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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Monday, 15 January 2018

Sometimes speaking up is all you have to do !

With the boys gone temporarily it is time for a tidy up and pick me up. I headed down to my Cool Books  to put my latest magazines and books there for others. http://mezzemoments.blogspot.com.au/search?q=Cool+books+ .Just as I  got on the bike path a strange little man with a brace on his leg crossed my path and was walking away from me. No sooner was he on it then he changed direction and fell in behind me.

I stopped by the bridge and as he came past me he said:

"Don't worry I wasn't stalking you".

I smiled and answered "The thought didn't cross my mind, I was looking for tadpoles."

"Ah" he said "Ok but some women get nervous and think that".

"I am not one of those women" I replied and invited him over to look for tadpoles.

He wished me a good day and went on his way and as there weren't very many tadpoles I followed on. Given he had a brace on, I caught up with him quite quickly and walked close behind.  As I overtook him I said:

"Don't worry I am not stalking you". 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Suns,sons and bugs.

It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks and I have cooked and prepared many meals in this short time. It has been a non stop, active, sunny time with three grown young men who are challenging, inquisitive and caring. To their credit they are all good cooks but coming home to me has put the focus squarely in my court. We have enjoyed meals on the deck with or without bugs and I don't just mean Moreton ones. We have met friends, explored some of the coast line and the hinterland and seen in the New Year. Two (three in fact as Jamie joined them) are off in their Aussie camper van exploring the East Coast. One leaves to go back to London today, to a granny and a fiancee who wait anxiously to see him and be with him. I will rattle for a while, needing time to fill the void, finding my feet and picking up where I left off nearly a month ago. Letting them go is the biggest gift I can give them, however hard that may be. I surprised myself by waving the boys off in their camper van with an old custom of my mothers. She spilled water on the road before a big journey to wish the travellers a journey as smooth as the flow of water. 

Memorable meals - Moreton bugs with Greek olive oil and garlic sauce
Memorable conversations - Nick's conversation with Vodafone employee who found everything "TOO EASY MATE" - now our family mantra for 2018. 
Memorable present- a bunch of barnacles 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Ending the year in the Green.

We talked about goals achieved, horrors faced, expectations met, and those that slipped through the net. We spoke of hopes for the future, plans and life changes, even muddling along. We felt that 2017 was a slight, but only slight improvement on 2016, and that we were looking to 2018 for funner, happier times, not just for us, (and we have one or two special events in store) but for the world. And what better place to welcome the New Year then overlooking the incredible vistas that Australia gives us, close to nature and on top of the granite boulders it threw up a long, long time ago. Happy New Year Everyone - may it be better, fairer, happier all round, for each and everyone, but also for all peoples on our one and only still amazingly green planet. 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Xmas 2017 - 2018

This Xmas will be remembered for our boys joining us here in Australia and for us nearly completing all the formalities to become Australian citizens. Its been an incredible five years and one which, if you had asked me in Delhi Xmas 2012 - 2013 where we could have ended up, believe me Australia was not even on the list. The five years have gone by so fast and yet I still feel there is so much more of this beautiful country to see and experience.

We celebrated with a Xmas party for some friends and neighbours and it is so much because of them that I know we have made the right decision to spend a few more years here. People who are open, unpretentious, warm and generous to a fault. People able to share a good laugh and a beer. A country that has rules admittedly, ( we were a little surprised ) but we are happy for the most part to go along with them, strange as some of them may be. The Queensland we live in still has some of its old country town habits and I love them, being friendly, talking to strangers, thanking the bus driver for every journey he does for us.

My Aussie cup cake wonder made by my good friend Robyn Jaques. 

The birds and the wildlife have kept us fascinated and learning so much about them and their habitats. The city grows nearby and offers cutting edge art and theatre to rival any capital. The language continues to amaze us and we hear even shorter words every day. The Australian continent has a lot to offer and we are privileged to be able to be a part of it. So to prove I am capable of the linguo here is my go at Ausspeke. 

This ARVO passed by the SERVO on my way to the BOTTLE-O.Thought I would join the RELOS for some MUSO over a PARMO, for DEFO, rather than a FISHO. But realized my REGO was overdue, so I decided to take the LOCO to HAMO and get there that way, as I don’t want to give any JOURNOS or any AMBOS cause for concern. Got there and found a PAV and got some BUGS and put them in an ESKY to take home to the family otherwise they would be DEVO. Felt like a DRONGO for forgetting my THONGS, but TOO EASY MATE to get more. So G'DAY to you all and Happy KRIMBO and I am STOKED to be nearly AUSSIE. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Tiger mums tots and treats

For those of you who read Tiger Mum this photo of children performing at Hong Kong airport may bring back some thoughts of the book, tactics, parenting pride and pressure not necessarily in that order. They were kinda cute.

