Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Price of Authenticity

I love a little authenticity, something bespoke, organic, rustic - especially in the kitchen.

Which is why I'm a huge fan of MudAustralia porcelain plates, bowls, serving dishes, mugs, et al. Each is an original, all hand poured, hand glazed and finished. Mine are mostly seconds, although to me, that slight 'flaw' is actually more evidence of their bespoke origin and character.

Similarly, I'm a big fan of the iron wood chopping boards that we use instead of small plates. They're very handy - you can make your sandwich straight on them, cut and eat, use them as trivets for hot dishes on the table and even as serving boards for cheese.

At Christmas, I took it one step further and got wooden handled cutlery. Isn't it gorgeous? Each piece unique.

So perhaps it was understandable that I was a little bit excited when I saw this in The Good Weekend - 250 million year old Himalayan salt chunks with block and grater.

Look at this, Elle! I enthused. How amazing is that? 250 million years old... it's beautiful!!

She did not share my enthusiasm. Indignant to the max she said, Oh,,, my... god! Is it not enough that we have to hand wash the cutlery? That we'll  now have to grate our own salt??

I haven't bought it... yet.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Farewell Fair Friend

After 10 years of service, we've retired our tent. We've certainly had our money's worth.

I vividly remember when I got it. Here's what happened (please, don't judge). I was on maternity leave  and rocked up to Kmart with all the kids in tow - George was 12, Jaz was 11 and in a wheelchair, Elle 7 and Sass 5 months in a pram on a mission to buy one of their $24 strollers to take on our driving holiday to Tasmania. Technically, Sass was still a bit small for a stroller, but there was no room for a pram.

We'd recently been camping at Easter with the six of us wedged into our one room tent and enduring a horrendous storm in which George's sleeping bag got soaked (with him in it!). That had sparked the need for a larger one - but right then, there were other priorities.

Back to Kmart. I spotted a two room tent on sale and called Geoff. If he promised to sell the old one, I'd buy the new one. Done!

I grabbed the tent, the stroller and the usual stuff you discover at Kmart that you didn't know you needed until you saw it.

Chatting with the ladies at the check out, I confess I wasn't paying much attention. I paid, organised George and Elle to help push the pram, the wheelchair and the over-flowing trolley back to the car. As I was loading kids and gear, I suddenly thought That can't be right when I recalled the finally tally of our shopping. I dug out the receipt and confirmed my suspicions. Among the chaos, the chat and the price checks, the tent had been put through at $24 and no no sign of the stroller.

I was not going back.

So there you have it. Pretty much a free tent.

After 10 years though, the zipper on the front was dodgy, we discovered half a pole missing (The Grampians last year?) and a small hole had appeared in the floor. So after camping this year, we packed it up neatly into its bag (missing one wheel) and left it by the bin.

PS I'd like to point out that I always tell a cafe if they'd missed a coffee on the bill or if I think a business has undercharged me. In fact, the electrical mechanic told me he'd never had anyone call to check that he'd remembered to charge everything! So please don't think this is my usual behaviour!!

The Moroccan Bath

The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...