Monday, 30 April 2012

Banana Bread

I have a new favourite and I'm getting very good at it: baking banana bread. It's yummy, healthy (?) and a fantastic breakfast. Imagine waking up with the smell of a freshly baked banana bread with walnuts!

Getting hungry already. Can you see the crispy crust? And then visualise a bit of salty butter which melts it way through the still warm bread. Add cup of home-made cappuccino and voila, the day can begin.

What the red tip on the banana is? Some kind of wax to let you know that it's an organic banana.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Home alone again

Sooooooo, I didn't get further than the semi-finals at the golf club champs. I wasn't too happy with my performance, as I didn't play very well, whereas my opponent played steady golf. She went through to the finals on Friday, and I spent the day working :-)

 From Friday onwards the weather would change too, and geez, did that change! We hadn't had temperatures of around 15 degrees since early October I reckon, so the heating is on, the layers that were hiding in the back of our wardrobes are back in sight and the umbrellas are close at hand too.

Age had a short weekend at home, after arriving from Brisbane Friday late and departing for Canberra on Sunday afternoon again. He'll be home later today, and will function as the real-life-GPS-with-Dutch-accent for Anne and Adrian, who will arrive at about the same time at the airport from NZ. A & A will stay with us for a week, and are going to play lots of golf I have been told. We're hoping to cram a few rounds in together. See what they think of the Ozzie golf courses.

Today was the day that we were going to get curtains. Well, just as I predicted beforehand, not much happened. The installation guy arrived at the agreed time, looked around inside and said "the way they want me to do it is not going to work. I need different xxx (whatever it was he needed). That is going to cost more." And that's something for the owner and the store to fight about. So off he went again. The timing actually worked out well, as I had done my things already in the morning, so had some time left now to go to golf practice.

And there I was the only one willing to play in the rain (people here are not used to rain and certainly don't go out in the rain when they don't have to, I just can't understand that, it's not even cold. Well actually it was cold, but no reason to not get out there). So I played 9 holes on my own, had rain and shine, with lonely blokes in front of me and behind me, all practicing. Tomorrow we'll have a day off, it's ANZAC Day (remembering the fallen soldiers). No plans yet.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

From one extreme to the other: home alone

After Easter it was suddenly back to almost normal: me working, and Age away in Melbourne. Age's parents were still here, spending their last days in Adelaide. On Thursday they were taken out for the day by Matt's parents, on a tour to the Clare Valley with lunch at a winery in a Monastry. They had the best weather in the world and had a great day out.
Actually, after this cooler Easther weather the temperatures were climbing steadily again up to the high 20's and we've been hitting the 30 degrees in the last couple of days with not a cloud in the sky.

I took some 'me' time on Thursday night, okay, with Age, who I met in town after his arrival from Melbourne. I was going to shop and had been looking forward to it for days. Unfortunately I still don't know when the shops are open in town, but it's definitely not on a Thursday night we found out when I was just going to enter this shoe shop and they switched the lights off, aaarrrghhhh.

So we went to one of the suburbs instead, to Burnside, as when the shops in town are closed then those in the suburbs are open. I never quite know which evening (Thursday or Friday) but apparently Thursday is for the suburbs. I had been told Burnside village had a very high density of shoe shops, so that's why we went. And did we find a mall there! Brand new with tons of shops :-) We were soooooooo enjoying ourselves because of this discovery. Not that I bought anything, we didn't have a lot of time and we were quite hungry. So we started with eating something: a big piece of cooked sausage and Dutch cumin cheese, which we attacked there and then on the spot. We also bought a great looking pasta meal from an Italian deli, to have later in the evening with Age's parents, after we all would be home again.

I then was going to sort myself out in a couple of shoe shops, while Age was having coffee with himself. And that was when we were rejoined with Age's parents after their day out with Matt's parents, who drove to the mall so that we could meet up and take over :-). Hmmm, no retail therapy just yet. If you want to get me really aggressive just let me loose in a shopping mall with other people accompanying me. We (I?) decided to keep everybody's lives safe and go home and have dinner instead.

Friday was the last day for Age's parents in Australia, they would fly back to The Netherlands on Saturday, so we planned to go out for dinner together. We planned it in our heads, but hadn't had the headspace to book anything yet. Age and I would sort that out on Friday some time during the day. We had been talking about this restaurant 'The Weinstadl', close by in a fairly idyllic setting, but there was something about the name that didn't entice us too much to eat there. And then suddenly on Friday morning we got this message from Jos stating that he had booked a table at The Weinstadl!

