when apparently he is not really vegan - though I believe he may have been vegan initially while he was trying to improve his health and now consumes much less meat and animal products than he used too. The article also says Gore reportedly switched to veganism for health reasons. While it would be great if this were true, even going mostly vegan or cutting down your meat/dairy intake is a good start so good on him. I do hope that environmentalists will take note of this too because there are a lot of environmental benefits to eating a plant based diet - mainly because livestock produce so much methane, factory farms and fish farms produce toxic run off and meat production uses huge amounts of water.

4. Two guardian articles about waste:

 Marine plastic pollution: the threat pervading Australia's waters

Ever since I watched Midway I have been deeply concerned about the amount of plastic waste ending up in our oceans. We really need to do something now. We need to stop over consuming and start cleaning up after ourselves - stop dropping cigarette butts all over the ground and being litter bugs - because sea animals and birds pay the price for our pollution - and we will to eventually if our ocean ecosystems die.

5. And the second article is more about priorities - What do we really need this Christmas?

And now for a happier story...

Cyrus the rescued roo

6. Cyrus the Roo rescued from Melbourne Airport has returned to the wild by Wildlife Victoria.

Last month an injured kangaroo was found confused and distressed trapped inside a pharmacy at Melbourne Airport. Goodness knows how he got in there? (it's hard enough to find your way around Airports as a human!). It was a very dangerous situation for him because kangaroos can die of stress, and it is really quite miraculous he survived it!

7. And lastly, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but I do like these photos of lucky turkeys taken by Jo-Anne McArthur, who have been spared the dinner table and now live out their lives at Farm Sanctuary.

Monday, 25 November 2013


I thought I'd share some of the faces that inhabit my walls. These are mostly cards I have collected over the past few years. 

I like to scatter my walls with magazine cut outs, photos and artwork....


 Paul the turkey on the 2013 Brightside Sanctuary calendar. 

"Paul is a favorite resident at Brightside. He loves people and generally spends his days in the carpark and barn where the action is. Paul loves pats and cuddles and if you give him a tickle under the wings he will return the favour by gentley preening your arm."

You can read more about Paul via Brightside's Meet the Animals page.

Happy bear :)

WSPA postcard featuring the rescued bear Rohini.

 Drawing by Valerie Davide. This one caugt my eye in a gallery shop because of the crazy lines and reminded me of my own messy sketches when I used to draw.

Mitsy a little kitten I looked after for some friends while they were away.
She was a stray who adopted them!

Artwork by Adam Cullen. This picture reminds me of my old family pet who was a German Shepherd.

 Artwork by Fiona Hall who had an exhibition recently at the Heide Museum of Modern Art which I sadly did not get to see.

Artwork by Kristina Browning.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pleasure & pain

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Life in books

I discovered this cool little book quiz via Linda of The Lentil Institution and decided I couldn't resist doing it myself. The books I've read in my life mean a lot to me. I feel like I have to have them by me and that of I didn't I would somehow feel a little incomplete. Almost every book that I've read and really really loved I own a physical copy of (with a few exceptions) - it's almost like having a collection of old friends on the shelf. There are some books that I enjoyed, but would also feel okay if I didn't own a copy, but then there are others that I'm super protective of and don't want to lose or give away. I also have quite vivid memories of reading certain books when I was younger and what was going on in my life at the time - probably because I read less then and was more impressionable.

I also love reminiscing about books I've read and films I've watched.

Here's my list...

Author you've read the most books from: Virginia Woolf.

Best sequel ever: Hmmm I never really read series'...the only series I think I've read the whole way through is Harry Potter.

Currently reading: The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders which I've been wanting to read for ages, Feel The Fear, Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers which I stumbled upon on a Readings sale table and couldn't resist, and still attempting to complete The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments by Andrew Knight (science tends to go right over my head).

Drink of choice while reading: Camomile or English Breakfast tea.

E-reader or physical book: Physical book. I commute a lot and do a lot of my reading on the train and nearly always have a book or two with me which is definitely annoying at times (and makes me look like a bag lady), especially when you're reading a big one, but I still prefer the page to the screen.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school: Patrick Bateman? Just kidding! Probably Ron Weasley or Harry Potter...but I feel so boring for saying that.

Glad you gave this book a chance: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I had to read this for first year uni and at first I really hated it. I remember starting to read it a number of times and then not getting past the first page. But once I actually pushed through and read the whole thing it was amazing and I ended up writing on it.

Hidden gem book: Tongues of Flame by Tim Parks.

