Magpie Season

This morning on my way to work I saw my first Magpie swooping for this year.  I like nature, don’t get me wrong, but it gets a bit vicious this time of year.  Last year there was one with a real aversion to bikes that lived along the bike paths.  I don’t know what it’s deal was, but it and it’s brethren are the reason that most of the bicyclists on Bribie wear helmets with wonderfully artistic cable tie creations on top.  This particular fellow had a penchant for swooping in under the helmet from the left hand side and going for your eyes.

Also on vicious nature went for a walk up Wild Horse Mountain last weekend and were nearly carried away by mosquitos.  Detracted somewhat from the amazing views.  Will have to remember repellant next time we go.  They were HUGE and everywhere.

The seeds we planted last week are going nuts – the beans are already nearly ready to go in the ground, so I’ll have to start getting them ready for the sun, just realised the other day that whilst our shadehouse is wonderful and the plants that live there are awesome I have created more work for myself there.  We’ve had a great success rate with the beans, sunflowers, and poppies.  The linseed is going ok as are the beets, and the others are all a bit hit and miss.  Also from last weeks post I have started the sourdough.  As of yesterday I’ve had to consign it to the outside table as it is bubbling away beautifully, if rather pungently.  Hopefully this time I’ll have a better success with it.

On the house front – floors are booked in, and solar panels hitting the roof on Monday. Found a tiny patch of beautiful hardwood at the end of the hall, they oviously needed something a bit stronger than chipboard under the concrete in the bathroom and toilet.  But it would have been so awesome if it was everywhere – it’s so pretty.  Instead we are getting fake wood in the form of vinyl planks, which look suprisingly realistic, and not vinyl-y. Trying to work out what to do about the kickboards in the kitchen – they’re about 20 mm short of the floor, currently I’m trying to work out if I can do some kind of a cove tile to bridge the gap.  It would give a nice curved finish too and make cleaning better, but I just don’t know if it’s practical, or even do-able.

Shall report back next week!


Sourdough dreams

IMG_20140910_142706I have tried, once before to make my own sourdough.  After carefully measuring and feeding my way through about 5 days I had a lovely if rather whiffy mason jar sitting on my bench, nearly ready to go but when it only had a day or so to go a cold snap came along and killed it.

So now the kitchen is so close to being finished I’m feeling like I have some breathing space, and some bench space, and it’s coming up to summer, so it might be time to try again.  It’s pretty much just a case of 200g flour with 200ml warm water feeding and fermenting. But of course, as with all things which appear outwardly simple there is a far more complex process going on behind the scenes.  And with my propensity toward absent-mindedness there’s that whole issue of remembering to feed it.  After all it won’t tell me when it’s hungry – unlike another little tummy which is half the reason I’m thinking of doing sourdough again! Continue reading

Because Dr Suess knows best

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

~ Dr. Seuss

 Misinformation happened somehow, no blame being laid there, but it basically meant that we overpaid a weeks rent to our real estate agents.  Three weeks after the fact they finally got a cheque in the mail.  Great!  Except then it doesn’t arrive.  Not so great… then the least great of all bit – they want to pass on the $15 cheque cancellation fee they are being charged by the bank.  Ah, sorry, how is it our fault that our mail didn’t arrive? I didn’t even want a cheque, I wanted it to go directly into my bank account, as that would mean that nothing like this could possibly happen.  I’d also like ask – if I were a month late paying my rent how would you be?

Settling in


So I’m loving exploring the new pad, got my bike fixed, and have done some serious cruising, I have traversed the island, and as far north as paved road goes. I’m not sure about slogging it out on sand!  In our new spot we have a beautiful beach (though I shall not be biking again, more about the mad magpie later), the placid passage, and parks abound.

My favourite ride so far was heading up to White Patch.  It was that good I forgot to take photos.  Looking across the water to the mainland and the Glass house mountains, Mangroves and Eucalypt, the only sound the chirping birds and the breeze through the spokes.

Pelicans at Bongaree


Max and I have also been enjoying picnics at Bongaree.  Watching the Pelicans catching their lunch is pretty astounding too, I just can’t believe how big their mouths are.

We checked out Woorim beach one day too, which was a great ride – there were a few hill-like bumps on the way which was nice, it was a beautiful day, and Max and I were cruising along, chatting away, when I saw a sudden swooping form flit by me.  It puzzled me, but I gave no further thought. Until another 100m or so down the track it came in again, clacking at me, and then before I had the chance to think, it struck once more, and nearly took off my nose. Mad Magpie had struck.  It got me on the inside of my nose. Could not believe it, and am now biking with a great deal more awareness of avian companions.

Slice of Heaven

So we sat on the beach for a little while, Max having a great

Woorim beach

time in the huge “sandpit” but the water is still a touch too cold for my liking. Found a cute little café called Slice of Heaven where I had a Long Mac served by a guy who seemed to know his way around a coffee machine. After a discussion about the best serving vessel – we decided a glass was the way to go – I got a really good coffee. Loving the Silver Fern on the side and the name.

