Archive for April, 2011


Jeez that was a bloody great long weekend

April 26, 2011

My word. Five days off. Super extra great. And, dappled autumny sunshine throughout.

The Curmudgeon schemed and plotted a bike ride to the west. We saw a man knitting socks in Yarraville, a Hong Kong street dog on the Yarra punt at Spotswood, a delightfully decrepit garden in old industrial ruins at Pipemakers Park, a giant Buddha. We pootled through streets and along rivers hitherto unknown to us.

Other highlights o’ the weekend: making chutney, planting leeks and cabbages, making a killer frock, nerding up on heritage trees, seeing some chums, walking, drinking coffee and swimming my guts out.

May all weekends be five-day ones.


How to make chutney

April 23, 2011

1. Steal apples from a wild tree growing on the verge of a highway.

2. Procure further apples from ancient farm tree belonging to one’s father.

3. Google ‘spicy apple chutney.’ Find this recipe. Write it out in scribbly greylead on the back of an envelope.

4. Neglect to inventory pantry contents until imminent departure to market. Hastily weigh apples (4kg) and multiply recipe by factor of 4. Buy everything x 4.

5. Later that afternoon, start dumping things in a pot. Sugar x 4. Sultanas x 4.

6. Start chopping apples. 1kg. 2 kg.Put ’em in the pot.

7. Realise that you are a complete dunderhead and read POUNDS as KILOS in hasty pre-shop weighing. Realise this means you only have 2kg apples. 2kg of apples now mingled with twice the amount of sugar and sultanas required. Curse that you didn’t just chop apples first.

8. Think about dashing out for more apples. Consider that this means more chopping.

9. Pick out all the little bits of chopped apple. Scoop out sultanas into sieve. Try to shake off as much sugar as possible. Spill sugar everywhere until floor is good and crunchy and the bench is sticky.

10. Start again.

11. Remain quite relaxed throughout because you’re on a 5-day public holiday spree from work and everything sparkles with autumnal sunshine and work-free goodwill. No wuckas, mate!

12. Boil for hours. Bottle. Look forward to months of spicy sandwiching.

Recipe x 4 x 2 with tweaks to adapt from foolish imperial measurements

  • 4 kg 2 kg of cored apples (with peel on. Peeling is booooooring.)
  • 1 kg onions
  • 250 g sultanas
  • 700 g sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp of each: paprika, mixed spice, salt and ground coriander
  • 850 mL malt vinegar

Chop, chuck in pan, boil until vinegar vapour is peeling the paint in your kitchen and curling the hairs in your nose. Bottle in sterile jars.



April 21, 2011

Until last night I don’t think I’d ever punched anything or anyone. Childhood sibling scraps usually¬†involved weapons other than fists – a rolled up Green Guide, palm of the hand for slapping, fingers for clawing, maybe the occasional fart. But not punching. I’ve always been intrigued about what it feels like.

Last night I tagged along to a bona fide boxing gym where the walls hung with punching bags and some of the patrons had flattened nose bridges. I got gloves. I got bouncy. But most importantly, I got punchy. It was good fun and bloody hard work. I have no natural agility, light-footedness or coordination yet no one laughed at me.

Oh. And the PA played ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at one point. Really. That was cool.


Neenish moon

April 11, 2011

The end of daylight savings means that I’m pootling home in the semi-dark after work. Tonight as I was pootling I beheld a neenish Moon: a nice round yellow moon sliced in half precisely, its dark side rendering it a lunar neenish tart.

The Curmudgeon delights in the idea that ‘neenish’ is an adjective. “That tart is quite neenish,” he utters in country bakeries, since he does not think that jokes lose their funny with repetition. (Another example: every time we go to the supermarket, he muses about ‘Baby’s First Yoghurt’ being sold in six-packs.) I think he would approve of my appropriation of this word for the Moon.

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a neenish tart. Or even a nienich one. I like the improbable idea that they were invented by a Geelong housewife who ran out of cocoa, though.



What did I do to deserve this?

April 5, 2011

It might be theft of council property but I feel it’s snubbing the hard rubbish gods NOT to take a box of 62 (sixty-two! Two and sixty!) flippin’ awesome jazz and blues records when they are offered to you early one morning.

Given my slavish devotion to the Gods o’ Junk, who am I to reject such benevolence? Besides, Herbie Mann looks like he’d slit my throat if I’m not suitably thankful.


We built this squiddy

April 3, 2011

We built this squiddy

We built this squiddy from some plywood

Built this squiddy

Built this squiddy from some plywood…..


Squid the dog is singularly uninterested. Both by the woodsquid and our singing.