29 December 2009

Happy New Year Bloggers

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
So now I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!

22 December 2009

Merry Christmas Bloggers

Merry Christmas

20 December 2009

Our latest effort in Lebkuchen

This was a combined effort. I made the Lebkuchen and Diane made the icing. I cannot do it properly, I guess I haven't got the patience.

14 December 2009

Christmas time is "Lebkuchen' Time

In Switzerland, "Lebkuchen' (ginger bread in English) is tradition at Christmas. For many years I have missed Lebkuchen, then I was thinking. It can't be too hard to bake my own after all it's just like a bread, so I went looking for recipes on the internet and found a few. The secret seems to be the spices which can be purchased in stores in Switzerland already mixed, called Lebkuchen-Spices. Again I did some research and found the names of the spices, which are all available in shops here. Armed with the recipe and the secret of the spices, I had a go:

First I placed 50g of brown sugar in a bowl

Then I added an egg

Then I added 50g of honey

Then I added 20g of margarine and whisked
it into a smooth sauce

Then I added the rind of an orange
and mixed that in as well

In a clean bowl I placed 200g of flour and added
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Then I mixed the spices
(tk=tip of knife)
2 tk ground ginger
1 tk Allspice
1tk ground Nutmeg
1 tk ground Cinnamon
1 tk ground Cumin
1 tk ground Cardamom
1 tk ground Coriander
I then added these spices to the flour and sifted it several times

The liquid was then added quickly to the flour and
mixed into a playable dough

I then rolled the dough between 2 pieces of baking paper

And shaped it into the sizes required
In this case I made two about 18cm X 10cm
These were placed into a pre-heated oven and
baked at 180ºC for 18 Minutes

While the pies were baking, I mixed a solution of
icing sugar with a little water. This solution is then
painted onto the pies when they come out of the oven

I then beat an eggwhite stiff so that it won't run
if you turn the bowl upside down. To that I added
icing sugar to make a fairly thick paste

This paste I placed into a plastic bag and cut a very small
corner off the bag

I then used the bag as a piping tool decorating
the Lebkuchens

Here is one. The swiss cross and an S
as it is going to my daughter Sonya in

The other one I took to my mate Martin who is in hospital. Martin is a Swiss Master Pastry-chef and Diane thought I was very game, bringing an amateur Lebkuchen to a professional chef. That I am!

11 December 2009


I have a question to you, dear bloggers...

I was reading the newspaper this morning as I do most mornings when I came across a saying I've heard many times before and its meaning I understand but don't follow the word play exactly. The saying is:

"Don't cut off your nose to spite your face".

There is a saying in Switzerland for the same meaning: "Cut off the branch on which you sit", which to me makes more sense.

So, what's with the nose and face thing?

Can anyone explain it to me,



01 December 2009

Baby like Beyonce

Somebody sent me this great video. I love it. I hope you do too.....

27 November 2009

I need a good night's sleep!

For over a week, we've had a visitor. Once a year the 'Common Koel' a migratory bird visits us. This bird is very hard to spot as it is extremely good at hiding, but boy, do you hear it! Yesterday it was in a tree near us and singing it's little heart out, but no matter how hard we looked, we couldn't see it. It has a monotonous song that sounds something like a wolf-whistle directed at a pretty girl coming from a building site. Only this one won't stop, it goes on and on.

It did finally stop at around 7 pm. We watched a little TV, went to bed around 10.30pm and woke up at 3.45 by, you guessed it... our visitor. Both Diane and I dived for our ear plugs and tried to go back to sleep. Me, without success because I could still hear that annoying sound.

It did eventually stop at around 5 am and I haven't heard it today, so hopefully it went back to New Guinea or wherever it came from.

The Common Koel

Here is a short video to show you how annoying that sound is. Bad enough during the day but at 3.45 in the morning? Boy that plays havoc with your sanity.

25 November 2009

Redlands - This is your Life

Diane and I recently joined the camera club of the Redlands' U3A (University of the 3rd Age) and we attend the monthly meetings of like-minded amateur photographers. Well, word got out that I am also a videographer, so the 'Footlight' theatre company also part of U3A, asked me if I could video their annual musical, this year called 'Redlands, this is your Life'. I enlisted the help of Diane and another videographer also called Bill, and armed with 3 cameras, we decended upon their stage in Cleveland and filmed the production.

