Monday, April 25, 2016

Spectacularly busy social life

Still not yet permitted to run due to probable torn meniscus, but I can still ride, and so I do.

Black Mountain
Aranda Bushland
Graffito at Aranda Playing Fields
Meeting friends for lunch is still one of life's great pleasures - especially when it's Calamity Sue at Rocksalt with bacon chocolate stout cheesecake (topped with candied bacon caramel) on the menu.

Calamity Sue poised to attack dessert
The emergence of a new brewery is always exciting news. We went along to the launch of Capital Brewing Company, which is a collaboration between the founders of Batlow Cider Co. and the owners of Honky Tonks and Hippo Co. bars. So far their beers are a version of a California Common (Coast Ale), a Pale Ale (Trail), and a Red IPA (Evil-Eyed Red). They're all pretty good (the Red IPA was my favourite), and they plan to use the locally-grown hops at Batlow, previously famed for its apples, so that's another industry we can all support.

On our long weekend, the boys experimented with brewing in the garage.

Him Outdoors and General Philosopher working hard...
Meanwhile, the girls went to the National Gallery of Australia, where we experienced, art, culture, conversation and lunch - what a great day!

Patience Itself, Design Diva, and Calamity Sue at the NGA
And then we reconvened to enjoy a well-deserved high tea at The Poggle & Bucket.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bike rides, beer and Chester

Tony Turner (front row; fourth from the right) has been tutoring students in voice workshops for several weeks. For their final exercise, they presented excerpts from T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral on the Canberra REP stage at Theatre 3. The voices blended in perfect harmony when required, with discordance when necessary, and with solo performances for variety and punctuation. The whole class has worked wonders and the results were fantastic.

Another random photo of Chester, because I can never take too many pictures of my cat.

I am taking the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) - whether or not I eventually become a certified beer judge is questionable at this point, but after all the tastings and tutorials, I should at least know my Celtic reds from my German bocks. We had our first session this week, with style guides and serious work commencing.

And we finish with another bike ride through the hills.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Beer and Sculptures

More bike rides around the place: trees; sky; bike trails; water; urban graffiti - that sort of thing...

I was taking a picture of some artwork, and Chester decided I didn't need any more cats in my life.
Rachel Hirabayashi's Cats

Him Outdoors and I went to a beer and food matching event at The Durham, where there were five courses accompanied by various beers from Woolshed Brewery. The menu was somewhat the worse for wear by then end of the evening.

Mixed breads matched with Utopia hard lemonade
Roasted potato skins, beer-battered onion rings and mushroom arancini matched with Amazon Ale (Australian Pale Ale)
Judas the Dark Ale
Espresso mud cake matched with Cherax Destructor IPA
We went on a breakfast bike ride to Strathnairn, which constitutes a cafe and an arts association. Artists work in the studios in a variety of media (the current artist in residence is ceramics specialist, Sally Spencer), and many of their sculptures dot the gardens.

The daughter of friends had a seventeenth birthday; she was thrilled that she could now be the Dancing Queen - young and sweet; only seventeen. The song was played all night at increasingly short intervals, or that's how it felt. I took a rare selfie in honour of the auspicious occasion.

Dancing Queen and me

Monday, April 4, 2016

Coming home

We stayed in Orange for an extra day so that we could go to Badlands Brewery and The Agrestic Grocer. It was worth it; beautifully fresh ingredients in delicious breakfasts, and washed down with excellent beers, when the licensing hours allowed.

Creamed leeks and mushrooms with poached eggs and truffle oil
The tasting tray 
Look how much Him Outdoors loves it when I take his photo

And these are the fruits of our trip to Orange!

Back to cycling around the local district on my mountain bike, I noticed it has got a touch cooler and autumn is clearly on the way.

Umbagong District Park

I'm really no good at these things, but the emotion was there, when I created this work for my friend who directed me in Gaslight last year. I sat on stage every night as the curtain went up, plying my needle in a cross stitch, which the stage crew unpicked at the end of each show so that I could do it all again the next night. 

I gave it to her when we met up for coffee and cake, and she certainly seemed to appreciate it. So perhaps she's as good an actor as she is a director!