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Showing posts from February, 2014

Online Dates

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I love a good date.
During my time spent in Alice Springs I discovered the joy of fresh Aussie dates (of the eating variety).
I recently discovered a date farm at Loxton in the Riverland.
I bought 2.5kg online via PayPal ... See the contact details below.

The date variety is Barhee Khalaal. Yellow and crunchy like an apple. Not exactly what I was expecting, but they will slowing develop to the next stage - a light brown, more creamy taste with a more traditional date flavour.

The farm is certified organic.
They have been hit hard recently by heavy rain during harvest resulting in a big loss.
Give them a try and enjoy a fresh date.
Support our Australian farmers.

The contact details are:
Gurra Downs
Dave and Anita Reilly Gordon Road, Gurra Gurra Lakes Postal: PO Box 1029, Loxton - South Australia 5333 Phone: +61 8 8583 8314 Email: reilly@gurradowns.com.au Website: www.gurradowns.com.au

Council elections 2014

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Council elections will be held across the state later this year.
In fact, it's not that far away.
Here's a timetable for candidates.
Have a think about running.
Unley Council (probably like most councils) would benefit from a few fresh faces.


Big Mango is missing

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Updated on Wednesday 26-Feb:
As I forecast, the Big Mango did turn up unharmed and within days.
Today it was announced that the chicken restaurant chain Nando’s has claimed responsibility for the disappearance (aka. theft) of the Big Mango. It was all a huge stunt with the local authorities in the know. There wasn't even a police report made.

The original story ...
The Big Mango in Bowen Queensland has been stolen in one of that state's biggest fruit heists.
The Big Mango weighed 7 tonne and CCTV footage shows a crane being used.

Australia is littered with big things eg. the Big:
Lobster
Cow
Galah
Pineapple
Orange
Guitar
...

To quote a local from a town with a Big Something ...
A town ain't nothing if it ain't got a big something!

The Mayor of Bowen is devastated.

However I have a feeling that the Big Mango will turn up unharmed within days.
It's like gnomes that disappear - usually they do turn up.

Whatever, it does help to generate publicity for Bowen.

This got me th…

Luminous @ Fringe

Last night I went to see Luminous, a Fringe show at Gluttony (@ east end). Absolutely fantastic. A bonus because it was half price. Checkout the half price specials - makes the festival more affordable. Sipped on a Tanqueray number 10 G&T.

Someone had a panic (perhaps epileptic) attack, probably due to the strobe effect and tried to escape through the tent entrance.
Luminous is a black (UV) light illuminating body art, juggling and circus sensation. Fantastic painted body artwork. Loud, very loud music to pump you up. Get along and see Luminous. Look for a half price special ... Luminous @ Gluttony
Tip: sign up as a Fringe member and get quick access to what's on and specials.

Possum Merino wool

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Years ago, just like the English imported their pests (rabbits, foxes, sparrows, etc.) to Australia ... Australian possums were exported to New Zealand, to be hunted for their fur.
They became a pest and conservation groups have supported culling programs.
The New Zealanders used their initiative on how to use possum fur and created a product called Ecowool which comprises a blend of fine merino wool and possum fur.

Here's an extract from a website ...
possum fur clothing Possum fur is silky smooth to the touch and is the ultimate in luxury when used to create furnishings, footwear or garments. Possum Merino is a luxurious and unique New Zealand yarn made from blending two of nature's finest fibres - hand selected possum fur and superfine merino wool. Each fibre is hollow and thus gives excellent insulation whilst ensuring that the garments are light and very soft. As well as incredible softness and warmth the yarn is strong and durable. It wears better than cashmere or mohair…

Millswood Train Station

A resident from Millswood has reported that on Friday, Premier Jay Weatherill accompanied by MP Steph Key visited the Millswod Train Station. He thanked residents for their fight to re-open the station. It's an election promise that the station will be opened in July for a one year trial. If enough people use it, then the station will be permanently open.

This a great outcome for the locals.

