Because tonight is the one night of the year pancakes are a totally acceptable dinner. Mmm pancakes! or pÃ¶nnukÃ¶kur to be more correct, since the only type of pancakes this house knows is Icelandic pancakes (well and also the Ayrshire pancakes that my maternal grandmother used to make).
There is only three types of toppings pancakes in our family can have and that is red jam (any berry or rhubarb jam) with cream, golden syrup with cream or brown sugar, lemon juice and cream. Yep cream is just as important as pancakes when it comes to pancakes!
This picture though, tells a lot more than just that I had pancakes for dinner but it about the Icelandic pancake pans that Karl brought over with him for my Christmas present in 2008, Grandmum’s narrow metal flip, the paper towel holder that Grandad made and of course a Lotte plate…
Here is hoping that you too enjoyed pancakes at some stage tomorrow and I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow 🙂
I really meant to post about this quite a few days ago, since there is only two days of the rally left I best do it now!
My uncle and cousin are just about at the end of aÂ 29 day or 14,400 kmÂ mad dash from London to Cape Town in their 1923Â Vauxhall OD 23/60, known asÂ Penny. Penny (and my uncle) isÂ quite theÂ adventurerÂ having completed theÂ ERA Peking to Paris rally in 2010Â and coming 2nd in the pioneer class. Â The original plan some time ago was to do London to Cape Town in their “everyday” 4wd but look at the picture below and I think you can understand why Penny is doing London to Cape Town and not the Landcruiser…
This is them a few days agoÂ barrellingÂ down a road betweenÂ Moyale and Marsabit in Kenya. The photo is by Gerard BrownÂ who is the rally photographer.
They are currently placed at 31 in what is now a field of 41 cars, pretty darn impressive for a car which is the oldest in the rally by 41 years … The second oldest car is a 1964Â Volvo PVÂ 544 C. The rally was designed for “classic rally cars”, those rally cars of the 60s-80s, that are the type of cars you think of when you think major long distance rally. They’ve done really well climbing up from 40th which at the pointy end of the rally I would really say comes down to how well they prepped Penny to start off with.
One of the coolest featuresÂ availableÂ to us rally watchers is the yellowbrick car tracking, at any time of the day you are able to see where all the cars are located and what speed they are travelling at etc.Â If you’ve got some time to spend I highlyÂ recommendÂ having a poke round the rally website but also looking at the variousÂ participantÂ blogs etc
The birds reappeared in the Silky Oak this morning. I woke up, looked out the window and there they were; preening their feathers in the early morning light. As per usual it has been about a week since they were last in the garden.
What else have I been up to since then?
Making use of one of my Christmas presents – a jam funnel, thanks Mum!
Using the above leads to this. Mulberry Jam, yummo.
Stocking up on mangoes, then slicing and freezing so there will be golden mango goodness way past the mango season. A whole tray of mangoes for $8 <– that’s my kind of bargain.
Look at all those bags of goodness.
After a few years of umming and ahhing over different digital radios, I finally picked one up. A Pure Elan II, whilst I dearly loved the OrlaKieleyÂ and the look of the other MioÂ radios they didn’t offer a pause feature. If I was getting a new kitchen radio I wanted to be able to press pause and come back to the radio when I’m off the phone/finished shooing away the sales person/bible promoter at the door etc.
I’m loving it, it’s great having ABC Jazz in the kitchen without either having to have the TV on or having my laptop on the kitchen table.
The house currently looks like a cross between a bomb site and a warehouse as Mum packs up as the ticker counts downs the days till she departs, we are almost in the single digits!
I leave you with this.
That’s my attempt at making a Mango Juice Bali style -> mango, ice, sugar syrup. Blend it together and drink up the sweetness.
We have many birds in our yard but on Christmas day there were two special birds in the yard. Â This feather tells all. Do you know what bird this feather comes from?
It’s not from these birds (Trichoglossus haematodus or Rainbow Lorikeet)
and it’s not from these birds either (Â Cacatua roseicapillaÂ or Galah)
nor is it from this bird (EgrettaÂ novaehollandiae or White-faced Heron)
It’s not from my magpies either (Gymnorhina tibicen), the magpies (and the butcher birds) are something I’m going to dearly miss with my upcoming move from the balcony suite to the master wing, no more will the magpies on the washing line be the first thing I see and hear in the morning.
It’s not from the crested pigeons (Ocyphaps lophotes)Â either
nor is it theÂ Pale-headed RosellaÂ (Platycercus adscitus) who sometimes comes to visit and it is mostÂ definitelyÂ not from theÂ Blue-faced HoneyeaterÂ (Entomyzon cyanotis), it is also mostÂ definitely not from theÂ Â Noisy MinersÂ (Manorina melanocephala)Â who think they rule the roost in the front yard.
The feather comes from the birds known asÂ Podargus strigoides, which bird is that you ask? Why it is this delightful creature.
Yes, that is a Tawny Frogmouth, well not just one but two! The above photo was taken on Christmas Day, we were patching some holes in the tent before my departure for Woodford the following morning when I looked up and saw these fellas in the tree. The one at the front of the above photo is a juvenileÂ whilst the mature one is in the background. Mother and I were quite tickled pink at seeing these birds in our yard, if Pabbi was still alive he would have been tickled pink to see these as well, he adored taking photos of the birds in the back yard. On that note I’m sure Grandad would have been chuffed as well knowing we had Tawny Frogmouths in the the yard as well.
The parent bird is watching us.
We weren’t sure how long they would stay in the yard so imagine my delight when I came home from Woodford and saw this face in the Silky Oak. It’s theÂ juvenile! Hello you Tawny Frogmouth.
Oh hello Tawny Frogmouth!
