Daily Photo – Sunday 13th September 2015 – Colourful brunch

After a hectic day yesterday, it was a relaxed one today.

A trip to our favourite local cafe (so far), provided us with brunch (not early enough to be classed as breakfast) that was particularly colourful.

IMG_20150913_140405
Colourful brunch

Daily Photo – Saturday 12th September 2015 – Mexican Festival

Well today was a pretty fun packed day.

It kicked off with a parkrun fix, where I snapped these two views on the way to the start.

image
Skyneedle and sunrise.

I’m sure I’ll write a post about the skyneedle at some point.

A chat in the coffee shop, followed by a shower and a five minute walk found us at the local Mexican festival.

IMG_20150912_142236
Mexican bunting

 

Absolutely packed with people, milling around stalls and food trucks.

IMG_20150912_143527
Juan more Taco

It would have been rude not to partake of the taco selection available for lunch, wouldn’t it?

And the mexican wrestling display was a real crowd pleaser.

IMG_20150912_144903-COLLAGE
Mexican wrestling

And because the day wasn’t yet over, it was time to get over to the Suncorp stadium to see my first Brisbane Broncos (rugby league) game.

IMG_20150912_224926-COLLAGE
Brisbane Broncos

Whilst I may not completely understand the game as yet, I do like the atmosphere. I mean who wouldn’t? There’s fireworks, and a horse mascot that parades the touchline when the Broncos score a try!

Like I said, fun packed day this one 🙂

Daily Photo – Friday 11th September 2015 – 3D chalk walk

The Brisbane festival is still in full swing, so we decided to have a scout around the outdoor festival area tonight, that promises food places, musical entertainment and a 3D chalk walk.

And by a chalk walk….it was actually just two locations…where artists have drawn huge chalk images on the ground, which when you stand on the provided little stand and look down through the suggested aperture, you do get a good 3D feel of the image.

I haven’t quite captured that in the photo….but you can get the idea, and see a very good chalk picture.

IMG_20150911_164422
3D chalk walk

We sat and enjoyed a bit of the Friday evening vibe with music from the bar whilst enjoying the sunset views over the river.

IMG_20150911_172724
New William Street building reflects the sky quite well with all that glass.

And after such a strenuous evening (! cough, cough – any excuse!) some sustenance was required….so naturally to the food trucks we go.

And who could resist topped cronuts and donuts like these? (Hint: not me).

IMG_20150911_174249
Cronut or donut anyone?

Daily Photo – Wednesday 26th August 2015 – Market Day

Wednesday’s are market days in Redacliff Square, right next to Brisbane’s central shopping mall. Every week a plethora of tasty delights, like fresh fruit and veg, cakes and breads of many varieties, healthy options, salamis, lemonade, nuts galore, jams and honey, and more to take away with you.

Of course not to mention the large selection of freshly prepared, before your eyes, mouth watering delights to tempt the senses if you venture that way on your way to and from work….or maybe even a lunch break.

Not that I’ve been tempted of course! 😉

 

IMG_20150826_175022
Market Day

Daily Photo – Wednesday 12th August 2015 – Ekka

The day started off early, when I joined some friends undertaking a parkrun trial, i.e. a trial run of the course, for a new event due to start it’s weekly Saturday free runs soon. Intended to give the new volunteers and leaders a bit of practice, and ensure they’ve marked the course appropriately with either signs or marshals, as well as testing the kit (timing and scanning), having several hundred people turn up to run does indeed provide a good test.

parkrun trial
parkrun trial

And why were so many people available at 7am on a random Wednesday you may ask….I think in part this was due to it being Ekka day for many.

The Ekka, is Brisbane’s big annual agricultural festival, running for several days, and different parts of the area get a different day off work to allow people to attend if they wish. Wednesday was the day the company I was working for decided to take.

So off to the Ekka we go.

Show bags
Show bags

First on the list of “must-do’s” I’d been given by various colleagues in the days preceding my visit, was to visit the show bag “tent” (actually a massive tin-roofed shed). As it turns out you can cough up anything between $2 and somewhere round the hundred dollar mark to buy a bag filled with tat (sorry, useful and fun things!) on pretty much any theme you can think of. Chocolate bars from all the major producers, sweets of many kinds, beach towel, mask and plastic beaker on a Star Wars, Minions, monopoly, princess….. anything theme. Glow in the dark stuff. Water jet stuff. Plastic toys of many descriptions. It was immense!

My chocolate show bags
My chocolate show bags

I stumped up for the Cadbury bags (I’m a bit of a fan/addict), and a Bertie Beetles bag – apparently an Ekka exclusive chocolate (having eaten it, I see why it’s not viable for general sale!).

A fair few sheep have been sheared and had their coats judged!
A fair few sheep have been sheared and had their coats judged!

On the way to get to the animal show areas, we passed through the fairground, many food stalls, and passed by a marching band, and this very helpful sign at the entrance to the walkway connecting separated areas.

Sign of the times
Sign of the times

After walking past the very serious looking people at the dog show, and the nonchalant llama, we entered what I can only describe as the random area. There were displays, all competitions, for skills and crafts for tons of stuff. Giant vegetable growing and displays, knitted and crocheted objects, jams, preserves and cakes, honey, utility company stands, photography, paintings, sculptures…..and on and on.

