Thursday 26 September 2013

Some dreams take a while!

25 years ago Hubster was in Australia. He waited on tables and drove and back packed his way around vast swathes of this immense country.

However, time did not allow for him to explore the Northern Territory and so it became a dream of his to do so one day.

The Northern Territory is the true home of the Aboriginal peoples, those indigenous to this beautiful place, the real heritage of this country. It is the most wild and raw landscape in Australia.

When we were given the opportunity to move to here, the seed planted some 25 years ago was fertilised once more in Hubster's mind.

The DREAM was then given a date. Hubster's 50th birthday celebrations, October 2013.

So it was no longer a dream, it became a GOAL.

Broken down that goal soon became a PLAN.

A plan of many hours in the making and now the DREAM is coming true.

Broome to Darwin in 16 days.

This will be our home, our sustenance and our means of travel during this time.

Toyota Landcruiser Challenger Camper

This is the distance we will be covering, some 2500 km with much off road.

A-J Broome to Darwin

Dreams do come true, its just that some can take a while.

Never give up on them though hey?

Happy 50th Birthday to my wonderful husband. How blessed I feel to be sharing this journey with him, sharing a dream he conceived before we had even met.

See you later alligator, in a while crocodile. (we are sure to see plenty of the latter apparently there is a proliferation of "salties" this year!)


Sunday 22 September 2013

Junk Food

Yesterday I got up early and headed down to the Docklands in the City.

It was a lovely clear day, beautiful blue sky with a slight nip in the air.

Doing as all Melbournians do, I lingered over a nice house roasted, long black coffee and waited to meet up with my dear friend, Magda.

Together we boarded a lovely wooden junk boat called The Oriental Queen where we partook in a Vietnamese cookery class. (as you do!)

Hazel, the tutor, who was as Aussie as they come (looked like Davina McCall I thought) was great. She taught us, she engaged us and she involved us all the way through.

The pestle and mortar is an absolute must with this cuisine and so I made a mental note to salvage mine from the back of the cupboard.

Thai food has very clean, crisp, fragrant flavours, Vietnamese is, well, somewhat grungier, more rustic and robust I would say. It is not as heavy on the chili as Thai but lashings of fish sauce goes into everything and surprisingly so does oodles of black pepper too.

(Top tip: add fish sauce to chicken pie or steaks on the BBQ etc, brings out the flavour brilliantly without a hint of fishiness!)

I finally learnt how to prepare fresh lemongrass properly - yes there is definitely a knack to it.

We got through a comprehensive menu in the allotted time and then had the "arduous" task of scoffing our venerable feast with the other attendees.

Fragrant Pork and Prawn Sausage in Rice Paper Rolls
Chicken with Lemongrass Chili
Sugar Cane Prawns with Green Mango Salad
Pork Spare Ribs cooked in Young Coconut Water with Coconut and Ginger Jasmine Rice
Steamed Sticky Rice with Banana, Coconut Cream and Mangosteen
It was fun, it was delicious, new skills were picked up and it was such a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday with a friend as enthusiastic as me!
As for Hazel and her junk food cooking school what can I say but end with that old Chinese Proverb:
"A good teacher is more valuable than a whole ton of books"
The Spanish Tapas class is now calling me..........................................



Monday 9 September 2013

Super 6

Coming down from a celebratory and fun weekend.

Our 6th wedding anniversary felt like a bit of a milestone given that we only reached our 5th in our first marriage.

Confused? In a nutshell, married, divorced, remarried.

We enjoyed cocktails and posh nosh on Saturday night. So nice to pop on a dress and a pair of sling backs.

On Sunday we booked ourselves on the Colonial Restaurant Tram for lunch. If you live in Melbourne - do it!  Don't think it is so touristy that it must be naff. Not one bit of it, it was great. This time Tripadvisor was spot on.

It's unique, the only place in the world that does this. The lunch was delicious, your drink of choice, free flowing and the waiters were both brilliant and funny as hell.

It takes a lot for someone to get me to burst into song in a carriage full of people! Joe our Italian/Aussie waiter was pure comedic gold and a fine baritone to boot.

It was also a fantastic way of seeing the City, yes it does look different and you do take in more and Hubster and I loved every minute.

We shared some real giggles during our 2 hour trip, which passed way too quickly.

Again, again. Yes we will definitely do it again. Next time the city at night.

It was a top anniversary although we are definitely foodied and bubbled out!

6 years is Iron and I am so happy to say that we are as strong as.


Sunday 1 September 2013

Spring has sprung!

Silly season is upon us once more.

1st September, first day of Spring and Melbourne comes out of hibernation and so do the thongs (flip flops!)


The weather is mighty fine.

Parks, beaches and cafes are brimming. Cycle lanes are thronging with "mamils" and the dog beach is in full bark once more.

It is a beautiful day and it is also Aussie Father's Day to boot.

Buzz, buzz buzz.

We were out early with the boys on the beach.

We got out on the bikes for a linky lonky lunch and felt joyous that the fine weather was with us once more.


Enjoyed a fantastic seafood lunch at Claypots and spotted Aunty Gok (Wan) in town (how he will love St Kilda). Very cool.

Then home for play with my boys.

TOP TOP Day Chez T-J.

Spring has sprung.