Sunday, December 18, 2011

Distraction or inspiration?

Working as a screenwriter is hard. Imagine, if you will, inventing a location, populating it with believable and fascinating characters, and having it all fit into 110 pages which will capture what a story might look like once it's turned into a VISUAL form by a huge group of strangers called a Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Art Designer etc etc etc.

My head is about to explode and the deadline is the end of next week.

But I'll tell you what is the most difficult? Even worse than the tyranny of the blank computer screen (and this is what screenwriting is ALL ABOUT, so there's no point in whinging, but it's my blog, so I will) - the worse part is when I have to sit with the people who are paying me, and I have to listen to them discuss (for hours on end) the ways in which my characters could be better formed, and my story better constructed. They are often right, and often helpful, but that still doesn't lessen the bizarre hatred I feel for these "advisers" and "script doctors" and "consultants" who tell me that the character I've created is doing something out of character in my story.

Never before have I realised to what extent my experience as a mother can help me in a business setting. Keeping calm, cheerful, understanding and thankful in the face of hours of nerve-rattling disagreements - looks like it's my specialty.

The best part of screenwriting? Meeting amazing new people in the name of research. Anni - writer and artist extraordinaire - is my current inspiration, and has also introduced me to the joy of Miranda July:

Monday, November 21, 2011



A (television) program that promotes a product in an informative and supposedly objective way.

Here, here and here.

All upfront as "Sponsored by Nuffnang" and I don't for a moment believe they are lying in their posts. I actually like and use the product they're spruiking. But it's important to realise that when you write a gushing commentbox attached to a post such as this you become the equivalent of those clapping, smiling infomercial audience members. Only you're not getting paid, only enticed with the possibility of free goods. Not sure if it's worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

In which I return to my roots

No, this is not a post about having the roots of my hair touched up so as to cover up the grey. Although I did go to the hairdresser last week, and I must admit that it really cheered me up.

In this post I return to my commentbox roots.

I was first attracted to blogs because of those lovely little boxes at the end of each post. This past week I had occasion to disagree with a style blogger and I was about to move on without writing a comment because I feared the consequences of disagreeing with her.

I'm not talking about her tracking me down and, you know, beating me up, just that merely disagreeing with a blogger these days can often result in other readers' somewhat aggressive comments. I should point out here that this has never actually happened to me, but I've seen it happen to others, and I'm sensitive. In short - I have been worrying for two days now about the comment I left on this stylist's blog, even though it was very polite, not at all personal and received only a polite (although somewhat icy, remember I'm sensitive, overly so, always have been) response.

Have you ever had that niggling suspicion that disagreeing with a blogger in her commentbox is being mean? Do you think it's better not to write a comment at all in that case? AND - if so - does that explain the general trend in the Australian mummy and beauty blog spheres to adore each other to such an extent that everything becomes a love-fest of mutual admiration rather than an interesting potpourri of difference and genuine interest in the other point of view?

I have written very few commentboxes in my blog-life which made me cringe at a later date and wonder at my motivation. But lately I've been feeling cranky with the world, and I can feel it rubbing off on my commentbox persona. I think the problem may have started because I'm following many style blogs solely for research purposes, and these style bloggers have slowly become a part of my own style world, often to my own dismay. I'm following nailpolish addicts' blogs even as I inwardly sneer at their hobby (nobody, but nobody, is as obsessive as a nailpolish blogger). I'm following Australian style bloggers whose personal style actually makes my skin crawl, and yet there I am, day in, day out, apparently addicted to their regular posts even though they remind me how much ugly fashion there is in the world.

Do commentboxes take on a different meaning now that so many Australian style blogs are monetised ? Certainly if a personal blogger takes photos of herself in different outfits I would never ever write a remotely negative comment. But what if that blog is the blogger's business? And what if that outfit she's wearing, and the entire post, is in fact an advertisement (albeit honest) for a specific brand of clothing? So what is the etiquette in this case? Is it OK for the blog's readers to post only positive comments out of politeness?

I'm not certain. But I'm too scared to find out. I'm sensitive you know.

E x

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

When a man loves a woman

Here's my favourite trailer for "Drive" - I highly recommend this film. It's a superb character study, a very romantic love story, and you can just close your eyes during the couple of violent episodes (it's only make-believe you know).

(P.S. The trailers for "Drive" have been the subject of some controversy, which is ridiculous in my humble opinion. Oh, and the claim of antisemitism was a surprise to me as I hadn't picked up on that at all.)

Ryan Gosling's performance reminds me of John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever". Have a look at this clip, especially his expression when he's driving in the car with Stephanie after she's been crying. And then, when they sit on the bench and she kisses his cheek - the look on his face and the tears in his eyes are so wonderful.

By the way, this post also counts as a style post as these two men are incredibly stylish. I love how the clip below includes Travolta's complaint that his father ruined his hairstyle.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cat eye

A perfect example of how the right pair of glasses can magically add interest and style to an outfit.

I recently purchased cat eye spectacles and will soon post photos, they are part of the Betsey Johnson range.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

25 ways to wear a scarf

Thought you'd love this!

E x

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oktoberfest guest post (!)

If anyone out there has been wondering what good ol' Eurolush has been up to since the move from Europe back to the US this summer, this blog post will update you on just that very subject. (If no one's been wondering--and you have no idea who Eurolush is--know these things: she is someone who discusses herself in the third person. She has no concept of portion-size. She has eaten her weight in pastries. She takes gulps from the cup of life/glass of beer. There.That's all you need to know.)

Really, though. Let me assure you all that, I, the-artist-formerly-known-as-Eurolush, have been keepin' it real back in the good ol' US of A.

As you can plainly see, Mr. Lush and I are acclimating well to our new lives in California. Together, we're embracing our new environs, fitting in as best we can, and leaving all things "Germany" behind.

FACT: You can take the Lushes out of Germany, but you can't take the Germany out of the Lushes. NEIN! So don't even try.

