21 November, 2010

Family Christmas Gathering...

Our family, mum's side, has always had a Christmas gathering early. This way, we can then go off to have our own family gatherings! This is not a bad way of doing I think as it allows you to all come together, but still with immediate family 'on the day'!

Strutt Family

Anyway, Saturday, we got together... I was up early and out to the Warwick Farm Farmers Markets, we used to go all the time before April last year, and it was somewhat comforting to go back out there! I got two bags of Green Beans, 2 bags of small Cherry Tomato's and a knob of Ginger to make a regular, Asian Green Bean Salad (with Cherry Tomato's as an extra today!). It is so simple to cook, and SO tasty!

  • Green Beans, topped and tailed.
  • Fresh Ginger (to taste), grated.
  • Soy Sauce (to taste)
  • 4:1 ratio of Peanut Oil and Sesame Oil depending on how big the serving is!

Simmer beans for a couple of mins in a deep pot, keeping them crunchy, whilst warming oils in a wok. When ready, remove from water and ensure they are WELL drained. Then place into the wok with heated oil, and stir-fry for about a minute, then add ginger and soy sauce. continue to toss about in wok, and at this point, I added in the tomato's for about a minute, then plate up (or into a bowl) and serve. You can also have these as a cold option!

See, I told you it was easy, AND tasty too!!!!

Hoo roo for now...


18 November, 2010

Life, and going to Melbourne for a couple of days...

Lately, life, in general, has been feeling a little like this...

Luna Park Roller Coaster

BUT, as I am now seeing somebody about my depression and 'anger management issues' I am beginning to see a light at the end of a very long tunnel! So on Monday, evening at that, I book a flight to get me out of town for a couple of days (just 35 hours to be exact!) to get away... I will post about exactly what the trip was about, tomorrow, but suffice to say, it was a moving time for me, and I had a great time.

Prior to 'The Event' though, I grabbed a tram and headed out to St Kilda to Acland St for lunch. There are a lot of cake and Patisserie shops in this street, but I was good, not a cake was eaten!

After lunch, I walked past Luna Park, which was closed, and the old Palis Theatre. These are below...

Luna Park Entrance
Palais Theatre

Hoo roo for now...


05 November, 2010

Friday Fill Ins

Friday Fill Ins*
  1. Sometimes, I wish I could turn back time...
  2. I almost ALWAYS attempt to fix something, before stuffing up (about) the whole thing.
  3. Small problems, to me, often seem insanely big at the moment...
  4. Maribeth is very enlightening.
  5. I keep meaning to keep in contact with friends, but its hard to call when they move and don't give me their new number...
  6. I haven't done ANY housework yet.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forward to staying dry and warm as its cold and wet at the moment, tomorrow my plans include seeing a psychologist for my depression and Sunday, I want to be happy (at least for the first birthday party I am going to!

Friday fill-ins are sponsored by Janet at Friday Fill-ins.

*I saw my friend Maribeth doing these, and I thought I need to re-start blogging, so why not start with this!!!

Hoo roo for now...


31 October, 2010

The Great Steam Train Day goes pear shaped!

When our train got back to Lithgow, we alighted and I managed to get a couple of contrasting pics of the old and the not so old... Here we have a Sydney Terminal bound, V set.

16102010_Two Motive Powers Elec and Steam

We watched our steam train head back to Katoomba, and headed for the car to take an adventure into the Newnes State Forest. After all, we had plenty of time... right?

16102010_LVR Train

We drove through Lithgow to see Mr S relatives house, and then up Scenic Hill that overlooks sleepy old Lithgow. We stopped at a lookout (only for a couple of mins, it was bloody cold) before the left turn at Clarence Station and into the State Forest. The roads are all reasonably good, but although muddy and slippery due to the snow, I locked it into 4wd. I showed Mr S and Mr L the way out to the Glow Worm Tunnel (for another day) and headed back into Lithgow via the Tunnel View road and we waited in the car until the scheduled time for the Dinner Train to Tarana...

16102010_DirtyGV Rear

NOW, I had always thought it was a 5.35pm departure time, and when we got to the platform and into the waiting room, I felt as though I wanted the world to open up and swallow me, as I had made us MISS the train, as it left at 4.45...

We weighed up options, a cab out to the pub would be cost prohibitive, and so we simply headed BACK to Katoomba for some dinner there, MY SHOUT!

So there it is, out in the open, I STUFFED UP in the train time causing us to miss it and miss the dinner train to which I was looking forward to. Another time maybe!

Hoo roo for now...


27 October, 2010

The Great Steam Train Day continues...

Continuing from the last post, sorry for the delay, but I have been a little out of sorts...

Once we had boarded our train to Wallerawang, and started to pull out of Katoomba, I started to get a couple of pictures, but due to the snow, cold and not really ALL that much to see, we ended up having some morning tea. Mr L went up to the dinning car to get something for him and Mr S to eat, and coffee's to drink, something to warm the cockles due to it being cold. Here we can see Mr S having a look around at the old photos that were hung in the cabin we were in (know as 'dog box's' in the day), whilst Mr L is well into his VERY hot pie and below it, an example of the photography used (Taronga Zoo Hippo)!!

Mr S & Mr L enjoying Morning Tea
Hippo photography

On our way to Lithgow from Katoomba, we passed through the Zig Zag Railway, which was once the only way to cross the Blue Mountains. There was also a similar trip up/down on the Sydney side in between Emu Plains and Glenbrook. But here, we can see some of the old rolling stock which is under storage. I will talk more about the Zig Zag later.