Now, we need the Liberal opposition to state that they will implement the same arrangement.
It needs to be remembered that the Liberals closed the station years ago.

Come on Terina Monteagle and Steven Marshall, it's time to make a Liberal statement.

We've fought hard to get the station open and we need both parties to support the wishes of the people.

It just makes sense!

Here's an update (Sunday 23 February)
Terina Monteagle emailed me to explain that the Millswood Station is not in her electorate.
It's in David Pisoni's (MP Liberal Unley) electorate.
I have emailed David to get …

Who's your Daddy?

Went to the Croquet Club in Victoria Square tonight.
Took in the funky atmosphere.
Dined on a Tanqueray number 10 gin and tonic and a Sneaky Pickle burger.
Made a mental note that on the next visit to try the food at the Japanese and Jamaican food stalls on the eastern side.

Moved on to Tuxedo Cat in Hyde Street to see the comedy Who's your Daddy?
A good laugh. Entertained by 5 comedians talking about mundane home life with emphasis on children and their influence on parents.. Thank heavens for the appearance by Lawrence Mooney. Heheld it together and it ended nicely.
My rating is 3.5 stars.

It's Fringe Festival time so get a life and get out and catch a few shows!

Here's a link for more information ...
Who's your Daddy? The funny side of parenting.

Tip1: Keep an eye out for other shows starring Lawrence Mooney.
Tip 2: Get to the Croquet Club before 8pm to avoid a $5 entrance fee on Friday and Saturday nights.

Free Fringe Event - Batman

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We hear about bat or flying fox problems in other states.
In the Adelaide Botantical Garden we have our own community of grey-headed flying foxes. They are a mega-bat native to Australia and is our largest bat. 

Adults are huge with an average wingspan up to 1 metre and they can weigh up to 1 kg.

Pop along and see them.
Here's a link for more information Grey-headed flying fox @ Botanical Garden

Fringe Fun @ Limbo

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A friend has been to the Fringe act Limbo and reported that it was fantastic.

Here's a bit of what she said ...
It's sexy, hot, very hot, acrobatics with a circus feel, mixed with cabaret and frantic dance.
The performers are just so skilled in controlling and distorting their bodies.
It's a must see!

You can see Limbo in the Paradiso Spiegeltent in the Garden of Unearthly Delights.
I saw it last year, but I've added it to my list of acts to try to see (if there if time).

There is just so much on during the Fringe.
Make the most of it - get out a see a few shows.
Some might be a dud or less than you expected, but there will be memorable ones to make it worthwhile.


Where to vote in Ashford

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You know that an election is approaching when you start hearing a lot from your local MP and other candidates.
Yesterday I received an email from Steph Key (MP for Ashford).
It was quite useful and provided details of all polling booths in the Ashford electorate.
The links have maps and also  it highlights which booths are wheelchair friendly.
I have added some colour coding.
Note that I have removed political stuff and provide the general information to assist people get to a polling booth on the day ... Bob. In the lead up to March 15, you will need to decide where you will cast your vote. Below is a list of polling booth locations in the Ashford Electorate including Google Maps links to make it easier to locate each booth - just click on the name of the booth to access Google Maps. If you are unable to attend a polling booth on Election Day, you might be eligible for a postal vote or to early vote at an early voting centre.

To be eligible for a postal vote you must meet one of the follow…

Register to Vote

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The State Election is fast approaching.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is promoting enrollment to get people onto their roll in preparation for the State Election.
You can check your enrollment details by this link ... https://oevf.aec.gov.au/
It is short notice, but you have until 12 midday on Friday 21 February 2014 to change your details.

You can call the Australian Electoral Commission on 13 23 26 if you have any questions.


Adelaide to Seaford

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At last - the trains will start rolling between Adelaide and Seaford.

Since restarting rail services, the trains have only been going as far as Noarlunga.

It has been long haul (of disruption) for those people living along the rail corridor.
With the progressive introduction of electric trains, the train noise will decrease - almost to a whisper when 100% electric.