My trusty sidekick, Tex, is also here to report in that life in Northern California is, while not quite as interesting as life in the German countryside, quite nice. There are nearby parks to visit and a big backyard (complete with squirrels.)

All in all, the Lush Family is doing well. Life is good. We are happy.

My old blog is still up--and occasionally I visit it to remember what I once had. It's bittersweet, really. But I'm moving on. Slowly but surely.

Wherever you are, I hope life has been good to you, too. I wish you happiness and health--and all the best in everything you do.

Love to you all.


PS-All photos from Saturday night's Oktoberfest here in our little city--where Mr. Lush and I tore it up real good, so to speak.

PPS-I hear there are lots of mushrooms in these Northern California forests!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy new year

The Jewish new year begins tonight, so Shana Tova everyone. This is what my new year dinner looked like three years ago, and it will probably be very similar this year. My mother really is remarkable!

I thought this might be a suitable time of year to describe the particular style of clothing which I wear when I go to synagogue (I attend an Orthodox service), as well as the specific modesty requirements of very observant Jewish women. It's expected that women in my synagogue will wear skirts or dresses (preferably at or below the knee) and generally nothing too revealing (no sleeveless tops).

During my High School years I had several Lubavitch friends who followed very strict rules concerning their clothing. They wore only skirts, and all well below the knee, opaque stockings, and shirts with sleeves past the elbow and buttoned to the neck. This is easy to do in winter, but try doing that through the Sydney summer... it's a challenge.

The Rabbi and Rebbetzin of my synagogue have three daughters (now young women) who are all incredibly beautiful and very style-conscious. It never ceases to amaze me when I see them in synagogue how they manage to manipulate their dresses so as to fulfill both the religious and the style requirements. There is something breathtakingly sexy about a young woman who is dressed in a gorgeous, and yet HIGHLY modest manner. Really there is.

In any case, if I get a chance to chat with them tomorrow (in synagogue... it's not like church... nobody's quiet) I shall ask them if they follow any "frum" style blogs. I tried googling, but it seems I don't really know the key words to use. The best I could come up with is this, which shows you the types of skirts many religious women wear... and which leads straight back to the Man Repeller. Yes. It. Does.

I realised that the Man Repeller was Jewish when I saw several Jewish texts on a bookshelf in one of her videos. Then she mentioned on another video that "My Jewish parents are in the other room and will kill me when they find out that I have a film crew in my bedroom... and it's Saturday morning" (the Jewish Sabbath). Then I read this, and it made me jump up and down and clap gleefully. Because I have had exactly the same reaction to seeing the popularity of the "maxi skirt" this season - "Look at all those models looking like they're frum."

Shana tova everyone!

E x

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest blogger announcement

I am uber-proud to announce that, after much haggling over the fine print in her contract, a European celebrity has agreed to be an official guest-poster, right here - chez Eleanorfromthecommentbox.

Here's a clue.

O sweet joy.

O the anticipation!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My type of model

Introducing Nicole Thompson, my newly found fashion guru. No, not the model, that's the lovely Samantha Harris, but I'm interested in the make-up artist.

The photo originates here, where you can read a bit more about the fab Nicole T's make-up choices for her models earlier this year. But I don't really care about that, I really want to ask her about her glasses and her choice of earrings, and her penchant for black clothes and coloured pixie-cut hairstyles.

I heard Ms Thompson talk yesterday at IMATS. I was bewitched by both the artistry and personal style of this wonderful woman. She didn't wear glasses during her presentation, but as she raced past me later that day, rushing off to catch a cab to the airport to catch a plane to Paris for Fashion Week (as one does), I saw the glasses and they looked gorgeous. Crazy-mad size, but something about the shape and colour is just so right. Notice the earrings, yes, large sparkly earrings that really look wonderful. Something about the colour tone and shape which matches the look of the glasses without being all matchy-matchy.

I must also mention the hair colour, which was BRIGHT pink yesterday. Her eyebrows were pink too, and the look was endearing and looked perfectly natural on her.

Ms Thompson reminds me that I need to go bigger, shinier and braver. Be bold. Make a statement. Be passionate. Live life. And don't forget the glitter.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

For Jeanette, with thanks

I'm so excited about my new banner, isn't it wonderful?

It's a photo of a collage which the incredible (Swedish) Jeanette made for me. That's right, a Swedish blogger who I met over the Internet by happenchance actually made me this incredible piece and mailed it to me as a gift.

I tried to capture the use Jeanette made of her sewing and embroidery skills.... can you see the embroidered glasses? It's astonishing how they look exactly like my favourite glasses (which I shall feature in this post). Jeanette and I have never met in person, and yet I can't help but feel a strong sense of sisterhood with her. Thanks J!

So here I go...

This is me without glasses and without makeup. I can't wear any eye makeup whatsoever (due to my eye condition), and this used to annoy me a lot. But I got over it. The miracle of sight should be enough to make me happy, the use of eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow isn't crucial. Although that being said, many women have told me they could not survive without mascara.

Here are my favourite everyday glasses: Moscot Dannee (black). I purchased them over a year ago in New York but Moscot is now available in Australia. This old-school style is in fashion now, and yet I reckon I'll be wearing them for as long as they last (and the quality is second to none, they've survived many accidents).

Here I am posing in Miss CB's room as I wanted to show you her Ms Pacman. So cute. My hair's longer now and I'm enjoying it.
This was taken several weeks ago when it was still chilly enough for a coat. The coat was on sale at Jigsaw, the black skinny jeans are from French Connection and the flats are brand new from Trenery (Miya leather ballet). I must say the flats were a great buy because the colour is fabulous and they're very comfortable.

I can't help but add that those black skinny jeans are a miracle because I usually cannot get skinny jeans past my calf, and if I do they cut off the circulation to my upper body. I'm usually a size 14 in trousers but I bought these in 16 and they're amazing. It's hard to see but they have a triangular patch detail on each knee which is very flattering and also stops that knee-saggy look I often get with tight trousers after I've worn them a few times.

