Sunday, April 27, 2014

A New Car in the Driveway and a Canberra visit

We've just returned from Canberra, land of the Federal (or more appropriately feral) politicians. At the time of our visit, the Royals (Kate and Willie) were in town, not that you would have noticed but then again, our Australian Capital is fairly quiet.

What was I on about - yes, we went there to trade my MG ZT190 for a low mileage Citroen C4. Why is it that my cars are always black? After doing the change-over we decided to celebrate over a bottle of wine at the Canberra Hyatt. This is not a modern building but actually from Canberra's earlier era built from 1922 to 1925. It's very "High Tea" with Bell Hops in plus, golf socks and flat caps.

The Citroen C4 will suit our needs better these days and the MG was getting a few klms on the clock and being a manual transmission, I was getting grumpy in Melbourne traffic. Sue's Peugeot 307 will be a good friend to the Citroen.
There's also the Citroen Xantia in the garage so we are now an all French car driveway.

Sitting in the autumn sun enjoying a celebration wine in the gardens of the Canberra Hyatt Hotel.
The Canberra Hyatt Hotel in the late 1920s possibly.
We sat in the garden with the last sun of the season as autumn was greeting us with the colours of orange, yellow and ochre. The leaves were falling to the ground and telling us that winter is not far off. Canberra being not far from the Alpine Region has temperatures sometimes at 3 below.

The streets of Canberra have the colours of autumn.
It was a bit of a rush visit with a 1400 plus kms drive there and back - That's Australia!!!!
A two night stay didn't allow for much sight seeing as we left the Nation's Capital early on ANZAC morning to be back at Melbourne Airport to pick up our son Andrew who was flying in from Sydney from a conference he was attending.

There is a town off the highway that I've always wanted to visit but we have never taken the opportunity to stop. We left Canberra without having breakfast so this time we took the turn-off Jugiong (I still don't know how to pronounce it). What a delightful surprise it was and next time we travel the Hume Highway, this will be a refresher stop every time.
Wikipedia - Jugiong is a village community on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, in the central east part of the Riverina. It is situated just off the Hume Highway, by road, about 30 kilometres southwest from Bookham and 40 kilometres northeast from Gundagai. At the 2006 census, Jugiong had a population of 232 people.[1]
It was first settled in the 1820s when Henry O'Brien started grazing sheep on the Jugiong Run.

The Long Track Pantry seems to be the only commercial enterprise in Jugiong and certainly much more inviting than the fast food highway stops. I wonder what is hidden behind those vines?
It was time to leave this wonderful interlude in our trip back to Melbourne.

Another cook book for Sue's Foodie Library.
We saw the sign which told us there was a cafe there, so we turned off, hopeful that it would be open on Anzac Day morning. 
Not only was it open, but in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere, it was doing a roaring trade. And no wonder!
It was fabulous! very rustic looking, with lots of shelves around the room, packed full of their own branded jams, dressings and preserves, all made on site and sourced from local ingredients, as well as items of kitchenware for sale. There were fridges full of local produce and a freezer with home made curries, soups and lasagne again all sourced from local farms. In the corner was a young girl manning a large coffee machine which went flat out the whole time we were there. Attached to this was a long, high bench with a mouthwatering display of fresh cakes and muffins still warm from the oven.
Blackboards displayed the menus for the day. We both chose toasties, mine with fine slices of lamb from a local farm, lightly smoked along with a local cheese and home made relish. Yum!
It was a fabulous find just off the Hume Highway which boasts long stretches of boring road,  punctuated only by service stations attached to all manner of fast "food"outlets.
As Leon said, I bought the book (one of the two on offer) and tonight will probably make something from it. Homemade, slow cooked baked beans, rich with bacon and tomatoes will be ready for anyone wanting them for breakfast in the morning!
The book is not only a cookbook however as it also contains snatches of poems, mostly Australian, related to the countryside and the experience of Australian country living through the years, harking back to the days when shearers expected a breakfast full of mutton and other doubtful delights.

Recipes and further information on their website here;

How did Canberra come about?


  1. Love the Long Track Pantry, and would have something similar if I could if I was doing things differently here!

    1. Vera - I think if we were younger, Sue would have loved doing something like the Long Track Pantry buy currently she's putting a rough manuscript (cook book) together for young adults leaving the family nest. She did something similar for our son when he lived overseas - a real survival guide.

  2. Like the new car and the Pantry looks great. Hope all well D & N

  3. Wow it looks like it was a nice fall day. I can not wait for fall to get here. I have had to miss the past 3 because I have been out of the country. But not this year. Summer is almost here and then the fun months of football and the leaves falling will be here at long last.

    Paige Hollingsworth @ Baldwin Motors Lincoln

  4. So fun to have a new car. The new car feel always stays with me for about a month. The first year with a car is still special and then after that, it loses its charm. I have started to lease cars because I lose interest in them so quickly. I do own one in case of emergencies at home.

    Freddy @ Jacky Jones CDJR

  5. The local car dealership was running a special last week for end of the year clearance cars. I decided to just go down to see what inventory was left, when the dealer told me they had to sell over 400 cars. I threw them an offer and told them to call me if they can get me in at that price. Three days later I was driving a new car at the price I wanted.

    Jeromy @ Fiesta Kia


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