Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rainy Day Baking

There's something about grey clouds and rain falling that gets me firing up the oven and flicking through recipe books. 

Today it was a loaf and some rolls of grainy bread, and the CWA cookbook for a chocolate slice of some form sans eggs (I need to go shopping). Always an old faithful when I'm hankering for a slice or a cake to be whipped up in a hurry, the CWA ladies never disappoint. 

Glass of red finished up proceedings. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tourist Day

Today Lucky Phil and I played tourists in our city. 

It was fun.  We had a $100 budget and had to occupy ourselves, feed ourselves and get to where it was we were going and do what it was we wanted to do, all within that constraint.  Just as if we were travellers.

We started by catching the train to the Roma Street Parklands for a wander.  We've been talking about checking out the Parklands since we moved back 11 months ago.  Finally we got there. 

They were really pretty and well designed.  Plenty of space and quiet nooks for escaping the crowds.  I can see us returning with a picnic blanket, some cheese and bikkies, and a bottle of wine and plastic wine glasses (the park rules specify that you are allowed to decant your alcohol from glass bottles into plastic drinking vessels but you aren't allowed to actually drink from glass containers.  I can work with these stipulations!).

I was amazed by the frill necked lizard population - they are everywhere!!  I think we stopped counting at twenty when we were only half way round....

Just before we left we came across a tree snake on the walkway - well actually, another visitor pointed it out after we had walked passed it obliviously - but I couldn't stop the whole-body shake I had going on to take a photo.  I don't do snakes at all.  Plus, I don't need a photo of a snake in my camera roll to scare the bejeezus out of me when I next flick through my photos!

We then headed into the city via the Queen St Mall.  Stopped off for lunch outside City Hall and ended up on a tour of the clock tower at City Hall and then a wander through the Brisbane Museum on the third floor.  Who knew that existed, the Brisbane Museum?  Or the clock tower tour?  Best of all, FREE!!

Once we were museumed out, we kept on our track up the mall and joined the queue for a gelato cup (if people are queuing, it must be good right?).  We people watched while we devoured our little cup of sugary, chocolatey goodness - gee the world is full of interesting people .....

Across the William Jolly Bridge and into Southbank for some more people watching.  This time we caught the tail end of a wedding by the river.  Great day for it.  Watched people some more (and lots of kids rolling down grassy hillls - my skin is itching just thinking about it) and then found a bar for a beer and a wine on our way back to the train station.

And now we're back home - happy tired from a good day out and still too full of gelato to even think about eating anything for dinner.  Maybe later.

Definitely going to do a tourist day again - it was fun!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Suggestions for Curing Boredom in Husbands

All suggestions welcome.

Lucky Phil is bored.  Mind-numbingly, wife-annoyingly bored.

It's been that way for about four weeks now and it's killing me!

I feel like mum over school holidays when we were kids, exasperatedly throwing her hands in the air after the fourteenth "I'm boooooorrrrreeeeedddd.  What can I doooooo?" for the morning.  Sheesh!!! 

I keep making suggestions, you know like 'mow the lawn', 'clean the car', but they're not considered appropriate or worthy enough to peel oneself from the lounge and do something.

I have a suspicion that it's because I've made the suggestions that they're discounted in the great scheme of things.  When someone else threw the idea of 'detailing the car' out there, well, consider this afternoon's activity planned....!

I give up.  Here's hopinng we get into our new shop soon now....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On the cusp....

And just like that it's 2014.  And not just 2014 but two whole months into 2014!  Where have I been?!  What have I been doing?! Why on earth has it blown out to four months since I last stopped by?!?!

Short answer - out there, not much, couldn't begin to explain.

I don't know where to begin - I had such high hopes for myself in my last post that I was back into the swing of things, life was going great-guns and I was queen of it all.  And yet here I am, end of February of the following year and not a post in between.  Sheesh.


So Christmas has been and gone.  As has New Years.  Australia Day.  Valentine's Day.  Lucky Phil's birthday.  All been and gone, and some time ago too.  In the midst of all that we sold a business and are now waiting patiently (oh so patiently) for the purchase of the next one to finalise (please please please be soon!!!).  

All in all it's now been 6 weeks since we stepped into unemployment - fun at first but the novelty wore off (for some of us) at the end of week 3.  Lucky Phil has been driving me insane since then.  I have plenty of things to keep me occupied - sewing, cross-stitch, baking..... Lucky Phil's current interests lie in the vicinity of drinking beer and gambling. Expensive habits for the non-income-earning person.

We're hopeful that the end of next week will see us gainfully employed again.  Fingers crossed because I'm not sure how much more of the stress and underlying anxiety I can take.  The bills haven't stopped coming in just because we're not working!

We have made the most of our time off together - dinners out, day trips up the coast, visits to family, walks on the beach and the general hanging around the unit annoying each other with the same questions asked over and over again ('what can we do?'  'what do you want to do?' 'what do you want to do?'  'I'm hungry.  What's for lunch?' 'what's for dinner?').  Considering we only had two days off together in the previous 9 months, this has been blissful and I'm not complaining too much at all!

I'm now just waiting for a magical email response in the next few days telling us Thunderbirds are Go!  Come on now....!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting my green thumb on, city style

My how this year has flown by.  I seem to be more and more amazed at the swiftness of time these days but it's still a shock that we're bearing down on Christmas at a great rate of knots.

I'm so very at ease and at home again in Brisbane now - our time on the downs seems like a distant memory, if not a dream.  It feels like we never left.  The weather has been beautiful and I'm loving the longer daylight hours as we move towards summer.  Time to get outside and enjoy the world after work is done for the day.

