Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bottled water - pure drink or pure hype?

Bottled water - pure drink or pure hype?   
I don't consider my self to be the greenest of greenies but I'll do what I can where I can and on the waterfront my biggest bug bare has been bottled water. Not so much the water (though the article below would suggest I should) itself but the plastic containers it comes in. So it was with in mind that I recently purchased a 1l. stainless steel water container that I take everywhere with me and refill whenever I can.
Apart from saving anywhere between 20 and 30 dollars a week I'm now not contributing any extra plastic to land fill or energy  intensive recycling programs.

I also figure I'm preaching to the already converted here but just in case your not then here is some argument for giving up bottled water supplied from the Warm Earth magazine e-newsletter ( SNIPS & TIPS - OCTOBER 2010 

Despite research showing that bottled water is no better than tap water, Australians spend more than half a billion dollars a year on the bottled product. Producing and delivering a litre of bottled water emits hundreds of times more greenhouse gases than a litre of tap water. Australia's annual use of bottled water produces more than 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions - the same amount that 13,000 cars generate over the course of a year. For many brands, a litre of bottled water costs more than a litre of petrol.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change estimates that 200 ml of oil is used to produce, package, transport and refrigerate each 1 litre bottle, so it's like filling a fifth of every bottle with oil. It also takes water to make water. estimates that bottled water uses 6 times the amount of water actually in the bottle to produce it! Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles and even if bottled water is recycled, it uses a huge amount of water and energy in the process. So, what can we do instead? If you're concerned about the quality of your tap water, invest a little bit of money in a water filter for your home. You can then use one bottle and keep filling it up and re-using it. This is a very eco friendly practice that can help curb the amount of damage being done to our earth as a result of bottled water.

Also if your not too keen on the taste of your town tap water supply then there is a myriad of water filters available and more than affordable with the money you save from not buying bottled water.

So far I have managed to give up my car, take-a-way coffee in paper/plastic cups and now Bottled water. If I can do it anyone with half a will can.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beans means Brown Beauty.

Just planted, approximately one square meter of Mr Fothergill's dwarf bean, 'Brown Beauty'.

From the liner notes on the back of the seed packet.

Bean, Dwarf, 'Black Beauty':

(Phaseolus vulgaris)

An excellent quality, fine flavoured bean that continues to crop over a long period. Particularly suited to later plantings as this is a good hot weather variety. Full of flavour and vitamins. Halfhardy annual.

When to plant: Spring and Summer.
How to grow Sow 25mm (1in) deep in dark, damp soil - avoid watering for a day or two afterwards. Sow 7-10cm (3-4in) apart, allowing 50cm (20in) between the rows. Ensure the danger of frosts has passed and protect plants from wind. Plant in 3-5 metre (10-16ft) rows and remove weeds regularly. Water well during dry periods and spray flowers with a fine rose on your watering can, this will help the pods to set.
Harvest: 8-10 weeks

Lets see how they go. I've never had trouble growing beans here before so it should be straight forward. I'll  plant successive sowings every four or five weeks so I can maintain a continuous supply of beans over Summer and early Autumn.
Preparation was basic as beans don't require much fussin over. I added a couple of handfuls of blood and bone and a small hand of sulphate of potash to a previously used bed. Turned the whole lot over with a fork, measured out  three rows, bunged in the seeds, covered them over and watered them in.

Too easy.

Cheers and happy bean planting, growing and eating.


A flower a day for September #29

 Oops, it's been a week since I've posted anything. It's been a hectic week.

Anyways, I was walking to knitting class last Tuesday and came across this little beauty cascading down a stone retaining wall and decided it would be a worthy addition to my 'A flower a day for September', series of posts.

 Convolvulus mauritanicus; Burke's Backyard has a bit to say about  convolvulus (not often called by its common name, 'bindweed')

Cheers for now and I'll see if I can get back sooner.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A flower a day for September #28. A drive by shooting.

Yes it was a drive by video shooting. Just a small side garden that caught my eye.

Just some Ranunculus and small annuals enjoying the sunshine after all our fabulous rain.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beanie and pom pom meet.

