A quick update on the second bathroom

All stopped for the Easter break and things resumed yesterday.  The tiler arrived to check things out in readiness for waterproofing tomorrow and then the second coat the following day.

bath has been inserted

The bath has been installed. It is a lovely deep bath and more importantly, it isn’t peach!

miso soaker bath

All is now ready for the next step.  Things will stop again on Friday as it is ANZAC Day but then tiling should start on Monday.

Cooking with children. . . .what are the best books?

Having our grandson with us we decided to let him do some cooking while he was here. I borrowed a book from the library and had marked a few recipes that I thought would be suitable.

DSCN1085Our grandson chose a recipe that he fancied, it wasn’t one of those I had marked, and we checked to make sure we had all the necessary ingredients. cookbook This recipe book is by Stephanie Alexander who started the Kitchen Garden Project in schools around Australia. The project has been highly successful and so I thought the book would be a good one for a recipe as the recipes had all been made in the schools that participate in the Kitchen Garden Project. The recipe was Baked Potatoes with Spring Onions and Grilled Cheese. recipe The trickiest part was scooping out the potatoes as there is always the danger that the scooping goes too deep and the skin gets broken but that didn’t happen as our grandson did it very carefully. scooped out The spring onions were chopped and mixed with the scooped out potato and some butter and cheese then returned to the skins. before bakingThe potato on the left was a left-over from the previous night. They were topped with cheese and a knob of butter and put in the oven to brown. finished articleHe was absolutely thrilled with the result as were we. Do you have a children’s cookbook you can recommend?  I can certainly recommend this one.

Normal service has resumed. . . . .I have been a bit busy recently.

It is some time ago that I last posted as I have been otherwise occupied. We had our grandson staying with us for a short while and then I took him home to Melbourne and spent a few days in Melbourne, naturally I didn’t have time to do any internet work as I was enjoying the company of my elder daughter, her husband and our grandchildren.

While our grandson was with us we had a lovely time despite the poor weather. We played board games, Lego, tried a puzzle and did some cooking and sewing.

pjsOur grandson chose some fabric for pyjama pants and I was able to whip up three pairs for him, he was wearing one pair when I took this photo.  He also chose the owl fabric for me to make some for his sister.

He wanted to learn how to use the sewing machine so we practised sewing straight lines on paper first and then he made a cushion for each member of his family by using the scraps left over from the pyjama pants.  He was thrilled.

The joys of having grandchildren are numerous and I certainly appreciated the time spent with him. I was also able to spend time with my granddaughter when we returned to Melbourne. I think both grandchildren enjoyed the time on their own and were more appreciative of each other when they were back together again.

We had also tried to go to a Pioneer Day at the local homestead while our grandson was with us but unfortunately the weather meant that the day was cancelled.  We were disappointed as we didn’t get the opportunity to see the pioneer crafts.

Pioneer Day


All for the want of a horse shoe nail.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

This little ditty was quoted by my father when I was a child.  I can’t remember the context but I think it was when we passed the statue of Alexander III on the outskirts of Kinghorn in Fife.

Alexander IIIHis horse stumbled on a cliff edge and Alexander was killed. The statue is a memorial to Alexander III. No doubt one of my siblings will remember the correct context and let me know.

The poem is actually a nursery rhyme used to teach children the consequences of their actions.

Our second bathroom renovation is the reason I mention this little poem only in this case it is “for want of a plumber the plastering was lost.”

The demolition of the bathroom went quickly but now all has stalled as a result of the plumber not turning up to finish the job.  The plasterer arrived but couldn’t do any plastering as the plumber hadn’t completed his part of the job.

Hopefully all the plumbing will be finished tomorrow.  It has been a week since the plumbing was supposed to be finished.  I’m getting twitchy.


Omeo, Omeo, not wherefore but where art thou Omeo?

I live in Metung, East Gippsland which in the eastern part of the state of Victoria in Australia.  Omeo is in Victoria and in terms of distance in Australia it is quite near to Metung.

Metung to OmeoOmeo is situated on the Great Alpine Road and my reason for mentioning Omeo is that I have just finished reading a book that was set in the area around Omeo.

