Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Australian Federal Police arrest a man during a raid on an Islamic store in Logan, south of Brisbane. Photo: Seven News

To re-cap the major points from the police press conference at 9.30am:
- The counter-terrorism raids are the largest in Australia's history
- Police allege the group targeted in the raids "had the intention and had started to carry out planning to commit violent acts here in Australia". Those violent acts would be carried out against random members of the public.(That has prompted comparisons to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, who was killed in a random attack in England last year.)

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/live-antiterrorism-raids-across-sydney-and-brisbane-20140918-3fzkq.html#ixzz3DcZg6tla

It's time we stopped being such a walkover and bending backwards to accommodate immigrants who despise our laws, value systems and way of life.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/live-antiterrorism-raids-across-sydney-and-brisbane-20140918-3fzkq.html#ixzz3Dce887RM
- One person has been charged with serious terrorism offences and 14 others detained.
- 800 police officers were involved in the operation.

Friday, September 12, 2014


In Helsie's garden:
Spring, Queensland style, has sprung into action with the daytime temperature going straight to the mid to high twenties though the nights are still pleasantly cool - around 13 degrees C.
The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ( Brunfelsia) is coming into bloom.
 Lovely perfume and flowers that change from purple (yesterday) to lavender ( today) to white (tomorrow)

The Grevilleas are well into their best and full of honey eating birds.

I'm trying some flowers in pots like they do in the UK.
Blue and yellow theme in this one.
Hoping for success before it gets too hot for them.

and this little tree.

This is a Lemonade Tree. Do you know this fruit?
It tastes like lemon but is not sour like a lemon.
Very refreshing.
I know I should not have let these fruit progress on such a small tree but I could not resist.
As soon as they turn yellow I'll pick them and prune the poor little thing right back to thicken it up.
They bear prolifically and there are lots of flowers and more tiny fruit but I'll be good and take them off.
You can't buy the fruit in the shops and I have a reason for growing them.
I have a delightful Summery cocktail that I have invented that I have named .....
Helsie's Downfall !
It can only be made with these lemonades.
Just lemonade juice and Malibu and shaved ice......
Delicious !!
(but not too many now ... and go easy on the Malibu !)

In the kitchen :
Corn fritters for Sunday lunch.
They tasted pretty good too.
Now I'm on a roll so Corned Beef Fritters planned for sometime this weekend.
We have a new BBQ, a Weber Q, so we had to try a pork loin roast on it.

Very successful and good crackling too.
A healthy breakfast

No, it's not that big !!
This is a tiny one-person pan !
It's made with one egg for protein, one tablespoon of oat bran for fibre and one tablespoon of low fat cottage cheese for calcium.
Add a bit of sliced tomato for vitamin C and you are not hungry till lunchtime for under150 calories.
The same breakfast in my new Firestone pan - as seen on TV !!!
It is living up to the ad so far.

Nothing beats red Paw Paw ( or Papaya )
Well mango does but it's not available yet !!
Salad, salad, salad.
Still a bit chilly for dinner but BBQs will soon be the order of the day.

Around the house:
The Positano Room had its unveiling recently.

One more cushion to go - that large cream one on the sofa.

 I have framed some postcards and placed some actual photos of the same place in Positano and hung that on the small amount of wall there is available for decoration.

Sorry for the reflections but this is the best I can do in the daytime.
Underneath the photo frame is the little table made out of an old Singer sewing machine where I always put out the coffee and tea things
 Above the door I hung some stings of plastic lemons I found.

It's coming along very nicely and can go back to normal very quickly with the removal of a couple of props.
 A bit of fun and bright and cheery too!
So that's what's happening around Helsie's Place.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


When we go on holidays we take hundreds, no thousands, of photos.
Tony has the you-beaut-DSLR camera with several different lenses
and I have a little idiot proof, point-and-shoot camera that I love.
 Taking lots of photos means we cement those holiday experiences in our memories
so the photos always include photos of the food we eat as well as the places we go and the people we meet along the way.
When we come home we spend a lot of time looking at them and it has become a tradition that we make a photo book - ( Blerb is our program of choice ).
Every year the book gets bigger and bigger - this year required two books.

The first, about Italy, filled 250 pages and it a real brick of a book

and the second much smaller ( thinner ) one is just about our week in Paris.
After all this studying of photos Tony has chosen one photo as the best of the holiday and it is this one :
And guess what?
 It is one I took !!
Apparently the play of light and shade in this Roman streetscape has made it a winner !
The one we chose for the cover of the photobook ( and coming in a very close second ) is this one of a Venice canal taken by Tony.
We've decided to have them enlarged ( a lot ) and framed to put on our family room wall.
They can take pride of place there for a time until they are replaced with the winners from our next trip.
These ones are photos we have had put on canvas from previous trips to England and Paris and will now gradually be replaced with this years selections.

 ( Tony has changed the setting on my camera so that it takes a photo that fills the whole screen of our new TV without distorting the image but it looks a bit weird doesn't it ?)

This photo below ( from this trip ) is a favourite of mine of the spectacular horses at St Mark's in Venice.
I have framed it and it already graces the wall in the dining room.

What do you do with your holiday photos ?

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Guests for lunch on Sunday meant a bit of extra effort.
 Chicken, mushroom and leek pie ready for a last minute trip to the oven.
Served up with roast vegies, red cabbage and peas it tasted pretty darn good !
Dessert needed to be something light
so Panna Cotta was just the thing.


My first attempt and they were perfect.
I topped them with berries
 - frozen raspberries and fresh strawberries gently cooked with a little sugar -
Mmmmmmmmmm !
Small Roma tomatoes oven dried .
full of intense tomatoey flavour they made a lovely lunch on buttered sour dough bread.
Other dinners this week -
 sweet chilli salmon

chicken and vegies stir fry
So today - Saturday - saw us up early and off to the Fresh Food Market to replenish supplies

This lot should see us through for the next two weeks. 

and now there's a pot of vegetable soup bubbling on the stove.
We've just bought ourselves a new " Weber Q" barbeque
to replace our big six burner which was a bit of overkill for just the two of us.
We 'll be ready when the warmer weather arrives.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Firstly today let me apologise in advance for the poor quality of the photos.
They were taken from the car as it travelled along the highway to the Gold Coast.
Quite some time ago, in this post, I wrote about the artwork on the noise reducing barriers that are constructed along many of our highways that go through built up area of housing.
These works of art evolve very slowly.
Some take years to complete.

They begin with building up a background then foliage and trees are added.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell if the trees are painted or real ones growing in front of the large barriers.
I have no idea who does them but it appears to be the same person/ people as the style is very similar.
Next comes the detail - often native animals and birds - but sometimes themes like beaches or a salute to our armed forces or whales.
Recently delightful portraits of children have begun to emerge from the foliage.

Such a great idea.
I love them. Don't you ?