06 May, 2020

Some more 'iPhonography' whilst working - Sydney Harbour!

So, with my current working schedule, I am normally stopping first at Seaforth on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Its a nice spot, and I visit just near The Spit Bridge.

But today, this stop was not required, and I had a little bit of extra time up my sleeve, so I ventured to somewhere more familiar, my old work at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. More over, Mrs Macquaries Chair, which has spectacular views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Opera House! I managed to get here just on sunrise this morning, and there was some glorious light; I just wished I had my actual camera instead of my trusty, if not old, iPhone 7PLUS!!


I was actually here several weeks back, and even though I was in my fully marked work car, with the engine running, an overzealous Ranger started to book my as I hadn't used the parking meter. When I got out and said I am here, and the car is running, we had a quick chat and later went on my way! haha

Also here, is a small garden, and a most impressive Xanthorrhoea... Isn't she lovely with the CBD as a backdrop??


After that, the day got very 'boring' and routine, heading to Darlinghurst, then the Inner West before heading back to the Lab. In my drive from the Lab up to Galston however, in these times of Coronavirus (COVID-19) where at a funeral only 10 people are permitted to attend, I managed to get to see a very dear friend in Melbourne, preside over his mothers funeral in Tasmania over a live stream, and whilst I was driving, I was more listening to it as opposed to watching, as I wanted to remain safe on the road. You did a wonderful job and held it together in a very testing time DW, I know mum would be proud...

No time for any sort of gardening in the courtyard today though, but the beds will all get a water tomorrow, and maybe a light trim of the Vibernum screen just to keep it in check, but we will see!!!

Hope you've had, or have, a wonderful Wednesday!

Hoo roo for now...


05 May, 2020

Another dull day really

Well today was a bit of a 'just another day'... I had a bad nights sleep really, and I feel that was the catalyst for the day ahead! But I woke up before my alarm at 0430 anyway...

A quick shower and a shave, some breakfast whilst Bronty was outside, and I got the car ready for the work day ahead and left into the darkness and soon, rain...

Whilst the day itself went ok with nothing out of the ordinary happening, from Seaforth, to Darlinghurst and up to Galston and Kenthurst, before a quick stop at Lakeside Private Hospital....


But, getting home this afternoon I saw that the Poppies and Alyssum's were going great guns, as are the Marigolds, Sweet Peas and Lobelia's on the side of the house, so I would give them a foliar feed! So I set about mixing it up in a 9lt watering can, and hand watering them... I can't wait for Spring to bloom!!


Also, this past summer, the Cyathea Tree Ferns took a bit of a hit in the sun and heat, so I have moved them both together, and into a more protected area. As such, I have several new fronds rolling out...




Hoo roo for now...


04 May, 2020

'The Spit' - a blessing though COVID-19

The Spit-0489

So far, in this pandemic of COVID-19, work has changed, a LOT! But for me, more fortunately, I have been filling in whilst another colleague is on leave...

And whilst I am grateful I still have a job, let alone a full weeks lot of work, we can't deny that through these challenging times, we are all on stress trying to work and make ends meet...

The view, sunrise doing my first job in Seaforth, is nothing more than a pleasure I have during this time!! How are you handling these challenging times??

Hoo roo for now...


03 May, 2020

Preparing the courtyard for Spring...

So, now that the courtyard is finished, I can now start planning my Spring display. Next to my recycled brick paving, I have two half wine barrels which have Climbing Roses in them. I am also using these for som Spring Annuals as well.

So I have had in my mind, Poppies (Papaver) and some Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima syn.) in the pots, these are more pastels and whites in colour, and I also added in some Crocus (Crocus spp) in a dusty purple with a darker purple vein through the petal...


BUT, more importantly, before planting the seedlings, I had more important things to tend to, morning tea of Chocolate Hot Cross Buns with a cuppa!!!



Hoo roo for now...


02 May, 2020

Garlic Prawns, with Tomatoes, Moscato and Tomato Sauce and Basil

So, I had an idea for dinner tonight, and it turned out sort of alright!! Ok, maybe MORE than 'alright' and maybe more 'bloody fantastic!!

I had this idea of ingredients, prawns for protein, garlic butter sauce, and tomatoes, and then expanded it for some wine (Moscato) and basil, so I went shopping...

Garlic Prawns with Basil, Tomato and Moscato Tomato Sauce Fettuccine

It was a really simple and basic dish. Starting with pasta first in a pot of gentle boiling water. Then, in a seperate pot, heated a bit of oil and pepper, added the tomatoes (a mix of Sorento Cherry Tomatoes and a tub of mixed cherry tomatoes) until just softened, and beginning to breakdown. I then added the prawns and garlic butter knobs, until the butter had just melted, then adding in the satchel of tomato paste and a 1/2 cup of the wine; Moscato.

When the pasta was just shy of being 'Al dente', I then added the basil into the pot to wilt down, and drained the pasta. Returned the pasta to the pot it was in, and poured over the prawn dish with sauce, and stirred softly, and served it up with a glass of the wine!!

Garlic Prawns with Basil, Tomato and Moscato Tomato Sauce Fettuccine

Garlic Prawns with Basil, Tomato and Moscato Tomato Sauce Fettuccine

Next time, and there will most certainly be a next time, I will use a slightly different, less sweet wine, and maybe even add in a chilli for a bit of a kick, but I was really impressed with how it turned out!!!

Hoo roo for now...


01 May, 2020

Ok ok - I have been MIA....

WHERE have you been I hear you ask... Well, aside from ZERO motivation, I have also been busy, I have moved house, new job, new interests etc....

But, from today, I will endeavour to start blogging more on a (hopefully) daily basis.... So here is a bit of a 'backstory' post on my courtyard...

Now that the courtyard is finished, some things I have learnt...

