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Sydney Life

The De-evolution Of Fashion

I like comfy clothes. Ones I can take a deep breath in and let my ribcage expand to take in the fresh Sydney air on Cityrail every morning. Will I be sitting alone in my unfashionable loose clothing in the not-too-distant future? Could be! The Sydney Morning Herald recently published an article heralding the return of the corset.

According to the The SMH, corsets have gone mainstream. Corsets are made of up to 10 separate, stiffened sections. “Each section or panel is also ‘boned’, meaning it is separated from the next by spiral steel rods sewn into the structure.” Corset-wearing enthusiasts such as Janet Coath, 22, sing their praise, with comments such as “They’re for people who like to look like people, more than people who look like grasshoppers”.

According to Wikepedia, there are numerous health disadvantages to wearing a corset that modern-day corset revivalists might want to consider, such as GlĂ©nard’s disease, “a common illness caused by prolonged corset use. It is characterized by lack of abdominal muscle tone and visceral displacement. Wearing tight-laced corsets over a long period of time may cause the lower ribs (floating ribs) to become deformed and pushed inwards. This can lead to organ failure, dehydration, or broken ribs”.

No wonder men think women are stupid for conforming to fashion. What person in their right mind would do this to their body? And what does it say about women that they want to return to the days of being tied into binding clothing that results in the above problems? I’m not even going to go into the psychological implications of corsets – I think I’ve said enough. Needless to say, there will be no corsets for this grasshopper.

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

What do you do on a rainy Saturday but go to a gallery.

Alec and I went to the Australian Museum for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

We also saw a photographic exhibition called Face to Face while we there that was about gorillas and other monkeys. It consisted of 30 huge portraits of monkeys that lived in sanctuaries – the majority of whom were orphaned when their parents were killed for the meat trade or so they could be taken into the live animals trade. Many were kept as pets, many kept in tiny cages for years. So sad.

The WPotY exhibition was amazing. Here are a selection of my favourites.

After the great photos we grabbed some lunch in the Myer foodcourt.

I love Hokka Hokka – who says fast food can’t be healthy?

27 Dresses

I’m on a romantic movie binge. After way too many movies with deep depressing endings, I’ve had enough. All I want to watch right now are movies with happy endings. Sappy, predictable, cheesy movies where a girl and guy meet, fall in love, fall out of love, reunite, then have a dream wedding and live happily ever after. All in a tidy two hours. It could happen in real life, right?

Back on topic, Emily, Katia and I saw 27 Dresses tonight. Katherine Heigl plays Jane, the mousy, reliable girl who can’t say no to anyone, and, as a result, ends up helping everyone achieve their dream wedding rather than living a life that would enable her to have her own wedding. Jane is in love with her boss, George, but is incapable of telling him how she feels. Jane is also obsessed with weddings. She has been a bridesmaid 27 times, and her favourite part of the newspaper is the weddings section. She’s like the Murial of New York City.

Jane’s life is thrown into upheaval with the arrival of Tess, her baby sister. Tess and George meet, fall quickly in love, and Jane is asked to plan their wedding. George isn’t the only cute guy in the movie however. Throughout her many weddings she attends, Jane meets smart alec Kevin, played by James Marsden,Ha writer whose job is to cover weddings. He is desperate to get a job in features, and when he meets Jane, sees his big chance to write a great story that will get him ahead in his career.

Romantic entanglements ensue. Singing, crying and enormously ugly dresses take over. A really fun movie that left me feeling cheery as anything.

Enchanted and San Churros

Lisa and I have been dying to see this uber-girlie movie, so we met up in Chatswood today for a gossip session and emo movie fest.

Enchanted is such a Disney movie. It starts as a cartoon – very typical Disney, with a singing prince and princess and cute animals. Giselle and Prince Edward meet and fall in love. Edward’s step-mother doesn’t want Edward to marry and take the crown from her, so she sends Giselle to a place where there are “no happy ever afters”, which turns out to be New York City.

Giselle is completely lost and doesn’t understand the world into which she fell, so it’s very fortuitous when she runs into Robert (played by McDreamy – Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter.

While Giselle is trying to find her way home and adjust to life in reality, Prince Edward comes to NYC as well to find his “true love”. Some of the best moments in the movie come in these moments – with Giselle cleaning the house with the help of rodents and Edward riding on top of a us and stabbing it, to “kill the beast”.

Will Giselle get home? Will she even want to? A completely adorable fantasy movie that put me in a very cheery mood.

After the movie Lisa and I went to San Churro for … churros!

I tried a shake this time – a chocolate shake with cookie bits in it. It was delicious!

Churros with caramel dipping sauce. It was divine and even better than the chocolate. It had real caramel, rather than that sugary fake caramel that I loath. Yuuummmm!

Black Watch and Go Organic

Alec and I saw the National Theatre of Scotland perform Black Watch today as part of the Sydney Festival. The play came with rave reviews, so I went in with high expectations. It was lucky for me that the show really followed through. It was powerful, poignant and creative. I’ve never been touched by a play quite like I was by this one.

