Steak n Kidney


Gigantor and I enjoyed his first flight ever. on Friday night.  I advised him to enjoy the hostie’s safety dance. She brandished the demo gas mask.

Me: “Oh, don’t worry about this bit. Oxygen is an add-on. You’ll just have to steal the breath out of old mate’s lungs in the event of loss of cabin pressure.”

He stared at me for more than 30 seconds making the “what even?” face before the penny dropped.

We stayed in Mantra 2 a short walk from Circular Quay which was delightful, especially when I got up before the others yesterday and had the rooftop spa to myself.

We had planned to do Zoo and Luna Park but sense prevailed and we enjoyed a lovely day at Taronga on Saturday.  Highlights were seeing a Komodo dragon nearly close enough for it to drench us in poisoned spit, and a shark laying an egg.  And there’s a lemur enclosure where you can be in the same space as the lemurs!  It was a beautiful clear but not too hot day and I was struck by how friendly the keepers were and how every time you looked up there was another postcard slice of the Harbour to admire.

The lass pictured has a shar pei/staffie cross and I think I persuaded her to take the dog to the beach when she got off duty instead of Woolies and house-cleaning.

Went to the Rocks on Sunday but slightly hampered by a marathon and the grey drizzly weather  We decided that yes, it is pretentious to wear your finisher’s medallion around over your street clothes well after the end of the race.  Gelati for breakfast and a long browse through a button shop.

So far, so fabulous!








88 Responses

  1. Woohoo! You’re off to an excellent start, MM.
    You have to visit the chocolate cafes, and that bakery/chocolate shop at The Rocks is the goods, truly.

  2. La Renaissance Patisserie – it’s next to the Guylian cafe. It’s the only reason I’d go to Sydney, kayaking on the Sydney harbour aside.

  3. We went to a lovely cafe – “VIntage”in Nurse’s Walk at the Rocks, tiny and historic, can’t even tell you the name, In Blaxland now and off to Wentworth Falls today for Gigantor to threaten the local trout.

  4. “Wadjado in Sydney?” “Threatened some trout.” “I know where you spawn?”
    Sounds great so far and I have dragon-envy.

    The “not too hot” made me grin. We took Lyn’s friend out yesterday. She was sitting on the platform, shivering in a borrowed trench coat, and muttering about it being summer in Brisbane and wearing thongs and a sundress. On and on and on. You’d think she’d never enjoyed a freezing wind with occasional gusts of rain before. But I lit a fire when we got home and that seemed to please her.

  5. And I have gelato envy. Also, fire envy. And internet envy, after 24 hours of no internet. Oh, if only there was an ISP who wasn’t a complete and utter pit of arseholes wrapped in stupid. Any recommendations?

    Yes, Madam, Blue Mountain trout is the best you can get. My dearly departed uncle, The Cat Man, was a keen trout fisherman. I recommend setting up a campfire by the water and cooking it right there and then. Mmmm…..

  6. Oooh, it all sounds just heavenly. Give the trees a hug for me, MM, and my love to all those lovely mountainous rocks.

  7. Huzzah! We stayed at Sis’s for nearly 2 days without provoking an argument or breaking anything important. Ladbrokes wouldn’t have laid odds on that happy eventuality but we have pulled it off. Now homeward bound.

    Yesterday’s trout fishing netted no trout and a few near cases of hypothermia in TGP and myself, and when we got back to base we found out that Stupid Dog had managed to get out of Mum & Dad’s Dangerous Dog fenced yard.

    Luckily they live in a cup de sac peopled by busy-bodies with time on their hands who wrangled our pup for several hours until Mum got their voicemail and was able to direct them to get her back into the yard where she belonged.

  8. Houdini reincarnate?

    Pity about the fish. But then again, the cabin crew probably wouldn’t have enjoyed storing that in the overhead lockers. Sounds like you had a marvellous time. Huzzah!

  9. Oh well done MM. I would never have put money on that one but there you go, you’ve beaten the odds & you deserve to feel smug over that one.
    I can’t welcome you back into the warmth of the fold, it was 11C when I took the hound around the park in Pleasantville this am.
    Still, cold is good & rain is better, yes?
    How on earth did the dog get out?
    You’d think the only way she’d escape is if someone opened the gate. Probably junkies thinking that’d make it easier to break in. Is your Dad there to check on things, or was he in the trout-stream shivering with the rest of you?

