Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Photos from the west coast

S and I are here to check out Perth, probably a good idea as we will be moving here next year. I'd never been here but all but one person I've spoken to had good things to say about it. And I have to say Perth is fab though I am aware that I am being wined & dined to make sure I comprehend all it has to offer. There is great food, blue skies, dolphins frolicking, craft breweries and a pretty vibrant local community judging by the Lily Street Lasagna bakeoff.

 You have to love a place where they put a sculpture of a man on his horse in the water (that's him below) where he is slowly eroding. After looking at a lot of houses and meeting some very interesting agents, we are off to Kings Park for some greenery and then tootling somewhere for lunch. It's a tough life. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Sexy Beast...breadzilla!

I've been stuck in a rather pleasant rut for a while, churning out white or seedy (mmm...seedy) sourdough. With the weather warming up, my mind turned of course to making labne (naturally) and as I hate to waste anything I made the rye and whey loaf from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook (the whey is the liquid that you get from making labne out of yoghurt). Except I didn't have any rye flour, so I used spelt which it would seem behaves quite differently to rye. I tweaked, cajoled and temporarily forgot the dough and this morning baked this big boy. Missed photo was bigger than my head. I've given it up for adoption and I believe it's new carers are well pleased with their handsome  bundle of joy.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Herding cats

Sometimes getting a family portrait is hard work. To get everyone sitting and smiling is well nigh impossible. Still, I think these are funny!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Fussy Pants!

Sam is fussy with food. Really fussy. Jack was but is very adventurous now, but Sam! If he could live on chocolate biscuits and fishfingers he would. I think my Dad thought he could convert him with a tasty cutlet or two but even he threw in the towel and gave him a fishfinger. 
We all know the best reason for going to a hardware megabarn on the weekend is for the sausage sizzle but we get some strange looks when we order a sausage sandwich for Sam minus the sausage. Sigh. A tomato sauce sandwich. My bogan child. 

More Baking

 Sam enjoys baking. As soon as he sees me at the baking side of the kitchen, he drags a chair over so he can 'help'. We made smartie biscuits this time and it was his job to put the smarties on top. There may have been some uneven distribution (and some cheekiness directed at the head cook).

Feeding the ducks!

And no one fell in! 

Busy, busy, busy

especially when I'm trying to get a photo of him in his new(ish) yellow braces! 

Friends with Benefits

Not those kind of benefits! A lovely thing about living here is that friends rarely turn up empty handed. Just this morning a friend popped over clasping a bunch of Freesias (my favourites).
I like to bake loaves for friends, not expecting anything in return (though there is a bread fund at work to pay for the weekly work loaves) and am delighted and surprised to get something in return. A beautiful couple from Marrar love my grainy loaf (which contains sesame seeds, linseeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and pine nuts) and have given me a pot of honey from their bees (!!), handknitted slippers for the boys and recently a handmade wire basket crammed with home grown goodies. Lovely!
The bread by the way is coming along nicely. I make between eight and ten loaves a week and send Jack to school with homemade bread for his lunch. Very satisfying and makes the house smell so good. I have two starters now and usually make a white sourdough or a rye or a grainy one. Time to branch out?


Dance SPectacular!

Jack's school had a dance concert last week with a circus theme. Jack's class were tightrope walkers and the bits I saw (bad seats) were very cute. The whole school participates so it was fun to see the kids who were really into it and the others that were less enthusiastic. It was also quite short, which is always a good thing. I took a very bad photo of Jack's class before I had to rush back to my seat.
I have some clown 'issues' so Jack spoke to me beforehand letting me know that there would be clowns but that I shouldn't worry as they were all very friendly. Phew! And he was right, except for the one wearing the Pennywise the Clown Wig. Eeek!

Play Time

On Thursday night Jack and I went out to dinner and then went to see the stage version of Pete the Sheep, which was hilarious. Jack had a rush of blood to the head and ordered an iced chocolate to go with his Pizza. He was very impressed with what he got.  
Diane took Sam the next day. By all acounts he behaved 'quite well' which means he squirmed and wriggled but only tried to make a break for it once. 

Friday, 8 August 2014


Sam made his first batch of choc chip 'bicks' this week. It went surprisingly well though I wasn't sure there would be an choc chips left in the finished product at the rate Sam was picking them out. He was very pleased.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Keeping up

Depending on your viewpoint, indoor play centres can be heaven or hell. S thinks they are giant playground shaped petri dishes full of all sorts of germs. Funny, that's what Garn always said about the Manly fun pier and probably what made it so great when we finally got to go there. In theory I think they're great especially if you live somewhere where it rains a lot or for parties. I like the idea that adults can sit and relax whilst the kids bounce around inside the padded tubes & ball pits. The reality of course was that whilst Jack can now fend for himself, we spent most of the time chasing after Sam who was just the right size to dash through gaps & tunnels & take on the monster slide. Exhausting! Special mention to the little girl who told me her name is Jaxi. Then she spelt it for me. I'm guessing she does that a lot.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Peelin' spuds

Away from all that northern sunshine and beautiful tomatoes I'm craving stodge again. Shepherd's pie, pasta and lots of bread. Not to mention mashed potatoes. Thankfully I have help in the kitchen.


We certainly got a temperature shock when we got back with a number of icy, cold days. Today though is lovely (in the sun) and just the right weather for a spot of painting.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Singapore II

We crammed quite a bit into our 'day' in Singapore, though not as much as I'd planned. Originally I'd wanted to take Jack to Sentosa Island to go to Universal studios but didn't tell him in case it didn't happen. We arrived at 6am and were flying out at 8pm that night. We checked into our hotel and then showered and slept. Neither of us had slept well on the flight from Rome, though we did share some wedding cake with some lovely Italian newlyweds. I was still planning the trip to Sentosa even though time was slipping away and Jack opted for a swim instead in the hotel pool. It was pretty nice even with the distinctive tang of av gas in the air.

After our swim we caught a taxi into town for a look-see which involved shopping and eating, because we hadn't done nearly enough of that on our trip. Jack when faced with a huge choice of foods like sushi, yakitori, hainan chicken rice, mee goreng and more chose fish and chips (they were actually very good) and at least he didn't want pizza..

We found some amazing toy shops and checked out the bookshop Kinokuniya.

We got back to the Crowne, packed and re-entered Changi airport where we once more visited the butterflies and used the free wi-fi while we waited.

Jack loves these feedback screens at Changi Airport. He usually said everything was excellent.

Jack did this list on the way to Italy. I think we covered it all, though maybe not in quite that order.

Danger Money

The traffic in Rome is crazy, cacophonous and chaotic. I'm surprised we only saw one minor accident. Roundabouts seem to be every man or woman for themselves with no indication where they begin or end and as for lane markings, I think these are viewed as suggestions only. Think then of traffic policemen standing in the middle of intersections directing all of this armed with only a whistle and one of those natty uniforms that the Italian police love so dearly.  What you can't see from this photo is the number of large buses just metres from where he stood serenely waving his arms and scores of tiny cars and buzzing vespas waited impatiently for their turn. 
On our last day we found a book called This is Rome by M. Sasek from a wonderful series including Paris, Venice and New York. Jack particularly liked this illustration. 

Jack's Rome

As our bus ticket was for 24 hours we decided to rest after the Colosseum and hop on again later that day. We scored a seat upstairs and outside, though at a price as we were surrounded by a large family who yelled across us, jostled us and kept bumping me in the back of the head with their ipad when they stood up to take photos. A dramatic thunderstorm meant we took cover and escaped. Jack took charge of the camera and took some interesting photos so here's a selection. I won't put all of them on because he took so many but I think you will get the idea.