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. 






There was a moment on Sunday, around my third pint of Stone and Wood, that just seemed to sing. As if all the things had fallen into place - it was cold but bright, 12 or so of my very best friends had come down to the Wheatsheaf for an afternoon drink, the sun was pouring in through the window, the open fire was warm and my nieces and friends' children had calmed a little and were mostly colouring-In or eating crisps. But Daisy wanted to dance and I realised as I got up with her that they were playing Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch which has to be about the best song to Sunday with. Sometimes a song feels like the exact right way to sum up a day, or a feeling. And when it comes on without thought, when you just hear it there out of nowhere it  feels like if life was a film; curated with just the right sentiment or melody or something. Holding Daisy's hands and laughing, swaying, I felt and knew that there was nowhere else to be and everything happens for a reason and the reason was that afternoon. 

Lemonades were spilt and some couldn't stay long, but for a while there it was wonderful. 




IMG_5252.JPGSo grainy in the evening light, a few glasses of wine later, taken on my phone as I walked in the door after saying goodbye to an old friend. I spent the weekend at home in Adelaide again, for a friend's afternoon wedding - a picnic affair, blankets on the grass at the camellia gardens down the road from my folks' house. I made cucumber, cream cheese and cracked pepper sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and the raspberry slice I always make because it is always so good (here with blueberries, I make it with whatever I fancy at the time). I sat with old friends, got hugs from the much loved parents of old friends, drank champagne and smiled for my friend Hayley and her new hubby Nick all afternoon.

It was nice being back in Stirling, albeit a week after I left. The painting is one my mother's friend did for her, one I have grown up with. When I was younger I dreamed of having long curly hair and wearing flowy dresses in soft colours, just like the women in the painting. I thought it was the most beautiful picture I'd ever seen, and it still kind of is. It reminds me of the illustrations in my mother's favourite Arthur Rackham fairy tales, Edwardian prints we used to peak at in the pages of her old hardcover editions.



IMG_5082.JPGA kind of surreal SUNDAY here. Yesterday was worse, sat inside at my parents house in Stirling listening to AM radio updates and worrying about bushfires raging out of control in the Adelaide Hills. The amazing CFS crews were not able to contain them, may not for another week, and while we're 20 odd kilometres from the fire, the clouds are dark and smoky, and my heart goes out to the locals (some of them friends), whose homes and livestock may be lost. The heat in Adelaide just hangs in the air, and our stomachs drop when the wind picks up. By SUNDAY though, trying to get on with things and think positively, we had my brother and Melody, newly engaged, and her family to my parents house for lunch. Two large families, a lot of food, several bottles of Croser and an afternoon swim with the kids was as nice away as any to distract yourself from the dramas unfolding with the fires.

Stirling is so beautifully green, even at this time of year, and my folks' garden is full of some of my favourites - camellias, gardenias, agapanthas, roses, orchids, lavender - and hydrangea, all ripe for the picking.



POI've been getting homesick lately, readying for some downtime and a few weeks in the Hills with friends and family. This time in a week or so I'll be heading out to Poet's Ode, a new(ish) boutique in Hahndorf, which is a small town just past where I grew up in Stirling. Only 20 or so minutes from Adelaide, the Hills feel like another world. It's wonderful to see people doing things like this - opening beautifully curated and well-intentioned little places. I can't wait to have a look and hopefully get a few last-minute Christmas presents from a local, small business, that just happens to be amazing!

* Image by Sybella Court


IMG_2658.JPGWaking up at my folks house in Stirling on Sunday morning was lovely. It's always lovely. The guest room gets the most glorious morning light, filtered through hydrangeas. My mother put the kettle on for me at 7 because she was up and my father was up so we should all be up. Coffee and a banana for the road because my dad and I were going for a walk - a Hills walk is a proper walk, not to be taken lightly. We did a round trip of about 9 KMs in the end, a loop past the old railway, my old high school, a couple of rogue kangaroos, a lot of wattle, down through Aldgate and back up to Stirling and a few fields full of wandering dew (though I thought it was honeysuckle, to be honest). I took this picture near our old house, where I grew up. The  thing about the Hills in spring is you feel like you're in an English village - everything is so picturesque and mild and floral. Bulbs sprouting up on the side of the road and so many oak trees and beech trees and blackberry thickets. We had a late breakky with mum in Dulwich before I had to fly out. Eggs with smoked salmon and fresh juice and maybe it was the hollandaise sauce or the sun but the whole thing me left wondering all the way home why it is I don't live in Adelaide…



