Amber Gambler

My husband exclaimed, ‘don’t they know what amber means!’ as we encountered a second car speed through another set of traffic lights.

Another Amber Gambler*!

It was late afternoon on Monday, we were returning with a lime green, lemongrass zest fragrant candle from Dusk candle and homewares store. The advertising boasts ‘A refreshing mix of aromatic lemongrass, zingy citrus fruits and verbena for an exotic, uplifting fragrance. ‘ Close up my husband says it smells like creosote. Luckily when caught on a waft it smells devine.

This is the chosen aroma for our open house scheduled for Saturday morning from 8:45 am. Our home is officially on the market!

Fingers crossed the sale will be the green light for us to move on to the next chapter of our antipodean adventure.

*According to Wikipedia, ‘Amber Gambler is a metaphorical phrase and the title of a British public information film from the 1970s, about the dangers of speeding through traffic lights before the amber changes to red “when there is ample time to stop”, or in advance of it turning to green.

Halcyon daze?

Today, Friday 13th, lunch time, I was drifting off, post quiche Lorraine and salad. My consciousness was teleported to a moment in my teenage years. A warm English Summer’s day in 1979.

I vividly remember the gentle breeze as I lay on a sun parched patch of grass in Birmingham. Dozing as I listened to Knock on Wood by Amii Stewart on a battery operated, handbag sized, portable cassette player with carry handle. Very similar to the one pictured above, I would record songs from the radio.

The weight of my eyelids was getting the better of me as I drifted off whilst reading a paperback science fiction novel, The Weapon Shops of Isher by A. E. van Vogt.

Halcyon daze?


Our initiation to this medieval French herbal infusion sweetened with honey, Benedictine took place at much loved Rubyos restaurant, Newtown, Sydney.

Liz introduced us to the delight of an after dinner Benedictine on the rocks.

Yesterday, we tried a Jamie Oliver sour Benedictine cocktail recipe including, brandy and lemon juice.

Perhaps swapping out Cognac for brandy did not enhance the taste experience. I hasten to add, I did not photographically record my screwed up face as evidence of the cough medicine flavour.

Today we have a winner, a Benedictine spritz.

The recipe:
Half teaspoon of Amaro
Dry sparkling white wine
Tablespoon of Benedictine

Start by adding the amaro to a champagne flute, then the Benedictine. Gently add dry sparkling white wine.

For the sweeter toothed, you can commence the recipe with a sugar cube or two in the champagne flute.

Feel free to share your favourite method of serving Benedictine in the comments below.

Happy Boxing Day

Detail, Victorian inspired papier-mâché baubles

Boxing Day is an English bank (public) holiday.

Currently a favourite for people wanting to grab a bargain in the post Christmas sales and for sporting events including, one day cricket and soccer. The day is not known for boxing.

A round robin of sites courtesy of Google yielded the following theories for the origin of Boxing Day:

Alms boxes
In the Middle Ages (approximately late 5th – late 15th centuries), it was common for churches to open alms boxes on the day after Christmas, distributing all the money inside amongst the poor.

Christmas boxes #1
In Queen Victoria’s reign (1819 to 1891) servants of wealthy household were given a rare day off to visit loved ones. Masters would gift a Christmas box, containing food, gifts and sometimes a financial bonus.

Christmas boxes #2
Tradespeople such as milkmen and butchers would spend the days after Christmas collecting money or gifts left to them by customers. As a child, I remember my mother putting aside some Christmas box money to give to the men who delivered bread, pop (soft drink), milk etc.

After the excesses of Christmas Day, we are spending Boxing Day relaxing with our Sydneysider friends. This evening we will join dear friends for a rooftop barbecue in Newstead, Brisbane.

Merry Christmas 2022

What a year this has been, what a strange mood I’m in…..

Left hand sporting chipped China Red nail polish.
It started off as an idea of red, green, red, green until I realised the six colour nail varnish kit is ‘gel’, requiring curing under a UV or LED light.

Eh bien!

