“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 29 February 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 29nd February 2012

Outside my window...Nothing moves...I'm sitting in the dining room looking out at the entertaining area with the pool behind. There's no sun, no wind, no rain...just stillness. The birdcage plant has spread its leaves ~ now we'll have to see if it produces a flower. Beneath are the loungers in their naked state of undress.... we took the cushions indoors a few days ago when the thunderstorm and rain came to visit. 
The potted plants are having their last fling before the breeze brings the autumn chill. There are quite a few leaves laying on the ground from the overhead vine...waiting for yet another sweep. I cleared them yesterday but today it’s as if I never saw the broom, never mind used it. I always thought brushing up fallen leaves was an annual chore but that hasn't been the case since moving into this house....there's always fallen leaves. It'll be a nightmare when the autumn fall does arrive. We're having a blackbird visit daily to take some of the grapes, which can be quite comical. First he has to perform amazing flight techniques that a blackbird doesn't normally do. When he manages to grab a grape then he struggles and struggles trying to peck into it. One day after quite a length of time, he gave up and just gulped the whole grape. I thought he'd choke and quickly wondered how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a bird! 
The barbeque sits cosy in its cover waiting for some male bonding. I'm of the firm belief that the BBQ is the man's domain (well I've got away with that so far...my OH naturally has assumed this role ; D so long may it continue).

I am thinking...what a refreshing change it is to have tradies who are reliable, polite, and do the job they're supposed to. Since I've been in Australia this seems to be the norm ~ or have I just been lucky? They all seem to be dog friendly too, which is a help when someone insists on attention. Muffin's not exactly a guard dog...anyone getting into the house stands to suffer death by licking!
I've experienced in days gone by, having to wait in the house for a full morning, afternoon or worse case scenario the whole day...on the off chance they might call.

I am thankful...that Muffin and Zac get on so well together. Zac is staying with us for another little holiday.

In the kitchen...the aroma of cooked bacon and eggs. My son decided he wanted a more substantial breakfast today. He's got man flu so he says he needs to feed the cold! Hmm...any excuse.

I am wearing...Capri jeans, blue t-shirt, no shoes again! I think this seems to be a common theme.

I am creating... a wish list for the coming Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This might sound a little strange, but it's going to take quite an effort with careful planning to choose out of all the events which to attend. It is the festival's 20th year and runs from the 2nd of March through until the 21st March. It is sure to be spectacular. Take a peek at the website to give you some idea of what's happening.

I am going...to the local butcher to see what inspiration I can find for tonight’s evening meal. It's fantastic to have a local butcher shop with skilled staff. I think it's a privilege that I don't take for granted as in many areas now unfortunately these small businesses are struggling. We all need to do our bit to keep them afloat! 

I am wondering...as its the 29th February today, how many females may have used the leap year tradition and proposed to their loved ones. My son's taking no chances he's off sick today!

I am reading... My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now.
Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?

I know I'm perhaps a little late reading this especially with the movie now viewed by so many...but I haven't seen it yet and as you know I much prefer to read a book before seeing the film.
The book is certainly highlighting a complex emotive subject and although I've only just started to read it, I'm already involved with fascinating characters contained within.
At this stage I don't wish to research any further about the book because it may give too much away and don't want to spoil it for myself. It has grabbed me from the first page.

“ The author vividly evokes the physical and psychic toll a desperately sick child imposes on a family, even a close and loving one like the Fitzgeralds… there can be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling's right to life, but Picoult thwarts out expectations in unexpected ways… a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family. ”
—Kirkus Reviews
About the Authur:
Jodi Picoult, 44, is the bestselling author of eighteen novels ~ the last five of which debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism - and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent - led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher - before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel,Songs of a Humpback Whale.
In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults; the Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year; a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America; Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007; Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She wrote five issues of the Wonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Four – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls - have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available in DVD. She received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dartmouth College in 2010 and another from the University of New Haven in 2012.
She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, a rescue puppy, two donkeys, two geese, one duck, eight chickens, and the occasional Holstein.

