Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jam...apricot jam...

I have had the urge to make jam ever since apricots came into season and it's been agony waiting until the height of the season, when the fruit is at it's peak (or just past as works best for apricots I have found).

Yesterday while out shopping I found some jam apricots at the fruit market...very ripe, very soft and perfect for jam $2.99/kilo, even better given that eating apricots were around $9.00/kilo. I used Maggie Beer's recipe from her book Maggie's Harvest...a gorgeous book I refer to regularly to use an ingredient in season.

Here are the fruits (pun fully intended) of my labour...

Am going to head out to the bakery tomorrow morning (or even better, send someone else) for a loaf of sourdough rye and enjoy it on toast for breakfast.

Oh yum...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


On the eve of his departure from the White House I could not resist posting these. The future of the English language would be on shaky ground if left up to George W.

Whether you loathe or love him, these are very funny...

"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is to be prepared."

"I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future. "

" We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

" I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur. "

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children. "

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

" It's time for the human race to enter the solar system."

Dear, oh dear...

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Day In Photos...

Last Friday Matilda, Myles & I spent the afternoon at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, right at the base of Mount Coot-tha. We have been wanting to visit the gardens for some time and the overcast day was ideal, not too hot to be out in the sun.

Will let the photos speak for themselves...a bit of a lazy post really...

Inside the Geodesic Dome...the Tropical Garden

Dome reflection on the pond...

Making a new friend...

In the Japanese Garden...(my favourite)

Wild Bearded Dragons everywhere, from tiny, wee ones to some quite huge. We spent the best part of an hour watching these magnificent creatures...they are amazing swimmers.

The Hide & Seek Children's Trail winds right through the is dotted with gorgeous sculpture and treasures to find. This dragonfly sculpture caught my attention...they have a special place in my heart.

It was a lovely gentle afternoon, lots of time for conversation...will revisit as the seasons change.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Perfect Summer Day...

Had a delightful day with Matilda & Myles began gently, no hurry to get going anywhere, we lingered over breakfast and I had a second and even a third cup of coffee...(we tried a new blend from Merlo Coffee this time and it's just, velvety with no bitter "grab" in your mouth, so hard to pass up a second & third cup. Just divine.

We picnicked today at Victoria Point, right on Moreton Bay. Last weekend we went out for a drive...mainly as it was incredibly hot and the aircon in the car beckoned. We happened upon this tiny little picnic area, right on the water, lovely & shady and very private. We claimed our space and enjoyed our alfresco lunch...somehow food always tastes better outdoors and by the water.

The tide was coming in so while we waited for the water to be deep enough to swim in Matilda & Myles climbed trees, played on the swings, did cartwheels, dug for crabs and pretty much just hung out doing kids stuff. They enjoy each other's company very much and get along so amazingly well, John & I consider ourselves so very blessed...they make family life so very easy.

I set myself up in a shady, grassy spot with my very comfy outdoor chair. I went equipped with books, a magazine & cryptic crossword but didn't open them once...the kids were such good company, great conversationalists and entertainers...being with them today was a great of those days where you feel that, as a parent, you must be doing something right.

It was still really hot here after dinner tonight...I opted for a swim over something on television...Matilda joined me. We had an absolute has been a long time since I "played" in the pool...we did handstands and somersaults in the water, went diving for toys, floated on our backs and watched the fruit bats flying past the almost full moon, discussed the meaning of life & the beauty of the Aurora Australis while trying to spot the satellites zooming by.

Feeling full to the brim and very content with my lot in life tonight, very content indeed.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Post Christmas Lull...

I haven't been particularly inspired to blog this past week or so, not sure why but think I have just relaxed and enjoyed the gentle days with nothing especially planned. John is off work until Monday and it's been lovely having home home every day...lovely to linger in bed in the mornings, lovely to enjoy a long breakfast together, lovely that there are no work shirts and pants to iron...just all round good.

Our Christmas Day was gentle, just the five of us here and Josh's new girlfriend joined us for lunch. We were woken at 6.30am and as much as we would have liked to sleep a little longer we could not let the Myles and Matilda open their Santa sacks without us there.

We drank coffee and ate shortbread and divine Belgian chocolate while exchanging gifts...

...watching Matilda & Myles open their gifts from us was a true delight...neither of them had any idea what we had chosen for them. We chose a combo television/DVD for Matilda, she is old enough to have her own now and has become quite discerning with what she watches, will turn it off when there is rubbish on rather than have it on for the sake of it. We gave Myles a mobile phone and he really didn't think he was going to get one...I had mentioned that I had made Christmas electronic free this year, mainly referring to their Santa gifts though.

He was so thrilled with it...we were too, got a great deal with it that required us to spend $40 on a recharge card but we received $100 free talk & text. We did manage to make their Santa gifts electronic free though, lots of clothes, books, beautiful smelling unguents, chocolate, swimming pool toys and a beach towel each.

Santa (John), as per usual was very generous to gift always comes in a small package from my favourite jeweller. This year it was a gorgeous pair of gold, oval shaped hoop earrings...I just love earrings and have worn them every day since. He also gave me a very generous gift card and Belgian chocolates...!!! Poor John had a very hard time with shopping this year...the noise and chaos of shopping centres combined with the severe hearing loss he suffered earlier this year really disoriented him. He was very apologetic for the run of the mill gift card but I couldn't be happier with it really, it is for a large department store so I can choose books, CD's, clothing, whatever I like.

Our Christmas lunch was divine, quite easy to prepare (and clear away). I forgot to take a photo before we got into it...wish I had, I thought it looked impressive, if I am allowed to say that myself. John investigated the wine cellar and after the last Grange disaster decided that we should take our chances and open was just divine and felt so decadent drinking it. I have meant to update the Grange wasn't a 1995 vintage, it was 1969...!!! (Kel, I can hear you gasp from here...!!!). I hadn't read it with my glasses in and confused Bin 95 with the year...makes it even more tragic. We now have two 1969 Grange bottles on the kitchen windowsill with herb cuttings in we are trying to strike. I haven't been game to check the price as yet but suspect it will be around $1000-$1200/ bottle.

A siesta & swim were had afterward Christmas lunch but no walk at the beach. Dinner was simple, so much left over food, not that anyone was hungry really, I think I had trifle for dinner around 9pm that night.

The rest of our time since Christmas has been taken up with being lazy, staying in PJ's until lunchtime, reading new books, swimming a lot given it has been very hot, a trip to the cinema, catching up with email & snail mail, taking M&M to the post-Christmas sales to spend their gift cards (they bought, books, books, books and one DVD). Meals have been relaxed affairs and a siesta is de rigueur...kind of like having a holiday at home.

New Years Eve was spent quietly, neither John or I really "do" New Year. We decided to have a lovely meal at home, a few drinks and be in bed by midnight. I prepared a huge antipasto platter with hot & cold treats, we ate cheesecake for dessert and watched some favourite television...perfect really. John & I had a swim quite late, we did see midnight in quietly (not like our neighbours across the road) and went to bed. I couldn't think of a better way to spend it really other than with my family, in good company, with good food and wine and to wake in the New Year with the person I cherish.

It feels good to be at the beginning of a new year...a fresh page with so many possibilities. I don't make resolutions, except in that I resolve no to resolve. So disappointing when they are broken. I'm looking forward to 2009 being a healthy and happy year...thus far it is off to an excellent start.

Wishing you and your families much peace and joy...

P.S. New photo of Myles in the sidebar...was taken at his graduation in December. It's so hard to get a decent photo of him. This one was taken with his amazing teacher but I had to edit it unfortunately.