Say what?

"These are more than funny vocabularies; they are tiny windows into the way other people live, and the obsessions that drive them."
John Walsh, The Independent, September 2005

Here are my favourite examples of weird and wonderful vocabulary from around the word. Use one in a sentence today.

MAMIHLAPINA TAPEI Fuengian language, Chile -- A shared look of longing between parties who are both interested yet neither is willing to make the first move.

MATA EGO Rapa Nui, Easter Island -- Eyes that reveal someone has been crying.

BAKKU-SHAN Japanese -- A girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn't when seen from the front.

QUEESTING Dutch -- Allowing a lover access to one's bed, under the covers, for a chit-chat.

BUZ-BAZ Ancient Persian -- A showman who makes a monkey and a goat dance together.

FUCHA Portuguese -- To use company time and resources for one's own purposes.

O KA LA NOKONOKO Hawaiian -- A day spent in nervous anticipation of a coughing spell.

GRILAGEM Brazilian Portuguese -- The practice of putting a live cricket into a box of newly faked documents, until the insect's excrement makes the paper look convincingly older (a project for this weekend?!)

TINGO Pascuenese language, Easter Island -- Borrowing things from a friend's house, one by one, until he has nothing left (Bahaha).

LATAH Indonesian -- Uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.

XIAOXIAO Chinese -- The whistling and pattering of wind or rain.

DESUS Indonesia -- The quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting, but not very loudly.


I had my first cup of hot mulled wine at a nighttime Christmas carnival at South Bank along the River Thames. Mulled wine in London at Christmastime, outdoors, is as much a necessary heating device as it is a nice social drink. And a very nice social drink it is.

For those not familier, mulled wine is hot spiced wine.

It's not Christmas here, but it's winter here and it's mighty chilly.

Last week I found myself outdoors at Darling Harbour watching the World Cup until 6.30am, like a crazy person. They served mulled wine until 2am, but when the temperature dipped right before sunrise and all semblance of sanity had vanished, a nice hot cup would not have gone to the wayside.

I found a recipe for mulled wine and am going to save it for the next rainy weekend. This is not just any old version; it belongs to English royalty (Jamie Oliver). Jamie says it tastes like "Christmas in a glass". You can't argue with that.

Here's the recipe.

(FYI, with reference to the recipe, a clementine is a variety of mandarin.)

And now for the perfect accompaniment to your drink. Last week my sister in law served the most amazing brownies I have ever tasted. She was lovely enough to give me the recipe, and I must be completely nuts, because this is not the type of recipe you usually pass along, it's the kind you keep close to your chest so that everyone admires you and thinks you're Miss Masterchef World.

Thing is though, not sharing this would be like withholding the secret to happiness. I can't do that. So here it is...


125g butter
150g milk chocolate (we use Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate)
50g dark chocolate
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

125g plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
125g white chocolate, chopped (we use Cadbury Dream white chocolate)
125g extra milk chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 170C (150C fan-forced). Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan.

Melt butter, 150g milk chocolate and 50g dark chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. ©

Combine plain and self-raising flours in a small bowl. Stir sugar and eggs into chocolate and butter mixture. Add flours and chopped chocolate and stir until combined. Spread into cake pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (according to the recipe, but 20 was enough!). Allow brownie to cool in pan on wire rack. When cooled, cut into pieces. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


IMAGE ONE: From an issue of Girlfriend magazine circa 1999... yes

Gonna take her for a ride

Here's a song.

Angus & Julia Stone - Big Jet Plane

She said "hello mister, pleased to meet ya"
I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her
She smelled of daisies, smelled of daisies
She drive me crazy, drive me crazy

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey

Be my lover, my lady river
Can I take ya, take ya higher

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey

Gonna hold ya, gonna kiss ya in my arms
Gonna take ya away from harm

Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane
Hey hey


[Insert Static Revenger voice]

I'm really liking this outfit. Each bit of it separately, and all of it together.

From Happy red jacket is $19? I can't find it... but I have found some other things from Urban Outfitters. Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh oh oh oh (that is me singing, Beyonce style)

Quail Net Dress $230

Pleated Mary, $98

Shoe appreciation.