  10. We’re having a beautiful, warm and sunny day. It’s rained non-stop for a month, but the Boss finished rigging up our water tank yesterday, so of course the clouds have buggered off. I should have been named Murphy.

  11. We think maybe the cleaning ladies didn’t shut the top gate properly while Father was at Bridge.

    Happy to report that cats and pigs are well and hold no grudges. I dispatched your Zumbostuff express this arvo so look out for it … how’s Auspost averaging, some time next week as long as it’s an odd day? It’s a race!

    It is deliciously overcast and chilly, isn’t it? Expecting Huey to chuck it down tomorrow. Catty, want me to fill some satchels for you?

  12. Ooooh, parcels! I’m going out to sit on the mailbox until it shows up! But don’t worry too much about sending rain, Morgana. I firmly believe that as Victoria is below Queensland on the map, and water runs downhill, all your rain will eventually end up down here anyway.

    So, what next for your school holidays?

  13. Back to work for me. Yay.

    Mum is going to take the kids up to Uncle’s farm and stay the night next week.. That’ll be fun, they love all the animals and seeing my cousin’s kids. He has two girls roughly their ages and they’re good mates.

    How about you, Catty – other than the compulsory family rains dances I’m sure you have scheduled?

  14. Dentist, haircuts, 597 playdates and underwear shopping. Joy!

  15. Ooooh, thank you!
    I’d never heard of this Zumbo thing till you folk mentioned it so this will be exciting. PO box or street address, MM? so I know what to look out for.
    Your kids are so lucky to have Uncle RV & his farm, MM.
    Todas las mascotas! Y los caballos pequeños! Tío Juán está fabuloso!
    Say, do you think it’s too late for him to adopt me?

  16. PO for you, Q. I didn’t want Whining Woman to poison it or feed it to her yappy dog.

    Catty – I’m assuming you mean the boring kind, not a new piano outfit?

  17. Thanks MM. Parcels won’t fit in our letter box & I seriously doubt that a delivery service would make it up the hill to our front door. I always planned for the PO box to be a permanent feature of our lives – I don’t think I’ll ever recover from observing NTO’s obsession with sifting through the mail. Creepy!

  18. It was peculiar. The most exciting thing I ever get in the mailbox is a snail. What she hoped to achieve will always remain a mystery.

  19. Yay, Donovan flashback! “The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is…”
    Lyn’s friend left early this morning, in semi dark, drizzling and about 6 deg. I imagine Brisbane will be quite a relief to her. It was a good visit, partly because she’s mad and partly because when you have guests, it gets you off your butt and you go places and do fun stuff you mightn’t do otherwise.

    • I’m glad to hear that. So you’ll look forward to next year when I bring the sprogs down to pillag… I mean,. visit?

      • Abso-freaking-lutely! (Dungeon should be finished for TGP by then. Just need the piping for the dripping water.)

    • Dungeon water? Luxury!

  20. Adventures are always good.
    We have geckos in our letter box. I’ve heard that the green tree snakes are fond of snacking on them, so I’d say that’s where they hang out, to be safe from it.
    Are those tree snakes arboreal?
    Even so I imagine it’d be a challenge for them to get into a letterbox, stationed at regulation Aust Post height.

    • Must dig out the photos I took at Chelmer of the green tree snakes, looking down at the letterbox. They’re harmless anyway unless they bite you and you develop gangrene and have to amputate your own … look, let’s just say they’re harmless?

  21. Mostly harmless. Gangrene is sadly uncommon these days. Another thing to look forward to when superbugs really start to bite.

  22. I win the parcel race! Yay! The look of horror on the Boss’s face when I opened it was priceless. He announced, “some foods aren’t made to go together”. So it looks very much like I’m not going to have to share. Double Yay! Thank you Morgana. Mwah!

  23. My PO box just had a boring Steel Profile magazine & an optus bill earlier today. Not particularly appetising, why don’t these companies realise they’d get better customer loyalty if they attached little bags of jelly beans to their goods?

  24. OK, I’m just going to say it. When I checked the letterbox there was a Mosasaur tooth over 5cm long. They say teeth are the best source of DNA…

  25. Huzzah! We’ll all be able to work at Greybeard Park.

    What could possibly go wrong? Don;t forget the shaving cream!