I am hoping...that summer isn't over yet. Although being in temperatures of 38°C over the last week wasn't pleasant. I think the perfect temperature is around 24 ~ 26°C ...that seems to be just the right level. But how many people are sitting right now in their ideal temperature that they are most comfortable with. I've heard about freezing winds, floods, drifting snowstorms, damp yukky grey drizzle to searing sun, sweltering humid rainstorms and dry dusty breezes so I think I'll not complain.

I am looking forward to...helping prepare my daughters wedding. It's a little difficult with the distance between us at the moment, but we'll manage I'm sure. They'll obviously be lots of future posts on this major event, so I'll hope you'll bare with me. It's not everyday that you're only daughter gets married.
Note: I underlined helping....I am going to try to not interfer but just be positive and do as I'm told. Only having imput when asked! Promise N! (She'll be reading this)  ;D

Around the house...are things that need my attention. After having such a busy time since last Wednesday the menial tasks have been pushed aside. Unfortunately they're beginning to come back onto my radar. Ah well, it was nice whilst it lasted.

A favourite quote for today...It has to be a quote relating to music due to attending two live concerts in one week.....                         
Music is an outburst of the soul - Frederick Delius

One of my favourite things...is when I've finished creating a post for my blog that I feel proud of. Sometimes I'm aware that time has restricted me or that the hour is late and therefore the odd blip gets looked over...my editor and proof reader unfortunately don't get a chance to read them before I post. If you come across any whoopsies please either let me know (kindly) or just skip over quickly. I'm constantly trying to improve but sometimes there are so many other influences at work ~ its difficult. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything. I like to try and get the best out of each day.
After last weeks hectic social whirl I feel this one will be quieter...but you never know?

A peek into my day... yesterday I promised something steamy for the guys out there...well here it is....

Not quite what you had in mind?
I'll be posting about this tomorrow...because as you know Wednesdays are my Daybook entry. I hope you don't mind?

And that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ~ Summer Open Air Concert

I've been a busy social butterfly over the last week or so...which has been brilliant but soooooo tiring. After Russell's concert on Thursday night, I had a girlie night on Friday at a cocktail bar for a friend’s birthday...I'm afraid that's about as much as I'm going to say about that night, although I do want to tell you I didn't succumb to the cocktails....I was a very good girl and had only mocktails. They were really good and so was the food too.
Summer in Melbourne is full of free events that all contribute to a global reputation as a city that cherishes the arts and culture. So on Saturday night we took advantage with tickets for a sunset concert in the unique canopy of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The temperature was a souring 38°C, but even so masses of Victorians made their way to the outdoor setting, coming together for the annual summer ritual of relaxing on the sloping lawn with family and friends in the twilight orchestral concert. Some were obviously seasoned audience members carrying cool bags, blankets, folding chairs and almost everything but the kitchen sink!
We thankfully had seats...in fact really good seats ~ only seven rows in. We had an amazing treat and an experience that I will remember for quite some time.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has performed at this popular venue for more than 50 years and each year more than 40,000 people enjoy its world class performances.The Sidney Myer free concerts are performed four times a year giving access for everyone and anyone to appreciate outstanding performances by the MSO as well as others.

 The conductor, Diego Matheuz is just 27 years old. He is also a violinist and graduated from the internationally known Venezuelan Sistema and is acknowledged as one of today's most promising talents.

It was extremely hot at the beginning of the concert and I really did feel for the conductor and the orchestra. They must have felt they would melt, but undeterred they played brilliantly. First Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Suite No. 2, Marquez Danzon No. 2, Piazzolla The Four Seasons and Moncayo Huapango.

We were to hear Kristian Winther play the violin solo but due to illness he wasn't able to perform. At this stage I feel I need your help because the violin solo was played by someone who stepped into the breach with very little notice but unfortunately I didn't catch his name. 
Maybe you can let me know...? He was such an exceptional player, I feel so embarrassed that I don't know his name. The audience seemed to immediately recognise and appreciated his talent.

