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Winning in Wynnum!

Posted in: Uncategorized on Thursday, February 28th, 2013

While technically we don’t live in Wynnum, we do live just a few minutes down the road at Manly but we love the whole area!.

We’re refugees of the inner city northside’s traffic chaos, noise and stress and think our sea change to Brisbane’s seaside is one of the best moves we ever made.  Wynnum is only 30-40mins (depending on traffic and the route you take) away from the heart of Brisbane yet it feels worlds away.  The smell of the sea air, the relaxed atmosphere, the kilometers of  esplanade walkways that are dotted with parks, the weekend markets all conspire to make Wynnum a fantastic place to escape to on the weekend.  And many people do. Some days the esplanade is busier than Queen St with families on bikes, kids on trikes, skateboards, and scooters, people walking their dogs or just going for a leisurely stroll in the sunshine (while sometimes dodging families on bikes, kids on trikes, skateboards and scooters!)

While there isn’t much white sand and typical beachfront, there are a few small beach-like areas to swim along the shore,  and there is a fantastic free tidal swimming pool, with toilets and bbq areas near the jetty that is enjoyed by young and old in the summer months. During the colder months only a few kilometers away there is the heated Manly Swimming Pool.  So definitely bring your swimmers if your heading this way for the day!

Not everyone is into bird watching, but if you are a birder pack your binoculars and cameras because the tidal mud flats found here in both Wynnum and Manly are great for bird watching, particularly at low tide.  There are so many different species to be seen, White Faced Herons, Pied Oyster Catchers, Pelicans, Avocets, and Godwits just to name a few.  There is also the fantastic mangrove board walk and bird hide to visit too!

If shopping is more your thing then Bay Terrace might be the place for you.  Along it’s length there are many interesting and quirky little shops to while away your hours and spend your dollars. There’s a book exchange literally bursting at the shelves with books, unique coffee shops with cozy corners and comfy couches, a surprising amount of hair salons and a shop that rents shelf space to local artists and collectors of the weird and wonderful.  This is definitely the shop to head to if you love vinyl records, vintage clothing and vintage post cards, hand crafted jewelry or if you collect old trading cards or clothing patches! So many different things within four walls!

Wynnum Chamber of Commerce supporter David Bateson with one of the stickers from the Wynnum Brisbane's Seaside competition. Source: Quest Newspapers -

Okay so It’s obvious I love where I live and if you do too now’s the time to show it!  The Wynnum Chamber of Commerce is giving you the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes over the next six months.  All you have to do is grab one of  the bumper stickers shown in the picture above, stick it on your car and hope that one of the Chambers spies sees you cruising around with it. If they do then your rego number goes into the draw for the monthly prize. This month the prize is dinner for two at the new Wynnum Italian restaurant Casa di Louie in Bay Terrace.

And not only that but the six winners over the six months will also go into a draw to win a free cruise for up to 10 people in Moreton Bay aboard the famous, 49ft Spirit of Koomooloo.  Let me tell you living on Moreton Bay and having sailed Moreton Bay that this is an opportunity not to be missed!

You can grab your stickers from the Wynnum Chamber of Commerce offices in Florence Street, Wynnum or simply keep your eyes peeled when shopping locally as many retailers will have the stickers available on their counters.

You can read more about the competition here and here!

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A land of drought and flooding rains..

Posted in: Uncategorized on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

My Country

Dorothea MacKellar

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

A land of flooding rains indeed!   While we didn’t face the wild destructive winds and storm surges of Oswald we received just as much rain, if not more over the past 24-48 hours.  Dams have been releasing water, rivers are on flood alert, over 77 roads have been flooded throughout the south east,  and people who lost everything only a few weeks ago were again bracing for another deluge.  (Read more here)

Radar Image as at 25 February 2013

 

 

Not to mention the severe tropical cyclone Rusty bearing down on the coast of Western Australia as I type this.

 

Western Australia Radar Image as at 27 February 2013 showing TC Rusty

 

Here on Tygress we’ve had consistent rain for almost two days. The weather caught us with a line full of washing which is now soaking wet and hanging heavy on the lines, that tricksy sun lulled us into a false sense of security. A new window leak has developed on the starboard side – yay! Everything inside is starting to feel damp as it does after a lot of rain, wet towels, shoes and clothes are piling up. Soon the boat will start to smell – double yay!. The cat and I are going slightly stir crazy from constant incarceration in this tiny space, forgetting what it’s like to feel the sun on our skin and fur.

I love this ancient land, most Australian do, but boy does it push us to the limits of our courage and strength, both richly rewarding us and punishing us, testing our faith, determination and love with every season.

Right now she’s testing my love with all this bloody rain and the forecast provides little hope of sun with clouds, showers and possible storms predicted over the coming week.  I love you Australia but geez if I wanted weather like this i’d be living in sunny ol’ England!

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Time for this woman to ‘Man up’

Posted in: Uncategorized on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Man up as defined by the Urban Dictionary is the process of strapping on a pair, of growing some balls, and putting a stop being such a complete and utter wuss.

Eloquent, accurate and most of all relevant.

The time has come for me to man up, to strap on a pair and stop being a complete and utter wuss.  I’m referring to the fact that over the coming weeks I’ll have to be dealing with boating contractors, most likely on my own while Ben is at work.

