Wednesday, February 08, 2017

On Saturday, Lindsey, Rachel the visiting medical student and I took advantage of the pleasant weather and went into Ballarat for the monthly Bridge Mall Farmers' Market. It was a good market.  We bought lots of fruit and vegetables for Sunday. We bought spice mixes and eggs. We bought loads of artisan sausages for Sunday.  We bought lots!

Then we went to look at a small miner's cottage up by the showgrounds.  We first noticed it when Lindsey, Jim and I went to the Sunday Trash and Treasure market some weeks ago.  Then I noticed that there was an open inspection on Saturday so we thought we would go for a look see.  It's a very cute little cottage (little being the operative word!) but it needs quite a bit of work doing to it.  Its big advantage is that the kitchen has been completely renovated and the bathroom has been partially renovated.  The significant disadvantage is that it needs re-stumping (although we are not sure how much needs doing) and the weatherboards need attention.  The roof also needs some sort of attention, although the house did not feel damp and we've had quite a bit of rain on and off this summer.

Mind you, we have not yet sold the house in Tupton so are not in a position to buy another house. But it is useful to go and look at places that come up within our price range so we know what's around when eventually we do sell it. Just after Christmas we dropped the price on our place and there has been a flurry of interest since then.  We have our fingers crossed that this will continue and that one of the viewers might actually buy it - and then our researches here might actually be useful :-D And I quite fancy one of the little miner's cottages, especially one with a lovely kitchen and a reasonable size garden.

Anyway, after having a good look at the little house, we went to the lake where we met Emily and walked the perimeter.  It's a 6 km walk and took us just over an hour.  There was a schools' rowing regatta happening which gave us extra things to look at as we went round

I spent the afternoon making food for Sunday. I made sweet potato and lemongrass gyoza, and pork and ginger gyoza.  I roasted a mighty piece of topside beef. I grilled the sausages from the Bridge Mall market. I part roasted a load of the vegetables that we had bought there. Then we packaged everything up ready for Sunday.

For on Sunday everyone who could manage it was gathering at Stella and Tony's place in Mount Martha for a lunch celebrating Stella's birthday which is at the beginning of February.  Lindsey and I took the food down with us. We sliced the beef and chopped the sausages into chunks and had them cold.  We re-heated the vegetables with tomatoes and mushrooms dropped on top of them and made a roast vegetable ratatouille. We roasted loads of potatoes. I steamed the gyoza. There was food for the vegetarians and the vegan. Then we had fruit salad, made with the fruit we had bought in Bridge Mall, and Belinda brought a rhubarb and plum crumble.  We had a merry, mighty, magnificent feast.  Then we reassembled Stella and Tony's lounge room back to how it had been before we all invaded and made our various ways back to our homes.

Jim, Sam and I came back to Mount Helen in Ian's car and had a quiet evening and a quiet Monday. Then on Tuesday I went to the surgery to do some scanning. I delivered Ian's car back to him and then made my way back to Mount Helen by tram,train and bus.  I've never taken the bus from the station out to the university before and wasn't sure where the bus stops were in either place.  However, I found them quite easily and then wandered up through the forest to Bell Avenue and up the driveway to the house.  There is a direct path from the house to the bus stop, down the hill and through the university grounds.  I can see it quite clearly from the bottom of the driveway but I have never walked it.  And I couldn't find it when I got off the bus, so took a circuitous route up to Bell Avenue.  It was a rather nice walk, but I must walk down the hill to the bus stop to see if I can find the direct path up next time.

It's a lovely sunny day today, even if rather on the windy side. Jim, Sam and I have had a quiet and fairly late start to the morning.  I suppose I ought to go and do a few useful things.
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