Sofia !

One of my favourite directors, Sofia Coppola has just won top honours at the Venice film festival for her newest film Somewhere.

Shot at the infamous celebrity hotel The Chateau Marmont, on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, the film explores an up and coming actor who is lost in a lifestyle of excess and indulgence until his 11 year old daughter ( played by Elle Fanning - sister of Dakota) comes to live with him.

So far reviews have mentioned the slow and quiet character development and the inside peek of celebrity lifestyle in Hollywood.

I look forward to Sofia's take on father/daughter relationships. She has always dazzled me with her unique portrayal of the tenderness and quiet confidence of girls.

Unfortunately I will have to wait until December 22 for that slow panned look up into a sun soaked LA sky... Ohh I can already see it!


Acciughe Salate

In a rather fortuitous manner, I have returned to blogging. As I attempted to 'add' a friend on my facebook account today, I got a message saying "You are unable to add anymore friends at this time. Many of your recent requests have been unanswered. Either because you are adding friends you do not know personally, or because another user has flagged your activity as offensive. Don't worry, you'll be able to add more friends soon."

Feeling like I had reached a new low of self loathing for using facebook in the first place, I decided to use it as a sign that I should get back to working on my blog. So instead of sitting on facebook and talking about nothing in particular, I am going to talk about something that interests me.

Anchovies packed in Salt! I've been looking for them everywhere for the past two days and I cannot find them ! My new River Cafe cookbook calls for them in a recipe for Ossobuco that I made last weekend.

And they say: "Tinned anchovies in oil are no substitute."

So what's so special about the salted ones? Apparently, the anchovies are graded by size, then salted whole in large barrels or tins of 5 to 10 kg in size. The best fish are the largest ones, and should be red in colour. To prepare them you rinse them under cool running water to remove all the salt, gently remove the spine bones and head, and pat dry.

I am so fascinated and can't wait to find out what the big fuss is!

But alas.... I am still on the hunt! If anyone knows a place that sells them please tell me!

Hong Kong and Going Home

After nearly two months I am finally ready sit down and finish of my thoughts on my trip through China & Hong Kong. Sorry about leaving it unfinished for so long... but once I got home after this trip I just needed to drop it for awhile.

Slowly recovering from our bout of food poisoning, (not counting Laurel who was perfectly fine and left with the lovely duty of hanging out with two pukey poopy pants ladies for the last leg of our journey).. we left the city of Yichang behind. In my day and a half experience of this city, I have both good and bad memories. Book ended by a nice man who helped us find our hotel on our arrival, and a grueling half hour of trying to get a cab to stop for us to get to the train station on our departure. I'm not sure why they wouldn't take us other than the fact that we were foreigners. Perhaps we did look as sick as we felt and they were afraid of our germs. All I knew was I was tired, sick and delirious and just wanted to get onto that train ASAP and not move! Finally a female cab driver took pity on us and gave us a lift. I collapsed into my train bed and didnt move for over 12 hours. Except to shuffle to the bathroom every once and awhile. And drink from our giant 2L water bottles. I was happy when Laurel offered to switch bunks with me. I moved up to the third tier bunk close to the air conditioner. Ahhhh. There I lay til we arrived in Guangzhou - a 'beach' town I would have loved to explore a little. Alas China was so big I think a year there would not do it justice. We parted ways with Laurel and took a highspeed train to Shenzen - ready to cross the border into Hong Kong!
Goodbye China!!!!!!!
I was more than ready to say goodbye. But two months later, as I write this, I am filled with fond memories of a very special place. Fearless, Filthy, Hot, Bright and Crazy! What I miss most about China is the palpable energy that I felt. This place was alive! Nobody cared what anyone else thought, nobody was afraid of ANYTHING ( or so it seemed) and there was quite a serious food culture there. There was food being cooked and sold and cleaned and portioned on every corner. Anywhere you looked at any time of day people were enjoying. food. Whether cooking it, selling it, hobbling home with handfuls of giant green onions, or just chowing down - these people loved their food. Despite the filth in some of the streets the produce being sold in the stands I saw was always immaculate.

Although I couldn't wait to leave this crazy land, I would like to return one day. And explore the country side with someone who knows the ins and outs. That being said I am quite proud of myself for what we did see and do - as complete foreigners.
Xie Xie China for showing me a whole new world.

Now... off the train from Shenzen, through customs and a short ride on the subway and we found ourselves in downtown HongKong. So exhausted and weak from our food poisoning we just found our hostel, washed up, did a quick tour of the neighbourhood and went to sleep. It was the best sleep I have had in awhile. The hostel room was quite nice. Very clean, large windows overlooking the hundreds of other apartments stacked above, below and across from us. Just next door I spyed a lavish apartment. Tapestry on the walls and ornate table settings. How peculiar? We kept out blinds shut overnight of course.
Next morning we packed up our bags ( for the second last time!) and headed over to the holiday inn where we'd booked a room for our last night. After a short trip to the bird and flower market:

the heat finally got to us and we checked into our hotel room. Boo decided to take the afternoon off and I struggled through an afternoon trying to find some shopping. There was a really serious focus on designer brands here. Everyone in the city dressed impeccably. Looking around on the subway there was not a soul with scuffed or worn shoes. Everyone had brand new shiny shoes and great style. I really wish I could have spent more time exploring the style culture here - I got lost in a sea of Chanel and Burberry and never did find any of the unique shops i just KNOW were out there. . . Ohwell. Next time! ( If I'm so lucky)

That evening we went down to the harbour to watch a rather silly light show. But it was fun and we got to see the wonderful view of sunset over those great sky scrapers.

The next morning we met up with Laurel for a quick dimsum which I unfortunately was too ill to really enjoy. Did a quick stop at a beautiful temple - I made a prayer for a safe return home :) it was answered.
I stopped at the top of a staircase ( which were all over the place in this crazy hub of a city. Staircases here, small streets this way and that) ... and snapped a few pictures.

Can you feel how hot it is at that very moment? It was scorching!
Anyway, I love the colours. It was a pretty interesting city. I want to go back sOOoooooOo badly. I'll save up :)