Tuesday, March 29, 2016

House hunting is weird.  I guess having never seen myself back in a place where I had to rent somewhere, it feels even weirder.

It's also difficult.  It's not difficult finding somewhere in my (low) price range, but incredibly hard when you add in Lily.  From the original 300+ search results on the rental sites, that's immediately cut down to <15 when you click the 'pet friendly' box.  

I have managed to find three properties to have a look at this afternoon, but, and it's a big but, two are already under application.  I'm not even sure why they're even still having viewings.  It is definitely a seller's market here in Brisbane - much fewer properties available than people renting! 

Oh, and the third property, which isn't under application, isn't actually listed as 'pet friendly' so I still have to find out whether the owner will allow Lily!

And I'm not moving without her.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Coast Day

What better day to spend a Saturday than climbing up a mountain and swimming in the sea?  

Mind you, some of the company was a little eccentric.  I'm not sure I quite identified with the constant need of one of the girls to a) take photos of everything and anything to the detriment of anything we actually wanted to experience b) shriek out discordant lyrics to whatever Christian music she had on her iPad while flailing her way down the mountain or c) loudly proclaim her prayers wherever we went such as 'Lord Jesus we pray that you would find us a parking (sic) right here Lord God because I want to go on those rocks to take photos because I've never been on rocks like that God we claim these parkings (sic) and God please make someone leave right now!'  As we genTry pointed out to her, if we park down the other end we can walk back up to the rocks!

The other two girls were a little more normal.  If of course, 'normal' can be defined.  Mind you, I'm not saying the eccentric one wasn't OK, I'm just saying it started to grate on me after awhile.  'OOOOh I've never been here before, Quick take a photo of me in a "worship" pose' gets a little tiresome after the twentieth shot.

The hike up Mt Coolum was pleasant, M and I climbed on ahead while A stayed back with N.  There were therefore frequent water stops as M was carrying N's backpack and N needed water a lot.  The backpack was back-breakingly heavy with water & ice blocks as apparently 'I just can't drink anything but ice cold water.  Ever.' 

water stop

 The climb would probably have taken about thirty minutes and was steep but on nicely level steps carved and built out of the rock.  The view from the top was gorgeous, the whole of the Sunshine Coast laid out before us.  I didn't take many photos - I took a few selfies while waiting for N to recharge on the way up, and took one or two of the view, but mainly tried to enjoy it, and the more irked I became from the phone-use around me, the less I felt like capturing any of it!

Once we were finally able to pry N from her camera, we started back down.  About halfway M and I thought we should wait for the others, and awhile later we were on the verge of climbing back up to get them when they came into sight.  Apparently more photos had to be taken.  And why would you have to listen to loud music on an iPod when you have a perfectly good mountain beneath your feet?

coming down again, taken by M

After that, we went to the beach, after having found a parking SPACE a couple of streets away.  The water was gorgeously warm and being Autumn now it didn't feel like we were baking being out in the sun.  (Yes, lots of sunscreen, Mum). We went up to the rocks, and I sat looking out to sea, trying to ignore the photos.  

me ignoring photos, taken by N

And then it started getting late so we bought gelato and headed home.  Now it is just 2100 and I'm exhausted so it's bed time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I really should stop watching Extreme Cheapskates.  It makes me want to budget more.  It does not, however, make me want to dumpster dive, ask for free things at the expense of others, or eat somebody else's leftover food.  Gross.  So maybe it just makes me want to be a little more sensible than I usually am - isn't that a good thing?

 And I'm still going to buy coffee when I'm out, so there.

Apparently some of you were a little put off by the octopus.  Ha!  You're just lucky you didn't have to sit in the same room that it cooked in for over an hour.  I have no sympathy for you.

Lily and I went to a birthday party in North Lakes yesterday.  That's the suburb directly next to my future house - about 30 minutes north of where I live now.  The park was next to a lake, and Lily had lots of fun running in circles around the jetty with a small three-year-old boy chasing her.  Until she decided to jump IN the lake.  There was a moment of panic from those of us who saw her frantically swimming under the jetty - seemingly having completely lost her sense of direction.  I lay down on the rocks beside the jetty and managed to scoop her up, imagining her to be terrified...