  26. We’re all out, the Wildebeest must have been snorting it again.

  27. Well from the length of the curly hair I found in my Mocktail I’m sure he’s not shaving with it.

  28. That reminds me. I am NOT volunteering for his summer haircut this year. I’m still finding clumps in the drain from last summer.

  29. I say we Nair him with a high-powered water gun.

  30. That might work, if we can find an equally high-powered stun gun to knock him out first.
    MM, I haz treats! Thank you, my dear, that is very sweet of you.
    Muchos gracias,

  31. Aim that Nair gun at my legs while you’re at it. I am so over shaving.

  32. Let it grow free and braid it with beads, as I intend to do this summer.

    Q, so glad you got them! I nearly made the mistake of buying you a violently coloured jumble like Catty’s, then remembered just in time about coal-tar dyes etc and thought we might be safer with caramel and chocolate. Hope they’re tasty.

  33. Mmmmm…. coal-tar dyed macaroni…. You missed out big time, Quokka.

  34. They’re lovely MM, caramel & chocolate are never wasted on me.

  35. Still haven’t downloaded any pix. One day, peeps. One day.

  36. This is why it’s good to have all gadgets as iThings. They talk to each other and there is none of this pesky download crap involved.

  37. I’d be worried they’d conspire against me.

  38. I thought the same thing. I won’t use the cloud until they make a colander that will fit on the computer monitor permanently – not just faraday.



    Sorry. The nerd in me couldn’t resist.

  39. Hehehehe. You just made a physics joke, and now I can go and work 8 hours, smirking all the while.

  40. And I hadn’t even had my first coffee….

  41. I’d stick to tea. Coffee might make you dangerous.

  42. Nah. go the coffee & add a nip of home-grown Irish Whisky. I could use the giggles, today.
    I caught Wendy Whiner’s pool guy prowling about on the fire-break yesterday, trying to work out if he could lift a crane over our house.
    I thought it was the council, come out to think of new reasons why they can’t spray the weeds or put mulch down – if I’d known it was Pesky Pools Inc, I’d have left them well alone.
    Still, it’s probably for the best that I found him as I was able to say ‘Don’t even think about it, we don’t want to get involved,’ before he had the chance to get her to harass us some more.
    The woman is insane. She has at least 3m clearance on both her side boundaries and her justification for wailing ‘but I don’t have access!’ is that she’d have to move her clothesline (temporarily), returf, and knock over a couple of tree ferns. She just wants the pool company to destroy our yard, rather than hers. And possibly drop a bobcat through our roof, for good measure.
    Yeah, No!

  43. She reminds me strongly of that stupid woman who bought the house due South of me and then whinged and carried on about my trees “blocking every bit of sun from her yard” and “being dangerous” etc. etc.

    The happy ending is that since she built a HUGE fence … strange thing to do if you “need” more light, we’ve seen/heard nothing from her.

    Lunatics eventually burn out, or get medicated by next-of-kin.

  44. I hope she’s saving all her tears. She can use them to fill the pool.

  45. Save your tears my darling, save your tears….

  46. We’ve only seen crocodile tears so far, during the wail of ‘Because of you, my son will never know the childhood dream of growing up with a pool in his back yard.’
    So I’m looking forward to the pool build as I’m quite sure that this will prompt some genuine ones.
    Having been through the pool build thing ourselves, we know what she’s in for.
    Ha, and Ha.

  47. Has she seen the Syria footage? At least he’s not being bombed on his way to school

    What a drama queen.

  48. I doubt it. Thanks to beer-induced anaesthesia of her 8th cranial nerve we know exactly what she’s watching on TV & I don’t think they show phosphorous bombs on the Footy Show or on Neighbours From Hell.
    Although I could be wrong about the latter, never having watched that, myself.
    Well, I spent the morning on the creek and I think I saw a turtle – a big one. Initially I thought it was a sting-ray but once it got creeped out by me stalking it, he/she started to hoon along & I realised from the shadowy paddle movements that it was a lovely big turtle.
    I do love what you see on the high tide in that creek.
    The water was still just a little bit opaque after gunking up with all that lovely rain earlier in the week.
    Should be a corker of a day out there tomorrow, though.
    Every time I see a kid in a fishing kayak I think of your eldest, MM. Is he still eating the fishies, or has he given that up for the cause, too?