The two Bills are setting up the cameras

Filming the musical

The final song of the musical

The production was fabulous. The entire compamy is made up of senior citizens some over 80 years old, but boy, can they still belt out a tune.

23 November 2009

Sonya and Bernard in 'New Idea'

Our famous offspring (well Bernard, anyway) have been asked for an article in this week's 'New Idea' magazine. Sonya, our daughter was a little reluctant to have her picture in the mag but eventually relented. So walking past a news stand, I couldn't help myself to buy a copy.

Click on the pictures to enlarge

I'll probably get into trouble putting these on my blog but, hey... I'm her proud dad!

22 November 2009

More about the new Bear Park in Bern

After yesterday's post on the Bear Park, here is a video showing more about this new Swiss Attraction. The video is by Swissinfo, formerly Swiss Radio International.

The famous Bears of Bern have moved

If you have ever visited Switzerland's capitol, Bern, chances are you went to the famous Bear Pit, the 'Bärengraben'. For people growing up and living in Bern, this was just an acceptable fact that bears were living in a relatively small enclosure, but many overseas visitors were expressing doubt that this could be good for the bears. Diane included.
So now the two remaining bears, Finn and Björk have been relocated to a brand new park, adjacent to the old pit. They now live in a 6,000 square metre park along the banks of the River Aare. They can still access the large pit, now a historic monument. Two more bears will soon join them.
Not only do they have more space to roam, but they also have million dollar view over the old town of Bern.

Yesterday, a man climbed onto the fence of the new enclosure and fell into the bear area. He was then attacked by 4 year old Finn who felt threatened by the intruder. A policeman fired a shot at the bear and injured him. The man was taken to hospital with head and leg wounds and the bear was operated on to remove the bullet. It is not known why the man climbed onto the fence according to city police sources. The Bear Park announced that Finn is doing well.

For more information on the Bear park Bern, click HERE

21 November 2009

Are you hungry?

In Germany, there is a famous restaurant called Waldgeist-Hofheim, where they serve the most enormous meals...

Anyone for a Schnitzel?

Or is a sausage your thing?

Or just a plain Hamburger?

17 November 2009

MS Oasis of the Seas

Shall we all go cruising in the world's largest cruise ship?

10 November 2009

Bernard Curry is in the TV Magazines again

Our daughter Sonya's partner, Bernard Curry is on the front covers of the Television Magazines again this week, for the 3rd time this year.

Bernard plays dive master Hugo Austin, in the Channel 7 drama Home and Away and also hosts the hit show Beauty and the Geeks Australia, also on Channel 7. But it's his Home and Away part that gets him all the attention at the moment. You see, his character Hugo, who, until now has been seen as a nice chap, looking after his brothers, has dark secrets. It has just been revealed that Hugo is actually married. Shock, Horror! How about his relationship with Martha?

Bernard on the front page of TV Week

So, presently Hugo is the talk of the town. What will happen in Summer Bay? How will his relationship with Martha end up?

How will the relationship with Martha end?

Together with other cast members of Home and Away, Bernard was part of the Celebrity Line-up at the recent Melbourne Cup, for our overseas visitors, that is the horse race that stops the nation.

Bernard Curry and Esther Anderson share
a tipple with George.

So, as we went shopping this morning, we saw another TV mag, one we have never bought before, but when we saw Bernie on the cover, we had to buy that one as well.

Hugo and Martha on the other TV Magazine cover

Inside, the story of course - Hugo and Martha's relationship

Of course, the inside story revolved around the recent revelation that Hugo was already married. A lot of fun really but in the meantime, Bernard's popularity increases which can't do his career no harm.

09 November 2009


A new composition by composer/musician John Sokoloff. Some of you might remember the short movie 'Johnny' I posted in June. This is John's latest production. Tell me what you think.

06 November 2009

With motor-driven bicycles through South Australia

A Swiss couple is planning to travel for two months through South Australia on their Electro-bicycles. Beat and Petra Amacher who run the bicycle shop near Interlaken plan to fly to Adelaide in South Australia to begin their 2,000 km journey in the Australian summer heat.
Electro-bicycles are not known yet here in Australia. The bikes are manufactured by the 'Flyer' Company of Switzerland and have an electrical battery and motor to assist the cyclist traveling, even on hills. The bike can travel up to 50 km on the charge of a battery.
The electrical display shows not only the distance travelled and speed but also the condition of the battery that runs the motor.
The bicycle has 8 gears and weighs 45 kg and the Li-ion battery has 10Amp per hour capacity. The couple will charge the motor batteries every night at the place they spend the night.

