Where has the time gone

Well it’s been ages since my last post so I haven’t mindlessly babbled for quite a while. But it’s not from a lack of things going on to blog about. It’s because I’ve been busy, yes, busy. I’m currently now looking for work and that does take up quite a bit of time.  I think I have something that may work out, but I’ll just have to see.

I also just recently killed off my Windows system when I was trying to try out Mandriva 2008.  It’s not the installer’s fault, it was mine really.  I’m not all that worried though. I’ve been thinking of switching back to Linux again and the current Linux system seem very slick now so I think I’ll stick with it for a while and see how things go.  I’m also trying to teach myself C++ (a programming language) at the moment so using Linux seems to match that well in my mind.

Just now I’m off on a long trek up to Magil to buy mik and cream so it’s a long bus ride with nothing to do but to read Accelerated C++.

Saturday, and a pizza that could only be made in Australia

Well, maybe not only, but it’s not surprising that it’s here. But first Saturday.

Saturday started with an early morning, breakfast and study. Lots of study. Well mostly lots of study. I also wasted some time by making food for myself and the kids, and eating. I may also have tidied up and possibly washed dishes. I’m quite sure I didn’t fix anything. I think I did also fix up some gaps in my cross posting between my WordPress and Blogger blogs. I’m keeping them parallel for the moment as I did, and still do, quite like Blogger overall and the new updated Blogger is also quite nice, but the ability to make stand alone pages on WordPress is a bit too appealing I think and I might have to make the transfer permanent and complete. There are a couple of things I want to add to the WordPress blog, but it might require a template change so it could take a while.

So the morning was full of activity and by the time midday rolled around, I was quite ready for a change of pace. So we had some lunch and then headed off into the city to go to the Central Markets and get our big burst of groceries for most of the next week. We’ve been doing this most weeks since we got to Unley. We’ve also been going to the farmers market at the Wayville Showgrounds but we often need the big shop a bit before. Also, we’ve been hitting the trestles at the end of some of the days at the Central Markets when the traders clear out stuff they don’t want to store while the market is closed, so you can get some good bargains on the basics, very handy for the budgetly inhibited. It’s also right next to, and slightly overlaps, Chinatown in Adelaide, so there is that great bustly Asian feel about it.

Before hitting the afore mentioned trestles, we went to one of the best little shops in the whole market, Nana’s Bakery. This is a great little spot on the border between the markets and Chinatown. They sell these fantastic little brioche styled sweet breads with lots of different fillings. There are sweet ones, savoury ones, vegetarian and meat ones. The steady favourite for us seems to be the hot dog ones which have a little frankfurter inside them. The coconut custard ones with the crunchy tops are good too (well actually all the flavours are great). There is a shop that’s opened recently that might just be a bit of competition though. They were originally just a stand but have now rented an eatery shop. They make these odd little coconuty waffle kinda things that are smooth disks that can be filled with custard or red bean paste or now cheese. They’re a bit cheaper than the nanas buns are are almost always hot and fresh. They seem to make them in a giant engine block. Anyway, today we had a nice mix of nanas buns and these, yummy disk things.

So, buns in tums, we ran the trestle gamut and stocked up heavily, then carried our rather weighty bags to the T-Bar a rather funky shop that sells lots of types of herbal teas (so hopefully you’ve worked out what their name means). So we ordered some tea, Annmarie had a special blend with cinnamon in it and I had an earl grey, and the kids had an iced tea (they do really good iced tea). We talked about stuff for a while and finally went home, catching the tram part way there.

The rest of the evening was trying to do more study then getting dinner. Since we had recently been temporarily brainwashed by a Domino’s flyer I had been very curious to try their strange new pizza creation. Since we hadn’t had their pizza for ages, and after getting pizza fever from the weekend, I decided to give it try. I phoned, they answered, I ordered, they delivered. But what did they deliver?

Evil Aussie Meat Pie PizzaThey delivered a strange concoction like no other I know of in the pizza world. The meat pie pizza. That’s right, you heard me correctly, the meat pie pizza. Only in Australia could they produce such a strange object such as this. Well maybe in Japan actually, home of the squid ink pizza.  Or perhaps Scotland, home of the deep fried pizza, and yes, I’ve seen that one come out of the oil at a chippie by the Glasgow Central railway station called The Blue Lagoon, didn’t eat it, but saw it.  They also do deep fried pies, on buttered rolls.

As for the Aussie meat pie pizza, the principle alone is off-putting, but the fact that they made it makes me wonder if it tastes nice. We normally only buy organic meat if at all and only eat meat very occasionally, but sometimes things must be done and sacrifices made.  It actually didn’t taste all that bad, as you’d hope or they wouldn’t really sell that many.  It definitely felt rather artery hardening as it went down, but overall not too unappealing.  It helped a lot to have eaten a large salad before hand though.