Sadly though, I’ve not seen them in our yard in the last week, each day I scour the trees hoping that at least one of them has returned. I do so hope they make anÂ appearanceÂ when my brother Karl and hisÂ partnerÂ Kata come to visit in February. I am so dearly looking forward to not only finally meeting Kata (she was unfortunatelyÂ in Russia when we were in Iceland last yearÂ in 2010, we met one of her sisters though!) but also to having Karl “home” for a little while. WhilstÂ Kata is going to see sooo many things on their seven week jaunt to Australia as Karl shows they lady who has his heart Australia the country in which he was raised it would just be quite something special if there was Tawny Frogmouths in the backyard when they arrived. I’ll just have to talk to the trees and see what they can arrange.
I remember the first time I saw a Tawny Frogmouth, were were on a pre-school excursion toÂ Coochiemudlo Island and there was one perched in the rafters of one of the toilet blocks. We were ushered in ever so quietly by our teacher to look at it.
Well that is the story of some of the birds who like to hang out in the back yard. Their stories are not quite as adventuerous or humerous as the blue tounge lizard clan that resides over at MMMCÂ but I wouldn’t trade my birds for all the world.
Yet again I’ve been promoting that thing called “radio silence” but I’ve been busy, very busy. I was extremely lucky to obtain a vacation work placement which for the last three weeks saw me trade my normal CBD office for another CBD office. A swisher office, closer to the river and employing a gazillion more people in their Brisbane office than are employed in the Brisbane office for my company. It was an eye opener and in some areas I learnt more about accounting in the last three weeks than I’ve learnt in the last year at uni. It was a very good experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given. This week I’m back at my “normal job”.
This Christmas season has seen many, many changes in our household. A couple of months ago, after Mum had come back from exploring the bush in NSW, a conversation was resurrected from one we had had years ago about why we (really my parents) live in Brisbane. It was about Grandad of course and nothing could have taken my mother or myself away from SEQ whilst my grandfather was alive. With his passing in June and the passing of my father in May last year; that conversation could be had again as those events have changed a lot of things in our lives. I moved back home. We purchased an investment property. We’ve taken on a boarder (who may have had a Lotte bowl slip out of his hand and land on the floor in more than one piece … My Lotte is now more secure in where it is stored) and that’s just the billboard changes. Mum has had the chance to revisit that conversation we’ve had a few times over the years about leaving Brisbane and teaching somewhere else, I always used to suggest WA but that is an awfully long way a way. Mum though discovered a place closer to home though and next year she will be still be a Maths teacher but in NSW in a country town situated in the north west region. The town she is moving to is about a 7hr drive from Brisbane, luckily it is also on the Melbourne to Brisbane bus route so she will be able to hop on a bus to come home for a visit! Most importantly there is plenty of bush walking and an active club to keep her weekends occupied.
This has meant that Mum is packing up her life or perhaps I should say “culling her life”, there has been items leaving this house left, right and center. Some via Lifeline, some via Gumtree, some via Freecycle, others via the rubbish bin, some to people here and there. Some times it feels like that unless it is bolted down, it won’t be there when I get home from work!
Another change this year is that for the first time in the sixty years my mother has lived we have an artificial Christmas tree!!!! And we put it up on Dec 18!!! My father and my maternal grandmother are probably rolling in their proverbial graves (well more accurately, their ash particles are probably vibrating at a higher frequency than normal …)
However, it’s not just any artificial Christmas tree. It’s a 6ft Mistletoe Pine Aluminium Christmas Tree made by Raco. Yep, how many people do you know in Australia who are rocking an Australian made Aluminium Christmas Tree? Very few I would wager to say. I normally see two or so appear each year on Ebay and one of the ones that appeared last year made its way to me. I then gave the tree as part of my present to Mum last year (Well actually it was to both Mum and the house. Do you do that? We have often over the years had presents to the the house from the kitchen or to the fridge from the stove etc). My reading of the date codes on the box say it was made in 1964 and the price label reads Â£6/15/ which according to our friends at the RBA that is about $84 in the money of today.
Our tree has always been real and has always gone up around the 23rd or so and then comes down on the 6th of January or shortly there after (A major pet peeve of mine is when people talk of the twelve days of Christmas as been the twelve days leading up to Christmas, I grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. You seriously think the three kings got an early warning that Jesus was been born and started their journey twelve days before he was born ??? I’m a by no means a believer but it riles me when people talk about and use an idea that they clearly seem to have no idea what it actually means).
Moving on from that point. This is our tree. Click to see it larger of course!
Have you seen such a beauty? It makes such a lovely sound as you brush past it and oh I love how the lights reflect off it and dance on the ceiling. I actually lay under it on Sunday night whilst on the phone to a friend like a child, watching the light dance on “the leaves” … It is so smile inducing.
My dear dear grandfather passed away on June 15. He was 91 years and a bit. In my direct family lines now, all I and my brothers have now is our mother. It’s been hard.
There is so much I could write and maybe at one time I will. Now though this is what I’m saying.
I helped plan another funeral, I made another slide show, I scanned bucket loads of photos and ephemera, I wrote the better part of another eulogy and then read part of said eulogy. We cleaned up a house and started sorting through a house full of belongings. My aunts and a few of my cousins made the trips over for the funeral and house sorting. There were laughs, tears and all that goes in between as tapestries came down off the walls, china came out of cupboards, wood items were stacked and everything was sorted.
Mum and I packed up everything else and took it all home to sort into something like 7 different stacks under the house. I’m taking a suitcase or two to the Suitcase Rummage this coming Sunday with some items.
I’m still studying – no real uni break for me. I had to defer my exams as it is a bit hard to have an exam on the same day as a funeral.