Monday, January 17, 2011

Gone in a Flash

Our Australians have been and gone and should be arriving any time soon in Sydney. In spite of lousy weather we had a great time. I was worried they would feel the cold after the tropical climate in Queensland, and they did, but not in the house, happily. In fact they started to leave doors open finding it too warm! May be the stuffing of the walls and lagging of the attic has helped, but we still have acres of unglazed glass.

Before they left we were delighted to hear our grand- daughter had been accepted at the University of her choice- albeit somewhat flooded at present. It’ll be all hands on deck to clear up the mud. It certainly is a land of extreme contrasts as illustrated in John O Brien’s poem:

“If we don’t get three inches, man,

Or four to break this drought,

We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

“Before the year is out.”

And every creek a banker ran,

And dams filled overtop;

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanranhan,

“If this rain doesn’t stop.”

“There’ll be bush-fires for sure me man,

There will, without a doubt,

We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,

“Before the year is out.”

Drought, floods and forest- fires just go with the territory. At school our 10 year old grandson regularly recites:

I love a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains,

I love her far horizons,

I love her jewel sea,

Her beauty and her terror-

The wide brown land for me!

They enjoyed the food especially bread and all the different cheeses. Our son made a smashing spag bog and an antipasta – something tricolour – tomatoes, red onion, Mozzarella cheese and a delectable sauce begging to be mopped up with crusty bread. I did my fail- safe roast chicken with lemon and garlic and smoked salmon and prawns were also popular.

One day we braved the rain and went over Exmoor to the Blue ball Inn. F said she missed the English country lanes. We rediscovered the inn when our French son was here and the food is still excellent. MTL had his favourite ham, egg and chips, K had Cumberland sausages on mustard, surrounded by a circular Yorkshire pudding. I should have taken a shot because it looked extraordinary. F had something more popular with teenagers but I can’t remember what. The vegetables were outstanding – about five different ones.

I usually avoid pastry but both F and I chose apple pie – custard for F and vanilla ice-cream for me. It was truly melt in your mouth time.

My new phone has just rung with the news that they are back home safe and sound. Deo gratias. We now have three phones, courtesy of K, so no excuse for not answering them - except for meal-times which are sacrosanct.

Our kitchen chairs are starting to fall apart. I was standing on one of them so - project for the week.


Queenie said...

Don't you go standing on wobbly chairs, that's a recipe for disaster! There's a pub in the Peak District which does various things in big Yorkshire puddings, including sausages, and a veggie option which I sometimes choose, it's just loads of different veg with veggie gravy but tastes delicious. I bet your Queenslanders were happy to miss the peak of the flooding. Glad you had such a good time.

Pat said...

Queenie: re the chair sometimes one has to make a stand. MTL has limited enthusiasm for replacing them and talks of glue and hammer and nails which sets alarm bells ringing. You're quite right of course and I won't do it again:)
I couldn't get over that sausage thing - it had a giant turd look but I kept it to myself. A veggie one sounds good.
They left Mum and younger brother at home so it was quite an anxious time for them but there was daily communication. By pure chance they happened to choose a village outside Brisbane that- so far, has been above the floods. Their office block in Brisbane is flooded so no power for a while and gallons of mud to clear. K says the thing about Oz is the great optimism that prevails. Perhaps that's why they call us wingeing Poms. How does one spell that?

Mike and Ann said...

With an 'e' Pat, I think. Otherwise winging wouold mean flying.Warm regards, Mike.

St Jude said...

Oh it sounds like you had a wonderful time, and yes I'm with Queenie, less of the wobbly chairs. Obviously being a Yorkshire lass anything wrapped in a pud is fine by me. ;0}

Leigh Russell said...

Congratulations to your granddaughter. You must be very proud. And no more standing on wobbly chairs, granny! Take care of yourself, Pat.

Pat said...

Mike: thanks. I fancied an h somewhere:)

St Jude: and I'll bet you can bake them too:)

Leigh: yes I must start practising what I preach;)

R. Sherman said...

The inn reminds me of many a German/Bavarian wirtshaus. Quite comfy.

I'm glad your family is back home safe and sound.

angryparsnip said...

I have been following the news of the flooding in Queensland on my computer and some of the video of the river rushing through the towns is heartbreaking.
I am very happy to know all is fine with your family.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Randall: yes it is one of our better finds. Back home and seem to have escaped jet lag.

Parsnip: the ones from Brazil also are quite horrific. There is something weird about sitting in one's home and watching utter devastation.

Scarlet Blue said...

One of my resolutions this year is to visit some of these fantastic places that you recommend. First on my list is The Hunter's Inn... but I'm scared of the road that I have to use to get there!!

Pat said...

Scarlet: my #1 son comes on Friday and has already suggested the Hunter's Inn. I certainly wouldn't go without him. There must be a Devonian chap who would leap at the chance to escort you.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Pat! Haven't your sons lectured you about climbing? Haha, I still remember one turnstile tale not so long ago. Stay safe, be careful.

I've heard about the whingeing Pom [could never spell that word] and I have to admit, I was amused :-) Where did that word 'Pom' come from?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello again Pat. I think G.G. and you are both right. It does look better with an h in it.
I think the Pom comes from pomme, French for apple, in that we - the English looked fresh and pink cheeked to the Ozzies.

Pat said...

GG: I know I know. I WILL be careful;)
Now as you see below Mike and an have been busy. I also came up with Pom as in pomegranite relating to the colour Brits go in the sun but my favourite is Pom: product of Mother England.

Mike and Ann: see above. You pays your money and takes your choice:)

Eryl said...

Visits never seem to last very long, shame they've gone already. Nice that your son cooked delectable things, though, I love sauces that beg to be mopped with crusty bread.

Stay off those chairs, m'lady!

john.g. said...

I'm intrigued as to what a spag bog is!?
Is it an antipodean speciality?
I don't want the recipe!

Pat said...

Eryl:The visits that leave you wanting more are the best:)
Fingers crossed I get new kitchen chairs tomorrow:)

John.G: come, come lad - spag bog is spaghetti bolognaise although he used a different pasta so it wasn't precisely.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Good Food, Good Company, and Great Family! I'm happy to hear you all had such a wonderful time, dear Pat, and that they got home safely...! The weather there in Australia sounds somewhat like Southern California....Pouring Rain with floods and Mud Slides---Droughts and Fires!! I guess there are Batural Disasters in many many places---And of course, there is the "E" Word....OY! (lol)

Pat said...

Naomi: my brain hasn't got into gear so am puzzled by the 'E' word? Sorry to be stupid. I'll see if breakkfast helps.

Granny Annie said...

We call it "holding still" while we await safe travel news of loved ones. There is nothing like that phone call announcing arrival.

Why do we insist on standing on kitchen chairs?

Pat said...

Granny Annie: what - you too?

john.g. said...

Spag Bol !! not bog!

Pat said...

John.G don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs! There is no logic to it it just is SPAG BOG:)

Z said...

Fabulous comments! I've forgotten what I was going to say now.

Pat said...

Z: I must read them again:)