Showing posts from March, 2011

Tea - Ocha

Day 37
I love Japanese tea
The green ceremonial tea is not really my thing, thick and powdery, but the endless variety of green tea hot or cold, is a great pleasure of Japan.
We may have a few shelves in the supermarket for tea but Japan has shops of it! As well as tea you can get food, often green tea soba, or green tea biscuits.
 In the heat of summer cold tea is a great alternative to plain water; Speaks the woman who has trouble downing a glass of water! I like green tea jelly as well!
Tea , tea pot, small handle less cups in a covered tray is also available in most hotel rooms but especially in any Japanese inn.
Often with a rice cracker (sembe) or a sweet thin biscuit. Tea is often free as an accompaniment in many cafes
Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of  heart disease an…

Day 36

I have been preparing a slide show for a presentation  at U3A , University of the 3rd Age, for Wendy who is program co-ordinator or secretary or something equally energetic. It is titled The Appeal of Japan and as I was browsing my blog and photos from 2008, I realised  (again) that  I had never finished my 60 Days of Celebration. This was  a daily blog of an item, place, event, icon that appealed to me about Japan. The 60 was to celebrate my 60th birthday. But as I came home suddenly in October I stopped at day 35. So I thought I might do the last 25 over the next month or so.
WOOD Japan has huge plantations of cedar ( cryptomeria or sugi ) but with a decline in use of wood as a building material, demand fell so did prices so many workers in the forestry area moved away. Nearly all of the wood used in Japan is imported despite huge areas of forest covering 67% of Japan.

The egg

This must go down in my 11 Things in 2011 under Cooking!  Today I achieved a beautiful (not perfect) poached egg. I usually only eat hard boiled eggs, as I hate the runny yolk sticking to your teeth and mouth (like peanut butter) and god forbid if there is uncooked white!! So hard boiled eggs are safest. But I have been coming round to the poached egg firmly cooked. I don't have an egg poacher (probably easier) but it has been a long search to get it right. Lynne and Andrew showed me how they do it.  Boil the water and when it is boiling, swirl it around and then lower (from a dish) the egg. The swirling water wraps the white around the yolk and you get a compact egg.  Sounds easy? Well as is my wont I adapted this.  My cooking style is 'variation on a theme".  That is, I read a recipe and get the general idea, then adapt it to what I have in the kitchen. This technique arose when I was learning to cook in Halls Creek .We had very little variety of igredients so it was beef and b…

New venue

Judy dropped round some stuff last night and we were talking about a new(ish) development in kensington. Namely the  iconic 19th Century Younghusband Factory, in Elizabeth St, at the end of Arden Street at the flour mill.
The Young Husband Limited Stock building has become an important part of Melbourne's history. Built in the 1800's, the building is now home to a wide variety of well established and predominantly arts related businesses.
In 2005, William May and Malcolm Cooke saw the potential for a themed function centre within the old factory and the space was home to  'Number 12' Elizabeth Street, for five years.
In 2009 Revolt Productions took possession of the space, with the vision of creating an arts hub, the first of its kind in Australia. After lengthy renovations Revolt Productions is a venue focused on melding the ambience of this historical site with the joy of creative growth.
 Coming up is a performance of a cappella that looks appeali…


It was really hot today and I spent the morning trying to get rid of some of the ivy in the front garden A thankless and never ending task. Then I rested with a book (the Happiest Refugee Anh Do) Went and did some grocery shopping.
It is Michelle's (& Pauline's)  birthday today, so i gave her  a present when she got home. She had been  out late last night and stayed at a friend's and then had to get to work by 11am . The present was a book about shoe designers A-Z.  Went over very well!!
This afternoon was Di's Salon and today's project was felting. There were 8 of us there and Rosemary and Phillipa (both skilled craft workers) took us through basic felting. Di hadn't done it before so she was the student today We pass the time with chat, nibbles, and a glass of wine.  Di's Studio is in her back yard, purpose built and the windows look out on her herb and veg garden a very tranquil setting.

Racing in perfect weather

I worked in the Tower today as there was a real shortage of staff. Just Ray and me. Fortunately there were only 10 lasers sailing the rest had  gone down to McRae for a regatta .
Lasers have 6 numbers on their sails and if they are bunched up it can be a challenge to get them all recorded and the time as they finish so close together.
Thankfully it was light wind so they ended up spread out.
It was also start of the Jollyboat Championships. Light weather makes it less of a thrill for them as they are designed for 20knots! I was barracking for Bernard and he had a 1st and a 2nd, so they were very happy.
The Junior Fleet had a good coaching session as well in the 4.7 small laser rig.