Aaarghh, that wasn't going to happen, we just weren't ready for schnitzel and bockwurst at all, so Age and I in overdrive at our respective offices to find something nice. And we found just the place to be! So we cancelled the Weinstadl booking (!) and went to The Pot instead. And we bought Jos a present, as he was quite disappointed that he wouldn't be able to get his schnitzel he was so looking forward to.

On Saturday we went to the airport and said our goodbyes - this time it was 'see you in three weeks', quite different from last time. Age and I went home and did nothing the rest of the day, just enjoyed the weather and our lazy chairs on the deck.

This week I've got the Golf Club Champions going on and Age is in Brisbane for the week. The club champs are played over the whole week, and I have been able to arrange with work that I can participate, which I very  much appreciate. Monday and Tuesday were qualifying rounds, and I got through as the number 3 in my grade (handicap 19-28). We proceed immediately through to the semifinals on Thursday, as there aren't enough players in my grade for quarter finals. A and C grades had lots of women, they have quarter finals going on right now, but B grade is a bit thin this year. A good opportunity to win it, there are only four contestants left. Got to do a bit of practice today, as I'm not playing very well at the moment. We've had a couple of clinics with the pro lately, so I'm probably a bit confused technique-wise. Got to find my swing back, but I think I know what I have to do.

The rest of the tournament is matchplay, so a totally different game. Playing against an opponent in order to win the hole, instead of playing against yourself to get a score as low as possible. If I win, then I'm through to the finals. If not, I'm out and play a loser's round for the 3rd spot. The winner of the finals will be sent to the Champion of Champions tournament - well, that is what I had in mind. Wish me luck :-)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter trips

It is Easter and everybody is back home again. Jos and Zwaantje are back from their two-week trip to New Zealand and visiting Lois and Richard in Canberra, and their drive from Canberra to Adelaide. And I was back from Tasmania.

We spent a lot of time on the internet, trying to book accommodation for Easter, but it appears that everybody else in South Australia managed to book something, but not us. So we decided to stay put (which secretly is actually quite nice).

What follows next is a couple of pictures of walks we have done over the last days.

Hallett Cove walk - South of Adelaide. It was blowing a gale there, but I quite like that on the coast.

Pier at Normanville, further South.

And here the Wirra Wirra Peaks, close to Williamstown, North of Adelaide. Another day, another walk. Same terrible book with directions we used earlier in the year in Stirling, so after 20 meters we got lost, and we had to read every single direction 10 times to understand what they were trying to make us do. That failed miserably. We retraced our steps a couple of times and think we did the walk that we were supposed to do.

These shrubs are just like ancient tribal people.

Nice view over the valley. We were quite late when we started the walk, the sun is slowly setting.

An old school building, now in use as a communal area for people who camp in that area.

And then today a walk in Old Noarlunga. That had a very steep and rough section in it, where we all were more or less holding on to cliffs above the river, grabbing branches to pull us up higher, finally ending up onto a narrow footpad. We didn't know if we were supposed to be there, as we were again using the book with walks with these insane directions, but at some stage it said 'there is a short, but steep rough section to negotiate before joining the footpad'. Why are we using that book again? Good question.
Age and I were happy that this time for once we wore our walking boots. J & S don't have walking boots - 'we were going on holiday to a hot country'. No worries, it all ended up okay. But I still hear Zwaantje moaning, while Jos dragged her through the steep section 'how on earth is it possible that our walks always become such adventures???'. Eeeks, guilty... I had the book with directions :-)

And the biggest box of chocolates you have ever seen. It's mine.

- Evelyn


Here a few pictures from my trip to Tasmania. These are from the gorge in Launceston, where we did a walk after the delivery of the first workshop. Interesting rock formations and my first wallabies. So cute (no pic though, it was too dark).

Then Esther and I drove from Launceston to Hobart on Tuesday, and had lunch with a group of health professionals at one of these old wharf buildings.

Later that day, after an appointment at the hospital on interprofessional learning, where we discussed the outcomes of a couple of our projects, we went out for a stroll through town and had a light evening meal at a fantastic seafood place in the harbour.

This was the view from our hotel, very nice, across the harbour. Overall I was a bit disappointed in the Tasmania scenery, as it was unusually dry and the sea didn't have that blue-green colour it has in New Zealand. Launceston seemed a bit run down too. Not much trees. Hobart has the bonus of the sea dividing the city, which gives it something special. I guess I expected a lot more green.
For the record: the workshops were a success and both Esther and I were absolutely exhausted on Wednesday evening when we arrived home.

- Evelyn