When beanie and pom pom meet. (Short and sweet)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A flower a day for September #27. Happy Snappy

Probably the greatest influences on me to be a gardener or for my love of gardening would be my Grandmothers. One had the flowers and the other had the veggies.

My mums mum was the flower one and as a child I loved going to visit (it wasn't all about the biscuits and lollies) and walk around her garden and find out about all the colourful flowers she had planted in her garden. Just thinking now I realise that I never really gardened much as a child but I must have been paying attention.

And as that child I remember liking the Snappy the most. Three main reasons for this; the first is the colour, say no more, 2nd is the size of the flower and 3rd is you got to play with the flowers and play make believe dragons with them. What more could a kid want?

 Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.  ~Alex Haley

Cheers and happy dragon slaying,


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slow news day today. Pikelets

Slow news day today. The weather here to-day is overcast with a few showers.  And on top of the forty mm of rain in the previous twenty four hours plus the twenty-six mm last Friday it's just way beyond to wet to do anything outside.

A rainy day treat/comfort food for me anytime is pikelets. A favorite of mine from childhood (who doesn't have a 'favorite from childhood') when my mum would make them for us. I don't remember having them hot but I do remember them cold with thick butter and jam spread over them and then made into a little sandwiches.

Cooking, cooking, cooking

Eating, eating, eating.

I found the recipe on a website called Kidspot where there is a truck load of interesting stuff all related to um, er, kids of course.

This is a link to the recipe on their website and following is a copy and paste job.

Pikelets recipe

Serving Size:

Makes 20

Breakfast, Budget, Cakes and Baking, Kids cooking, Kids food, Lunch Box, Easy recipes, Snacks, Cake stall
Gluten-free (see note below), nut-free

2 cups self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup (250mL) milk
1 tablespoon butter

    * Sift flour and salt, add sugar, drop unbeaten egg into the middle of the bowl and stir.
    * Slowly add enough milk to make a thick batter. Beat well until smooth.
    * Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat, melt  teaspoon butter and drop heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into the pan.
    * I cooked about 5 at a time. When bubbles appear on the surface, turn the pikelets (muttering and cursing and chasing them all over the pan) and allow to brown on the second side.
    * Transfer pikelets onto a plate and cover with a cloth while you finish cooking the remainder.


    * Easy to pack in lunchboxes because you don't need to do anything else to them. Handy for afternoon tea, too.
    * I also make these for breakfast (on those infrequent 'perfect' mornings) as a change to regulation weet-bix or toast.
    * It can be a bit tricky getting the temperature right, I prefer to cook at a lower heat and potter round the kitchen doing other things while they cook slowly.

There you have it,

Cheers and happy pikeleting


The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. ~John F. Kennedy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Simon's Cat in 'The Box'

Anybody with a cat will relate to this. Have fun and cheers


Friday, October 8, 2010

On your bike.

I already ride to work everyday as it is. I have three main reasons for this. The first being fitness, the second is I think paying over eight hundred dollars a year for car registration is an obscene money grab by our state government and thirdly is doing my little bit for our environment, ie:- reducing my oil burning, CO2 production.
An beside all that, there is a breaky on the morning at Art Gallery Park, Ruthven Street!

Ride to Work Day

Join the Commuter Revolution and register NOW for Ride to Work Day, next Wednesday, 13 October.
Complete a free registration  and you improve bike facilities across Australia.

Changing the way Australians start their day

While most of Australia is stuck in peak hour traffic the Ride to Work program is helping Australian workers embrace an affordable, healthy, hassle and carbon emission free mode of transport.

The free program assists those wanting to try riding to work as an alternative mode of transport which can ease the pressures of modern life. It’s the only national day on the calendar, where first-timers and regular bike riders can celebrate the act of riding to work together.

Participants are encouraged to register their ride on the day at no cost which assists in understanding bike commuter behaviors and campaigning for better riding facilities to councils, local, state and federal governments.

Who's in? I'll see you for breakfast!

