Saturday, 8 November 2014

Catching up with November

I've had a paper to write, talks to give and a lot of research tasks so I've been a bit (!) behind here. 

The garden has been full of roses and jasmine and so, therefore, has the house. 

We've had four birthdays in the family. 

I've been up at the Ballarat cemetery looking for a 19th century Ballarat Chinese doctor who is buried here.

and found him.

The weather has warmed up, summer is almost here and I have not caught up with the weeding - but I have put up a post.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Finally in the local paper!

There's been a little bit of a competitive feeling around our place. Since we first moved to Ballarat Yin has been in our local paper, The Courier, a few times, being a chef, Slow Food Ballarat founder and contributor to lots of community events. This is the first time I've had my picture in the paper so I'm celebrating. I feel like I'm really a local, part of the newspaper record of Ballarat that's been going since the days when Ballarat was a gold mining giant. Now my descendants can find me in the newspaper archives.

Here are three of the places around Ballarat that I've been finding stories about in the last couple of weeks.

 Old Pub (now renovated) in Ballarat North. There were beehives out the back here in the 1870s.

 This was a house, pub and a private hospital over the years.

Now a family home, this was once an old weatherboard house of 10 rooms that served as a better quality private hospital in the 1910s.

Spring 2014

Suddenly it's warm several days in a row and the back lane is full of blossom.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Family lunch

A Sunday Lunch of special requests; rice noodle rolls for me, rice porridge for Yin, fried chicken for Jesse.

Organising the cooking tasks

Dogs aren't allowed in the kitchen. Never. But they can watch.

Rice noodle rolls

Cabbage and asparagus

Rice porridge with John Dory, dried beancurd and other goodies

Rice porridge toppings - preserved eggs

and crisp, deep fried you tee

Some tasting goes on.

It's good.

Yin's special fried chicken, always served at the boys' birthdays.


It takes all morning to make, but it's well worth it.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Velvet soap

I found a couple of desirable cottages when I went walking round Soldier's Hill this weekend.

Just look at that velvet soap ad! My Grandma used velvet soap, my Mum used it, I use it.
Clothes, floors, hair, dogs - Velvet soap washes all.

The packaging has changed from yellow and blue to patriotic, but there's a 1901 baby on each block.

Pom poms

At St John's Op Shop,  one of the many wonderful op shops in Ballarat, I found some yarn for about 20 to 50 cents a ball.

Since it was acrylic yarn, not real wool which is too good to waste, I felt free to potter around making a life-long love.
Pom poms.

The basket is still filling up as I make one or two whenever I take a break from staring at the computer screen.

Monday, 4 August 2014

now frost

Each night this week has been colder than the last - 2 degrees below zero, 3 degrees below - I'm wrapping up my aloe vera  plants in old, woollen doggy rugs to keep them alive overnight.
The washing is snap frozen on the line and the dog sniffs his water bucket in a worried way and comes back inside to drink. He doesn't know what to make of the ice in his water  bucket.

I love this weather. It's so sharp and sparkling. I've got woolly socks and jumpers and gloves, and with the days beginning to lengthen again, the dog and I catch the dawn as we crackle over frozen grass and leaves on our morning walk. No wind.  It is foggy and mysterious when we set off, and I love that too.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Snowy walk

(Click on these photos - there is more to see)

My yearly wish is granted - in August, as usual, with the last fierce blasts of cold from the Antarctic.


I was walking down Sturt St for a university event in the old Ballarat Trades Hall, when  the spatter of rain became a snow fall.

and as always in Ballarat when it snows, all the shops and cafes emptied of staff and customers, and people laughed and took photos of themselves and their friends.

I took lots of photos. Snow augurs a good year for me. 

The Unicorn Hotel in the snow from Camp Street.

Walking across Sturt Street to Camp Street

The Trades Hall, Camp Street. It is flying the Eureka flag, of course.

The snow got thicker. This is the old Masonic Hall.

People gathered outside the door of the Trades Hall and took more photos before we went inside for the signing - everyone had a phone out but I had brought a real camera and there was some envy.

The snow was softer when I left and went off to have lunch at the dumpling restaurant, 3 doors down in Camp Street.


Snow, green tea and dumplings. Bliss!