Here he is in the photo...do you know him?

Thank you MSO and Diego for another magical night....

The last shot of the Music Bowl as we were leaving.....the long slow walk up the hill

Before I sign off I have a little confession to make....yes another one.
  We had passes for the interval and after concert party and I'm afraid I gave in! My Feb Fast (no alcohol for February) ruined. It was the waiter's fault really, because he passed so near with his tray of champagne and was so insistent that I could take one...plus I didn't think he'd get my abstaining free champagne story (I must look a champers kinda gal) so before I knew it the glass was in my hand! Don't forget it was about 34 degrees still and the champagne was beautifully chilled. So there you have it. Sorry : (
I have to tell you though that I haven't taken a drop since and will carry on over the end of the month to try and make up for it....will that suffice? ;$
Hey boys... I've got something steamy for you on my next post ;D watch this space....
Have a terrific Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow ~ Ciao for now

Saturday 25 February 2012

Russell Watson Concert at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne

Have you missed me???? I hope so. I can't believe I haven't had the time to natter with you since Wednesday, but let me tell you I have been in a social whirl! 
I must first tell you about Thursday night and the Russell Watson concert....what a treat! I headed into the city for my rendezvous with my OH for a bite to eat before the concert. The public transport I think is great here although quite a few Melbournians complain about it. It's certainly not a good idea to take the car into the city unless you have megga bucks due to the time restrains on parking spaces or the amount charged in car parks. That is if you can possibly find a space in the first place. The plus to public transport is there's no hassle about finding a place...so all that hassle is taken away. 
When I got to the station, I only had a few minutes to wait before my train arrived.....

I'm not sure why my legs look like elephant legs....they really aren't that shape! Promise.
Hmm....where to sit???
Not exactly caught in the rush.....air conditioned too.

After meeting my OH we decided to nip into the Chinese quarter for a Indian...LOL...no I was just checking to see if you were paying attention...obviously we had a chinese banquet.
I didn't take any photos because we were too keen to eat and to arrive at the theatre in time for the start of the concert. I very often hold up meals etc whilst I take a photo which I understand can be quite annoying. So what can you do?...if you're a blogger you're constantly looking at things differently or through the lens of a camera. I know you'll relate to this...

So onto the Regent Theatre in the centre of Melbourne...and what a theatre!

The landmark Regent Theatre holds a key part in the city’s history since opening as a grand picture palace in 1929. Having survived a fire, a flood, twenty years in darkness and many threats of demolition to turn the magnificent theatre into a car park. The venue reopened in August 1996 meticulously refurbished an extravagant, large Spanish gothic hall to its breathtaking former glory.

Today it stands more lavish and grand than ever and continues to host some of the world’s most renowned theatre productions including Disney’s The Lion King, We Will Rock You, Sunset Boulevard, Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie,  – The Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies. 

But I'm forgetting that this post is supposed to be about Russell Watson...but I wanted to set the scene....anyway....please take you're seats ladies and gentlemen the show is about to commence.....but first a few facts.

Russell Watson is the most successful British tenor of all time, he has sung for American presidents, Japanese emperors, British Royalty, an array of European Prime Ministers, Middle-Eastern Sultans, even the late Pope John Paul II who requested a private audience with Russell Watson at the Vatican. There have been eight albums, each one winning more praise than the one before. His first, The Voice, went to No. 1 in the US and the UK and won two Classical Brit awards. Encore was No. 1 in the UK classical charts for 30 weeks and Watson won another two Classical Brit Awards. Every Russell Watson UK release has gone Top 10 in the UK and among them he boasts two Double Platinum certifications, one Platinum and two Gold. But this album, Watson says, is special.

Here's a snippet of his latest release and I apologise to my neighbours because I guess they'll know it well by now....