There is so much emphasis on achieving and spending a day with a delightful young civil servant I was able to fully appreciate why. She was one of 20,000 applicants for a civil service job. They took 32 applicants and she was one of them. She commutes on a busy underground from the New Territories. The idea that she could ever own her own flat is almost a pie in the sky, and if she does it will be like a little floating cloud. Massive sky scrapers with tiny apartments where the land value is among the highest in the world. She is on a rotating training programme which enables her to become familiar with policy and process and takes it all very seriously. She considers herself to be extremely lucky but I said I was luckier as she was showing me around. She  introduced me to Abalone, and for those of you not familiar with this mollusc, it is considered to be a very great delicacy here. It seemed to be a bit like a chewy mushroom and perhaps you need to appreciate it from a young age as well as some of the other rather odd items that are sold - gift wrapped and ready to go to a good home. 

 A gift box of Abalone and below some delightful sea cucumbers. 

Some sea horses but do they eat them I wonder?

I think the nicest nugget I heard from her was when I asked her what was happening at the temple I had visited the day before where I saw people coming in with offerings. She said in HK people go to the temple and pray to the god for something specific - a job, a cure etc- if their wish is fulfilled they visit the temple again with an offering. Pay back. I loved the idea that you only had to pay back if the God did his job. Surely there is a PHD in there somewhere to investigate the success rates of these Gods. 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Bonkers for Honkers

Approaching Australian Citizenship as I am, it is perhaps right that I start expressing myself sometimes in Oz speak so this blog is entitled "Bonkers for Honkers" the Australian name for Hong Kong. Why it is called Honkers I havent really been able to find out but we all know it is something to do with saying one word instead of two right ? 

Hong Kong is such a mish mash of its history, culture and development. Though 20 years have gone by since it was given back there are plenty of signs that some of that Britishness still lingers. The waterfront was awash with yorkshire puddings and draught beer, cricket on the big screen, loads of expat bankers and businessmen having a pint and either celebrating or commiserating the scores, and all around those unmistakable little signature items that are so familiar to a lot of us. 

Poinsettias grace every pot available and the Xmas Decorations are bold and occasionally brash. It is the first time I have ever come across a black and white Xmas tree. Just cant get my head around the colour scheme at all.

At the same time its laneways are full of small market stalls selling everything and anything and corner restaurants offer steaming dim sums and some stranger items like braised chicken feet or even one item I saw written as chicken intestives, which I suspect were intestines. Gizzards, offal and tripe feature happily alongside the more recognisable and delicious dishes. 

When they have some time to stop their frenetic life style  some of the HongKongese, may pop into a temple. We visited the Pak Thai Temple, which is one of the oldest temples in HK, built by residents in 1863 to honour Pak Thai the Taoist god of the sea. It is now Heritage Listed. We were immediately taken in by the incense burning, the tall statues of the gods, the ancestor worship and the offerings. 
There was chanting and smoke and and the occasional banging of the gong, its reverberations unfolding and meeting the incense smoke as it left the temple. 

Its many facets make Hong Kong appealing and exciting and some people might be bonkers for Honkers but Brissie's blue skies are what send me X static.

Friday, 15 December 2017

"Spot the Tourist"

Our trip to Hong Kong comes in a busy month so there wasn't much time for planning. Packing late one night we both went on instinct.  HK is usually hot and humid so I packed skimpy tops and summer dresses. Hubby wasn't sure he even packed his suit trousers so the state of unpreparedness was marked. We landed in a misty HK with cool temperatures and everyone wandering around in their boots, parkas and Burberry scarfs. We walked out this morning in flip flops and T-shirts and fulfilled the role of "Spot the Tourist" ably!

Best discovery of the day an Art Exhibition on the water front called On Sharks and Humanity- Artists in Action. Here are some of their impressive exhibits and the small message on the base of each art work says it all.

Given our state of unpreparedness, (some friends would be horrified) we then decided to jump on the beautiful working trams and travelled up and down the city enjoying vistas - old buildings next to new ones, amazing architecture and the throngs of people everywhere. 

In front of one of Hong Kong's most treasured heritage building, which originally housed the Legislative Council and is now the Court of Final Appeal we saw this rather unusual sight. An attempt perhaps to distract the crusty Judges having to determine the fate of the Lucky Fortune Company listed before them?  storey neo-classical building is supported by ionic columns. Its most outs