Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why did I start this project.

I seem to be missing my regular posts lately - why is that? Certainly there is some enjoyment with blogging. It's even a form of relaxing as well as communicating, maybe even a different form of keeping a diary, even retaining one's sanity by letting your thoughts flow.

There was no Melbourne Weekend post - Why, you might well ask!!!
I was in the bloody bathroom most of the weekend, cutting tiles - gluing tiles - grouting tiles. I'm beginning to hate tiles, but when we both stand back and look at the progress albeit slow progress, there's a sense of satisfaction.

The tiling around the bath is now finished and the Plumber comes today to fit the taps and shower set.
Then a Glazier comes to fit a glass panel at one end of the bath for the shower.
So that end of the bathroom is finished all except for painting the ceiling and the plaster walls.
But of course there's still more - this weekend I start the tiling around the basin, grout the tiles, fit the mirror and then there's more painting.
Hmmm, why didn't I pay someone to do this? The cost, that's why. I've been told that a similar bathroom renovation would cost in the vicinity of $12.000 to $14,000. I think to date we've spent $4000, maybe $5000 by the time we finish.
Still along way to go but we are on the home stretch - what's the next project Sue?

Oh, Yes - a photo of France to make us all dream of travels.

Not quite sure where I took this, South of France,
maybe near the Italian border, possibly Menton.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Funky Friday with the Beatles in Melbourne

During the 60s, there was a rising band in Liverpool that an Australian promoter snapped up before they became world famous. They were signed up at a cost far below the amounts they commanded  in the height of their popularity. They arrived at Melbourne Airport in a wet and windy and were transported on the back of trucks so the fans could get a good view of their idols.
They stayed at the Southern Cross Hotel, then the place to stay - it no longer exists but the history of the Beatles visiting Melbourne does.

The now demolished Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne where someone who was someone stayed.
And these young lads were someone - weren't they?
Ringo only joined them for the Melbourne concert - He came later as he was unwell. A fill drummer was used. Jimmy Nichol was the fifth beatle for a very short time.
Jimmy Nichol to the far left

Monday, May 20, 2013

Family Foodie Fun

Leon, Leon, slack are you?! (TRUE SUE)
OK, I know you are working long hours, with a 90 minute commute each way, plus renovating the bathroom as well as trying to maintain a cycling persona on weekends and non rainy mornings, BUT...
Dear friends, he has left you all in my clutches for this, rather late, post. Sorry.

Mitch and I have an interesting relationship with food. He critiques everybloodything I cook!! Honestly! Every night's dinner, he will comment on the seasoning, the plating, the accompaniments, the lot. It drives Leon to distraction, but Mitch and I think it's fun! I know, we're nuts. The worst is to go out for dinner with Mitch and I!!! Sometimes, when Leon is away for the night, Mitch and I go out. We should write for a food magazine! We're tough though! Just in the family, and all fun.
But he never has cooked a three course meal before...

In Australia, it was Mothers' Day recently.
Mitch decided to cook dinner for Leon and I.
We had a fancy, pantcy menu presented to us in the dining room. I had no idea what was for dinner. I was banned from the kitchen. Noice!
First course was prawn kebabs with a delicate coconut dressing served with lime wedges. Leon didn't  photograph it because he was too busy scoffing it down! It was delicious!!
Mains was Moroccan lamb cutlets on a bed of carrot mash, served with green beans.
Just enough spice, and the flavours were great. Just enough Harissa. (north African spice paste)
The story of this one is great!
Australian Masterchef TV show a few years ago featured a guy called Chris who has since opened a foody bar in Melbourne that features beer. I'm not sure if this recipe is his, but it certainly has the hallmarks.
It was a beeramisu! Think tiramisu, but instead of using a chocolate liqueur Mitch used a chocolate flavoured stout. Sounds gross I know, but it was wonderful.
Clever boy!
What a fantastic mothers day present! Thanks Mitch.
Hopefully Leon will be back on deck for you all next week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesdays in France

Arles - Provence

Arles to the west of Provence
Beside the Rhone
as it makes its way to the sea
Van Gogh and the yellow house
Gauguin stayed with Vincent
to paint together

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pont Vieux - Beziers

Wednesdays in France
Beziers in the Languedoc
Southern France
Not as popular as Provence
It hides its treasures
for you to find.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

A weekend of Indulgence

Usually its all about what Sue cooks but this weekend it was her $% birthday starting with champagne Friday. We were invited to have Pizza with close friends but of course we took our champagne - well bubbles or sparkling since the French banned us using their regional titles.
Did you know that these days, Australia do not have Burgundy, Chablis, Hermitage wines any longer. Not a bad thing really as we have some great "New World" wines as does the USA.

Saturday night was again dinner out with friends at a local Italian restaurant to encourage one of our retired cyclists back into the fold. Hopefully we'll see him join us once again. (its a friendship thing, isn't it)
Someone let the cat out of the bag about Sue's birthday and so she was presented with a mini birthday cake with a sparkler by the restaurant owner. How nice.
Good friends, good times.
I like what the wall says - don't you?
BUT, Sunday was Sue's actual birthday, starting with a family breakfast and then an evening dinner at another local restaurant. Six Keys is a restaurant at No 6 Keys St, Beaumaris, no more than 15 minutes from home.
It was just Sue, me and our son Mitch. Perfect...
The Six Keys menu - It's in 6 Keys Rd, Beaumaris, hence the name.
The restaurant wasn't empty but I caught this picture at a serene moment.
Leon had gravlax and I'm not sure what else.
I had duck liver pate with warm baguette, poached pear and caramelised shallots. Very nice.
Mitch had slow cooked beef cheeks with sage gnocchi and Parmesan. He loved it.
This was our main course -mine a rib eye, Sue's beef medallions.
Sorry my photos are on a strange angle. They were taken on the iPhone and no matter what I do, they will not  save the right way up.
We shared this dessert plate. A strawberry soufflé, a bombe of some sort, chocolate eclair and apple crumble with ice cream. All tasty.
This was all washed down with a superb bottle of Cote d'Rhone - A nice way to finish off Sue's birthday.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Dove of Minerve

I have to say that the Dove of Minerve was a moving experience - Minerve itself was a totally moving experience. The population of Minerve were slaughtered, burnt alive by the catholic crusade against the Cathars. Religion and politics - partners in crime. No different to Hitlers crusade against the Jews.

For some further information on Catharism in the Languedoc, this wikipedia link will offer an insight.