We are home! We arrived home early evening yesterday. I left with great reluctance, as I always do. I absolutely love Australia and New Zealand and could easily live there if it were not for all my friends and family on this side of the world. I have had the pleasure of visiting many countries around the globe but none have ever tempted me with wanting to stay there, as Australia and New Zealand always do.
Our flight was an evening flight so we had all day to enjoy and make the most of. We spent the early morning in the market (see previous post). At lunch time Sarah popped in with her 2 little girls. One of the ideas I am taking from Keven and Debbie’s kitchen is this simple salad. Every day Keven makes a large salad for them both. Debbie takes hers to work and I can do the same.
The base is always the same; a large bowlful of grated beetroot, carrot and radish. To this is added a variety of green leaves and other vegetables. Keven mixes in salmon and rice. On the side we had cheese and smoked olives (completely delicious). With the exception of the olives which I have never had smoked before, none of the ingredients in this salad are ones I would not normally eat. I particularly like the grated component which makes the salad seem juicy so you need less dressing and I am so impressed with Debbie’s discipline of taking in her food every day. I will endeavour to do the same. We chatted and chilled and did laundry and packed. Late afternoon we headed off for a walk along Dicky Beach. I wanted my last Aussie beach fix. Harvey and Charlie ran around and played as they have been doing together since we arrived on Wednesday. The wreck was completely visible which apparently is unusual. I assume it is due to the full moon which has created higher and lower than average tides. I wonder how long it will be before I walk along my next Australian beach. How long before the little fella has another swim here? Hopefully not too long. Saying good-bye was hard for me. Deja Vue! We stopped over at Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia. If any of you are travelling between the UK and Australia or New Zealand, I recommend KL as a good stop over airport. There is a lounge to watch films in with comfy chairs to sit or lie on. Free WiFi and laptops provided. Architecturally the building is stunning. There is even a rainforest provided. I couldn’t see a way in but it was pleasant scenery never the less. So, horrified by the spare tyre I seem to have accumulated while I was away (which I blame on beer, cakes and ice-cream) and inspired by Keven and Debbie’s eating habits, I resolved to be good from the minute I woke up.
I did miss my blender while I was away so for breakfast I made a smoothie with a banana, some blackcurrants, oats, almonds and soya milk. I also took some supplements to have a mega dose of vitamins and minerals to help get over the travelling. Harvey requested roast chicken. I made a paste with some fresh tarragon, 3 garlic cloves, salt and a little olive oil. I spread this under the skin of the chicken breast and popped it in the oven to roast. While it was roasting I unpacked and was pleased to find these coffee beans, which I had forgotten about. I don’t have a fancy coffee machine to make a latte so I used the cafetiere and it was a decent cup of coffee. I particularly enjoyed reliving the memories of the fun tour we had of the Jacques coffee plantation. We had a late lunch of roast chicken, roast potatoes, broccoli, green beans and butternut squash. This was followed by a fruit salad made with strawberries, raspberries and grapes and I did have a tiny bit of ice-cream. We didn’t eat until 4pm so that will last until tomorrow. I did pop out to the veggie garden before even going inside last night. I have been unlucky with the rabbits who have now eaten 100 % of my onions and garlic which is very frustrating as I had planted so much. Caterpillars have decimated my beans, kale and red cabbage. James and Harvey picked off all the ones they could find and there is a chance the red cabbage will continue to grow. The courgettes turned in to marrows so I may not get any more of those and all the lettuces have bolted. The good news is that the Swiss chard has thrived, the sunflowers were successfully propped up (they had completely fallen over), the sweetcorn is looking very promising as are the leeks.
It was good to be back in my kitchen and sleeping in my own bed. I have been morose today though as I do not know how long it will be before I can go back to see those lovely people and some of the beautiful places in Australia and New Zealand. Forget the pension, I am saving for my next trip Down Under.