  49. No, thank smurf we can still dine on the fruits of the sea or we would have nothing to eat at all.

    He’s tossing up between a fishing kayak and a bow and arrow for Christmas. A mate of his paddles over to Mudjimba Island on the weekends, has a surf and a fish and mucks about and then comes home. Sounds like more fun than shooting things to me but what would I know?

  50. I’d go the fishing kayak. It’s hard to get arrested with one of those. Also, the bow & arrow are unlikely to contribute anything to the contents of the crock pot. And as much as I deplore our hare plague, I don’t really like the thought of them being taken out by mediaeval weaponry. I’m sure there’s a much more humane way to go about that.

  51. He says a straight shot through the head is nice and quick – but I’m worried he’ll test that theory on TGP.

  52. It’s far more likely TGP will test the theory on him… oh, wait, he already tested it on Greybeard.

  53. Bugger me you’re right. Plugged him right between the eyes as I recall.

    Kayaks all round!

  54. Good plan. A while ago I talked to Spanner about taking up archery & I’m sure he said you could hire/borrow gear from the clubs so that you can see if the passion is going to stick. And you change your mind about what kind of gear you want, along the way, anyway. So that might be worth looking into, as well. There might be some good sorts at the club like Spansy who’d take them under their wings & explain the ethics of culpable homicide, too.

  55. My cousin was a bow hunter, I’m afraid that’s where he found his passion. Annihilating a rubber pig with a crossbow.

    I’ll use my wiles to talk up the yak. I haven’t honed them for nothing, all these years.

  56. Flashback time! Forget the yak – for those wiley moments, you need chunky custard:

    (Contains absolutely NO yak fat!)

  57. Oh, I’d forgotten all about CC – now it’s what’s for dessert.

  58. Yikes. I’d forgotten that too. I might stick with scones.

  59. I’m going low-maintenance. I was going to get ice-cream and cones, but i just picked up half-priced drumsticks instead.

  60. Mmm, drumsticks, yum.
    I’ve been wanting to make scones for a while.
    The oven back at Toad Park was plumbed in by the apprentice – meaning that it switched itself off and went into panic mode at any temperature over 210C.
    It was lovely to set the oven to 240C yesterday, pop the scones in, and 14 minutes later to have a perfect bake emerge.
    Normally that process would involve at least 3 trips to the garage to fiddle with the safety switch and a lot of gawping from interested onlookers wondering WTF the fuss was about.
    Scones were off the menu during NTO’s rooftop viewing occupation, so it was wonderful to be able to make them yesterday – knowing all of our neighbours were home enjoying their holidays – and nobody noticed or gave a rat’s nads at the scone production.
    People have been asking us if we miss riverfire – which of course we could see from our deck at Toad Park – and the answer to that is a big, fat, No.
    So lovely to wake up and see a pair of wallabies hunkered down in the bush, dozing, instead of all comatose backpackers on the footpath, nestled into their discarded beer bottles and ant-filled maccas wrappers.

  61. MK made a batch of pancakes yesterday. As she started cooking, she mentioned that it had used an awful lot of milk. She’d used an industrial recipe, so she ended up cooking for two hours and made about 60 pancakes. I ate most of them. Not surprisingly, I didn’t finish my dinner last night. Such a pity. We had nachos made with purple corn chips, and they looked so gothic.

  62. Oh I must have purple corn chips! I must eat NOTHING else for ever. They are divine!!

    So are wallabies. Nice one, Q/

    • Wait! You’re eating wallaby *and* purple corn chips? That’s awful!

      • Purple corn for nomming, wobbly for squeeing.

  63. A long time ago, my dear old dad told me the method for cooking galahs. He said, “fill a cauldron with water and bring it to the boil. Put your galah in the boiling water. Find a large stone and put it in the cauldron too. Keep the water boiling until the stone is soft. Then throw the galah away and eat the stone”.

    I can’t imagine cooking wobblies would be much different.

  64. Hey, that’s my recipe for brush turkeys.
    Your pancakes sound delish, Catty. I’ve tried the blue corn chips & they are pretty damned good, but thus far my faves are the Mission corn chips with the cheesey stuff. One of the twitterarty put me onto those & they are the Best Evah.
    We had an entire flock of white cockatoos land in the wattle, earlier. Normally they’re busy on the paddock by the train station, but I suppose after two weeks of that they’ll have stripped it bare. Shocking vandals, but I do love having all these birds about.
    My wobblies are just gorgeous. The ones the other day that were napping outside our laundry had the black stripes down their face – I think those are whip-tails? But we’ve seen some with lovely tan markings and full black masks.
    I can never get up close enough to quite make them out, and by the time I remember that we have binoculars, they’re long gone.
    Lovely creatures.
    Such a lovely time of year, and so good not to be in Stinky Brisbane any more.