Black Watch tells the story of Scotland’s Black Watch Regiment, particularly focusing on their deployment in Iraq. The play reveals the harsh reality of the “war on terror” and the effects it has on soldiers mentally, both on deployment and when they come home and try to fit back into society again. I loved not only the content, but the creative staging. It’s an absolute must see.

After the play, we went to Go Organic on King St, Newtown, for late lunch. I left my camera at home, so these pics are taken with my trusty iPhone.

It was super expensive, but really tasty food. Hopefully the cost is improving me on the inside!

My muesli with yoghurt and berries, and mango yoghurt smoothie.

Alec with his berry yoghurt smoothie.

Taking time out on a Saturday afternoon.

From Prague With Love

I ordered these hand-blown crystal candle sticks in September when I was in Prague. Four months later, here they are! I thought they had gone missing, so it was a super duper pleasant moment to have them appear yesterday, helping me deal with first week back at work blues.

Sale Shopping Bonanza

I could also have called this “The big blow out of 2007”. When I look at how much I bought, it doesn’t look like a lot, but my credit card was screaming!

Here are my sales purchases – very badly photographed. I love end of year sales. I tend to go a bit nuts in my favourite store. Alannah Hill always has really good sales, where I stock up on things I’ve been lusting after for the past year. I also found some good things in Review – usually i find it to be way over-priced.

This top, which I am calling my disco diva look, was actually from a different sale but I got it on the day of the sales, and it only cost me $16, so I think it deserves to go in the bargain bin. I think I will wear it if I ever go clubbing again, or for fancy dress parties.

The Alannah Hill collection. This little cardi is super soft and made with cashmere.

This one actually has lots of little pink hearts all over it, but didn’t photograph well.

Just a little work top I loved. It does well with a black skirt I have been having trouble finding things to go with.

Review clothes – this jacket is more corporate than I would usually wear, but I thought I should have it for client meetings, and it was really reduced. I think I paid about $70 for it.

Review top for work. Again, not what I would usually wear, but I think I should have a few things like this so I look more like an adult, less like a uni student on work experience.

P.S. I Love You

I’ve been a moody emotional mess lately, so thought it was a good time to see a girlie weepy movie like P.S. I Love You with Emily. To quote Em after the movie “It’s a contrived crying movie!”. True, but Hillary Swank was really great, and I thought it was quite a beautiful movie.

Hillary Swank plays Holly, a young woman whose husband, Gerry (the divine Gerald Butler), dies of a brain tumour. The movie is really about dealing with grief and how to move on. Following her husband’s death, Holly receives letters from him helping her to get on with her life, but they also raise the question of if the voice from beyond the grave is really helping her or stopping her from starting over.

The movie is half set in New York, and half in Ireland, where there is some beautiful scenery, as well as some truly beautiful Irish men. Hillary Swank is in a class of her own. She’s just so great to watch on film – so believable and warm. The supporting cast was also great, including Lisa Kudrow as her best friend, adding comic relief, and Kathy Bates as her mother. I wasn’t as keen on James Marsters, who plays a friend – his accent sounded really bad and he overacted. I also wasn’t sure about Harry Connick Jr as a friend/love interest. He looks quite puffy and bloated these days, and his character was quite odd!

It was still a great girlie movie – one I will get on DVD to watch on days when I just need a good cry.

The Golden Compass

After seeing lots of movie promos with giant bears in the snow, Alec and I were keen to see this movie when it was released.

The Golden Compass is based on a series of books, which explains the huge amount of exposition they try to cram into the movie by way of the characters’ dialogue. It’s doesn’t entirely work, and is a bit clunky – it also doesn’t make sense all of the time, as concepts are introduced but not fleshed out. The editing was also clunky, making me think the movie makers had to edit a great deal of footage down to make the film and only had a short time to do so in.

The movie is set in a parallel world where a child, Lyra, is the only one who can work a magical artifact called the golden compass. Lyra’s friends have been disappearing, and she journeys into the far north – leading her to discover that the children have been kidnapped and experimented on, and only she can save them.

I liked a lot of the concepts, such as having your soul externally to your body, as an animal that walks by your side, and the large ice bears were impressive, but the large gaps in the storyline and bad editing took away from the enjoyment of the movie.

Death At A Funeral

On New Year’s Day, Alec and I went to see Death At A Funeral, a British comedy recommended to us by Alec’s Dad.

I have to say, I did laugh a lot. I thought it was a bit odd in part, quite over the top in others, but in total, really funny and particularly good to watch when i had been feeling low over being so sick.

The general storyline is that a father dies and his family and friends convene at the family home for his funeral. The film interweaves multiple story lines, involving members of the family and a mysterious stranger who has a secret about the deceased. There is accidental drug-taking, nudity and dwarfs. How could it not be the funniest funeral ever?

I particularly liked Alan Tudyk as Simon Smith, who also stars in Serenity and Firefly.