Sunday, April 3, 2011

A crazy busy week

Thank goodness for an extra hour of sleep (end of daylight savings) last night, after this week I needed it. Last weekend Rob was on a field trip with his university students, so I had a weekend to look after the dogs. My sister had flown in from Sydney for a few days before heading back home to the UK. So there were a few family dinners (I seemed to spend the entire weekend peeling potatoes). I did bake an experimental cake. I had bought a bag of limes that were just going to sit and grow mould if I didn't do something with them. So I made lime curd. I baked a couple of coconut cakes and sandwiched them together with the curd. Next I made a Nigella italian meringue frosting, a little exciting but manageable (egg whites, sugar, golden syrup over a double boiler), thank goodness for electric whisks! Verdict was pretty favourable. It certainly looked the part. Rob came home Sunday night and we rushed to have a look at the hut (not much had happened during the week) Rob spent a few lonely days coating the boards in a preservative but the builders weren't really there. I'm afraid I am quite an organised traveller, I always write a list, and tick off things as I put them in my bag. Normally I am laughed at for this behaviour. I even put out the clothes to wear the next morning. I had picked the horrible 6am flight to Melbourne, which means being at the airport at 5.30am. So I set the alarm, booked a taxi and fell asleep. The next morning I woke to my work mobile phone ringing. Gosh I thought that's wierd. The phone call was the taxi company, wondering if I still wanted the taxi waiting at the front gate?! After a few exclamations of oh my gosh, I quickly put my contact lenses in, dressed, threw the last few things in my suitcase and was in the taxi in 5 minutes. I swear I wasn't awake til I got to Melbourne. I collected my suitcase and tried to make myself presentable in the airport bathroom. But wasn't really looking forward to a whole day at the conference without having had a shower! Luckily on arrival at my hotel my room was ready (I had even been upgraded to a spa room) so I felt far more human once I'd showered. The conference didn't start til quite late so I visited a favourite shop. Cake deco (in a little arcade opposite Flinders St station) they have so much stuff in there. Cupcake cases, icing colours, biscuit cutters, books. It's quite overwhelming. But I got a few things I needed for making "hut" biscuits, and couldn't resist a tea pot cookie cutter. A quick coffee stop at Degraves and then I hopped on a tram to head up to Carlton for the conference. The conference food was as normal quite ordinary. A few of us decided to head out to dinner together. I should've heard the warning bells when they both admitted to eating baked beans in their hotel rooms the night before (rather than dining out). We wandered around china town (although one of the group was keen on Thai), even sat down in the Hairy canary, but ended up in a little Thai place. It could have been worse and the company was excellent but it wasn't a good use of an evening meal in Melbourne! I was quite tired though so didn't mind heading back to my room by 8pm. Next morning, I was up and wandering up Bourke St to Spring St for breakfast at the European, I'd read online they serve the best eggs benedict. It was a cute little place, a long narrow room with dark panelled walls. The eggs were certainly very good and the two coffees woke me up. Off to the conference. The lunch breaks were very long, (and the food was certainly not worth lingering over overcooked chicken drumsticks or an unidentifiable white fish), so I headed for a walk along Lygon street, eating a gelato as I window shopped. At the end of the day I squeezed in a little shopping before deciding to try my luck at Movida. One of our favourite places (although I ususally book weeks in advance). Being 8pm I thought I'd give it a go. Sadly the main restaurant was busy, but they directed to me to their little sister, Movida next door, and I was seated at the bar in a few minutes. Perfect for the lone diner. After ordering a glass of El coto (Spanish red of course) I tried to narrow down what I'd like to try from the menu. I settled on a white anchovy on tomato, some Queso cheese, a potato bomba, flathead wrapped in jamon and mussels, and I hate to confess confit pork belly. That's right I put the body on the line to try as many different plates as I could! I waddled out into the warm Melbourne evening, satisfied and headed back to the hotel. I made the most of last remaing meal in Melbourne and headed to Earl Canteen for breakfast. Ok but I think I'd like to head back at lunch for the famous pork belly sandwich! Rob and the builders have been busy at the hut, the timber overlay flooring has been stuck down in the living room, Rob has coated most of the boards and, finally the blue is starting to disappear, slowly replaced by vertical celery top boards. It looks just how we imagined. All going well we should have a timberclad hut by the end of this week. It was nice to have a weekend together again, we spent time at the block (coating more boards) and drinking tea in the living room yesterday. Then today we've been to the market for vegetables, bread and treats and a chat with Jo and Michelle from C & C cupcake factory. Couldn't resist some hot cross buns as well from Jackman & McRoss. Rob has some quince jelly bubbling on the stove top.Time for tea I think. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Sarah B said...

Sounds like a busy few days. I hate starting the day in a rush and like you, when I am going on a plane I like to get my tomorrow outfit ready to go! At least the taxi called you!
Melbourne is a fun place. I've got a few hours there on my way back from Newcastle next week and am trying to decide whether I go into the city for a look. See how I feel and how much damage has been done to the credit card.
Sounds like things are moving along at your house. That's exciting :)

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