Monday, September 23

Creme Brulee


 
My computer had an attack (actually I lost the internet, and didn't get this post saved.  I made it with a packet mix - a product out of New Zealand.  Actually I am not normally a fan of processed or packaged foods, I try to resist, but when I saw this pack in the Coles Supermarket one day I couldn't resist and I am now hooked on it. 
 
 
 
 It is a brand called Chef's Kitchen - and I find there are several sites with this name/brand, so not sure about it.  I have found the products in Coles Supermarkets and note that this week they are on special (2 for the price of one), though the other recipes are included so I have a selection now.
 
I happily use my little torch that came with a pack of four bowls and a torch from Robins Kitchen. 



Friday, September 20

My Letter dated 6th August 1960

As a young girl I was very involved in Girl Guides - often to the disadvantage of my schooling, though there is no doubt I was learning new skills all the time in Guides.  I remember about 1958 being awarded the Aboriginal Badge - as I had to learn more about our indigenous peoples.  I don't recall that I learned THAT much about the people and their history, but I know that I was more knowledgeable than my peers at the time.

I was somewhat obsessed by Guides, and it may be no surprise that I gained the very highest award - the Queen's Guide Award, and still have my badge and certificate.

In my unpacking of my boxes, some of which have not been opened for many years - or at least the folders within - I found this amazing piece of my history.

It is written on paper that may be discoloured by age, or perhaps it was not white when written.  It is handwritten.

In the left hand corner is the logo - the wording around the image of the logo reading THE GIRL GUIDES ASSOCIATION  INCORPORATED BY ROYAL CHARTER.



It reads:
 "THE GIRL GUIDES ASSOCIATION"
(South Australia)
 
Telephone W 2466
 
278  SOUTH TERRACE
ADELAIDE     
 
 
                 President:
HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL
 
             State President:
           LADY GEORGE
 
         State Commissioner:
         MISS JEAN WOOD
 
             State Secretary:
           MISS I. R. MUIR
 
Handwritten, under the address of the sender, P R Thomson, who was the Guide Advisor, and the date 6th August, 1960, it reads:
 
Dear Dianne,
 
           Congratulations on gaining your Queens Guide Award.  It is the highest Award which you can obtain in Guiding and demands a very high standard.   And I am confident, Dianne, that you will maintain this high standard in your future service.  If you go on in the Movement you will be an example and inspiration to many others.  If you serve the Community in any other way you will be regarded as - "Guide trained" as an example of how Guiding can usefully train Leaders.
 
Your certificate, signed by the Queen, will be presented at the Act of Loyalty, 1961, and you will hear from me before then.
 
Once again, many congratulations, Dianne.
 
                                                                               Yours sincerely,
 
                                                                               P R Thompson
                                                                               Guide Advisor
 

 
My Guide Badge - and the Queens Guide badge.

Also in my archives I found this reference from Adelaide Girls High School.



Luckily I have kept many of my letters and certificates.  I doubt my family will want them, but I am enjoying reading them and remembering special events in my life.

Patterns in the Sand



At Beachmere there often isn't any beach as the tide comes right close to properties along the waterfront and the parks. 

When the water recedes there is always a wonderful sight with many patterns created by nature.  I took this photo a few days ago.

Frog Update

I wrote about the green frog that spent the day near my back door a week ago - but he departed late that afternoon as the sun went down.  I was able to get a better photo of it.



I haven't seen it since then, but I am sure it is hiding somewhere close by.

Thursday, September 19

A Fog on Beachmere

When I opened the blinds this morning I could see it - a faint misty fog that was very mild at the time, but enough to make me pick up the camera and head to my lake to see what I could see.

"My" lake


Then I could see the fog was increasing so I set off in the car to see what I could see to photograph around the Beachmere area.

At the river (near the mouth)  it was impossible to see anything, other than a lone pelican hoping that the fishermen had caught something and would throw the bones or offal to them.  No one was catching fish though.  A boat can be seen (with difficulty) in the fog.

