Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Linda of Seaside Style posted a feature of pics from the Jamaican luxury hotel Golden Eye - the estate where writer Ian Fleming wrote many novels.

This lagoon shot is giving me inspirational ideas for a cabana to be built over one edge of our dam on the farm. Would be a good party spot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fishing, Footy and Feeding

Our annual Easter long weekend camping trip with two other families - Trawool Tradish - kicked off on Good Friday with prawns, oysters and fish.

The camping trip focal point is a fishing competition with a large trophy. Casting off from Goulburn River's edge.

Or fishing from a boat. Not much was biting. Only two fish were caught.

Here was the winning cod.

Next was this trout.

Throughout the weekend, flotillas of families canoed and paddled past, waving hello. The boys dug in the dirt and played football with the dads. Easter Sunday always brings the crinkly sound of wrappers slid back off chocolate eggs found and bunnies gifted. My daughter's Donna Hay cupcakes decorated as bunny faces were a big hit.

Now when I say camping, I really mean caravanning as we are not really roughing it. Even though I think it's a bit rough that we have to do our business into a deeply-dug hole upon which sits a commode-style folding chair, covered by a tent for privacy. We have the luxury of being able to cook on a gas stove top or in the electric oven in our caravan.

Or there's a microwave.

But the best cooking is done outdoors. Like kneading dough in our friend's outdoor, netted kitchen and then baking bread and pizzas in a Weber Cube.

And making spaghetti bolognese. Or frying up bacon and eggs on a hotplate over the fire.

It's a good setup by the river. Our trailer.

Our friends' set up. Yup. A TV at the ready for a movie night under the stars.

But mostly the night is spent sitting around the fire, toasting marshmallows and sharing funny stories.

Or having a bit of quiet time alone.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Horses, History and Hope

The Relay for Life was held this past weekend in town on our main football oval to raise hope and funds for cancer research.

Round and round the oval walked my daughter, all bundled up to ward off the nippy night, and drinking coffee to stave off sleepiness.

My son received his first team Australian Rules Football jersey, playing under the same number as his father - 18. With his friend on the left and his friend's grandparents.

Uncle John stopped by at Nona's with a generous supply of grapes and green apples from his orchard.

My daughter did a great job experimenting with Easter bunny cupcake designs.

On top of it all, the weekend was full of events celebrating a special anniversary for the area's military history:

  • a parade on the main street and fireworks on Friday night
  • horse and riders appeared from the riverside park in front of our house and clip clopped up the street on Saturday ahead of an outdoor cinema evening showing War Horse as families snuggled together on the grassy hills of the park
  • displays and a market in the riverside park.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sliding Barn Doors

Photo: Refreshed Designs

Thanks Mom, for suggesting we get internal, sliding barn-style doors to divide our living and dining rooms. If we can't build a house yet on our farm, we can do the next best thing: bring the farm into our current home.

The previous owners of our California Bungalow apparently removed what were reportedly lovely stained-glass double doors from between our living and dining room. I hadn't thought about doors until Mom suggested it. Doors would allow us the flexibility of closing off the lounge if somebody is watching a movie to minimise sound, or if the kids are playing Wii while the adults are chatting in the dining area. Sliding doors will save the space that would be needed to swing normal hinge doors open and shut.

Photo: Houzz

I'd definitely like a row of three windows like this but a simple green-stained design to mimic our front entrance double doors. I want to see the light between rooms. And be able to snoop on what the kids are doing.

Rustica Hardware produces this beautiful, timber and stainless steel hardware for barn doors.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Slippery, splinter-free slides

This image has been doing the rounds on Facebook with thousands of teenagers, including my daughter and her friends, 'liking' this cool notion.

(Images from Forbes and Gizmodo)

Apparently this is the home of the fun-loving Scott Jones who had this beauty crafted from mahogany.

The Web Urbanist reports:

When voicemail system inventor Scott Jones decided he wanted a slide inside his home, the bids he received were too high and he didn’t like the way the designs looked. That is, until he met woodworker Rodney Miller, who devised a wooden slide design using shipbuilding techniques. The resulting corkscrew wood slide, built alongside a set of traditional stairs, is over 16 feet tall and has a 13-foot drop. Construction of the slide, wasn’t easy, as Miller attests: “I originally started working on it while it was mounted on an axle so I could turn it at floor level. Eventually I had to add onto my garage so I could work on it while it was standing up to set the stair treads accurately.”

We have beautiful, historical staircases at work and I've often joked how fun it would be to have an adjoining slide to catapult us out the door after a long day of toil.

Hmmm. Which would be better for my house: a straight or twirly slide?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Footy and Netball Fun

After a day in the Melbourne that involved buying Asics Gels Netburner shoes for my daughter and sports apparel for my son, the kids wanted to go to our sports park and train. The football and netball season starts in mid April so the kids' teams have already started training twice a week. Little Athletics just ended for my son, and he is set to compete at the school districts in hurdles, shotput, the 800 and 100 metre events.

Melbourne Dining: Grand Hyatt's Collins Kitchen

It's so nice to escape the office to have a lunch break. A couple of blocks from the office, at the 'Paris end' of Collins Street is the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Simple splendour.

It's open, buffet-style kitchen lets patrons interact with the chefs in different sections: Sushi, Deli, Grill, Wok, Pasta and Patisserie.

On offer were: oysters, smoked salmon, caesar salad, baguettes, mini beef burgers, homemade pizza, miso soup, chicken rice, pork dim sum, braised vegetables, berry tart slab, pistachio strawberry slice, ice cream.

A luncheon escape is even better when it involves celebrating a good friend's birthday and another good friend surprises us by very generously paying the bill!