    • I envy your wobblies very, very much. They sound like what we called pretty-face wallabies. Fairly straightforward bit of nomenclature there.
      Our magpies are swooping … down to the table, the railing, in through the door and I suspect onto my arm if I held it up. They both come up and take food from my fingers now though the female is less trusting and more inclined to give me a good pinch when she does it. I love how intelligent animals have such distinct personalities.

      • Our maggies come up and knock on the screen door if we forget to feed them.

  65. It was a lovely weekend. But I would like some rain now.

  66. We had some beautiful sunshine, but there was too much bite in the breeze to enjoy it very much.

  67. Poor Catty. I wish you could send up some cold. It’s so hot here already!

    What did you nom on the weekend and how did it sit in your poor tummy?

  68. We had the purple corn chip nachos. They were fabulous, but I’m paying for it today. Ugh!

    Today I found some discount gluten-free muffin mixture, which I’m looking forward to filling with blueberries. I freaking loooooove blueberries!

    How about you? Did you find any scrummy new vegan recipes? I’ve been digging through my recipes trying to find my kidney bean burger patty recipe for you, but it’s eluding me. I’m beginning to suspect the Boss may have, um, ‘misplaced’ it. He’s not a fan of vegetarian food.

  69. I have discovered Quorn and it’s great chucked into my current recipes. It’s made out of mushrooms and egg white and probably the ground down bones of asylum seekers or Soylent something I don’t even want to think about but it’s cruelty free according to the box so Gigantor is happy.

    Other than that I can do tofu in my stir-frys … Woolies has some pre-flavoured ones, Thai and Korean BBQ etc. and curry a tin of chickpeas if the mood takes me.

    He’s still eating fish and eggs so it’s not too hard.

    p.s I freaking love blueberries too. Also blood oranges.

  70. There is nobody in this world who can convince me that tofu is cruelty free. It’s utter torture forcing that muck into my face. Ugh! Never again!

  71. We’ll speak no more of plant proteins.

  72. Agreed. Let’s talk about piggy proteins instead. Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!

  73. Speaking of torture, I’m spending today having a general tidy up & a mild de-clutter. I have a friend visiting tomorrow, & there have been threats of cake-eaters appearing during the weekend.
    But mostly I thought I should clean up during semester break, because my desk is such a freaking mess that I can’t find anything. There was a declutter expert talking on 612 yesterday while I was out in traffic & listening to that lot always gives me the shudders. She said that the worst clutter is paper and that she’s known people who’ve had their credit ratings rooooned because they lost their bills in a clutter pile.
    Anyway, I’ve managed to find: the dog reggo, my breast-screen notice (from 6 months ago), the permission form for my new GP to access my medical files, my CWA membership application, my Anzac biscuit recipe & a whole stack of printed handouts from Spanish class that I’ll be needing for the next exam.
    I still have to clean the bathrooms, and the fridge is looking skanky.
    This is why we never have visitors – it’s easier to just leave the mould growing in the fridge, and go out.

  74. Amen to that. I’ve been doing it for years. The added bonus is that after the first decade, you can actually slice the mould off in chunks and use it for lawn ornaments.

    • hehehehehehee

  75. I have houseguests at the moment and I feel your pain, Q. Instead of spending Saturday lounging about without pants on I cleaned my little fingers to the bone. However, turfing junk out is filling me so full of joy it’s made me hungry for the skip. Speed to your broom.

    Catty, in my fridge I call that “patina”.

    • I call it Samuel, and it eats all my cheese.

  76. Our dog groomer was here, and she was so full of admiration for our freshly spread tea-tree mulch that I decided that between this & the sparkling clean dog, no further effort was required & I should stop & read a novel.
    I’ll have to get back into it later, but Meh to bathroom cleaning.

  77. Oooh, what are you reading? And any Spanish results yet?

  78. If you don’t offer your guests any coffee, or any other form of liquid refreshment, they will be so dehydrated they won’t need the bathroom. Problem solved.

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