welcome to emmas housethought

love your work

Thank you to all of you out there who have asked, yes! A job has found me.

Surprisingly I find myself not sucking the corporate carpet despite applying with gusto to some horrendous positions advertised with such phrases as “will offer your career strong penetration”, “end to end delivery outcomes” and “strategic client facing exposure with hugh opportunities”. Hugh who, huh?


I’d made a spreadsheet of my financial objectives and consulted with whom you might when you need debt advice, gone over the wireframes of the projections and the forecasted expenditure on the capital, extrapolated the time differential with the necessitudes and the fortifumegation and decided I just want to get home soon and sane.

It’s not what you know, it’s who, everybody said, and indeed, through a friend of a friend I met up with with someone I already knew who, when I explained straight up that I had no professional experience whatsoever, said “it’s just about personality actually”. Like, they were looking for someone they liked.

No bullshit necessary. Just bring your human.


And in spite of The One feeding my darkest dread with the remark “that’s not what you’re there for” I am simultaneously enjoying myself and being paid for it. It is indeed a remarkable thing to look at your modest paycheck and gloat in its riches, knowing full well that once upon a time you earned 10 times that and it never felt like enough.

Let’s look at that in a chart



Furthermore, I do not have a regrettable answer when I’m asked what I did at work today. Today I did not cajole people to eat soup from a can that looks and smells like vomit, no, today I made a spring gazpacho that will be served in a glass with a champagne chaser. Yesterday I made 150 arancini; the day before 300 goats cheese tartlets; tiny, prosciutto wrapped bocconcini each with a basil leaf feather, korma balls, prawn cocktails, chicken satays, egg finger sandwiches. I make fun food. It’s fun.


As real work is, the kitchen is thoroughly exhausting. I have instantaneously become one in the throng of the tired, the comatose commuter. The precise monotony of peak hour public transport takes on a Truman Show charm that apparently I’m alone in appreciating. It’s Groundhog Day and I can’t resist messing with the routine by waving back to the woman with the theatrical calisthenics that I pass in the park each morning at 8:06. There’s a jolly faced chinese man who makes me laugh when he gets his backpack caught in the closing doors of the 7:54 at Sydenham Station, for the second day in a row. And the guy with the perfect shoes and ipod who gets on at the university and taps his foot melodiously… to who? Is it Thelonious Monk or Se7en I’d like to know?

As I acclimatise to this other reality I’ll eventually find some time to make myself a stranger in my own city. I’m yet to see the beach again, to eat Japanese and go out for breakfast with friends. Summertime officially starts this weekend. As The One lights his first evening fire, I’ll be eating my first oysters. Oh! The sacrifice. Sigh.





  1. Emma September 27, 2012 10:24 pm Reply

    It goes without, but I shall say it anyway… So very pleased for you and hope this means you’ll be home soon. Missing you. xx

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: September 29th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    sweetpea. see you when the winter’s over. xx

    [Reply to comment]


  2. Simon September 27, 2012 10:52 pm Reply

    You mean to say that your cooking will get even BETTER??!!! Swoon.

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: September 29th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Hate to tell you this but I made 80 chicken and leek pies yesterday. Scrumptious. And we do these lovely beef pies too. NOOOOooooooooooo!

    [Reply to comment]

    Simon Pownall   Reply: September 29th, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    @Emma, I’m sure pies can be sent to Portugal via the mail

    [Reply to comment]

  3. Kevin September 28, 2012 12:29 am Reply

    The last photo shows what look very similar to Staffordshire Oatcakes, or am I being very ignorant???

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: September 29th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Heavens no, darling, that is sydney’s most favourite party morsel, the duck pancake, aka Peking duck. The silly season would be lost without them!

    [Reply to comment]

  4. Rodrigo September 28, 2012 3:23 pm Reply

    Psalms 1 ‘let there be salivation…………..’ Yummy 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: September 29th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    blessed are the cheesemakers 🙂

    [Reply to comment]

  5. Helder September 29, 2012 5:22 am Reply

    Oh, my. It is still delicious to read Your good-humoured blog.

    Keep it up friend (:p

    [Reply to comment]

  6. Denise September 30, 2012 7:10 am Reply

    When you return, can you open the Pacific Rim Cafe, or Chow Chow (a gourmet food truck) or the Aussie Asian catering service? The need is great…

    [Reply to comment]

    Emma   Reply: September 30th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    that’s odd. That’s just what I was thinking when I woke up today. Catering truck… I’ve also always wanted to open a cafe called breakfast with breakfasts from around the world

    [Reply to comment]

    Denise   Reply: October 1st, 2012 at 4:21 am

    @Emma, and I woke up a couple of days ago thinking about the breakfast I had in Puerto Escondido, Mexico decades ago – fresh Mexican papaya with lime, homemade yogurt, wild honey, toasted homemade bread and a pot of cafe. Vividly memorable.

    [Reply to comment]

  7. Dee Hawa October 2, 2012 5:32 am Reply

    Sounds cool Emma, and the food well that sounds yummy!
    was just chatting about you half an hour ago with Penfold
    and his mrs. who are almost neighbours to me now.
    You were, and continue to be an inspirational young lady
    every success to you, and hope that this time away will
    be all positive! Go girl!
    ex Andalucia
    a food based business must be where it’s at…. missing the
    tapas bars of Andalucia, but really nothing else!

    [Reply to comment]

  8. Carolyn October 3, 2012 5:56 pm Reply

    Dear Emma, I discovered your blog last night while researching places to visit. I am here in Portugal for a year-long stay to write, roam, and dream. Your blog was delightful surprise – the writing and photos all lovely! I especially favor the idea of a moblie food van. Keep on keeping on! Carolyn

    [Reply to comment]

  9. Ana October 7, 2012 3:35 am Reply


    Wow – would you also consider running some cooking classes. When I move over to Portugal I would gladly schedule a trip to your part to participate in some cooking classes (you’re a bit to far for me to regularly show up at your cafe).


    [Reply to comment]


  10. Katrina November 12, 2012 8:31 am Reply

    Dear Emma, Have been reading your blog for a few months. Hope your finances are on the upswing and you can get home soon. The cooking looks wonderful. You must bring back the recipes and get that breakfast cafe open soon!

    [Reply to comment]


  11. Anthony May 11, 2013 8:39 am Reply

    Hi! Emma,Your blog is full of delicious recipes I’m love it…The cooking of looks awesome…I hope one day you will host “Food Festival”…Great going.:)

    [Reply to comment]

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