A weekend home in Adelaide. It always pulls at my heart strings. We had a family lunch in the Hills, prawns and potato bake and salad and a couple of bottles of Croser. In the afternoon I picked up my friend for a drink at the Wheaty before dinner. I love my friends' homes, love seeing the details of their lives lived out in the way they leave their home. The pictures on the walls, the books, the bags on the back of doors and the bowls of jewellery by the sink in the bathroom, a coffee mug left on the counter. It is always special to me.
The Wheaty was packed to the rafters and sunny, and I saw some favourite people, a few smiles in particular that make me very happy.
Some internets for you, on this Monday night. I'm still trying to catch up on Saturday's paper right now, it's a folded mess that I've been picking up and putting down for two days. But in the meantime, here's what I've been reading and stewing over. I'm a little angry at the world, but also wildly delighted and heartened by these kinds of writing that swoop in and save the day, right when you think it's all going to shit...
* This piece by Emma Straub made me giggle. Smart and sharp, and if there's a better description of high fashion than 'lots of clothes looked like fancy pyjamas' then I haven't read it. Also would like to buy and read all her other work now please.
* While we're on the topic of ways we perform being female, I love this dry response in the Guardian.
* And don't worry, because it just gets better and better with THIS on Medium which is all the things I'd like to say about so many things and more and I'll just leave it at that. You can read the article.
My friend Brodie wrote this excellent thing today which goes nicely with the above.
When your bestie of 20+ years is in town and you spend the day crying-laughing. Honestly, the whole damn day. Which is rough when you have allergies and your eyes are swollen, but you wouldn't change a thing. Breakfast and a walk in Bronte, trying on sunglasses you can't afford, then a picnic on the front step with cheese and ginger beer and no shoes and remembering the hundreds of times you've felt exactly as happy, entertained, understood, supported, inspired and loved. There is nothing like old friends.
The whole thing must have been too much for me, coming down with something as I am, so it was home to a cup of tea in bed by 6 PM and little else.
Blurry, after just one beer. Lucy and I drove our grandmother home on Sunday afternoon and she slipped us a fifty for our troubles. We were giggling, insisting we weren't a cab, she didn't need to pay us, but she said to take ourselves out for a nice meal. Which ended up being two pints and some fried chicken at the pub in Stanmore. A pre-dinner snack, as we both had plans. But it was the end of a beautiful sunny day, and the inner west always puts on a nice show when it comes to sunsets.
Afternoon light after a weekend with the family. My mother was in town, so it was nothing but glorious spring sun on the back deck of my auntie's house and cups of tea with my gam. After I drove her to the airport on Sunday afternoon I came home to the quiet, and this. I picked up a new book and spent the last few hours of the day in my head, reading and thinking back on things.
Ah, the Sunday that was. Feel like I'm months behind, not just three weeks. It was a pretty sweet old day - an early rise, a drive north to the national park, second breakfast of lemon and polenta cake I made and a thermos of J's strong coffee, a good long walk where I only nearly fell over once, a picnic of champions and the last of the afternoon sun on the other side of Palm Beach, doing handstands in the sand.
It's pretty nice up that way.
I just realised that it's been months and months since I posted about what I've been listening to. Possibly the whole year. That's a while between drinks. Probably another round up coming soon, but to get your started:
* The Kills are nothing new, just new to me. I don't know how I missed them, their particular brand of awesome, but I did. So when Ngaio bought me a ticket to see them at the Enmore last month, I was blown away. I knew they were cool, but my goodness - coolest ever. And so bloody talented. I don't think I've ever felt anything as passionately as Alison Mosshart felt those songs. I've definitely never looked as cool. Ngaio bought a tee when we arrived, and I liked the print so much (Doing it to Death) I bought one too, which seemed a little eager. But 30 seconds into the first song I turned to her nodding and said 'I'm so glad I bought the tee'.
* Again, nothing new but high on my current rotation is the lovely Devendra Barnhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. It hits all the right soft but charming and off-beat early spring feels when the days are longer and you can leave the doors open and feel uplifted and light. What a man.
* Oh lordy, this album is on repeat right now. Can't get enough. I fell in love with Michael Kiwanuka a few years ago when I came across this clip and love the new direction he's taken with Love and Hate. I mean, it's brilliant. And the clip is a revelation.
* Realised I already wrote about the Laura Jean ages ago, but I've made the image now and the colouring works for me (plus i was listening to it again quite a bit last week) so you'll just have to live with it.
* Julia Holter is all keyboard harmony dreamscapes - pop-like love songs with twitches of synth but in a natural and casual way and bursts of strings and soaring a voice. It's a really lovely album.
* I first heard hear Willy Mason at my local, Arcadia, on a slow Saturday afternoon, while I was waiting to meet friends for ciders. It's that kind of album. Restless Fugitive is smooth - in no rush to catch you - just a well-paced, rusty and endearing feel.
* I was raving about Kate Tempest a while back, and have been pretty hooked on her album ever since. It's a nice change to the usual alt-country I drown myself with. She's so sharp and effortlessly cool. I love her confidence and clarity.
* Speaking of drowning myself on alt-country, or in this case real-country, I give you the Civil Wars. Definitely not everyone's taste, but gosh I love them.
* Waxahatchee is about my favourite thing this year, no question. She's got a bit of the late 90s Liz Phairs about her, in a stripped back and kick-butt kind of way. I have been listening to Ivy Tripp non-stop since January, it just builds beautifully.
Another glory day. Early up, bircher of my dreams, and a swim. That's right, A SWIM. In the depths of winter, where actually it was gloriously sunny and the Clovelly rock pool was a charming 19 degrees and I braved it for a good 6 minutes or so. And then sunned about on my towel in my bathers soaking in the vitamin D. It felt amazing, and a sign of things to come (even though I suspect the water will cool down a little more, before it starts getting warmer again, since it is only August).
I had a nap and ate some very good leftover cheesecake from my dinner party the night before (roasted maple strawberries with a gingernut base) and listened to a bit of JR. The light in my room was all golden and sunset-y and I felt rested and full.
Feeling good and blessed over here. October was always going to be amazing, but as it comes closer and I firm up a few things, I'm feeling ridiculously excited.
I've been saving up my frequent flyer points for years so my sister and I could go to NYC together. Which is exactly what we're doing, for a week, in October. We have a grand plan to eat, walk, see, eat, shop, drink, eat and sleep, up and down the length of Manhattan and quite a bit of Brooklyn. She hasn't been before, and my last trip was somewhat of a wash. Not to mention Kate and I haven't been travelling together since India, about 15 years ago (gosh but writing that makes me feel old). I can't wait to giggle uncontrollably on the subway and buy postcards for her girls at the Met and I don't even mind that we're sharing a bed and I know she'll snore. It's going to be THE BEST.
And then, because I'm all the way over there, I'm going to head down to Mexico. My friend Victoria was keen to make the trip too, and is already proving to be an excellent edition with her impeccable taste in AIR BNBs and a keen interest in cacti gardens. I'm already really proud of us.
And then I'll be 'rounding it out with a week in LA with Victoria, and Ngaio and Julian and a whole heap of other faves that live in that glorious, rose-coloured, sprawling mess of a town. I can't wait to get breakfast at SQIRL and see the Getty and have beers with Jordy and feel all the feels.
October, you're my fave.