A lone pelican (can you see the boat in the fog?)

The Caboolture River

Miniature ponies in the mist
Hard to see.....
On the waterfront
 
It was quite eerily beautiful. 
 

Roses at Caboolture Historical Village


When I first started working there about two months ago, the gardeners had just pruned the rose bushes that form a "guard of honour" from the main building out into the historical buildings that dot the village. 

Soon they started to sprout new leaves - and now they are in full fantastic bloom. 




 
 
 
 
 
 




The last two photos are of the vases on the tables in the café.  Isn't it wonderful to have such a good supply of fresh flowers for the café.

 

Wednesday, September 18

International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2013

I regret that I am not in a position to celebrate this auspicious occasion, but feel it is my responsibility to promote this event and add it to my calendar for 2014 and have some fun with it then!!!

In Australia we were not part of the wave of pirates that roamed the world before Australia was founded, but I have dressed as a pirate on more than one occasion, so I feel that I have a slight kinship to pirateism.  I actually love the songs and the camaraderie that comes with singing and here I am in tiny Beachmere singing along with this video and having a great laugh to myself.




Actually I don't know any other pirate songs, but "What shall we do with the drunken sailor" but it is a good song to sing along with.


The last time I wore anything like a pirate outfit was many years ago - on a house boat venture into the Gold Coast, and all four crew wore black scarves with a painted skull and crossbones on the front.  I think the song mentioned above was sung on more than one occasion - it was I recall before it was illegal to be drunk in charge of a boat - and believe me I was never in charge of a boat! 

I remember several episodes of our house boating ventures - one when one of the males went to the toilet early in the morning, while the other three of us were sitting at the dining table eating breakfast.  We could hear the "pump, pump, pump" as he endeavoured to flush away his "debris" if I can put it that way.  Soon he was ankle deep in effluent, and after much embarrassment he put his head out the door and asked for help.  We don't know exactly what caused the blockage, but the two men tried unsuccessfully to unblock the system - before defeated the houseboat was returned to base for repairs.  Embarrassment, big time.

Whether it was that adventure or another, but the "captain" of the house boat read the tides wrong and we spent quite a few hours high and dry waiting for the next tide to get us back into water.

Those were great time with awesome adventures, great fishing, wonderful food and so many laughs.

Enjoy Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Sunday, September 15

On the Road Again

I love my e-bike - but I fell off it a few weeks ago and broke a piece on the handle bars - so brakes did not work.  I pondered taking the bike back to Lancaster Bikes in Brisbane where I bought it but after the damage I caused to my car (BIG SCRATCHES!!) transporting it previously, I don't trust me and the bike rack I have, so I emailed Barry with a photo of the damage and he suggested I might be interested in using the services of a bloke on the North Coast.  He does house calls.  Now that sounded fine.

Yesterday I had a call from him - Bruce from BLIND FREDDY BIKES - and as he has a stand at the Caboolture markets (which I still haven't been to!) be called by and fixed my bike.  Oh, I am so glad I didn't have to take it to Brisbane.  Not only did he fix the bike, he gave me some other tips on using my bike.

Right now it is too hot but later today I will set off on another ride around Beachmere.  Thank you Bruce and Blind Freddy (the name because he had a blind installation business earlier.)







 

A Lot of Paper

I still have a few boxes to empty - most of the contents will end up in the tip, but I have to go through it all just in case there is something of value within the cardboard or plastic!  Really there are some 30+ years of documents.  I have all the letters my parents wrote to me over the years, and one day I may feel comfortable getting rid of them, but for the moment I have re-stored them.

One collection of documents I came across was of a business called Lady Love, which started in Australia back in 1979 by Michael J. McCarthy in Melbourne.  He had developed a range of quality manicure products supported by the concept of trained "consultants" showing ladies, in their own home, how to do their own "professional"  manicure.  The motto was "it is easy to have beautiful hands and nails, naturally". 