The one thing I've been lamenting since we moved down was my lack of veggie garden.  This rented unit, while it has a courtyard, doesn't have much in the way of gardening space.  It was the lack of fresh herbs at the back door that started it all for me - all that missing my own patch of dirt to dig and plant and potter around in, the walk through in the morning to see what was out there and finding new fruit, new seedlings, fresh strawberries.....I've been missing that without wanting to allow myself to.

Strange how my outlook has changed now though.  Before we left Brisbane I had this idea in my head that to garden you needed space, lots of space, and all the equipment and tools etc to get started.  Gee I wasted a lot of time with that mentality - I could have had a ripper garden down here then like I eventually had out there!!

I'm glad I've changed my thinking - I've been waiting so patiently for the onset of springy days so that I could dig out the gardening gloves and get cracking.  I was about to go to the supermarket and pick up a few of those polystyrene boxes to use as planters when a sneaky birthday appeared and gave me some pots and potting mix with which to create my patio garden.  I  love a good gardening gift and Lucky Phil knows the way to win my heart is via dirt and plants (or a good book or something crafty!) :)

And so now I have it all happening.  A great selection of my favourite herbs - coriander, basil, parsley, mint, chives - and some veggies to top it all off - tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, snow peas, corn.  And I can't forget the flowers for a bit of colour - this time around some snapdragons and lobelias.  I even managed to keep alive some strawberry plants from my garden on the downs - they have really taken off since they have been repotted and mulched.

Pineapples that have been growing roots in containers on my sink for about three years now - finally in soil and they are lapping it up!

Tomato seedlings from the self-sown cherry tomatoes from our previous home

A Mulberry Tree that somehow  was sown, sprouted and survived in a pot that I brought down with me.  He much prefers the soil in this one.... 

I'm loving the greenery at my back door now - so much better than the stark tiles and concrete walls of before.  I'm out there a whole lot more now too - soaking up the view and taking in the 'outside-ness' of it all.  I'm just waiting now on the pumpkin seeds to sprout on the windowsill and get a bit of size to them and they'll go out too - into the wild garden bed for those, they'll be in their element.

The countdown is now on until I can be eating the fruits of my labours!  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Busy Hands

Keeping my hands busy whilst lucky Phil flicks through the channels can be a challenge. Without the pre-planned  preoccupation of my hands, I resort to chewing my fingernails.  A terrible habit for sure but one that has been with me since early childhood. Good thing I usually have a couple of crafty projects on the go or an e-book to hand.... 

This week has me starting on a wedding gift for friends. Well, the son and soon to be DIL of friends so therefore friends by default! 

A handsome young couple (can you even say that anymore??), they are starting their married life without the trappings that come from years of living together - that being against their beliefs. Generous, thoughtful, and very much in love with one another, we are privileged to be one of the very few (if not the only) non-relatives invited to their November wedding.

Will post piccies of the final product once done. Given I only have a month and a bit to finish I'd better get a wriggle on!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hello World!

Hello world!  I'm alive again!!!  YAAAAYYYY!!!

It feels like I've come out of a very long hibernation - hidden away in the depths of the earth under all sorts of rubble and insulating material only to wake hungry and anxious to see the sun - I feel alive again.  Life is good, the future is positive and things are looking up.  

So what have I been up to?  Why have I not been loitering around the internet as much as I used to (and to be truthful, I did loiter a lot.  A lot.)????  Weeellll, pull up a seat, grab yourself a coffee and I'll tell you all the goss.....

Where to start... well, Lucky Phil and I are now living in Bris-vegas.  We moved down about 3 1/2 months ago after doing a day trip two weeks before we had the moving truck booked to find somewhere to live.  Nothing like a tight timeframe to make you lower your standards and loosen your budget. Turned out well despite our expectations - train, supermarket, newsagency, post office and bottle shop (!!) at the end of the street and a 2 minute drive to work...couldn't have planned it if we tried.

We've bought a new business and took over the week we moved down.  This was also happening at the same time as we were closing down our previous business and packing up the house to move.  Stressful much.  We're now in the takeaway coffee game, providing caffeine hits to all and sundry.  Some days I feel like a dealer, publicly handing out dope to the masses right there on the footpath.  A HUGE learning curve for me - I not only don't drink coffee (sacrilege!!) but until a few days before we opened the doors for ourselves, had not ever made a coffee (instant home stuff for family and friends excluded).  Stressful V. much.

What next?  Oh yeah, we are loving the weather in Brissy.  Winter? You call this winter? Okay, sure, I'll take it!  I think I have worn a jumper for a full day only once since we moved down.  I certainly didn't need to pack those scarves and jackets, nor those flannelette sheets!  Mind you, I am most likely still acclimatised to the weather on top of the range (guaranteed to be 10 degrees less than the rest of the state) but this feels a lot like a Toowoomba summer to me.  I'm not complaining either way!  

We're making the most of the city this time around - a conscious decision to find new places and new experiences.  When we lived here last we took it for granted.  Sure, it might not have been as 'developed' then as it is now and it is certainly more multi-cultural now but we didn't actively enjoy it.  For the last six years we've been limited to only one restaurant that constituted our 'night out' (due to it's consistently good food - so many started out great but by the third visit we swore never to return) but now, every place we go serves the most amazing meal ever!  We are yet to have a bad experience (touch wood)....

Life is grand.  Lucky Phil told me at the start of the year that 2013 was going to be a year of change for us and hasn't it been that!  Big changes, good changes, happy changes.  And we're not even finished the year yet - who knows what else is in store for us.  What I do know though is that I'm ready for it!  yay!
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