Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. -Maya Angelou

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Oz

The first stop in our round Aussie adventure is  Quininup,  a peaceful park in the middle of  beautiful forests of tall Jarrah,Marri and Karri trees on the banks of Lake Karri. This is the heart of the Western Australia's timber industry, in its heyday supplying the world with jarrah, an exceptional hard wood, for ship's masts, mining supports and  pavers.

It is also  filled with "ups". Manjimup, Nanup, Jerramunup ,Beedelup, Dingup, Wigarup to name a few.   Sounds like someone had a severe case of hiccups when naming this area!  As I write this the "28's" (Western ring necked parrots) are taking turns sliding down the awning of the van hoping for some seed, the magpies are serenading me for some bacon rind and Sweetpea the tame roo is waiting for her weetbix.

This is my first Christmas in Oz but some things never change.  Its animals, not people I'm feeding this Christmas!

We left Perth a week ago after filling a 40ft container with twenty years of the accumulated belongings of two houses, and bidding an apprehensive farewell to our comfort zones.The van was groaning by the time we had filled it with enough food and drink to last us a few weeks and everything else we thought we would need on the road . Photos of our kids, favorite coffee mugs, books, music, pictures, linen, clothing, computers, printers, fans, patio sets, fishing tackle, craft projects, and  of course "must have" kitchen equipment.
After numerous attempts at trying to pack everything in we finally had to admit defeat and cull everything that was not VITAL (aka everything)  and take another trip down to the storage depot.  The staff watched nervously as we hammered the doors closed for the umpteenth time and breathed a collective sigh of relief when we left. 

We repacked again......this meant everything as before but packed tighter. The shower stall  proved to be an excellent storage compartment . Who needs to shower inside anyway when you have a hosepipe outside.

 It is taking time to come to terms with the enormity of our change of lifestyle. Time is rapidly losing its meaning as one day merges into another and we have no fixed timetable or agenda. We are "being" not "doing" and after a lifetime of the protestant work ethic the guilt in having so much fun does tend to have a nasty way of sneaking up.........but its not putting up too much of a fight!

The difficulty is to remain focused as there are so many exciting things to do and see and I would rather be outside than sitting at the computer writing. We have made friends with a lovely couple of nomads. Neville and Carol gave us such a warm welcome when we arrived we felt we had known them forever. They have been on the road for three years and haven't looked back once. We have learnt so much from them already and their enthusiasm is contagious. Most afternoons we get together for "Happy Hour" a misnomer as after a few coldies and some good stories time ceases to matter..........it makes a difference when the journey home is so easy........turn around and there you are......just don't trip over the roo.

We get up to the magpies warbling outside, some of them are incredible mimics , one barks like a dog and wolf whistles. Their young cry like babies and make a helluva racket if you don't feed them .They are so tame and all line up in the morning for their breakfast Some of the roos have been hand reared and Sweetpea my favorite with her baby "joey" is a regular visitor. The bird life here is incredible with large flocks of 28's, multi coloured parrots, and in the evening Kookaburras though we cant see them laugh manically in the trees. Tommy has got the "Marron" bug and puts his nets out in the evening in a local dam. These are black fresh water crayfish with a sweet succulent flesh and we had a feast the other night with our neighbours. Done to a beautiful red turn with garlic butter on the barbie. Delicious

The Twelve Days of Aussie Christmas

On the twelth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
12 firefighters grilling
11 snags a-sizzling
10 Magpies warbling
  9 Roos a-jumping
  8 Marron in a trap
  7 Koalas climbing
 6 Crownies chilling
  5 Opals black
  4 pink Galahs
  3 cricket stumps
  2 Cockatoos
 And Oprah with a Kookuburra in a gum tree

A Blessed and Peaceful Christmas to you all.
May 2011 be filled with everything you wish for and more

Soul Food Kitchen

When you are on the road you often crave something sweet........my friend Carol has the perfect recipe!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 Tablespoons Self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
A small spash of vanilla
4 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons oil
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. add the egg and mix throughly. pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, mix again.
put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little and tip onto a plate if you are being posh.
EAT!!! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!



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