Saturday, October 22, 2005

Beehive in our garden

A couple of weeks ago we started noticing huge swarms of what at the time we thought were wasps (ugh) forming football-sized clumps in trees. Then there'd be a massive buzzing and swarming and the clumps would disappear for a while. Then a clump formed in a climber which was at eye level, and after calling in an expert it turned out to be a proper beehive. Wearing one of those beekeeper outfits he put the hive into a collector box which he left for the bees to return to at night. He has taken them out to the country to a friend who keeps bees, and it happens to be near where our bush block is. An apiarist often leave his hives in the forest nearby. Supposedly beehives are good luck in Chinese custom.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

34th wedding anniversary - so who's counting?

October 3rd was, incredibly, our 34th wedding anniversary. We took a long weekend and drove down to Geelong, Victoria's second largest city. It is on a huge bay, and is only a half hour drive from the ocean beaches, see map.

Speaking of maps, it is amazing that our marriage has survived this long, as Mel's lack of a sense of direction has gotten us into many a heated argument over the years. I usually navigate, but when he ignores my carefully planned instructions, as happened in Geelong, I can get a bit stroppy. The poor map is showing a bit of wear and tear due to my slapping it in disgust after he blithly sailed past the turn that I had told him to take.

That aside, we had a great time, mainly walking and eating. We had lunch at the nice friendly waterfront restaurant we had stopped at earlier this year when Dad was visiting, The Wharf Shed Cafe.

We also ate at the place next door, the Fisherman's Pier, which had a lovely ambience and very nice food indeed. We both had a fish called harpuka - sweet and a beautiful texture. I started out with a couple of oyster shooters = decadence!

We spent hours walking along the Barwon River, which included boardwalks through wetlands. And we even saw one of the world's strangest animals, the platypus - had never seen one in the wild before. They are very shy, besides being weird-looking.
We also walked through the botanical gardens, spent a morning looking in the fabulous National Wool Museum.

To round things off, we found a cookware shop in Geelong, and stocked up on wooden spoons, pastry brush, a new sifter and other goodies. Nice to share that interest. The saleslady was most impressed to see a husband taking an interest in cooking and food. I didn't tell her about the downside, i.e. about the bread nazi.

We took a number of photos, of course, and I've posted them in a new online photo album service. You can even choose to look at them as a slide show, there's a link at the top right corner of the screen, and it will also enlarge the photos. Try it!

Our anniversary always coincides with the first weekend after the football season finishes, and going on a trip to celebrate our anniversary helps to fill the gap left when there is no football to watch, listen to, look forward to. 6 months without football... an eternity!