Sunday, December 26, 2010

Be careful of what you wish for

One of my neighbours was having their paved driveway removed, and replaced with a concreted driveway. He put a few little piles of pavers out the front , with a sign on them of "Free, please take away".

After i have taken three piles away, i asked him how much more was he planning on doing.

He pointed over to a paved driveway, and said he was getting in a bobcat to dig it up, and they were going to the tip.

At that point we agreed that i would take the lot, and he could get the bobcat driver to drop them on my yard.
When i agreed to this, i had no idea there was going to be this many pavers.

However after a few days, Taph and i were able to sort them into several piles. Good pavers, Dirty pavers that needed cleaning, and pavers that we would hang on in case we needed any half pavers.

Inorder to make the cleaning easier, i made myself an alter of frugality. a raised platform of stacked pavers that i could use as a workbench to clean the dirty ones on. Now i am out front on most nights chiseling off the bits of concrete and dirt.
It's a big job, but i have most of the Christmas break to do this in. I will have to wait until after Christmas to get a bobcat in to dig out the area where i want the pavers to go, as i doubt i will get one over Christmas.

I will post some more updates as we go along.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The forth stage of life.

They say in life there are four stages.

1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus
3. You are Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus.
From these photos, it looks like i have reached the fourth stage.
Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My work decided that i had to visit our Melbourne office for 3 days, so i figured this was a chance to explore in my off duty hours.

In my time there, i headed down to St Kilda, had dinner and watched the sun set over the bay.

A wander down Bourke St showed that Myer were in the process of putting up their Christmas Windows.

On the next night we went out for dinner in Chinatown. Don't ask me where we went. i cannot find it on google maps, but it was a delightful little dumpling place behind Her Majesty's Theatre on Little Bourke St.

On our way out of town we had an hour of so to kill waiting at the airport for our flights, however i did spot Adam Spencer in the Qantas lounge. It was a pity that i had not stunt knitting with me so i could do a proper Kineer* of him, but this was the best photo i could do.

And of course a visit to Melbourne, or Adelaide is not complete without a visit to a Haigh's chocolate shop.

* "kineered" or "kineering" is a Yarn Harlot term (and my loose use) for sneaking a photo of someone/thing, I think. I might be mis-using the term (and possibly mis-spelling it).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Good Karma

I had an interesting week. On Sunday Taph and I were in the queue at the local Aldi getting our groceries.

A lady asked is she could jump ahead of us as she needed to buy one of the Aldi trolley tokens. Following my free range money challenge, I have managed to collect 15 of these little buggers tokens, so I offered her one, and suggested she pay it forward.

Later that evening, Taph reminded me that my parents wedding anniversary was coming up, and what was I going to get them. At the time I had no idea, so I said, I don’t know, however, something would turn up.

The next day I was in Salvos at Belconnen, when I spied this vase on their shelf.

This vase, along with another vase I had picked up earlier were both Johnson Brothers Summer Chintz patten, and would match thier dinner setting. I figured these would be great presents for their anniversary.

Later, when I mentioned this find to Taph that she said that Karma had decided to repay my previous good dead in full.

And the toy car? Dad collects the old matchbox toy cars, and I just gave it to him. .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some days you can get so lucky

Over the past few weeks, it felt like every weekend involved a trip to Tinys Green Shed in-order to collect some more free clothes. This last weekend was no different.

With the Thrift-mobile filled we headed for home, but the car made a detour via the Narrabundah Vinnies.

While Taph was busy going through their knitting and sewing patten, i had a quick flick through their mens wear, and continued looking at their suits. I picked out this one suit and had a look at it. Fine wool and in a size that should fit me. I tried it on, and it idid fit me. Not only that but it came with two pairs of trousers.

Now, I do own a couple of suits, however they came from Lowes, so they are a little cheap and nasty. Here was a perfect chance to upgrade.

The suit cost $35 and this got us a discount voucher for our next visit to a Vinnies.

Later that day we were down at Gungahlin and we paid a visit to that Vinnies. We found another suit there that fitted me, and they only wanted $10. However, we could not find any labels on it that said who was the maker, the style and size.

However when we looked at the lining in the strong light coming in through the window, we saw those magic words in it. Pierre Cardin.

In disbelief, we checked the Price again. It was still $10. We checked the other stuff in Taphs hands. They came to $10. This means we could use the discount voucher we had been given earlier in the day, and bring down the purchase price to $15.00.