In celebration of the fact that I have finally FINALLY posted these photos I'd like to do a giveaway. But I don't have anything to give away. Oh well, to make up for it let me recommend that you pop over to Nikki at Stylingyou and enter her shoe giveaway. It's open to Australian and INTERNATIONAL entries!!!

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Following my new interest in beauty blogs (I know, I can't believe it either) I'm planning to do a series of posts about glasses. I have worn glasses since I was 5 years old, and due to a condition called blepharitis (basically really really dry eyes) I can't wear contacts or have that laser surgery. So I have recently embraced my glasses as important accessories which I need to change with my mood and clothing, much as you might think of jewellery. Of course, for this I will need to take photographs, ugh, so time consuming, so it will have to wait. But I promise to do it soon.

In the meantime I thought you might like to check out two beauty blogs which I have recently discovered and which are prime examples of the way beauty bloggers should, ideally, be wielding their power. They are both Sydney gals, which makes it doubly fabulous.

Here is Swatchgirl's post about a new Sportsgirl nailpolish. I rarely see negative feedback in beauty posts, so thanks Swatchgirl for keeping it real. It seems that most bloggers would much rather review items which are sent to them and which they like, kind of. So a lot of posts go something like this: "Look what just arrived in my postbox - three lipsticks by X! Wow, so cool, you'll love them and I really love them too, because they're fun colours and moisturising." Boooooring. BUT, I get it, because blogger can't afford to buy all the products they'd like to try. The whole point is that you get sent stuff for free, which means that those products ALWAYS come with strings attached. A free product can never be given the same objective appraisal as one you had to pay for with your own hard-earned cash. No such thing as a free lunch ladies.

I wonder if there are any really rich beauty bloggers out there who review stuff they buy. Now that would be an awesome blog!! How generous would that be?

Moving right along Fantasy Lane.....

Fifi is my latest love. Not only is she a Sydney gal, but she actually writes about the clothes shops at my local shopping centre. After reading this post, I raced to my local Sportgirl and bought that striped skirt and it is BLOODY AWESOME thankyouverymuch. Perhaps I shall take a photo of me in the skirt one day?

I hardly recognise myself.

E x

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm And Lift!

I found a scientist (with a PhD in wound healing) who has a beauty blog.

I am jubilant.

Seek and ye shall find.

I shall now wait patiently for her review of the scientific studies behind Jurlique's new cream. She says that she will report more once she sees the criteria they used for assessing skin firmness.

I love this woman.

The blogworld never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

An old-school blogger goes to the Nuffnang Blogopolis

I flew down to Melbourne on Saturday to attend this event. I'm intrigued by the new direction of blogging and wanted to see what it was all about.

Well, dear reader, it's still all about community, but with a whole lot of money thrown into the picture as well.

It's not a bad picture, really it isn't. But it is very different from the blog world I discovered 5 years ago.

The monetising (such a great word) is not a sell-out, really it isn't. It simply refers to a change in the AIM of the average blogger. The average blogger can now see her blogging (yes, the majority of bloggers are still women) as a legitimate career. I have no doubt that our grandchildren will be shocked to hear that we ever thought the job "blogger" was any different to journalist, photographer, food critic or teacher.

That being said, it's an end of an era in which a group of women shared their lives and stories while hidden from the view of the vast marketplace. If you have a popular blog nowadays you would be foolish not to make money from your talent and very hard work. But this will also necessarily mean that you'll be advertising products. Sigh.

This is most obvious in the world of the mummy-blogger and the beauty-blogger.

I could have used a mummy-blog in the early nineties when my babes were born, but alas it was not to be. So I'm so very happy for the mothers of 2011 that they have these fabulous blogs to which to turn for support, advice and laughter. Now they'll also be advised on the best nappies, formula, food and bath-bubbles. And there's nothing wrong with that, it's a business, and that's fine. Just a little sad, but only if you're still living in 2005 (as I do, from time to time, purely for the purpose of nostalgia).

Concerning beauty blogs. Let me state from the outset that I LOVE BEAUTY BLOGS. I like the big ones and the small ones, I love the arm swatches and posed fingernails and close-ups of lips. I love the camaraderie and joy and exuberant love of life. But most of all I love how SUBVERSIVE they are. Because, dear reader, beauty bloggers are starting to control (rather than follow) the market. They are bypassing those glossy magazines with the airbrushed ads and the snotty, up-selling department store counters and they are truly making history.

I asked Nikki from Stylingyou (one of my new beauty blogger crushes. I have many.) what she saw as the beauty blogger future. She responded by saying that it will be "explosive," and I absolutely agree. She backed this claim up with two of her personal experiences in the industry. Firstly, she was recently asked to speak to a group of beauty PR reps; that's right, they asked her to explain the new industry to them! Secondly, she cannot get any glossy mag to publish an article about beauty bloggers because they are seen as direct competition. 'Nuf said.

But. There's always a but.

Beauty blogs can be used for evil as well as for good. As the line between product sponsorship and personal style becomes blurred so does the definition of female beauty. In a world of cosmetics in which there exists a product for every perceived flaw (and I'm emphasising the word "perceived" here), will beauty bloggers at some point take a stand? Draw a line in the sand and refuse to cross it? I hope so, but I haven't so far found anyone who will bravely proclaim where a woman's beauty stops and a marketer's ploy begins. I'm not sure any of us know that yet.

So here is a ray of hope, and a tiny bit of encouragement to any beauty bloggers out there. Maybe more of a challenge than mere encouragement. I challenge beauty bloggers, once in a while, and only when they are genuinely moved to do so, to notice the NATURAL beauty of a woman's face and to document it in a post. I still want all the products, because I love that stuff, and that stuff makes me feel prettier and happier a lot of the time. But with a dash of the real stuff thrown in too, because that's what it's really about.

On that note, I'd like to present a portrait of Adele Horin (an Aussie journalist):

Painted by Stephanie Brown:

Which I found after I was inspired by Adele Horin's article celebrating the true beauty of the late, dear Margaret Olley:

A truly beautiful woman.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Current obsession

Poppy talks about a leopard print scarf, and I'm all about these shoes.