His current album, Russell’s Ninth, was recorded in June 2010 with the Roma Sinfonietta - Ennio Morricone’s orchestra of choice – and produced by Mike Hedges. Stronger, more driven and powerful, his renditions of some of the most loved songs of all time, including La Viva Senza Te, Mario Lanza’s Arrivederci Roma and Speak Softly Love (the theme from The Godfather) are as impressive (the tailored suit certainly added a little 'respect'!) as you’d expect from a man singing with, literally, a new lease of life after overcoming two life-threatening brain tumours.

Russell Watson is a freak....He says so himself  "I've got this voice, you see, and people want to hear it," he explains.That was written on a cover of one his first CD 'the voice'....

I have to admit when you hear a powerful voice belt out and the big voice hits the top note, it does give you goosebumps! Well it does me : D
His performance was very moving and at times his emotions were palpable...he's had quite a journey.
The son of a factory worker born in Salford in the heart of the industrial North-West of England. Another bonus point in my book ~ from my part of the world :D

He left school at 16 and began worked in a factory making nuts and bolts...but the voice was always inside building ready to surface and escape. He took a gamble and entered the circuit. There were tough times but one night he was working in a working men's club and finished his set with "Nessun dorma". It was a gamble because those club's can be tough venues, but he received a standing ovation, his first, but not his last and as they say...the rest is history 
He gave permission for the audience to take his photo and we had fun whilst he possed for different shots. The atmosphere was so relaxed I think everyone had such an enjoyable time.

And then of course there's the music and that voice...wow....
His special guest on this tour is Australian soprano Greta Bradman ~ spellbinding is a word that comes to mind when I think back to listening to her sing. Pie Jesu was breathstoppingly beautiful.
Gretas paternal grandfather was the iconic Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, though Greta remembers him most fondly for his passion and talent for music. 

What really was surprising was to hear that Russell and the Metropolitan Orchestra plus the Trinity College Choir only had a few rehearsals during that day, before the performance that evening. The conductor Robert Emery was quite a character and conducted in his bare feet, which Russell commented was perhaps because he didn't pay him enough?...but he said it helped to keep him grounded. Russell and Robert obviously have a good relationship and that came across to the audience. Everyone performed brilliantly and I must say even the audience wowed Russell with our little rendition. 

I think my daughter must have had some secret connection (remember this was her birthday gift to me) because Russell sang 'You'll never walk alone' which possibly brought a tear to my OH eye. In case you aren't aware and there's no reason why you should, this particular song happens to be his football team’s (Liverpool) anthem. Maybe Russell is a fan too?

What a fantastic magical night - Sydney you're in for a treat...look after our boy and make him welcome on Sunday....not forgetting Perth!

Wednesday 22 February 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Outside my window...The sky is a baby blue today. The sun is just waking and stretching, its yellow light reaches the tree tops as it burns through the early morning haze. Even as I type the light is changing...it's becoming orange and brighter as it gains strength. There's no breeze although the air coming in through my open windows feels fresh. I have a lodger getting very comfortable with life around here, as I notice a huge cobweb crossing one little window. I'll have to evict him today I'm afraid. There's plenty of other places for him...I just don't want my window draped with his web even though the light shining through it is amazing.

I am thinking...why I didn’t remember that the blind man (not literally) was calling early today to fix some blinds that needed attention. I tried to tell him that I was working on the internet and blah..blah...blah...Don't think he was interested really...just thought she's having a p.j. day! I'm not in the habit of answering the door in a state of semi-undress...how embarrassing! Anyway, all sorted now ; )

I am thankful...for so many things today....the solid beautiful house we're living in when so many people struggle and are homeless or about to lose theirs. The sunshine warm on my back when so many are struggling in freezing conditions. The breeze gently caressing the wind chimes to let them sing and I can hear their song. A big glass of iced water beside me...and how many people would just love to go to a tap and pour fresh chilled water. It's a real privilege that we take for granted. My mobile phone and laptop keeping me in touch at the tap of a button. Unthinkable even a few years back. I remember my OH's first work mobile phone...it was like carrying a house brick!
I could go on and on....

