66 shades of grey

66 shades of grey
66 shades of grey ... this pic of me was shot by Kim, of Kim Thomsen's Photography at Daly Waters in the Northern Territory. Kim just wandered over and asked whether it was OK to get some character shots.

cross

cross
The cross is in front of the church in Karumba and it seems TV antennas have a greater reach for the sky.

Shark

Shark
I went fishing out of Nhulunbuy on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We anchored in a bay about 10 hours from Nhulunbuy and went ashore. This poor fella had been snared in the locals' overnight net and then had a run-in with the resident 14-foot saltwater croc - named Nike by the local indigenous fellas - and came off second best.

the rock

the rock
Uluru

oodnadatta track

oodnadatta track
What a tough place to live ... this is out on the Oodnadatta Track

ME IN A NUTSHELL

My photo
G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Plenty of pinot on the menu

Next weekend I’m off to the Mornington Peninsula to do some fine dining and wine tasting.
I’m not sure where I’m staying (although I think it’ll be two venues) or where I’m eating but I do know there will be plenty of  wine tasting to do. I’m just waiting on the PR woman to put together my itinerary and get back to me.
The trip is a precursor to the Mornington Peninsula wine show (I think it focuses on pinot) coming to Melbourne in September and I have to write a yarn for it.
It made me smile when the PR woman asked whether I’d be bringing a partner … me and a partner? Nah, that ship sailed long ago. Still it was nice to be asked.


NEW VENUE
Breakfast has taken a turn for the better at weekends. My good mate Ben has bought a share in a café not too far from my house (OK, it’s a five-minute drive).
It’s called Herbie Mills and it’s at 36 Mills Street, Middle Park.
The food is bloody good. The scrambled eggs on toast are as good as it gets matched to some thick, hand-cut bacon. For a change yesterday I had tea rather than coffee. They actually use real loose-leaf tea.
I had just poured a cup when my good friend Tiff lobbed and gave me a hug. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her. She hosts a sports radio show, among other things. “I’m taking acting lessons,” she said, “I may head to LA for a year to see how it goes.” If anyone can crack it, Tiff can. She worked on TV in the States for a bit over a year and has done shitloads of TV work here.
We’re planning a farewell dinner – either she’ll be heading off and I definitely will be.
Just as I finished breakfast I got a second hug – it was one of Liam’s exes – it was a bit of a struggle because she’s a bit of a head case. I was relieved she didn’t hang around.
ON THE MENU
It’s been a good time for food and wine recently … Liam spends more time in the kitchen than I do … and that’s a good thing.He tends to cook things that I never think of, like a couple of nights ago when we had pork and stir-fried vegies with noodles. Bloody good thing it was.
I had a crack the other night and that crack turned into a cracker. I’d bought some smoked ocean trout at the market the day before and I thought I’d have a go at some pasta.
I headed to the new deli/fresh produce shop around the corner from home – it was my first time there – to grab some ingredients. Mascarpone, fresh dill, asparagus and an avocado were the order of the day. The place isn’t cheap (I know how much rent they pay. I had a glass or two with the developer who built the place) but the produce is good. A case of you get what you pay for.
I blanched the asparagus for about 90 seconds and then mixed it and the dill through the mascarpone, to which I’d added a splash of the pasta water. The (perfect) avocado went into the penne at the last minute with the chunks of smoked ocean trout. It should be on the menu at my place at least once a week. The picture is a sample of the vino that's made its way onto the home menu. The E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone, for me, was the standout in terms of taste and value. And the fact that Liam is not drinking wine is a bonus. I get it all.

NO MATCHES, JUST PATCHES
Son Liam and I decided five days ago that we should give up the smokes. He’s a bit like me in that regard … goes through so, so many.
It really shocked me when he said: “I’m 33 years old, but I’ve been smoking for 20 years.”
We wandered up to road to see Martin, the chemist, and each grabbed a two-week pack of patches. So far, so good. We’re both enjoying not smoking.

ONE CAR ALMOST GONE
There have been about 700 views of my Subaru Forester on the carsales website. Several have been in touch and taken it for a spin. Reckon it’ll be sold before the week is out. Then it will be time to sell the LandCruiser ute.
Liam is thrilled to the back teeth with his new HiLux ute. He has taken it for a (about 2500 kilometres) spin this weekend. I’ve had a drive of his … gotta get one soon.

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