KCI first heard about the work of Adelaide artist Katia Carletti when my dear friend Kara started stocking her beautiful ceramics in her pop-up shop, The Town Local. Her tiny planters were playful and had a kind of raw beauty. I should have know then that they'd be loved by all - Kara has an eye for design and a way of knowing just what will work. So I was very happy, but not at all surprised, to find her work featured in Portland's own Association - a stunningly curated selection of quality wares from artists and artisans. Adelaide is home to so many amazing artists - it's affordability, small-town charm, damn good food and wine and proximity to the Hills and the coast make it a very special place. And I get all hometown-proud when I see their work featured like this.

I've had my eye on one of these sweet little teaspoons since Christmas...

*Image via Association.


20140306-214026.jpg I'd kept things pretty quiet lately, till last week's splurge of course, and now here I am awaiting delivery of these treats. Vege Threads is an Adelaide brand that I've come to know and love. I picked up their tank dress at Christmas, in the lovely deep rust colour and have worn it A LOT. Not only is this a local Adelaide brand, but their designs are solid, their materials organically and ethically sourced, and they just wear beautifully. They're 100% cotton and naturally dyed and they just hold their shape and colour so dang well. I often find cotton can stretch or warp and lose it's shape, even though I love the idea of plain, fresh, breathable natural fibres, but not these babies. Vege Threads have put together a really fantastic product that I am completely smitten with.

VEGE ONEKeep an eye on their Instagram, as I managed a 15% discount and free shipping, which made my striped tank dress and mocha tee (hopefully arriving tomorrow) kind of hard to walk away from.

*Images via Vege Threads.


20140225-215800.jpgThat there little neck stole my heart this weekend. Home to Adelaide and my niece Daisy's hair is just long enough and she sits quiet enough (on occasion) for my sister to tie it in a knot right at the top of her head. And it makes for hundreds more kisses on her little neck and cheeks, I just couldn't help it. She wore the sweetest little blue vintage dress to dinner, a hand-me-down from my cousin Rosie and previously Harriet's, it was lovely to see her all grown into it. I had hoped to take it easy this weekend, but didn't do much of a job of it. I started out with far too much white wine and ended with not enough sleep, but it was wonderful all the same. Drinks with a friend got carried away on Friday and I didn't quite make it to the Fringe which is a crying shame - it only comes once a year and rarely am I home for it. It really is the best time to be from Adelaide or in Adelaide. I made up for it with a jovial and picturesque feast at Mesa Osteria for my little brother's 30th the next night though (happy day, Padddy!), and lots of food and wine while I was at it. Nicest was a big Hills walk all to myself on Sunday morning and a little gardening with my folks over a pot of coffee, and then Sunday night dinner at our forever and always family favourite, Estia's. It's a very easy and yummy Greek restaurant at Henley Beach, right by the pier and the sun sets over the water in Adelaide, so it's always the best view in town. Golden hour with a whole heap of Croser, garlic dips, grilled cheese and fresh calamari and prawns. You can see why we like it there...



20131124-210044.jpgThe weekend was, as expected, busy and wonderful. Weekends home to Adelaide always are (busy and wonderful). It's usually a mess of  breakfasts and lattes and yummy lunches and afternoon teas and wine and cheese and long dinners and card games with my dad as we finish off the last of the red, and this one was no exception. My friend Sathya's wedding was an especially lovely part. She married her high school sweetheart and after years together and two lovely sons, it was just so nice to  be able to celebrate it. He adores her and she just radiated happiness - I mean, the two of them giggled the whole damn day, which says a lot about their relationship and love for one another. Also, the champagne. And the dancing. When you get a group of old friends together and put on a lot of wine and some seriously good tunes, things get pretty amazing.

Today was a slower day, brekky with some dear fiends before I flew out. They have a lovely old house they are making a home, having bought it back in June. I miss having them here in Sydney quite a bit, but it is so good to see them settled and growing their business and spinning new magic in my hometown. Kara is a woman of fine taste, and I fell in all kinds of love with this handmade thrift find she served our breakfast on. I've always been a bit in love with ceramics and have wanted to take a course for about ten years - this may just be the beauty that gets me over the line and enrolled in something…