Thursday, 28 November 2013

Drugs are not safe... but they can save your life.

I recently participated in a little vaccination debate on Facebook, triggered by some negative press about Gardisil, the 'cervical cancer' vaccine (this is worth reading if you are concerned). It quickly became a discussion about immunisation in general. One of my highly educated and very respected friends highlighted the difficulties he faced when trying to make an informed decision about what was best for his child. It seems that it is such a sensitive issue that people on both sides of the debate can quickly become overly emotional and unable to provide clear, unbiased information. I weighed in and just found myself repeating 'risk vs benefit'. For me this is what all decisions basically boil down to. I feel like this concept is not considered often enough in the prescribing and taking of drugs.

We don't call them drugs though, we call them medicines. Only the scary illegal ones are drugs right? It's all sugar-coating- a medicine is a drug, a lot of the natural things we take are technically drugs. The definition of a drug is: a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body (Oxford Dictionary). So food is a drug too. I'm going to confine my rant to legal pharmaceutical drugs here though.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Wine Review {November 2013}

I am setting myself a little monthly challenge- to review 3 interesting wines every month. I borrowed this idea from a couple of excellent blogs, most notably  La Donna del Vino

I have been thinking a lot about improving my existence lately and a job working with interesting wine and people (not that the people I 'work' with now aren't interesting, I just rarely get to see them) is feeling like the right direction. There is a bit of upskilling to do so this is a first step to thinking more objectively about wines.

2010 Condie "The Gwen" Shiraz
Heathcote, Victoria
RRP $35                 
 I had a short break in Bendigo last year with the primary focus of trying some of the wines of Heathcote. I was working in a wine bar at the time and had a customer who would not drink anything other than a Heathcote red because of the incomparable smoothness and richness. Whilst I don't agree with his exclusion policy there is certainly something special about Heathcote reds.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

American and Russian and Pale-o my! {Third Wave Cafe Prahran review}

Melbourne is saturated with cafes, we all know this, and standing out amongst a zillion (yes, that is the official figure) other options is the only way to keep going in our caffeine-enriched city.  So when the team behind 'Third Wave Cafe' in Port Melbourne opened a second venue tucked away behind Chapel Street (in a side street off Commerical Road) in Prahran, they had their work cut out. Chapel Street is a tourist mecca, it is hard work to coerce people away from the main drag with its plethora of offers.

The solution? Call in the bloggers. Greg, the co-owner has been inviting the 'talk about their food' types to try his new joint and I was happy to be included. It seems there is such a thing as a free lunch. It is a bold move (it could be suicidal having a bunch of snap-happy foodies documenting a new business' teething problems) and it speaks of somebody confident enough to stand behind their product from the beginning. Of course these guys have a  tried and tested formula at the successful and well-reviewed Port Melbourne venue and from our experience Prahran will follow suit.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Dear Universe....

Facing a 10.5 hour shift in The Wine Shop With No Wine (and remarkably there is even less wine than usual) I came to the conclusion that I really need a new job.
Yeah I know, hardly a newsflash.
I decided to write a job wishlist- put it out to the universe...

Dear Universe,
As a response to the miserable crap numerous challenges you have provided me with in the last 5 years or so I thought it might be time to reward me by giving me a kick-ass new job. To make this easier for you I have prepared a list of requests:

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Spinach and Cheese pastries {Recipe}

For Melbourne Cup day the staff from The Wine Shop With No Wine got together for a BBQ. In Australia when the invitation says 'please bring a plate' we translate that to mean please bring 2 or 3 plates or at least enough food for 4 people. When 10 people gather and each do that, yep, you've got the maths right- there will be enough food for at least 40. Not to be conquered, one does one's best to eat a bit of everything.

The next day my stomach muscles were hurting- my brain immediately jumped to “woohoo girl, you did some serious sit-ups yesterday” then I remembered I did none. My muscles were hurting from being stretched by a food baby (not to mention wine). Too much information?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Macaron heaven {A la folie patisserie Review}

I walk past A la folie on my way to work. It is a terrible tease as they time setting up the window with gorgeous sweets for the exact moment I speed by, trying not to be late for work.
When I got an early mark one day, my first thought was to pick up some deliciousness to take home for dessert.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tipping, not just a footy term

Constantly seeking some kind of victory (life satisfaction/job satisfaction/healthy body image/saving the world/saving the animals or even just a really good breakfast) has resulted in me trying a number of jobs. One of the tougher areas I have worked and I imagine will do again is hospitality.

When you are working in hospitality you can tell the people who have also worked in hospitality. They are the ones who say thank you, who make eye contact when you are speaking to them, who don't talk about things like you can't hear them. Or maybe these people haven't worked in hospitality, maybe they just have respect for other human beings.

Another sure sign of a hospo veteran is that they tip.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Rutherglen Wine Tour

If you are going to stay in a wine region you really must sample the wine. We ended up in Rutherglen because I was looking for a very dog-friendly B&B (see here). The other lovely thing that Must Love Dogs B&B offer, is that for a small extra fee Charlie will take you on an afternoon wine tour.
Rutherglen is an old gold rush town as well as being one of Australia's oldest wine regions. It is particularly known for it's fortified wines- as we were informed from our first venture into the town.