I'm intrigued by these custom-made shoes. But I think looking at their website might be more fun than actually ordering a pair. And much cheaper too, of course.

Also, I lied about the lipsticks I bought. I also bought this one, never owned a coral colour before. It looks much more subtle on my skin tone, really, I swear.

And I bought another one. But I'll keep that for the next post.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Psst...over here...sshhhh....


yeah you,

come closer,

all right,

now without making any sudden moves, and without even glancing at the "Seven" post, go read Duyvken's comment to the "Writing tips" post.

Duyvken is, from today, and hereafter, like, forever, my mystical GURU. She is the learned elder who will always have the answer to my most complex numerological ponderings. She is The One.

And her family is the only original Seven. Duyvken took the number Seven and materialised it. She is that powerful. Stupid Posh doesn't know the half of the true meaning of Seven (no, it's not three and a half, silly).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Writing tips

Dance in front of the mirror to this song.

Guaranteed to rid you of writer's block.

Monday, July 11, 2011


The Beckhams named their baby Harper Seven. I understand Harper, OK, it's a bit of a trend at the moment. Everyone loves to love "To Kill A Mockingbird," you know, the author Harper Lee and then Scout is also making a showing. Not my cup of tea, but I can deal with Harper, and I'm even willing to look the other way and smile at Scout.

But Seven?


A number is not a name. I don't care if it's the number on the shirt of her really, really talented soccer-playing Daddy. I don't care if she was born at 7am on the the 7th of the 7th. Surely they must have accumulated a wonderful list of girls' names by now, surely they realise that girls' names are the most wonderful names to choose, so much more fun than choosing boys' names, really, especially after you've had three boys.

Seven? Seven is a movie starring Brad Pitt, with Gwyneth Paltrow's severed head in a box.

What has happened to the truly meaningful tradition of naming one's child after a dearly loved relative who has passed away? Call me an egoist but it gives me great joy to imagine that my great-great-great-granddaughter might be called Eleanor, in my memory.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The commentbox support structure

Thanks Duyvken for your help with the title of this post (aka "commentbox support structure"). Now everyone go and look at her latest photo of JW, so so good.

Also please take a moment to sit in silence in front of your screen and contemplate the tragic loss to the blogosphere of one Eurolush. I've had to go cold turkey since she left Germany, and I'm not doing very well. Doctor says the shakes and sweats will soon stop, but this rehab crap is not really working for me. Nobody can ever take Eurolush's place.

I'm writing this commentbox support structure from my bed at 9am Saturday. In front of me the window shutters are wide open, framing the bright sunny sky and the treetops - a wattle in full yellow bloom and young pinkish eucalyptus leaves. I love a Sydney winter. When I first arrived in Australia from Israel (I was 8) it was winter, and I couldn't get over how strange it was to see super-bright sunshine and feel the cold. Sydney winter sun is one of my favourite things in the whole world.

I just finished writing my first draft of the rom-com!! It was well received and I'm now into what is known in the industry as "a polish". Do not be fooled by the friendly vibe of the word "polish", it's fancy producer-talk for a quick rewrite, but it's not bad... you see, the great thing about screenwriting is that you always get a chance to rewrite. It's actually a luxury to know that what you write is always a "draft" and will change depending on your collaboration with producer, director, actor etc etc. It is never, by definition, "perfect" or "finished." Phew.

I pity the novelist who sits in her room for years working by herself. I get three months to write all on my lonesome and then I get to sit in a cafe and talk about my imaginary characters with a producer. We spent two hours discussing characters I had made up!!! Only the other day I was told that something I had my character do was "out of character," and you know what? I agreed with the criticism and changed it accordingly, and then I also had a good laugh because I had apparently written a character who was so fully rounded that the reader actually thought she KNEW him and could PREDICT what he would or wouldn't do. I'm very happy.

One of my characters loves makeup, so I've had to do research. Poor me, hanging out at cosmetics counters, chatting with makeup girls and guys, testing products. I even started using cosmetics as rewards for myself. Upon finishing each act, I allowed myself to purchase one item. And a few besides. This is the first time I have ever been paid to write so my spending has taken on a different feel.

I know, you want to know what I bought.

Illamasqua lipstick in "Climax." It's very matte, so I've had to be vigilant with my lip balm usage. I wouldn't usually go for this type of pink but the sales guy was the most gorgeous, sweet young man and talked me into it. I love it. Illamasqua's motto "make-up for your alter ego," how good is that? Also love their nailpolish colours, especially the bright green "Smash".

Becca creme blush in Turkish Rose is fab. Becca's an Aussie brand which is actually more popular overseas. Go figure.

I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser every day now. LOVE.

My new beauty guru, attention ladies, because this gal will change your beauty life as you know it, please give a warm welcome to Miss Zoe Foster. She just came out with a book which I highly recommend - "Amazing Face." I've bought a copy for myself, my daughter, my nieces, and I even went and stood in line to meet Zoe and have her sign them. Check out her videos on that Penguin link, she's adorable. And her blog-writing style is so funny. Not even close to being as witty and funny as Eurolush, but, you know, nobody comes close to our beloved Eurolush.

My new fave fashion blogger is The Man Repeller.

My most inexplicable addiction is to the tweeting of the Swatchaholic. She lives in Germany, loves her Starbucks, and is totally crazy-mad-loopy about nail polishes. I'm not that into nailpolishes (I still bit my nails) but something about this gal makes me happy, maybe her constant optimism as each new season brings with it new jellies, duochromes, dupes and lemmings.

In other breaking news.... Miss CB and I are heartbroken. We had been relying on Natalie Portman to choose a "real" name for her baby boy. In a world in which Apple and Egypt have become acceptable names for innocent, blameless babies we thought Natalie would lead the way to a better, rational naming world. Not so. Do not be fooled by well-meaning and politically correct journalists, "Aleph" is NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN a Hebrew/Jewish name for a child. It is the name of the first letter of the alphabet, as A, B and C are in English. Sure, it has esoteric meaning, I studied Jewish Mysticism in university and yes.... all Hebrew letters have a great deal of profound religious significance..... but that doesn't mean that tattooing them on your body (I'm looking at you Posh) is the way to go. Neither is using them as names. Rant over.

Or maybe not. Because, you know what? There are so many beautiful Biblical names to use that hearken back to matriarchs and patriarchs and heroes of the Jewish world. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, David, Michael, Saul, Samuel, Noam, Itamar, Joshua, Solomon. For starters. Just saying.

And perhaps the coffee I just drank was a tad too strong. I seem to be ranting.

Signing off.

E x

Monday, June 6, 2011


I read this post featuring Edith Drake, and I watched the little clip in which she introduces her husband Ervin. I adore the way she pauses for a moment before saying his name, she could be on stage with that introduction. As Ervin Drake mentioned the songs he's composed my jaw dropped. You can pass someone on the street and you just don't know who they might be.

I love this story about how Sinatra decided to sing "When I was 17 it was a very good year..." Then I googled "A room without windows" because I'm not familiar with it. Would you believe it was written for a musical called "What makes Sammy run?" which is about a screenwriter. So here it is, I simply adore this song, and I think it's even more timely today as we're bombarded with different types of windows on electronic screens.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Even Though I'm A Woman

I think it was Kim from Allconsuming who put me onto "Seeker, Lover, Keeper" last week. Thanks Kim!! This song is a particular favourite, the video is genius, pure and simple genius. This one is also bloody awesome.

I'm writing a romantic comedy screenplay at the moment, so these two songs are a perfect match. I have a question for any of you who are in the mood to write a comment:

Are there any hygiene/grooming habits of men that you really detest? Please tell me. Does a monobrow give you the shits? Smelly feet? Long hair? Back hair? Nasal hair? I'm collecting anecdotes. Help me if you can.

E xxxx

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Journeymama has launched her first novel and it is now available for purchase.

Go visit her here and follow the links.

Quick, go, run.

"The Eve Tree" awaits you.

You'll fall in love with Molly, Jack, Catherine and the entire family. And you will cry buckets of tears. The good kind of tears, you know, those tears that remind you how amazing life is.

Happy reading all, and congratulations Rae - may you and your characters go from strength to strength.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Journeymama's words from her novel:
"Catherine continued. 'We don't all have the same vessel to work with. If you're pouring dribbles from your leaky tin cup, but you keep on filling and pouring, it counts the same as when you're a sea that breaks waves over all the folks around you.'
Molly stared at her mother."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Eve Tree

"She understood history and that hidden cord that tied mother to daughter for generations upon end. But Molly was a woman with an aversion to the ladder that Catherine's life offered her. She would rather climb a sheer rock face than admit she was accepting rung after rung of help from her mother."

Journeymama's words, from her first novel.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Eve Tree

Journey Mama launches her book on May 25th (this Wednesday).

I have been reading Rae's blog for the last four years; her words and photographs have brought me so much joy. Throughout those years Rae was also busy writing her first novel, and I always hoped that I would one day get to read it.

So here's proof that dreams do come true. Never mind Rae's dream of having a published novel, I'm talking about my dream of reading it. Priorities people, priorities. It's all about me.

I'm fortunate enough to have a copy of "The Eve Tree" in my greedy little hands today and I'm already loving it so much (I'm about a quarter of the way in) that I'm trying to slow my reading down. I'm also marking pages which I particularly love, here's one sentence I want to swaddle and cuddle and tell it just how much I love it:

"She told cheese tales and yogurt yarns, she saved up praise from customers like oats, to throw into her does' feed bags while she sat with them."

For the next three days, leading up to the launch, I'll be pitching a few of Rae's gorgeous gems your way. Small, beautifully polished teasers. Perfectly crafted, fire-burnished diamonds.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Coffeelady

If I could get my act together I would magic up a lovely new banner and start my fourth blogging year with a bang. Oh well, not this month, but eventually. Perhaps. I need a new template which won't squash my videos and I need to fix up some old links. My blog is a reflection of my real house - serviceable, comfortable, and in need of repair and some tender loving care.

When I started blogging it wasn't fashionable, it was actually considered to be kind of weird and creepy. I was too embarrassed to tell my friends. I often thought there might be something wrong with me because I loved it so much. I was afraid that it was a symptom of my introverted nature, which I realise now (duh) is not actually an illness. I'm allowed to be introverted, it's OK.

And that reminds me of my first blog get-together in Melbourne when I got up and belly-danced. As I returned to my seat I turned to Suse and said "You know, I'm actually an introvert," and she laughed her lovely head off. It shocked me that she laughed so hard. Good times I tell you, good times.

Which reminds me of my last visit to Manhattan. Before I left I had brunch with my brother-in-law and his partner who asked me what I had done during my visit. I briefly described the time I spent with my blog friends Blackbird, Eurolush and the lurker B. They were thrilled with my stories and wrote me an email afterwards saying that I was one of the coolest people they know. And, I must tell you, they are two Ultra Cool Guys, I mean one of them is a stylist and the other advised me on the best place to buy vintage-style glasses. Need I say more?

So things have changed a lot here in blogland. One of my friends said to me the other day "You should start a blog!" That really made me laugh. There are also a whole bunch of Aussie bloggers who only started a year or two ago and have NO IDEA that there are Aussie bloggers who have been around for years and years and have an entire network of international blog-buddies. I mean, I consider myself an apprentice to the great Aussie bloggers in my network, and I worship at their feet. Those newcomers are clueless. Also, they use their real names. I mean, how boring is that? I mean sure Kim is Kim, but she's really Kim From Allconsuming; and Mary is still totally Blue Mountains Mary in my mind. Yeah, I know, I'm really Eleanor. But YOU DON'T KNOW MY LAST NAME. That's the fun, it's a secret society, I mean honestly, can you imagine Blackbird or Duyvken or Eurolush or Babelbabe or Coffeelady being anything but? Pfftt.

Maybe Twitter has something to do with it? Yes, I think it might. In Twitter you're meant to look up a person YOU KNOW or HAVE HEARD OF and follow them. And all these famous people and business people are using it to be popular. Oh please, that's so not blogging. Blogging is about making connections over a period of time by using serendipity in combination with kindness, humour and a sprinkling of craft. The craft of blogging, or (in my case especially) the craft of commentbox filling. It's not a popularity contest, it's friendship.

Of course, everything changes. Of course it does.

The nanny next door has moved on to her next baby. Blue barks at my neighbour's kitchen window because he doesn't trust the new nanny yet. She's a gorgeous young thing who we see through the window as she texts in-between making her charges their breakfast. Ninny never texted, she only called people, in emergencies. Things change.

Eurolush will be leaving Germany in a month. Can you believe it? I know, I mean, if that doesn't make you realise that things change then what does? But you know what's even crazier? The idea that if I hadn't taken that "risk" and started blogging I would never have met Eurolush. I would never have known that a person like her (well, she is her, there's only one Eurolush, but you know what I mean) existed in a tiny German village. Sometimes I think she exists only for my benefit, a cute little virtual Eurolush who came into my blogworld when I needed her most - to make me smile and laugh and be extremely jealous. My own tiny dancer, my own little Eurolush marionette with a plastic beer mug glued to her hand, my own Eurolush garden gnome who scares the crap out of me when she suddenly winks, my own Eurolush paper doll with a dirndl and a mushroom toy and a cute paper Tex to take on walks.

I'm going to stop now.

E x

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I chose a few of the highlights of my first year or two blogging. Whether you were here then or whether you're new to my blog, I send you my heartfelt thanks for such a wonderful time.

My first post.

Remember the Nanny Next Door story? I just heard that Ninny is leaving soon and I shall miss her terribly. You know where she's going? To look after the baby of her very first baby. That's right, the little baby girl she cared for when she first arrived in Australia is expecting her own baby in a couple of months and has asked Ninny to help her. Mary Poppins was right about nannies leaving when the wind changes, but I bet she never dreamt of such a lovely breeze as this.

Remember A Cache of Jewels? Here's the first in the series.

I was prolific back then. Wow.

The first time I ever wrote a poem "on demand".

The best limerick I ever wrote. And I've written a few.

Ellie's poem. With love. The photo of Ellie's castle is still on my screensaver.

Thanks for three years of magic, and here's hoping for many more to come.

Eleanor from your commentbox xxxxxxxx

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another day

One more day until my 3 year blogaversary.

Can you believe it?

Here's a happy song to dance to while you wait.

E x

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aussie humour

When I was in Manhattan last year I was giving a friend instructions on how to get to my apartment; I told her "There's a Starbucks on the corner," and she laughed hysterically.

Because there is a Starbucks on every single corner.

This clip perfectly captures what I love about the Aussie sense of humour.

Strangely, it also makes me miss Manhattan.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Stop what you're doing, sit down, watch these videos.
Isn't the (blog) world a wonderful place?
So much beauty.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This painting by Grace Cossington Smith is called "The sock knitter". It was the first painting this young Australian artist exhibited in 1915.

I've seen this painting many times and always loved it. It calms and soothes me. Upon my return from Sewjourn last Monday I suddenly felt a need to revisit the painting. It captures the feeling I had as I sat in the studio with my fellow bloggers and concentrated on my newfound hobby - crochet.

I think I'm the quietest of the bloggers at Sewjourn. I adored sitting on the brown velvet sofa at the edge of the room and listening to the chatter and laughter. I spoke up once or twice, when I felt like it, but mostly I just listened and loved.

I suppose that listening and loving has been my hobby for many years now, and is probably the reason I was first attracted to blogs and their commentboxes. When I read a person's blog I can get that rare and wonderful insight into her view of life, and there's no pressure to comment back. Oh I know, there are statistics to think of, blog traffic and number of hits and commentbox counters. But my favourite thing is to read, listen, ponder, love.... and then put some words into a box and send it on its way.

Sewjourn reminded me how important it is to slow down and take time to just listen and feel and think. It doesn't necessary help or solve, it doesn't always improve or illuminate, but that's all right. There's no rush.

Blogging often feels like a mad rush. Quickly typing up experiences before they're forgotten, linking, photographing, inserting. And yet blogging, at its very best, has led me to wonderful moments of quiet appreciation such as my treasured trips to Sewjourn. Moments of reflection in the midst of a group of women I could only have met via blogging.

That little commentbox of mine has taken me on a series of memorable journeys, all of them beginning with a quiet which is captured so perfectly by the sock knitter.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oscars II

This series of posts is inspired by the recent Academy Awards. But I should warn you, when I watch the awards and think of the films my mind wanders in its own unique... how shall I put it ... direction.

This explains why I found Natalie Portman's walk up the stairs to the stage so very moving, and why this is the highlight of the Best Actress Award as far as I'm concerned. It reminds me of when I was pregnant with my first baby - Ms. Portman's partner's gesture reminds me of my own darling Mr. CB's gentle care as I made my way up and down the stairs to and from our tiny apartment. Naturally, I was HUGE in my last trimester, would never have fitted into any evening gown of any description, was often in a foul mood, and spent a lot of time worrying. But that's another story.

So these are my thoughts on "Black Swan" - a window into my strange imagination.

Firstly, I should mention that I saw "Black Swan" with my father, and that in itself merits an award. I knew that my dad wasn't enjoying himself, and I knew he wouldn't like the film. But he needed to see it for his work, and my mother refused to see it, so I joined him. My father worries about me during violent scenes (he forbade me from seeing "Kill Bill" years ago and was terribly disconcerted when I told him that I loved it). So every time something vile occurred in the film, which was quite often, I could feel him trying to stop himself from embracing me protectively and insisting that I leave the cinema. The lesbian sex scene was uncomfortable for completely different reasons, it just felt so wrong to be sitting next to my dad as those two girls went for it. For what it's worth, heterosexual sex scenes are just as uncomfortable, but that was no consolation at the time.

