Peach & Fennel Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing


“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.”

– from James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

We woke up this morning to grey skies awash with a light rain. The arrival of autumn is always bittersweet. Crisp mornings and cooler days, deep purple twilights, pots of tea and woollen scarves, apples and persimmon. All of these are things that I love. But it also means the end of summer, with its long days and bounty of fresh stone fruit, warm night breezes and morning swims, icy cold slices of watermelon. With the arrival of autumn, the endless horizons of summer come in a little closer to home. Continue reading Peach & Fennel Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

Soba Noodle Salad


It’s been rather an unusual weekend. For starters, Brisbane has been in the midst of a crazy heatwave (it is still 36°c and it is 7:30pm in the evening as I write this). Our lovely Queenslander house atop the hill usually stays pretty cool, but on a weekend like this, with not much of a breeze to speak of, it is like living in a sauna. Plus being seven months pregnant doesn’t help the situation at all. So basically it has been too hot to go out, and too hot to stay in.

The second thing that made the weekend unusual was the fact that Brisbane is hosting the G20 summit. We live only a few minutes walk from where all the action is going down, and between the police presence, the near-constant helicopters, and the road blockages, going out was a bit of a saga. S did have to head into the city on Saturday morning and alas, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour ended up taking almost three as Obama was driving through to the summit centre right at that very moment, and S got caught in the street shutdown. Continue reading Soba Noodle Salad

Purple Cabbage, Zucchini & Dill ‘Slaw


“It is often mild distraction that moves the imagination forward, not uninterrupted concentration. Thinking then works by indirection, sauntering in a roundabout way to places it cannot reach directly.”

From Woolf’s Darkness by Rebecca Solnit

Sometimes I wish that I had more time to myself. More time in which to read and write, to think, to daydream. It makes me wonder what I did with all the time in the day that was mine before I had a kid. Procrastinated, drank beer. One thing about not having a lot of free time is that when I do have it, I (usually) use it better – when you only have an hour till the child wakes up again procrastination is not an option. Which is why I like the quote above; it reminds me that my creative juices will continue to flow despite everything. Continue reading Purple Cabbage, Zucchini & Dill ‘Slaw

Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw


Living with a baby is both wildly exciting and totally mundane. From a bird’s-eye perspective, each day is a repeat of the one beforehand. We wake, eat breakfast, play, W sleeps, we go out to the shops or the park, eat lunch, W sleeps, S comes home from work, dinner, walk, sleep. There is washing to be done and nappies to be changed.

But from up close, everything is unexpected. From week to week W develops new skills so that it feels like only yesterday she could barely roll over, and now she’s standing at the coffee table, grinning like a fool. And when she’s awake W is a ball of crazy movement – she’s crawling everywhere, getting her hands into all the tiny bits of dirt and electrical sockets she can find, standing up and falling back down again, pulling books off shelves and stuffing leaves into her mouth, demanding attention and being irresistibly cute. Continue reading Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw