Friday, July 7, 2017

Outback ...

Headed up to Gabyon station for a couple of days.


The weather was perfect - well a touch cold, but that just meant we could build a large fire each night to cook on and to keep warm.

Shooting Buddy cooked some delicious dinners using the dutch oven and the coals from the fire.  We had some steaks the first night with vegies, and lamb legs & vegies the second night.

The girls also did bananas and apples in foil for desert.

Hubby was on breakfast duty and the eggs & bacon for breakfast was delicious (but not cooked over the open fire :) ).

One of the things that's really hard on these types of holidays is that you don't want rain, but know that the station owners - and farmers in the district really, really, really need the rain.  Unfortunately it didn't rain while we were there.

This is our second trip to Gabyon, and we stayed in the quarters near the main house again.  These have REALLY comfortable beds and all the mod-cons, like power and hot water (well when you get the donkey going anyway).

Was surprised to see a microwave now in the kitchen - and no, we didn't use it :)

The owners are lovely - and it was great catching up with them, and doing some clay target shooting together.

We also did a bit of driving around one of the break-aways - Miss 13 decided she was on the hunt for skulls, so lots of dead animals were investigated.

Here are some photos of the trip:


Maija, our Finnish Exchange Student - at the Outback sign on the Morowa -> Yalgoo Road


Maija and Miss 13 climbing the hill (yes, they are in the photo)


And off for a horse ride - they had fun, even with the unexpected canter :)

If you want more photos, check out the last year's visit here.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Recent, random photos

Hi All

Here's some recent random photos of Miss 15's japanese adventure -

Out and about in a yukata for a day (the shoes didn't fit)



Doing her Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy impression



HAIR CUT - better for the humidity and for the daily swimming club -



Math's Class

Break Between Class

Police Car - First one she's seen in Japan

Rain from the class window


Train ride home 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lest we Forget


Thank you to all who have served and do serve.  Thank you to those who sacrificed their lives in service.

***

Special memory of Neil Munslow-Davies who passed away recently.  Thank you Neil for your service to the Country, and your friendship, leadership, care and concern for the children in Scouts.

***

For the Fallen

Related Poem Content Details

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, 
England mourns for her dead across the sea. 
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, 
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, 
There is music in the midst of desolation 
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. 
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; 
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home; 
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; 
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, 
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known 
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; 
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Lest We Forget

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Adventures with a Thermomix #2

So today we had Chili Con Carne from Mrs D plus 3's blog - original recipe from here .

Ingredients
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 10g olive oil
  • 500g mince
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli powder/flakes (or fresh)
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin chick peas
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbs veggie stock paste
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 50g tomato paste
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop the onion and garlic for 5 seconds on speed 5.
  2. Add the oil and saute for 3 mins on 100 degrees, speed 1.
  3. Add the carrots, capsicum and celery and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5.
  4. Add the cumin, chilli flakes, cinnamon and black pepper and cook on reverse speed soft for 5 mins at 100 degrees.
  5. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, balsamic vinegar and stock and mix on reverse speed 1 for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the mince and cook for 25 mins on reverse speed soft at 100 degrees.
  7. Serve with rice and a dollop of plain yoghurt.

Couple of notes, couldn't get the speed dial to turn initially, had to take the bowl out, lid off and start from scratch again.

Also need to break up meat before putting in the bowl, the mixing doesn't break it up enough. I think next time I'll add a step 4b in to break up the mince before putting the other items in.

But definitely a delicious dish and will be on the regular menu.

Adventures with a Thermomix #1

I've finally did it.  I bought a Thermomix TM31 second hand from a lady who likes cooking the "old fashioned way".  My hubby and a dear friend contributed to the cost, so it's actually an early birthday present.

So today I decided to give it a go.

Now, when you buy one new, I believe, that the lovely Thermomix Consultants deliver it and help you get started.  This, of course, doesn't happen when you buy one second hand.  So I'm relying on the books that came with it, and the internet to get going :)

Fitting it all together wasn't that hard - especially after reading the bit about putting the sealing ring in the lid.

The first thing I tried it in was milling some cardamon seeds as I was going to cook Biryani Rice from the Meat on the Menu cookbook.

However, I quickly discovered that this wasn't appropriate for a complete beginner as it had instructions like "Cover with lid and Varoma dish containing half cooked potatoes and eggs".

Neither potatoes and eggs were in the ingredient list, and I didn't actually want potatoes, and I wasn't sure if the "half cooked" referred to the eggs as well as the potatoes, and if I didn't want to do this, what lid was I supposed to use? You can see my problem - remember, complete beginner.

So I flicked through the other books that I received with the machine and found the Everyday Cookbook, which seems to be more targeted at my level.

On page 22 it told you how to make Cooked Rice, so I used those instructions with the spices recommended by the Biryani recipe and I'm now waiting for it to cook.

My only complaint so far, is that it is pretty noisy :(

UPDATE:  When it finishes it yells at you until you turn the speed off :)    Rice tastes yummy, but 400gm of rice was a bit too much.  Next time I'll stick to 300gm.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miss 15 - Out and About

Some photos from Miss 15's last weekend at Mount Takao:







Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

Miss 15 - Day 17 in Japan

She went to see the cherry blossoms today

Miss 15 - Day 16 in Japan - Day 1 of School

Last message received from Miss 15 last night:

"im presenting a speech in japanese infront of the whole school tomorrow morning"

From today:

She also met some of her teachers today and spoke with some other students - in Japanese :)

It was only a half day.  They start full-time on Monday.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Miss 15 - Day 15 in Japan

Miss 15 went on Monday to the school to get fitted for her uniform, apparently they don't make Japanese people in her size.

SO the school can provide a skirt for her (wonder how short it is), but she needed to go to a normal department shop to find school shirts and she's getting a blazer made for her.

So today she went shopping for the shirts.

Her report:

"[Shopping was] difficult because my arms were so long and my shoulders are wide - but I found my size in mens, so yay"

UPDATE
Photo obtained:

UPDATE 2: Added a Japanese student wearing the uniform for comparison.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Miss 15's - 14th Day in Japan

Look what she got up to ...  She visited Yomiuri Land - and yes, she did go on the roller coaster and ferris wheel