Secondly, I have a history of EXTREME EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT to ballet stories and films. I never took a ballet class in my life and never will, but the world of the ballerina has always intrigued me.

My friend O. and I (my Russian schoolfriend who would eventually introduce me to Mr. CB, who is Russian too) had a huge crush on Baryshnikov for many years. Needless to say, when Mr. CB first introduced himself to me and I heard his Russian accent, and he told me that he had studied ballet as a boy... well.... need I say more?

But I digress.

So maybe you've seen the film "The Turning Point"? It was written by Arthur Laurents. Or "White Nights"? Written by James Goldman. O. and I did, many many times.

And of course you've seen "Flashdance," please tell me you've seen "Flashdance." The scene at 4:20 in this video made me immediately tear all of my sweatshirts and practice pirouettes, and the scene in 8:50 is a favourite.

Yes, I come to "Black Swan" with a lot of baggage. I liked the film for what it was - part thriller, part horror, part fantasy. But I missed the love, the laughter, the romance and the heartbreak of my favourite ballet films.

At first I thought it was misogynistic, and the first twenty minutes really are relentless in that regard. But then the story takes off and I found myself immersed in the crazed world of this artist who succumbs to absolute perfectionism in her dark world of manipulative and egotistical colleagues. It captured my imagination and my interest, but it left my heart untouched.

I yearned for poor Natalie to be given a friend or a loving father, or if not then at least a bit of a sense of humour. I needed to let go of some of the angst and horror and have a little laugh; the contrast would have made the story all the more powerful.

Dancing should bring light as well as darkness into the world of both the dancer and audience; couldn't the tiniest crack of sunlight be allowed into the world of "Black Swan"? No. That was not part of Aronofsky's vision, and that's fine. I can live with that.

Here is a palate cleanser:

Baryshnikov and Hines dancing together in "White Nights." Because life's too short to see only the black swan side of life.


Can you imagine how O. and I felt when, MANY years later, we saw this scene in "Sex and the City"? Apparently we were not alone in our Baryshnikov obsession!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Oh come on, you didn't think I'd miss out on an Oscars post did you?

It'll have to be a series of short posts.

So, firstly - I hope you all watched Natalie Portman's acceptance speech. If not then here it is for your viewing pleasure. The woman is a true artist, and her performance in "Black Swan" was indeed Oscar-worthy, and look at her style and grace.

But the thing I love the most about this clip is the moment when her partner Benjamin Millepied, bless him, walked with her to the stairs with his arm supporting her ever-so-gently and then extended it in a graceful, understated movement to ensure that she was all right going up the stairs. Such a gentlemanly gesture brings tears to my eyes.

More to come.

I promise.


Six beautiful women from my community (the Sydney Jewish community that is... I actually belong to several communities... this blog-world being one of them too, of course) have spent years gathering recipes, testing them, and translating them into this beautiful book.

One of these woman is a treasured friend of mine, and she is also pedantic about the details and success of her recipes. Having eaten in her home many times, and knowing the pride and joy she takes in perfecting her hospitality I guarantee that each and every recipe in this book is a gem. It's also gorgeous, like she is - the photos which show the most beautiful hands... they're hers.

In my domestic world in which cooking is a drag and food is an annoying necessity, this book comes as a timely reminder to return to my roots and enjoy my time in the kitchen once again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011




I met dear Duyvken via her blog almost three years ago, she is a spectacular woman and I feel so honoured to share in her joy today.

JOY and LOVE xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jive talking

My sweet friend who just turned 30 wants to know if she should have a baby. How will she able to tell if it's the right decision for her and her husband? Now? Later? Will she regret the decision, whatever it is she does decide, in the end?

I met an old school-friend of mine (O) for brunch this morning. We've known each other since we were 13 years old, we each have two children, we are completely different from each other. I told her about my sweet 30-year-old friend and she smiled the same smile I smiled when I first heard the question. "You don't decide. In this case, you just act," she said, with a sigh. We wondered how this same, beautiful, serious, ambitious, talented, loving young woman had decided to get married. We were quite certain it didn't involve a pros and cons table typed neatly on a sheet of pristine white paper.

I keep thinking about the question. It's a woman's question, ultimately a woman's decision - when is a good time to try and create a brand-new person, from nothing? A person who will grow up to be different to you. The 30-year-old says she knows that she'll hate being pregnant, I can't argue with that - how she might feel is just that, how she might feel. Babies bring mess and stress and a lot of disorganisation; that's hard if you enjoy your neat, quiet house and your romantic couple time. So maybe it's not such a good idea to make a human being, you know, a person, one moment there's no person and then, suddenly, voila, a new person living and breathing and always, always, someone you never expected to make.

It is better to remain silent.

Our little blogging sphere is packed to the brim with "mommy bloggers," and I love them. I wish that I had the Internet when my children were younger; I was stuck with Dr. Penelope Leach and Dr. Berry Brazelton on pay TV, and my much-thumbed copy of "What To expect the First Year." When I was pregnant with Ms CB I knew NOTHING about babies, I hadn't even babysat any little kids. I was naive and silly and really, looking back, it's kind of crazy how little I knew and how happy I was.

In this case, the men (our loving, caring, adored partners through those crazy years) may actually know better than us - sometimes not talking about stuff can be much much better.

Or maybe not.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We told so many lies it's hard to know what's the truth

As you can see, I'm on a rom-com film binge. It's for work, really it is. What? It is! In the name of research I'm reading every rom-com script I can find, and then watching the films.