One of many fruit and veg displays
One of many fruit and veg displays
Sculptures
Sculptures
One or two cakes....
One or two cakes….

There were many ‘shows’ advertised throughout the day also…..and the whip cracker caught my attention……definitely worth watching.

Nathan Griggs
Nathan Griggs – whipcracking champion

After a wander around the food court (free samples alert – another “must-do”), a little wander around the funfair….

All the fun of the fair
All the fun of the fair

….just enjoying watching people smiling and squealing with delight (apart from the lad who was getting distinctly greener the longer the spinning ride continued), I found myself at the wood chop finals. A lot of fast precision cutting and trust in what look like flimsy planks held in by nothing but wishful thinking.

Woodchop competition in full swing (pun intended)
Woodchop competition in full swing (pun intended)

As it starts to get dark, we’re heading towards the finale in the parade ground…..so I grab the final “must-do” item (having grabbed the corn dog earlier in the day), the strawberry sundae.

Ekka strawberry sundae
Ekka strawberry sundae

So off to the showring, to watch all the animals parade (including the goldfish in a bowl!), flying motorbike stunts, fast cars kicking dirt into the crowds as they skid around the ring, monster trucks, and of course my favourite….. fireworks.

Stunt bikes
Stunt bikes
Monster trucks and fast cars
Monster trucks and fast cars
Yay....fireworks
Yay….fireworks

Overall a fascinating, bizarre and fun day for this Ekka first timer.

Oh and I mustn’t forget….the rather useful freebie I received from the fire service stand…..not sure what I came last in though?!

My useful freebie
My useful freebie

Daily Photo – Sunday 9th August 2015 – food on the move

Food on the move
Food on the move

I’m sure we can’t be the only ones…..stayed out of the house for longer than expected, and now going on an unplanned visit straight to the cinema.

But we’ve not had dinner. Choices are go into one of the nearby restaurants, which carries the risk of taking a little longer than we have…..or nip into the supermarket round the corner and buy whatever nibbles grab your fancy.

As you can see, the supermarket won…..I’ve not had a ham and crisp sandwich for ages….yum 🙂

Daily Photo – Friday 7th August 2015 – Boundary Street markets

Boundary Street markets
Boundary Street markets

Markets, when I was a kid, were always full of random stalls from button sellers, book sellers, butchers, clothes, videos, computer games, sweets, alongside fruit and veg stalls.

But this market, which happens every Friday and Saturday is all about food. And food for immediate consumption at that.

There’s food of so many varieties, a consequence of Brisbane being so culturally diverse I think. And I’m enjoying making my way around them all, slowly.

So my question is, if there was a particular dish you’d want to see at a market like this, what would it be?

*By the way, this photo captures less than a quarter of the size of these markets!

Daily Photo – Wednesday 29th July 2015 – First Degustation

This evening, we went to our first ‘degustation’ (or tasting menu as we would have called it back in the UK).

We’ve been to a Michelin star place with a tasting menu before, and were blown away at just how fantastic it was. So there is a high bar to live up to.

Tonight, however, was nowhere near close to that standard. 

Now don’t get me wrong, we had a lovely evening, but that was down to us accepting we were going to enjoy it….despite the pretentiousness of the menu, the food, and the waiter’s lengthy explanations of each dish, and the rather long waits in between.

Some of the food was nice, but there wasn’t enough of it really. And with the first three courses largely consisting of strong alcohol, I for one was feeling tipsy enough that I wanted more water and started talking of kebab and chips on the way home!

First Degustation
First Degustation

One fine example that had us both smirking and trying not to giggle whilst the waiter explained it, was this pictured course.

On the menu it had stated: “Absolut Elyx – Fino – Mandarin – Porthole”. It meant nothing to me. But the waiter describing the massive block of ice taking up most of the glass as ” triple frozen ice ….. to make it a more pure” in amongst a load of other words about the vodka and the frozen mandarin “spheres” on top, had me desparately trying not to look at him, or anyone else for fear of laughing out loud at the seriousness of his tone.

This particular restaurant is trying just a little too hard, and needs to concentrate on good flavours and combinations.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I didn’t get food on the way home, as by the time we left four hours after we arrived, we just wanted our beds.

Daily Photo – Sunday 19th July 2015 – Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips
Fish, chips, battered sausage, scallops, mushy peas, curry sauce

 

I’ve been fancying fish and chips…..well actually mainly the chips for a while now. You see whilst chips are available on menu’s in many Australian food venues, they just aren’t like chip shop chips in the UK. And that’s what I wanted.

Having had this discussion with a fellow expat, she not only had informed me there was a British style chippy within an hours driving distance of central Brisbane, she also arranged for a small group of us to go out there and enjoy their offerings together.

They were the closest thing to my memories of British chip shop chips to date, and the bonus range of cans of pop (fizzy sugary drinks) available added a lovely touch.

I’m blaming them for the child like freedom that ensued in a bar on the way back, in that I enjoyed colouring in the place mats kindly provided whilst sipping on my rather brightly coloured slushie style cocktail.

Slushie cocktail
Slushie cocktail