So for $42.50 we got a Pierre Cardin suit and an fine wool suit. Both suits need to have the legs on the trousers altered and one suit needs the sleeves shortened, but still they are bargains.

When we were outside Taph and i looked at each other and said "Cue maniacal laughter".

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yass and Yarrh

In my house the October long weekend does not mean footy finals or car races. Nope it usually means the Murrumbateman Moving Feast.

The idea of the moving feast is simple. Those vineyards that usually do not offer meals have a weekend where they can offer one main and one dessert. These they match with a sample of their wines.

Some places do have the idea down well.
McKellar Ridge vineyard do a beef and wine pie that has some of their wine in it. Serve with a little salad, a glass of their Cabernet Sauvignon, and you get the idea.

Our first stop was to Yass, however after stopping to go to use the toilets, the Sub-Zero refused to start. The NRMA people said it was a dead battery (well it was 3 1/2 years old). After a 2 hour wait for a new battery to be put in, and a quick visit to the local op-shops, we set off for the moving feast.

However before we got there, we drove past this farm. We had to turn around and take this photo.

Torchwood Yass, i can hardly wait for the new season of Torchwood to start. Torchwood London, Torchwood Cardif, Torchwood Scotland, and now Torchwood Yass.

Our first visit was to
Mundoonen Winery to try their offering. It was Charcoal Grilled Lamb, served with a salad that had a Mundoonen Shiraz Vincotto Dressing. This was matched with their Shiraz, however while waiting for our meals i sampled all their wines and decided to have their Rose instead.

Our next stop was to the
Yarrh winery. We were not planning on stopping, but as we had to drive past it, and the Sub-Zero just wanted to go that way. We sampled their wines, but as their food all was Beef or Cheese, we did not have any there.

While tasting his wines the winemaker said he chose the name Yarrh as that was the original name for the region. He also said that he may do something special for next years
Talk Like A Pirate Day.

We pressed on to Yass Valley wines. They were offering a Rabbit and Chicken Ragu (matched with their 2008 Barbera) and for desert a Chilli Chocolate Cake matched with their 2009 Traminer.

I am sorry, but i forgot photos of the food, but i was so impressed by their Barbera, that l left with a bottle of it.

Just next door to Yass Valley wine is
Clonakilla. They have been getting rave reviews for their wines, so we paid them a visit too. I hate to say it, but after tasting their Shiraz Viognier 2009, i left their vineyard much poorer in cash, but carrying four bottles of their wine.

It was getting late by this stage, so our final stop was at
Doonkuna Estate. They had finished serving food for the day but we were still able to try their wines. As there was only us and one other couple there, the manager took us out back and showed us the production shed (silly me, apart from a photo at the tasting bar, i forgot photos again). He also showed us the changes he was planning, including a Restaurant, and a Micro Brewery doing english style beers. I think we will be going back in a few months to check out the changes, so stay tuned for updates.

After this we headed home, and polished off another of our $2 bottles of wine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Op-Shopping on Family and Community Day

On Monday we were faced with a public holiday in Canberra but across the border it was a normal working day.

Hooray Taph said. Let’s go op-shopping across the border.

So we piled into the sub-zero, and set a course for Queanbeyan. Our first stop was the Red Shield Store on Morrisett Street.

Fate seems to shine on us as we got rock-star parking outside the door. However the fate gods left us as there was nothing there that followed us home. However, they do have a good supply of 4xl and 6xl Mens S/S Shirts.

We did a short walk to the Salvos Store, and all we found there was a Country road linen shirt and a jar.

Feeling that the Frugaling gods would shine on us at our next two stops, we moved the car closer, and were rewarded with another Rock-Star Car Park.

Taph picked up a jumper, and a vintage knitting patten. I found a CD for the Collection.

But our luck ran out at Bargin Hunter, and we left empty handed.

We had a quick Brunch at the Central Café as we shared a Big Breakfast.

A quick visit to SpotLight for some needles, also turned up some bargain wool.

We were finished in Queanbeyan by 12, so we set course for Cooma.

Our first visit was to the Red Shield store. For the grand total of $10 we got a shirt each, a Tupperware mixing bowl, some genuine Croqs and a selection of knitting patterns.

We headed down to the Vinnies and got a Book, Shirt and knitting pattern.

