Aspiring Tastes

Every time I walk into T2, a tea store in Australia, I have to try the teas on display.

Always. I awkwardly line up if I need to. Or otherwise I bring my ‘acting skills’ into play and feign interest in the products around me. Yes I need my 22nd colourful kaleidoscopic teacup. Totally.

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A wild Maria appears in T2

It often ends with conversation with the lovely attendants and I assure you my interest is not feigned then – “how do you get it to taste like this?” I ask, half the time a mixture of disbelief and curiosity. I’m drinking a creamy, slightly yet not overly sweet tea with beautiful notes of whatever was promised by the respective tea..nuts, chai, chocolate, caramel, vanilla.

Brew, soy milk, honey is the answer that follows.

I go home, the purchased tea box travelling with me and giving me as much excitement on the home commute as if I was carrying the promise of Christmas tomorrow.

Once home, I fly into the kitchen, the kettle boils and the mug/teacup is chosen. Once the tea brews, I add the honey and soy milk* tasting as I go a long. And more often than not I fail to get the heavenly creamy earthy tea. I try so many different variations, altering the brewing time, the sweetness, the ratios – but never seem to achieve the mythic taste of the concoction I had instore.

I’ve narrowed it down to three potential options.

One, I could be still getting the ratios wrong.

Two, maybe there is the role of the experience of the shop as well – maybe the small tasting cup and a the experience that screams of exotic teas everywhere influenced my tasting of the tea as something unique and limited to a certain place, hard to achieve without the expertise of the tea shop.

Or option three – dark magic.

Anyhows, I shall mull over it as I brew – Updates shall follow if success does 😉 . How are you guys finding this? Am I dramatizing it? Is it unique to me? Ideas and help are welcome!

Take care beautiful people, speak soon.

Maria Rose xx

*As I was writing this I switched browsers to choose another song. Coming back to the blog post I saw “I add the honey and soy” – I was a little bit confused for a few seconds trying to conceptualise a tea with honey and soy sauce.

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Yet certain teas are still delicious sans any additives. Merci Mariage Frere!

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The Dutch Golden Age

 

I just recently finished Dominic smiths book, “The last Painting of Sara de Vos.” Plunging you between 1950’s America, 21st century Australia and the 17th century Netherlands, the overlapping treasure was the Dutch art of the golden age that connected the characters and times. A book review is coming, fear not but for now my mind is still swirling around the art of the Dutch Golden Age.

The legendary Dutch Guild of St. Luke’s had a limited number of women admitted to its ranks. While Sara de Vos did not exist her character was said to be by the author a sort of collage of many of these female painters of the time. My interest delved into focusing on these women painters of the time. While many of their works have not survived like in the case of Sarah van Baalbergen ,a few have but even they faced issues such as misattributions.

This blog post series will focus on these artists of the Dutch golden Age, predominantly on the female artists.This blog post concerns the Dutch artist Judith Leyster – born in Harleem she was the second female artist to join the guild of St Luke, taking up apprentices within her workshop. She specialised in daily life notably scenes of merriment and jolliness. Strongly utilising light in dark play in her paintings, her style only emphasised the emotive tides of her paintings.

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The Proposition, 1631, oil on panel

 

Judiths paintings really left an impression on me. I feel the light play is so good, entwining into the emotion and creating the ‘dramascape’ for the paintings character.(I say feel because purely going off what I get from them, no art historian here unfortunately :p)

Her paintings evoke a unique perception in me – one of long gone people, portraying joy and emotions of once living beings centuries ago…the time gone by adding another layer of emotion to her works.

Her works range in their homes these days: from private collections to art galleries throughout the world. The two works featured above are located in the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, private collection and the Rijksmuseum respectfully.

For more information:

http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/features/slideshows/judith-leyster.html#slide_3

http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=tu&aid=5898

 

 

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Spring is in the Air!

Spring time is nature at its best.” ― Lailah Gifty, Akita

Spring! That excitement when you throw off your cardigan and coat, and feel the sun pouring down on your naked shoulders (the shoulder obviously featuring a dress strap just to confirm before I start saying I’ve joint a nudist colony :p), where the leaves of nature have started to show colour again,furiously blushing and blooming once more, and when the it just seems oh so easier to get out, nay jump of bed!

I am determined to make this spring a chaotic affair of Melbourne, love, adventures, nature, food, museums and so much more!  Before I blab on about empty words of plans and goals, I’ll say just check back every now and then and hopefully you’ll find some random and interesting/amusing from reviews, to outfits, to cooking,photography, travel plans dreams and past recollections, blog posts of adventures ranging from horse riding to dance classes to forest walks. Well- if that’s what one may be interested in, i can assure-

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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Hehe :p

I shan’t disappoint 🙂

Love,
Maria xx

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A Taste of Paris

Paris. The word itself sums up beauty and magic…a grand city with spectacular buildings and romance and mystery in every corner. Well at least for my little romantic, idealistic heart! Now…how to describe my week in Paris?

Well…it was a mixture of beauty, of history, of culture… of daily adventures- of mornings spent in cafes trying the freshly baked croissants  that lived up to their reputation,   enjoying a petite gateaux a day, of a an tiny cramped elevator we barely fit in, of walks by the seine, overdosing on art and history a bottles of french wine, pulling all nighters for Nuit Blanche 2013, buying macaroons to give them to the homeless,  the friendly Parisians we encountered, walking down beautiful alleys with amazing buildings and monuments at every turn, attending violin concerts framed by the exquisitely detailed windows of Saint Chapelle, practically living in the Shakespeare & Company bookshop in the latin quarter were we would sit in utter, content silence reading with a room of complete strangers with their own stories, all of us melting into the old ragged couches falling into our books while a light breeze would flutter the room and the notre dame church watched over us from the window. breathing in paris from the heights of the l’arc de triomphe, evening strolls through the latin quarter, trying to speak french to a kind response, eating numerous vendor crepes with nutella, always a shared cheerful Bonjour or Bonsoir, befriending the local cafe waitress who sneaked us free macaroons and made our nightly hot chocolates as we chatted with her over the meaning of local radio hits. (the main one is currently playing in the very cafe i am sitting in writing this blog post..Passenger- Let her go 🙂 )

A walk in the path by the Eiffel Tower!

A walk in the park  by the Eiffel Tower!

 

The night of Nuit  Blanche! Stay up all night for culture! :)

The night of Nuit Blanche! Stay up all night for culture! 🙂

 

Le Tour Eiffel et moi

Le Tour Eiffel et moi

 

View from L'arc de Triomphe

View from L’arc de Triomphe

 

Always look up in European museums! You're sure to be in awe!

Always look up in European museums! You’re sure to be in awe!

Shakespeare & Co

Shakespeare & Co

Saint Chapelle...the setting of the concert that featured Vivaldis works.

Saint Chapelle…the setting of the concert we attended that featured Vivaldi pieces.

 

 

Beautiful Paris

Beautiful Paris

Paris was an adventure. I had heard good things and bad things, scary tales, and romantic dreams…but nothing compared me for falling head over heels in love with this city. I’ll update more specific and detailed blog posts later…but this messed jumble of words is my experience of Paris in a blur…I had in a sense only a brief taste of Paris, the beginning of what will begum a great love affair with a city that swept me off my feet.

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