Monday, May 30, 2011

A Mexican fiesta..............

Dearest Mom and Dad
I went from the sublime (Aqua Pazza) to the ridiculous - restaurant wise - in one day.

After Button finished work we headed off to the local Mexican place in Coogee. No photographs of delicious food on the cover of their menus - oh no, most were covered in photos of chihuahuas and others had photos of random people. Button did spot a photo of Heath Ledger - supposedly this was one of his favourite places to go to while in Sydney - and I could see why............

Button, Terry, Matt and I were given these (very heavy) sombreros to wear - which is a very ,very good sign -that meant the owner would be coming to our table to sing to us. Oh happy days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The food was scrumptious....................... we shared the 5 dip starter............. I think Button ate the most - hungry chef that she is................



I had this massive plate of Chillie Con Carne......................and no, I did not eat it all!!


The owner is such a character - very sociable - tells very inappropriate jokes - which are so funny that you don't notice how wrong they are..............he seemed to take a liking to Button!!!!!


Button trying to Mexican.............I think someone with very greasy hands touched that sombrero!!!

He eventually came to our table to sing - and boy, could he sing - he was AMAZING!!!! He took it very seriously..............


......I did not................


He gave me a CD of his - who knows why. I did try to download a video of him singing, but it did not seem to work

Such a fun evening - too much food, way too much wine.............

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jenny

Lunch with June

Dearest Mom
I have not seen June for approximately 15 years - we had our first children 4 days apart and have been friends since then. I was taken aback by how emotional I was when I saw her - I could not stop crying............and it was an ugly cry!!!!

Button recommended that we have the wild-boar ragout - which I did not really want to do - but we took her advise and were very pleased we did - it was delicious......



Button chose our dessert for us - the first one we ate before we could take a photo!!!!!!!!!! The second was a double dark chocolate tart - oh my hat!!!!!!!! I was very proud of Button's desserts - her being the dessert chef for the restraurant and all......................



Button was a very little girl when June left to live in Canada, she did not remember her at all......


The wait staff at Acqua Pazza are wonderful - making you feel so special. We were served the most delicious Italian Pinot Grigio wine - my favourite. They behave like this when the coast is clear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Mom and Dad - it was such a special day - seeing June after all these years and Button the chef in such an amazing restaurant. You REALLY need to visit Oz again so we can go there as a family.


XXXXXXXXXXXXX


Jenny

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sydney with Button.................

Dearest Mom and Dad
Button and I had a very busy 3 days in Sydney - on Friday Button had to work - Aqua Pazza where she works, is in Circular Quay -this is the of outside the restaurant ......................

Mario - the owner of the place and Button - he told me in a very thick Italian accent that I had a wonderful daughter - my reply- "Yes, I know" could have come across a tad arrogant..............
he did laugh though...........


Button in the kitchen - it's spotless............


pasta ready to be cooked.............

The two chefs Button and Ben..............Button is the only female member of staff in the entire restaurant!!!!

The bar area.......................I nearly fainted when I saw the wine list................Dad you would have been in heaven........


Button and Christian - who is the owner's son - he also works in the kitchen .....more of the restaurant later....


While Button worked I went exploring.................had my photo taken with Melissa Doyle - a host on one of our morning TV stations - Gareth thinks she is a bit hot - but when I asked if I could have a photo all these school kids jumped in - she is a lot taller and thinner than she appears on TV - Gareth's right, she is gorgeous.............



There are these kinds of things all along the pathway.....................


It was the most glorious day........................

Button works in amongst those buildings................





I joined in on a free walking tour of Sydney - our guide was fascinating and quite easy on the eye - a nice added bonus - the building behind him is the oldest in Sydney..................


We then went to the Rocks - the fist settlement in Sydney - quite a lot exists - cute little alleyways etc.


A timeline of Sydney painted on a wall in the Rocks...............................



Our guide told us that when schools bring their students to the Rocks, the kids get dressed up as convicts - the one side of the shirt is a different colour to the other - and each child has a label round their neck with information about a prisoner - he then has to learn all about what crime this person committed to be send to Australia and also what kind of life he lived once he got here. The children with the highest marks etc get to be the ships captain or the guards etc........
Some of these "convicts" look pretty miserable.. the captain, on the other hand, looks quite the opposite!!