From then into the mid 1980's hundreds of women around Australia joined to work with the fabulous products and join the excitement of commission only direct selling, with the more successful consultants earning top commissions and bonuses giving them earning and bonus cheques of up to $2000 a month, which was pretty awesome in those days.

Around that time Mr McCarthy introduced the concept into the west coast of North America, but back in Australia his hard work was being undone as two colleagues set up in a  hastily put together opposition company that was spectacularly unsuccessful and short lived, however it damaged the original business.  Mr McCarthy attempted unsuccessfully to resurrect the Australian business and then sold out the Australian operation in 1989 and returned to America and his business there.

There was a succession of owners from 1989 to 1995, which saw mildly successful bids to return the business to its former successful period. In 1995 my husband and I bought the business and relocated it to Brisbane in March 1995.  We had a few successful years but a number of things worked to hinder our success - one being the new transport regulations that limited our ability to send the "flammable" nail polish and nail polish removers, adding to the cost of such transportation.

I think it was about four years before we gave up on it, as we were losing money and it all became too hard.

I am still in contact with some of the "Lady Love Consultants" even all these years later, and only today I cast to the bin, all the documents that were associated with the business - including names and addresses of wonderful consultants who were part of this wonderful period.

Photos of various conferences and awards ceremonies (some of my winning cups are on the refrigerator in my new abode!).

The products?   I still use the wonderful protein crème which was awesome and still despite being well past its "use by date" still works well.  I still use the diamond file, and the profiles.  The products really were awesome, but the nail polishes etc would hardly compete with the low cost products on the market.

I did learn to keep my nails healthy - and I did learn how to do my own manicure, and keep my nails looking good without the expensive false nails that seem to be popular.

Life goes on.  It opened doors for me in many ways, and after volunteering in a not-for-profit training organisation helping the girls with their nail care, I was offered a job as a trainer there and subsequently headed to university - now have two degrees. 

It was an important time in my life journey.  I will never forget Lady Love - the people and the products.

I wonder how the company name "Lady Love" would be received in 2013!!! 

 

Saturday, September 14

Around Beachmere

I have a quiet chuckle to myself these days - about Beachmere really.  I think I should have lived in the country - but my life since the 1960's has been in big cities - Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane - and at times I longed to moved out to quieter parts of our vast country.

It wasn't until I did my own "escape to the country" that I settled in Beachmere.  I had done a lot of research as I had certain criteria that needed to be met.  I didn't want a home with stairs, I needed at least two bedrooms, I didn't want to be in a noisy neighbourhood (traffic, trains, planes etc). I visited a number of towns around 100 kms from Brisbane.  I found some lovely spots to the west of Brisbane, but reminded myself that in winter it is very cold there, and hot in summer.  I  needed to be near the sea, but didn't initially find what I wanted - that is, until I found Beachmere.

Moving here in June has been a great decision, and I am so thrilled to live in this rather forgotten part of south-east Quensland.  I love the peace and tranquillity (except for the trail bikes!) - the planes fly high overhead and the sound is ok, and with a park and lake adjacent to the house, and a dead-end street, I feel blessed.

My visitor on September 13th, 2013.
The wildlife, mostly birds that visit me are so welcome and I do feed some of them.  Yesterday this little guy spent the day near my back door.  At dusk he set off on a journey to my pot plants, and today I can not find him.  I hope he is somewhere close.

The weather has been amazing - dry sunny warm days, but we so need rain.  Today it is threatening to rain.  So far nothing - just dark clouds that come over and then disappear.    I set off to get the weekend paper, and armed with my camera visited some places to take photos without the bright sunshine. 

It surely is a photographer's paradise around here.  I venture up roads just to see what I can see.  One place was on the esplanade of a little settlement with just a dozen or so houses on the Caboolture River.  The tide was low, but it was the jetties that I wanted to photograph.






