Tuesday, June 18, 2013
On Saturday I headed into the city to take a look at some street art. Melbourne prides itself on its colourful artworks, especially in the city’s laneways. I love it – it’s beautiful and colourful and adds an extra layer of life to the buildings. I love it on the old, nobly crumbling buildings and even more on the new, shiny and often ugly ones!
And I was chuffed as I got to see some being created live. The Age (one of our city’s two major newspapers) (known for being the cultured one) (yeah, harsh but it’s true) launched a campaign back at the start of this year, called Forever Curious. It is about the interesting stories that lie just beneath the surface, and how they can be discovered if you are curious enough to look a little closer. The Age hides clues within its pages and online, and readers are rewarded if they find them and dig a little deeper. For example, there was a special sentence, a bit like a password, in the food section, and readers were encouraged to visit a certain cafe and repeat it to someone who would be seated outside. Those who did were rewarded with a free lunch. I love things like this – it’s like a treasure hunt! Melbourne also prides itself on its underground, hidden gems, so I think this campaign matches that perfectly.
The Age worked with two highly regarded street artists, Rone and Phibs, to collaborate on a mural in one of our well-known street art laneways, Hosier Lane. The Age had featured their work in a “Just Graffiti” ad for the Forever Curious campaign earlier, and they were keen to continue that connection with the artists. Their work is really familiar to us here, and is an iconic part of our city. I love the idea of something that I always think of as being so competitive actually working together.
In the lead up to the day, The Age had asked its readers what their favourite graffiti spots in the city were, and their answers were incorporated into the artwork along with their twitter or Instagram handles. They also ran an article about Rone on the day, letting people know it was on so they could check it out.
I got there in the mid afternoon to have a look at its progress – I think it’s fascinating seeing these things happen. It was a lovely warm winter’s afternoon, but very cold in the lane – no sunshine gets down in there!
It was great to see the two styles combined to make this striking piece.
I was also interviewed for a video being made of the event – I didn’t make the final cut (wait, is that right? I mean be in it!) but it was definitely an experience – a fun, if strange and slightly scary one! – to have a quick chat with a fancy camera and one of those big furry microphone things inches from my face OH and in public!!! You can see the video here if you like. You can also read The Age’s article about the day here.
And now I am really pleased to tell you about a prize I have to give to one of you! In fact I have to do it quickly as I want to keep it but I can’t, so boo for me and yay for you.
I have 1 x FRAMED PRINT of one of Rone’s Melbourne pieces (taken by an Age photographer) – worth $180.
For your chance to win, please tell me: what is your favourite piece of street art in your city and why do you like it? And when do you get to see it?
Personally I’ve always liked seeing it from trains, when you get to see things from such a different view. I love seeing all that colour in really awkward, hard-to-get-to spots, and then getting to see it change over the weeks and months as it is added to, painted over etc.
Tell me in the comments here, and, as always, please leave an email address so I can contact you. Full terms and conditions are here.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
John and I took drank our coffees on the drive in, and then walked through one of the lovely city parks in the golden sunshine. I, like we humans have been doing for thousands of years, tried to capture the beauty of the sunlight in the trees. I don't think I'll ever be able to actually do it but I can get close – and I'll keep trying because it is so beautiful!
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
It is pomegranate season at the moment in Melbourne. I love pomegranates – have done ever since Nigella explained how to get the little squishy jewels out with a few firm whacks with a wooden spoon – and have been enjoying them sprucing up dinners with those shiny red studs.
I’ve also seen them scattered on the ground at the feet of trees in several of my neighbours’ gardens, but they’re never quite close enough to, you know, share. At least the birds can enjoy them!
And what about drinking it? I like it – not too sweet and not too sharp – and I like that pomegranate is good for you. And you know I have recently been on a health drink kick.
But you can’t be so good ALL the time! Bickford’s asked me to make a vintage-inspired cocktail, and, of course, of their six premium juices, I went with pomegranate. With 100% juice, it’s perfect for it!
And it’s really easy too. No faffing about with a zillion ingredients, although I hope you are better prepared, glassware wise, than me, and have champagne glasses... which leads us to the ingredients!
Champagne, pomegranate juice, raspberries/strawberries.
And that’s it! Pour a nice glass of bubbly, top with pomegranate juice, and drop in a berry or two. It’s pink and it’s tasty – both are good!
But I couldn’t just leave it at that. I saw that there is a prune juice in the Bickford’s range and I LOVE prunes! I know, I know, they’re not very fashionable to like – people always ask if you’re, you know, feeling ok if you mention you eat them, and yes, I am quite fine, thank you! I just really like that intense, sticky sweet flavour, along with figs and dates. It’s just so syrupy good!
So I tried the prune juice neat and I liked it.
I then mixed it with the coconut juice and it was really good – it made a nice, lighter kind of mocktail. Babycat is convinced and wants to try it too.
It got me thinking... of another potential cocktail.
While I wasn’t asked to do this, I like a challenge – and making prune juice palatable in a cocktail is definitely a challenge, in my books! – and it was actually quite easy. Just prune juice, coconut juice and rum. I wanted to add an umbrella but my supermarket didn’t have any – don’t they know the importance of a tiny paper umbrella?! – so you’ll have to go with me on this. I dare you to try it, I think you might like it! I’m serious!
AND YOU CAN BE MORE COCKTAIL READY THAN ME – I'M HAVING A GIVEAWAY!
I have: 1 x Bickford’s prize pack (worth $150 RSP) to give away:
• 6 Bottles of Bickford’s Premium Super fruit Juices (one of each flavour)
• A Crystal Set of 6 Cocktail Glasses from Wheel & Barrow
• ICE BUCKET Double Wall S/S 1.3L Black/Silver from Wheel & Barrow
• Ice Tongs from Wheel & Barrow
• Straw Spoon from Wheel & Barrow
Cocktail glasses! I could do with some of those, too.
SO. To enter, I want you to tell me:
what cocktail would you create using one of the following Bickford’s juices:
Superberry Antioxidant Juice
and where would it take us? I like to think my prune-coconut-rum concoction is rather tropical, and yet good for winter.
To enter you must be 18 or over and an Australian resident. Please leave me your email address! Full terms and conditions here. Good luck – and have fun with it!
Also, let me know – I have to ask – what do you think of prunes, and prune juice? Are we ready to help them drop their dark image?!