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.
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.
It’s 2120 currently and I’m kicking back with a cup of tea and listening to the rain. The rain sounds different at night to it does during the day, have you noticed that?
In tribute to the rain we have had on and off this weekend, today we have a video instead of a photo.
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Unless you are reading this via the RSS feed, you might (well should) have noticed that I’ve changed up the design a little bit. Swapped some new colours in, changed the photos in the header and made it a bit more 24 something me instead of 22 something me. Not 100% settled on the background colour yet but we will see. I’ve also been thinking of renaming the blog most probably just changing the words round a little but who knows.
Mum and I went to see Bright Star this afternoon, it was slightly sad as expected but gorgeous nonetheless. I have some questions regarding the historical accuracy of a few aspects of the costuming, mainly the earrings that Fanny wears and the machine knitted jackets/cardigans. I did adore however the ledge that ran at waist level round Fannys room in the house that the Brawnes shared with Mr Brown and Mr Keats. I loved the shots in the fields of wild flowers and in the orchard, all those flowers! Oh to be able to bask in a field of flowers like that.
Mum and I went to see Australia yesterday and much to our surprise it was a whole lot better than we had expected it to be. We went to a 1020 session on a Sunday morning and the cinema was full. The movie has been out for almost two months now, that was pretty impressive.
What I loved the most was the clothes, oh such style. I would quite happily have a few of the blouses and a couple of the frocks and oh the skirts. I think you get the picture.
Also the landscape was just as mind blowing, all those sweeping landscapes and not a hazy sky amongst them..
Whilst the movie far exceeded my story expectations there were a few things that were weird including the child Nullah not growing over the three years or so the film was based on, also the fact that the Japanese landing they show in the film never happened, in that sense I have never been a fan of the movie title, Australia is a pretty big name to live up to. I think call it it Faraway Downs or The Drover or something else would have been just as epic.
It was well worth going to see and I could quite easily watch it again. It has a decent story line that has more than enough action it for those who want it and sweeping vistas and the fox dance for those who want something a little more dainty.
The Friday after Iceland arrived, Mum, Karl, Matthew and I headed off to what used to be our playground (the Girraween area) to do a little bit of a walk. We would be walking into South Bald Rock, where we would camp for two nights and spend the days climbing South Bald Rock, Middle Rock and West Bald Rock. On our way up to Bald Rock, we stopped at The Bramble Patch for some jam tasting, waffle eating and berry picking.
Once we got to the Bald Rock NP car park, we finished packing our packs and headed off up the track, trying to ignore those rain clouds looming above us. We couldn’t ignore those clouds for too long as we ended up with a decent shower as we walked. Though as Mum says she much prefers for it rain when you have already started walking as you keep going but starting to walk when it is raining is another matter. On the walk in, Karl was very lucky and managed to see a Lyre Bird on one of the granite slabs we walked over! After a couple of hours of ups, downs, arounds and over granite slabs (with a food break) we arrived at our camp site. I managed to get a leech attack with in about ohh 30 seconds of arriving at our campsite (more on that later). Mum pretty quickly scrambled up onto South Bald Rock for a play. Matthew, Karl and I started looking at which patch of ground would be the most suitable to camp on. M & K picked their spot on a nice clean leafless piece of grass and put up their fly. Mum eventually came down off the rock and then we cleared leaves away and put up our fly.
By this stage food was pretty high up on our list of wants and that meant it was time to break out the Optimus and cook the spag bol and take some photos.
With storm clouds on the horizon and a mysterious boom noise sounding in a regular pattern, it was time for bed. Thankfully the rain never came and when we woke up in the morning, it was pleasantly cloudy. Once breakfast was had and bags packed for the day walk we marched off down the road and onwards to West Bald Rock.
Along the way we found a birds nest with a little silver dew drop in.
Some Rock Orchids
Two men walking in front of us
A ground orchid
Some wattle, that smelt like heaven
Some very pretty ballet skirt flowers
Lots of cassurinas
an interesting twig
After scrambling up some granite slabs we found ourself on the top of West Bald Rock.
Then it was back down and around the track a little bit to the entry point to Middle Rock. Matthew stayed on the road minding the packs and the rest of us went up. We didn’t get to the top but had a great time as far as we did get.
Looking back at West Bald Rock
Now on Middle.
We then got some water from the nicest creek, the water was soo clear and fresh. Then back up the road to the nice looking rock for lunch.
Matthew at this time discovered he had a Leech on him, that was quickly removed and he set about cremating the Leech….
When we returned to camp, we had a little break before going up South Bald Rock – total peak baggers we are, 1 attempt and 2 mountains in a day. In this little break, I gummed on a yummy piece of Voodooo Mint Rocky Road, mmm and Karl took a series of photos.
Then we started up South Bald Rock, with an email from a friend of Mum’s telling us how to get to the cave. However we didn’t make it to the cave as when we first started we mixed up the directions with what we saw. We did eventually find the entrance to the caves but due to the lighting and thunder on the horizon we thought we better play it safe and save exploring the cave system till next time.
Once we got back down to camp, we had cous cous for dinner and then after the washing up was done, we all crawled into bed.
Shortly before 0200, Mum and I woke to rain drops coming in the top of the end fly, my response was to crawl closer to the middle of the fly and try to go back to sleep. A few minutes later, my feet started to get wet and the bottom half of my therma-rest was floating in about 10cm of water….. We quickly started piling our sleeping bags on the therma-rest in the middle of the fly and stuffing anything that was loose into our packs. We then put our raincoats on and got out to survey the storm. Matthew and Karl were on slightly lower ground and were totally flooded.
Wit raincoats and headlights on we worked to get stuff on to higher ground and in a little bit of shelter. There was then not much else we could do but wait out the storm. We walked up towards the slab and watched the water gushing off South Bald Rock in a flow of white. There was water everywhere. Along the road we found a whole heap of dark red yabbies ranging to about 15cm in length having a ball in all the water. When we first walked along the road, the water was easily 20cm in depth however the water quickly receded and we were left with wet gear, gentle rain and a hour or two before it was light. We took down the flies and rigged Karl and Matthew’s fly up on higher ground to give us space to put the packs and space out of the rain. Mum and Karl repacked the packs and just as the first bit of light appeared we got changed, had breakfast and started the walk out. The rain had brought all sorts of things out of the bush and one of the coolest things was these slugs that we found all over the place.
The bush just looked so green after the rain.
Just as I got near the end of a track a rock wallaby hopped across the track which was pretty cool and then when I got to the car park another wallaby hopped across the road.
When we were all changed and the car was packed with our belongings we started the trip home. We stopped at a few places along the way and the highlight would had to have been the Suttonâ€™s Juice Factory & Cidery, where I picked up Sun Downer Apple juice and Apple and Mandarin Juice – both very yummy. Matthew picked up a bottle of their cider and loved it so much that when Mum was back up in Stanthorpe the week before Christmas we got him a case of it.
The leech bite that I got on the first day managed to get infected and about 12 days later I got very sick, with swelling round the bite, hot and cold fevers, swollen glands and very tender spots in my leg. I went home very sick from work and after a nap, I called Mum who came and picked me up and took me to their house to look after me. I started to get better a day or two later but still had a very swollen gland in the leg that the leech bite had been on and tender spots all up my leg. It was then that I went to the doctor and got a nice course of Amoxicillin Clavulanate to clear the infection. All that is left now is a little bit of a scar!