Dearest ana,

Thank you for the mulled wine recipe! I think I may have even spoke to you of my intentions to make it when I was over visiting you (so many months ago, now! sadface!), but even now with the recipe I am STILL yet to get around to making some. I have such romantic notions of hot, spicy winter drinks, but never get around to it myself. I have fond memories of drinking hot apple cider at some German fest in a US city about 6 years ago, and drinking mulled wine in one of Melbourne’s hidden bars (directions: go down this alley, then that smaller alley, then another and then past the dumpster and the hidden adult shop, then up the stairs where you see the hanging plant, and when it looks like you’re in a candle-lit thrift store, ask the barman for some mulled wine!).

At any rate, despite being told of a delightful spice shop only a couple of suburbs away from me, the demands of the silly season have not allowed me a long enough leash to get there. Also, my kitchen here is tiny so I have misgivings as to just how much space I have to undergo such a venture… And then my thoughts lead to, “well, I could do it in my parents’ ginormous kitchen in their country house”, but then I remember that it’s summer here, and that when I visit them generally it involves less cooking of winter foods and more floating in the pool, staring at the sky and the forest.

Seeing as you gave me a picture, here, have one from me, too–of the country house in question, because I absolutely want to drag you here one day and make you go bushbashing in the proper wilderness (well, proper compared to where we went in France, but not so much in the Australian scheme of things):

At top of property

That’s my parents’ house with the orange roof in the valley; the photo is taken at the top of the cleared bit of hill behind the house. If you keep going back you reach the forested summit, then you can go back down another hundred or so acres through dense Australian bush until you get to the more rainforesty valley with a creek running through it. It’s quite glorious. Anyway, this is where I’ll be spending a bit of my time off at Christmas.

Which brings me to my crafty things. Read the rest of this entry »