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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, 24 April 2017

Making a new unknown friend

I was sitting on the deck, breathing in the scented air. The cockatoos had come and eaten their sunflower seeds and most of them had taken off. One stayed behind. We feed the birds and give them water but we don't approach them. Today was different. This cockatoo approached me. I was sitting at the table and it alighted on the back of the chair next to me, then it made its way over as close to me as it could get. I started talking to it and I put my hand out. It turned to look at it and gently and carefully I started stroking its feathers on its back. We sat there in this state of togetherness for quite a while. I was so happy this had happened, I had made a new friend but truth be told I have no idea how to tell one cockatoo from another. A friend said the females have red circles around their eyes. This one was a girl if that is indeed a feature. I look upon it as befriending a whole species. Now that is a whole lot of new friends, all at once, which FB would be happy about. 




Thursday, 20 April 2017

Cool Stanthorpe

Do you want to feel cold for a change - this is the place to go. Stanthorpe is high, cool, famous for its fruit and wines, its cheeses and pies. What we loved were the granite boulders, the National Parks, the forests of eucalyptus and the most amazing viewpoints of the whole of the surrounding area which had not one sight of human habitation. Now that truly is remarkable. 

We stayed in a B+B overlooking a vineyard and wandered around the vines, some already harvested others waiting to be picked.




We stopped at an orchard farm and were in awe at the colour and the size of the apples. We pinched two windfalls off the ground and ate them at a viewpoint and agreed they were probably one of the most delicious crunchy apples we had ever eaten. Could it be because they were "taken?" 

We explored the city of Stanthorpe and indulged in some taster paddles of craft beer. We enjoyed meeting and talking to our B+B hosts about life in the colder climes and the various landmarks in the area. There was so much more to see and do.

We roamed the roads and loved the country side - the grasses which gave the fields a red hue and the row of rusty tractors, like soldiers in a line of duty, now fallen by the wayside.
 



Tuesday, 18 April 2017

This Easter - and the joy it brings

My purple tibouchina is just fading. It has given way to the glossy leaves of my mandarin tree bearing green fruit  as well as the wonderfully white smelling blossom. I sit on the deck and breathe it all in.There is no sweeter scent. This Easter is special for our family as our first son, George has found his life mate and asked her to marry him. We are delighted to announce she said YES and we can look forward to a wedding sometime in the future. Time to acknowledge with considerable joy that not only are they forging their own way in the world, (and with us as parents the poor kids had no choice) but they are also building on futures with partners who have love and joy and laughter to share with them. We welcome a bright and beautiful daughter into our rather male -heavy family and I personally relish the balance this will bring. I am told she is not a great football fan which means I have an ally I can sneak away with and do something else when football is on.
Of course Arsenal matches are sacred! 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Debbie

Sunday and the day started out cloudy but breezy. Perfect for a morning in the garden collecting the fallen branches, sweeping up the leaves, weeding and watching with joy the almost overnight growth of our passion fruit flowers after all the rain. Then it was time to take the neighbour's dog for a walk and along the way, at the bridge, literally around the corner from the house, Debbie, in full force, knocking metal railings over and bending the metal guard everyone. Do you realise what force this shows and how wary we must be of it ? So few words today but a couple of pictures as a record of this local Debbie effect. 





Thursday, 30 March 2017

South Africa's rainbow fauna and flora.

Our time in South Africa was made the more spectacular not only by the wild and rugged coastlines but also by the birds and flowers we saw - we simply came across them driving or walking and it is partly because the Cape Floral Kingdom is so special and is home to so many diverse plants which attract spectacular birds of all sizes. From the diminutive but irridescent honey eater here.

To the most delicately patterned guinea fowl with all its babies
To a turtle just crossing the road - we took it to safety on the other side
To the beautiful blue cranes prancing along in many fields - we saw 25 of this rather rare and beautiful crane and the clumsier but perhaps more flamboyant ostrich.

And finally to the proteas which the birds love and the xerophytic flowers which are so attune to the dry mediterranean climate of the cape.


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Rainbows in the Ocean.

This was probably my favourite walk - over the beach in Arniston and towards a cave which is a famous landmark in the area. We found the most amazing mother of pearl shells which shimmered in the light, sea anemones, starfish and rocks of such colours and hues, with contrasting rock faces running through them, I could not get enough of photographing them and looking into the pools to see what more the ocean had to offer me.








That is all you need - to look around and take in all that nature has in store, in the water, under rocks, popping out of the sand, in the dark light of caves and in the blinding sun of day.










Monday, 20 March 2017

Pa Pa

Pa Penguins - Lots of them on Boulders Beach near Simons Town.






A beachfull to be precise and the elevated boardwalk allowed us to come up to them but not to disturb them. Some came in from the ocean and went from a slide on their bellies to being upright and then waddling off in their inimitable way. Some seem to feel the wind's sharpness and were curled up together- they mate for life.  Some prospective mums sat on their eggs and played the waiting game while other young ones, were busy discarding their down- like- feathers of their childhood before being allowed into the water. They need to develop their waterproof coating and this takes about 20 days. There was also a pair, he is upright and proud and he goes for his chosen one in what can only be described at a little bit of hanky panky. I felt like a voyeur until I saw a curious penguin who was standing by, as if waiting for the invitation to join in or just enjoying that sexual kick. They were "engaging" in every way.