Monday, May 14, 2018

Get your rocks on!

A beautiful afternoon calls for a run around the lake and so that's exactly what I did.


There is a place on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin that is reserved for a National Rock Garden. It purports that the purpose of this is to 'educate and inform present and future generations about Australia's rich geological heritage'. 

For now, there is a series of rocks with plaques affixed to them, naming their provenance and significance. They come from around Australia; from the inner depths and the outer coasts. Here they squat randomly on the ground as though they have been washed up, brought down or eroded through a series of natural disasters or geographical phenomena to this single spot. It's odd.

Hawkesbury Sandstone
Mount Painter Volcanics
Brockman Iron Formation

Close up the layers and patterns are remarkable and intriguing. Sections have been sliced away and polished, inviting touch. They are warm and beguiling under the sun, but will clearly be cold and impervious beneath the stars.

Oorlano Metasomatite

Bendigo metasandstone and Ballarat quartz

Chinaman Creek Limestone
Mount Goyder Syenite
Canberra Limestone
Mount Gibraltar Microsyenite
Moruya Tonalite

Monday, May 7, 2018

DIY Weekend

There's a thing doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment, where each day for ten days you post a picture of the cover of one of your favourite albums ('Albums that really made an impact and are still on your playlists, even if only now and then. Post the cover, no need to explain') and nominate someone else to do the same. I was nominated, but rather than do ten different posts, I just did one of all ten and didn't nominate anyone else. If you would like to play along, feel free to post in the comments.

On Saturday it was International Homebrew Day and the good folk at Capital Brewery were celebrating, hosting the Canberra Brewers to show the public how it's done. There were two recipes to choose from (a honey lager and an Irish stout) and they were brewed on different set-ups in the beer garden. I have had a stinking cold all week, but it was sunny down there so I went along for a couple of hours to catch up with some friends and to soak up some Vitamin D. Also, hops are medicinal, right?

Canberra Brewers Past and Present (if not necessarily correct)
As their beer obviously won't be ready for some time, I had a pint of one that had been prepared earlier. The Royal Brew NEIPA is the one made with Royal Blood for Groovin the Moo and drunk from a shoe by Mike Kerr, as in my previous post. There is lots of juicy orange hop flavours and very little bitterness in this concoction of hazy goodness - surely plenty of Vitamin C as well as D? 

Royal Brew by Capital Brewing Co
I do like the idea of using the empty cans as planters (particularly for herbs), even if some of them are more successful than others, and some look a lot like Beaker from The Muppets.

For our Sunday Night Film we had the Lovely Bonkers round to watch The Greatest Showman, and I photographed the various viewers' reactions: as expected Him Outdoors was less than impressed, and Chester has begun doing facial feline reviews. I think he thought there was far too much caterwauling.

Calamity Sue (she has bubbles so all is well)
Deep concentration from General Philosopher
'Nuff said

Monday, April 30, 2018

Moo make me feel like dancing

On Anzac Day we went for a walk through the Murrumbidgee Corridor. It was peaceful and glorious.

The Murrumbidgee
These pickled onions made me laugh.

Here is the latest in the series of Nailed It (or not). See if you can tell the difference between my version of roast cauliflower, chickpea and paneer curry, and the official photographed recipe version.

I know; they're practically identical, right?

And speaking of curry, this is the Rogan Josh brewed by Him Outdoors and the Stutchbury Farmer for Wignall Brewery. It is going to GABS as a Festival Beer. We are very excited by this.

I was very lucky to be given a free ticket to Groovin the Moo, which is apparently a music festival for young people. It was dark by the time I got there after work, so I had no concern at all over being older than almost everyone else present. And I can dance and enjoy the music just the same. There was a pretty good vibe - I suspect all the drunken eejits had already passed out. I danced and sang along to my favourites and discovered an appreciation for some new stuff. 

Claptone had a great laser light display in the main 'Moolin Rogue' tent. He's a techno dj from Germany who wears a beaked mask and projects pictures of shamanic figures onto the large screens behind the decks. I don't care who he is; I just love the sound of house piano wafting out across a field.


The 'slightly older' contingent
Royal Blood were excellent. I've been vaguely aware of them, but never really listened before - I will be from now on. They put out a whole lot of noise for just two people: Ben Thatcher on drums and Mike Kerr on guitar(s) - he played at least half a dozen different guitars during the 50-minute set. They were full of energy and attitude with the ability to have a bit of a laugh as well. 

Capital Brewing have put out a special Royal Brew Blood Orange IPA in their honour, which was on sale at the festival (although it had all sold out by the time I got there). Mike Kerr was encouraged to drink one by the crowd who yelled out for him to do a shoey - when he remarked that he hadn't got a shoe, he was helpfully supplied with one form the moshpit. So very rock and roll.

Royal Blood: a whole lot of music from two musicians

Ball Park Music are infectious. Their jolly jangly pop-tastic tunes belie a darker edge, but it's hard not to be happy when they open a set with It's Nice to be Alive and follow up with numbers such as Exactly How You AreEverything is Shit Except My Friendship with You, She Only Loves Me when I'm There and The Perfect Life Does Not Exist were also very well received, while the confetti cannons and giant beach balls added to the party atmosphere and overall good mood. 

Everybody's happy with Ball Park Music