Sunday, 29 April 2012

Beach walk

I woke up this morning with the urge to go to Merino and walk down the cliff face and then scramble across the rocks, hopefully finding something interesting to look at. Lovely picturesque views from the cliff top - killer climbing back up!

Happily a family of seals were lolling close to the shore sun baking in the shallows and not giving a damn about any body nearby. They were very at peace with their surroundings and couldn't care less whom approached them, including a pair of kayakers whom ventured very close to them.

plenty of bird life sunning themselves on the rocks..

Interesting lichens growing on the rocks

Jordana thought this seaweed looked a bit like a spider

The merino rock area is rock that has been eroded by glacial movement and has a very definitive striated effect, furhter down the coast it is easier to see the effects of the glacial movement, but really I couldn't be bothered walking that far. I really like visiting the seals.

INteresting coloured rocks 

and wumping trees..(too much Harry Potter)

later during the day I did a heap of cooking...
Soda bread.. yum. I'll write the recipe later this week. superb with soup or just great hot with butter.
Only need one slice to fill up.

muesli bars
cinnamon and pecan swirl muffins (from the Quince Tree) the kids like them but I had champagne instead with my girlfriend Kirstie.
and walnut and date cake

All in all a good day.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Today I had quite an eventful day in the fact that I made it into town so that my daughter could busk playing violin and then returned home to go for a walk in the nature reserve not far from home.

 Jordy looked up on the internet the opening hours of the Adelaide City Council and assured me they would be open so that she could purchase a busking permit to play in the city mall. As it turns out they were not open and we wandered around town for a little while. We bought lunch at the central market (if I didn't have so many bags and cases to carry I might have taken some photos, it really is jam packed full of colour and activity) Then we took our lunch and sat in Victoria square to watch the traffic whizz by whilst  sitting on the green. I took these panoramic photos showing 2/3rds of the way round the square

After lunch I returned home and decided it was such a nice day that I would head up to the reserve to go for a walk and pick fennel leaves to make a dye bath. Dyeing has really captured my imagination but as usual I want every thing to happen now. Whilst out and about I took lots of photos, some quite interesting I think.

 Dried Fennel heads

Love the vibrancy of the eucalyptus gum below - leuchoxylon rosea (I think)

Dried thistle plants

 Big grubs getting bigger, love the colour of the caterpillar!

Same bush but orange bugs

 Dried gumnuts

Thistle mania

Salvation Jane, only a salvation in times of drought. The farmers used to allow their cattle to feed on this otherwise pesty weed. I've picked the flowers to do some solar dyeing.

 Look carefully at the picture below

This weed is rampant with those orange bugs I photgraphed before. Bugs having a picnic on the seed heads.

Salvation Jane on the path home

 Seed heads in the glowing rays of the sun.

Now to heat the cauldron and put on a brew of fennel for dyeing...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

New Ideas

I decided I'd have a bash at natural dyeing and used the most rudimentary of all dyeing techniques by dyeing some calico with brown onion skins soaked in hot water. I have no mordant of alum which I hear helps the colour to adhere/ up take to the material. I don't have any household ammonia that changes the colour or any other paraphernalia which might be useful for naturally dyeing. I had very little expectation and was rewarded with something of  a soft brown. I suppose in terms of colour not very exciting but it was a change anyway.

Having dyed  a piece  of material I was compelled to utilize it and have decided to utilize the pen sketches/ patterning that I did a couple of weeks ago as the basis for an embroidery.

I rummaged around my floss box and found some pearl cotton in a mushroom pink that melds in nicely with the muted brown of the material.

I do realize that this will take for ever to complete in between crocheting baby blankets, but it is so nice to have a change from all the hooky stuff no matter how happy the colours. Hopefully I wont run out of pearl cotton but I suspect I will as I seem to have used a lot just forming the french knots in this little patch of sewing.

Anyway it was a nice way to spend Anzac Day. Oh I have a long way to go!
Sorry about the photography, it was taken at night in soft light. If I used the flash you see nothing.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Cakes- (1) Banana Bread, (2)Walnut and Date Cake

Schools back and the hungry hoards require nourishment of the lunch box variety to survive the day or at least until they can fall into the car and exclaim I'm hungry! What's nice to eat?"
At hand six not so appetitising bananas and the basic cake ingredients makes for several loaves of banana bread. Also at hand some dates and walnuts - date and walnut cake anyone? I do like these recipes because they do introduce a level of fibre into the diet, although they are still laden with sugar.

I made double the recipe and cooked the two loaves together for an hour at 180 C. It freezes well as individual slices so that I can pull out the required slices of cake each morning and throw them in the lunch boxes as required. It never last long in our fridge so I cant give you a shelf life.

For one cake

125 gram butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
3 ripe bananas mashed (or just throw them in your mixer if it is heavy duty enough)
2 cups self raising flour

Cream butter and sugar
Beat in egg
Add bananas
Throw in dry ingredients

Pour into greased loaf tin  cook 45-60 minutes at 180 C or until skewer remains clean on prick test
Rest 5 minutes before turning out
Cool Cut wrap and freeze or devour one and save the rest.
My kids usually hoe into the banana bread as a dessert with icecream.


This cake doesn't appeal to my children as much as it appeals to me but it doesnt stop them from consuming the lot before I can get at it. Its a lovely moist cake but dont bother licking the bowl as it is made with olive oil instead of butter (Not the same as creamed butter and sugar) But a yummy cake when cooked. It has quiet a deep rich looking texture.

In a large bowl mix the following ingredients and then rest for 15-45 minutes until softened

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon Soda bicarbonate
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup boiling water

In the mean time beat together until it ribbons

1 cup caster sugar
1 egg

1cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice (all spice)

Stir until combined
Add date mix

Pour into 25 x 10 cm loaf tin
Cook 45 minutes at 180 C til skewer prick test removed cleanly
Rest for 5 minutes before turning out.

My Fair City

I have just spent the last three days at the International Conference for Wound,Continence and Enterotheraphy in my home town of Adelaide. It has been an informative and exciting experience with generous dosing of warm and happy commeradery. (A whole lot of nurses and health professionals talking about wounds wee and poo- to put it bluntly)
It is an eye opener to hear other people tell their stories or the journeys of others and the adversary and challenges they face each day..It makes me feel like a complete arse and I recognize how self centred I can become or have been. Australia truly is a lucky country and we have available to us so many resources.

What a beautiful setting to have our conference held at the Convention Center on the River Torrens. picturesque and beautiful. I took some photos of the city and river on my way back to the car.

Looking along the River Torrens from the Convention Centre. The yellow lights in the centre is the bridge photographed below

Looking back towards the Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Convention Centre from the other side of the river

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Revisiting my dark side.  A poem I wrote sometime ago but reflects my mood over the last few months