May 5th, 2010

Camping at Easter has been a family tradition of ours for a few years now. Most of our favourite places were burnt out by the Black Saturday bushfires, so this year we decided to head for the Great Otway National Park. We eventually came to Dando’s camping ground near Gellibrand. Before leaving, I decided to grab my trusty old Nikon FM film SLR camera. I’ve used this fantastic camera for a few years now and I just love it. It was manufactured in 1977, and I have intentionally not added a flash to it so I am forced to find decent natural light for shooting. It’s a very simple SLR and I almost exclusively use a simple 55mm Vivitar lens that came with the camera. The camera came from my Uncle Michael who sadly passed away at the too-young age of 54 in 1993, and was a keen photographer.

I discovered that I had three exposures left on a roll of film in the camera. One of those lovely mysterious discoveries you can only have with a film camera – the what/when/where of photos that were taken but not developed. In this case, they were an absolutely beautiful set of photos of Deb and the kids (and a couple of me!) from the summer of 2008. I may post some of those later.

So I took three photos with the remaining film. I hope you like them.

(Click to enlarge)

Green Curry with Sweet Potato and Eggplant

October 11th, 2009

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp green curry paste
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and coarsely cubed
400mL coconut milk
1 cup water
1 medium eggplant, quartered and sliced
6 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp lime rind
2 tsp soft brown sugar
fresh coriander leaves

Heat oil in large work or frying pan. Add the onion and curry paste to the wok and stir for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the coconut milk and water. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 min. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further 6-7 minutes.

Add the eggplant and kaffir lime leaves to the wok and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally.

Add the lime juice and rind, brown sugar and fish sauce (optional), toss until well combined. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice. Garnish with extra kaffir lime leaves if desired.

Carrot and Feta Lasagne

May 9th, 2009

A great recipe that is wonderful for dinner parties or other occasions where you’re going to be spending a bit more time on preparation to get that WOW! result.

Thanks to Fiona for the recipe!

50g butter
1tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, chopped into in 1-2mm slices
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
8 medium carrots, grated (about 1kg)
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
300ml cream
1tsp seasoned pepper
6 sheets instant lasagne
400g feta cheese, crumbled

Grease ~ 17x25cm ovenproof dish (2L capacity). Heat butter and olive oil in pan, add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly until leeks are soft. Add carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. Cool slightly (about 5 min) and stir in basil.

Combine eggs, cream and pepper in bowl, mix well.

Cover base of prepared dish with 3 lasagne sheets, top with half of the leek and carrot mixture, then half of the cheese, then half of the egg mixture. Repeat layering with the remaining half of the ingredients.

Bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven (180C/350F, lower for fan-forced, or turn off the fan if possible) for 45-50 min or until firm and browned.

Bon app├ętit!

My First Album Cover

March 25th, 2009

A cool meme. I’m not even going to try it twice because the first attempt was so perfect.

1 – Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random.
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to Random quotations:
The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to flickr’s “explore the last seven days”
http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Put it all together, that’s your first album.

Now to put together some music…

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13715436@N00/3379917660/
Quote: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/3276.html


August 28th, 2008

After running my marathon two years ago, I kept a reasonable base level of fitness but slacked off this year. I got very busy with running my business, and basically dropped the cycling to work and dropped back to running twice a week or so.

But I have a personal goal of doing an Olympic-distance triathlon (and maybe even an Ironman) by the time I’m 50, and I’ve been inspired by all the Olympic activity of the past two weeks and have decided to get back to peak fitness again.

After packing my running gear into a bag this morning and looking forward to a lunchtime run today – really looking forward to it after looking out the window late in the morning and seeing an absolutely beautiful August day, I went to get changed and realised I had left the bag at home.


But every cloud has a silver lining and I remembered that (about six months ago!) I had brought a towel, goggles and boardshorts to work and left them in a drawer, as a contingency for when it was raining and I couldn’t go for a run. Swimming is pretty important for a triathlon – you’re not going to get far without completing the first leg!

So off I went to Richmond pool for my first swimming session for about three years. I managed 10 laps of the 50m pool (with a short rest at the end of each lap). It might not seem like much, but to put it in perspective, when I started getting back into lap swimming a year or so before my marathon, I was hopeless and could barely manage 50m in one go. I was trying to swim too fast, getting out of breath, and basically had no idea. But with a bit of coaching from my friend John Bethell, I got some technique and worked out how to pace myself.

But boy, do I have a lot of work to do. My arms are really tired, and I suspect I will have a bit of difficulty lifting them tomorrow! But it feels really good to have made a start on the track to another big life goal.

Oh, and I’m back on the bike too…