Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Feral Tomatoes

I like gardening but I am hopeless at growing vegetables. However with BB's help I persevered but with very little success. We bought soil from the nursery and planted beans, silver beet, tomatoes and lettuce. We picked a few meals of beans, silver beet and lettuce but then everything suddenly died. We planted again and nothing came up. We bought a ph test kit and the readings were not far off normal. Anyway we hit the soil with Ammonia Nitrate, blood and bone and compost from kitchen scraps. I noticed that not even weeds would grow in the patch but one little tomato plant appeared as a volunteer from the kitchen scraps. In the meantime I added fertiliser. Suddenly the tomato bush exploded! We kept putting a new stake in every few days until we ran out of stakes but it kept growing into a monster, feral, bush with heaps of flowers. (But nothing else grew??) The bush has been producing Cherry Tomatoes for the last few weeks, lots of them.
The bush crawled over the path.Now the leaves are dying but the fruit is still ripening.

This is the other side of the bush where it grew over the wallaby proof fence.Today's crop.The day before yesterday's crop......every second day a bowl full.

I have filled many containers and given them to neighbours and friends (BB doesn't like them). Some I turn into chutney, which is a wonder since I can't cook for peanuts.

Cut a cross on the bottom.

Drop them into boiling water for a minute. Let them cool. Chop up an apple.

Peel the slippery little devils.

Chop them if you can be bothered. Chop two cloves of garlic, wash the smell off your hands. Chop an onion, have tissues handy. Fry onion and garlic in oil.

Add tomatoes and apple. Add quarter cup of brown sugar, and malt vinegar, teaspoon of mustard powder and curry powder. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let simmer for an hour or until it is thick and slushy like chutney. Taste it and hope for the best.

Then bottle it and fill all the shelves in the fridge with Feral Tomato Relish.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pretty Trees of Spring

In Brisbane we don't get the colourful trees in Autumn but in Spring the suburbs hide under an umbrella of purple Jacaranda trees and red Flame trees.

The Illawarra Flame Tree is a native of tropical Australia. It loses its leaves in the dry season and then the flowers bloom. After the flowers the leaves reappear in the wet season.

The Jacaranda Tree is a native of Central and South America but has adapted well in Australia.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Through my Window.

While sitting at the computer I suddenly saw my favourite bird through the window. It is a laughing Kookaburra. It belongs to the Kingfisher family.Its call sounds like laughter. It is a meat eater. It is often seen eating lizards and snakes. It picks them up in its strong beak and beats them to death on a branch. It can also pinch your steak off the BBQ or your plate.

It was so obliging to turn around to show you its tail. I can't believe how clear the shots turned out considering they were taken through the glass window

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bernie Hits the Front Page

Bernard Curry, our daughter's partner, visited Brisbane from Sydney on a promotional tour for his latest show,"Beauty and the Geek." At the same time he featured on the front cover of this week's TV guide in his other show, "Home and Away". He also featured in the weekend magazine and newspapers.

Bernie plays Hugo in "Home and Away."

Dinner with Bernie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Last night we got a call from Bernie, our daughter's partner, to tell us he has to come (from Sydney) to Brisbane to promote the show which he hosts. He asked us to join him for dinner at his Hotel. We are very proud of him and think he does a good job on the show.
Bernard Curry

Sonya and Bernie

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bill Gets a Blast From the Past

While we were walking around the multicultural festival yesterday we saw Art work from Africa.

We saw children getting some hints from the Brisbane Soccer Team. Then we came across The Ethnic radio stall, where volunteers were telling people about the programmes available and encouraging people to become members. Seeing these people and the outside broadcast van that was also there brought back memories for Bill. He used to broadcast the Swiss Programme for many years.

Then we caught the train home using our cheap pensioner tickets.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Multicultural Festival

Every year Brisbane has a Multicultural Festival in the Roma Street Gardens.
There were many people and many tent stalls, most of them selling ethnic food. There was also non stop entertainment in seven venues. Music and dances from around the world. Many people wore their national dress.

A Sicilian musician discussing the pipes that he plays with an interested African.

An Indian lady doing Henna hand painting. It was wonderful to see so many people from so many different cultures mingling, sharing customs and interacting with one another in such an understanding and friendly way. They are all Australians now and it makes you wonder why the whole world can't behave like these people at the festival.

South American music.

Papuan Dancers

Celtic Dancers

These girls were giving out programs. I'm not sure who they were representing but I wouldn't want too tangle with them. There were so many different cultures, too many to show here.

 Shoes carved out of egg plant/aubergines After we checked out most of the stalls and some of the entertainment we had to make a choice as to which country would we go for lunch. The Danish pastries looked delicious, the Dutch, the Argentinian, the French, the Indian.......

....the Japanese,..... ...the Spanish and so many, many more to chose from. We ended up deciding on Vietnamese.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cute But Unwelcome Visitor

We are having very dry ,warm,windy weather. Outside is like standing in front of a giant hairdryer. The garden is shrivelling up and crying out for water. The forest grasses have dried out and died so the wallabies (small species of kangaroo) come into suburban gardens and eat the green plants. They especially like new shoots and young plants that I am lovingly trying to keep alive with the little water that we are allowed to use. So as cute as they are I don't like them eating my plants that are already struggling to survive but I let them because that's nature.

Mmmmmmm this one is pretty good.

The grass looks greener over there.

Just a few chomps on the new gazania first.

This is a bit short and dry.

Better be off here comes human (with camera).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Now that it is hotter we have breakfast on the balcony again. Last week we had a pair of Figbirds joined us for breakfast.

Mr Figbird

Mrs Figbird

She is gorging on the palm berries.

She's got one.

She juggles it.

Down it goes.

Yum, Yum!

That one looks good.

She grabs it.

Alas, she drops it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Eagleby Wetlands

I was looking through my file of interesting places to visit when a newspaper clipping headline caught my eye. "Eagleby Wetland is a top spot for a nature photographer and a dream destination for birdwatchers." As Eagleby is only about 15 mins down the road by car we tootled off yesterday to find the wetland.

It is a magic little pocket of nature surrounded by suburb, sports complex and a smelly sewerage treatment plant.

There were many many water birds.

Egrets and Little Black Cormorants

"Hey anything worth digging for in the slimy marshy water?" say the Swamphens.

A lone Black Swan enjoys the company of the ducks, Wood, Hardhead and Pacific Black.

After the Bird Hide Walk we chose the Melaleuca Board Walk. Melaleuca trees belong to the Myrtle family. There are about 200 species native to Australia. The larger trees have a flaky bark and are often called "Paper Bark Trees". They are evergreens and have a flower that looks like a bottle brush. They grow in forests but love swampy areas too.

Hundreds of duck

BB is thinking of afternoon tea and is heading back to the car, past this elegant Eucalyptus.