Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Calm Before The Clearing.

I've been in a funny transition period.  A period that has lasted for, um, about 7 years.

I had such an idyllic upbringing that just meandered along so beautifully until my early twenties.  Of course it wasn't all sandcastles and margaritas - I fell in and out of love, lost and re-found friends, won prizes and criticism, left home for the big smoke where the cycles were again repeated in new territory; I had a healthily undulating life.  But it wasn't horrid or hard to the point where I questioned things in a dramatic sense.

And then tiny threads started to pull and come apart.

My seas have been gathering a bit of confidence, and over the past seven years they've been sneakily dishing up the curveballs.  For the first five years I'd been sailing through like a pro - deftly navigating an unexpected swell; brushing myself off as the lines tightened my sails; adjusting my sou'wester when the rains hit a little harder than before.

But, as we know, an ocean storm slowly gathers confidence, building to a squall.  And I've been in its sights.  This little pocket is tossing me around ferociously, like a final spin cycle.

I keep imagining the clearing; just when you think you've had enough, that you cannot possibly take another hit, it just stops. The skies clear, the seas flatten out and the sun comes bounding out from behind the clouds. You realise you're alive.  Just.

I'm finally accepting the messages-in-bottles my ocean keeps sending and I'm going to chase some longheld little dreams.  And, as a result, this heartfilled space and my Instagram life may start to slowly chart a few different courses, I hope you'll come along for the journey.

First up is renovating the sweet bungalow (read nearly-falling-down shack) at Little Oak.  I'm heading up the highway in a week's time to get started.  I've been planning this for a few months but I'm a little shocked that the time is nearly here. When I was living in Los Angeles three years ago I wrote a 'dream bio' and one of the lines was: 'Frances splits her time between her inner-city Melbourne apartment and a bungalow at the bottom of the fruit orchard on her family farm'.

I'll share the other bits of my dreaming as they become realities. Or not.

Ahoy there me hearties.

(pic by Fanny Latour Lambert)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

European Summer 2014.

I always get nervous when I am locked into something.  It's so strange because I am generally so organised, I'm a strategist in my working life for <insert your fav curse word here> sake. 

But I've always been a bit funny about it.  I like spontaneity, I get bored a bit too quickly.  Except when it's booking exciting trips to Europe which I have just done over the weekend.  Lock me in as tight as you want, baby.

Six weeks in Europe (Kent, Biarritz, San Sebastian, Avignon, Santorini, London, Paris) thankyou very much.  2014 is already looking super swell and bright. 

(I took this pic at the Musée d'Orsay in 2009. I looooooove this room.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The World is Round So I'll Go Round.

I've been listening to the wonderful Oscar Lush's debut album on this sunny, springtime day.  
It has only just been released but I'm predicting big, exciting things for this young lad. 
Well worth a purchase at only $10, team. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Smoochy Weekend.

Let's get romantic this weekend.

I'm in full decorating mode - my Brunswick haven is being wallpapered this morning and I'm busy Dymotaping anything that looks lonely.

I'm also about to book my flights to Europe for next July/August.  Yahoooooooooo!


A few recent loves...
Have you checked out The Brainery Store yet?
This engineer has engineered the most incredibly brilliant dream travel life ever.
I'm digging these works by Thomas Barbèy.
In celebration of my apartment decorating blitz I just ordered one of these special address stamps.
I want this entire Joie collection for summer. 

(pic: 'The Last Kiss' - WWII soldiers say goodbye to their sweethearts)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ink Monsters.

I'm very much into this beautiful series by Fanny Latour Lambert in collaboration with Marcello Barcelo called Ink Monsters.  Oh, yes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Today I'm going to have a quiet day before an evening shindig.
A spot of gardening.
A swim, a splash.
A luscious few hours in bed (and perhaps a little catnap) watching Me and You and Everyone We Know made by this amazing woman.
Oh, Miranda.
Have a beautiful day, munchkins.

