Thursday, 31 December 2015

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Swimming paraphenalia

The days between Christmas and New Year have always been my favourite days of the year. Time to read, swim, completely tune out.

Monday, 28 December 2015

A bit of rustic Sydney

You might be excused for thinking I was still in the country, but this is just around the corner from me.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


Older style farm windmill on the road between Tirrannaville and Lake Bathurst, NSW

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Passionfruit vine

When I was a kid, every second backyard had a passionfruit vine. They're much harder to find now. I grew them once, but after a couple of seasons the fruit went woody and failed.

Where once we plucked passionfruit from our own laden vines, now they cost upwayds of $1.60 each at the supermarket.

I was thrilled to come across this vine on a recent walk.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Rock pools, South Rosedale - and a bit about Rosedale.

I love to pick my way across the rocky headland which separates the south of the main Rosedale Beach from the cove known as Nun's Beach, or Stinky's. There is a small sand and pebble beach and several rock pools, one of which I usually have a dip in (above). I call it "my Rosedale swimming pool".

In the top picture, we're looking east towards the rocky island known as "Jimmy's". It looks from afar as if you could walk out at low tide, but it is separated from the mainland by a series of deep channels.

In this are the rocks are titled almost vertical from some ancient geological activity, and it is impossible to scale the sides. So, the only way to get to Jimmy's without being cut to shreds is by boat.

In the photo below we are looking south towards Burrewarra Point with its small modern navigational lighthouse. Just visible is a rocky outcrop in Guerilla Bay. I don't know what its formal name is, but we've always called it "Kirrin Island" after the island where Enid Blyton's Famous Five encountered nefarious goings-on, necessitating lashings of ginger beer to ensure recovery!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Tomaga Cove

A great snorkelling and swimming beach near Moruya on the NSW South Coast.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Monday, 14 December 2015

Worm farm

Do you think I should harvest the sprouts as well as the worm wee and castings? 

Sunday, 13 December 2015


I can't imagine why someone tied a pink bedspread around a traffic light pole, but there it was, fluttering in the breeze!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Black is the new black

Henry Ford would be pleased. Well, almost. 

"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black." 
- Henry Ford - 1909 about the Model T 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Plum pudding - what, no plums? - the answer is here!

My concession to "traditional" (ie British) Christmas is plum pudding. Love it. 

Why "plum pudding" if there are no plums? Because pre-Victorians called raisins plums. 

A couple of years ago I came by a simply great, never-fail recipe, and so the ritual has begun. No need to hang for months in muslin (til it gets mouldy in Sydney humidity!) Traditionally suet (raw beef or mutton fat)  was used - I prefer butter!

I am led to believe this is the same recipe the royal family dine on.

First, fruit: dates, sultanas, currants, raisins soaked in sherry or rum. I chose sherry this year. 

Sift flour, nutmeg, mixed spice three times

Cream butter and brown sugar

Add one egg at a time and mix well after each addition

At this time a finger-dip 'n' lick is mandatory!

Add Parisian essence for a great rich dark brown colour, lemon essence and vanilla extract


Add breadcrumbs

Fold in flour mixture

Add walnuts and fruit mixture

Place in pudding steamer

Steam in large pot for 4 hours.
On the day, infuse with more alcohol, steam for another hour and serve with custard.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Backyards: a rant (and more than one photo)

A while back some research claimed that "oldies" (ie baby boomers) are responsible for vanishing backyards, and lack of a suburban backyard play experience for modern children.

In essence, it said that baby boomers should sell their family homes on big blocks to the next generation with young kids, and the oldies should move on to smaller premises. Read article here.

Well, that really got my ire (being as seeing as how I'm one of those boomers....without a large backyard, I might add).

I grew up in a suburb about 12 kms from the centre of Sydney. It was mainly developed post WW2. The "Depression-era" parents raised their baby-boomer children there. We had a modest, 2 bedroom fibro house on a large block.

Well, 10 years ago, Mum and Dad sold that house and moved to a smaller, multi-unit dwelling (in Sydney parlance a 'villa' - in some places called 'cluster housing'....7 single-storey houses on a double block....the medium density developments of the 1970s).

And here's what is being built on that block and next door TODAY at 36 and 38 St Georges Rd, Bexley.

When "the oldies" move out, the current generation of kids don't get backyards to play in. The backyard disappears under acres of brick and concrete.

So these photos are from my childhood, and that of my son in the 1990s, and the bricks today.

1. Dad working in his veggie garden in the early 1970s. This part of the yard was a chook run when we bought the house in 1968. Over the back fence are early villa homes.

2. My sister tending backyard lemon tree, about 1971

3 & 4 My son also enjoyed "grandma's backyard" 

Here's what's being built today on that suburban backyard that is supposed to be sold to Generations X & Y for their kids to play on. Tell that to the developers!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Nik cycling home

I ran into my neighbour Nik on his way home and couldn't help stopping him to admire the gorgeous bunch of flowers.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Tempe House and development

The best aspect of the apartment development at Wolli Creek is that the Council insisted (after lots of local resident activity) that the developers restore Tempe House and keep the gardens as open space.