Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Super Secret Squirrel Stitching Revealed and a Lazy Weekend.

We had another lovely weekend at home this week.

Firstly, the birthday boy received his quilt during the week.  The super secret squirrel stitching was finished off at work and the final product was a COMPLETE SURPRISE.  EVERYONE knew about it, except Mick!  He did like it, but I haven’t had a chance to get a proper photo yet.  I’ll endeavour to get one soon.

May 2012 040

My space at work looks much better now that I’ve been able to bring everything back home. I still have to make a label, but there was no opportunity before the big day without giving the game away.

Saturday was a rather bleak day here, so Mick, not having to work, decided to make a couple of shelves for the kitchen.  We have talked about this for several years, but you know how it is, you can’t rush into things.  Well, he got stuck into it this time and we have a shelf for the coffee and tea making bits and bobs in one corner.

May 2012 042

And in another he has his collection of coffee making machines.  No minimalist look in our kitchen.

May 2012 044

It was a job well done.

Being cold, I tried another of the recipes out of the Family Circle magazine.  This time it was Chicken Provencale and tasted great.  No photo, sorry, we were too busy eating it up. I’ll see if I can make another recipe next weekend too.

Yesterday was forecast to be fine but cold.  It turned out to be fine and not too cold at all, so we got out into the garden and did a bit of tidying up for winter.  I picked the very last of the roses. 

May 2012 004

Most have been long since frosted, but these few grew under the verandah, so have been protected.  They looked lovely in the afternoon sunlight.

May 2012 012

Indulge me. 

May 2012 025

I just want to make the most of them while I can.

May 2012 027

No stitching has been done, but I’ve been cutting up some charm squares.  Loulee is making a black, white and grey quilt and was needing some extra squares, so, now that I’ve given Mick his quilt I was able to bring out the fabrics that he didn’t know existed and cut a charm pack from Oz, and while I was as it, one for me.

May 2012 039



Monday, 21 May 2012

What a Lovely Day

This time last year we were enjoying our UK adventure on Olga.  I sat a re-read my blog posts from the trip on Saturday night and it brought back some wonderful memories.  I’m so jealous of all our friends that have made the trip to Europe this year, but it is lovely that they are having their turn.

However, we still had a lovely day out on Olga here.

Yesterday we had nothing planned so I made a lemon drizzle cake (I was on a roll) and we hopped on Olga and went to visit some friends  in town for morning tea.  I love it that you can take a cake along with a sidecar.

May 2012 001

We sat around and chatted and then Mick took our mate for his first ride of a sidecar and then his wife for her first ride in a sidecar and they both enjoyed it, as we expected.

By now it was after lunch time, but as it was a lovely day we took a little detour home via a big loop of minor roads.

May 2012 001

You know the roads are fairly minor when they have a cattle grid and gate.

May 2012 010

Down to the pretty Winburndale Rivulet.

May 2012 015

Can you see how high the debris is in the trees to the right of the photo below.  The river must have been fairly roaring as it came down here in flood at the beginning of the year.

May 2012 017

Here comes Mick on Olga.

May 2012 021

The river was babbling along very nicely and was lovely and clear.

May 2012 024

The iconic row of rustic old mail boxes.

May 2012 029

Tumble down shed.

May 2012 033

The clouds were gathering in the east.  We would like them to head a bit further west, as it has apparently been the driest May since the 1850s.  Drier even than during the recent long drought.  Unfortunately, if you looked the other way it was still nice and blue.

May 2012 034

More mail boxes, although some aren’t quite as rustic in this row.

May 2012 036

These ones were rather upmarket, being properly sign written.

May 2012 039

How does this little building look as a handyman’s delight?

May 2012 050

On closer inspection there is just a tad too much work to do.

May 2012 055

Back onto the open plains and pointing in the direction of home on those distant hills.

May 2012 057

I hate this road on a solo bike as the surface is so loose and skatey.  I don’t even like driving on it in a car, but Olga just took it in her stride.

May 2012 065

I love it when there is grass in the middle of the road – that is really minor.