In the kitchen...would you believe it...some Crêpe mixture. I did make double the quantities for yesterday's pancake Tuesday but as you may have heard before my boys adore pancakes and can usually finish the whole mix in one sitting.

I am wearing...cut off jeans and a blue vest. As usual nothing on my feet. Hair freshly pampered at the hairdressers yesterday.

I am creating...hopefully something on silk soon...I really am trying to shed everything to give it my full attention but it’s very difficult. I can't seem to get through my projects lately or complete anything. I have no idea why? Maybe I'm trying to cram in too much and should be more selective.

I am going...to a concert tomorrow night! I'm going to listen to Russell Watson perform live. Two brain tumours have changed tenor Russell Watson's life but made his voice better and stronger according to latest reports. I have always had soft spot for Russell for a few reasons other than just his voice. If you read his biography you'll maybe see why plus he comes from my side of the world.

I am wondering...should I offer to do a duet with Russell???  LOL ; D

I am reading... 'Rules of Civility' by Amor Towles. I know this one is taking me some time but I've been busy and I don't want to rush it. It is written so beautifully.

 My daughter started to read this book on her new kindle (Santa's gift ; D ) whilst she was staying with us and she recommended it to me. I've only just started to read it but it’s got my attention already. 
Despite the fact that I've never been to New York City or in fact alive in 1937, makes interesting reading especially when the writer Amor Towles transports you back there so effortlessly.
A statement by one of the leading characters protagonist, Katey Kontent, knew " how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine". With those two lines, I had already identified with Ms Kontent, . If you are a male reader, please do not click away now as this is most definitely not chick-lit. In fact, there is plenty of drinking (Martinis and Champagne, primarily), there are cars and even a few guns here and there. Oh, and jazz.

In brief, the plot revolves around Katey and her friend Eve; they meet Theodore `Tinker' Grey, a wealthy young man while celebrating New Year's Eve in a dingy jazz club and, without giving away the story, the encounter will change their lives forever. A love triangle is among the central elements of this story, but the triangle changes shape at one point and anyway, this is a novel with a story, rather than a plot. It's about love, of course, but also about ambition, social mobility, and that aspirational quality that is quintessential to the mythology of New York City and that will inevitably bring up comparisons with F.S. Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby'. Indeed, it would be hard not to see the similarities between Tinker and Jay Gatsby - young men who pretty much encapsulate the American Dream of the early 20th century at the start of the novel and who, by the end, confirm that the dream is just that: an illusion.

A lot of `new' writers are too often hailed as The Next Big Thing to then only disappoint; but on the contrary 'watch this space' as they say. I am amazed at how Amos managed to create such believable and above all, likeable, female characters. And the male `cast' are equally memorable, none of them too perfect, none of them falling into the trappings of prince charming characterisation that could have taken this book down the pastel cover route.

I would be really surprised if 'The Rules of Civility' didn't become a literary fiction best-seller, as it ticks all the relevant boxes; great characters, gripping storyline, jazz, Martinis and a social commentary; it's peppered with literary references and quotes.  And when a book makes you want to read more books, to paraphrase Katey Kontent, `everything is probably going to be fine'.
I think it'll be one for our book club : ) 

About the Author:
Born in 1964, Amor Towles was raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University. He is a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Mr. Towles is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.
His only other published work is a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure” published in 1989 in Paris Review 112.

I am hoping...to contact my sister and brother for a chat soon. It's been a few weeks and I feel I need to check in to find out what's happening in their world.

I am looking forward to...tomorrow night's concert.

Around the house...there are two snoozy dogs curled up together. Zac came for his holiday last Saturday and has settled into the routine so easily. There are a few moments now and again, but like any married couple they sort it out. They have to especially when they're on the joint lead. There's a little push me...pull you thing going on but generally Muffin wins (go girl power) and Zac just follows on quite unfussed.

