Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hello and welcome to Petals Marked With Spots; our brand-new blog! By “our”, please assume that there is more than one of us – allow us to introduce ourselves: Grace and Esther are (very) amateur bloggers with grand ambitions to write interesting, insightful and humorous posts on a vast range of subjects (mainly because we’re too indecisive to stick to a single topic).

Grace is a twenty-one year old with too many (very interesting) hobbies who hopes that a blog will bring these pursuits together in some kind of cohesive form that validates her hours spent on them. Her interests include attempting to sing in tune, cooking, writing and trying to form coherent sentences in French. She thinks that starting a blog is an excellent way of once again over-committing herself to intriguing creative projects.

Esther is also a twenty-one year old (well, she’s very nearly twenty-one) who spends a ridiculous amount of her time rock climbing on Australia’s finest cliffs. However, like Grace, she’s also terribly interested in writing, reading and good food, and has spent many hours trawling cafes for decent long blacks. She hopes that this blog will allow her to merrily rant about various literary and filmic topics that might be of interest to others.

So, let’s start at the very beginning…

It all began with Jane. Jane Austen that is. It was in early 2009 that two fans of the famed novelist signed up to an English course at the Australian National University that involved reading this fabulous author’s works and having this contribute to their undergrad degrees. As you may have guessed these two Austen devotees were our blog’s very own Grace and Esther. The two were brought together fatefully in the same tutorial timeslot. As the semester progressed both Grace and Esther came to admire the insightful academic thoughts of the other then unknown to one another, not to mention similar tastes in handmade bags.

Then, once again fatefully, second semester came around and Grace and Esther found themselves buddies in two English courses. In true undergraduate style, both attempted to perfect the skill of procrastination, coming to lectures armed with their macbook laptops (what, you think we actually type lecture notes on them?). With one internet page leading to another, both were inspired by Grace’s friend’s blog ( where numerous delicious recipes can be found at: so, naively, but with plenty of enthusiasm, were inspired to start a blog of their own.

‘Petals Marked With Spots’ is that blog. The title pays homage to Virginia Woolf’s ‘Kew Gardens': a story they should have been studying.

So await, as our rambling on literature, art, cooking, fashion, film, and anything else we feel like blogging about ensues.

Please be patient, as you are dealing with blogging virgins, who may get off to a shaky start, but promise to post with increasing enthusiasm for as long as you care to read.

Love, Grace and Esther

Just to get you in the mood, these are a few of our favourite things…


Cooking. I took this picture at a market in the French town of Cherbourg. I love going to the markets and buying fresh vegetables and turning them into delicious meals. Don’t you just feel inspired to make something fabulous after looking at this picture?

Art. I could spend all day in an art gallery. This is one of my favorite paintings, ‘Interior in Yellow’ (1962-64) by Grace Cossington Smith, housed at the NGA. I think it would be impossible to be unhappy in a room like this.

Fashion. Christian Dior is one of my idols. I love the femininity and elegance of his designs. He defiantly knew how to make a woman beautiful, as this 1952 creation testifies. If only I could afford couture outfits…


Coffee. This is my fabulous Italian “Atomic” coffee pot. I think the 50s design is absolutely fantastic. I wish I used it more - it’s great for frothing your own milk, but I’m such a long black person…

Climbing. This is a cliff on the banks of the Shoalhaven river at Nowra, NSW. It’s one of my favourite climbing areas with great rock, lovely scenery and plenty of bogans in dodgy-looking Commodores.

Flowers. I know it sounds a more than slightly corny, and perhaps a bit like an eight-year-old girl proclaiming with eternal devotion: “I love flowers!!!” but I think having a bunch in your house can genuinely improve your mood. Maybe it’s because they’re such a transient indulgence and luxury. Or maybe it’s just because they smell nice. Either way, I love flowers.

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