Do ye ken John Peel…

Hi Folks

It is Friday and most of what I found in our back yard today was grass…very tall, going to seed grass. It would be easy to start complaining about the obvious workload coming up when faced with a sea of waving grass (friendly but feral…) and knowing that a stint on the whipper snipper perhaps for a couple of days is going to be warranted. For now I am managing to whistle my way past the long grass and look in the other direction. As soon as I get lost in that waving sea I will wave Betsy (my whipper snipper) around and will valiantly tackle it.


Not quite the back yard but you could probably make a halfway decent lawn out of these carrots 😉


I have never been able to grow nasturtiums before and here is one of my 2 nasturtium plants. They, like everything else in the veggie garden, are growing like crazy. They keep moisture in the soil through acting like a ground cover and they attract bees that pollinate the veggies. They also take up a LOT of room 😉


just a tiny proportion of our happy spuds. Looks like we at least have a good crop of leaves. Whether or not we get tubers to taste is an entirely different kettle of fish

I have had a most busy weekend that I am only just recovering from. I headed off to my daughters home in Launceston as we were heading down to Hobart on a Korean grocery shopping venture. My daughters are very adventurous cooks and will tackle pretty much anything, usually with excellent results. Their current cuisine of interest is Korean and when we were last in Hobart we discovered an excellent Korean grocery store and decided that as soon as funds would allow, we would head back down and plunder said grocery shop…on the weekend we plundered!


We noticed this wall of old gravestones that were removed when they developed the site from a church to the park and accompanying court house but it is good to see that they decided to recycle them in a wall of remembrance.


My girls pretending to be interested in the wall when really they are just avoiding me taking their photo 😉

I headed off to my daughters on Friday afternoon in order to take the son-and-heir and his sweetie Kelsey to the airport to catch a flight to Melbourne in order to catch a longer flight to America. They will be there for 2 weeks frolicking in the snow and generally reassuring Kelsey’s folks and relatives that she is still alive and kicking and enjoying her life. I drove them to Hungry Jacks where as we were collecting their meal the both suddenly realised that they had forgotten to bring Kelsey’s driving license and we had to return home. We made it to the airport with lots of time to spare and according to Facebook they are both happily frolicking in the snow


You know its a hot day in Hobart when you can see the top of Mt Wellington and it isn’t covered in clouds. This photo was taken in Sandy Bay near where the Korean grocery shop that we visited was


I figured that Joanna wouldn’t want this photo of some crazy hippy woman desecrating the monument of John Woodcock Graves so decided to share it with you. If anyone knows who this CRAZY woman is, please telephone your nearest police station 😉

I returned home and we headed out to buy takeaway Chinese and Korean food for Chinese New Year (Friday Night). We walked Qi, the girls little brindle staffy around at the same time and when we got home we enjoyed a most delicious meal. I had tofu in a delicious sauce with vegetables along with vegetarian spring rolls and the girls had all kinds of interesting things involving crab claws and prawns and Korean kimchi pancakes and mandu (Korean dumplings) and we called it a night pretty early in order for us to get up the next morning bright and early to head to Hobart.


Back in Launceston on the way to Target to pick up Steve’s latest paramour and I spotted this. What a waste of a delicious red Kombi van!! 😉


Madeline sporting the latest Pyo JiHoon (aka P.O.) band member hair colour from the Korean band “Block B”


And here is the original P.O. for comparison…not bad Madeline…you might need a BUCKET of hair gel to manage that quiff!

We spent the day initially hunting for Bellerive in Hobart and after finding the markets we didn’t manage to find the perennial leeks that I was after however a lady selling herbs at the market did tell me that I should head to Island Herbs website and fire off a missive to “Lindy” who had sold her perennial leeks in the past. She ships in Tasmania so for once…I might just get what I am after! We then headed off to the park next to the Salamanca markets called St David’s Park where we hunted down the monument to John Woodcock Graves. Why on EARTH did we do that? Because Joanna of the splendiferous baking blog “Zeb Bakes” (LINK LINK LINK) asked me if I would head down with a copy of a book of delightful Cockermouth poets (of which John Woodcock Graves is apparently “one”) that she and her father collated and take a picture of the book on the monument for her dad. How could I refuse? 🙂


This is the main street of Launceston at 8.30am on a Sunday morning. Aside from this obviously sporty couple and their baby there was pretty much no-one around!


This Dragon Boat was on display at Tsing Wah in order to drum up some new recruits for the club.


