Monday, September 27, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Well at last I think we can safely say that Winter is over. Just. Yesterday was the most glorious day.The weather was perfect. So I thought I'd take a trip around the garden and post a garden update. It's not perfect. I think another 6 weeks and the garden will be at it's prettiest. The bulbs have sprouted. (is that what they do??) The seedlings are growing.

This is the garden bed along the front fence.

Same garden bed. But here you can see the sweet peas curling up around the stem of the standard rose.

Our tree is in full bloom. When you walk past it, it hums. There are hundreds of bees in the tree. Our neighbour Tim, two doors down from us has bee hives. I reckon his bees must be loving this tree!

The blossoms will all fall off and cover the grass like a pale pink carpet over the next week or so. Then we'll be left with a shady tree all Summer.

Here are some broadbeans along the side fence. When these babies are ready, they'll be eaten with fresh bread, thin slices of proscuito and a glass of crisp cold white wine!

Little worker!

The view from our back deck a few evenings ago.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Country weekend in Echuca

We spend a couple of lovely days up at Echuca last weekend. We have
wonderful friends we've known for 20 years that we meet for a weekend of wine and conversation somewhere between Melbourne and Wagga. This year it was my turn to pick the accommodation, so I picked Echuca as Frans and I had never been there. I found a lovely B&B on the internet called Bon Nerrin. 
The hosts were ex farmers and were friendly and helpful. As the weekend got closer, we started to panic. Victoria was and still is flooding. I made a number of calls to make sure we'd not wash away. I was assured we'd be fine. And we were.

This is the mighty Murray River flowing very quickly past the property

What else is there to do but sample some good red wine and watch the debris float down the river

Or there's a pool table.... Frans and Belinda showing their stuff

Don't know what this tree is, but the flowers on it were just beautiful. I think it may be part of the Magnolia family. Could be wrong....

The town of Echuca has some lovely buildings. Here's the Catholic church.

Of course there's the touristy historical stuff. You could go on a wagon ride if you so fancied. We didn't. Instead we sampled the local wines in the cellars along the old historic precinct.

Got to love a man in a coyboy hat! This poor fellow is walking behind the horse drawn wagon scooping up the poop. Probably a council regulation...

Aussies are strange sometimes. Here's a 'thong' tree. Why? Who knows! In the pic: Ami, Frans, Glen & Belinda

Silverfox winery. Here you could taste fortified wines straight from the barrel. Looks like Frans has had enough!

Aahh... the end of a long day on a wine tour. Our host lit a fabulous fire and we just sat and nibbled and chatted.

Shheesshhh!! Who's that crazy man!

A lovely building in a country town on the way home. Can't remember where!

Yellow fields! Just beautiful. The scary fact is that the locusts are coming..... Let's hope the experts are wrong about the potential damage or size of the plague that is now just hatching after all the rain. The prediction is that the damage will be done to an area greater than Spain!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Family Table

We've recently had a few occasions to enjoy some good food and good conversation with family and friends. A few weeks ago we created a Tapas menu with our friends Greg and Sue. It was a great success.

Here's the menu:

Our good friends Greg and Sue.

Sara and Stephen decided to experiment and make Catalan Creme for Alan's 40th dinner.
Stirring... stirring... took forever!

And when you need a blow torch... just call your trusty sparkie! Stephen doing his 'chef' thing!

Frans making sure it's all good!

I had a little help with icing the birthday cake. Amelie doing her bit for her Daddy's cake.

Ami, Sara, Stephen, Alan, Amelie & Sonja

Happy 40th Alan! Do you feel old??? Nah... you're only getting started!

And then we had Father's Day last Sunday.
Happy Father's Day my Love. You're a great Dad!

We had 14 people for breakfast. A great way to entertain.
We ate and drank:
Pancakes with all the trimmings
Baked Eggs
Banana Bread
Orange flourless Cake
Carrot Cake
Orange Juice
Pink Grapefruit Juice
Coffe & Tea

This banana cake recipe came to us from our guest house host in Cape Town on a recent trip. It's delish!

The Giuanguilio and Hillege Clans!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Weekend...

Last weekend we spent a blissful few days with our friends, John and Norma down on their farm in the Ottways. It was cold and wet. Perfect for a weekend getaway!
This is what it looked like outside at 8am on Saturday morning. Ethereal and beautiful.

As the morning wore one, the mist lifted. This is the front garden!

What else does one do but sit in front of the fire, sip bubbly, enjoy the nibbles and chat!

I did actually do something! I knitted a baby jacket called a BSJ or aka a Baby Surprise Jacket. It's a very old pattern developed by a really old lady called Elizabeth Zimmerman. Her design allows you to knit the entire jacket in one piece. Genius! So this is my practise piece. I'll make another one. Change the yarn and needle sizes to see what results I get.
Here's the finished BSJ.

I knitted this little green jumper and hat a while ago, but hadn't sewn on the buttons yet. Now that we know Gen is having a little girl, I decided to go with hot pink buttons! I'm thinking of adding some embroidered flowers as well.

Love this green yarn print.

And this is a cute little vest. The yarn is bamboo! So it's a natural yarn that will breath well in the hot QLD climate.

Stay tuned for more baby stuff.....