Monday, December 26, 2011

western sky

Often the best colour emerges after the sun has dropped below the horizon. The monsoonal clouds provide a canvas for the evening light.  They dance through a spectrum of pink, blue and purple before the indigo blue of night closes the day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry ho ho

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas with lashings of peace, joy, gratitude and love.

Friday, December 16, 2011

siblings 2

Managed to get these two to pause long enough for a photo inbetween a thousand "hello, hello, HELLO Misses"  They were having fun on the building site with dad. All grotty and dusty and barefoot like free range kids should be.

on the job

This is Aquaman's serious architect face. As you can see, he dressed up for the photo in his two piece suit. Thongs and boardies.  Contemplating the present moment in the doorway of the winged pod.

Here he is giving a few pointers on how to hang tin shutters.The race is on to get projects finished or as close as possible before we return to Australia. Leaving the final details in the hands of the foreman is perilous as they have a tendency to do things their own way, which is rarely the way Tom has specified.  Can't be bothered rendering a wall in white cement? We'll just slap some white paint on instead, he won't notice the difference.  Don't feel like digging a trench for the pipes? A pile of rocks over the top should do. 

While some people start to look like their pets, Tom is beginning to look like his buildings.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


village walk

Kick off your shoes; it's time to get some dust and goat shit between your toes on a village walk. 

We have had a couple of rain squals off the ocean, but the locals are still definite in their call that the wet season is yet to officially arrive.  The farmers are holding off planting their corn, pumpkin and soya bean crops until the red earth is saturated. It is a quiet, restful time in the village without a lick of Christmas hoo-hah.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

salt farming

Aside from the zone where the fishing boats anchor, the water around the island is uncontaminated and provides a pure source for mineral rich sea salt.  During the long dry season the sun and wind evaporates the "farmed water" and leaves behind a fine layer of salt.  This process is repeated until a thick crust forms, which is then harvested with a spoon and sold or stored for personal use. Much easier than growing wheat.

The more traditional and romatic technique employs giant clam shells arranged like a keyhole garden for easy access. The modern fandangled method is to use any plastic containter cut in half, or a piece of tarp nailed to a makeshift frame.

The salt sells for around 10c per cup at the markets and is far superior to the processed iodine fortified poison the government promotes as healthy, or the handfuls of MSG liberally added to make lifeless noodles edible.  While hand harvested Celtic sea salt is a gourmet product in Australian health food stores, we are lucky to have a local source that is natural, unwashed, unrefined, and free of pesticides, herbicides, or additives. Long may the artisan salt farming continue.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

beer snacks

Our weekly market is on a Tuesday morning, so Monday can be grim in the fresh food department; especially at the beginning and end of the season when supplies are limited. Today I can't even throw together my standard tomato, carrot and greens combo. We're certainly not faced with makan kosong (lit: eating nothing, usually rice with a tiny bit of fish or some chilli) like many of the locals, or about to resort to Bintang and dried octopus, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to a different ingredient selection when we return to Australia.  Diced carrot, grated carrot, julienne carrot, sliced about a bit of beetroot?.

Old Mother Midge went to the fridge...

1/3 bag Angus Park prunes (hand delivered special import)
1 handful bayam (amaranth leaves)
2 T Japanese sesame dressing (hand-me-down from neighbour)
2 knubs ginger
1/2 bottle Kikoman soya sauce (another hand-me-down)
1 T organic strawberry jam (more donations)
1 T miso paste
1 t seeded mustard
1/2 C peanut sprouts
1 cucumber
1/2 lime

In the cupboard there is 1 cup of brown lentils, 1 cup of alfalfa seeds, 1 cup of rice and the usual beveage selection. Thankfully there are three papaya and five bananas in the fruit safe that we'll tuck into for dinner. 

If you want more eye candy or an excuse to avoid work, there is a new review over at Crema and Crumbs, and photos from our trip to Georgetown here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

late lunch

Afternoon tea and lunch are often rolled into one, as our meal times revolve around hunger and surf rather than clock time.  Our caloric intake so far today has come out of the blender, starting with a thick green smoothie that included ten frozen mangoes, half a papaya and four bananas.  Today I'm alone at the table as Aquaman is off playing in the rollers. To score offshore and head high this late in the season is a real unexpected gift. 
I suppose you are expecting a photo of the wave, and what do you get but a picture of my one bowl wonder lunch.  Dont' pretend you aren't excited by the alfalfa sprouts.  I wanted to show off the beautiful ceramic bowl from Dayana in Bali, and my new coasters made from vintage kimonos that were a gift from Little Bamboo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

first day of summer

While today marks the official first day of summer for the antipodean continent, here in the tropics, it is remarkably similar to the first day of winter, only a bit hotter and more humid.  For those of you unpacking mittens and stoking fires in the northern hemisphere chill, I send you a big dose of sunshine. 

Thanks to John Tinggi for the photo of us enjoying a morning cuppa on the beach.

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