Freaky rainbows, terrible paintings and a night of cheese

Last week was the last of a run of 4-day weeks for Australia and New Zealand. Easter then Anzac Day really made for a lovely few weeks.

We’re all reeling from the prospect of working 5 days for the next month or so… in fact, New South Wales doesn’t have another public holiday now until… wait for it… June! I don’t know how we’ll cope.

However you do it, I hope it works out. And I hope this week’s IG Edition will keep you smiling too.


Jim & Christina x

The skies around Sydney have been very strange over the last few days. Mrs Romance and I are big cloud-starers. It’s not the most productive pastime, but it’s a lot of fun.

So it’s quite a surprise when we look up from our work and spot this huge rainbow arching across the sky – that beam of sunlight coming in low from the west really makes it look even stranger.

And usually with rainbows, there’s rain. But we aren’t getting a spot… though I’ve probably jinxed that now, haven’t I?

I’m just about the catch the last ferry of the evening and I spot this beautiful scene. Unfortunately I’ve only got my iPhone with me (apologies for the quality) but I feel I have to share this photo.

I’m actually on my way home from an evening of superb Cuban cigars, fine Japanese whisky and – of all things – Thai takeaway. It was supposed to be steak, but my friends and I just couldn’t get organised.

Turns out that massaman beef, sticky short ribs and pad Thai go quite well with Nikka whisky and a Montecristo Double Edmundo. Who’d have thought.

Today is a sad but proud day for Australia and New Zealand. It’s Anzac Day, which celebrates and remembers armed forces personnel who have lost their lives defending our freedom.

It’s on April 25 each year because it was on this date in WWI that the newly formed ANZACs fought together on the ill-fated campaign at Gallipoli in Turkey to attempt to take the Dardanelles.

Lest we forget.

Mrs Romance – with her hair and beauty hat on – is at a birthday party today. Ecotools is turning 10 years old!

Ecotools is a company that makes makeup brushes from recycled bamboo, which not only creates a high-quality, sustainable product, but one that’s also affordable.

No wonder these guys have been around for so long. And they’re celebrating in style at Nour in Surry Hills. Nour is a Lebanese restaurant with a modern take on what food should be.

I’m certainly feeling like I missed out on this one. Wonder if I can get into the beauty scene…

We look up again from our work today to see this weird rainbow. I’ve never seen anything like this before – there’s obviously a small patch of rain over the city and the sun’s just at the right angle to catch it.

This blotch of multicolour is moving quite quickly east like a spooky technicolour ghost!

You can see the blue sky in the corners of the photo, the rain is that localised. It’s usually me that has my own personal raincloud… wonder who’s copping that one!

We’re hanging out with our friends at Kin Community today for a painting session at Cork & Chroma Art Studio in Surry Hills.

Mrs Romance has her background all done and is celebrating with a sip of rosé.

Kin Community is a digital media and entertainment company that inspires women around the world through high-quality video content and a highly selective creator community.

They’re also lovely people – and I’m not just saying that because they’re giving me rosé!

We’re all well into our paintings now – led by the excellent Jess – and about to put the final touches on our leaves.

Cork and Chroma is a great concept (a ‘paint and sip studio’) where people can come and learn to paint whilst enjoying their favourite wine. It’s BYO, so it’s your fault if you don’t like the vino!

You can book the studios (there’s one in Sydney and one in Brisbane) for private events like ours, or you can book seats at the public events every evening.

The artist leads you through the stages of painting your picture. All you have to do is enjoy the music and wine, and let your creative side show its (sometimes ugly) face!

Here we have the finished products. Mine’s on the left – acrylic on canvas, I call it Monster in my Leaf (it’s supposed to be a leaf from a plant called monstera deliciosa), and I’ve taken inspiration from Monet. Yes, it looks even worse close up. Please don’t zoom in!

It’s a lot of fun hanging out with the Kin Community crowd and releasing my creative juices on the canvas… doesn’t read as well as it sounded in my head.

This would be a great thing to do with a couple of mates or even as an unusual date night activity. There are plenty of places to go to dinner before or after.

As for us, we’ve decided to go for dinner at home – a cheese dinner in fact. This addiction to platters is all Mrs Romance’s fault. She’s been honing her platter-making skills to a razor edge, and although the edge on her skill set is becoming ever finer, my waistline is not.

This is the only time I’ll ever complain though, so please don’t tell her I said anything.

You should check out Mrs R’s top tips on how to put together a perfect platter here.

Mrs Romance is sharing some of her hot tips on Instagram today. In her capacity as Hair Romance (with 68,000 followers in IG), she’s clearly got the skills.

Check out her video on how she does it and also gives a bit of a behind-the-scenes tour of how Hair Romance happens.

It’s all part of her series taking us backstage of Australia’s biggest hair blog Hair Romance. She’s also written a post to go with the video, which goes into more detail and shares some fun facts and history.

This week’s Travel Recap

Each week we go back in time over some of our favourite travel destinations using never-before-seen photos of our travels. Here’s where we’ve been looking back on this week.

Sydney is a pretty city most of the time, but when the sun’s out and the water’s sparkling, it’s even prettier. With this photo, we asked our Instagram folk what view they never get bored of looking at. Here are some of the answers:

“The harbour view from Lavender Bay”, “Sea lions at La Jolla!”, “The beach I live on in NZ”, “Any of the Sydney beaches”, “Rottnest Island”, “I never get tired of photographing Lake Michigan”, “the forest”, “Love the Dallas Arboretum! Never tire of photographing there”, “Via Caracciolo in Napoli and its walk near the sea”, “the downtown skyline of Nashville and the pedestrian bridge.”

Thank you all for sharing your favourite views. I hope I get to see them all someday.

This view of St Kilda and the city of Melbourne is quite unusual. There aren’t many places you can see this city and the beach at the same time.

Even better than that, where Mrs Romance is standing is where you can spot Little Penguins at the right time of day. How amazing is that?!

St Kilda Pier in Melbourne’s south is 1km long and has a restaurant on the end of it. From the restaurant – Little Blue – you get some amazing views out over the beach and the city. You can even see Port Melbourne from here and the Spirit of Tasmania when it’s in.

Mrs Romance and I love spending time in Port Stephens, just over 2 hours’ drive north of Sydney. Especially when our time there looks like this!

Here’s more about what to do and where to eat and stay in Port Stephens in our Essential Guide.

Stockton Beach, also in Port Stephens, has one of the biggest beaches I’ve ever seen. It runs for 32km and is over 1km wide in places. The water here is so clear and the beach stays shallow for so long. It’s a beautiful part of the world.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. We’ll see you again soon.

Jim & Christina x

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