Friday, 30 November 2007


Did I forget to mention that last weekend was our engagement party? Well, it was! Although we got engaged in July in Canada (at this very spot), we held off until now to have the party in the sun with our friends around.

It was great to catch up with DeVill & family (who flew in from Papua New Guinea for the weekend), Dazzler (who was over from London) and Matt The Pom (who was very sunburnt after a morning soccer tournament - they never learn!).

Do I even need to mention that it got messy and I ended up wearing my Saffa flag (proudly!) in an almost all Aussie crowd? Didn't think so.

Chat soon,

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Melbourne lunch

Today I went for lunch with Col and Dazzler at a small Italian place on Little Collins Street called Benito’s. I thought I’d write about it ‘cos the food was amazing!

Firstly, we had to sit at the counter ‘cos we hadn’t booked a table and the place was full – at 12.30pm! We didn’t have time for starters, so went straight onto our mains. The guys had lasagna, which was huge! I ordered the pappardelle with chicken livers and red onion. It was delicious! The pasta was cooked to perfection - al dente!

The service was a little slow, but considering how busy it was and how good the company was, it didn’t matter.

I was looking forward to an espresso (apparently Benito’s make the perfect coffee too) but we ran out of time and I had to rush back to the office.

Chat soon,

Friday, 23 November 2007

Art Smart

The company I work for sponsored the catering for the graduation at the VCA on Wednesday night and I had the dubious honour of attending the event as a guest.

Although I’m no lover of it, I do appreciate good art and I can tell you now, a lot of it wasn’t! It was just weirdo students showing off stuff that pretended to be modern art. There was some great stuff on exhibit too. Some of the traditional Aboriginal art was fantastic as were some of the photos and sculptures, but obviously I’m not intellectual enough to understand that a stage with a speaker under each of the four corners and a sound effect moving from one speaker to the next is art! Especially when I can have one just like it installed in my (new) house by the student for a mere $2500! A bargain compared to some of the other crap the students were trying to hawk to pay off their massive study loans!

At least the food was great and the booze was free. The graduation exhibition runs from 22 November 2007 until 1 December 2007 from 10am until 5pm for those that are interested.

Chat soon,

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Corporate Catering game

Working in the catering industry is almost as much fun as working in the pub game. In the pub we dealt with drunks, hooligans and your common d!%#head, in catering its your ignorant or arrogant personal assistant who doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to know. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against them. They’re only doing what the boss demands from them.

Try these on for size:
1. At 9.42am a certain government office in the city rings us up to ask if we can cater for 100 people for morning tea to be delivered at 10am. That morning! It takes 15 minutes just to drive to their end of town!
2. All cakes and quiches, etc are delivered cut into an even number of slices (for obvious reasons). Try telling a PA that 13 is not an even number when her boss has told her to cater for 13 people!
3. Chicken is not vegetarian! Neither is tuna!
4. If you email us at 9pm the night before, you will not get your 7am breakfast delivered to you.
5. If we don’t call you to confirm your order, it probably means we never actually received it in the first place!
6. Yes, we are based in the Melbourne CBD and no, we cannot deliver to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth or Geelong for that matter. (Well, we could, but considering the charge to Dandenong – 35km away – is $80, beware of the delivery fee to Sydney!)
7. No, we can’t deliver 1 sandwich and a cup of coffee to your office. Not even for a delivery fee!

Oh the joys! And then people wonder why I look forward to the weekend so much!

Chat soon,

Monday, 12 November 2007

Blogger theme maker

For those of you looking for Blogger themes (Isi), here is something a little more interesting. It is a theme maker for Blogger. It doesn't work with the 'new' Blogger templates (except if you know what you are doing), but is great for spicing up your blog if you still use classic blogger.

Chat soon,

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Mountain bike video

A 10 minute helmet cam video of our ride last weekend. There is sound too, so if you're in the office, turn down the volume!

