I'd rather be fishing
This is where we went today.
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It's about half an hour away, still surrounded by city. A reasonably popular place, but lovely nonetheless. The day was reasonably warm (mid-20s) with patchy cloud. The river (estuarine) was not terribly cold — Richard went for a swim and didn't shiver when he got out. Sophie went fishing. There's a video at Flickr of her spinning.
We didn't catch anything, but some of the fish did nibble the bait. Too small to do anything with, though. We might go back with a whitebait net and make fritters on the wood-fired barbies they have there.
And although the mangrove swamps look like croc hideouts, they don't come this far south. I hope...
I am the Urban Spelling Nazi, baby
The one bad thing about Australia is the utter and complete obnoxiousness of the native wildlife. If it's a plant, it will poison you, and if it's an animal it will bite and then poison you, unless it manages to first throw itself under the wheels of your suburban assault vehicle. To cope with this, the first settlers developed a fizzy, piss-coloured drink that is almost but not entirely quite unlike beer. And the only sensible way to serve such an abomination, which is to real beer what an oven-ready broiler is to a Tyrannosaurus rex, is at about seven degrees below zero because at these temperatures your taste buds freeze, valiantly sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
Because it is somewhat unseemly to queue for 3 days outside Dan Murphy's for an outside chance of securing a single bottle of Old Speckled Hen, we have been brewing our own beer. Which is, in the words of any number of ex-pats we have invited round, "bloody good". We start with one of the standard starter kits (basically barley malt and hop extract) and tweak the recipes to our liking. A couple of days ago, we bottled a brew that we spiked with a couple of pounds of raw honey (there is a honey research group at work, and we have already made 5 gallons of mead using their leftovers), and decided that we needed to start naming our concoctions.
So, ladles and gentlespoons, please raise your glasses to
ABV ~ 6%, probably. Woohoo.
Light to variable
As Eccles might have put it. . .
Nearly there. . .
Why, you might ask, is Richard taking photos of tinned peas? Because dear friends,
this is raw material for . . . wait for it . . . mushy peas!
The only remaining thing I want but have not been able to source (ha ha) in Australia is Daddies Sauce.
Some photos from trips we took over the Easter hols.
We met some Aussie Easter bunnies on Rachel's birthday, at Murramarang national park:
Non-stop picture show
Lots and lots and lots of photos. Selected from NZ in January all through to a couple of weeks ago here in Aus. Strewth.
On the second day of spring. . .
. . . we went to the beach.
28°C. We hate it here, really, but are putting a brave face on it.
Where has all the time gone?
Well, we're having a great time in Oz, and have hundreds of photos. . . that I should put up on a website somewhere. Oops.
Clearing away the debris
We hate Telstra. But we have ADSL now, and may be reached at
grantfamily. Waitrose.com is dead, btinternet probably dead and ntlworld dying. Gmail is still live, but it won't let messages be picked up on more than 1 machine. Bah. The netspace addy gets to us all, I'll sort out individual mailboxes soon enough.
From Hill to Marsh
On Monday we get the keys to our new gaff in Sydney:
Ironic, really; we went from Red Hill Lane (in a flat, marshy area) to Red Myre Road (in a quite hilly part of Australia. Which is as dry as the proverbial bone).
Richard took some photos, naturally. Here's the self-consciously modern Australia Collection.
Oh to be in England
Hmm. That didn't work, did it? Never mind; I took Rachel up to Lincoln at the weekend and with her grandparents we went to the woods near Bawtry and collected chestnuts. It was a typically English Autumn day - no, not the fog, nor the rain, but as clear as a very clear thing with long shadows and golden leaffall. Untypically it was about 18°C, but I took some photos anyway.
The Rover is dead. Long live the Rover
Dozy *** pulled out in front of us on the A1(M) a just over a week ago. Fortunately no one was hurt, but a spin at 70 mph plus ramming the *** who caused the accident (that was not deliberate) resulted in an insurance write-off. Which was a shame.
Fortunately we found a replacement at a good price: a Rover 420SDi. And she's a goer. According to Kooij, the phrase to use is 'flash git'.
A shedload of photos from March through to a couple of days ago.
That was fun wasn't it?
You can just see Mr Fox in this one. He looked at me, I looked
at him, and he decided that he really didn't want to cross after all.
Just before Christmas
Just after Christmas
See the Grand Tour of the old place.
Finally got around to scanning and retouching this wedding photo.
There's some moisture damage at the bottom;
this is a webby version of the full-size scan.