Important moment in my reading life: In Primary school we used to have 'silent reading' sessions where we were meant to pick a book and sit and read for an hour. I never really liked this much nor did I like reading much in general because I just found most of the books on offer geared at pre-teens kinda boring. But I also never read at home either because I'd never found a book that I liked (other than Fantastic Mr Fox - love that book!). But I remember rummaging through the boxes of books on offer trying to find something that looked interesting and I stumbled upon I Am David by Anne Holm. I think I was drawn in by the cover which had a boy and a dog on it and I think that was the first time a book had ever utterly engrossed me. I found that book so hard to put down but also very moving.

Just finished: Green Is the New Red by Will Potter, which is about the U.S Government's crack down on environmental and animal rights activists who engage in non violent liberation/sabotage tactics as the 'no. 1 terrorist threat," The Baby Farmers by Annie Cossins, Death at Seaworld by David Kirby and Clay by Melissa Harrison.

Kinds of books you won’t read:  Sci-fi, fantasy, action, romance - I'm really not massively into any genres but have been known to delve into some crime or horror.

Longest book you’ve ever read: One that comes to mind is Andrew Motion's biography of John Keats. I think it's about 500 pages.

Major book hangover because of: Definitely Harry Potter when I was younger, also Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Me and my dusty shelves...

Number of bookcases you own: Only two in my room, which is nowhere near enough. I now find myself stashing books in boxes and piling them up on the floor and on tables.

One book you’ve read multiple times: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I think I've read this three times now. Also The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Preferred place to read: Lounging on my bed or on the couch. I find that if I read in bed I get sleepy.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: 
"I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and too them away to a zoo of something. Or if they just flew away." - Catcher In The rye

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - The Great Gatsby 

I studied Gatsby in VCE so I remember our teacher drilling quotes into us.

Reading regret: I usually tend to give up on books that I hate rather than finishing them, but I had to read Sense & Sensibility for my VCE Literature class and really hated it. It took me months to finish that book.

Series you started and need to finish: I started reading Twilight a few years ago when it was big. It was readable and reasonably entertaining but I have no intention of finishing it.

Three of your all-time favourite books: Gah how can I choose only three!? I have way more than three. You can see all of them here.

1. Catcher In The Rye
2. The Bell Jar
3. Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Unapologetic fangirl for: Victorian History.

Very excited for this release: We Animals by Joanne McArthur - a coffee table book of photographs taken by Joanne McArthur documenting the animals who are victims of exploitation.

Worst bookish habit: Unfinished books & my tendency to leave books lying around the house.

X marks the spot (Go to a bookcase and select the 24th book across): Peter Carey: Collected Stories.

Your latest book purchase: Feel The Fear Fear, Do It Anyway and The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J Bourne.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):  I'm not very good when it comes to reading late at night as I tend to nod off, but probably Death at Seaworld by David Kirby. It was very long, but also very engrossing.

So that's my list. Feel free to link back to your book list if you have one in the comments section or just tell me what you've been reading lately. It's always great to see what other people have been reading!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Cup Day: Why horse racing sucks

 "Every dollar you spend, or don't spend, is a vote you cast for the world you want." - LN Smith

In Australia Melbourne Cup Day is one of the biggest national holidays there is, and yet it is something that I am far from proud of. I guess horse racing is still seen as a national past time. But if you think about it horse racing is actually incredibly old fashioned. As a society our morals have changed quite a bit since the 19th century (though you could say this only really applies to human rights issues given how our society still uses and abuses animals) when horse racing was a hugely popular sport. Yet the workings of the racing industry have really not changed at all - thousands of horses are still bred, raced ruthlessly, and then sent to the knackery without the blink of an eye.

It is estimated that somewhere between 15,000 and 25, 000 ex-racing horses are slaughtered in Australia annually because they are no longer profitable to race and deemed too expensive to keep. This is beyond unacceptable.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses are currently campaigning for a 1% levy to be placed on all betting turnover and for this to be put towards re-homing and rehabilitating all ex-race horses. This is essentially, a call for the racing industry to clean up after itself and to take responsibility for the horses it breeds. The racing industry, according to CPR, currently funds only three horse re-homing programs which together re-home about 100 horses each year. This is just not enough.

I personally think it is wrong to use animals for entertainment and to make money like this anyway. But, at the very least I just want to see these horses taken care of instead of killed.

CRP have a petition calling on the racing industry to implement this 1% levy.

Please do not attend the races or bet on horses while this cruelty continues.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Forest

Today has been pretty average. I have been listening to this album on repeat all day though & what can I say, it is such a diamond of an album.

Here's to Friday.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Movies I've watched recently...