Surplice, $48. I'm thinking, with ankle boots...

I had a girl, Donna was her name

Last weekend my Mum produced an orange and poppyseed loaf, recipe courtesy of Donna Hay. Ordinarily I wouldn't get excited enough about a loaf (what a word) to want to share a recipe, but believe me, this one is fricken delicious. Besides which, as far as the food pyramid goes this baby ticks all the right boxes. Fruit? Tick. Dairy? Tick. Grains? Tick tick. We'll stop there.

The brilliance really comes down to the orange syrup that you pour over at the end, which simultaneously oozes into the cake, and forms a scrumptious sugary crust on the outside.

In lieu of pictorial evidence (we attacked with haste, Loafy never stood a chance) I enclose this picture of a pile of poppy seeds to whet your appetite.

No? So fussy. Alright, I'm going to have to resort to stealing. Here is a deliciously moist looking version found at Pink Stripes that should do the trick.

Try not to lick your lips. Alright, ready?

* Never allow Ms. Hay to accuse me of reproducing her recipe sans permission. I have altered the ingredients ever so slightly. I'm positive you will not be able to spot the change.*

You will need...

125g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2.01534 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 cup milk
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
orange syrup
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 orange thinly sliced

And away we go...

Preheat oven to 160C. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gradually add eggs and beat well. Add poppy seeds, orange rind, milk and flour. Beat until just combined. Spoon into a lightly greased 5-cup capacity loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack.

For the syrup, place the sugar and water in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the orange slices and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Donna says to top the loaf with the orange slices and pour the syrup over. Personally I wasn't fussed about the orange slices on top (I picked mine off, like a child) but I suppose they make for good presentation.

And now! A bit of Richie Valens 'Oh Donna' action from La Bamba. Dreamy.

I had a girl
Donna was her name
Since she left me
I've never been the same
'cause I love my girl
Donna, where can you be? Where can you be?
Don't worry 'bout Donna. Have some L O A F. xx


Today is Bunny Appreciation Day. I just decided  this is the way it's going to be, and present to you my comprehensive Rabbit Manual.

...Haaaang on...
Hmph. According to 24CarrotLane it turns out there's already an "official" Rabbit Appreciation Day on August 24.

Official o-shmicial, I'm appreciating early this year.

Easy-Sew Bunny Kit from Dumpling Dynasty, on sale at Lark. You can make your own bunny. You... or the kiddies, whoever... dum de dum...

Halloooooooooo Bunny. I love you.
[I mean, the post could just end here.]

"Once upon a time there were four little rabbits,
and their names were Flopsy,
Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter.

They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank,
underneath the root of
a very big fir tree."

From 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' - Beatrix Potter, 1902
* * *

'Miss Potter' (2006) - Set in London, the movie depicts the life of children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Through her unprecedented professional success she broke the mould of social expectations attached to women in the early 20th century. A warming movie that appeals to the child within -- we all know I have one of those, I could watch it again and again.

The Rabbit Family from Sylvanian Families (well, derrrr). I still have mine tucked away safe and sound - revival pending.

Bunny Cookies. Sinfully shiny! Good Things Catered tell you how to make perfect cookie icing.

Remember Phoebe's sock bunnies? One could get creative and breed one's own!

For only 19 Aussie dollars including postage (what the?) I am giving these gloves some serious eyes. You know when something is so cute you get a bit aggressive? (Akin to say, Squeeze-the-Baby Syndrome? I kid, I kid...) Anyway, with Miss Earth saving the planet one oil heater at a time, a pair of fingerless gloves is just what these blogging fingers need (seriously, they are like icicles).

P.S. They are hand made in Australia (double tick) and you can buy them from MadeIt. But not before me, you can't!

C' C' Come on Everybody! I will never get over Jive Bunny. I have him on CD, on my Ipod, and in vinyl. There's nothing else to say. I LUV J.B. 4EVA.

And now... the cutest freakin clover-eating bunny I've ever seen. Ogled by me at the Girls Called E.


JUST KIDDING. I could never ever!

I love bunnies, don't you know?