Dear Stew,
Thank you for joining the commuter revolution and registering for Ride to
Work Day 13 October 2010.
Your Bicycle Network rider number is: 907266

Cheers and happy cycling to work day


Thursday, October 7, 2010

A flower a day for September #26. "No Idea".

 I have no idea what this plant is called and if you can enlighten me I appreciate it. (I'm guessing some sort of small leaf privet)

As you can see it is coming to the end of it's flowering period but when it was fully out, only a few days ago, it was spectacular.  Not overly popular around here and I'm guessing this is due to it's fairly short flowering period and eventual size.

It does have a light perfumed fragrance too, which is not over powering but pleasant when you are within it proximity 

Well there you have it for today, back with another tomorrow.

Cheers and happy gardening


You've got a lot of choices.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.  ~Steven D. Woodhull

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My B.M. (D.) E.N. of weeding

 In the 'Beginning'
 This is my garlic patch, as you can tell. It seems that for the last 6 to 8 weeks anytime I had spare to work in the garden I was either feeling unwell or it's been raining and to wet to weed. But today the planets have aligned and allowed me to at least get the majority of the weeds away from my garlic.
 Some where around the 'middle' of the job.
Yep! what can I say? About half way and looking good.

I don't remember but this must have been last years potato patch and there were a few spuddies self sown. I didn't want them to grow any bigger so I harvested them and here is the result. Spuddies for nothing and your chips for free.
Then comes the 'end'
Mostly any way. It was a rough weeding and I'll need to return and give it a through weeding straight after I finish the next patch (see below)

There is carrots, peas, radish and potatoes that need rescuing in there.
Plus more than enough room for a good planting of beans.
Busy, busy, busy.

There you have it the B.M .(D.) E.N. of weeding.
Cheers and happy weeding


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A flower a day for September #26. "Yesterday Today and Tomorrow".

"Yesterday Today and Tomorrow", another September, spring classic.

Why say it when it's already been said so well before. Here is what  'The Queensland Gardening Pages'  have to say.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Knitted, finished, done ,finito pt. 2. The ugly blanket.

 The ugly blanket and why.

As with most things that I discover I like to do it usually comes accompanied with a exuberant rush of excitement which is then usually followed by another exuberant rush of purchasing all sorts of stuff and or things that I think I need for projects that I think,  'I'll get around too'.
But sometimes,  as so often happens,  my dreams get caught up with my early skill levels and abilities and,  as in this case,  I bought heaps of yarn for projects that were either way beyond my, then,  'current' skill levels or just totally over ambitious considering the time they would take to complete.  This inevitably led to a massive over purchase of yarn and the problem of what to do with it all.

So with these previous thoughts in mine and a burning desire to use my newly purchased 10mm x 80cm circular knitting needles and a resent discovery of double knitting, which appealed to me no end for some unknown reason,  I came up with the brainwave of knitting a blanket all for myself.

And 'Da da', here is the result.

The ugly part!

And now as to why it's called the 'ugly blanket',  which I don't think it is at all but in fairness to everybody's democratic right to have and opinion and to voice it even if it is not asked for, my wife would offer her opinion at every opportune time as I picked up my blanket by announcing (notice I didn't solicit an opinion from anyone here at anytime),  "God that's an ugly blanket'.  (Oh, thanks darling, I love you too).  So,  in keeping with my passive aggressive personality,     rather expressing my deep feelings of disappointment in her opinion  towards my most beautiful creation,  I chose to name it 'the ugly blanket' out of respect for her democratic right to voice her opinion whether solicited for or not.

Knitted on/with 10mm x 80cm circular needles.

 Knitted, finished, done ,finito pt. 1.

Cheers and happy knitting,


The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack-Up" (1936) US novelist (1896 - 1940)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Knitted, finished, done ,finito pt. 1. Face washer

 Being a newbie knitter I suppose it was only a matter of time before I discovered cotton yarn. 12 months ago I didn't know it existed.

So I needed something I could knit using cotton and as fate would have it a pattern for a face washer turned up and I thought to myself, now that's something I could do and practical as well.