What’s Hot + What’s Not this week

Two weeks ago I did a personal What’s Hot and What’s Not. It was fun and I think I might try it every Wednesday or so. Join me if you like. A few folks did last time and it was fun to click around to get a little snapshot-glimpse into lives around the world. Leave me a comment if you do so I can come and visit.


Sitting by the fire in the evening – whether it’s to watch 30Rock, roast marshmallows or to read Harry Potter out loud to a gathered, enthused crowd. I look forward to our nights by the open fire all day.

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz. I finished Chris Tsiolkas’ The Slap and went into Yass to find something else to fill the void. I found A Fraction of the Whole and am devouring it. It’s great. I also found a nice bookshop – The Little Dog Bookshop – 155 Comur Street, Yass. It’s Carbon Neutral! How about that.

Whittaker’s coconut chocolate – we have been having two little pieces of this deliciousness every evening after the children go to bed. I had some Rum and Raisin last night but far prefer the coconut. There are 24 different varieties in block form and it seems like one of the nearby supermarkets stocks quite a few of those. Mum is keen to try Kiwifruit just for the bizarreness factor.

The Quilt Project viewing at the Abbotsford Convent – October 23rd! Can’t wait to see it. Kirsty’s pretty darn cool.

Open Studios Event from Studio Magazine: “Crafters and artists around the world are invited to participate in this global open studios event – deadline for participation is Friday, October 2. Door Prizes available.” I can’t take part because I am here and a million miles away from my studio but this looks like fun. (thanks Kylie for the tip-off)


Writing paralysis – I have gotten up a couple of mornings to write while we’ve been here. I huddle under a smelly old rug covered in dog hair in the sitting room, imagining (and only imagining) that the coals from the last night’s fire are warming the room. Unfortunately the writing has been nothing but stilted and silly. I’m not sure why. Usually I find this place is a kind of creative hot-spot. Right before a fierce thunderstorm here in 2004, when the air was crackling with creative electricity and inspiration, I came up with the sketches for my favourite pictures ever which went on to be the body of the work for an exhibition. I know two years ago I was having an awful shower in the awfullest shower in NSW (which is now happily fixed) and as it swung from searing hot to piercingly cold every two minutes as the pump kicked in and out, I had the idea for my novel about the girl moving home to the country and blah blah blah (the one I have been working on but is momentarily on hold). I guess it’s a case of taking your brain out of your every day commitments and routines and let it go into a vacuum for a while. But not so this time. You know? I think I blame The Slap. It totally occupied all my mind and imagination while I was reading it. Β It was worth it though.

‘Tis the season for swooping magpies. Maybe all those owl signs Phil saw the other day were actually the angry eyes of the kamikaze magpies which have started up around here.

A full meat diet. The butcher near here is so good. Great sausages, delicious chops and steaks and roasts… it’s an easy way to cook up here, as the kitchen is a little prehistoric and the bbq is often so much easier. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty – but I am starting to feel *ridiculously* full all the time. It’s enough to make me turn vegetarian on our return to Melbourne. Hilariously, as I typed this Mum asked “who wants bacon for breakfast? There’s a lot here! We can have bacon… with um… bacon!”. It’s a good thing I forgot to take photos of several of the dinners up here, because it would have been downright embarrassing to record the full-meat diet for all to see.

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11 Responses

  1. Tabs says:

    Cadbury make a pretty good Kiwifruit chocolate too. I think it’s made at their Dunedin factory rather than any of the Aus ones (makes sense!) I haven’t seen it around for a while but I’m sure you could find it somewhere.

  2. Emjie says:

    Hi Claire! I have responded to your activity: http://emjietreasures.blogspot.com/2009/09/whats-hot-whats-not.htmlOh, and you can pass some of that bacon down my way. I love love love eating bacon. It is a guilty pleasure. Have you ever had bacon and melted cheese in a slightly roasted croissant. It is to die for.

  3. Jennifer says:

    The coconut chocolate sounds amazing. Funnily enough the weirdest chocolate I have ever tasted was bacon chocolate, I will not be doing that again. Sorry you are having writer’s block. It’s even more frustrating when you finally have the time/space etc. to work and no words flow. Hope it goes away soon.

  4. Chelsea says:

    Oh I love, love, love A Fraction of the Whole. I read the first four pages then rushed into the kitchen where my husband was cooking to read them out to him. I was still reading it a few weeks later when we were on holidays with friends and I read it out to them too. In fact, I pretty much read those first four pages out to anyone who’ll stay still long enough. The word plays are just mind bogglingly brilliant, and the way it sets up the story couldn’t be more intruiging. It’s a great holiday read.Are the Midnight Picnic images still for sale or are you just taunting us? πŸ˜‰

  5. Michelle says:

    I loved The Fraction of the Whole – thought it was a fantastic book. Was very lukewarm about The Slap though.

  6. Koala says:

    Dear Claire, As an old fan of yours, I think your illustrations have always been HOT and I miss seeing them. They speak to me about your personality and charm. When you have the writer’s block, just draw. Don’t pressure yourself to zoom in on your writing all the time or you will lose the essence and spirit of it all. Have you ever heard about mind mapping? May be that can be the key in the way you plan your texts. If your writing for the novel anything like the blog writing Good luckKoala

  7. Crap: does that mean you’re within “let’s have a last minute blogmeet and op shop frenzy” range?And forget the Whittaker’s coconut chocolate: have you tried their ginger chocolate? I keep meaning to ban shopping at Big W but the Whittaker’s ginger chocolate keeps drawing me back…

  8. Lisa says:

    I love your Hot n what’s not, I’ve joined in this week onhttp://www.lilsonnysky.blogspot.com/Your favourite picture ever are beautiful, you should do some more πŸ™‚

  9. Umatji says:

    I really loved the slap too – I know what you mean it was so all consuming it is hard to find a space for something else. Breathe and a space will come perhaps! If not just enjoy watching the coals…

  10. DC says:

    Hi Claire! I have responded to your activity: http://emjietreasures.blogspot.com/2009/09/whats-hot-whats-not.htmlOh, and you can pass some of that bacon down my way. I love love love eating bacon. It is a guilty pleasure. Have you ever had bacon and melted cheese in a slightly roasted croissant. It is to die for.

  11. christie says:

    you had to go & mention the coconut chocolatei saw a block at the supermarket after I read this post & though i would give it a try…

    anyway, someone may need to stage an intervention, I can’t stop eating it!

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