I would ONLY volunteer if I got to sit in this venerable seat and whack that venerable drum but alas…that position has been filled 😦


It would appear that the Dragon Boat club have inadvertently decided to make Trogdor the Burninator their club mascot… check out that big beefy arm coming out of his back…


Another drum and another chance for narf7 to make some serious noise but alas…this drum belonged to the Chinese New Year Dragon and he was keeping a good eye on it…


Yeah…I don’t think I will attempt to bang the drum with Mr Dragon watching me THIS closely…

After taking a large amount of photos that Joanna can sift through at her leisure (and critique … if she can work out which side is up and which is down that is 😉 ) we zoomed off to Sandy Bay where we found the Korean grocery store and where my daughters proceeded to make a bored looking Korean man a most happy and smiley Korean man by spending a lot of money. The day was getting very hot when we finally finished lugging boxes back to the car and we headed off for a Baskin and Robbins store that Madeline had found online. After finding the shop inside a large arcade we discovered that they only stocked the most boring of flavours and turned to head out the door when the girls spotted a bubble tea stand. After they both ordered a bubble tea they noticed that the stand was selling something called Ice cream balls. They were small spheres of various flavours of icecream and you could pick and mix the flavours if you liked. The girls both bought a serving each and pronounced them delicious


Here we have “The man that whacked the gong”. Apparently a most esteemed position and he had obviously heard about my desire to make as much noise as I possibly could because he kept a tight hold on those gong sticks the whole time I was taking his photo…


2 more members of the New Year brigade. This time they were both beefy enough to not have to worry about narf7 pinching their musical equipment. The man on the right beat the drum and the man on the left was the nether regions of Mr Dragoon. Not much fun when you have to be the rear end AND support another smaller but much wirier Chinese man who is wearing a heavy head.

We then decided to head back to Launceston and after an uneventful trip (aside from me forgetting to tie up my hair and arriving back home with the equivalent of punk teased hair on the right hand side and having to brush out the knots whilst protesting LOUDLY…) we made it back to the girls place and enjoyed a delicious Korean curry for our evening meal to which the girls added some delicious leftovers from their takeaway the night before. I didn’t have any delicious leftovers because I believe in storing my leftovers inside me ;).


Here they are taking the Dragons drum out to the front of the shop where the beginning of the ceremony was about to start when I realised that Neil from The Young One’s had photo bombed my image! The girls pronounced him “a cross between you and Steve” but I recon he looks more like my little brother 😉


Mr Dragon practicing looking fierce before he headed out to do his thang

Madeline and I headed out early on Sunday to go shopping. Steve and I figured that as I was in the city anyway, I may as well save us a trip and do the shopping while I was there. We were going to the Tsing Wah New Year’s celebrations at 12 lunchtime so we had to get a wriggle on as we had a lot of shopping to do. As we were heading out the door Steve rang to tell me that Target was doing a special deal on PlayStation 3’s and as all of the children and his mum had put in money towards him buying one for his birthday Madeline and I said that we would head in to Target and take a look. When we got to the city we managed to park right in the city centre and walk a short distance to Target. It was 8am but the city was deserted. Part of the special was the inclusion of a free game and there was a list of titles to choose from. Obviously the good titles were all gone but Steve had already assumed that they would be and said to get whatever we could and he would buy the games that he wanted from EB Games. We could only find titles that no-one wanted but Madeline, being the very clever cookie that she is, said that people sometimes hide copies of games that they want behind less desirable copies in the hope that the good copy will be there when they come back to buy it. It worked to our advantage as I found a reasonable game that Steve was more than happy to get as part of his package deal.


A very energetic (and tall!) Dragon practicing his moves


Here he is just about to head into the front door of the shop. As you can see, Mr Gong still has a firm hold on his gong sticks…


Mr Dragon doing a good job of terrorising small children as he ran up and down the aisles of the well stocked shelves of Tsing Wah


Dragon motion blur! 😉

We managed to get back with 15 minutes to spare and as Bethany was ready we just had to head out the door. It was hot and humid and we parked and walked to Tsing Wah where there was a reasonable sized crowd waiting to see the Dragon usher in prosperity to Anthony’s shop. The celebrations attracted some interesting characters. There were several girls dressed in ornate Japanese costumes. I asked 2 of them if I could photograph them and include them in today’s post. They both agreed and I took both of their names but can’t for the life of me find the piece of paper that I wrote them down on! If you are actually reading this post girls, could you please comment with your names and I will amend the post accordingly 🙂


This immaculately dressed girl told me that her entire outfit had come from Japan and that the ensemble was called Sweet (I think… remember, I lost my bit of paper!) Lolita. She looked amazing and check out those shoes! I would like to amend this to add that this gorgeous girl’s name is Emi and if you want to check out her Tumblr page you can find it here…


This pretty princess had glorious green contact lenses, a most delightful outfit and was picture perfect. She had a single name like “Cher” or “Pink” but neither of those and a whole lot more Japanese. If you are reading this post girls, please drop me a note with your names in the comments box. These outfits were absolutely delightful and completely perfect for this event. Kudos on your efforts 🙂 Again, I now know that this lovely girl’s name is Kiyu and here is her delicious ode to Japanese clothing