May 2012 069

Then we popped out onto the main road and back home.  Our quick trip to town ended up taking about 5 hours and about 120kms. 

As I’ve said before, we are not very good at staying home.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Food Glorious Food

For a change, we have nothing planned for this weekend and were feeling rather lazy this morning.  Therefore, we decided to take Olga down to our local cafe to pick up the papers.  This is quite a new treat for us, as the cafe only reopened a few months back and it is so nice to not have to drive all the way to town.

Olga at Cafe

Of course, while we were there we had to sample the fare, and rather nice it was too, sitting out in the sun partaking of coffee, freshly roasted just next door, and delicious cake.  It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.

Morning Tea

Because we were staying close to home today I decided to cook a casserole, so on Thursday night when I did the groceries I bought some lamb shanks.


1.  I’m a very basic cook.

2.  I don’t buy recipe magazines (I just spend all my money on craft ones).

However, for some unknown reason, I started browsing some recipe magazines in the supermarket and happened to pick up a “Family Circle”, which I haven’t looked at in probably 20 years.  I just happened to open it at a page with a recipe for lamb shanks in red wine.  I read it, and as it sounded a bit different to the usual I bought the magazine, 2 oranges and some olives.

Well, we’ve had a success.  This morning I marinated the shanks in red wine and orange, and this evening I made the scrummiest casserole.  The recipe used stovetop cooking, but I just bunged it in a slow oven for 3 hours.  The flavours were red wine, orange, lots of garlic, olives, tomatoes and rosemary.  They work a treat.

Dinner for two a la kitchen table.

May 2012 002

Yummo.  I’ll keep that recipe.

May 2012 004

There were lots of other great sounding winter recipes in the magazine as well, so I might just try some more……. we’ll just see how motivated I get.  Don’t hold your breath.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Another Zippy Pouch

This year it seems to be everyone else’s turn to head off for the European tour, so I have made another Zippy Pouch for friends who will be visiting Rome, among other places.

May 12 Zipper Pouch 001

I love that this fabric has a Vespa, as they are fellow motorcyclists.

These are a great little gift to make and would be so handy for all the little bits and bobs that you need to have in your bag.  I might even have to make one for myself before we head over again.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

An Autumn Day

Yesterday was a typical autumn day, cool and sunny, and we were actually at home, so Mick decided it was the perfect opportunity to take a photo of the two sidecars together, as he didn’t have one - “Snubby” the silver sidecar and “Olga” the old girl.

May 12 001

While we were at it I then just wandered around taking snaps of gorgeous leaves.

May 12 004

May 12 005

May 12 006

In the evening it got quite cool.  I normally read blogs in our office, but as the lounge room was so nice and snug I brought the tiny laptop out in front of the heater.

I’m glad I did, as I found a new use for it – it made a passable emergency torch when the lights went out on a very dark night.  We had a blackout for several hours.  Fortunately, we have a little generator, so were able to keep the fan going on the wood heater,( you don’t want the firebox to get too hot) and set up a table light, rather than relying on the kerosene lamp, whose wick was about ready for replacing – must do that before the next blackout. It ended up being rather lovely sitting in the darkened room in front of the fire.

May 12 011

Friday, 11 May 2012

A Sign of the Times

I saw this in the supermarket car park last night and just had to take a photo to show Mick.  He laughed.May 2012 sign 003

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Motorcycling With Our Mates

We had a lovely trip away on Snubby this weekend.  The Midstate Tourers were hosting their Dice Roll Run, which is always a lot of fun.  We have joined in this run a couple of times before. You can see last time here. How it works is each time we stop, you roll three dice and at the end of the day whoever has the highest number wins.  Simple.  They also have a prize for the oldest bike, which we won in 2010 on Olga.

Seven bikes from Bathurst headed off to Parkes early yesterday morning for the start.  As usual, I took loads of photos from the sidecar.

