Thursday 31 May 2012

Looking Good

.......introducing Anthea

Well my hubby had no hope of having his shirts ironed today. Not on a day like this.

The bay is like a millpond, there isn't a cloud in the azure sky. The beachfront pads with their ocean views and infinity pools look even more bling today.

Days like this are what I hoped for and dreamt of during those difficult last few months of goodbyes.

The reality is better. Not often you can say that.

The boy is beside himself joyfully playing chase with his doggie pals and my heart is light and thankful.

No there will be no ironing today.

But there will be coffee and there will be friendship at the lovely North Point Cafe.

So all in all, as the boat in the bay rightly proclaims, life is "looking good".

Monday 28 May 2012


It came to me that every time I lose a fur baby, they take a piece of my heart, and every time a new fur baby comes into my life they gift me with a piece of their heart.

So I have gathered that if I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and that can only mean one thing, that I will become as generous, loyal, loving and happy in the moment as they are.

It's not a bad aim to have in life and if ever you needed any justification for sharing your life with one then this is it.

"You like greyhounds then?" he said as he put up picture after picture

No I love them, I have chosen Greyhounds as a theme I suppose because I have been owned by so many but.......

I love all dogs. Full stop.

In fact I adore all animals and creatures of all kinds. End of.

Even the wasps and the spiders have their place and their role.

I even shoo the cockroaches outside.

Why not? If you believe in karma who's to say I wont come back as one.

Miss you Sparky boy, you were very special indeed!

Miss you Whiskey, Casey, Sammy, Lucy, Sparky and Blue, I hope you are all having fun over the Rainbow Bridge.

Between the acts

Today all the electricity has been turned off. You could hear a pin drop in the house, not even the sound of a boiling kettle, the rumble of the TV I never actually watch or the incessant hum of the freezer.

I thought it would be an inconvenience I cant get anything done!

But no, everything stands still and my mind and my heart are talking loudly to each other.

This is what they want me to hear.

There are intervals in life. The show just can't run non-stop. In between acts, the curtain must drop. Circumstances take a hand breaking the pattern of the old routine. Like family illnesses and upheavals which call a halt to proceedings and there is nothing you can do but wait.

But whilst you are waiting you learn the grace of faith and of strength and it's great gentleness. Your life is being changed, your problems are being reviewed, the intervals have to happen, so best just to accept them.

I am not going through these testing times between the acts, I am coming through them and therein lies the difference.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

If this is Winter

I am getting confused by the "Winter" season here.

I met my dog walking friend Rachel today. She had a woolie hat on, a hoodie and was wrapped up for the Arctic.

"It's freezing" she greeted me.

Huh? No the sky is blue, the sun is bright, yes it's breezy and its 18 degrees. A perfectly beautiful day.

If this is Winter, then I am one happy bunny but I think the Summer that the Aussies love so much and are so well adapted to is going to be a challenge for me.

Rachel's payback time will come!

This afternoon the draw of this beautiful day called me back out again. The ironing can wait, so can that very frustrating call to Telstra (BT equivalent). I hit the bay once more.

I have a heavy heart, permit me to use some Aussie frankness. I am here, my mum is back home, she is gravely ill.

The only thing for it was a 2.5 hour walk on a beautiful Winter's day, a clear head is needed.

You only get one. Regardless.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Blue Beauties!

Yesterday was a tad calamitous on the Golden Mile. Radders was ambushed by a pesky Husky on the dog beach and sustained a flesh wound requiring the vet and the subsequent parting of many $$$$$!

"I've been coming down here 10 years never seen a dog bitten yet!" he said

Great. Just two weeks of daily romps and yup, what can I say? Typical Radders, just typical.

We had a more sedate walk today along the shore in the bay. Lovely clumps of fresh bay mussels are currently being washed up and it is so tempting to take them. Is it allowed?

They have a beautiful blue sheen and at 9am I wondered if it was too early to put them on the breakfast menu.

Yes ok, I'll  put them on the dinner menu instead.

So far Australia has not disappointed but exceeded our expectations with it's seafood. Me and the Hubster are fish and seafood crazy, its a joy!

If there are mussels or Moreton Bay Bugs on the menu, we struggle to steer our eyes away to look at anything else. The bugs aren't really bugs, a cross between lobster and crayfish I'd say.

The Australian Blue Mussels, freshly harvested from the clear waters of the Victorian coast are some of the plumpest and sweetest we have ever tasted.

Washed, beards removed and ready to go.

Prepare the sauce by simmering the following ingredients on a low heat for 20 mins.

A generous bottle of Italian passata (tomato sauce)
lashings of finely diced garlic & onions
a grand kick of chili (birdseye for us)
bundles of fresh coriander
a good glug of white wine
a few hearty turns of the pepper mill

Pour sauce over mussels and combine well in a "Moules pot" or large saucepan with lid on.

Cook on the hob until the shells have opened about 5-7 minutes depending on size.

Discard those that haven't, the disobedient ones!

Serve with liberal amounts of fresh coriander, a squirt of lime from your very own lime tree is best and a basket full of bread to mop up. Whatever takes your fancy.

Bon appetit.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Mother's Day in the "beautiful country"

...thats another term the Aussies use for their homeland.

Sadly, it's a very soggy one and sadly I have to say it's just as horribly commercialised here, as it is back home.

I had coffee the other day at my regular and most favourite haunt, Tuccibrowns. (this place deserves a little blog entry all of its own). I was chatting to a lady who said, I don't want anything, I just want my kids to be able to sit around the table with me for at least 30 minutes without getting up to attend to a constant flow of messages from all manner of social media.