After checking out a dragon boat and eating some steamed taro buns and delicious dumplings we watched the dragon do his thing and afterwards I did a bit of Chinese shopping of my own. I love Anthony’s shop but if I was to send Steve in on shopping day I wouldn’t know what to tell him to buy. I like to pick things up, turn them around, check them out and ruminate about what I could make with them but Steve is a “bung it in the trolley and race to the finish line” kind of guy and you just can’t expect someone like that to give 2 hoots about ingredients. He is more concerned with the final results 😉


Not steamed taro buns or dumplings but I DID buy these dried shiitake mushrooms and dried lily mushrooms from Anthony at Tsing Wah. I have used the dried shiitakes a lot in the past. They are a good cheap way to add mushroomy goodness into your Asian meals without having to rely on fresh mushrooms. The lily mushrooms were entirely new. They are purported to be good for your brain and very nutritious (according to the packet) but the only thing that Steve and I think they would be good for is tying up your boat to the jetty. I have never tasted tastier rope! Got to say I did eat them, but it took me a long time to chew my way through them. I have NO idea how Chinese people prepare these shrooms to eat them but following the packet instructions aint gonna cut the mustard this time…


Sometimes picking Asian grocery items from a shelf is like throwing caution to the wind. I could ascertain that these were noodles. That they were very thin noodles. I could also ascertain that the manufacturer had a somewhat rude last name. Anyone with a delicate disposition PLEASE don’t look too closely at this package (you did didn’t you…sigh…well go and have a little lay down till you recover alright?). Aside from that I wasn’t entirely sure what these noodles were made of or how I was supposed to use them. I love a good food adventure! As usual, anything vaguely strange I test out on Steve first. I decided to make him a chilli, garlic, ginger and lime chicken stir fry with lots of vegetables, the soaked dried shiitake mushrooms and the lily mushrooms and lots of fresh veggies as he hasn’t been eating many veggies of late. I cooked the noodles (that didn’t look to be made from wheat) and when I tossed them into the pot of boiling water as instructed, I noticed flavour sachets in the bottom! It would appear that these “noodles” were actually an unusual form of ramen. Steve pronounced his tea “Delish!” and rightly so too! I had hand picked out all of the lily mushrooms before I served it to him myself! 😉

The tarmac was shimmering by the time we emerged from Tsing Wah and we headed off to check out EB Games for Steve as he had mentioned that they had some good game titles second hand. I like that EB Games offers second hand titles for sale. Aside from being cheaper, you can pay a little extra to make sure that if the game has any unforeseen problems, they will refund your money. We picked up 5 car racing games and now Steve is in car racing hog heaven. After dropping the girls home and picking up my groceries that I had stashed in Stewart and Kelsey’s flat and picking up some frosty cold beer to top off Steve’s PlayStation gifting event, I headed home to be welcomed by 3 happy boys all wagging their tails 🙂


This is nothing to do with Chinese New Year. I don’t even know what it is, but I thought that it was pretty. I bet Pauline thinks so as well…so if 2 of us think it is funky/pretty it IS! 🙂


What is this? This, my dear constant readers, is a Nissan “Cube”. My daughters most desired car of all cars and it was parked right out the front of Tsing Wah as we were heading off to check out EB Games…that tells me that someone who went to the Chinese New Year celebrations arrived in this stately jalopy.


The only one not grumbling about how hot and sweaty they were was this clever Australian Raven (aka crow) who had decided to take up residence on top of the fountain in Princes Square. He certainly looks as cool as the proverbial cucumber doesn’t he?

It has taken me 3 days to catch up with my RSS Feed Reader and thankfully the weather has cooled down a bit so that we get a little respite before the next heatwave wafts in with a vengeance. Earl got to walk with Mika, a large and most attractive Rottweiler from down the road this morning and aside from a bit of eyebrow twitching and the odd bit of drooling he was a real gentleman. I got back from our walk and after watering the plants and the veggie garden I headed down into the garden in front of the house and deadheaded all of the pink valerian that was looking mostly dead and chopped it up into small pieces with my secateurs as mulch. We don’t believe in wasting things here and if something has done us a favour and grown exponentially and we can’t eat it or use it for anything else, it gets chopped up and turned into free mulch


I found this Serendipity Farm version of Heimlich from “A Bug’s Life” ootching along the deck


Forget Dragon motion blur…Heimlich made that Dragon look like he was standing still! Check out the lime green motion blur on this fellow!


Earl learning the hard way that happiness doesn’t come from the bottom of an empty bottle…

Ok, I think it might be time to mosey on off and finish my book. I haven’t been as keen to log on and Pin and research over the last few days as I usually am. I think my brain just wants a bit of a rest from the net for the rest of the week so that I can reformat and get back next Wednesday bright, chipper and raring to tap. I hope you all have a wonderful week and that whether the weather is hot or cold, you find a comfortable place to spend your days until I next get to sit and chat with you 🙂