Garrat Restoration Zig Zag

Once past, we then entered the 10 tunnels, which by-passed the zigging and zagging, and we were soon entering the Lithgow Yard, which once house a locomotive shed, carriage workshops and the like that was all very necessary as part of its mining history. But now, there is only a very small remnant of these buildings and so on, and here is an old turntable.

Lithgow Yard Turntable

Once out of Lithgow, we then headed further West, towards Mudgee, and off onto a small branch line that would take us past the Wallerawang Power Station. Here though, we are under a Diesel power, as the steam engine is to the rear and will pull us back to Katoomba!

Turning For Wallarawang
Disused Wallerawang Platform

Once in the station at Wallerawang, we were given a 'party' type arrival, with show motorbikes, a Rotary Sausage Sizzle and entertainment abound... We were even allowed to walk up and get close to the Steam Engine Lachlan (or 3237 Class). Here I managed to get a couple of shots of her workings, and of the men that keep her a well oiled machine...

3237 Wallerawang
Engineer Oiling the Piston
Main Wheel Piston
Taking On Water
4701 OLD Candy Livery Wallerawang

I will do another post about the remaining afternoon, TOMORROW (I promise)!

Hoo roo for now...


17 October, 2010

Steam Train Day (and some snow!)

Yesterday, I was invited up into the mountains, for what could ONLY be told as, well, interesting... I was awake early, 4.34am, and out and on the road not long after that heading for Lithgow. Yes it was a cool morning and the wind blowing, but noting too bad. That is, up until I got to Mt Tomah. Here, I glanced down at the clock that doubles as a temp gauge, and I noticed the little 'snow flake', so it must be cold... And cold it was, it was saying it was -2c! I went along a little further and just as I hit Mt Wilson, it started to SNOW!!!! You cant really see it too well in this picture, but it was howling like nothing else and snowing.

Wind Blown Trees

I pushed ahead, and when I rounded the bend just near Bell where the Bells Line of Roads crosses the main Western line, you could see the snow drifts and flurries a little more clearly.

Bell Crossing Western Line

So I parked the car and caught the awaiting train back down to Katoomba, where I was to later catch up with some friends before joining the Steam Train for the day. When I got to Katoomba, I headed out (in the bitter cold) to the Savoy where I had some breakfast and a hot chocolate. Across the road from the Savoy, was The Carrington Hotel, a very famous hotel/pub.

Carrington Hotel

I headed over to the Station again, and my friends were not to far behind me. The train was on its way down to us, so we headed out to under the overpass (for protection from the weather) and waited. A quad loco coal train wandered through, and as you can see from the platform, Katoomba has a bit of a curve in it, which makes it a little difficult for the guards to ensure all passengers are on before closing the doors!

Downward Coal
Katoomba Platform

Finally, our little steam engine arrived, and here she is coming into Katoomba for us to join the train...

3237 Katoomba Arrival

More to come tomorrow!

Hoo roo for now...


13 October, 2010

Wordless Wednesday No. 40 Sydney Art

BIKES bike
Shakespeare's Place Statues
Shakespeare's Place Statues
Australian Native Flowers RBG

ALL of the photos above were taken with my HTC Hero Mobile phone!

Now, last night (as part of my 'change the colour/look of the house') I thought I might paint the front door... This mind you, was at 9pm! It also needed two coats, so I wiped it down to remove any dust, and as it didn't need any sanding down, I took of the doors hardware and got to painting. It didn't really take all that long, the longest part was 'cutting in' around the windows within it! Tonight, when I eventually get home, I will do the door frame in a blue and eventually the screen will be removed and I will do the screen door and the side screen. But that is a much more tedious job! I will put up a pic of the 'new door' when it is finished, most likely, Friday!

Hoo roo for now...


11 October, 2010

Gardening Bliss!

It would appear, that my winter work of feeding and tending to the weeds, is beginning to pay off... Do you agree?

Front Rose
Front Rose Garden

I am now about to start tending to the vege garden, and after topping it up with some soil from the path installation and with some well rotted manure, I am expecting some hopefully good return on my tomatoes, corns, lettuce and so on... Time will tell!

Hoo roo for now...


06 October, 2010

Wordless Wednesday No. 40 From my Office Window

Sorry, just a couple of words... Both of these pics, I can see from my Office, one (AMP Tower) IF I tilt my head to the right and look through the trees...

Woolloomooloo Gates RBG Sydney
AMP Tower from Office
AMP Tower from Office CLOSE UP

Hoo roo for now...


05 October, 2010

The PATH is finished!

Well, after the interruption thanks to the feral tom cat, here is an update on the pathway to the spa... As you can see, it is now a matter of brushing in the sand to fill the little cracks in between the pavers to lock it all together. Thankfully, the rain we have been having is washing it in for me, all I have to do is keep bringing a shovel load of sand up and spread it out and then with my broom, sweep sweep sweep!

Completed Pathway Brushing Sand

After a couple of times of doing this, I swept it all clear and got this shot, just to show you how it looks. YES, there are a couple of little lumps 'n' bumps, but these are really minor and looks good against the rustic nature of the heritage house! Also, it what you can do with secondhand paving bricks!

Completed Pathway

So now, all that's left is to keep on levelling the sides, letting the grass fill into these areas and start mowing the lawn. Not to mention, feeding it up nicely so as it is green and lush, nothing better than a nice green lawn!

Hoo roo for now...