I had the terrible misfortune of watching this film yesterday. It is so repulsive that I felt like disinfecting myself after viewing it. Its premise is that no matter how selfish, mean and stupid a man is, as long as he looks like Patrick Dempsey then he's the man of every woman's dreams. Can you hear that sound? It's me. Retching. The final straw for me, the final so unfunny gag which made me yell obscenities at my TV screen was the addition of an overweight bridesmaid who was repeatedly humiliated for no other reason than to make the stupid Patrick Dempsey-like morons in the audience laugh. Oh look, a fat girl trying to fit into a bridesmaid's dress that's a size too small for her, oh look how funny - a fat girl sitting down and ripping her dress at her friend's wedding, because you know she's so fat and that's like so incredibly funny.

In an attempt to erase all memory of this shocking film I returned to an old favourite, my darling Peter Weir's "Green Card."

Dear Mr. Weir,

You make my heart sing with your delicate understanding of what makes love so beautiful and so funny and sweet and charming.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

and please write and direct another romantic comedy,

I'm begging you,


Eleanor x

The climactic ending (which in a rom-com is never ever a sexual climax, but you probably knew that already) of "Green Card" has this music by Hans Zimmer. It's called "Instinct," which is what Gerard tries to teach Andie to follow.

Here it is:

And, finally, here's a link to a blog which celebrates the beauty of Andie/Bronte's garden in the film. Mary would have loved to photograph that garden, but that's another story.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hey Duyvken,

If Rock doesn't quite fit the baby there's always Cary... or Grant..

E x

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"The most sparkling sexcapade that ever winked at convention"

I'm a Valentine Day's scrooge, hate it, can't stand it. You could probably tell that from my previous post. The only thing I hate more than Valentine's Day is public marriage proposals. I think that proposing to your loved one in public is akin to having sex on national TV, because intimacy is always better when it's shared with a million strangers. Ugh.

In any case, here's the most divine trailer for "Pillow Talk," a movie from an era which understood something about romance and love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This is not Hollywood, this is my life.

This is not Hollywood,

There is no camera in my room.

This is not Hollywood,

Flowers grow before they bloom.

Kasey Chambers (another Aussie) whose song "Hollywood" reminds me of my grandpa's phrase - "The most bitter truth is better than the sweetest lie."

Love is not a Hallmark card. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It doesn't really matter if you're rich or you're poor if you're dancing in a circle that's been danced in before.

I just discovered Clare Bowditch and I love her so much. And she's Aussie, yay!

She has another song which I can't find on the net, but I bought it (it's in the same album as the song below) and I'm telling you - it cracks me up. It's called "I Think I Lost My Product" and it instantly makes me giggle.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Childhood sweethearts

Oh, first... the movie I quoted in the last post was "The Apartment." It's a fun film with a young Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine; it's often described as a classic so I finally watched it with Miss CB last night. So lovely!

But today Miss CB and I saw "Tamara Drewe" at the local cinema. I'm telling you, never before has a film had such a powerfully depressive effect on the two of us. First of all, that music you hear at the beginning of the trailer - those xylophone-like tones - are repeated throughout the entire film ad nauseum. And the trailer lies, as does the title, because Tamara Drewe is NOT the protagonist. No she's not. She's the sexiest looking woman in the film, and she sleeps with the most men in the film, but that's about it. That sums up her character. She's this fabulous journalist who comes back to the little village where she grew up, and where she lost her virginity, and then she sleeps with a famous drummer and a famous writer (who's married to the only fully rounded character in the film, and who should really be the protagonist, but isn't quite, probably because her boobs are a bit saggy and she's a fully rounded character). And then, suddenly, out of the blue, Tamara turns around and chooses the guy who helped her lose her virginity all those years ago. How lovely.

Tonight, we watched "Sweet Home Alabama" because it just happened to start at the same time as we collapsed on the sofa after dinner. Here's another young woman who returns to her childhood home after having found fame and fortune in the big city. She also has a guy there who she grew up with, and yes they were lovers from way back, and there's fun and love and lots of character development. I know, I know, I know, it's a silly Hollywood romantic comedy, but shoot me if I don't prefer that every single time to a pretentious, fake, non-rom-com, protagonist-less British film about a bunch of wanky writers who can't control their sexual urges.


I like to look up films at rottentomatoes to see what the critics thought, and to my utter disbelief it looks like I'm in the minority here. Look at Tamara Drewe vs. Alabama. I wonder if it's because there are usually many more male film critics? Or maybe I'm just shallow. Either way, it took me three hours to shake myself out of my bad mood after watching TD, and that's just not a good cinematic experience, whatever the critics say.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A classic romantic comedy

"When you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara."

Anybody know what film that comes from?

Here's a hint:

The protagonist of this film strains his spaghetti with a tennis racket.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It oughtta be illegal

I have a confession to make.

I adore, no, I ADORE, the Bee Gees. When I was around eleven years old my family would go on a different "country walk" every Sunday (we lived in England at the time), otherwise it would have been a bushwalk. But I digress. There was always a long drive to the start of the country walk and so my parents would play music (cassettes) and it was invariably either the Carpenters or the Bee Gees. I would look out the window and dream about love.

So now I'm in the middle of working on an idea for a romantic comedy, and like a homing pigeon I find myself coming back to the Bee Gees. I've been listening to this Barry Gibb / Barbra Streisand duet so many times that I think my family is beginning to worry. Barry is my favourite, isn't he lovely? Can't wait for Eurolush's comments on the white outfits!!

This is another, more recent, song which I'm listening to a lot. Shhh... don't tell anyone OK?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!!

"This is a man we're talking about, right?"

Monday, January 31, 2011

We stayed up, 'til 10 o'clock

This is for any of you who are parenting teenagers who just went back to school this week. I still stubbornly hold to my belief that parenting only gets better as your children get older ... as do their stories about what they did during the summer holidays.

Kids are cute, but teenagers are magic. It's just that not many bloggers write about it because, you see, at some point your children's lives stop being a reflection of you and start being all about them.

Unbloggable magic.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This not knowing has its charms

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. "

Guess the movie.

And best of luck to all the Aussie mums who have children going back to school this week. Enjoy!