Thursday, 30 July 2015

Absolute Must Read Short Story by Jo

Those of you who don't know Jo from All The Blue Day, well shame on you.  This lovely woman down south in Tassie has been inspiring and amusing me with her wacky observations of life as a thrifty and frugal single mum for quite some time.  She has style, she is a lady, she is hard working, a great mum and Oh My Goodness is she a great writer.

Jo has entered a short story in a writing competition and after reading it all i can say is ITS TOO SHORT. I want a book.  NO, i want several books.  

As Molly would say, do yourself a favour........

The Milk Maid and the Boy Who Cried for the Moon

PS.  For all those friends and family that work the land......... the age of farming will return.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Monday, 20 July 2015

Brrr..... Its a Cold but Beautiful Winter's Day

Are you sick of reading how cold it is in Oz yet.   Well let me tell you again, its bloody cold.  (Note to all OS readers, "Bloody" is not swearing in Oz)  What else would you expect people, its the middle of winter!  My friend Jessie in Ballan (40 minutes away) told me it was -6.4C so really, what am i complaining about.  I'm thinking that we will all need to acclimatize to these extreme temps and be more prepared.  I could, for example, actually buy a coat.  Not a ski puffy one that would make someone want to grab me and shove me on a pole outside a tyre place

Jeepers, the resemblance is uncanny!!!   (Gulp)

but a nice woollen one that is stylish and warm.  Problem? I hate shopping!  So i just layer up with whatever i can find on cold days with no regard to style or fashion.  Its not like we have a lot of days like these and well those coats cost a pretty penny.   I leave a warm house, get into a warm car (when its de-iced), enter a warm office and do the same in reverse for 5 out of 7 days so i don't want to spend a fortune on that sometimes only item.

My little seedlings are snug and warm inside the drink bottle homes in the garden.  More importantly they are also safe from opportunistic birds that eat anything green that i plant.  I have noted that nothing has touched the broad bean plants, and i cant say i blame them.  The things i grow for my husband!

So you would think that my sister (sleeping over) and i would stay inside, all snug and warm and watch movies or play Soduko and Solitaire on Sunday.  Well you are wrong.  I grabbed my big sis and we went for a drive, yet again down to the Bellarine Peninsular.  I'd found yet another person who has bypassed this little corner just under Geelong on their way to The Great Ocean Road.  They really need to do some PR work. I seem to be doing it for them.   Since i was only there a few weeks ago you can see a map on my last post here which featured Port Arlington.  Yesterday, after visiting the same bakery for bacon and egg brunch, we went further along the bay to Port Lonsdale.

The pier directly faces The Rip, where the mouth of the bay meets Bass Straight and its great to sit on the bench and watch waves from every direction crashing like a big washing machine.

Though there have been  navigational aids on this spot since 1852, this lighthouse first operated in 1902 and continues to be manned 24 hours a day (one of the last in Australia) even though it was automated in 1999. The Rip is the only entrance to Port Philip Bay and is one of the ten most treacherous navigable passages in the world.

OK, history lesson over.   Isn't it beautiful.  Though it was still chilly, there was a lovely warmth when you stood in the winter sun.  There were people both board surfing and in the distance kite surfing as well as plenty of people fishing.

We dropped off at a Farmers Market on the way home and bought some very cheap Pink Lady apples and then visited my friend Ella in Lara before making our way home.  On Saturday night (i always like to spoil Glenda) i cooked a Roast Lamb meal with lots of baked veggies.  I must say my gravy was just it and a bit. You know how sometimes all the planets align and its just perfect.  Finger and plate lickin good.   So on arriving home Sunday i made lamb fritters with chopped lamb, finely chopped onion, sun dried tomatoes, crumbled feta and herbed batter made with SR Flour.  Yum.  This is dry fried in a non stick pan.

Tonight the left over roasted vegetables turned into a Egg, Bacon and Veggie Pie.  

Line a greased pie dish with puff pastry followed by a layer of bacon, a layer baked potato, carrots, and sweet potato with green beans.  Then crack about 6 eggs on top and let it run between all the veggies.  I break the yolk.  Add another layer of bacon and then using all the scraps from around the edges do something decorative on top.  Bake at 180 for 40 minutes.   Its going to be a yummy lunch tomorrow.   Since i was away, Tom missed out on his weekly sausage rolls so i was booked to make them tonight.