Great Alpine RoadThe book I purchased for $1 at a thrift shop and it was a dollar well spent as I thoroughly enjoyed the book.


I have to admit that the cover is not the most enticing I have seen but nonetheless I was intrigued to read about this death that had “shocked Australia”.

From the cover:

When Ethel Griggs dies suddenly in the Victorian country town of Omeo in January 1928, rumours about her husband’s blatant affair with Lottie, the lovely 20-year-old daughter of the local grazier and Methodist elder, Jack Condon, are rife.  So rife that despite a doctor’s certificate suggesting natural causes, police order Ethel Griggs body to be exhumed and the young mother of 11-month-old baby Alwyn is found to have died from Arsenic poisoning.

Her husband, the Reverend Ron Griggs, the district’s methodist minister, is charged with her cruel and heartless murder.  Based on a true story, Reg Egan has recreated. in his first novel, the town and its people, the atmosphere and the love affair that intrigued and shocked the whole of Australia.

The story was certainly intriguing and I enjoyed the fact that I could visualise the various places mentioned in the story.  Even Traralgon station got a mention along with Bruthen, Ensay, Swifts Creek, Cassilis and numerous other small places in the district. The major towns also played a part with Sale and Bairnsdale enjoying centre stage at some point.

An enlightening read particularly for those interested in the local district and the history of the district.

Here and here you can read newspaper reports on the murder.

This one will go on my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge as it was set in 1928.


Bread and Butter Cucumbers

Our garden is giving us some produce and so I am making full use of it. My husband had planted some cucumber plants in the parterre and they have proven to be bountiful.

I have made several jars of bread and butter cucumbers.

rinsed cucumbers

The cucumbers are soaked overnight and then rinsed the next day before adding to the pickling mix.

pickling mixThe cucumbers are then bottled into hot jars.

bottled cucumbersThe recipe is from the Australian Women’s Weekly Best Recipes from the Weekly Cookbook.

  • 4 large cucumbers
  • cooking salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teasp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 small red pepper (optional)

Wash cucumbers and slice thinly.  Place cucumber slices in layers in a large shallow dish, sprinkling a little salt between each layer.  Cover and stand overnight.  Rinse cucumbers well under cold water, drain.  Combine vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, one teaspoon salt in pan, stir until sugar is dissolved, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered five minutes.  Add cucumbers, bring to boil, remove from heat.

Using tongs and working quickly, pack cucumbers tightly into hot sterilised jars.  Add a few thin strips of red pepper to each jar.  Fill with vinegar mixture to within 1 cm  of top.  Seal when cold.  (I seal mine when hot.)

These are delicious when on cheese and biscuit.



Jennifer suggested Daniel Silva and I am hooked.

Jennifer from A Little Fluff suggested that I might like to read some of Daniel Silva’s novels and so I took up her suggestion and started with The Mark of the Assassin.  I enjoyed that novel and so I have now read another.  The ConfessorThis is another crime fiction novel but with a historical twist.  It probably shouldn’t be included in my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge as it is set in the present day but I am going to include it as the plot is linked to events in World War II.

From the book jacket:

Art restorer Gabriel Allon is trying to put his secret service past behind him,  But when his friend Benjamin Stern is murdered in Munich, he’s called into action once more.

Police in Germany are certain that Stern, a professor well-known for his work on the Holocaust, was killed by right-wing extremists.  But Allon is far from convinced.  Not least because all trace of the new book Stern was researching has now mysteriously disappeared. . . 

Meanwhile, in Rome, the new Pope paces around his garden, thinking about the perilous plan he’s about to set in motion.  If successful, he will revolutionize the Church.  If not, he could very well destroy it. . . 

In the dramatic weeks to come, the journeys of these two men will intersect.  Long-buried secrets and unthinkable deeds will come to light, and both their lives will be changed for ever. . . . 

I loved this book. The book tells us a great deal about the role of the Pope and the Vatican in World War II, along with the Jews and the treatment of them. The characters are “real” and the plot has many twists and turns.

This was my second Daniel Silva novel and I will be reading many more as he doesn’t follow the usual formula for a crime fiction novel.  My next cab of the rank is The Defector.