Spencer has been very lively lately.
Now that my god daughter Michelle is living here while she attends RMIT Fashion Design, he has been pleased with the extra company.
When she first started coming and going he would bark and race around the side of the house.
A week ago she arrived home about 2am and I heard her open the side gate (went straight back to sleep) and he had not barked at all!!
Hence his laid back pose!!

Ethnic Dinner

It is amazing to realize how long we have been doing this group dinner but we developed the idea of eating at a different restaurant and became known as ethnic dinner. It is even written in the dairy as Ethnic Betty (or whomsoever turn it is)   It has been at least since 1982, but maybe longer. I am not sure how it started but a group of 6 friends meet every 6 weeks (more or less depending on our ability to find a mutually convenient night, fitting in football, Bowls, theatre and music bookings we all have ) We take it in turns to book and arrange the next dinner at the end of each evening. The person responsible gives us an address a few days before the date. We have a mnemonic to remember whose turn is next. "C me get a BSc." Celia, Mich  Elaine Betty, Sue, Carolynn. This had to change when Celia went to USA and Wendy comes now so she is Celia's C.
Originally it was easy to find a different ethnic meal to explore. Melbourne is renowned for it restaurants and we have gone …

Speigel Tent

one of the highlights of Summer in Melbourne is the Speigel tent erected in front of the Art Centre.  Lots of varied events music comedy cabaret, dance  and circus. It it's always hard to know what will be good, but one can always book a lemon (from one's personal taste point of view.)
I chose one called  Wildbirds & Peace Drums. Sweden’s mesmerizing Wildbirds & Peace drums make their debut trip to Melbourne.  Mariam Wallentin  and her husband Andreas Werliin With an almost unclassifiable sound, the duo draw on blues, jazz, folk and soul music traditions to create powerful raw pop, crafted largely from drums and vocals. 
I should have read it more closely as the phrase "largely from drums" meant that there was a LOT of drum solos. My pet hate along with guitar riffs. So I hope my next choice is better.
Dick and Christa Hughes present 21st Century Blues Jazz, Blues, Cabaret, Boogie Woogie and Vaudeville. Join legendary jazz pianist Dick Hughes and his infamous…

Anglesea: Labour Day weekend

Andrew and family were down at Aireys for the weekend as he & Nick  were sailing in the Hobie State Titles at Anglesea.
I decided to go down for the day on Sunday and see what was happening. They had had only one race on Saturday as the wind was so light.
When I arrived they were just floating around in 4-5 knots, but as they started the breeze picked up and they started moving along At one point I got a photo as they were in 5th place. 
Even when you are interested, sailing is not really a spectator sport esp when you need binoculars to see the activity.
It was a beautiful day 28 degrees and sunny, and lots of people were taking advantage of the end of the summer weather. So I took some photos of the activity.
So after a while i left and went on to Aireys Inlet to Lynne & Kate.I had lunch with Lynne and Kate, and Kate made me a coffee on the new coffee machine  which uses pods of coffee. Easy to use and a good coffee.
Kate and Lynne were also a great source of knowledge in …

Seminar Day at PMYC

Well the day arrived after months of planning. Understanding Infant feeding refusal. It was a new experience setting up systems that would make the organization easier; many lessons learned on the way!
Lessons learned.
1. Don't expect everyone to have your sense of timeline.
2. People forget!
3. Some people think I would know they wanted to come despite not having emailed me at all!
4. Technology needs LOTS of practice (all was OK on the day)
5. Beware the development of 2 lists of anything; The wrong one will always open first
6. Councils take a long time to pay
7. Use gmail for being able to find an email easily (great search system)
8 There are still computer illiterate people out there.
9 Everyone appreciates a great venue!
10.There is always one who is never happy!
Bearing all that in mind it went well. I ended up with 39 people, one sick on the day and the arrival of the aforementioned person I had never heard of! The catering, and Adam who worked the day there was great and…

Lane graffiti, sorry ART

I was heading in to the city to the Apple store to get a gizmo, a dongle I think it's called, to connect the data projector SCSI to my Mac, but I had mis-read when it was  open and had to wait for 30 minutes. As I crossed the road I saw people looking at the wall of  laneway opposite so went to explore. The lane is Hosier Lane and is covered in Artists' self  expression; unfortunately vandals have also had a say over some of the works.
Though I should not call it graffiti, it hasn't been called that for several decades I gather. Street art now is a postmodern confluence of art forms; ornate spray-painted pieces, stencil-graffiti and pasting, or paste-ups. Stencilling, spray-painting over a cut-out outline, or Pasting, glueing painted paper images to a wall.

The vandalism is the ugly, illegal practice of "tagging", the scrawling of nicknames on walls and billboards, is widespread.  I must admit I can't see the sense of that when I can seldom work out what the w…