Anyway, it’s late, I should study and then get to bed.  Cya.

Pleasant wanderings

Yesterday was a nice day. Since it was pay day, a glorious day when you’re on a lower income, we went into town and bought a fresh juice from Boost Juice (we’re VIP members) then we went to an appointment for Annmarie and then off to Glenelg. Glenelg is a nice beach spot in Adelaide that I think I’ve mentioned before.

We then went and had lunch at my Mum’s house. I made some home made a couple of pizzas using pre-made organic dough from a company called Riviera which we bought from a local supermarket. I must humbly say that the pizzas were rather fantastic, especially now that we’ve learned that ideally the dough should be left to rise before use, something they should probably put on the label (and which hopefully they haven’t and I just didn’t notice it, which would make this statement rather embarrassing for me).

We had a nice lunch out under mum’s back pergola and chatted about her upcoming trip to Paris and Parisian markets. She has bought a rather good book on it called Paris in a Basket. This lists by arrondissement many of the better street and covered markets both food and flea. We had a look through it and found the markets we had visited while we were there.

After lunch we went for a walk down to the beach and on the way we stopped at our favourite organic shop in Adelaide, The Organik Store on Broadway. The people there are always really nice and friendly and they have good range of organic products. A lot of it is imported so it can be a bit pricy, but the products they stock are very good so usually if we can afford it, it’s worth it. We picked up some of the essentials we had run out of and continued down the beach and back to Glenelg.

Mosley Square in Glenelg at sunset.At Glenelg we stopped off at a cafe (Cibo of course, where else would one go) and had a coffee while the sun set over Mosley Square. You can see a photo of it over on the right. The photo is from the Cibo tables looking back over the square back towards the beach.  Very nice day. Now back to study…

Pique-nique de Pâque dans le Parc

Hello all. We finally have our own Internet connection, so now maybe posting regularly could be a reality. Of course I am very busy with study and my “crazy projects” so I’ll just have to see what happens. Unfortunately we only have dial-up, so I now have to come to terms with being back in the slow lane after hitching a high speed ride with my brother for several months while we were staying at my Mum’s house. Thanks for that by the way mon frère.

We’ve settled into the new house nicely in the main. The wiring is a bit dodgy and the light bulbs seem to blow far too often and the plumbing has needed a bit of a look at as well as a couple of other little things. But other than these small issues, it is quite a nice house a good price. Two bedroom and two story, although I think I have already mentioned that. Nice small back yard with some big trees and some big trees out the front too.

Over the summer, which hasn’t been too hot, though the temperature did bump up a wee bit, the house has stayed very cool indeed. This is in part because of the house being made from proper solid brick instead of the paper thin varieties of plaster board and thin brick veneers that most houses these days seem to be made from. So the house has retained a cool, fresher air than one of those houses. It’s quite a relief when one gets back in from a warm day to meet that natural coolness. We’ll have to see if the house keeps warm in the winter though, that can sometimes be a problem with these houses where they feel like an ice box in winter and need constant heating.

I’ve especially been enjoying having an upstairs mini-balcony just off the main bedroom. We have developed a tendency to sleep with the main door open and the screen door locked. It’s quite nice to fall asleep hearing the wind in the branches, very relaxing. Some might say Zen.

Anyway, I might just pop up a few details of what’s been going on recently. The most obvious for today is of course Easter (la Fête de Pâque) and we actually went out and spent it with other human beings. French human beings.

The French Benevolent Association of SA held a pique-nique at Hazelwood Park, a lovely park over in the east of Adelaide. This was of course full of francophonic type people as well as francophilic type people. As much as I would love to count myself in the former group, we all mostly fit into the latter. Despite this, the pique-nique was very enjoyable. We got there with our rather French assortment of goodies (well I thought so anyway) consisting of crusty bread, a brie from Normandy called St Siméon (seems to be somewhat similar to a coulommier, but that may not be quite right), some salad and some muffins and stuff. My Mum had come with Joseph and my foster sister Erin, and Annmarie’s Mum and Brother Justin had come along as well. We all tried to keep with the French and Easter themes.

The day was very nice, warm and bright so everyone had a good time. There was an Easter egg hunt pour les enfants, Willow and Gabriel enjoyed that very much. We enjoyed being amongst the French speakers but were a bit shy about trying to speak to too many people earlier in the day. Some of the members of the Association came around and chatted-in English-but we mostly kept to ourselves unfortunately.