Bronty prefers to wee on the garden bed that 'had' the prostrate form of the Casurina's near the washing line, so they have, or will, go to the great plant god in the ground...And when she does wee on the new lawn, I simply hose it in so as it doesn't 'burn'!!

I simply LOVE the lighting, the string of fairy lights light up the area nicely for a 'moody' feel, and if I want a bit more, then the chandelier comes on - either are nice alone though!!

The Canna bed may stay as a 'mono stand' of the red, time will tell as I may make it a kaleidoscope of different colours, time will tell!! haha And the climbing Roses (Pierre de Ronsard) are climbing really well, and I cant wait for next summer....

Gazebo and Paving 16-9

Gazebo and Paving-3

Gazebo and Paving-2



Time to relax and enjoy it now...

Hoo roo for now...


12 December, 2018

2018 'Louise Petchell Award for individual Sustainability' winner is....

So, another year has passed and the recent LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards have concluded... This year, Adam Spencer again was the MC for the event held at the Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Olympic Park.

The award that I am humbled to judge, is a memorial award for Louise; The 'Louise Petchell Award for individual Sustainability' and this years winner is Peter Maganov - Randwick City Council.

Peter Maganov - Louise Petchell Award Winner

Peter has been the Manager, Sustainability and Strategic Waste since the commencement of Randwick City Council's innovative ‘Sustaining our City’ environmental levy program almost 15 years ago.

Peter has led Council's small team integrating sustainability programs and aspirations across Randwick's strategies and plans, with other departments and areas of Council as well as with an extensive range of external community organisations.

Peter's commitment and leadership of Randwick's sustainability initiatives has resulted in a transformation and longevity extending throughout Council's operations, across into the wider community and to the local government sector.

Over the past 2 years, Peter has successfully lead a team who have an impressive array of achievements including:
  • Completing the sustainability education 'hub' with a purpose built outdoor classroom and 'wild food', native habitat, honey and native bee trails 
  • Coastal walkway upgrades protecting sensitive vegetation while providing access to a million visitors annually at South Maroubra and Malabar 
  • 50 kilowatts of solar PV added at two community centres 
  • Stormwater recycling now saving > 400 million litres of potable water per year 
  • Electric bicycles added to fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles for staff use 
  • Biodiversity design and habitat support with 8 local schools and a further 22 food and native garden grants to local schools 
  • Randwick's annual Eco Living Fair providing specialist stalls, presenters and demonstrations. 
  • Randwick's first Biodiversity Strategy 
  • Renewable Energy Master Plan 
  • An updated Energy and Greenhouse Management Plan 
  • A final Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap 
  • A draft Strategic Sustainability Framework. 
Peter is able to influence and negotiate on substantial programs, projects and strategies which have strengthened Randwick's sustainability results and reputation across the local government sector.

In an address to the audience, Peter commented on how much Louise was a 'dogged' person, who simply didn't understand the concept of 'no', but rather asked, 'why not'.... I know this only too well...

I would like to further extend both my thanks and gratitude to LGNSW and to Local Government Super, for the continued support of memorialising Louise...

Additional photos...

2018 LGNSW Awards Lunch
Louise Petchell Award Winner - Peter Maganov
Louise Petchell Award Winner - Peter Maganov
2018 Awardees
Adam Spencer and Me

Hoo roo for now...

03 December, 2018

Local Government NSW Environment Awards

Today, I attended the 2018 Local Government Excellence in the Environment Awards. I also judged an award, in memory of Louise, and is the last award to be presented.
The Award is sponsored by Local Government Super to recognises individual achievement by a council officer or elected councillor in contributing to environmental improvement and sustainability.
The award is named in honour of Louise Petchell, Sustainability Manager at Penrith City Council, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away in 2009. Louise was respected across the local government sector and was pivotal in the success of Penrith City Council in many Excellence in the Environment Awards.
Master of Ceremonies was Adam Spencer, who has been a breakfast radio announcer on Triple J and ABC Sydney, tv personality on everything from comedies Good News Week and The Glasshouse to weekly sports wrap the Back Page and is a member of the Sleek Geeks Science Team with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Below is a pic of him with me!!
Me and Radio Personality, Adam Spencer
Lunch at todays LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards consisted of...
Main - Baked free-ranged chicken breast served with a sautè of forest mushrooms, marsala wine sauce with a creamy polenta, truss baby tomatoes and broccolini
Dessert - Fig and honey pistachio with honey mascarpone
Yet again, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) have done an outstanding job on the awards, especially with the Louise Petchell Memorial Award for Individual Sustainability!!
For all the winners and a small brief about the awards, head to the LGNSW Awards page...
Hoo roo for now...

02 December, 2018

Droning about...

So, in case you didn't know, I have a drone; a DJI Phantom4 to be exact... Its actually also pretty cool to extend the photography envelope as well!!

In Sydney, where the M4 meets the M7, there is the 'Lighthorse Interchange', a tangled, yet intricate web of roads making a smooth transition from one motorway to the other. It also makes for a nice photo, especially at sunset!! This image, is a four image stacked photo, which was made by 4 images of different exposures, to be able to get details from each image which you simply just would not have gotten within a single image, kind of cool hey!!!

Lighthorse Sunset

Hoo roo for now...

01 December, 2018

Summer Magpies

Summer has hit, the magpies are out, and I love how the chick in these photos, the first one, is looking straight down the camera at me...
Magpies Mother and Chick-0499 Magpies Mother and Chick-0504
After a long hiatus, and a couple of technical issues with my provider, I am back online after my hosting had been left on an old server and forgotten about. How I found out about it was, an influx with SPAM, and a decline of actual emails! But, over the past 48 hours, not a single email had come through... But, it appears to have been fixed, finally...
Hoo roo for now...