...after which point she jumped back in, so I gave it up.  Apparently my cowardly puppy is now a water-dog.  And quite a grubby water-dog too.  After about half an hour of playing in the water/lily-pads, she was all done, and we then had to go home early as she couldn't stop shivering.  Silly little mutt!

before the mud...

looking sorry for herself, the filthy little rat that she is

wrapped up for the walk (carry) back to the car

We took choc & peanut butter no-bake cookies to the party which were a hit.  I even had some left over for myself.  I must remind myself not to make them again any time soon as I have a habit of just eating them one after another... and I'll end up about 100kg!

I had a massive cooking day yesterday, making up a big batch of chicken curry, spaghetti bolognaise, chicken soup and the no-bakes - ending up with 10 meals in the freezer plus the soup in the fridge - so there you go, budgeting for the win!

better looking than the octopus?

This of course all being an excuse for not studying for the sim, which I go to on Monday.  I'm just surprised the house hasn't gotten a spring clean yet, although I do keep eyeing the dog in a "you need to be clipped" way.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Friday night I had a Spanish night.  As in, I went to Javi's apartment in the afternoon and he invited me to stay for dinner with him and some friends - all Spanish.  The menu was octopus.  I expressed my opinion of octopus and Javi offered to cook me chicken if I stayed, so I did.  Dinner was supposedly around six, but the first guests - who were cooking - arrived some time after seven.

Numerous ingredients were then found to be forgotten, so Javi headed off to the shops.  Carlos started on the octopus, while I chatted to Maria.

Soon an octopussy sort of aroma started to fill the barely-more-than-studio apartment, despite the open windows.   I approached the stove to investigate.

Yes, I discovered I was ever so thankful to be getting chicken.  Carlos explained to me the cooking process - apparently octopus is incredibly tough and requires a lot of attention to make it edible - this fact also underlining how much better is chicken.

First, it is important that octopus is frozen, unless the fisherman smashes it viciously on the rocks many times after he catches it.  

Then, it must be boiled for about an hour, until it becomes soft.  It should be boiled with onion, which adds flavour.  (Sarah, are you listening?)  Carlos forgot the onion so Javi had to buy it and the potatoes and infuse it later.

Whole potatoes are added to the pot about half way through the boiling process.

After it's soft, it's removed from the pot and cut up, placed around a big plate with the potatoes in the middle.  Then Spanish virgin olive oil and paprika are poured all over the top and voila, it's ready.  Except Carlos explained he liked to just mix it all up together, which he did.

I did not try the octopus.

PS:  it was well after nine by the time dinner was ready.  

PPS: also including fresh bruschetta and slices of manchego.  (I liked these)

PPPS: all of the Spanish people painstakingly spoke English all evening to include me which was greatly appreciated

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


EDIT:  My father wants to know why there's a ridge in the middle of the lasagne.  I presume it's because there wasn't enough sauce and the pasta curled up at the edges?  The pan is just big enough for 2 sheets of lasagne, and I used the dry "lasts forever" kind because that's what there was in the cupboard (EXP 10/14).  I haven't died yet.


Did I overfill the lasagne?

Ngungun etc

Having not eaten much for the past few days due to an unexpected bout of food poisoning, I'm salivating over what I might choose to eat tomorrow.  Although, all my choices so far have either been complete flops or just down right unpleasant.  Not due to the choices of course, but more down to the food poisoning.  (note to self: never have salmon at Hogsbreath again) I bet you are all wishing you knew what food choice I'm thinking about now.

I've been keeping pretty busy lately, today being no exception, including having coffee (tea for me) with my mother-in-law, and a humid (but not too hot) hike up Mt Ngungun.  We were lucky as although it rained the whole way there, after waiting in the car for ten minutes, it stopped raining and we were able to climb unhindered.  It stayed dry the entire time, only starting to rain again as we drove back towards Caboolture.  The drive home was crazy though, the rain was so heavy it was only possible to see a few metres ahead of the car, similar to driving in the fog, but more slippery - and much louder!