Hello welcome to my Blog

Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sam Fullbrook - Australian Artist 1922-2004.

I have the chance to visit galleries and see wonderful exhibitions in this country and this is one I want to share with you though I appreciate that seeing the actual paintings instead of their pictures is a wholly different ball game. Sam Fullbook was one of Australia's finest Painters after the Second World War.  He has passed away but while he lived, he had a bit of an itinerant life and perhaps because of it or perhaps in spite of it he produced some fabulous art which I really enjoyed.He spent large parts of his life in Queensland and had studios on the coast and in Brisbane at various times in his life.  His canvases are fluid and not specific - his portraits are somewhat similar and yet I feel, like his paintings, have so much depth and substance. I look as his landscapes like the Monsoon Sky and it is all there in the brushstrokes and the large blocks, the storm, the darkness and the rain - by contrast his Sandhills on the Darling Downs is infused with almost a glowing white light which is beautiful, almost ethereal and of course so evocative of the light in Queensland.
The Monsoon Sky 
Sandhills on the Darling downs 
This apparently could be the beach and lots of people on it or it could be an ice cream cone with lots of flavours - you choose !
I loved his portraits best of all so here are some of the best - the exhibition is on until August the 10th and is on at the Queensland Gallery of Art.

 Miss Ernestina Hill 1970, perhaps one of his best known.
 The light in this face draws you to it - yet the brush strokes are really quite broad.
This is his portrait of Jacob Oberdoo or Obaju 1957-1960 when he lived up in Northern Queensland. He refused a medal of the British Empire saying that medals were for dogs . His portrait of this stockman is one of incredible dignity. Fullbrook won the Archibald Prize for Portraiture and the Wynne Prize for Landscapes and I can see why. 

Friday, 27 June 2014


There is a charming little hilltop town called Maleny, about 90 kms north of Brisbane, which was buzzing on the long weekend. It is set among the Blackall Range on an escarpment with some wonderful views of the valley below as well as the Glass house mountains. It is full of quaint little shops and some shopping arcades and people linger and window shop to their heart's content. I think my favourite is the wood shop in the middle of the village with the most exquisite carved and polished woods and the second hand bookshop.
It used to be populated by the Nalbo and Dallambara people of the Gubbi Gubbi nation who used to hold Bunya Festivals there. Theses are enormous pines which produce the biggest cones ever.This is a picture of one I took from Wikipedia.
They  were called pines by the settlers but in fact they are of the araucaria family, like the monkey puzzle tree. These trees were sacred but also a source of food and celebrations.  Sadly the Bunyas have been cut down and the area is now known more for its dairy industry. We travelled there along beautiful rolling country side, and farms tucked away in the hills. The roads were empty - or at least that is how they felt to us- and the countryside ours for the taking. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Agave attenuata

I have been walking past these enormous succulents for a while. Each time I note the flower  stem has grown even more, so this time I took my camera and captured its tumescence before it goes on the downward spiral. They extend much higher than my 153 cms and it starts with the flowers and ends up with the droopy spike. 

Looking at the plant and trying to identify it I think it is the agave attenuata - originally probably a Mexican plant. Also known as the "lions tail"- obvious innit, "the swans neck"- yup that too and "the foxtail", perhaps the least successful of the common names. It is, I am told, common as muck in Brisbane, being planted in many of of the city's flower beds. It only flowers once, and then the plant dies, but this doesnt happen before the plant reaches maturity which may be 8 to 10 years and it usually produces small new plants from side shoots. For something which is as common as muck you have to say it has presence and stature of some remark. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Brisbane is a city full of contentment


This was sent to me by my very good friend Phil and it was filmed before I was born. I was so taken by the soundtrack - we have all heard something similar- the fashion and the cars, not to mention the historic buildings which to this day grace this wonderful city. If you can spare a few minutes click on the link and enjoy a pleasant journey back in time. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

William Robinson

In 2009, the William Robinson Gallery opened in Old Government House at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. It was the first time in Australia that an artist had been honoured in such a way.
William Robinson was born in 1936 in Queensland and came to national attention when he won the Archibald Prize for Portraiture in 1987 and again in 1995.  In 2001, the Queensland Art Gallery mounted a major exhibition which toured to the National Gallery of Australia. In 2007, William Robinson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his outstanding achievement and service to the arts.
When I visited old Government house recently the William Robinson Gallery was hosting an exhibition of his farmyard animals. Displayed in all the various rooms upstairs they were wonderful reminders of the artist's connection to life in the farmyard and of our own tenuous, at times, connection with them as more and more of the population become urbanised and exist often "off the ground". Having lived in a number of places where the cows were so important it almost felt right that I came across their importance once more here in Australia. I smiled my way through this one. 

 Cows in their expressive expansive form

 The artist among the corrugated iron sheds and the animals

 The wonderful and expressive goats heads - no two are alike !

The chaotic but fun farmyard

Monday, 2 June 2014

Missed Autumn somewhere

Yesterday was the first day of winter in Australia. I am sitting at my desk, the sun is streaming into my window, I am wearing shorts and a sleeveless top and I want to know where did autumn go ?

There are some worrying trends that temperatures generally around the continent are a little higher than expected and some attribute it to the El Nino effect. They happen every eight to ten years and there is one on the way as rising temperatures already indicate. Others point to the more threatening effects of climate change and to the man made long term implications of rising temperatures.

Of course I am concerned, more for my children and theirs in the years to come but I am also able to live in the moment- something that taking a course on Mindfulness has encouraged me to do and which my late, observant elder sister was particularly good at.

So I am mindful of the moment I walk up to the bus stop and along the way I come across these colours. Autumnal perhaps, warming without doubt, reassuring in their certainty that next year they might also appear or is that where we tread an uncertain line ?