The last two weeks at work have been a frenetic push to complete everything possible before starting just over a week off.

We welcomed our friends from Sydney yesterday afternoon. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to spend Christmas with them again; the last in this house.

We have settled on two options for a new home, a top floor apartment closer to the city or a detached single storey house on a modest block of land with at least a one hour commute into the office.

The new location will remain unknown until we sell this one.

My husband has been rewarded with much gratitude from the local charity shop as we ruthlessly donate, clothes, glass wear, electrical items, etc.

It is a cloudy 29oC Christmas Eve. In unison we four sit on the patio gazing at our phones while sipping an Espresso Martini to the dulcet tones of light jazz.

Merry Christmas, dear readers xxx


Soft, drowning, slipping; darkness
Of heavy lidded slumber
Creeping up to steal the light.
Eyes closed, relaxing in to
Drowsy, down plunging, black hole.

Loosing, grip, realness, draining.

Mirtanza warning; ‘may cause,
Drowsiness and may increase
The effects of alcohol.
If affected, do not drive
A motor vehicle or
Operate heavy machinery. ’

The Secret

I have read the book, watched the video more than a couple of times, cast spells and promptly forgotten about visualising something into our live.

This evening, my husband revealed to me in the spa; whenever he has focussed on our next move, it has eventuated.

We are currently in a period of extreme life challenges. According to the ravings of evangelical fundamentalists, we are faced with oppotunities.

Carpe diem, indeed!

Time will tell if our mid-century modern, Palm Springs house is realised in Queensland…….

Diamond Birthday Jubilee

Detail of eye shaped sculpture front of MCA

I met my future husband when he was about to turn 31 and I had turned 30.

Over the years, our shared adventures have taken us around the world and jetting between hemispheres. Amazing family and friends have enriched our lives.

Yesterday morning, we arrived in Sydney, our home for 20 years prior to making the move to Brisbane. This is our first visit in over three years.

After a light lunch at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) we headed to the Sydney Opera House for a cocktail with a friend whom we haven’t seen for two years. He and his partner took us for a sumptuous French dinner at the Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks, Sydney.

Looking toward Kent Street from Clarence Street

Today after a late breakfast we wandered from our accommodation in the Skye Suites, Kent Street to the Queen Victoria Building, the revamped David Jones department store, and Martin Place.

Westfield Tower from QueenVictoria Building

This evening we are celebrating my husband’s 60th at Capriccio Osteria in Leichhardt, Sydney. Friends are joining us from Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Sydney.


Those algorithms have started showing me ads about the price of cremations.

Reflecting on my heightened emotions and conversations, a couple of weeks ago, I question if they were due to a state of mind or reality.

Frustration; outrage; self righteous injustice; being aghast; and matters beyond my control are descriptors that pop into my consciousness.

At home I felt supported.

Outside, my reactions were analysed; The objects of my week of discontent were rationalised and normalised.

I was simply having a bad week however, not bad enough to need cremating.

Blue sequin jacket

In the spa this (Saturday) evening, the 38oC temperature and the Campari spritz loosened my thoughts.

Voicing them, I related my reliving teenage memories of listening to Funny Girl on vinyl borrowed from the Birmingham (UK) Central Library through listening to the soundtrack on Spotify during my journey to work this week.

Funny girl is a stage and movie musical from the late 1960s based on the life of Fanny Brice. Brice is played by Barbra Streisand, one of my teenage idols.

I am platonically attracted to strong females.

In an instant, I remembered, I also love the Neil Diamond, Jazz Singer soundtrack. I have never seen the movie.

My husband said ‘he wears a blue sequin jacket in that’. ‘No’, I replied.

Sure enough you can buy one from The Jacket Shop, Reenactment Clothing for $419.98 USD and it’s in stock!

Aside from the Streisand and Diamond duet of ‘You don’t bring me flowers’ that never happened, apparently delivered to the World by a radio DJ, all mixing.

I prefer to keep my teen years where they belong as memories.