Instant gratification

Instant gratification

Hurrah, life is phenomenal. This week's activities have been many and varied, so let's get on with it. This week I have been...

...excited and inspired by just how much goes on in Sydney. I went to an exhibition of photographs taken on Fujifilm Instax cameras. These cameras were taken all over the world as part of a project called Portrait Equality. Photographs are taken of people and families who, in some cases, have never even seen a camera before, much less had their own photograph taken and given to them. The wonders of instant cameras! No leads or processing or printing equipment required - you just press the button and out pops a picture. It's a marvel. Worthy cause aside for a moment, the photographs on display also served to demonstrate the excellent quality of the Instax (good job, as mine was already on its way at this point).

My camera arrived a few days later and I have been having so much fun with it.

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I thought I wanted a simpler version of the Instax, but a very intelligent man informed me that I actually wanted one with more settings, features and general complications. So my cute lemon-coloured fun-shaped camera dreams went out the window and in came this rather cool Neo Classic 90 (or something). I have to admit - it's okay, he won't read this - that this camera definitely has greater potential and longevity. I LOVE IT!

...excited and inspired (again!) by just how much goes on in Sydney! I attended a poetry slam in the CBD (central business district) at a very cool venue and had a most interesting night. This was not your average navel-gazing whimsy (although the word "imagine" was used extensively).

The slam was aimed at raising awareness of the death penalty and its continued use in several countries (I know - controversial). It was organised by Amnesty International, which wishes to see a total abolition of the death penalty. The theme for the evening was An Eye For An Eye, and slammers were asked to write/perform on that theme.

Well. What a diverse set of participants. And styles. The best, for me, was a man named Abe Nouk, who is both funny and talented. Much has been made of the fact that Nouk was illiterate when he arrived in Australia. He now speaks, writes and performs (in English) impeccably. You could check him out on YouTube, I expect (if I go Googling him now I'll spend the next hour extremely happily but undoubtedly unproductively). Good man - look him up.

So, photographic exhibition and poetry slam. I think that was my cultural hit for the week. Sydney is astonishing - don't you believe anything people say about Australia being too young to have culture!

What else has happened this week? Oh, baking, of course.

This week's bakes have included another bara brith, a batch of gingerbread (slightly underdone, I felt, but it didn't have any adverse effect on the speed at which they were devoured), my famous flapcake and some chocolate chip cookies. These need a different name - choc chip cookies does not do them any level of justice whatsoever. I make them with dark and white chocolate chips, a substantial amount of cocoa and - mmm - 70% cocoa chocolate pieces adorning the top. They are one of the best things I bake. Ever. They may be my favourites.

Oh, I am baking so much now that I rarely photograph the results - that's a bit lazy of me, isn't it? Here's the bara brith - I made it for my knitter friends.

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...setting myself challenges. The main one being the ballet challenge (ballenge?): 18 classes in 30 days. This is really slightly fewer than 30 days as we have a bunch of bank holidays, during which normal sessions are suspended, so I am having to work around it by inserting classes wherever they'll fit. It is currently day 9 and I have done five sessions. I'll report back at the end of the challenge; until then, just trust that I'll stay on track and assume enormous leaps in fitness week by week.

Any other business:

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  • collecting books faster than I can read them. This week's purchases: The Typist, Sophie's Choice and a collection of short stories by Australian authors to inspire my own writing.
  • giving clothes to charity (and an embarrassing amount to the bin - this week's low point was discovering I possess clothes that I would not inflict on others).
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  • buying new make-up and make-up tools. 

After dispensing with half my wardrobe I turned my attention to my make-up and discarded a ludicrous number of neglected tubes and powders. Then bought new stuff.

Buying make-up that changes your look is fun. Don't bother buying a new nail polish every week or having the world's biggest collection of eyeshadows. Go and get a whole new look: there is too much awesome stuff out there to stick with the same old beauty routine for years. For anyone who cares, it was MAC all the way for me this time (have just thrown a photo in too, which makes it look as though I have bought ghost powder - I am quite pale). I am very happy with all purchases, recent and future (yes, I feel my Easter present to self will not be made of chocolate; rather, it will resemble a brow and lash brush).

  • crocheting a camera bag - it's a houndstooth pattern but is not looking much like houndstooth at all and I am wondering how long I will persevere with this dubious piece before realising that I will NEVER put my camera in it, much less take the bag out of the house to be viewed by other humans.