Pinwheel Sausage Rolls - Frozen Sheet of Puff, spread with Beef Sausage Mince, Tomato Paste, Salami, Sprinkle of Cheese.  When slightly defrosted roll up tight and slice.  Bake on oven tray about 20 min. in hot oven.

These are the last of my summer tomatoes that have ripened in the kitchen.  I have lots of little seedlings coming up and i keep telling them, NOT YET!!!

In case you didn't know, I've lost my mind.  Actually make that my head, my hand and my foot.

Slight accident has left me feeling a little disjointed.  Hopefully i can pull myself back together soon.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Bellarine Peninsular - day trip

Last weekend my BFF and I escaped for a drive around the Bellarine Peninsular,  only a 40 minute drive from home (about 1 1/2 hrs South West from Melbourne).  I have driven past the turnoff to Portarlington many times on my way to Queenscliff and commented that i had never been there.  Sunday was the day we got off the well worn route to our regular lunch spot and went somewhere different.

Don't be afraid of change. 
You may lose something good and find something better.

So for those overseas, this is where we went.

The Bellarine Peninsular is surrounded by Port Phillip Bay, Corio Bay and Bass Strait.  It is filled with wineries, historic seaside villages, and foodie destinations.   Extremely popular during the summer season, i find it just as beautiful during the cooler months and certainly much quieter.  It is still possible to take a "Sunday Drive" (read slow drive wandering all over the road, not paying attention to where you are going, looking at houses and talking non-stop).

Our first stop was the boat jetty at Clifton Springs.  Who knew such a lovely spot was at the end of the road.  It appeared to be a mostly residential village of 8,000 dominated by a golf club and new housing estates (they are breeding like a virus).  We hopped out for a short walk along the shore.

I'm trying to be artistic using PicMonkey.  I'm a frustrated photographer with only an Iphone.

My BFF rocking her favourite red scarf that i bought her years ago.  That gull is taking its life into its own wings, sitting on my car.  It was very lucky it didn't leave anything behind.   There is always something amusing to watch at the boat jetty.

Since we didn't know (or care) where we were going and the aim was to follow the shore we moved onto Portarlington.  This small seaside village has many historic buildings dating back to 1850's.  The village centre has still retained its old world charm with a rotunda and the large Grand Hotel dominating. We had lunch at the Portarlington Bakery.  What a charmer with log fire, authentic bread and delicious cakes. We both opted for the All Day Breaky  which at $13 was a bargain.  Warning - they take cash only.

We finally found the esplanade that runs for 10km along the shore line from Portarlington to St Leonards. Half way around i noted that we were not looking at the bay.  Our heads were firmly turned to the left assessing the real estate.  A mix of original beach houses and new glass mansions.  It soon became obvious that we were on opposite sides of the fence. I like old worldy homes and she likes them modern, minimalist with lots of glass.  We then moved on to devising a plan to spend our imaginary millions on first a beach house for our holidays and then onto investment properties. I did a double take and quickly did a U Turn because there it was.  Our future.  The worst house on the best street.  I'm not sure if it is occupied (God i hope not) but i was out there taking my photos anyway.  Take a look at the view!

Gorgeous isn't it (the view not the house).  The block was long and straight.  I'm guessing about 800m2.  We both watch a lot of real estate shows on Foxtel.  Its become an obsession of mine.  I dream floor plans. Guaranteed to go to sleep with a smile on my face.

I've posted the above thinking of a recent post from Gill, That British Woman.  Every week she gives us a selection of her favourite home, cottage or condo from the real estate site Toronto Life. Well last weeks "cottage" costs $12 Million, 8500 square foot on 11 acres of private island.   That is not a cottage!  This is a cottage, or was.

We moved onto our regular haunt in Queenscliff for coffee and found the older gentleman running the little nursery practically giving away Yukkas from his own garden.  At $3 each they were a bargain, so we shared them. On reaching home, i ended up with all 5 of them.

We stretched our day out till late afternoon still not having run out of chat.  I'm looking forward to returning to the area and doing some more exploring.

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