27 April 2010

Antique Menagerie

In 1969 while visiting Switzerland, my mother introduced us to a friend of hers. This lady was very old and she invited us to her place for a meal because she wanted a chance to talk English. She had these carved farm figures which she inherited from her mother who had them since she was a child, so I guess they would have been carved ca 1820.

Diane commented how beautiful they were. A few days before we left for Australia again, the lady called with a plastic bag and insisted we have them, since she didn't have any children herself. We were thrilled and have taken care of them ever since.

A set of milking cows

The farmer and his dog

Of course some pigs

and some chickens

18 April 2010

Bill's Spinach Pie (vegetarian)

We grow our own silver beet (spinach) and it was time to use some of it, so tonight I made what I call a spinach pie, totally my own recipe. It was delicious. (Recipe below)

3 cups chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Egg
2 cups cooked chopped vegetables (I used frozen mixed veges)
1 tub cottage cheese
1 1/2 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

If you want to add chopped ham or bacon, you can do so as well.

Pre cook spinach and vegetables and set aside to cool.
Grease the bottom of a pie dish (metal not glass) and line with defrosted pastry. Liberally prick bottom of pastry with a fork then sprinkle a little bread crumbs onto pastry. (This will absorb any moisture)
In bowl, mix onion, spinach, cottage cheese and egg thoroughly.
Place mixture onto pastry and sprinkle top with cheese.
Bake at 200ºC (392 Deg F) for 30 Minutes
Let cool slightly and serve with Salads

07 April 2010

Clem 7 Cross-city Tunnel

A few weeks ago, our city cross-tunnel opened. It runs between the southern suburb of Woolloongabba and the northern suburb of Herston, a distance of about 7 km (4.35 Miles). The tunnel is named after Clem Jones, one of Brisbane's longest serving Lord Mayors. The tunnel avoids  24 sets of traffic lights and speeds up the journey dramatically, but it is a toll road and users pay at the moment $2.95 and later on this year the toll will rise to $4.28.

Southern entrance from the Pacific Motorway at Woolloongabba

Traveling south to north under the city and Brisbane River

Northern entrance from Lutwyche Road Windsor

One of the giant exhaust stacks ventilating the tunnel

To see detailed maps of the tunnel - CLICK HERE

02 April 2010

Switzerland's Bern Bear Park has new attraction

The Bärengraben (Bear Pit) has long been a top sight in the Swiss capital Bern. However, from October 2009, a new BärenPark (Bear Park) replaced the old-fashioned pit. Bears, the symbol and name-giver of Bern, will be able to roam freer in the new park and in keeping with more modern notions of humane animal care. The new Bern BärenPark is located adjacent to the bear pits at the Nydeggbrücke Bridge across the Aare River. Visiting the bears has long been very popular, especially with children, when traveling to Bern and the new bear park reflects Bern’s love of the bear better than the old pits.
The old Bärengraben (bear pit) first opened in 1857

Animal rights organisations have long complained about the way the bears had to live in these concrete pits. So in 2009 a new home was opened for the two remaining bears Finn and Björk, next door in a new bear park.

The new bear park opened in 2009

In December 2009, Björk gave birth to two adorably baby bears, named Urs (male) and Berna (female) and they are now the talk of the town, especially since they have now made appearances in public.

Urs and Berna explore their new surroundings

For more information on the Bern Bear Park - CLICK HERE