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This post isn’t really about the show, but let me continue The Sound of Music theme in my blog post titles, because why not? Don’t forget to book tickets here. There are only two weeks to go!

Every time Maria sings “crisp apple strudels” and “schnitzel with noodles” I think Oooh yes please. Here are some of my other favourite things at the moment:

Podcasts
Female friendships in podcasts are the best! I particularly love Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales’s friendship on display in Chat 10, Looks 3 – and in their latest episode (live in Perth) Annabel talks quite a lot about this towards the end. It’s just a wonderful, generous, hilarious friendship and it feels a privilege to be able to eavesdrop on it.

The other one I’m enjoying at the moment is Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe in Bang On. I love their laughter and their silliness and their genuine warmth.

Clothing and such
My current faves are Hobart-based Smitten Merino and Gold Coast-based Leina Broughton, the latter coming into play as I now need more professional attire than I’ve been wearing for the past however long [btw that is an affiliate link – if you use it and buy anything you’ll get a $25 voucher and I’ll get some points ūüôā ]. Neither brand is cheap, but then they tick all my boxes: ethically-, Australian-, well-made clothes that fit, look good and will last a long time. Smitten gets extra love because of the merino factor, but I’ve already gone on about my merino obsession so won’t do that again.

One of my favourite local shops is the delightful et la mer, which always has lovely garments from interesting designers. Rhubarb has a wonderful selection of cute jewellery, much of it from local craftspeople.

As it gets warmer I am getting sick of dark colours and heavy fabrics so these latest acquisitions of pattern, colour and texture are delighting me greatly.

Makeup
I had a long time to wait in town recently when I had an eye test and they hadn’t told me about the dilating drops and not being able to drive for two hours. So I went to Myer and had a makeup lesson at the MAC counter. We found my correct colour, the helpful saleswoman gave me several samples and wrote down all the things I’d tried and didn’t pressure me to buy anything.¬†Though I did buy an eyeliner because I was on the search for the holy grail of an eyeliner that didn’t budge. None of the ones that claimed to last that I bought from Priceline/Chemists Warehouse seemed to work on me. The MAC one is pretty good, though liquid eyeliner is definitely a skill one has to master.

Anyway, when I next got paid (how good is regular pay?!?!!) I bought some MAC makeup from their website and it’s a revelation. It is so good on my skin. A little seems to go a long way (at least the way I wear it) and I’m getting more confident with applying it well and still getting out of the house on time in the mornings.

I feel like a bit of a grown-up, wearing my neat work clothes and putting on make up every day. It’s weird…in a good way.

Garden
Spring time is vegie garden time! We’ve had a run of warm weather so I think the frosts are past. I went to the nursery on the way home from work today to cash in a voucher and got seedlings, so hopefully soon we will be eating three kinds of lettuce, carrots, three kinds of basil, blackjack zucchini, butternut pumpkins, and Tasmanian chocolate and black cherry tomatoes. There’s already plenty of silverbeet, various herbs, strawberries and leeks on the go. There’s an asparagus plant from my neighbour (but that won’t get going until next year) and raspberry canes from the Mumfords. Hurrah for growing things!

Movies
Two movies I was really looking forward to and which didn’t disappoint:¬†Crazy Rich Asians¬†and¬†Ladies in Black. I want to write more about both and the pleasure they brought but also the strange mix of emotions I felt. Perhaps in my next post. I saw them a bit later than others because I love going to¬†The Star Theatre, and they don’t get the new releases straight away. Going to The Star reminds me of The Ritz¬†back when it was a single-screen theatre, and is always much more pleasurable than the stale-smelling, impersonal experience of the big chain cinema. Also, it’s supporting a local independent business. And they have amazing Valhalla choc tops.

Big birthdays and local artisans
Well if there has been a theme in this post it’s definitely a passion for the local. Tasmania is awesome. It has so much great stuff to offer, it’s hard to go wrong. Of course, it’s cheaper to go to Woolies than it is to buy stuff from the farmer at the market or to buy the local brand of milk or to get locally grown meat from the butcher. But living in a place with extremely high rates of unemployment and a struggling economy, I just want to support local makers and producers when I can. Not everyone is able to spend their money this way of course, but now I have a regular income I can do more of it!

I especially want to support local artists and craftspeople. When mum and I moved here we thought it would be great to invest in some really good quality, locally made furniture. We both sent each other links to the same website, Simon Ancher Studio. Of course, as all the costs of moving and setting up a new house came due we realised that high-quality furniture was probably not a priority and stopped thinking about it.

But recently it was mum’s [significant] birthday. 20 years ago, around the time of another significant birthday, my grandfather had encouraged her to buy (and made a large contribution to) a beautiful river redgum table and chairs from Nicholas Dattner. That furniture is a real delight, we really treasure it and we think of Papa often when we use it.¬†As mum’s birthday approached and I tried to think of what to get her, I suddenly remembered the tables we’d admired. I went back to the website and found the studio is part of the Collect art purchase scheme, set up by Arts Tasmania, to encourage people to buy Tasmanian art. Arts Tasmania basically pays the artist for the item, then you pay it back over 12 months, with no interest. I mentioned it to my brother, who said he’d be in on the gift, then my aunt and uncle both wanted in too.

So together we bought a beautiful coffee table, and it is another very special, treasured piece that is tied to mum and her family. I actually managed to keep the secret, which astounds me! Lisa and Simon from the studio were absolutely lovely and such a pleasure to deal with. Simon delivered the table himself and I hid it in my office under a blanket, which was a really terrible disguise but thankfully mum didn’t go into my office. After she had gone to bed the night before her birthday I dragged it into the living room. She was chuffed when she came down in the morning, lured by the smell of breakfast pancakes, to find it¬†with some flowers and her birthday cards all arranged on it. I can’t get a photo that does it justice, but here it is in the studio. It’s the most hefty, rich and warm walnut, with a really heavy black steel base. Now our living room looks grown up too.