There are a few markets in the area which I am still to check out, and apparently a huge farmers market in Caboolture.  Plus I’ve been baking bread recently, and have a great Cajun/pistachio chicken burger recipe to share – stay tuned kids!


Oops, I did it again

Moving that is, we’re no longer mainland residents.  Living on Bribie Island, and it is rather paradisey at the mo, well it will be when all the infernal unpacking is finished.

I have a few lessons that I always learn, and forget in between so, I shall share with you, some of these are more common sense than lightening bolt inspiration, but they’re all handy.

  1. Electricity – get it organised a week before you move, apparently it takes about 6 days for them to turn off power.  Also this way you can have cold beer when you finish.
  2. Go into the post office – do the mail change thing, also purchase bubble wrap, and duct tape. Then get an extra roll of bubble wrap, and an extra 2 of duct tape.
  3. Start packing way earlier than you think is necessary, and have twice as many boxes as you think you’ll need.
  4. Start with things that aren’t used everyday, think bookshelves, trinkets, etc
  5. Label boxes as though the person unpacking them is a complete moron.  Because by the time it comes to unpacking them, you will be.  A box labelled “Lounge, Bookshelf, Trinkets and Lotto tickets from 3rd shelf” is unmistakable.  A box labelled “Lounge Stuff” is hard to distinguish from the other 10 boxes labelled the same, and when you need that winning lotto ticket, you really want to be able to put your hand on it straight away, then bugger it, you can burn the rest of the boxes and buy new.
  6. Don’t Drink and Pack.  Things will go in all over the show, boxes will become Tardis like receptacles of everything under the sun, and the above point will be moot.  In fact you probably won’t remember to label at all, or the writing will resemble wingdings.
  7. Try to pack it onto the trailer (or into the truck) in some semblance of order.  If possible take the big items into the new house first, and the boxes and small stuff last. Then you have somewhere comfy to sit, and you don’t have to shuffle a couch around 10 boxes, which some moron (again you) has placed in the direct path you need to travel.
  8. Start at the top and work your way down.  This applies equally to packing and to cleaning.
  9. For walls and surfaces dilute floor cleaner with water – it’ll kick butt over your average spray’n’wipe, and get rid of a number of stains, it cleaned things I didn’t think possible.
  10. Call around when it comes to carpet cleaners – don’t hire the supermarket ones, you have better things to do with your time, and it’s better just getting a professional in.  That way when the rug doctor makes the carpet look worse you don’t have to find an eleventh hour carpet cleaner who charges the earth.
  11. Call your local Salvos (or equivalent) and ask them to bring their truck for a collection the day you hand the keys back.  That way you can pile all that rubbish lovely surplus that you have and have one less job.
  12. When it’s all done, sit down, have that cold beer, and work out how you’ll do it better next time!

Petit Artiste

Today we’ve been very experimentally artistic.  We did some painting, and then decided to make milk dance.  It’s a fun thing to do, with older kids you can explain the science to whatever level you care (I have a 2-year-old, we watch it, and talk about how it’s pretty) – it’s all about the surface tension being broken by the dishwashing liquid which then carries the food colouring around.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

How to make Milk Dance:

You need:

  • shallow bottomed bowl (we used the wok)
  • milk
  • food colouring (2 or 3 colours)

1 – pour some milk into a shallow bottomed bowl.  Wait for it to stop moving.

2 – add your food colourings (if you’re going for the science aspect then watch the colours, see what they do etc)

3 – add the dishwashing liquid – one drop in the middle.  (You can question what they think it’ll do before adding)

4 – watch it dance.

5 – you can keep it going a bit longer by adding another drop or two, eventually you need to start again.

It’s really fun.  However I don’t suggest you drop your phone into the potion while trying to take good photos of the swirls like i did – the splashes go really far!!!

It’s a little bit Magic

So, I’ve been using bluetooth a bit this week, isn’t it just a little bit magic, there’s a photo on your phone, and by some inexplicable manner, all of a sudden it’s on your computer….  I like magic.  Last night we had a fairy drop off some magic pixie dust (aka table salt) and we went around the house doing a scary things detox.  It’s my recipe for the day, ideally you’re probably be going to do it for your smallish child, though it lends a certain je ne ses quoi to your day.

ImageMagic Pixie Dust Ritual

  • A small and fanciful container
  • One pinch of salt per scary thing

Track down your scary thing habitat

Take one pinch of salt, place in the flat of your hand

Blow in the direction of the scary thing

Throw the salt in the air

At the loudest possible level yell “Go away scary thing”

Then if you are Max walk around say “there are no scary things anywhere anymore” for an unspecified period of time.

Sleep safe in the knowledge that you have no more scary things