We decided the day was still young, and Adaminaby was 30 minutes away. The cruise control on the Sub-Zero got us there well before closing.

It is easy to find, there is one main shopping street, and it is supporting the Snowy Mountains Museum.

We had a lovely time inside. I picked up a pair of xc-skis for $5. The Bases are shot, but I will use the bindings on another pair of skis.

Taph got a pure wool jumper, Tupperware rock and serve, Cheese knives and a cook book. All up this cost us $11.50.

We took the back road home via Namadgi national park. It is a lovely road, but don’t do it if you are in a hurry.

Lifeline Book Fair

Sunday was the lifeline book fair. To Taph and me Sunday is the day to go as after 2pm they mark down the books to $10 a bag (or $15 if they decide your bag is “bigger than an average supermarket bag).

We had a somewhat quiet day only returning with two bags full.

I will show you my stash at the end of this post, but a couple of things first.

In my search of the books I found 16 copies of “Dan Browns: The Da Vinci Code” Could there have been a bigger piece of pulp fiction ever written?

Well maybe by John Grisham, or Tom Clancy. There were numerous copies of their books there, but there did not appear to be 16 copies of any one of their titles there.

However in my search, i only found one book by Michael Moore.

Anyway here is a photo of my stash from today.

A quick poll for readers. What is the collective noun for a stack of “Dan Browns: The Da Vinci Code”. A couple of ideas are A Conspiracy, A Pulp or A Pyre? If you can think of anything that seems appropriate post it. The best suggestion posted by 3 October 2010 will win a prize. (it may or may not include a copy of Da Vinci Code).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Whiskey live 2010 pt 2

We arrived at Randwick racecourse shortly after Whiskey live opened.

Usually i have a saying, "when confronted with a choice of two evils, choose the one you have not tried before".

On this night, that gave me a problem. I was going to try and sample all the whiskey there, that i had not tried before.

A little while later I realised that i set myself an ill fated goal. It would not be possible to try and taste all the whiskeys there that i had not tasted before.

I set myself this goal before i realised the sheer number of whiskies that would be available, however, I gave this goal a valiant effort, but was overcome by the sheer numbers of whiskeys there.

I was faced with a challenge that not even Don Quixote would accept.

I had a little break while doing a masterclass on the effects of Oak, only to be confronted by more whiskies back in the main hall.

By this stage the night got a little hazie, so i will finish by saying it was a wonderful night.

And i am waiting with a baited breath for whiskey live 2011.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whiskey live 2010

So a couple of weeks ago, Rocky Wobbly and myself decide to go on a road trip.

We head off for Sydney for the weekend (
and Whiskey live 2.0
or 2010).

Our first stop was at Truckstop 31 at Marulan.
The restaurant there used to do great meals, however it recently changed hands, and the food is even better now.

After checking into our hotel, we ventured out to Coggee oval to watch Randwick take on Eastwood. Alas it was not a good day for the boys in Green as they went down 40-14.

However there was no time to rest after the game, as it was quickly back to the hotel, and take the 15 minute walk to Randwick racecourse for whiskey live.

This i will pick up in part two of my story.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the johnson search continues

A recent visit to Vinnies in Belconnen found me these items.

I left the saucers, but i picked up the Tea set. When fate hands you something like this, it is best to grab hold.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot pies at the footy.

It is possible to have a hot pie at the footy and not have to sell your first born child in the process. It is real easy, you take it yourself.

Recently, my father went away for a holiday, and he passed on his Raiders season tickets to me. So Taph and I went to the footy.

We took a couple of pies with us. We cooked them in the oven until they were nice and hot, wrapped them in foil, then in a couple of towels, and then put them in an insulated bag.

The guards at the footy usually don’t care about what food you bring, unless it is yummy, in which case they joke about wanting some. This is because they are usually checking for people trying to smuggle in alcohol.
So at half time, our pies were still warmer then the ones we would have gotten from the surly teenagers working at the food stalls at the footy.

And even better, the Raiders won the game.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The search continues

My search for the new dinner setting continues. Recently in Salvos Mitchell I spied these. They only had the cups and saucers. I left them there as I have enough cups and saucers, and this way they could be part of a catch and release program.

This find also meant that there are still bits out there, and that the search will go on.

Of course if I was searching for the Athena Patten, or for a Sheffield Bone White set, I would have finished my search ages ago and i seem to find them everywhere.