Apples and customised doppelgängers

Apple. A fruit. A record label. A computer used by graphic designers.

Remember the first time you saw, let alone touched an Apple product?

Do you remember why Apple computers are called Macs? As in Macintosh?


Cousin Sarah is a graphic designer and we shared a house for more than a decade from 1992. She used an Apple at work.

So did the graphic designers at Messenger, where I worked. We had PCs, they had Macs. Graphic artists or designers were the only people I knew who worked on an Apple/Macintosh product.

In the late ‘90s, Sarah brought her own Apple into our home – a turquoise iMac. I remember looking at it as if it was alien. But soooo pretty.

Now I’m sitting here writing this on my MacBook Pro; I’m on my third iPad and iPhone. I look at iTunes and the App store more often than my washing basket.

For a while I was mostly buying books iBooks (and Kindle) until I discovered Diesel and Booktopia.

In 2013, Adelaide finally joined every other reasonably sized city and got it’s own Apple store. An early 21st century mark of maturity.

Apple founder the late Steve Jobs is the subject of a new Hollywood biopic, and is portrayed by Aston Kutcher. I’m no orphan when it came to being surprised by the casting.

Aston Kutcher as Steve Jobs. 

Aston Kutcher as Steve Jobs. 

One of my favourite websites, Into the Gloss, sums it up really well. The trailer is enticing. And Kutcher looks the goods.

I must admit I’m also looking forward to seeing Naomi Watts portray Princess Diana and Nicole Kidman do Princess Grace.  

Check out Into the Gloss’ top 37 biopic players in this slideshow and Aston's trailer here. And the Diana trailer here.

How many of these films have you seen?


Naomi Watts as Diana.

Naomi Watts as Diana.

Aspiring architecture in the city of spires

Today (July 18) marks the official start of a competition process to find a design for the current Royal Adelaide Hospital site. I am officially excited.

In five months time, when the winner is revealed - not that it will necessarily ever be built, we now learn - I want to be shocked, surprised, dazzled and enthralled. 

Anything less and I will feel it's been a pointless exercise. We can do mediocrity in Adelaide quite well. This is a time for modernity.  

The RAH site, given its location, deserves to be treated with a development that is inspiring, culturally enriching and a structure that becomes an instant iconic landmark in Adelaide. If regional or provincial cities such as East Lansing, Michigan; Baku, Azerbaijan; Guangzhou, China; Glasgow, Scotland; Zaragoza and Bilbao, Spain, and Wolfsburg, Germany can appreciate and live with groundbreaking contemporary architecture, surely we can?


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Candace Bushnell here, SATC’s 15th anniversary

Carrie Bradshaw (aka Sarah-Jessica Parker) in Season 5 with that haircut. Picture: Into the Gloss

Carrie Bradshaw (aka Sarah-Jessica Parker) in Season 5 with that haircut. Picture: Into the Gloss

So I ran my finger along the Bs on the second shelf in our study and there it was: my 12-year-old copy of the novel Sex and The City by Candace Bushnell.

It looks like it was only read once. Unlike the box set DVDs that were watched endlessly – although not so much since Monsieur D returned to Adelaide a few years ago and Foxtel put SATC on semi-permanent rotation.

Thanks to the series’ Season 5, I’ve even had my hair cut short twice in the hope of replicating Carrie’s look for her Vogue job. 

My copy of the original book carries a cover quote endorsement from Helen Fielding, she of Bridget Jones’ Diary, saying “Intriguing and highly entertaining”.

A kinda limp assessment, don’t you think, given we know what SATC became.

I’ll be taking along my copy this Friday in the hope of having it signed by Candace Bushnell, who is guest speaker at the Adelaide Business Chicks lunch on July 19, at the Convention Centre; the date just happens to be my birthday. Talk about lucking out.


It’s a sort of timely visit by CB; last month (June) was the 15th anniversary since the pilot episode of SATC first aired in the US on the HBO cable network (the book was first published in 1997 and reissued in 2001).

I just happened to be in Bali in June 1998; our hotel had US satellite TV and I saw that pilot and the second episode the following week, while my poor cousin S was becoming acquainted with the porcelain thanks to Bali Belly.

Needless to say I was hooked but had to wait until September 6, 1999, for Channel 9 here to start broadcasting it. No downloading or streaming in back then.

Anyway, if you loved Carrie’s clothes (thanks Patricia Field) in SATC – you’ll love this anniversary slideshow on one of my favourite blogs, Into the Gloss.

The important moments are all covered, the only noticeable missing for me was the slinky pink fluro dress Carrie wore to lunch with Big when he told her he was getting married (Season 2 episode 18: Ex and the City). Shaken, she trips over a chair in her haste to leave the restaurant.

The slideshow includes another favourite; the navy dress she’s wearing while stuck on a day cruise with the loved-up Charlotte and Trey when she runs into the married Big (Season 3, Episode 8: The Big Time). Actually, I think I love her magazine-clutch bag more than the dress (see screen grab shot below).

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What’s your favourite? Love to know.

The original 1997 edition cover. 

The original 1997 edition cover. 

Making a spectacle at the Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale

It was the out-there wishful thinking of Adelaide designer Peter Coombs to use an old bowling alley for the “gin bar” inside the newly renovated Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale.

The salvaged wood has gone into the main bar top as well as four others dotted around the Salopian, together measuring 17m in length.

Coombs was also integral to another inspired piece of recycling, choosing old Fowler Vacola glass jars for the restaurant’s interior lighting.

The Salopian restaurant and bar is a partnership involving well-known McLaren Vale chef Karena Armstrong and her husband Michael; along with wine-making couple Elena and Zar Brooks, of Heirloom Wines.


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