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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, 28 August 2017

Balos and Gramvousa - Crete

We took the boat out to Balos Bay with thousands of other tourists. We had looked for something a little more contained but our number was large enough not to allow this so we scrambled on, literally in the nick of time, onto the Gramvousa ferry and we fought for our place in the shade next to tourists with sunburn, girls with skimpy bikinis and families with playful toddlers. Not the most serene of surroundings but actually once we got going with the wind in our hair and the gentle rolling of the boat it did not matter. We turned the furthermost point of Crete and headed to Balos Bay this idyllic green bay with soft sands and shallow waters and the strange thing is that the crowds just dissipated and looked like ants in the distance. W could claim our own little picnic spot to play and splash about and take in the beauty of the surroundings. 

The day was complete when we headed back and stopped at the Venetian Castle on the island of Gramvousa. Built between 1579 and 1584 this amazing fortification protected the island against the Ottomans and ensured Venetian trade routes. It is built on a promontory overlooking the sea and is almost fully intact to this day. We climbed with more crowds only to find ourselves once more enjoying a walk in relative peace. The views over the bay were stunning, the waters were ink blue and the edges trimmed with the turquoise green of emeralds. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Cretan Capers

The island of Crete is the birthplace of Theodorakis, Mouskouri and Kazantakis, giants in music and literature of the Greek world. The diminutive - akis- seems to be the norm on the island but there is nothing little or small about these people who are proud and strong as they showed time and time again, perhaps most recently in defending the Allied Forces in the Second World War. They showed support particularly for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who will forever owe them a debt of gratitude for hiding them and ferrying them away from the Germans sometimes at the cost of their own lives. They are hospitable and friendly and somehow have stuck to their traditions and their earth better than most of us. They are the fruit and vegetable basket for Greece, their cheeses and wines are wonderful and their countryside is breathtakingly rugged and unspoilt. 

We have driven through gorges, walked through others, visited monasteries where we spent some time looking at the interesting architecture and a little more time choosing some of the monastery's wine and honey and swam in water that was so clear and translucent you felt your body was enveloped in cool goodness. There was no one around - we had the place to ourselves - I guess not everyone would want to do the steep gorge walk down there. But what a reward for those who do !
 The Beach of Sheitan Limani which was popular and treacherous to get to.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Solidly spectacular

35 minutes from where I live is my closest beach - one that rivals many others on this great continent. I have a photo of the beach but today I am not going to show you that. My posting is all about how a casual walk on the promenade led me to Redcliffe Point where we gravitated towards some fishermen fishing over these rocks. They were so amazing in colour I took a few photos.

Look at the colours of the rocks, the oyster shells that are embedded in them and then look at the little mangrove plant that is shooting up from the rock itself and finally look at the layer of what appears to be a type of grass growing on the rocks. Solidly spectacular wouldn't you say. So I went on a quest of Google to find out what type of rock this was but failed. Rang up Redcliffe Tourist Information who put me in touch with Moreton Bay Authority and I left a description of the place and my question. A lovely man just rang me to inform me that this is laterite - a naturally occurring rock which has a lot of iron and aluminium oxide in it and the stones weather and oxidise to produce the variety of colours. They are common in tropical and sub tropical climate and are often found where the climate may be humid. Apparently India has a lot of Laterite and makes bricks from it - which I can now recall. 

The little mangrove shoot growing out of the rock and even more extraordinary is the grass !

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Queensland quilters

A curious Cassowary complete with with crown and grass background.

The EKKA is on - the biggest agricultural show in Queensland and I volunteer there every year with great joy and enthusiasm. So much love and effort goes into this show that it is hard not to come away completely singing its praises.This year I have to share the Quilters work - it is just exquisite and the work, the work that goes into each one, is just so meticulous and painstaking.

Look at this one, the forest threatened by the ever closing urbanisation. My choice for the best quilt but it was quite a hard choice. I guess I warmed to its concept. 

The applique work here is just outstanding.

 Look at this little pup - would have him looking at me from anywhere.

One of the many fine examples of the work the quilters have produced. There are so many more to see. Don't miss it.The Ekka is on until the 20th of August and the Quilters are in the Old Museum Building. Go and marvel at their exhibition but take in all the myriad of shows and events that EKKA has to offer as well. The weather is going to be fabulous - Come to Floral Crowns and I will make you a Floral Crown for Free!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Guinea fowl feathers and all

Sitting waiting for the bus an elderly man walks up, I shift over making room for him to sit down and he winks at me. I take one look at him and I am ready to start the conversation. 
In the headband of his fawn coloured cowboy hat he has guinea fowl feathers which I instantly recognise. He wears glasses and sports a big bushy moustache that hides some of his upper lip but as the moustache extends out the edges had clearly been twirled. This is a man with a glint in his eye. Around his neck a red kerchief which matches nicely with his blue shirt. He wears a black leather jacket and leather Aussie boots and a great matching leather belt to his fawn coloured trousers that of course match his hat. He took out a fog watch ( ! ) from his upper pocket to read the time. Oh my, I thought to myself, I must find out about this man so I casually say,

"Well dressed like this you must be heading for the EKKA, the big agricultural show in town which starts tomorrow". 

"Oh he said the last time I was at the EKKA I came by tram and that must have been in 1967!" 

He comes all the way from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and his name is Reg. He hands me his card and I see an equally fascinating last name and the clue to his get up. He is involved in Opal mining. Lightning Ridge is home to Australia's biggest Black Opal mines. Black Opals are the most precious of the opals and while they come in all different shapes and sizes their inner dark background is unmistakable and makes them very rare and valuable specimens. 

I know these are a poor substitute for Reg - he is much more colourful, but I have his card now and so I will design a trip over to find him in Lighting Ridge. I love my bus stop.