I am not sure if any of these jetties are workable - clearly some are old, and the tides have washed out access to one of them.  There are old boats languishing in the sand, and not much activity at all. 

I ventured to another part of the Caboolture River - adjacent to Beachmere Road and I pass here on  regular basis as I head to Caboolture or Brisbane.

Off to do some fishing
 

It is such a pretty spot, especially when the water is still and the reflections are strong.  The wind was blowing and there was a gently ripple on the water.

From there I went along another road - one that I had not previously ventured.  Very interesting place - with horses and cattle on one side on a few properties, some with sheds and no houses, some clearly abandoned, and one old house which was once someone's dream home that was never realised with trees growing through it.

On the other side was mostly thick bushland or thick pine forest and again a house that must have been deserted some years ago.  Oh, it would be wonderful to learn the history of the area.

Bushland

Old building - deserted

Could be easy to get lost in the dense bush

There are plenty of great photo opportunities around this part of South East Queensland.

Friday, September 13

Plovers and Frogs

Good morning, Frog.


I stepped outside this morning to greet the baby plovers as I do each morning, and  found this surprise on my back step.  I am a friend of frogs, just love them, and hope he/she visits often.

There is a lot of wildlife around here - especially birds and I have greeted two adult plovers and their two babies for several weeks now.


 I had first noticed the baby plovers when they were wandering around my back yard.  Eventually one run under the back fence and returned to the parents, but the other one ran back and forth along an area behind the water tank, and despite its best efforts could not find a way to get  back to the rest of the family.  I crept out, wary of the parents, and managed to "encourage" the baby to move further along the fence and "safety". 

Each morning and often in the afternoon I watch as the parents "escort" the babies around the park, letting any human, animal or bird which dares to wander the park, know to keep their distance from the babies.  In the past few days there has been only one adult and one baby - I have no idea what has happened, but I am hoping that the other two members of the family are wandering in another park nearby.

The baby has grown quickly, though is still much smaller than the parent.  I will miss them when they have grown up!

My cooking.......

After finding the old recipes I decided to make the flummery - I halved the recipe ingredients and it worked well for me.

Set and ready to eat.


Dessert anyone?



Strawberries are very inexpensive at the moment - and I live deep in strawberry growing country.  There are many strawberry farms around Caboolture.  I bought these at Coles at Caboolture - about $1.50 a punnet.  I wonder how much money the growers are making when the price is so low.  This store is a store that I really don't like going to - the building is old and there's a need for a huge renovation there.  Still, I save petrol by going there and not all the way to Morayfield.

I love the way the flummery has two layers - with the orange and lemon juice setting in its own layer, and the white fluffy softer top layer.  Yum.  I'll do that again.





Friday, September 6

Recipe Books

Two of my oldest recipe books date back to the 1960's - one being a book that I think I may have bought at some stage, and the other a gift from my parents on April 1st, 1966, when I learned I had passed my final nursing exams.

 
Marguerite Patten was a "famous" British cook at the time and the book was published in 1960 by Paul Hamlyn Ltd for The Australian Women's Weekly, which at that time was a weekly magazine.  Marguerite was born in 1915 - the same year as my mother, in fact a few days after my mother was born.  And according to Wikipedia " She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1991 for "services to the Art of Cookery" and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. In 2007, she received the Woman of the Year award, Lifetime Achievement Award."
 
 
I doubt my mother knew of the connection she and Marguerite had, and oddly enough they are both still alive.
 
 
  
The Margaret Fulton Book has though been my favourite - always.  I preferred the layout, and it was a bit more modern.  The cover long ago wore out and many years ago I covered it neatly in plastic.  Inside the cover are clippings from magazines going back to the 1970's.
 