Later when we had all eaten and packed up our stuff, we played some football (European, not Aussie) and then we started thinking of heading off. Willow had wanted to get some phone numbers of some of the French children and I went along to hold the pen and tell her our number so she could write it. After she had swapped numbers with one of the other families, I dove in and started a chat in French.

Considering my skill level and volume of real experience, I think it went quite well. I went through the basics of introduction and greeting. Was introduced to another, described my Family and my current state of French studies and how much Annmarie had studied. I even added that that we had stayed in Paris for a couple of months last year. This was my only downfall in maintaining the conversation.

I just completely misheard, “Est-ce que vous l’aimez?” after saying we had stayed in Paris. This translates into “Did you like it?”. Seeing that I was trying to decipher it, she rephrased to “Est-ce que vous amiez Paris?” or something like that, referring to Paris directly, but I was already lost. She put it in English and the penny dropped and I had one of those moments of “Oh! l’aimez!” and then we continued in French again.

Overall I was quite pleased with my efforts, I was even complemented on my French-and quite forgot to reply with my trained light-hearted rejoinder to downplay the compliment, apparently very common in France. I went through all the basics that we have covered in my Uni course and then added some more. Describing other people, describing the past and other places. It was quite exciting to converse in another language. I could feel my brain rebelling against the fluency concept though and desperately wanting to slow down and translate. Having a person there waiting for an answer does help to spur on the brain though.

So, the rest of today has been eating Easter chocolate (Lindt and Haighs mostly, we do like nice chocolate) and generally getting ready for tomorrow when Annmarie’s brother is turning up with his four kids, so there will be much activity then.

As said before, I am looking to keep this blog up-to-date™ from now on.


Later that day

Well we’re back, been back for some time actually. The day was not really what one would call a roaring success, but at the same time it also wasn’t a complete wash out (pun intended). As I mentioned at the end of my last post we were heading out to the farmers market in Partick. Well we headed out around 12, we had read that the market was held between 10-3 every second and fourth Saturdays of the month. After wandering around for a bit, getting some lunch, then getting the subway off to Kelvinhall, we arrived at the farmers market at about 1:50, plenty of time we thought. Rounding the corner, we look up at the banner sign for the market to read that it’s from 10-2. So with ten minutes to go, we dash up to the market to see that most of the stalls (all the fresh fruit and vegetable ones anyway) were closed up and driving off. Some of them were still open though, we got some fresh strawberries and raspberries (very nice) some hand made chocolates, and I picked up a present for Paul. I won’t put up what the present is in case he reads it (don’t want to spoil the surprise) but it is tragically appropriate (tragic both for me buying and for him, tee hee).

After wandering around for the brief ten minutes (we were told that the market used to run till 3, but most people sold out well before that so the closing time was changed, our info came from a book published earlier in the year), we headed up towards the botanic gardens. Along the way, we were looking out for a couple of nice shops that were supposedly in the area along Hyndland Street/Road. One of those, called Delizique is a really nice little deli (and I do mean little). They have a really great range of your typical deli kinda food (cheeses, olives, breads, meats and sausages, and fruits and vegetables) as well as some more unusual like prawns and mussels and other seafood. We kept heading up Hyndland Road till we found one of the outlets of a deli kinda shop we quite like in town called Peckhams. The Peckhams in Hyndland Road is quite a bit smaller than the one we go to in Glassford Street and just basically has the deli counter and but it has fruit and veg. There is another one not too far on Byers Road which is much more like the city one (but not quite as large an alcohol section ;-).

After poking around in these shops for a bit we continued up the road towards the Botanic Gardens. That was about the point in time that the rain suddenly bucketed down. Although quite used to fact that it can rain at any minute in Glasgow (pretty much year round from what we can tell so far) this particular rain shower was quite a bit heavier than most. Being the only one of the group with no real rain protection (I don’t even think my jacket was waterproof) I got the most soaked of the group. But we battled the rain running from tree to tree until we got up to the gardens, at which point the rain had died down. We had a wander round the gardens and took some pictures (and one or two in the rain) and then headed up Byers Road (the entrance to the gardens are at the top of Byers Road, for those who don’t know it’s meant to be one of Glasgow’s more interesting shopping/entertainment streets of Glasgow, but we don’t really think it’s much on something like The Parade or Unley Road back in Adelaide, maybe close to Jetty Road. So we walked up Byers Road, looking at some of the shops and came across a French styled bakery called La Patisserie Françoise and had cake and coffee (or hot chocolate). Looking it up just then, I have discovered that they have a shop just round the corner or two from us, I’ll definitely have to look them up.

Then it was back off home. I also popped up some pictures from the day are here.