Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I made my first book!

Here is a screen print I took to show a friend how I was putting my third book together. You are looking at the back and front dust jacket covers, and underneath are some of the pages.

This one will be 80 pages, 8 x 10, hard cover, dust jacket. The first was 40 pages, 8 x 10, soft cover. I have 2 pictures to go, before I publish it. We are also making a class magazine into a book - and will publish it in the 40 page book.

And I made another 40 page one for someone special.

I am using the company blurb.com and I am very pleased with their service.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

PhotoHunt - Funny signs - Dubai

The malls in Dubai are so large that it hard to get around them. At the Ibn Battuta Mall, you can catch the indoor shuttle bus to get from one department... clear over to the next. It is 5.4 million square feet inside.

Look how big this indoor display is - and it was one of many. Alessandro and I loved seeing Dubai and are looking forward to going back there soon.

This is my entry for funny signs.

Ok, I can't resist - here is a sign I made recently:

P.S. Go and look at this post by TorAa - I just love it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A daytrip to Capri - April 2005

Another early start for a very special day. First, up to the Mayflower Bar in nearby Parco Lauro for cappuccino and delectable brioche con marmellata. Then we walked past Piazza Tasso to the steps that lead down to the harbor. It's a long walk down and I wouldn't want to walk back up again. At 7.45 a.m. we caught the Caramar car ferry to Capri followed by the funicular up to Capri's main square.

After a relaxed cappuccino and another round of pastries in Piazza Umberto we began to window shop along the exclusive dress and jewelry stores that lined the narrow roads. Dolce e Gabbana, Hermes, Pucci and Gucci, Yves St Laurent, Louis Vuitton - we could have had our choice today of designer shoes, handbags or watches. We both know ‘tis better to have window shopped than never to have shopped at all.

We continued our walk upwards, passing the Certosa and the perfumery. We followed a wisteria trail. The scent and the sunlight combined to make it an unforgettable day.

The views were well worth the walk when we reached the lookout. Small yachts with white sails glided across the ocean, seagulls circled and wheeled in the azure sky. The flowers in the lookout garden blazed with color.

Capri in April is such a special time. It was our first visit there in spring time. Our past visits have been in the fall. The garden on the way to the lookout was full of flowers. Hot pink bougainvillea draped the already pretty hotel entrances.

Each trip to Capri we have been drawn to a beautiful ceramic store owned by Adele and Silvia, on Via Fuorlovado. We spent a delightful hour there choosing delicate hand crafted ceramic bowls in shades of lilac and deep, velvety violet. We weren't sure how they'd take it, so didn't let on who the bowls were for - pampered pussy cats.

In the same narrow street was the artist Massimo Federico, with an exhibit in Galleria d'Arte Personale. One painting in particular of the spectacular Faraglioni Rocks called to me. From Capri to my home in Canberra, this yachting scene is a daily reminder of the view from the lookout high above the town.

I Faraglioni Rocks, Capri

Back down the funicular, we returned to Sorrento on the ferry. The taxi ride up to our cliff side hotel was an experience as our driver attempted to make it in record breaking time. To calm our jangled nerves, Dean Martin sang soothing Italian songs on the car’s cassette player.

Once more that evening, as we sat on our balcony overlooking the Bay of Naples in the lemon scented air, we saluted each other with our Amaretto glasses and said at the same time, "We should do more of this."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Birdland Animal park, Batemans Bay, NSW

We went to the coast last week, for Alessandro to go charter fishing again -
it's his new sport! While we were there we went to the zoo...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sea Change

Batemans Bay – how do I love it?

Well, let me count the ways. It’s only a two hour drive from chilly Canberra to the warmth of this tranquil town on the coast. One starts to relax and unwind, even on the drive down. You drive through gum trees, which turn into farm land pastures, which in turn become a rainforest, before the first sight of the cerulean blue sea appears.

The scent of salty sea air – pelicans floating across in front of your face as you lean on a jetty and watch the sail boats slowly scoot by – is all topped off by fish and chips from a local cafĂ©.

It not just about the fishing, although that’s certainly a lot of fun. I think it’s that you leave all your cares, worries and frustrations behind as you become part of a slower scene, for a day, a weekend, or even longer if you’re lucky.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

PhotoHunt: Twisted - Venetian Glass Goblet

In summer, when I'm drinking my favorite sparkling wine, Pink, I like to use one of my Venetian glass goblets from my 1992 trip. I used to have six, then there were five... H'mm, much like the ruby red Murano glasses I was given several years ago. One needs to choose carefully when having a drink. What you drink it from, can make all the difference.

I'd better explain Pink to you. It's based on a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sourced from South Australia. I drink it for the distinctive Pinot Noir scent of strawberries. Really, It's soft pink ice in a glass.

So this is my entry for PhotoHunt: Twisted - when I hold the goblet I can feel the sinuous twist in the glass stem. There's nothing quite like... Venetian glass.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Is Jane Austen your favorite author too?

Because she sure is mine - and the two books I reread most often are Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey.

So, I was reading a comment by Mom x 2 (which I thought was a comment from my mom at first) and when I went in to read her blog I found a gorgeous quiz, about which Jane Austen character you most resemble. H'mm, would you have cast me as Emma? I'll tell you what, it was a lot of fun doing the quiz - glad my students were with their Performing Arts teacher, Heather - I had a good laugh and really enoyed doing the quiz.

I am Emma Woodhouse!

Take the Quiz here!

Now I ask you - do I look like an Emma??

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Portofino and Castle Brown

I think Portofino is divine. It’s quite my favorite of the Ligurian seaside towns. The icing on the cake however, is the enchanting Castle Brown.

I discovered its beauty on a recent trip. Perched up above the town’s harbor, you’ll find that the views of Portofino are really special, I don’t think you could take a bad picture.

I was in Portofino in 2005 for my own “Enchanted April” after reading the Elizabeth von Arnim book that is set there. Then I went again a short time later.

The book is about four women from England who go to stay in an Ivory Tower – I mean a castle, overlooking Portofino. Knowing that the castle is real, and having walked around inside it, gives the book a whole new dimension.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Perfect Positano

I've had four trips in recent years to Sorrento. One of my favorite things about staying there was that it was so close to Positano.

There's nothing quite like Positano, and when I think about it, I actually smell lemons. If you've been there, you will know what I mean. Lemons feature in the ceramics, and in many of the stores.