Friday, December 29, 2017

Elf on the Shelf

E made lots of Christmas cards based on the Elf on the Shelf theme. She used old photos of herself, cut out and made into an elf character, doing naughty things. Here are a few of her designs:

I also spent some time over Christmas teaching her to set up a blog. Imagine a Grandma knowing something an eleven year old doesn't know about computers!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Out to lunch

Tired of cooking, I took the family to Bread in Common, a new-style restaurant in Fremantle. There are two big wood-fired ovens at the back of a converted wool store. The rest of the area is a bar and restaurant, where everyone is seated at long tables in an informal manner; no bookings. It is noisy, but the food is delicious and very innovative: mainly shared plates that appear from the open kitchen as and when they are ready.

This is what we had:

  • jersey curd, roasted peach, toast vinegar, pistachio, honeycomb
  • salt and vinegar courgette, smoked zucchini, broad bean, tapioca
  • kingfish ceviche, watermelon, avocado, wasabi, black pepper
  • flight of 4 cheeses: Cambray Gouda, Cambray Ashover, Bleu des Basques, Gorgonzola Piccante.


  • steamed pineapple pudding, whey caramel, coconut sorbet
  • wattleseed pannacotta, cherries, meringue, geraldton wax.

These are some of the shared plates:


Must go again.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day

The tree at Como surrounded by presents, mostly for E.

I was at the fish market on Christmas Eve at 7.45 am to beat the crowds.

We had lunch in the garden; it was perfect weather.
The first course was blinis with caviar.

The main course was crispy skin barramundi cooked on the BBQ.

Dessert was fresh mango.

An orchid from JL for my birthday

Monday, December 11, 2017


My granddaughter graduated from Collier Primary School today. The Year Sixes were very excited and put on an assembly for parents and visitors. They all had a part to play and must have been practising for ages to get it spot on. E received one of two Woodside Science Awards and was over the moon about it. JL was particularly pleased that she had worked so hard in Science. They are going out to lunch afterwards at a restaurant by the river, wearing "smart casual "!

Choir singing "When I Grow Up" from the musical "Matilda".

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dog beach

Yesterday's summer walk with the group was from Floreat Beach to Scarborough. Unfortunately most of it was along the dog beach. Dogs everywhere. I'm scared of dogs at the best of times. En masse they are horrendous: jumping about, chasing balls into the sea, shaking wet droplets everywhere! It was also 30 degrees on the beach, so I didn't get as far as Scarborough (the high rise blot on the landscape in the pic below).

Monday, December 4, 2017

One Man and his Dog

Monday was a coolish day (after Sunday's heatwave which had kept us all inside). I set off for a long walk along the river and met a man and his dog. The dog was 11 and the man - older than me. This dog lives the life of Riley. He is fed on fillet steak from Torre Butchers and doesn't like having a bath, so doesn't often get one!

His owner is a retired librarian like me. He worked in the State Library. When he reached 65 his boss called him into his office and asked when he planned to retire. He said: in 2 weeks time, and that was that! But there's a lot more to his story. He was brought up in the former Yugoslavia, now Slovenia. He was a lawyer and worked in Import/Export. He travelled abroad with his boss, apparently arranging dodgey deals in order to make money to supplement the poor salaries of the Communist regime. One such deal was to travel to London to make a gigantic purchase of razor blades, since it was impossible to get a decent shave with the local product. Their London contacts asked: how are you going to pay for this? A phone call was made to their bank in Vienna, which confirmed that there were enough funds to pay in US$. The transaction, via another bank in Berlin, cost an additional 60%, since it was impossible to get $ any other way! The two entrepreneurs then travelled to Glasgow to inspect the factory to see the razor blade production line and were amazed to see thin sheets of steel going in at one end and boxed-up razor blades coming out the other.

If I'd stayed talking, he would probably have told me his entire life story!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

On the water

On my regular walk along the Swan River at Burswood, I stopped to watch this expert water skier getting in some practice.

At the annual BBQ of the WA Naturalists Club at Herdsman Lake, we noticed that the water level was much higher than usual, but nobody knew why.  The paperbark trees were lovely.

Paperbark trees and their reflections

The paperbarks make you want to reach up and pull off the bark: its good for lining hanging baskets!

More on the park here: