Hello welcome to my Blog

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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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Tis the season

No sooner has the city and its suburbs unfolded its natural festive colours than the season officially kicked off last night at St George's Square in front of Brisbane City Hall. What to me is remarkable is that the place was packed with young families for as far as the eye could see and Brisbane doesn't disappoint its citizens. There was opera to start with, followed by a traditional welcome to country by an Aboriginal group and then a children's Christmas choir. The Mayor Graham Quirk came on stage accompanied by a giant turkey and a fat pudding who delighted the children and had with him two little girls from the charity Starlight which does a wonderful job looking after the wishes of very sick children. Appropriate, touching, traditional and inclusive -with that final aaah moment of the christmas tree lights coming on and even they had their beautiful Ozzie angle, 1600 lights all solar powered. 
Hats off to you Brisbane.
The beautiful City Hall with its magnificent Parthenon- like- pediment but no Greek gods here, only depictions of a cloaked woman representing progress and enlightenment and settlers on the one hand and Aborigines on the other hand sculpted by Daphne Munro in the 1930s.
 Packed in every direction as far as the eye could see. 
 Christmas colours for City hall 
 The solar powered Christmas tree, the biggest of its kind. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Out with the blues, roll in the reds

And I am not talking about football colours or clubs but the fact that Brisbane is an unfolding panorama of colours and one worth talking about. Sometime ago I showed you the beautiful Jacaranda in my garden. Most of them had flowered slightly early due to some unseasonably warm weather. A couple of storms and the roads are a carpet of blue. I look up in the sky I can see thick fleshy green buds just bursting to take over.
The reds are rolling in, almost as a precursor to the Xmas season that is just beginning, to decorate the city with vibrancy and vitality. The Poinsianas flower throughout the month of November and streets, valleys and riverside are splashed like canvases with this shock of red. They are trees from Madagascar and they take a long time to mature and flower but when they do this its worth waiting for. There are other trees and shrubs that add to this spectacular array of reds in the city. 
Red Pea ?
Bottle brush 
 And the view from my deck with a pink flowering frangipani in the foreground and the Poinsiana coming out behind. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sydney Opera House

It is quite a story from its inception, to its creation, to its birth and triumphs and all I can say it is worth every agony, architectural drawing, lots of failed ones, hundreds, indeed millions of Aussie dollars, sleepless nights, architects tearing their hair out and falling out. 

Seeing this magnificent building in full swing, knowing how it takes nearly 900 people to organise it, maintain it, and prepare it for so many of the unique concerts, ballets and operas that are held there each year is really quite impressive.

The stories are many, the dilemmas plentiful, but it did come down in my eyes to that moment when Utzon the Danish architect entrusted with its creation suddenly and clearly saw how the domes could work, as slivers out of a sphere and once that moment was realised the rest well.... sort of fell into place.

I am not sure any pictures do it enough justice but seeing it from every angle, inside and out certainly helped and gave me an immense appreciation of the engineering and architectural feat that it is. The various concert halls have acoustics which are carefully considered and calibrated.One concert hall is under the sea. The public places are a triumph of raw concrete and outrageously coloured carpets. The domes are constructed of special tiles, some beige and some white, all made in Denmark I believe, which are self washing and brilliant in the antipodean sunshine.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Blue Quadong, Cooloon

Its a large tree with buttresses and a whitish bark with a not surprising profusion of green elliptical leaves which sometimes turn reddish before falling and white bell shaped flowers - so what might you ask is so special about this odd sounding Queensland tree?
Well these :
I collected them from the ground and brought them home and then placed them on different backgrounds to see if it really was the most magical blue in the natural world. Judge for yourself - they are astonishingly blue and edible.The name comes from the Wiradjuri language and means"nut".They taste like olives and are full of Vitamin C.They have been around for thousands of years.Animals munch on them but they are also eaten by locals and jams and marmalades (see previous post) have been made from them. The aboriginals made an edible paste of the fruit and used them for necklaces and earrings. Given that blue is my favourite colour I hope Santa is taking note. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Bush tucker is food taken from Ozzie's bountiful  nature and served up in delicious ways. We went along to a small restaurant tucked away (excuse the pun) in the swinging district of West End. It is small and discreet, perhaps standing a little apart from the Ouzeri on the corner and the interestingly named Three Joints fast food outlet just across the road.

We took a table by the open french doors and chose from an eclectic menu. My husband had emu pattie and I had Kangaroo steak. Smoked Crocodile is also served, as are macadamia nuts, lilly pilly berries, greens and lots of delicious fare that doesn't ever come up on supermarkert shelves.Tukka maintains a garden and they grow over 15 varieties of native plants.

You can try Tasmanian possum - now if you are a reader of this blog and saw a picture of my resident Brisbane possum you might think twice about that choice. Or even three times when offered the "Coffin Bay" oysters. There are bush tomatoes and lemon myrtle shortbread and glace quadongs and  if you are wondering what on earth these are, keep reading because my next blog entry will tell you all about the amazing quadong tree.

The story behind this rather lovely treasure is very much the love child of Bryant Wells. The story goes that he dined at Tukka and loved it and asked the the maitre de if there was a vacancy for a chef. He started there two months later and the restaurant has been going for some 12 years and he is not only the head chef but now owns the restaurant as well. He could not be happier from being so inspired by it to being able to recreate the wonderful, innovative meals on a daily basis.

There are high teas offered every second and fourth Sunday and cooking classes throughout the year.
Its a wonderful experience and just takes you out of the traditonal and perhaps commonplace to celebrate Australia's rich and abundant natural world with some tips from the original inhabitants of this vast continent. 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Listening in ......

Obama and Merkel seem to to do it and apparently OZ too,  so I thought I would take a crack at it too.
On the bus going home I take a seat and behind me are two elderly gentlemen who have just met each other. Lets call them Bill and for the sake of the rhyme, Ben.This is their conversation, made me smile.

Hello Bill - what are you doing here ?

Just got off the plane from London and I am on my way home.

You are looking well mate, been anywhere nice ?

Oh yea look mate we flew to Barcelona and had a few days there, then we went on a cruise on the Rhine, then we went to Amsterdam and Louise spent all her time in the museums and I spent mine at the brothels and bars. It was fun.

Then we went to London and spent a few days there and toured around, hired a car and all that and saw some of the sights. Horrible food, but the sights were great and now we are back.

So how have you been ?

Well I guess I am well though the night before we went one of my ex- wives died. She wasn't old or anything like that about 67 and she just died. There was nothing I could do, I was on the plane then.

Oh I am sorry to hear that mate but I guess we all have to go sometime.

And did you hear about the storms in Europe ?

Yea mate, killed 13 people they did, trees flying around everywhere.

Yea dreadful. Anyway we are back now, safe and sound.Nothing ever happens here !!