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Showing posts from December, 2015

Holiday Beer Review

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As is often the case I took my credit card for a trip to Plonk on Christmas Eve.  They were doing a lot of business - as they should!  Here follow a few initial notes on the products acquired (there are a few more to be tried, so check back):
Shepherd Neame "Spook Ale" When I went to Uni in Wye, Kent one of the four pubs in the village (The New Flying Horse - aka the New Fly) sold Shepherd Neame products.  They were a local brew from Faversham and regarded as a rather strange beer (the other 3 pubs sold one or other of the big brewery products).  Then CAMRA started up and they became far more well known,  This was a very pleasant full bodied Ale and not too dangerous at 4.7%abv.Fullers "1845".  That was the year they started brewing beside the Thames at Chiswick.  This is an amber Ale and, at 6.3%abv, to be approached with a modicum of caution.  Of course this site always promotes moderation drinking: despite the strength of some of the brews to come tending to argu…

Hudwit visits the Flying Doctor?

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When I was growing up in England one of the staples of the radio was a drama series about the Flying Doctor.  I can't remember a great deal about it (and Uncle Google is surprisingly deficient in this matter) but Bill Kerr played the pilot.  A frequent occurrence was him calling the airstrip they left from with the words "Flying Doctor calling Wollumboola Base ...".

Finally we get close to the main part of this post!  It is not about "Wollumboola Base" per se, but Wollumboola Lake.  The former is somewhere rather remote (I always think of it as being near Alice Springs) while the latter is on the coast East of Nowra and South of the Shoalhaven ....
.. and thus quite accessible to Canberra.
We visited this area in October this year (2015) and quite enjoyed it so when a Hudsonian Godwit turned up at the Lake (the first in NSW since about 1982) I thought it worthwhile investing a few litres of diesel in going to view it.  This is the third Godwit species possibl…

Cockington Green

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This is a tourist attraction on what used to be the Northern side of Canberra, before the township (think Soweto without the good music and classy soccer team) of Gungahlin extended the urban concept over the good cow paddocks in that area.  I had never been there and it seemed like a place to try with Arabella while her olds went to view the latest Star Wars epic.

The basic plot (of Cockington Green, not Gungahlin) is a series of model houses and figures illustrating aspects of UK life in one area and international buildings in another.  Most of the images to follow are of the UK bit: some images from the international area will come from our next visit.

Here is a view of the starting point with the main building dominant.
 Arabella posed between the coat of arms.
 This is a distant view of the international area, taken from the playground
 Quite a few of the scenes had humour in them.  This display of a generalised soccer (I refuse to call it football - it's ridiculous for the l…

It's a dogs Life

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We were invited to spend Christmas evening with friends in Weston.  They have a dog, by the name of Boson, as Mr Higgs theory was proved just before he was acquired.

Before he was acquired, as a rescue dog, they were told was (mainly) whippet.  He has turned out a bit bigger than that and from DNA analysis appears to be a mixture of  Kelpie, Greyhound, Mastiff, Staffie, Boxer and about 25%??   He is about 22kgs which makes him loom a little over Tammy (who weighs in at about 3.5Kgs and thus outdoes the real Higgs boson which tips something or another at CERN at 2.22875E-25 Kgs).
They are both aware that cooking is being done in the kitchen and are ever hopeful.  Their hopes were rewarded eventually with some turkey skin which was very well, and speedily, dealt with.  Some sleeping was then in order.  Surprisingly in this snap they are both in the correct beds.
The normal situation is them on the other's bed.  Boson somehow manages to fold up on Tammy's much smaller cushion.��…

It was Christmas Eve in the Gardens ...

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Well, we went for a visit to ANBG today (Dec 24) and this is a record of that visit so the title is not too misleading.

Of course, those of you who served in the World War armies may be led to think of a song, covered here (see song 12).  (The link only refers to WW1, but as we used to sing a version after Maldon Vikings Rugby matches in the 1960s, I'm sure those who served in WW2 also enjoyed the tasteful lyrics.)  Here are said lyrics, as sung by the Vikings and slightly adjusted to fit Acton 2015, rather than the saloon bar of the Queens Head pub in Maldon.:

It was Christmas day in the gardens, 
The rangers were standing around
Wielding their rakes and spades.
When Black Mountain gave a sound,
It was the voice of Santa
Which echoed through the plots
Asking “What do you want for Christmas. guys?”
And the rangers all answered - .... "Tidings of Comfort and Joy"

Which nicely conceals my inability to find an amusing rhyme for plots!  (While wandering through my memories I will no…

Seen in the garden

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After a very hot period where there seemed to be little action in the garden (and I didn't spend much time out looking for action) it has been cool and things have been happening all over.

A key thing for birds in even the cooler weather is to keep hydrated and to keep the feathers lubricated.  So our bird bath has been a scene of much activity.

The first birds photographed were some Silvereyes.

 I think this is a Brown Thornbill, but it is always hard to tell them from Striated Thornbills when they are silent.
 These two have plain breasts and I rate them as Buff-rumped Thornbills.
Another Silvereye being watched by a couple of Grey Fantails.  The brownish tinges to areas which are more commonly white suggest they are this years young birds.
 In case you wondered why they are called fantails.
 A Superb Blue Wren - in case you wondered why they are called superb .....
 Both fanned tail and superb wren.
A Striated Thornbill - looking a tad damp after a bath.  The thornbill was join…