The City to Seaford train service starts on Sunday 23 February.

Grab your surf board and beach gear and catch a train to the southern beaches!

There will be 10 trains running on the Seaford line:

4 Electric6 DieselEach month a new electric train will be commissionedIt will be fully electric by September 2014

Here's a link for more information ...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/seaford-trains-to-start-rolling-from-sunday/story-e6frg6n6-1226829359892


Loud Ding Dongs

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A flier from Terina Monteagle (Liberal candidate for Ashford) was left in my letterbox.

One of the three promises rang bells and resonated for me.

To quote ...
We will lower warning bell noise at suburban rail crossings. Safety around our rail lines is paramount, but there needs to be a balance with residents' needs.

Well done Terina for getting the Liberals to support this initiative.

At night you can hear the ding dongs from a kilometre away.
It would be hell for residents living near the rail crossings.


Millswood Station re-opens

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A good news story ...

News Release

Minister Chloë Fox Minister for Transport Services announced today ...

Millswood Station reopens for 12-month trial.

Belair rail services will return to Millswood station from 1 July for a 12-month trial.

Minister for Transport Services Chloë Fox said the trial will gauge the support for a reopened station.

“After nearly 20 years, Belair services will be resuming at Millswood station,” Ms Fox said.

"Millswood was closed by the former Liberal Government as part of the rationalisation of services when the Belair passenger line was reduced to a single track.

"This trial will determine whether rail services can now be permanently reinstated.

“During the 12-month trial, Adelaide Metro will gather patronage figures to determine whether there is sufficient support for a permanent reopening of the station.

“The Belair timetable, which is being revised to include the recently completed Showgrounds station, will also be updated from July to take …

Drones

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Drones are starting to appear on the horizon.
They are being used for everyday practical tasks.

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) is using them to provide aerial photography and video of road and rail infrastructure project work sites.

DPTI hires the drones which are technically called Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs).
The drones are basically a mini helicopter (usually with 4 sets of blades for extra stability) with an on-board camera/video with GPS. A ground based operator controls the drone by a wireless control pad.

The Police recently acquired 2 drones, primarily for surveillance work. They can assist Police during high-risk events eg. during a siege or terrorist attack. With an on-board camera/video they can collect evidence of the situation. Other intended use is searching for drugs and assessing damage after a fire or explosion. After training and commissioning, the Police drones will be operational later this year.


Love foods

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Natural aphrodisiacs

There is always someone with advice about spicing up your love life with natural aphrodisiacs. Ideally that’s the way to go – avoid those suspect products advertised by email and that come in plain packaging.

With the recent Valentine’s Day there was lots of advice of how to ignite a fire in the heart of a loved one. The emphasis was on food based natural aphrodisiacs, also with claimed top health properties.

Here are 5 recommendations from a visiting luvologist. (Note: I have made some edits to remove the more spicy bits.) Caviar

Caviar is high in zinc – it stimulates the formation of testosterone (good for males).Considered a delicacy and decadent, but rather pricey.Reserve for very special occasions.
Flavanoids

Flavanoids are contained in chocolate. It is said that they lower the blood pressure and induce a state of relaxation.Also, chocolate contains caffeine which increases serotonin levels in the brain and results in an increase of feelings of love and happine…

New train station opens

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The Adelaide Showground Station opened today.

It looks absolutely fantastic and will be a great service for the residents of Wayville and the visitors to the Showground. The development incorporates a pedestrian/cycle path under Anzac Highway.

Here is a release of information supplied by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) ...

The permanent Adelaide Showground Station has been opened - first train services will depart the station on Monday 17 February.

Located on the south-eastern corner of Anzac Highway and Greenhill Road, the state-of-the-art  station will service the Belair and Seaford passenger lines and provide a permanent service for events held at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

The station will offer year-round access to the showgrounds for the more than one million people who visit each year for events, exhibitions, concerts and university exams, and replaces the need to create a temporary station for each Adelaide Show.