According to Wikipedia, "Margaret Isobel Fulton OAM (born 10 October 1924 in Nairn, Scotland) is a British-born Australian food and cooking 'guru', writer, journalist, author, and commentator. She was the first of this genre of writers in Australia.
Her early recipes encouraged Australian housewives to vary the Australian staples of "meat and three vegetables" and to be creative with food. She 'discovered' food from exotic places such as Spain, Italy, India and China and as Cookery Editor, 'brought these into Australian homes through her articles in the Woman's Day magazine'.
Fulton realised that chefs who did television shows tended to lose their audience. Accordingly, she remained a writer who regularly appeared as a 'guest' on various TV shows."

I don't recall that I have a favourite recipe from either of the books, but the Margaret Fulton one has been a reliable source of information for me.
 
I often feel blessed that despite being trained to be a wife and mother in "Home Economics" classes at primary and high school, I did learn the basics of cooking and have always felt confident in the kitchen.  So confident that I often "mess" with recipes and never feel that I need ALL the ingredients to make a success of a recipe and I rarely if ever have failures.   
 
The above books are only two of a very large collection of cook books - which remain with me though I have (with great difficulty) culled some of them. 



Pavlovas and Meringues

In my collection of recipes which I am exploring, I have found quite a few recipes for pavlova and meringues.  They must really have been fashionable in the 1970's - as most of the recipes date from that time.

Meringues have always been popular with our grandchildren - and it was a constant in our house - a large round  Tupperware container where we housed our most recent product, and it has been known for a grandchild to have an unexpected and false urgent need to go to the toilet as their mother drove close to our home, and after the quick tip to the bathroom, the child appeared in the kitchen looking for meringues.

I usually of course make them with fresh eggs and sometimes lament that I have yolks left over, though they seldom were wasted, however, when the powdered egg white in the cute large white egg containers came on the market it made it easier.

Recently I discovered a cake decorating place Cakes Around Town near the start of Bribie Island Road and while I admired their wonderful products I only left with some powdered egg white - and have to use only a little of it to make decent pavlova or meringues.  So lucky am I to have found it, though I did have a rather big shock using it the first time as it became a huge mass of white sticky stuff that seemed to explode over the top of the beaters and up into the machine.   Next time round I was more careful.


 
 
 
I took a plastic container of my latest meringues to a group of folk the other day, and one of the younger ladies asked me how I made them.  I said that I used egg white powder - she looked closer and asked "How come they are pink?"  I just said I used food colouring.  "Oh" she said.  I was a little confused.  What an odd question to ask I thought. 
 
I will have to make another batch.  I've eaten a few too many. 
 
My Meringue Recipe
 
 
Ingredients
 
10 g egg white powder (I am using Bakels Actiwhite)
100 mls warm water
150 gms caster sugar (my recipe suggests 240 g - but I don't think that is necessary)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Food colouring
 
 
Method
 
Heat oven to 120 degrees C. Mix the egg white powder and water and let sit for 15 mins.  Then beat with electric or other beaters until getting thick and fluffy.  Add caster sugar while beating.  Beat until thick and shiney.  Mixture should form firm peaks.  Add vanilla and food colouring.
 
Scoop into spoon and add to tray covered with cooking paper.  Turn oven down to 100 degrees C and put tray in.  Bake for around one and a half hours, checking occasionally. Allow to cool.  Ready to eat.  Yum.
 
 Recipe using real eggs here.


Brisbane Writers Festival

Most years I like to attend more than one session, and I suppose I did yesterday, but as I had to train it to South Bank/Stage Library, my time was limited, however I did attend two interesting sessions.

First of all, let me say, that I have been attending these festivals for many years, and like many I have spoken to we prefer the "old" system where there were large marquees in South Bank, and many of the events were free to attend.  The huge marquees were often almost filled with enthusiastic writers and readers.  There have been many changes over recent years and most of the events are in and around the State Library of Queensland, there are more events which require a fee,  marquees for support groups are few and far between, and there is only one larger marquee for sessions.