The boating industry, and surely i’m not the only woman who has noticed this, is dominated by Men. Dominated usually by gruff and intimidating men. Men who make me acutely aware of how little I know about boats and sea-faring things in general.

If given a choice I’m an email or text kind of girl, online enquiries and the like.  Phone calls and talking face to face with people I don’t know, let alone male contractors make me more than a little nervous.  Not to mention the fact that my more than adequate vocabulary deserts me, leaving me with ums and ahs and unable to communicate what I want in a coherent, intelligent fashion. Sometimes even with Ben it comes down to drawing pictures to get my point across.

Time to man up and be brave

Which on reflection is silly considering i’m a grown woman of 30 years.

It may be silly, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s how I feel…and I need to get over it if we’re going to get anything done to Tygress.  Ben’s out there earning the money, bringing in the bacon so to speak which means he’s not here to do the talking. He’s not here to be the point of contact.  He’s not here to be my comfort zone.

So not only should I be cooking him bacon (what man doesn’t love bacon?…Mmmm bacon), I need to be brave, man up, strap on a pair or whatever you want to call it and start getting things done.

Last week I finally called The Hatch Man after my emails went unanswered and made an appointment for him to come out and inspect our windows and hatches, some of which need replacing and resealing.  Thankfully Ben was home for that meeting.  Although we’re not so thankful for the shock and subsequent disillusion we got when opening his quote a few days later.

Today in what were’ hoping will be a cheaper endeavour, I’m meeting with the marine trimmer to start the process of getting a quote for the replacement of our spray dodger and cockpit canvas.

My plan? Put on my best ‘assertive, I-know-what-i’m-talking-about’ hat, smile nicely but not too ditzily, tell him straight out what our budget is and then do my best to communicate what bang we want for our buck.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have you ever had to man up, be bold, be brave, be fearless? When have you had to push outside of your comfort zone?

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From the Galley: Brown Lentil & Pasta Soup

Posted in: From the Galley on Thursday, February 7th, 2013
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The ‘before’ shot

Lentils are members of the legume family and have been part of the human diet since approximately 9500BC. They were one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East and come in colors ranging from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black.  They’re a great source of protein, iron, zinc, dietary fibre, vitamin B5 and potassium.

This was a simple and delicious one-pot  lentil recipe that is well worth a try.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into small squares
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 50g of farfalline or spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • 400g canned brown lentils
  • 1.25 litres hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • fresh parsley to garnish
Steps
  1. Place the bacon in a large pot with the onion, garlic and celery. Dry fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is tender and the bacon is just beginning to brown.
  2. Add the pasta to the ppt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute to coat the pasta in the fat
  3. Add the lentils and the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.  Transfer the soup to warmed soup bowls, garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and serve immediately.

The ‘after’ shot

Notes
  • The recipe originally required the use of a frying pan but due to the quantity of stock required I thought it best to use a large pot.
  • For the stock I used a powdered vegetable stock called Vegeta. I usually use the cartons of Real Stock but they take up a lot of space and won’t be a solution when we’re cruising.  Captain was of the opinion we should make our own stock which I said he was welcome to do…until then, Vegeta will be just fine.
  • I don’t like mint so and as it’s cook’s choice I substituted the mint with flat leaf parsley.
  • Captain suggested that the addition of potato would be nice, and since there aren’t many things that aren’t improved with potato, next time it’s going in the pot!

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January – where’d it go?

Posted in: End of Month Recap on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Every new year I think to myself  This year is going to go slower, i’m going to live more in the moment and it’s going to feel longer.

But each new year seems to go just as quick as the last year, if not quicker! And as if to prove my point we’re at the end of January already.

Here are some things I did in January.

1. Stacked and re-stacked the fridge about 30 times.

Perfectly packed!

 

2. Completed the Wynnum 10,000 steps challenge with only two huge blisters, some sunburn and complete exhaustion to show for it.

 

10,000 steps = 1 bloody long walk!

 

3. Found some rather sad and neglected looking boats in Wynnum creek, a place we call ‘the boat graveyard’…for obvious reasons.

 

A sad sight to see

 

Creative seating solution

 

4. Went to Bundaberg to join Ben’s family as they returned Pop home to the sea at one of his favourite fishing spots, Coonarr beach.

Pop returning home

 

5. Sweltered in hot, windless conditions,  during which the ships cat found some adorable positions to try and cool down.

 

The ships cat trying to sleep and cool down

 

6. Had a movie day, thanks to a supply of girlie movies from my Mum and a large bottle of home brew scotch from my Dad.

 

A girlie movie day

 

7. Ate a whole tub of ice cream, with Ben’s help of  course, well if truth be told he ate most of it.  But he had to, Tygress has no freezer and you can’t waste ice cream!

 

Ice cream treat.

 

8. Discovered some interesting new ways to enjoy Bundaberg rum, gotta say I loved the sarsaparilla and Bundy Red combo. My only complaint…the bottles aren’t big enough!

 

Discovering new ways to enjoy rum

 

There were of course a few unpleasant events as well

1. Ex tropical Cyclone Oswald came, destroyed and left

2. Found what we think is some rot in the cockpit plywood

If (1) is considered a complete cluster-whoopsie of a month and (10) is considered a month full of happiness, sunshine and success then I would rate January as a 6/10.  How was your January?

Bring on February!

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