Sunday, December 23, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas



Off to the small Farmers' Market
It might be small but it is quite cute

and you can't fault the location
So. No wandering up Lygon Street in search of a pizza-y lunch for us on Thursday.  Instead, we went with Lindsey for our first ever visit to Costco.  We got there about 20 minutes before it opened, when it all looked nice and quiet and calm.  No need for us to have got there quite so early after all.  By the time it did open there was an enormous crowd, jostling for position to be first in!  Needless to say, we did not jostle but ambled in in an orderly manner.  I have to say that I quite enjoyed it.  It is a huge building so the crowds all dispersed out the way.  And I was impressed with the quality of the meat, seafood and veg.  I had rather expected it to be full of cheap nasty meat, but there was free range chicken from a reputable brand, beautiful seafood, quality meat.  We bought some pork belly which I cooked up on Friday evening and it was lovely.  I have discovered that there's one in Sheffield.  We can't just potter in to see what their produce is like - you have to be a member to go in. But even if we only used it for loo paper and washing up liquid it would probably be cost effective.  I shall ponder.

In the meantime we went back to East Melbourne and then walked into town.  No pizza for lunch today.  Instead we went to the Bento stall in Melbourne central and had noodles (with chicken teriyaki in my case) and then we walked about a million miles in search of various things.  We came back to Ballarat via the Highpoint Shopping Centre (which has changed immeasurably since the last time I was in there), and by a circuitous route, there having been an accident on the main route we would normally take.
It is a very beautiful spot

It's nice to see the lake with plenty of water in it
And here in Ballarat we still are.  Lindsey was working in Melbourne on Friday, and Emily was working in Ballarat.  So Ian, The Builder and I pottered about and caught up with a few things and laid in supplies for dinner.  Ian and The Builder have been working hard trying to restore the greenhouse which, you may remember, blew over the fence in a storm when it was almost but not quite finished.  Ross came by for dinner on Friday evening - which we ate outside. We ate outside last evening as well. We have done a mountain of Christmas shopping (Lindsey and I have to go out and brave the supermarket later :-S ). Emily, Lindsey and I went to the little Farmers' Market which is held once a month by the lake - and quite fortuitously it was the appointed day yesterday :-) I have been making ginger biscuits in the hope that I might be able to make ginger houses for tonight (when Matthew, Belinda, Sage and William are coming) and for Christmas Day. Although the occupants might find it hard to get in and out of the second house - I forgot to make any doors :-S  Wither they will have to come in and out through the windows, or I will have to make some doors when I bake the gingerbread people, snowpeople and Christmas trees later today.

The ducks are enjoying a mud bath
And the sun continues to shine.  They are forecasting a cool change for Christmas Day itself - which might mean I will be able to wear the new Christmas windcheater I brought with me from Chesterfield. It's been a bit too warm so far to wear it, although I have had occasion to wear the lovely pink cotton jumper that Stella knitted me for my birthday.

Right.  Wish us luck.  Lindsey and I are about to griddle our lions and brave the supermarket.  Anyone want anything while we are there?

(Footnote: Alas - the Gingerbread houses are not to be.  My career in the construction industry has come to a crashing and abrupt end. I simply could not get the roofs on to my houses.  Every time I tried everything came crashing down.  I will try again, though (although not for this Christmas).  I think I was being too hasty and not letting the icing base set hard enough.  And for now, I shall go and make some gingerbread reindeer, people, snowmen and Christmas trees.  Or I will when Lindsey has finished making lemon meringue pie)







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