Yesterday when I arrived there were quite a few school children heading home, with their purple Brisbane Writers Festival Bags, and I note that it is wonderful to see children exposed to top writers.  They seemed quite animated and enthused, but perhaps there were other reasons for that. 

I had missed the start of one session so went up to the Queensland Writers Centre, as I had been told at a festival last weekend, that if one did, one would receive something (not explained.)  Well, I did, a package about becoming a member.   Odd?  I queried it - in fact the young lady I spoke with was the one who had promoted this special 'gift', so I was confused.   Anyway I left wondering what I would do with this package that I had no need for - and the young lady had, just after I left, realised that she had made an error and ran down stairs and found me heading to the marquee. She profusely apologised for her confusion and promised to email me with details about the special offer (which she did within 5 minutes!).



The marquee event was not free, but I had been told by one of the staff  to go in anyway.  As I walked in, I was asked for my ticket, but was let through without it.  Maybe because there were so many empty chairs.

The marquee, in what is known as Maewar Green was advertised as with Lloyd Jones and Kristina Olsson, talking with Kathleen Noonan, but there was a man chairing and another lady, whose name I don't recall.  I had heard Kristina the week before and found her interesting, and missed hearing the stories of Lloyd and the other lady.  From what I saw was a good session, so when it was over I headed back and bought a raffle ticket and looked around before purchasing a ticket for a session in Auditorium 2, SLQ.  It was called "The Aussie Town" and the writers were Karen Foxlee, Melissa Lucashenko and Rachael Treasure.  All had very interesting things to say about their writing.

I shall have to find their books, as I confess I had not read them all.  I have read some of Karen's book  The Midnight Dress - don't think I have all of it. Must check on my Kindle as I can't recall where I have read it.  I certainly had heard her interviewed on the radio while I was travelling.  Melissa's book Mullumbimby sound really fascinating as she weaves an amazing story involving indigenous history and language.   Here's a link to an ABC review - click here.


 


I must say that this session was well attended and very interesting.  I am not sure that I will get to any other sessions - maybe on Sunday, but unlikely.

I am not terribly keen on the current way things are done - I think a $1 discount for concessions is an insult, though I note that the more expensive events have a slightly more generous discount.  To see so many events requiring fees makes it very hard for folk that are not flushed with funds too.  They expect you to buy books as well - which are not inexpensive.   I met one lady who thought she was attending an event with Robyn Davidson, which was in fact at the University of Queensland.  Without a car and knowledge of the campus it would be challenging to attend, but I am hopeful that many uni students attended that one.

Maybe next year I can attend more, and I hope they have made some changes.  And pleas I hope they make the Courier Mail's program much easier to comprehend.  A number of folk complained about it yesterday - very confusing.

 Note to self - must read Mister Pip, (Lloyd Jones) and the books of above authors.

Thursday, September 5

The Old Recipes

Amongst my many items in the boxes that have been packed away for quite a few years I found my old recipe folder.  Yesterday for the first time I searched through it - marvelling at my collection which goes back to 1969.  It includes handwritten (by myself and my mother) recipes, and a wild collection of cuttings from magazines going back to that time.

I had been searching for a recipe for Flummery.  A friend had told me about a recipe that she had used to make that dish, using condensed milk, and I knew that MY recipe, or my mother's, did not have that ingredient.  I was thrilled to find it.


The Folder

That special treat Ice Cream Recipe is good!



I have an idea of putting together some of these old recipes in a book one day.  Would be rather fun.  My mother was an excellent cook, though had some amazing failures too, as every cook in the kitchen would experience.

One famous error was on the night I took my prospective husband home for dinner, for my folks to meet him, when mum cooked an exotic meat dish with chili.  HIH was not used to hot and spicy, but somehow (I presume accidentally) mum had upped the ante with the chili.  HIH sat at the table growing redder and almost choking on the chili - much to everyone's amusement in the end when he had recovered!!!