One last thing. I know this isn't real, but it still makes me laugh. :)


If you're ever in London, make sure you visit one of my favourite places, the Tooting Tram and Social. The pub has a huge open plan, with 75 foot ceilings and a mezzanine balcony. The decor is like nothing else - giant chandeliers, reams of velvet curtains, bird cages, huge mismatched leather sofas, rocking chairs, old vinyl decks and all manner of kitsch adorning the walls.

It was - and I'm sure still is, for Lucky Londonders - the perfect venue for a wintry Sunday afternoon drink. Channel your Great Grandma whilst getting silly in your rocking chair under the light of a frilly lamp.

In case you're wondering, the photo at the very top of this page is the interior of the girls' bathroom. 
Pretty bathroom in a pub = happy ladies.

I have a blue house with a blue window

I like blue stuff. I like stuff that is blue.

[Press Play]

The male bower bird, an accomplished architect, has long fascinated scientists with its complex courting behavior. To attract a mate he constructs an elaborate structure — a bower — on the forest floor from twigs, leaves, and moss. It then decorates the bower with colorful baubles, from feathers and pebbles to berries and shells.

The bowers aren’t nests for raising kids; they are bachelor pads designed to attract and seduce one or more mates. When a female arrives to inspect the bower, the male struts and sings. He hopes to convince her to enter the bower, where mating takes place.


For the male Satin, the favoured decorative color is blue. He collects blue feathers, blue berries, blue shells and blue flowers. After decorating, the male then waits, passing time by constantly fine tuning his structure and rearranging the decorations.

Blue is his house, with a blue little window, and his blue corvette and everything is blue for him.

He has a girlfriend, and she is so blue.

Popping up to say Cuckoo

Whilst I'm sitting here in an exercise induced slump I am going to show you a whole bunch of pretty. Plus, the sun is finally out (for now) and who couldn't use a bit of fluff in their Saturday?

Kirsten Butler pointed me in the direction of Lark and I am VERY excited that she did! Tell you why. We both lived in London for a decent time and one of the most bitter points of having to leave this trendoid city were all the beautiful/crazy/cool shops.

Here are some pics I took of some favourite shopping paths in London. Firstly, Portobello Road in Notting Hill, then the Kings Road, Chelsea (absolute favourite).

But back here in Australia, LARK to the rescue - its English based designer now has a store in Melbourne and stocks some of the designs from a few favourite shops (at a friendlier price, I noticed). They're also fairtrade and ethical, which we like.

So here are some bits of pretty, as promised.

Ellen G. Recipe Box and Cards

Ellen G. Pretty Lady Oven Mitts

Cath Kidston Provence Bowls (imagine eating your corn flakes out of these, ahhh)

The best darn sewing kit I've ever seen.

Toadstool House from Cuckoo's Nest

Speaking of nests - this birdie has got to fly (see how I did that...). Enjoy your pretties! And remember, we window shop before we buy! (Always, but always...)

Rain rain, get me some new socks and things

 From the blog of Paula J. Becker - Illustrator

Oh dear. I am really enjoying this lovely rain, but it can cause a girl to do terrible things. For instance, I decided to go out this morning for a little shop, to take respite from my assignment (ha! the one I haven't started). I needed two things: new trackies, and socks. So why am I sitting here in a new dress, bejewelled and ankle booted? Eh, never mind.

So, going to Bali in few weeks which means it'll be time to whip out those scary bikinis. No wonder this next snippet of information caught my attention today. Apparently, drinking green tea increases fat burning by 40%. I don't know the science behind this claim, but somehow don't care. For the next few weeks I shall be showering in green tea and having it on my cereal for breakfast.

Oh, LOOKY HERE, Japan to the rescue with this delectable looking Green Tea Kit-Kat. Truth be told, the Kit-Kat looks a little seasick. Do you reckon it increases fat burning by 40%? I can only think of onnnnnne sure way to find out...

For interested parties, I found this article about the goodness of the green stuff. Definitely an acquired taste - I would say it resembles watered down cow feed - but apparently worth tolerating.

Hmm, I wonder if consuming one Green Tea (beverage) negates the consumption of one Green Tea (Kit Kat). At this juncture, I think it would be best if I conducted some experiments.