Recipe for a Wet Weekend

It’s pouring. The rain hasn’t paused for breath the last couple of days and is here for the weekend. A thick covering of grey is pressing down on Sydney subduing its usual brash brightness and a damp chill has settled.  I’m in winter hibernation mode, reaching for hot water bottles and cosy rugs. This is a weekend to pull on your gum boots and slosh through puddles or turn to soul-warming, creativity stoking, comfort foods.

So this weekend I’ll be catching up on some knitting whilst watching Cadel Evans in the Tour de France and planning my French vacation (doesn’t hurt to dream).

I might visit my box of fabric and piece together a cushion cover.

I’ll be remembering my childhood winters by cooking my mum’s Lemon Sauce Pudding* and eating it with a serve of cream and a glass of red wine.

I’ll be curling up with a good book or two. Depending on my mood, I’ll alternate between Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire and Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black.

I’ll duck into the DVD store and grab a couple of movies to catch up on.

I’ll be playing Fairy Snakes and Ladders with my youngest daughter and drinking Green Tea with my eldest.

And if by Sunday afternoon we’re all feeling thoroughly cabin-fevered, we’ll head to the Art Gallery of NSW.

All of which feeds the soul and nourishes my creativity.

My Mum’s Lemon Sauce Pudding

1 tablespoon of butter

3/4 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons plain flour

rind & juice of 1 lemon

2 eggs

1 cup milk

Cream butter and sugar and add the flour. Stir in the juice and grated lemon rind, then add the yolks of the eggs, stir in the milk. Beat the egg whites very stiff and stir them into the mixture. Pour into a buttered oven dish (or individual dishes) then bake standing in a pan of water (about 1/2 inch) in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes.

Serve immediately and enjoy.

Filling The Well

Filling the Well, creating visual images to draw on, sounds, tastes, touch to stimulate and enrich your writing. Or just because it’s fun and inspiring and gets you away from the desk.

The Art Gallery of NSW is one my favourite places. An imposing sandstone edifice edging The Domain and the Botanic Gardens. Inside you can wander through galleries of classic and contemporary European, Asian, Australian and  Indigenous art. You can linger in front of a Rupert Bunny portrait full of elegance and swagger or an intricate Indigenous dot  painting  by Fred Ward Tjungurrayi. There is good food and coffee and always fascinating people, wearing wonderfully eccentric couture.

Yesterday I visited the new Contemporary Galleries opened last weekend and they’re spectacular.

Inspired by Ugo Rondinone

Peering into the room Sol LeWitt painted for John Kaldor

Riding the shadow train. Paul Chan from The 7 lights - 2005-07

Bronze Liars (minus1 to minus 16) - Mike Parr

Cy Twombly - Three Studies from the Temeraire with Rachel Whiteread's sculpture, Untitled in


The Sydney Writers Festival is a well-filler. It’s inspiring on many levels. To see so many people cherishing the opportunity to hear their favourite writers, to listen to ideas, to ask questions or just sit in the glorious Autumn sunshine on the Pier by Sydney Harbour. It’s a great spot to watch and observe, to listen to the way people speak as well as what they say. And to scribble it all down.

This morning I chatted to Toni Jordan, author of Addition and Fall Girl, who was wonderfully encouraging and gave me some great advice. I hadn’t read her work, but she was so entertaining during the Girls Wanna? panel and her reading was really engaging that I bought  a copy of Fall Girl. And yes, had it signed.


Coming home from dinner in Paddington, I saw these fantastic skirts in the window of a shop called The Mix. What better way to use a tea towel?

The Tea Towel as Skirt

It’s full of wonderfully quirky, interesting bits for the home, like these fabulous retro pouffes. Great word pouffes, I immediately think of cubes of coon cheese and pineapple skewered through with a cocktail stick, fondue and macrame pot plant holders. And velour.

The Retro Pouffe

And I love this little guy.

Spotlight on the Alien

The Mix – cnr Paddington and Elizabeth Sts. Paddington