Another was a Christmas cake that she made years ago, and after putting it in the oven, she discovered she had left "a pound of butter" still in its wrap for in those days it was only wrapped in paper in blocks, so she hurriedly unwrapped it, opened the oven door and placed the butter on the 'batter' in the cake tin.  As the heat melted it, it seeped through into the mixture and in the end was one of mum's best Christmas cakes.

 
The Recipe for Flummery in Mum's Handwriting
 
 
 
Joyce’s Flummery

Ingredients

1 ½ tablespoons gelatine powder
2 cups water
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 lemon
1 orange
Passionfruit, cherries, walnuts for decoration
 

Soak gelatine in 1 cup water.  Blend flour with other cup of water.    Put the blended flour, water and dissolved gelatine in a saucepan with the sugar.  Stir until boiling and simmer 2 – 3 minutes. Put in bowl and beat with electric beater, adding juice of lemon , orange and passionfruit.  Put into small glass dishes or one larger bowl.  Decorate.
 
Enjoy!!!!!
 
 



 

 

Sunday, September 1

Talented Maggie MacAdam

I met Margie at a networking event for businesswomen on Bribie Island a couple of months ago, and when she said she was a 'photographer' I was most interested, and subsequently met with her for coffee on Bribie Island where I learned more about her craft.

I knew that she takes photos of Scribbly Gum Trees, mostly those on a property at Morayfield and digitally enhances them to create an extraordinary piece of artwork, which she uses to develop fabric  for clothing, including scarves.  The colours and designs on the fabrics is extra ordinary.  For some time Margie had a gallery at the Caboolture Hub, and she told me that there was an exhibition opening at the Mon Komo Hotel at Redcliffe.

Yesterday, in the midst of the Sandcliffe Writers Festival, I drove over the Houghton Highway to Redcliffe to see the works in the Gallery there.  The Gallery is in the Mon Komo Hotel on the Esplanade at Redcliffe - awesome position overlooking Moreton Bay, and the art works of Margie and Jo Baker, gallery owner were worth seeing.  Wish I had a spare few hundred dollars.

The Gallery


Margie's work is on the walls, the box, and on the 'manequin'.

I loved this bamboo art work..  
 

My 5W Guest

I have been a member of 5W (Women Welcome Women WorldWide) for a number of years, and the only time I have taken advantaged of the membership  benefits is when I was in Ireland in 2005, and stayed with a lovely member out of Waterford for a few nights and had wonderful hospitality.

In previous years with my travelling I have been unable to be a hostess, so when the opportunity arose last month I jumped at it.  Dulcie was from Victoria, and was a retired nurse, so we had quite a lot in common.

Two days/nights is often far too short, but adequate to connect and do a little touring.  Dulcie was a great guest.  On her last day we did a big drive - from Beachmere to Yandina and The Ginger Factory.  She had always wanted to go there, but didn't imagine that she would get there.  I was very pleased to be able to show her around!!

We bought tickets for the train ride and also the tour of the ginger factory itself.  The train ride is always delightful - with a close up look at the tropical jungle of plants, and a good look around the whole property.  Of course I love the bamboo, though I note it looks rather neglected as there are so many dead poles within their lovely plantings.







Next was the tour of the ginger factory itself, which was most interesting with our charming tour guide.  After the visit to the factory we went into a tasting room and tasted some delicacies made from product available in their shop, including a bag (discounted) of goodies which I did buy.


The tasting plate, and the  Buderim Ginger Refresher.  Yum.
From there we went up along the Blackall Range and came down through Landsborough, and headed for Bribie Island.  We did quite a tour of the island and on the ocean side looked for a venue for our evening meal, but we were too early and decided to head for Beachmere, eventually having a wonderful meal in the Beachmere Tavern - a great end to a busy day.

A long and wonderful day visiting parts of Queensland.  My 5W Guest was an excellent guest and we got on well.  I'm hoping I get more house guests!!!