Friday, December 18, 2009


Getting Ready for Christmas

The scene
Mary and I living together in Albany. We don't know anyone else in town.
Mary is Muslim - not so excited with christmas. I am slowly converting her to love Christmas.
The tree - Mary's bonsai tree. Decorated adoringly with gold ribbon and a christmas chain.

The cookies. 3 hours later an assortment of gingerbread cookies - xmas trees, candy canes, stars, angels, bells and holly and ivy.

The highlight - Mary decorating the angels - one with gigantic christian crosses - maybe I can make a xmas lover out of her yet.

From here - taking her to carols by candle-light tonight on Middleton beach! She is going to burst with too much xmas spirit.

Note: Although Mary is Muslim, she went to a Catholic school. Unfortunately as much as I rub xmas in her face she has already spent 12 years praying each morning and saying her hail mary's. Oh well - I tried!

3 books on kittens

It seems like the owner of this kitchen shop is as obsessed with cats as I am...
I especially loved 'kittens of the greek islands'

middleton beach

Running along the boardwalk from Middleton Beach
6km return
hilly - very hilly
probably exacerbated by the dead flat of kalgoorlie that I am used to running on

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Boatshed Markets - Albany

I have heard a bit about MORE markets in Albany.
Boatshed Markets - 10am Sundays

Supermarket at 8am. Question the service assistant about markets in Albany on Sundays. She is clueless. The lady lined up two behind me piped up - "They have fantastic fish. You have to get there early - 20 minutes before opening - to line up. The seller first on your left as you go in"
That was all the encouragement I needed. Now, where are the markets, followed my nose to the boatshed. 20 minutes in the already scorching sun. Watching the fish being unloaded.
The squid and flathead caught my eye. The smell was so lovely - took me back to days of fishing with Gran down in Busselton. Fifth in line. The first guy bought 1kg of flathead. Only a little bit left - hoping people don't continue to buy in those kinds of quantities. Lucky for me there was plenty left for me.

I also found some locally-made tofu. That might be nice. We will have to wait and see.
Mary bought a whole trout.
When we got home "Daniel, I have something to ask you." "Yes?" "Do you know how to clean and fillet a fish?" That is when I kept very quiet and hid in my room. One thing worse than cleaning a fish for yourself - cleaning it for someone else. Mean? slightly.
Other delicacies at the markets - more beautiful fresh bread, goats cheese, the biggest chicken I have ever seen - nearly as big as pee man, local beef, fruit and vegies, jams, pickles, preserves, more raspberries (I had to resist this time!).

One Saturday of Holidays in Albany and Denmark

First Saturday in Albany - Shining sun (apparently a bit of a rarity in Albany)

Much to do
- Visit middleton beach
- Albany Farmer's market
- Denmark xmas markets
- Green's pool for swimming
- Dinner at doctor's farm

1. Middleton beach
Still cold at 7am. Too cold for swimming at this stage. Beautiful, long expanse of white sand. Lots of pretty shells. Plenty of people out walking/exercising. The water must come straight from Antarctica - icy cold.

2. Albany Farmer's market
Collie St. Every saturday from 8-12. Lots of the good things sell out early. I bought a punnet of fresh raspberries for $7 and ate them all on the spot. Delicious. Fresh, seasonal fruit and vegies. Cherries, raspberries, strawberries, avocados, asparagus. Local meat and poultry. Goats cheese. Milk products. Very exciting after a year in Kalgoorlie with nowhere to shop except woolies!

Slight intermission to wait for my housemate's boxes to arrive. Due in ?1.5 hours from 8am. At 10am they haven't arrived. "They always lie" I said. Somewhat naive she was convinced they were being honest and truthful. "Winny they are on their way". I insisted she call them and ask... Surprise surprise after waiting another hour at home she managed to get hold of them "they have just left esperance now". Ok, let's leave the boxes to be dropped off in the driveway and head to the markets!

3. Denmark xmas markets
Nestled in under the trees by the river in Denmark. Cute markets. Lots of home-made gifts etc. The usual market-wares plus a few interesting finds. Beautiful pottery by one lady. Very lovely woolen beanies and scarves by another man. Various shades of browns and beiges - no dyes. He has spent 10 years breeding the different colours into the sheep. Food stalls - highlight - fresh slices of cold watermelon for $1 - perfect in the hot weather.

4. Green's Pool
Highly recommended by all we ask. About 20 mins ?west of Denmark. Shaded from the wind. Unfortunately not shaded from the sun. Gorgeous to bring small children. A natural 'pool' created from the rocks. It must be 150 meters in diameter. Similarly to Middleton Beach I'm sure the water comes straight off the icebergs in Antarctica.

We were finally driven away by the pesky little march flies who kept biting my exposed flesh.

a. Honey farm
One thing on my list was honey. Lots and lots of honey. I can hardly keep up my supply for the amount of honey I demand.
Cute little farm. Nice ice creams - the other two got some and I snuck a taste.
I do not like mead. (Honey ?wine)

b. Chocolate farm
Interesting. Expensive, a bit sterile. Will probably improve with age - it seems very new. Highlight - the snake in the garden. I was enthralled, watching it bask in the sun. Mary walked out and said it is a rubber snake. Very disappointing.

5. Dinner at Richard Turner's farm
5km up the road to Mt Barker from Denmark. Beautiful 'hobby' farm. Sheep, chooks, geese, cows etc. They are doing up the house themselves. Great hospitality.
I wish I took some photos!
Daughter - Mary Jane - very sweet, we worked out that we would have run against each other in the interschool cross country and 1500m races. We fought fiercely for the last place ribbon!

Home late. Fantastic day of holidays. Now Sunday must be a day of work...

Despite the gorgeous blue sky and 34C temperature. Perhaps the work can wait until monday

Friday, December 11, 2009

Leo Waiting to Come inside

Naughty Leo only wants to be inside
If he is left outside he jumps the fence and sits in the front yard
We now have new front gates.. I'm not yet sure what the peeman thinks of these - only time will tell

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Home again... food again

Trip to kakulas
spent at least an hour wandering the shelves.. poking, smelling, tasting everything
found these stock fish - now wanting desperately to make fish soup, they look fantastic
it will have to wait until i get back in march!
Definitely living in freo as soon as possible. What could be better than having stock fish and the markets within walking distance
freo = yum