A favourite quote for today...“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” 
– Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  •  I need to really note this quote today....
One of my favourite things...hmm...I always have difficulty with this one as there are so many plus I've mentioned some before whilst writing these Daybooks....so I like to pick something new every time....
My mother's wedding ring sitting on my finger next to mine. She sadly past away two years ago.

A few plans for the rest of the week: busy, busy as always...concerts, girlie things, appointments, dog walking and a cocktail night that will be interesting due to me still abstaining from alcohol. Yep, I'm still free and it's not been a problem...trouble is I thought my waistline might have reduced, but alas it obviously isn't the alcohol...It couldn't possibly be chocolate! I DON'T CARE ~ I'M NOT GIVING IT UP! 

A peek into my day... the latest foot warmer. Apparently these are all the rage!

This wasn't taken today but last weekend...before Zac came to stay. She's not unhappy just slightly miffed that I disturbed her whilst she was snoozing. She's resting on my son's feet. Cute eh?

And that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to  The simple woman’s daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

Monday 20 February 2012

Fresh Fruit Platter

Whoohoo...I made it through another weekend without having any alcohol AND I went to a party too. Didn't I do well? Actually its been easier than I thought. Only one weekend to go....but we've still got a few events to attend within that time, so I'll not blow my own trumpet too loudly just yet.

Today is another colourful post but not of the arty kind. This time it's the healthy kind. I thought I'd show you the fruit platter that I made for Sunday afternoon.

I just made a quick trip to the local veggie shop to see what was available...Pineapple was a must because I wanted to use the top as part of the decoration. Not in the 70's style or like Carmen Miranda...but just a little different. Besides pineapple is one of my favourite fruit.
I was going to use a white serving platter but then thought I should use a large silver serving platter instead. I thought I'd dress it up even more with a large leaf from the bird of paradise plant in the garden...to give it a tropical look. If you look towards the back of the photo above, you can see the platter and the leaf.
The leaf had a tendency to curl up at the edges, but I persuaded it to lie flat by gently pressing...once all the fruit was placed on top it wasn't a problem.
Next, I started to deseed the melons and cutting them into bite size pieces. I didn't put them straight onto the platter because I wanted to leave the fruit in the fridge until the last few minutes before serving, also the platter was quite large and would have taken up too much room in the fridge. I placed all the prepared fruit into a bowl which didn't take up too much room. It's easier if you group all the same fruit together in the bowl ~ this saves time when arranging onto the platter.
I love fresh pineapple but I never used to like preparing them....that was until my sister introduced this brilliant gadget to me. I know yet another gadget but this one is really brilliant and I can't sing it's praises enough.

(unfortunately the sun didn't come out until I'd finished preparing and taking the photos ~ so apologies for the quality of shot)

With the serrated corkscrew-like tool it easily cores and slices a fresh pineapple quickly and easily. All you have to do is snap on the handle, insert into the pineapple, and twist. 

The results of this simple effort: one perfect spiral of sweet pineapple, complete with healthy juices!

 This is what's left once the flesh has been taken out....

 Clever eh?
There are three different sizes too....

I just need to state here that I'm not being sponsored to review this product....I just like to give praise where praise is due.
So back to the platter....

Now you can get arty and let your creative juices flow....the fruit juices certainly will. I cut another part of the pineapple skin to use as a bowl for the blueberries. I've seen platters where the blueberries are scattered randomly around the platter, but I liked the idea of using this bowl to contain them all in one place. A good tip I think is to buy more fruit than you think might be necessary, because it can take quite a lot to get the right effect plus if you're like me you eat a far few chunks before the platter is complete.  I certainly had more than my five portions yesterday!

 And there you have it....I really enjoyed both the making and the eating of this platter and I hope you give it a go with whatever fruit is in season in your part of the world. 

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Tuesday) so my boys have placed a request into the kitchen for Crêpes (french pancakes) tomorrow. They'll be happy bunnies if they get their wish...I haven't promised as I like to keep them on their toes ; )
Have a fun day and keep smiling : D
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