Sitting at the kitchen table, all we can hear lately on weekday mornings (and all day long) is the sound of earthmoving machinery and trucks excavating the centre of the road, making way for the light rail, which is said to be coming one day. We long for some quiet, so an invitation to enjoy a short break in the countryside is most gratefully accepted.
"Which side of the Danube would you like to be on, Buda or Pest?" Peter, the patron saint of bookings, asked, when he was planning our itinerary. He had never been to Budapest, and it had been more than a decade since my last visit, so we sat down together at the computer and poured over the map of the city on Google Earth.
I'm compiling this post from the deck of our holiday cabin at Kiama on the Illawarra Coast of New South Wales and, frankly, there's no other place in the world I would rather be at this moment.
'Just look at the "picture-skew" view from our balcony,' Peter exclaimed, as he drew back the curtains in our room. He had been longing for us to stay at the Sebel Harbourside in Kiama - among his favourite hotels in the region and one he had frequented when travelling as a Search and Rescue Training Officer with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. 'I love this place, it's such a nice hotel' he added. 'And wait until you see the outlook from the breakfast bistro!'
I love the peace the sea brings me, as if I am made from the salt itself.
January, February, March, April, May, *BLINK*, December, January...
Travel writer, Susan Kurosawa, once described the summer holiday as ‘the most sacred of Australian rites for those lucky enough to while away a few weeks by the beach’.
Life has a curious way of taking you to interesting places around the world. Like the time that Peter and I visited Blanchland, Northumberland in the north Pennines - an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' in England.
I was in Adelaide, South Australia, attending the Words to Go conference for food bloggers, held as part of Tasting Australia recently. The event program was excellent and offered a range of interesting and delicious things to do. I must admit, however, that I let out a tiny squeal of delight when I knew that we were going to spend time at Adelaide Central Market. That place is heaven on earth for foodies, as far as I am concerned.
Moss Vale in the New South Wales Southern Highlands was once a market town and is said to have been named after a herdsman, and former convict, named Jemmy (Jeremy) Moss, who lived in a bark hut near the present railway station. His employer, Dr Charles Throsby, pioneered the district in the early 1800s. Settlers in the region established farms, raising sheep and cattle, growing fruit, potatoes and cabbages, among other things. The rural ethic continues to this day, with more than 150 artisan food and wine producers stretching across nine distinct communities in the Highlands.
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.