King Parrot Trail from delboy

Chat soon,

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Long weekend!

Warning - long post!

To say that we had heavy rain over the weekend is a euphemism. We had flash flooding, gale-force winds and even a death! Luckily we were snug in our little wooden cabin on the side of a hill. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We arrived at King Parrot Cottages on Saturday morning to find about 40 –50 wild King Parrots ‘grazing’ away on our ‘front’ lawn. Their bright colours are quite startling. We started to unpack and so did the skies. By mid-afternoon everything was soaked and my brother-in-law and I had gone through our first 6 pack of beer. We started the BBQ (under cover) around 6pm and then played cards into the night.

The rain got worse. All night we thought that the wind was going to rip the roof off and the rain was going to wash us down the hill!

The next morning it was still raining. By 11am there was nothing better to do than crack open our first beer and a pack of cards. But by 1pm, the sun started to shine through – barely. We made a deal that if it had stopped raining by 3pm, we would take our bikes out for a ride.

At 4.30pm we came limping back into the cabin – cold, wet and very muddy! We showered with our gear on to get the worst off and the snuggled up to our beers in front of the open fireplace.

By this time the ladies were a little unhappy with us, so we took them into ‘town’ for dinner at the local pub. The food was delicious and so was the atmosphere. Being a Sunday night though, most of the food was sold out – like the homemade apple and pecan pie!

Monday’s weather was perfect! We took a drive down to Lorne on the Great Ocean Road for a walk along the beach. We had a picnic in the sun and played ball with the kids for a bit. We then drove up to the Erskine Falls, which are apparently the most visited falls in Victoria.

By the time we got back to the cabin, I realized that I had caught a bit of sun. Which meant that we needed some much-needed medicine – JD and coke.

Tuesday was a nice lazy start with a hot breakfast and a slow drive home. The long way round ‘cos of the fallen trees and flooded roads.

Chat soon,

Friday, 2 November 2007

TFI Friday - Long weekend!

As the weekend approaches and the sun breaks through the clouds, people around Melbourne are starting to smile. It’s a 4-day long-weekend for most and the forecasted rainy weather seems to have moved on.

The reason for the weekend: Melbourne Racing Carnival! It’s a week of horse racing that starts tomorrow and ends next Sunday. The public holiday is Tuesday, but most people, including myself, have taken Monday off too.

And I am really looking forward to this weekend ‘cos we are heading south with my brother-in-law and his family to the Otway National Park. We have hired a cabin in the forest and we are packing our mountain bikes too. The Otways are quite a well know MTB area with loads of forest tracks and MTB paths. And after the past few days of rain, there should be tons of mud too!

I promise loads of photos and a possible short video when I get back next week.

Chat soon,

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Beer goggles

I’ve just been reading an article in an Aussie food magazine about this ‘new’ idea of linking good/boutique beers with certain foods like you would drink certain wines with certain dishes.

HELLO!! They’ve been doing that in the UK for a couple of years now!

On the forefront of this breakthrough idea is a restaurant in Sydney called Balzac that is, funnily enough, owned by an Englishman and his wife.

The Aussies drink an average of 95 litres of beer per capita in a year and only 27 litres of wine in the same time. No wonder restaurants are trying to push their beer sales. My question to you is “have any of you tried to experiment different beers with different foods?”

Through my experiences as a pub manager, I doubt it. Most people use beer to quench their thirst or fill their right hand while watching the big game on a Saturday afternoon!

But do yourself a favour and try it. It basically works the same as wine. Try a lighter beer with white meat and fish and a darker ale with red meats. You can even have beer with your dessert instead of a sweet dessert wine. Go on, try it. Below are some of my recommendations:

Seafood - IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
Oxtail - Amber Ale
Seafood pasta - Pilsner (Peroni)
Spicey Oriental food - Tiger, Kirin
Bread & Butter pudding - Hoegaarden Grand Cru
Chocolate desserts - Westmalle Dubbel

Chat soon,