It also improves connections and acce…

Cheap fuel

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Now that Coles and Woolworths have been stopped from giving large fuel discounts, the 4 cents per litre vouchers are not worth the effort. It's not worth driving 10 minutes each way to get about $2 discount to fill the tank.

Now, it's best to look for the best prices as you drive around and fill-up when you spot a good price.
In my travels I spotted a bargain at MOGAS @ 294 Marion Road, Netley. I was looking for good priced diesel and MOGAS was 19 cents cheaper than Coles Express @ Hawthorn. ULP was about 15 cents cheaper. The prices were also much lower than a heavy discounter on Richmond Road. I check the prices as I pass and MOGAS is consistently a lot cheaper. The prices were still low when I passed a few days later.
So, if you want big savings, then go to MOGAS @ 294 Marion Road. Down Anzac Highway, right into Marion, after 2km it's on the left (before Galway Avenue).
I am advertising this to keep a good volume going through the pumps - that way prices will stay low (for me…

Coffee Craft @ Black Forest, South Road

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What is it about this joint?
It attracts politicians who sit down and chat and sip coffee.
Only a couple of weeks ago I was invited to meet Premier Jay Weatherill there. We had 2 hours together chatting and drinking coffee ... see my blog on 02 February.

I am reliably informed that this week Steph Key (MP for Ashford) took Gail Gago, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. I seem to have missed out on an invitation :(

If you need coffee, beans, a machine or just a cuppa - then pop in.
They have a huge range with 20+ blends that are distributed statewide.

I visited today to get some beans.
I discovered that there is a carpark out the back - enter off side street, then exit onto South Road.

If you do go, then say that Bob sent you and they will look after you.

http://www.coffeecraft.com.au/


Bird in a box

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The works associated with the Goodwood Junction Project (the Seaford railway realignment) at Goodwood/Millswood had a severe impact on the habitats for local or visiting fauna.
ie. trees were cut down or severely pruned and birds/bats/possums lost their homes.
Unley Council was proactive - and in partnership with the Department of Transport, a zoologist (James Smith) teamed up with local schools to build nesting boxes. The enthusiasm of the kids involved can be seen in the colours on many of the boxes.
The boxes have been placed in neighbouring streets and parks, schools and private properties adjacent to the rail corridor.
Some locations are: Black Forest Primary School, Goodwood Primary School, Forestville Reserve, Devon Street, Railway Terrace, Lyons Parade, Cromer Parade and Goodwood Oval.
The Council will provide longer term maintenance of these boxes. A total of 42 fauna boxes are now located in trees near the rail corridor.
Council already had 52 boxes located elsewhere in Unl…

Viva La Broad Bean strikes overnight

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The night bandits have struck in Devon Street North, Goodwood.
The guerrilla yarn bombing group Viva la broad bean has claimed credit via twitter.
Overnight, a garden has sprung up and poles and trees have been yarn bombed.
Viva la broad bean are a guerrilla yarn bombing group!

A great effort guys!
I've always been tempted to join one of the overnight instant gardening groups.

More information ...
http://localandbespoke.com/2013/09/23/guerilla-gardeners-and-yarn-bombers-strike-the-neighbourhood/

And on twitter ...
https://twitter.com/Louise2906/status/425415420900683776


Fennel love

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I recall a past work colleague, a confirmed bachelor in his 40s who had no luck with the ladies. In fact, he showed little inclination that way. One day, totally out of character, he hit it off with a woman in the office. Their love was intense and he hurriedly made up for lost times. It was quite the talk in the office.

Such is my love for Fennel. No, not a shiela, but of the garden vegetable variety.
For years I was oblivious to such pleasure – that pungent aniseed flavour of crisp salad slices of the fennel bulb with a light dressing of fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Now I get into a bit of a frenzy during the fennel season in late winter onwards.