I've developed quite a strong obsession with horror movies lately and have been watching a lot as you can see. Here's some brief reviews of what I've been watching lately -

Upstream Color (2013)  ★★★★

I saw this at MIFF in August but I had been wanting to see it for a while before that ever since I saw the trailer last year. It's a pretty amazing film visually and sensually - loved the soundtrack. It is also a challenging, unconventional film but I found it completely engrossing.

Evil Dead (1981) ★★★

I watched this on my own late one night because I was bored.  It was pretty entertaining. I found it funny, corny, gross, offensive, and at times scary. It's basically a gory/hilarious romp.

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home (2009) ★★★★ 1/2

I found this movie really emotional. I cried a lot throughout. I'd been meaning to watch it for quite a while but had never gotten around to it - and to be honest wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. I like this movie because it is really powerful emotionally, but doesn't show a lot of graphic footage in comparison to other animal rights films I've watched, it's more about the stories of the people and their experiences. I would highly recommend it. It is sad but it also has some really beautiful happy moments in it too.

Hellraiser (1987) ★★★

I actually found this movie hilarious and would say it's one of the funnier horror movies I've watched. Features great 80s special effects. There's something delightful and nostalgic about 80s horror that I do love.

Carrie (1976) ★★★★ 1/2

Loved this movie. Cannot believe I waited this long to watch it. Underdog takes revenge is such a perfect premise for this movie.

The Exorcist (1973)  ★★★

Liked it but I did not really find it scary.

Don't be Afraid of the Dark (2011) ★★★

I wasn't a huge fan of the story or the characters - but - for some reason this movie really freaked me out. I think it just really brings back childhood memories of being afraid of monsters in the dark and jumping onto my bed so that they couldn't grab my feet!

Maximum Tolerated Dose (2012) ★★★★ 1/2

I watched this for the first time in February at the Australian premier but recently re-watched it. The film basically talks to a whole bunch of people who have been involved in the animal testing industry at some stage and invariably been trumatised/changed by it. It also tells the story of some individual animals who have been tested on. I know some animal activists seem to take issue with he fact that the film only looks at the issue from a animal welfare/cruelty perspective and fails to go into the science of it ie. the scientific fallacies of animal testing and how it can be harmful to humans because animals genetic make up is so different to humans. While I think it is a valid point, I don't share that view. I liked the film as it is and feel it is very powerful and moving.

V/H/S (2012) ★★★★

I found V/H/S really scary. It's a compilation of short horror vignettes held together by an overarching story of a bunch of teens breaking into a house where they find a whole bunch of videos containing the footage that makes up the film.

The Inkeepers (2011)  ★★★ 1/2

After watching 'House of the Devil' a while ago I have since been keen to watch other movies by director Ti West. Inkeepers revolves around two employees working their final shift in a creepy old hotel before all hell breaks loose.

Session 9 (2001) ★★★★

Asbestos removers cleaning an abandoned insane asylum. The best thing about this movie is it is original and avoids the typical horror cliches. It also has a completely unexpected ending. It's the first horror movie to really pull the cat out of the bag on me.

Evil Dead 2 (1987) ★★

This was really just a shitty re-continuation of the first movie. It starts off very confusing because it kicks off with a re-cap of the events of the first movie - but it also changes things a little for which I believe the technical term is retcon. The rest of it is pretty similar to the first except with a few new

Django (1966)  ★★

I watched this by accident. I saw it on my friend's hard drive and thought it was Django Unchained. Started watching it and confusion ensued - and then hilarity. It's an Italian western dubbed over in English. It's a funny, reasonably entertaining B grade watch.

Devil (2010) ★★ 1/2

A group of people get stuck in an elevator and one of them is the Devil.

The End of the Line (2007) ★★★★

A train trapped in subway tunnel late at night + a mysterious cult. I enjoyed this movie a lot. I found it suspenseful, but also quite kooky in it's concept.

Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010) ★★★★

I watched this one last night and wow, it is like nothing I have ever seen before. It kind of blurs the lines between horror and sci fi and is hard to pin down but I definitely found this movie quite scary. It is not bloody or gory but it is really suspenseful and unsettling. I read one negative review that describes it as a "bad acid trip" which is probably quite accurate but it's a very very well crafted acid trip. It has little dialog. The music and visuals were sensational, the acting was amazing I thought, and the story was also intriguing. What really impressed me about this film was the level of craftsmanship that seemed to go into creating it. Everything about it just seemed immaculate. The music worked really well with the visuals while the sets were out of this world and at one point there is a book which holds some clues about the story line and it is full of these amazing trippy illustrations. It is slow, but I think it shows that a film can still be scary and slow - as we are so used to fast paced action nowadays. It also has - being set in the 1980s - cool retro styling and has been compared to 2001 Space Odyssey as you can see from the trailer. The one issue I had with the the film was the ending, which was not what I had expected and seemed to happen very quickly.