She has a point, sign of the times. I suppose that includes blogs!

The T-J's are staying home today.

Hubster is buried in paperwork.

Radders is doing the second thing he loves most in the world.

Me? I am making stew, ironing and doing battle with sand covered wooden floors. That's what you get when you live near the beach!

Domesticity feels good, just hanging out doing our own thing but very much within each others company.

The very things that have evaded us for a long time now.

We are making our home, we have bought rugs and a 5ft tall mirror that still looks small on the mantel piece. It's a work in progress.

Blessings to all the yummy mummy's the world over.

Are you having a lovely weekend?

Fancy a coffee with me at Tuccibrowns? Let me know.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Lets just have "Now"

As he trots by my side I am certain that "Angels" walk this world of ours and I am certain they are in a furry form.

These angels care nothing for status, high or low or any worldly rank we humans might attain.

They feed on our love, shares the warmth of our mutual bond, comfort unconditionally and bring heartfelt joy by just being them and they ask so little of us in return.

When God created them he wasn't sure what name to give them but given the gifts they bestow on us, he simply decided to spell his own name backwards and call them Dog.

My dog is all of the above and more, I am sure your dog is for you too.

Furry angels, who try and teach us every single day that being in the moment is the only place to be.

......or on the sofa of course Momma!
Thank you Radders for helping me so much during this huge cultural transition.

Thank you for attracting peoples attention like you do, just because you are you, so that they stop and I am able to talk to someone.

Thank you for playing so beautifully with your doggie friends on the beach so that their owners stop and compliment me on your obedience which helps to boost my confidence.

Thank you today, you knew I was a little flat didn't you?

Off you trotted to the cupboard, you picked up your ball, dropped it by my feet and nudged it towards me with your nose. I know what you were saying

"Momma, don't worry about yesterday or fear whats in store tomorrow, lets go and play ball and just have Now!"

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Random stuff - Part III

I have been having fun with the words! I really can't see me picking up the accent but I am having to get to grips with new words and the alternative meaning of others.

Ice lollies are ice blocks, sweets are lollies, crisps are chips and candy floss is fairy floss.

Somethings seem quite American and others very British, it is definitely a melting pot.

Thongs are not G-Strings, they are flip flops and a cool box is an Esky, that totally threw me and cling film is called Glad wrap.

To say you are shattered does not mean you are tired here it means you are totally broken emotionally. Definitely one to be careful with.

Understanding the traffic news is fun!

They drive on the left like us, great result but that is really the end of all similarity, terminology is definitely US influenced.

A main road is a highway, a motorway is a freeway, a pedestrian crossing is a cross walk, a pavement is a footpath and the central reservation is called a median whereas the verge is called a nature strip.

A lorry is a truck, a saloon car is a sedan and an estate car is a station wagon. HGV lorries are called road trains.

If there is an incident on the road and everyone is rubber necking you will also hear it being referred to as sticky beaking. Sticky beaking is also the term given to people who go and view houses just to have a nose.

The kitchen work top is called a bench

Most words you get the gist of what they mean but others have completely thrown me.

If you bum something, it means you 'begged' it from a friend ie  'I'm short. Can I bum a dollar from you?'My friend from Brisbane referred to her daughter as being a proper Ranga. We call redheads, gingas here they call them rangas. The term comes from an abbreviation of orangutan, who of course have red fur.

I was looking to buy some fitted sheets in the department store and was told they would be in the 'Manchester'  section. What??? This is the word used for the bed linen department. Apparently it goes back to when Manchester was famous for it's textiles in colonial times. Interesting one.....

and finally Dead Horse is tomato sauce so you can imagine how bemused I was when the waitress asked if I wanted some Dead Horse with my fries!

Yesty arvo our furniture arrived from the UK.

Slowly but surely "straya" (Aussie for Australia) is becoming home.
...and Radders is getting his own post
"well of course I am, it's all about me!"

Thursday 3 May 2012

The wonder of.....

Woolies. Are you old enough, like me, to remember that advert?

I eventually found it, in Woolworths in St Kilda.

Ribena Light that is. I am such a "beena" girl. I cant believe I paid $15 for 2 bottles that's an eye watering £9.55.

We paid $23 for 2 x Fish n Chips (£14.65), I know I can hear your gasps from here. They were amazing however but.....

Oh its so expensive here, there comes a point when you just have to turn a blind eye otherwise you wouldn't buy a thing.

Fuel is cheaper than home, so are manicures. That's about it I'd say.

Notice I said Woolworths, you thought they had disappeared forever didn't you?

Not so, the wonder of Woolies is alive and well Down Under, disguised as a big supermarket chain, the biggest in Oz so I believe. The signage is green though not red. Odd.

There is another one called Coles (not as good in my opinion), Dawn French is all over the telly promoting their loyalty card, its shameful, she is embarrassing. Dawn has it really come to this? Their signage is red.

At the check out in Woolies I said, "Sorry just rooting for my purse".

Rooting does not translate as looking for something or supporting someone here. It's meaning is much more carnal than that, I will leave that one with you to decipher.


I enjoyed "welcome" drinks with our neighbours last night. It is a new development here so there are a few newbie residents. It was lovely and the bubbles and conversation were a welcome tonic.

The lady who hosted it, (fabulous flair for interior design and a bargain, my kind of gal!), was no other than the General Manager of Woolies Australia.

How about that then?

The weather has turned, it's raining - hard. Thought we would keep Blighty company. We were the only ones on the dog beach  - it figures, we are brave. The Aussies think I am crazy, they have told me so.

"You're going good going down there this morning" he said

I think that translates as "you'd be mad to".

We do, whatever the weather, we don't care!