(pic: Romina Shama)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Assembly by Osamu Yokonami

I've written before about my love of Japanese photographer Osamu Yokonami's work. He recently released a new collection of images, Assembly, that are truly beautiful.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ballerinas and Knives.

Ballerinas and knives.  What a combo. This is terrific.

In the artist's (Javier Perez) own words:

A ballerina, whose pointe shoes are extended by a set of sharp kitchen knives, dances and twirls insistently until reaching exhaustion, fighting to maintain balance on the lid of a grand piano set on a stage.  The theatre with its red velvet warm lighting, resembles an oversized music box.  The camera turns around the dancer revealing the opposite side of the room: an empty and painfully bare theatre.

The ballerina appears as an eerie figure expressing effort, sacrifice and pain in her strive for perfection.  Both fragile and cruel.  Initially shy and hesitant, her steps become more and more emphatic, menacing and not exempt of violence, scraping and cutting into the delicate surface of the piano with her sharp pointe shoes. 

Monday, September 2, 2013


We spend our lives searching for love.

We use terms like 'my better half' and 'you complete me' to try and explain the incomparable feeling that comes with falling in love.  The only way for us to explain the ferocity of the feelings is to say that until that person walked into our lives we felt like we were missing a limb, that we were semi-transparent, that we were only half a person.  The love we feel for a partner is extraordinary.

And yet, it is not always our partner or our family members with whom we share our most private thoughts, our secrets, our hopes and our dreams.  They are not the only ones who hold us in their arms, cheer us from the sidelines, and hold our needs and desires at the forefront of their minds.

Sometimes, so very often, it is our friends who hold the fort.

Lately I've been questioning, well, pretty much everything. Most specifically my friendships.  Whether it's healthy, and even safe, to rely on a non-partner for the big stuff.  But then I think of these extraordinary men and women who I'm surrounded by - these magnificent creatures who know when to answer the phone, when to drop everything and arrive on the doorstep, when to say 'no, you're not ok, what's wrong?' and when to just say nothing.

I think of my oldest friend and our ocean-like friendship and that no matter how long it's been and how far out the tide goes, we always end up coming back to each other's shores.  I think of my closest ally who has been my platonic 'other half' since high school who I know I will grow old with like Hilary and C.C from Beaches (or more likely Blanche and Dorothy from The Golden Girls) - hopefully sitting on verandahs and sipping tea or scotch/gin.  I think of her husband - my workshopping partner-in-crime, my fellow fantasist and a constant ear.

I think of my dear college girlfriend and how we take it in turns to be fragile and strong and how freeing it is to be able to revert to the emotional state of an 18-year-old without fear of judgment.  I think of my sidekick/old housemate who always knows exactly the right thing to say whether it's supportive or critical and who has been a silent partner in all aspects of my life for the past half decade. I think of a darling new friend who was 'just there' in my weirdest hour weekend of need, who just makes everything shiny with her directness and mindblowing energy (and hair).

I think of the rush of excitement I get when I reconnect with an old friend or when I meet a new unicorn who blows my mind.  I think of the friends with whom I have regular bare-it-all dinners, my walking buddies and my dancing buddy. I think of my friends with whom I talk politics and internet-crushes and those who I debate over booze-laden dinner tables.  I think of the friends who I can crawl into bed next to on Sunday morning with cups of tea and the paper and those who I jump in a car with for spontaneous adventures.

I believe that our friendships can complete us and fulfil us as much as a romantic relationship, just in very different ways.  I love that some of my gang know and love each other and some have never heard of nor met each other.

Mostly I just think about how very lucky I am, even in the darkest hours, due to a lovely ring of special ones who make each moment just that little bit more magical.

(pic by Annie Griffiths for National Geographic - shot at a thermal spring in Montana in 1997)

Sunday, September 1, 2013


It's the first day of Spring.  New life is about to begin.  And, hopefully, some new shoots will bloom in my own little life.

(pic by the wonderful Corey Arnold)