On my to watch list:

- Francis Ha
- Halloween
- Metrolpolis
- The Prince and the Showgirl
- Stories We Tell
- The Ghosts In Our Machine
- Suspira
and many more...

Monday, 21 October 2013

Cashew milk

I finally got my act together and tried making cashew milk. I've been meaning to make it for years ever since I tried someone else's homemade cashew milk and was amazed by how delicious it was,  but always put it off for lack of cheesecloth. So when I discovered an open packet of raw cashews in the pantry I thought the time had finally come!

I made my milk based on these two recipes:

Sadly, I think my cashew-milk-making needs a bit of refinement. Even though I followed the recipes in terms of how much water I added, my milk seemed more watery than I expected. There were also some issues with excess grain sneaking through the strainer and into my glass - I may need to get a finer strainer for next time. My blender is also incredibly old - older than me in fact - so probably not the best at grinding up those cashews. I had a lot of pulp left over - more than was shown in the recipe which freaked me out a bit - but again it's probably the blender.

Both recipes say to add a sweeter, vanilla and salt to the mix. Not being a honey eater, I added a little Stevia powder to mine which I think worked well as I did not want the milk to be really sweet anyhow. Maybe next time I will try it without the sweetener just to see what it's like. The vanilla extract on the other hand I'm not so happy with. In my opinion it gives it a really strong vanilla flavor even though I only added a few tiny drops - and to be honest I don't really want my nut milk to taste like next time I'll try leaving that out too.

Since I have so much pulp left over, I am curious to see if I can use it to make something else - gonna have to do some investigating. If you have any tips I'd love to hear them.

** Update ** The milk tastes way better once it's chilled & the strong vanilla flavour faded

Also - I did not use *filtered water* like the recipes said. I do not drink filtered water nor do I have a water filter. I am a bit puzzled as to why every nut milk recipe I see says to use *filtered water* ? IS it simply that the 'types' of people who tend to be interested in drinking nut milk tend to also be health freaks? Or is it that one person used it and then everyone else based their recipes on theirs which used filtered water?...

Also discovered that you can freeze the leftover nut pulp and save it to use in baking or to sprinkle over cereals. Also stumbled upon this pin board which has a few nut pulp recipe ideas. I like the look of this fudge recipe.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Musical healing

I've been listening to Kirin J Callinan a lot lately. He is quite amazing. At first I wasn't sure if I liked his new album 'Embracism' because it is so different to his live performances I've seen - more electro and tight - but over time it grew on me and now I really like it. 

Kirin is one of the few modern musicians who I have a certain amount of respect for. You just get this vibe that he was born to be a performer - he has this presence on stage that only a few performers have - like you just can't take your eyes off him. And while I would describe him as pretty out there - I don't find him pretentious at all, I don't ever feel like he's acting up - they way I do with other musicians - that's just who he is and I love that. I find it really refreshing actually. 

I've seen him play live twice. The first time I saw him was at The Tote sometime in mid 2012 - I didn't know much about him at that stage and I wasn't yet aware of his fondness for dressing up in different styles - and he was sporting what I would call a 'Jo Strummer' look - army boots, cammo pants, singlet, dog tags and this front fringe shaved hairstyle. He looked pretty amazing.

The second time a saw him was at a more low key performance at the Northcote Social Club where I got to hear him play Love Delay with all his reverb pedals which doesn't really come through on the recording. He also has this amazing song Landslide which has reduced me to tears both times I've seen him play it live.

I also started listening to one of the bands he used to be in called Mercy Arms and they have this cool, but incredibly bad quality youtube music video Kept Low. It's very 2007? They kinda remind me of The Horrors meets The Go-Betweens or something.


 Anyway, one of my favourite Kirin J Callinan songs would have to be Thighs -
& Victoria M's good  too.

Simultaneously the creepiest/funniest video you've ever seen.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


I've decided to start blogging again, for sanity's sake.

It's been a while since I last wrote - almost 2 years to be exact. I can't believe it really. A lot has happened since then - and also very little has happened. I don't feel like I've changed all that much, although I feel older and wiser and more grounded. I've taken some hits, like everyone does, and they've made me stronger but I think they've also made me more cynical - I feel like I've lost all of my naivety and all my innocence. I am fully grown - but sometimes I feel about ten years older than I am and a little weary with life. I'm 24 which seems old when I look back to being 18, but I'm not complaining - 24 is still young really and with age comes wisdom.

This blog won't have a theme really - I'll just post about all sorts of things that come to mind.