Sounds like an adventurous trip. We wish them good luck in their endeavour.

01 November 2009

Simon's sister is visiting with her dog

By popular demand, here's another of Simon's cartoons, this time his sister is visiting with her dog and he is fed up...

28 October 2009

The ultimate Computer Security!

How to protect your password- this should be very useful. You just can't be too careful!

With the way things are in today's world I suggest you read the message below carefully. This message is for your own safety and security!
No one can read your password
No one can see whatever your typing
or what website your browsing.
And the ultimate is..
I know that some of you are into crafts and knitting so get cracking!! .. I can see a marketing potential here

Repairs to my car

For a while now I've put up with some minor dents and scratches on the front bumper bar of my car. They have annoyed me but were not worth going to a panel beater for repairs. Then we saw an ad in the local paper for a company called "Bumpertech" who come to you to repair minor dents and scratches. We called them and the man came yesterday to do the job.
First, he sanded and filled the scratches and sanded and sprayed a primer.
Then he sanded the primer and masked all areas ready for the final coating.
Then he mounted plastic sheeting all around to avoid overspray.

And finally, he sprayed the final coat which he had perfectly matched to the paint code found under the bonnet. He did this with the help of a lap-top computer.
Here she is, brand-spanking new.

27 October 2009

Simon's Cat TV Dinner

For all cat lovers out there, this one is just for you

24 October 2009

Phoning the telephone company

I fully agree with this small person about the frustration talking to telephone companies.

23 October 2009

Beauty and the Geeks - Australia

here is a montage of clips taken from Episode 1 of Beauty and the Geeks Australia, hosted by
Bernard Curry.

22 October 2009

Bernard Curry on B105 Brisbane

We had dinner with Bernard Curry last night at the exclusive Stamford Plaza in town. Bernard was up here in Brisbane doing promotional gigs for Channel 7 for Beauty and the Geek. First up this morning he was on Radio B105-FM. Here's the interview:...

21 October 2009

Beauty and the Geeks - Australia - Promo

The new hit show on Channel 7 - Beauty and the Geek hosted by Bernard Curry
who also plays Hugo Austin in Australian Drama 'Home and away'.

Here's a promo....

See the last Episode Unfortunately you'll have to watch an ad first, but hey - Click here

18 October 2009

Brisbane Ethnic Radio 4EB-FM

Diane and I went into town yesterday to the Multicultural Festival at the Roma Street Parklands. Seeing the 4EB broadcast van there brought back some memories for me. 4EB-FM is a public broadcaster. For 20 years, (1979-1999) together with a small group of volunteers and with help from Swiss Radio International, we presented the Swiss Program on 4EB broadcasting to Swiss compatriots in the greater Brisbane area.
Of course in those days the station was an AM station with limited coverage and not very powerful transmitters.
Today, 4EB-FM broadcasts on the FM band with much more powerful transmitters.
Some of the faces of 4EB remain the same, forever volunteering their time and efforts to the Brisbane Ethnic communities.

The Radio 4EB-FM Outside Broadcasting Van

Even the present broadcast van is more modern than the old van we had converted into a studio.

Radio 4EB broadcasting from the Multicultural Festival

While we were there, the station was broadcasting in the Italian language.

I started broadcasting the Swiss program in 1979, just after the station went to air in a make-shift studio in a flat on the 1st floor of a fruit shop in West End. There was not much of a wall around the cubicle and whenever the red microphone light came on, everyone in the station had to be quiet.
In 1981, we finally had managed to build a reasonable studio area, with two broadcast studios and a common room-library and an office in the industrial area of South Brisbane. We really thought we had come up in the world.

In 1982 at West End

In 1988 we had built a proper studio complex in Main Street Kangaroo Point in our own building with three broadcast studios, a performance studio with control booth and a proper office with full-time staff. This is still the present home of Radio 4EB-FM.

In 1999 one of my last broadcasts

With the arrival of the internet and access to real-time radio stations in Switzerland on the internet, the Swiss Group decided to cease broadcasting material that was really over a week old by the time it went to air in Brisbane, and with less and less listeners tuning in, it was time to give up. However Radio 4EB-FM still broadcasts in over 50 languages.

Listen here to Radio 4EB-FM live