This building is called Susanna House and is the oldest residential building left standing in The Rocks. More of that later...............


All in all I had a fascinating morning - I could not complete the tour as I was heading off to meet June for lunch at Aqua Pazza - where Button was going to cook for us.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jenny

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

...........daughters................

Dearest Mom and Dad
As I prepare for my weekend with Button, I am mindful of how you will be spending your Thursday...................I will be thinking of you.
I managed - (with a lot of help from Debs - she made over 70 of the roses for me) - to get this little rug finished for Button...................... we got it done in two weeks.........

To be honest - I love it and I am hoping she will too......................



...............it is a surprise so you better not do be reading this post before I see you, Button.......

.................. here's hoping it will fill Button's new home with as much colour as she has been to our home ............... we all miss her terribly.


All my love to you, Mom and Dad.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Jenny

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

...........made me think................

Dearest Mom
The girls are meeting for afternoon tea today - Donna is heading back home to Yaraka.
Every 6 weeks Donna drives 1200km to the Sunshine Coast to spend 6 weeks with her Mom who lives here. Donna's Dad passed away three years ago, both her and her brother promised their Dad that they would not leave their Mom on her own. So they have a 6 weeks turnaround - Donna's mom is now 93 and has the pleasure of both her children caring for her in her later years - I think it is the most beautiful gesture by Donna and her brother.
This is Donna, between Debs and Katie.

Yaraka was initially a "sheep" area ..................



....................aerial view of Yaraka - there are only 8 houses .......................



.....................it really was the end of the line - the train did stop here - but has since stopped running altogether - that is how the resident's shopping was delivered..............now Donna has to travel about 240km to the nearest shop......................



Donna's husband is the (entire) local police department..............



Yaraka has no shops but they do have a pub and a church.....





This is Donna's house - which I thought would be good to visit for a weekend - only to discover that it would take us TWO days to get there - cancel........



.................BBQ area - looks as though you could have a good party in Yaraka - don't have to worry about disturbing the neighbours!!!




This is a cold room thingy - people cull kangaroos (plague proportions there) and hunt wild pigs. Donna "holds" the carcasses here for who ever picks them up. There is a big demand for wild pigs - especially from Russia and Germany - who knew?????




This is not a roo - but a cow - with shops so far away......................



Donna has to pretty organised and cannot afford to leave her shopping list at home - hmmmmm I could live there.................



The flying Doctor takes about 45 to reach Yaraka - so I am sure the 11 people who live in Yaraka try to live a safe and healthy life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jokes aside, I think that what Donna and her brother do for their Mom is quite remarkable.



Made me think......................


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX



Jenny

Sunday, May 22, 2011

.............. a room to stitch in.................

Dearest Mom
I am certainly glad last week is over - I did get such a scare!!!!!!!!

Well, you do know ( you should do by now!!!!) that I am very disorganised and lose things CONSTANTLY. Two of my friends are the opposite - and I do so wish I was more like them. My brain actually exhausts me some days!!!
Peoples' sewing room fascinate me - so I have conned quite a few girls into allowing me to photograph their little spaces........

This is Debbie's - it is like Jane's always so tidy - very, very,very unlike mine!!!

This is Debbie - gazing at her neatness!!!!!!!!!!!


She has also started a half inch hexagon quilt - like Jane and I - mine is nearly done, all I have to do is add a row for the border - but I have been doing other things.............


So Debbie stores her little hexies (colour by colour) in these nifty plastic containers.......


.................this is how I keep mine...................



Her sewing room is full of lovely things..........................



....................in comparison, this is what my cutting table has looked like for the last TWO weeks..............something pops into my head and I just HAVE to try it...................maybe I should put things away as I go......................


This is Debbie's crazy quilting goodies..............beads buttons and baubles.............



Crochet hooks etc................ wish I could even find mine...............
................... sewing machine cover..........................
.....................hanging goodies.........
Isn't it a lovely place to sit and stitch in?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX






Jenny

PS. I wonder if I can go for lessons to learn how to be organised and structured. By rights I should have inherited those traits from you - I must have a gene missing!!