Friday morning was our coldest so far this year and yesterday wasn’t much better. Here we are, about to enter the gloom of the fog.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 003

It was not as cold as on Friday, but still a little chilly.  Yes, I have a thermometer set up in the sidecar, along with the intercom, GPS and phone charger.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 020

Fortunately, there wasn’t too much fog, but plenty of frost.  At least you know to expect a nice day after a big frost.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 015

It isn’t too bad travelling in this weather.  Over the years we have collected lots of good merino thermal gear.  I had on merino long johns under my jeans, a merino T-shirt, merino skivvy, merino jumper and padded bike jacket.  My socks are woollen too.  All the merino clothing is fairly thin, so I don’t feel too much like Michelin Woman.  We get most of our merino gear from a company based in Forbes, just a couple of hours up the road.  No we do not get commission, but it is rather sad when you see them that they remember your name, as you have bought so much stuff.  We just love the feel of the fabric, not at all scratchy, and not at all pongy if you happen to get a bit too warm, unlike most other thermal clothing.  Just to be nice and snug, I even have the rubber backed picnic rug wrapped around my legs. I hate feeling cold.

We had to have the obligatory early morning shadow photo. Mick is waving “Hello”.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 023

It was glorious riding along seeing all the autumn trees. The main street of Orange was especially colourful.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 027

Our mate, who collected his new sidecar a fortnight ago, joined in the fun.  They did so well on their first big ride.  We just poked along behind them all day and were always happy to be the last to arrive at each destination.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 030

Our first stop was at Yeoval, a tiny town where my Dad lived up until he was about 8.  It’s main claim to fame these days is that it holds a “Mulga Bill Bicycle Festival” - something that is on our “To Do” list.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 046

Although we have done lots of riding all over this area, we still ventured on a couple of new roads.  We really enjoy going on a run like this, where someone else does all the organising and it is a bit of a mystery tour.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 092

Our lunch stop was at Geurie, between Wellington and Dubbo.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 098

The weather warmed up nicely.  It reached 20 degrees C, which was very pleasant.  Some of the layers had to come off.

Our next stop was at Stuart Town.  It is famous as originally being “Ironbark”, as in “The Man From Ironbark”.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 165

Each break was a decent length, so as soon as we arrived, I decided to have a bit of a wander around, something I’ve never had the opportunity to do before.

There are lots of interesting old buildings.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 108

May 12 Dice Roll Run 118

May 12 Dice Roll Run 113

May 12 Dice Roll Run 125

May 12 Dice Roll Run 150 

May 12 Dice Roll Run 130

The old Railway Station looked interesting, so I wandered on up, not sure if it was still a railway station or a private dwelling.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 144

By the looks of the cobwebs in the entrance foyer window, I guessed it was vacant.  I had a lovely sticky beak.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 131

May 12 Dice Roll Run 143 

May 12 Dice Roll Run 137 

May 12 Dice Roll Run 139

May 12 Dice Roll Run 135

May 12 Dice Roll Run 141

I thought I’d better go back and see what everyone else was up to.  Nothing worse than everyone pacing up and down waiting for me to take happy snaps.  I needn’t have worried.  They were still busy drawing raffle prizes.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 151

Our final destination for the day was Molong.  This is always a pretty ride.  However, our hearts were in our mouths when we saw a big bunch of bikes stopped in the middle of nowhere.  We thought the worst, that someone had come off their bike.  Imagine our relief as we got closer and saw the true reason for the delay.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 172

We waited patiently.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 174

The problem was soon solved.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 175

A cute country church along the way.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 181

Once we arrived in Molong we checked into the pub for the night.  We had a great evening, were well fed and had lots of laughs.

This morning we just meandered back home.  We took a couple of more minor roads through the orchards, vineyards and lots of colourful trees.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 188

We also enjoyed the native scenery.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 196

A feature riding home, back into to beautiful tablelands were the windswept clouds.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 209

The scenery was looking a lot more like winter by the time we returned home.

May 12 Dice Roll Run 217

Everyone had a great time, so we will have to plan some more rides in the near future.  We may just have to resurrect “The Winter Solstice Ride” which we haven’t done for a few years.