new project

I have started making a new Crochet project. I have some beautiful Misti Alpaca Sock Yarn from K2tog. It’s a wonderful shade of deep blue, with slight variations. I haven’t worked with anything this light before, but it’s beautiful. It’s working up quite soft and warm. It’s 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% silk, and 10% Nylon.

Here’s where I’m up to:

Yes it’s a little wonky.

This is a lovely Shawl. I found the pattern on Ravelry here. I struggled at first with the beading sections, purely because of the beads, and the fact that I couldn’t find any suitable beads, Then I found some as part of a pack with a few other useless (for this project) beads. Here’s the ones I’m working with:

aren’t they pretty?

I’m not sure how many I will need, but I’ll get more as I go along. I also don’t think the fist photo does the colours justice so maybe when it’s done I’ll pick a sunny day and model it outside.

also, if anyone reading this would like to friend me on Ravelry, I’m Nickerockers.

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A trip to Bright…

It’s been a while since I last posted. Lately I haven’t had the energy for it – Work has been hectic and by the time I come home and try and tackle some housework I have neither the energy or the time.

But on the weekend just gone, I asked Gary if we could go away for the day. We settled on a drive up to Bright for lunch. Bright is about an hour, hour and a half from us and it is up towards the hills. I remember trips there with Dad when we were young to head up Mount Buffalo, as well as school trips to the area.

It was a beautiful day for a drive – crisp and clear and sunny.

We got a few glimpses of the snowfields in the distance along the way.

Snow! It’s far off but it’s there.

We caught the dregs of the market. Apparently it finishes up at lunchtime. But the plant stall we saw at the June Long weekend markets in Rutherglen were there, and Gary took the opportunity to update them on the berry plants we brought last time and he also brought some Lebanese Cress. I eyed off the Cardamom plant again, however I again wavered as I’m not sure where I’d put it. We keep running into these guys and they are a local business so once I work out where to put the Cardamom I can chase them up again.

Let me explain something important: I love eating fresh trout. It is delicious, and I take delight in the process of carefully getting the pieces of flesh off the bones. I savour every mouthful. So when I saw “fresh baked trout with Horseradish and dill cream” on the menu of a cafe, I knew where we were having lunch and what I was ordering.

Gary ordered it too. It was as delicious as I hoped. And the skin was super crispy, the salad was light and a perfect complement. The dill cream and the horseradish gave it the extra burst of flavour, and I loved it.

delicious, crispy skinned, perfectly cooked trout.

Gary wanted some juice with his meal, but couldn’t decide what combination of fruit to have. So he ordered “everything juice”, which was literally a bit of everything. It was quite nice.

this is what “everything” juice looks like

After Lunch we had a wander about and looked in a few shops. I brought a lovely little Owl tealight holder, which I may take a photo of later (if I remember). It was a really nice day and it was pleasant to wander about the town. Bright is a place for tourists, in all seasons, due to the access it has to the mountains. In the spring and summer there is a lot of bushwalking around, in Autumn it’s beautiful as there are many deciduous trees and Bright turns a beautiful burst of gold, orange, and red. In winter it’s a lovely place to be a base for the snowfields.

the centre of town

On the way back we swung by the walnut farm. There was nobody in the shop, but there was an Honesty Box, so we grabbed a mixed bag (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), a bag of walnuts, and a bag of hazelnuts. We’ve been making our way through them slowly with a nutcracker and a bit of excitement. For me, food that takes a bit of process is always good. I think I get enjoyment out of the process of preparing food, whether it’s cracking nuts or peeling prawns or slow-roasting tomatoes.

We stopped by some cows…

they were confused as to why we were interrupting their grazing

…to take a photo of what we called “Titan’s Hill” because we imagined the rocks as a giant’s hand reaching up out of the hill. We decided a giant was buried under there and is forever trapped, reaching up towards freedom but never getting enough of a grip to free himself.

see the fingers reaching up?

All in all, it was a good day out with my wonderful boyfriend, driving through some beautiful scenery and eating some delicious trout. A lovely saturday indeed.

A lovely Sunday together…

So this morning Gary and I slept in. Then we headed off to Cafe Borellas in Albury for some breakfast. At 11:30am…

He had a thai beef salad. I had Lasagne. He regretted his choice, given it wasn’t as spicy as he had hoped it would be, and I had delicious beef Lasagne.

After that we went searching for some hiking boots for our trip to Nepal. I already have some Merrels and I’m pretty happy with them, although they have to be waterproofed. We can make that happen. Gary is trying to get used to the idea of wearing boots that sit so snug around your ankles, as he has grown up running around everywhere barefoot and isn’t used to feeling constricted.

Anyway, we trundled off to the bookshop and then headed home to get our things and go for a walk. Remember my photos from this post? Well we tackled that hill today, with myself and Gary.

It was a good walk. I remember walking the circuit regularly a few years back and it generally took me an hour and 10 minutes. But now it seems that my fitness has gotten better because today we cut 20 minutes off that time. Apparently all the walking up and down hills is working.

Anyway, we found patches of frost that hadn’t defrosted during the day, which suprised me, however as Gary pointed out the sun wouldn’t get much of a chance to shine on that part of the hill due to it’s position and the cover from the trees. By the end of the track I was pretty thirsty and really wanted to scoop up some ice and eat it but it probably wasn’t the best idea.

So here’s some photos for you. I don’t claim to be a photographer, I just like taking heaps of photos of things and sharing them with people (who usually get bored of flicking through all the bad ones to find the good ones). Sometimes the photos turn out well, mostly there’s something off, like the colour or the light etc. Still, I enjoy what I do. And in beautiful surrounds like I have, I can’t help but want to capture it all!

Gary running ahead… as usual

lovely ferny section on the dark, damp side of the hill

last nights frost, still frozen at 5pm

water dripping over moss-covered rocks

And finally, this little guy, who Gary spotted rustling about in the grass. He didn’t seem scared of us at all and even came up towards the camera at one point. Still it was difficult to get a decent shot as he was below the path and in the grass. I believe he (or she) is a native mouse, although I’m not sure what species.

happy little mouse.

Watch this space

I spent the better part of an hour typing up two recipes to share – the pork and prawn wonton soup I made for dinner and the prawn/pork meatball stirfry I made with the leftovers.

I pressed “publish” and it published an empty post. I can’t find all my hard work in the drafts either so No idea what happened.

But now I’m hungry and I will hopefully come back another day to post my recipes.

My photo-heavy frosty morning walk.

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The wonderfully clear, cold sky as I climbed let me see the sun rise over the fog which shrouded Albury-Wodonga. The sunlight sparkled off the thick frost. Cows grazed nearby and I found evidence of wildlife all around. I walked around a little at the highest point of the trail, before turning around and coming back down as the fog made its way up the hillside. 

With my peaceful solitude in a beautiful crisp morning like that, I didn’t really want to come back down and  go to work – It was almost magical up there this morning. I managed to pull myself back to reality. And now I remember why I really like early mornings.