The best pickles in the world

Hello friends!

It’s Friday today and I’m all out of puff. So you’re not getting much today. But what you are getting, is a picture of Tutti holding two tins of the very best and most delicious pickles in the world.

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Now you could call me biased, because these pickles are made by my cousins on Kibbutz Yavne in Israel, who, in addition to their pickling-prowess are a talented bunch (inspirational speakers, teachers, children’s fashion designers, pottery geniuses and artists among them). Except that I am actually* a pickle connoisseur. I love pickles. I could chain-crunch through an entire jar of pickles, in one sitting, and I can guarantee that these are the best.

If you’re lucky, you can find these crunchy morsels of delight in your local supermarket Kosher aisle.

*not actually.

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Christmas Present Inspiration

If there’s one thing I really love, it’s looking at beautiful, interesting things. Especially beautiful, interesting, quirky things that have been made by creative, talented people. So, I was in my element on Wednesday night at the launch of the Etsy pop-up store at 74 Castlereigh Street, Sydney.
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Wasabi-gate

There is almost nothing as disappointing as ordering food at a restaurant, expecting it to be delicious and having those expectations smashed into a trillion unpalatable pieces the minute your tastebuds decide to protest your culinary choices.
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Tutti and The Guru get it wrong. Again.

I asked my parents for a ‘baby book’. That in itself is an ambiguous request and one that I clearly didn’t articulate well.

I can still vividly remember what I was hoping for. I must have been about 12, and Tutti’s friends were having babies. One of them had this amazing book about birth. Graphic pictures of foetuses in utero, at different stages of incubation. I was fascinated by these pale pink, beady eyed aliens. Fascinated.

I asked for a baby book.

I wanted this:

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From ‘The Facts Of Life’ pop up book by Jonathan Miller and David Pelham

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From ‘The Facts Of Life’ pop up book by Jonathan Miller and David Pelham

Instead, I got this:

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Yes, it’s ‘Where Did I Come From’ by Peter Mayle, illustrated by Arthur Robins

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Not quite what I had in mind. But very educational.

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I have a confession to make…

I haven’t always been grateful for what I have.

It pains me to say that, because appreciating the little things, is one of the things I do best. (Which is saying something, since there’s plenty I’m bad at, like geography, maths and not being judgemental).

When people ask me what I want for my birthday, I always say ‘anything’ (which is annoying for those who actually want me to say, “Oh, I’d really love this exact specific thing which you can buy here) – but I mean it. Anything.

Example: If someone gave me, say, a bit of shit on a stick (literally or figuratively, whatever), then so long as it was procured with love and thoughtfulness, I would cherish it forever. Matty has been buying me presents – often jewellery, my favourite thing – for the 12 years we’ve been together, and I can honestly say he’s never got it wrong. Not once. Besides the fact that he has incredibly good taste, I love everything he buys me, because I love Matty, and I know he puts a lot of thought into his gift-buying.

(The Guru, however, has shown room for improvement. Two of Tutti’s particularly grim birthdays involved the unwrapping of a dustbuster and a set of windchimes. Bad, Guru. Very bad.)

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Do you know what this is? It’s my engagement ring. One of my favourite things in the world, chosen by Matty, from a stunning boutique called Kabiri in Marylebone, London.

The first time in my life I remember feeling ungrateful, was around my 10th birthday. I had decided that what I really, really wanted from my parents was a porcelain doll. God knows why. They’re fragile for starters, and I’m a klutz on legs. But I had already imagined her; all flouncy hair and frilly dress, perfect porcelain face (utterly lacking in personality. Porcelain dolls are kind of snooty when you think about it. They’re like designer-store sales-assistants of the doll world).

Anyway, this is the sort of gift I was anticipating.

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Hello, my name is Breakable And Boring

So imagine what I thought when I opened my birthday present and I was greeted by THIS:

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An expression that says, “Hmmm, sorry to break it to you, but I live here now.”

Not only is she very, very small, she doesn’t exactly have flouncy hair. Nope. Not even one fucking ringlet. In fact, take off her bonnet, and, she has nothing but a fringe! The ABJECT HORROR!

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An expression that says, “Your parents are too broke to buy you a doll with hair. Suck it!”

From the back, she looks like Matty!

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Bald is beautiful. But in this case, not so much.

Of course, what I didn’t realise at the time was that Tutti and The Guru were flat broke (ignorance and innocence is bliss, when you’re 10) and yet they wanted to give me what I’d asked for so badly, because are such gorgeous and lovely parents (and because I am so spoilt) that they did their utmost very best.

The funny thing is, that if they’d given me the porcelain doll I’d imagined, I would have probably lost interest quickly, or accidentally smashed her smug porcelain face in. Instead, this strange little baldy has stuck around for good, and has become one of my most treasured possessions. Not only because she reminds me of how lucky I am to have such thoughtful, lovely, loving parents, but think about it: They bought that for me before the internet was really a thing. And even now, with all the search engines, and shopping sites and buy-anything-at-the-click-of-a-button, you’d have to look pretty long and hard to find something that weird.

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