August 27, 2009

lessons in bbq

My (step) brother-in-law was giving Michelle and I a lesson in bbq’ing when we went out to see them for mum’s birthday bbq dinner… A lesson from him, a few goes on our own and we’ve now become old hands. Sausages on the bbq for dinner tonight.

Michelle’s coming home early. Especially!

our lesson

It's more difficult than it looks....

filles at 4:03 pm

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August 26, 2009

Citroen C3 Pluriel

We have one of these parked in our garage, only imagine it in red…


I love our car. Summer here we come.

filles at 2:57 pm

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August 24, 2009

93 days

That’s how long it’s taken us to get to a Sunday similiar to a typical Sunday in Paris.

Yesterday we were out having breakfast with my aunt and uncle at 8.30am. We set ourselves up in the backyard with the papers and a beer around midday. A girlfriend and her friend from Thailand came to lunch – a picnic in the backyard around 1pm. They left to take the train, ferry and car back to Palm Beach and our neighbours popped in for cheese and a glass of wine around 4pm. At 5, after a quick trip to refill at the bottleshop, we had a guest for a bbq dinner, which ended in 80’s music full blast and a lot of shady dancing. Not by me of course, I sneaked up to bed around 10pm… by you know who and our guest!

When I say ‘TYPICAL’ you have to allow for variations in weather and accommodation… a bbq in Paris in winter wouldn’t have worked, nor would sitting in the backyard, but the wine, the company and the food is fairly typical. You get the gist…

I think I’m going to like living in Australia.

filles at 8:01 am

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August 19, 2009

2 days of birthdays

Thanks for all your birthday wishes by phone and by email and by comment. We had a great birthday (weekend). Saturday day we went to Cafe Sopra above Fratelli Fresh in Waterloo for an early lunch. I love the food there and we did well with the wine too. Saturday afternoon we wandered down to Rochford street to witness an auction on a little 1 bedroom house that had potential. It sold for a staggering $535K considering you could easily spend another $100K to finish the kitchen & bathroom and move the bedroom. But it was good fun, and both Michelle and my first house auction. We’ve decided if we are ever going to buy a house at auction, we’ll have to send someone else to do our bidding. We’re both too competitive.

Saturday night we had my cousin, her daughter, my aunt & uncle along with mum & Pete here for dinner. We managed a leg of lamb on our new bbq, a starter of the chicken liver pate that I ordered at Sopra earlier in the day, some cheese from the farmers market and our birthday cake was a lemon tart made by my mum that afternoon…. I love lemon tarts. My uncle bought along a bottle of wine in a brown paper bag to test my wine tasting skills. I failed miserably but learnt a lot. Never guess a wine based on the person giving it to you, I should have been less worried about offending him, and more concerned with the taste and smell of the wine. Good lessons.

Then Sunday, the official day, we got up early, after tea, a cupcake and presents in bed from mum & Pete, we jumped on the train to circular quay, then the ferry to Watsons Bay. What a beautiful way to spend a morning on Sydney harbour. At Watsons Bay we arrived before the rush, had our fish and chips in the beer garden with a view over the harbour, returned by direct ferry to the city, train to Erskineville and we were home watering the garden by 2pm. Mum and Pete packed the car and headed off to my sisters and her brood to spend their last night in Sydney. Michelle and I went to the local thai for a quick meal before falling into bed around 9.30pm… exhausted.

Another year gone by.

filles at 7:35 am

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August 17, 2009

Monday morning…

The ritual.

6.45am wake up, internal debate, gym vs coffee.

7.15am pull on my jeans and a t.shirt, head downstairs open all the doors and windows and prepare fruit and yoghurt for Michelle’s breakfast and a salad lunch in tupperware.

7.45am walk the 100m to the centre of Erskineville, browse the magazines at the newsagent, pick one, and head to the local cafe. Select a stool on the sidewalk, face into the sun, read my magazine while drinking a flat white coffee.

8.45am return home and decide what to do for the rest of the day….

Photo credit: Filip (

Photo credit: Filip (

filles at 9:24 am

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August 13, 2009

Late thunder storm

Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.

Winter in Sydney. For our birthday it’s going to be 25 degrees. In winter. How cool is that? I think it was about the same temperature in Puyvert last year, in summer, in the south of France. Of course it’s not quite the same, but hello…. 25 degrees in winter. I can live with that.

filles at 8:00 am

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August 5, 2009

re-pot lavender, check. stain 4 indoor chairs, check

Pete & mum drove down to see us last week…. we’ve put them to work. We now have a pond that’s fully functional, trickles water, has a nymph (or naked boy), we have fruit trees in various stages of planting. Passionfruit vines descending the outside stairs, jasmine mounting the outside stairs, and some pretty trumpet crimson flowers in the middle. I have parsley, and mint, and rosemary, and will soon have rocket thriving underneath. Lavender has been potted in this big beautiful urn, and a gorgeous yellow orchid is just sitting waiting patiently for a new home.

Pete’s restained all our pine chairs to go with our teak table since we can now have the table extended to seat 8 permanently. He’s installed a movement sensor and light outside for the guest quarters(!). He’s replacing the hinges on the front gate so my cousin can fit in in her wheelchair, he’s putting a back on the cupboards above the fridge, installing another towell rack, and the list goes on and on and on.

What we’re going to do to thank them I’m still not sure, we’re doing our very best to keep them here as long as possible so we can actually spend some time together NOT doing work around the house, just enjoying Sydney, but I think they’re scared our list is neverending and as long as they stay, we’ll have work for them to do….

If you’re reading this mum, don’t worry. We’re just about done.

filles at 10:59 pm

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