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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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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Discoveries with Dougall 26 - and Making an Entrance.

Ok so I know my hair is according to Jane dip dyed, signifying nothing truly deterministic,  my T shirt is about 100 years old and my shorts have slipped down on my hips so I look as if I have a muffin top. The fronts are covered with Dougall's slobber and my legs have got mud all over them. He offered to take a photo and that is so rare in my life I just had to go for it. 

The story is that Dougall and I were walking in the neighbourhood when I was drawn to something looking supremely blue... We walked up and this is what we saw. It is magnificent and Dougall and I sat in awe outside it for a while. Then the owner of the house appeared. I asked if it was Ok for me to take a photograph. He immediately agreed and told me this is Petrea Volubilis, aka Queen's Wreath or Fleur de Dieu. Oh mon Dieu you can see how that arose can't you. After chatting for a while he offered to take a photo of Dougall and me. I could not very well say hang on I am just going to nip home, brush my hair change my clothes and put some make up on could I ? So we made an entrance  just as we were. Here it is in its full glory and no apologies for the slobber. Capturing the moment is what it is all about!





Sunday, 18 October 2020

Mixing it up

It would be unfair to talk only of Jacarandas. The month of October in Brisbane is full of purply -blues and yellows. The silky oaks are everywhere in full flower, gentle fronds sun seeking, leaves green above and a gentle grey below. The Tabebuia Tree's delicate golden trumpets contrast its dry trunk. The more verdant and fragrant native frangipani with a profusion of sweet smelling flowers, ranging from dark orange to yellow and white, a rainforest tree that bees and birds love. And then the purply blues compete with the sky changing with it and because of it, and finally the combination of these heavenly colours makes the picture perfect and the appreciation sweeter. 




The Tabebuia Tree 

Native Frangipanis in flower along Ithaka Creek. 






Friday, 9 October 2020

Competition Time

 

He/She is lively and cheeky and if you follow my instagram stories you will see why. He/She is a frequent visitor and is very confident of his/her looks and his/her crest. Names please - best name is godparent to this fine specimen. Very hard to tell what sex they are.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Springbrook National Park - The Purling Brook Falls.

How not to head out for a day's excursion - We left reasonably early. Gorgeous day in Brissie and as I drove up our road I glanced at the dial I said to hubby, "we have less than a quarter of diesel". "We shall fill up along the way" was the answer I half heard. However we got a little lost, a little distracted and ended up going a little out of our way and then down some very quiet lanes until we were practically at our first destination.We had 60 kms left in the tank. So after a brief stop there we looked for the nearest garage and found it at 28 kms. Except to get there, we soon found out we had to go across the QLD- NSW border and that is Not Possible. So we had to turn round and look again and made the gas station with some 7 kms in the tank. Phew. Then it had clouded over and we were hopelessly under dressed and unprepared for a trek - so do not take a leaf out of our book. We have lessons to learn about preparedness but even at a relatively late hour we headed off to explore the Purling Brook Falls and hoped there were no unforeseen weather events on the way. We warmed up. It was only a 4km walk but down 450 steps to the falls and then up a gentler slope the other side of the valley with wonderful views to the Gold Coast and beyond. Along the way, some flowering trees, a slithering little snake and the incredible Antarctic Beech trees which belong to another world.  






Much, much more to explore in Springbrook so we will be back and by then who knows, those internal borders might just be open and we can nip across to NSW without so much as a one two three. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Natural Bridge

It was one of the first sites I visited when we arrived in Queensland, a Sunday outing with two new and now very dear friends Leonie and  Ellen. 


Yesterday I returned to Natural Bridge to show hubby its sheer beauty and unspoilt setting. Its part of the Gondwana Rainforests, a world heritage area. A waterfall and the force of the water over basalt rock formed the natural bridge. The path cuts through ancient Gondwana Rainforest with hoop pines rising magnificently, apparently relics of another very ancient time. These days you can barely see their crowns and they have crows nests and orchids clinging onto them. 


Above the noise of the burbling water, eastern whip birds call, cat birds yell, woompoo fruit doves emit their whoop whoop and riflebirds can be heard but not seen.  The area is rich with nightlife as well - sooty owls and microbats and the glow worms in the cave emanate string like lit up streamers.  

We had a picnic at Mary Leu Bridge - walked down to this idyllic stream and watched the dragon flies and butterflies. The richness of the trees reflected in the water. 




Tomorrow more on Springbrook National Park which is nearby. 


Sunday, 4 October 2020

On this ordinary day

 The leader of the so called free world gets Covid. 

My neighbour is harvesting his coffee beans from his coffee bushes and is in the process of making coffee. He promised me some after he roasts them. I am impressed. It was lovely to see him and his daughter sitting cross legged in the garden shelling the beans with a great big brick. Here are the skins. Talk about real efforts in sustainable living. Here is one of them. Just teaching the kids what's involved is another. If you haven't seen David Attenborough's witness Statement A life on our planet, please make time for it. 

The pool is still a wondrous purple with all the jacaranda blossom falling but what I want to share is the sound each blossom makes hitting the pool cover. It is like a raindrop falling. 



So from this very ordinary day with some extraordinary things happening I know which one I want to keep tucked in a corner of my mind. 

Friday, 2 October 2020

Jacaranda time

Our tree is the first in the valley to flower and we worry about that because of climate change. Very soon we reconcile ourselves to its outstanding beauty and forget the year long moan about brushing up its fronds and fine petals from the swimming pool. The work is more pleasant these days and indeed if you go to some select spas they deliberately throw rose petals into your bath. We don't have to throw them in, they fall in naturally and we love their colour and delicacy even if they are so very ephemeral. 


The tree itself is a delight to look at and its blossoming is my blossoming. I invite people over for lunches and brunches, to sit and admire it, and I swim under its ever changing colours watching the miner birds crawling into the trumpet like flowers and the bees buzzing out. I feel the world is opening up and it is not just me feeling this. Just on Monday I attended a book launch, the first live event since Covid - 19 and it was a joyous affair not only because it was with a darling of Brisbane audiences, Trent Dalton talking about his new Book "All the Shimmering Skies" but also because it was a chance to start conversations with strangers at a socially distanced space and to put on that new blouse that has been sitting in the cupboard for ever. Authors around Australia are feeling this spring too with a slew of them bringing out new books. Jane Harper with The Survivors, Craig Silvey with Honeybee and Richard Flanagan (Nobel Prize winner) with "The living sea of waking dreams". I love how most of the titles are nature based. 

My two adorable kookaburras Dennis and Doreen looking suitably picturesque with the tree as a backdrop.  Doreen is the one who looks as if she has had too much lunch. 



I am also marking the start of this month as the time when my beloved hubby steps down from Head of School of Public Health at UQ but stays on as a researcher and academic. He has served the School of Public Health for nearly eight years and I can hardly believe it has been so long. He has worked hard and fought many battles and was frustratingly more supportive of his staff sometimes then he was at home, always open to help and listen to any of their issues and finding answers.  He has learnt so much from his position and is now applying some of the good practices learnt with me so I really can't complain.  He steps down knowing he has done an excellent job. I am hoping that the next eight will be equally happy and challenging. There are many projects - growing roses successfully, making all the orchids bloom (nearly achieved) planting and caring for an orchard. On a more serious note conducting research and writing academic papers and publishing results. He remains the man I most admire for all his values and passion for his profession.