Saturday, 16 June 2007


'Despite – or, indeed, because of – the intervention of well-wishers, science and the Lord, Domingo's body rejected, in sorry but inevitable succession, his brand-new heart, scrotum and brain.'
(Excerpt from The Deeds of Domingo, quoted here by kind and gracious permission of the author, Rafaella de Villa Lobos y Pasquale, and at the insistence of her publisher, Poignant Books Ltd, Los Angeles and Bunbury.)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Woo hoo!

Will came top in his math(s) class, with an A+ in his final ... speechless with joy!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Come to the barbie!

This week, Bondi has been involved with Wine Australia in a big event publicising and promoting Australian wines.
We've had special-menu wine dinners on four nights - another one tonight - and yesterday we had a big barbie at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center (spelling and ampersand correct), on the ground floor of the Harbor Club Towers on Martin Luther King Walk, in what is the prettiest part of the downtown area, right across the trolley tracks from the massive convention centre.

Above: Dave, exec-chef supreme (and father-to-be in September) Chris Behre and I at one of the barbecue stands.

:: While Bondi managed the barbies outside, indoors there were tasting tables and lots of Australian people pouring lots of gorgeous Aussie wines - including fab WA labels like Plantagenet, Leeuwin Estate, Howard Park/Mad Fish, Cullens and Houghtons.
Outside, Bondi super-chefs Chris and Rhy served up plates of extremely tasty morsels like spicy shrimp (we'd call them prawns, but ... you know!), lamb cutlets and homemade sausages, with plenty of salads. there were several hundred people there, and lots of them sauntered over to the Bondi as the sun set, for free beer and dinner. A fab day all round.

Above: Our other chef supremo, Rhy Waddington (left), and 'helper' Mike Cameron manned the second barbecue stand. Mike is one of the three Bondi founders, with Julian and David. But he's a fantastic cook and loves to pitch in.
The whole event was like a sensational afternoon party, with wonderful food, wine and company. You can see the red trolley wizzing past - it does a big loop of the city and goes to Old Town, the Mexican border, and out to Fashion Valley and the big Qualcomm football arena. It's essential public transport on big event days at Qualcomm, where they also hold big rock concerts, and at Petco Park, the baseball park that's just a couple of blocks from Bondi, and four from here.

Above: Rhy and Mike in a rare down-tool moment. Note the size of the convention centre in the background - and this is only about a quarter of it.

Above: A big crowd mulled around the barbies, and there were wine-tastings inside, to the right of this pic.

Above: Me with two of our newest, dearest friends, Karen and Warren Allan. Warren is from Queensland, as you could probably tell from his T-shirt, and is in the yacht business. He first came to San Diego for the America's Cup. Karen is a southern gal, from Louisiana. They both l-o-v-e Bondi, and it's rare to turn up on the weekend and not find them there!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Just checking in!

Hi there, forgive the infrequency of my posts - I'm working hard to get a lot of projects and other stuff out of the way by June 24, when we all fly home together.

:: I just have to share with you the wonderful writing and expression in this truly fabulous article from the New York Times:

The Dance of the Final Bow - New York Times
I know next to nothing about ballet, and I don't particularly like it - though in 1975 I did pay a mind-boggling $32 to see Rudolf Nureyev dance in Sleeping Beauty at the Entertainment Centre in Perth. I was the first on my feet to applaud at some of his amazingly high leaps, so that he bowed to me from the stage. I nearly fainted!
But the affectionate tone of this report, by such a knowledgeable critic, almost brought a tear to my eye.

Bye-ee! See you soon!

PS: And when you're reading this article, just double-click on any word in it and the NYT will pop up a window for you with more info! I get the NYT emailed to me free, every morning, whereas the abysmal West Australian wants $750 a year or something ridiculous before you can even open its website.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Check this out

:: Please click on this to have a look at the latest wonderful exhibition of work by my good friend, Paul Trinidad, who is a lecturer at the University of Western Australia school of fine arts. And all you Perth-ites: if you're going to be anywhere near the Goldfields, go along and have a look!
Paul's earliest memories are of living, excavating and prospecting for gold in some of the remotest regions of Western Australia, around the big salt lake country of Lake Ballard and Patricia, a long way even from such small regional centres as Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.
Though Paul no longer lives full-time in the country he loves, the country he loves has never left him and continues to influence and inform his work.
In this latest exhibition, he draws a revealing analogy between mark-making in the process of art, in particular in printmaking (at which he excels), and marking the land, digging it out, in the process of mining.
I'll ask him for a pic to show you here!
It's working ...

Keep sending those vibes, Vegemites!
I heard the offer on the house I love is a little bit dodgy ... 'it's fallen out of escrow' my real estate pal says. You've obviously all been instrumental in this so far, so keep it up!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Where's Mrs Scrubbit?

I could have done with some help from Mrs Scrubbit today. (She was the cleaning lady who helped Mummy Woodentop in the house on BBC's 'The Woodentops', one of the 'Watch with Mother' shows I remember from my English childhood in the middle of the last century.)
Bettina, who manages our rented house on behalf of the owners, who live in San Francisco, rang me last night (Sunday) to tell me she was coming over this morning to look at the pool pump equipment with Michael, the pool guy. And, as our lease forbids pets here, this meant I had to whiz Nipper and Yoshi over to Cindy's this morning and lock them in her garage, then race back and c-l-e-a-n not just inside, but outside as well, so there was no trace of our two hairy, scruffy hounds. Not. A. Whisker.
So, as you can imagine, this was quite an ordeal for non-domesticated moi, involving a fair bit of this ...

... and a lot of this ....
... a good deal of this ...
... and an awful lot of this* ....

... followed by a fair amount of this ....

... and ending with a couple of pints of this ...

The result: Bettina and Mike, the pool guy, were here for, oh, seven minutes, and I have the cleanest, most hair-free, sweetest-smelling, gleamingest house ever (well, downstairs at least!)

And have I ever told you how utterly, despicably loathsome I find the Dyson 'Animal' vacuum cleaner? Don't ever be tempted to buy one. Sure, it sucks up a lot of crap. So long as the crap is light in weight, that is. The Animal has trouble with small bits of broken glass, for instance. And it is huge, heavy, unco-operative, clumsy, stupid, expensive, inefficient, ridiculous and made of plastic. It's too big-headed to get under even the kick-back on the kitchen cupboards, let alone furniture. It blows stuff across a hard floor, so you end up having to chase fluff - and swearing. When moving from hard floor to carpet, you have to turn the bugger off and change the brush settings. You need an engineering degree to work your way around this sucker - and then you have dozens of feet of electrical cord to wind up, hang up and trip over. Mr Dyson can stick it. I L-O-N-G for my old Miele ...

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Balloons for Laura ...

... who has just got off the phone in Australia and told me to post these ASAP! So here they are.

Little balls of colour in the dreadful June Gloom (May Grey is over now!). Compare these gloomy-day pics to these.

:: Thanks for your comment, Sue, and your email ... I'll write soon.

Mwah, mwah to all my Aussie best friends - see you s-o-o-n!