It is so easy to grow from seeds at home, especially during the winter season.
Buy 2 packs of fennel seeds. I recommend the Florence Finale variety.
At the start of March, plant seeds in a seedling tray or small pots.
In early April, plant in the garden 30cm apart.

Enjoy the love of Fennel.


Cheeky start to the festival

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It gets a bit cheeky at this time of the year, during the festival season.

This weekend (Friday 14 March to Sunday 16 March) you must visit the Cellar Door Wine Festival at the Convention Centre. Entry is $33 per person.
There will also be cheeses and foods to sample.

It is an excellent way to sample the huge range of wines from across our state.
Tip: there are very good discounted wines to be bought.

Here is a link to the event http://cellardoorfestival.com/#up

One of my favourite wineries from McLaren Vale is Waywood.
The cheeky artwork is from that winery
http://www.waywoodwines.com/


More information ... Here is a statement from Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) Taste SA’s premium wine and new local food at Cellar Door Wine Festival
The Cellar Door Wine Festival, now in its fourth year, is Australia’s largest Cellar Door festival.
This weekend come and taste the best from more than 150 wineries across 15 South Australian wine regions.
Last year more than 7,000 peo…

Be a Valentine on 14 February

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Valentine's Day should not be ignored. Have a bit of fun and try to be romantic. Use the day as a bit of a cattle prod to stir some action with the one you love or the one you desire.

On the serious side to quote Frank Morgan (whoever he was) ... A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
For those who are not that adventurous, then at least buy a card and chocolates. Tip: buy chocolates that you will enjoy.
Enjoy the day Valentine!



Goodwood Oval improvements ... Have your say

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Have your say about improving Goodwood Oval.

This week residents living near Goodwood Oval will receive a letter from Unley Council about consultations on proposed improvements to the Goodwood Oval facilities.
These sessions will also address issues regarding improvements to the nearby Millswood Sporting Complex.

You may respond by:

Completing and returning the feedback form - do this by 7 MarchGo online to the Your Saylink on www.unley.sa.gov.auAttend a consultation session at Goodwood Oval (Curzon Avenue, Millswood) on Saturday 29 March 2014 @ 9:30am to 12:30pmAttend a consultation session at Millswood Sporting Complex (Millswood Crescent, Millswood) on Saturday 29 March 2014 @ 1pm to 4pm It is important that you have your say to shape the outcomes at these 2 sporting venues.




How to salvage wrinkled tomatoes

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How to salvage wrinkled tomatoes
At this time of the year with an abundance of tomatoes, it is so easy for some to get past their visual use by date.
What to do with those old wrinkled tomatoes?
Don’t waste them. Here’s how to turn them into an absolute delight.
They’ll be so good that you’ll probably deliberately age some tomatoes to cook.
What you do is gently oven roast them in left over fat, preferably chicken fat.

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
6 tomatoes (any variety) 1 sprig of thyme10 tablespoons Chicken fat  Method:
Wash the tomatoes.Place in a bowl of chicken fat.Season with the thyme.You don't need any more seasoning because of the natural salts and sugars in the chicken fat. Any sort of fat from any meat works just as well. Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 120 degreesGarnish with fresh salad or spinachServe as a side dish with both vegetarian and meat dishes.

You'll be surprised at how good the tomatoes taste.
Caution: when you f…

Double Shot!

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Make it a Double Shot!

Unley is pulsating with exciting fun activities!

I am keenly awaiting Double Shot! - a huge coffee hit in the park.
Many of the better coffee vendors in Unley will be there - dispensing shots all day.
Experience and learn about coffee - how it is grown, sourced, ground, blended and drunk.

Lash out, get a bit jittery and have a few to experience something different.
Dare to be different on the day.
You will leave with a better appreciation for coffee and it will probably enrich your future coffee drinking experiences.

Double Shot! is on Sunday 16 March, 2014 - 10am to 4pm.
@ Soldiers Memorial Gardens, corner Unley Road and Thomas Street, opposite the Unley Library.

I will be there in a judging capacity.