Prime spot

CatBirdSeat

Dined tonight at the fairly new (2014) Catbird Seat Bistro in South Brisbane and what a pleasure! Actually we had been steered along by daughter Erin who works there … mum and dad were invited to check it out … on her night off. Our 7pm booking (on a Saturday) started quietly enough but by the end of the evening we were surrounded by a happy chatty crowd of diners all being attended to with applomb by owner Erin (not our daughter, now there’s a coincidence). There’s only room for 40 so it’s cosy and intimate, just what we had in mind.

And the food? Gorgeous. We chose to share an entree plate of house-made charcuterie with pickles, preserves and bread, including yummy quince paste, caperberries, gerkins and sliced house-baked rye bread.

Then Pip took the high road with a fillet of barramundi and I chose the low road: a roasted poussin crown perched on an onion puree with a rye crumb, celery and radish salad. We shared sides of shredded red cabbage mottled with parmesan and spiked with sherry vinegar, and a plate of green beans rolling in peach, pecans and ricotta.

We sipped sparkling Hepburn spa water from Daylesford near our old stamping ground of Ballan, then moved on to a delightful 2013 chardonnay, Witches Falls Wild Ferment made by Jon Heslop at his Mt Tamborine winery south-west of Brisbane. We’ve visited and written about many wines in the wider Granite Belt since 1995 and this ranks among the very best.

We could not resist dessert so we shared an Earl Grey panna cotta with peaches, citrus and an innovative mint crumble.

This is “bistro at its best” and the tab ($178 including the wine) is definitely reasonable (very probably economical) for the style, location, preparation, presentation, intricate flavours and the professional service. In regional Victoria we have paid more for less and Brisbane is, after all, a capital city.

Best festival day ever …

We saw/heard these guys (Tjintu Desert Band) last night in the Songlines tent at Woodford. They were my first “live” experience of hot central desert Australian Blackfella pub rock … great new material and excellent band, especially the cool guy on the keyboards, (where I like to imagine myself). Were you there?

It was our first big day in the mountains north-west of Brisbane … started in the Concert tent with the Starboard Cannons, then to the Bazaar tent for Rachael Dadd and finally for the morning, to the Grande for the amazing Scottish wonders Tim Edey Trio.

Lunch at Govindas then setting up our camp in Tent City before returning to Blues Town for Brisbane band The Company, into the Palace tent for the Doogans, dinner at the Marrakech Express and back to settle in at Blues Town for the Empressarios and the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

Betweeners: We drank a bold new vodka cocktail called a Crapple at Bill’s Bar, sank a Champoine and a Champino Kolada and drank brilliant cold teas at Eshai TeaHouse. Where did you drink?

Here they all are:

Starboard Cannons:


Rachael Dadd:


Tim Edey Trio:


The Company (historic video, hairstyles have changed!):


Empressarios:


and finally the Brass Knuckle Brass Band.

More fantastic Crowe

Went to see The Water Diviner yesterday and came away feeling greatly inspired. Had an idea this would be so, as we’re big fans of Crowe’s acting. Turns out he can direct masterfully too. See it … and in a nice touch, we understand US audiences will get their first taste on Anzac Day 2015.

WTF?

One idiot is all it takes! C’mon Longreach, tell the Eagle’s Nest owner he’s badly mistaken. And by the way, we won’t be eating there again until he changes his tune and publishes a retraction sign.

idiot

16 sleeps

It’s a little bit scary but a lot more fun … Christmas present buying steps up today with some new specials from Spinifex Collections in Longreach. When you live this far out, you need something naughty and nice. Happy shopping to all our viewers!

Moving: box yourself in with this?

Many families move house at Christmas time and this professional removalist’s box is sure to come in handy. We had it professionally constructed to move 5 cubic metres of our furniture across half the country (Victoria to Outback Queensland) and now it’s ready for its next user. Only $300 to purchase and free pick-up in Longreach. The box — technically called a “lift van” — can be shipped by rail to you but the shipping will be extra. Phone John on 0413 004 138 or email now.

Australia Post gives up the hunt

AustPost gives upAustPost case closed

 

At 3:38pm today (Queensland time) we received these two emails … the first (left) apologises for Australia Post being unable to find Pip’s missing birthday present, which was logged in at the Longreach Post Office then not delivered in October; the second (right) arrived a split second later: “case closed”.

What happens now? We just resume normal life and wonder what the post office will lose next … and send all our Christmas presents by mail? — NOT! Contact us here, on FaceBook, Twitter or LinkedIn or by email if you have had a similar experience with your postal/”non-postal” service.

A gift from a shopkeeper — free postage for your Christmas presents

Dallas Scott of the Garden Shed in Longreach tells us she is delighted to offer free postage within Australia for Christmas gifts ordered before December 10th. Here’s a look at her latest specials. Thanks Dallas!

We support local business

Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of Christmas stock at Longreach’s Spinifex Collections, thanks to owner Sue Smith.

Delighted delighted delighted

anthology cover FINAL size borders title j title

Delighted to announce the launch of a new anthology of creative writing from local writers in the Moorabool Shire, central Victoria, Australia. It represents the rich and diverse creative talent working in regional Victoria. The Moorabool Library Services and Moorabool Shire Council provided resources (=$$$ and in-kind support) to make this project possible. The anthology was edited by the Writers Craft committee, I handled final editing, design, production and publication through Strictly Liter@ry™.

Here are some of the pre-review reviews we cobbled together :-)

‘I keep this book by my bedside. Essential reading for budding dictators.’ Mao Tse Tung

‘Would have been handy on D-Day.’ Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

‘A Ripper read.’ Aaron Kosminski

‘These writers have obviously suffered for their art. Now you can, too.’ The Moorabool Literary Supplement

‘Who said the author was dead? They’re alive and working in Moorabool.’ Roland Barthes

‘Steal this book!’ Ned Kelly

‘Better in bed than Marc and Julius.’ Cleopatra

You can buy a printed copy here or an ebook version here or (naturally) a Kindle version here.

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