Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Hello again! I am back reunited with my computer after a country holiday in the northern midlands. I did try and blog on my various i bits and pieces yet couldn't work out how to include photos -and let's face it, it's boring without the visuals.

The weather was glorious so we spent most days by the pool swimming and playing badminton:

Except for the day we went waterskiing:

Felix launched his rocket that Santa brought him for Christmas:

And when I wasn't practicing advanced yoga postures in the saftey of the pool (I could do handstands and the scorpion) I reread Jilly Cooper's seminal work:

I don't care if my husband writes Polo off as trash, I'm going to publicly state that I think it is a great read. Riders and Rivals are almost as good yet I am really sorry to say that unfortunately, in my opinion, Jilly Cooper lost her way after these three books. Nothing has ever been the same again. I last read Polo seven years ago when we were moving into our house - we didn't have a kitchen and everything was caked with the detrius of builder's filth. It gave me comfort to live vicariously  in the Cotswolds amongst the polo playing set near possibly one of the greatest spunks in literature Rupert Campbell - Black. Surely he's up there with Mr Darcy?

Such was my obsession that Mimi, Felix and I (it was way back in the days before Tobes and Camelia) named the horses in the park at Fitzroy Gardens, Spotty (aka Potty) and Fantasma after Perdita and Luke's ponies - unfortunately they have now been replaced by more sedate child's play equipment which it would be impossible to have a relationship with.

In my defence, the other books on my shelf that I also regularly reread are my collected works of Jane Austen and the Nancy Mitford Omnibus. Years ago we had a Jane Austen odyssey on a motoring holiday through the UK and  last year when we were in the Cotswolds we made a pilgrimmage in our motorhome to Swinbrook cemetry to visit Nancy Mitford and most of her sisters.  Hopefully I will find the photo and edit it in later.

Must dash as the baby has just woken up. More tomorrow!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Le Provencal.

I love French food and I love wandering down the road to Le Provencal for dinner:

It is a quirkily decorated family run restaurant - Jean Claude does the cooking and Julie runs the front of house. They live upstairs with their family. You need to remember to book well in advance.

The trompe l'oeil is really convincing:

And the food is delicious and unpretentious. Last night I started with the mussels:

 Followed by the duck with apple, prune and Armagnac sauce:

I can never manage to leave room for dessert - which is a shame because I also asore creme caramel. Maybe next time.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I'm going on a date tonight with my husband as it's a year since we returned to Hobart after eight months in France. Sigh. We are going to a French restaurant just down the road in Hobart. This time last year in Paris we went here:

The Michelin starred La Tour D'Argent -we made the reservation for lunch the night before and got a table. The icing on the cake was that we had a babysitter. We attracted Caroline a gorgeous twenty something Parisienne student a couple of weeks before while lunching in the Marais with all of the children (there was no respite):

She was sitting at the table next to us at this very restaurant and was so keen to volunteer her babysitting services that she programmed her number into my phone. How could I not ring her up? She was a gift from the babysitting gods. The only downside was that the children didn't like that she smoked out of the window - I did say that she was Parisienne didn't I?

Anyway, everything conspired to make lunch at La Tour D'Argent memorable. Six week old Camelia slept on the chair:

Kim had duck for his main course and was presented with a card with a picture of ducks on the front and the number of the duck that he ate on the back. Wasn't that a special touch?

Friday, 20 January 2012


So I shouldn't have written that bit late last night about neglecting school preparation. When I seriously started contemplating what I have to achieve over the next two weeks, it induced utter panic - I couldn't sleep.

Luckily Studio New Town is half way to the Showgrounds so after this morning's yoga class we kept driving to face the anual torment that is the purchasing of school books that Birchall's sets up in a shed at the Showgrounds. Yet, maybe it isn't so bad - they are really very helpful and kindly arrange piles of everything you need for your child's year group to match the booklist. You then pay for it and take it home. That was Mimi's books sorted.

Felix's books were another story altogether. No Showgrounds for his. They had to be ordered online from a mainland supplier. As soon as I logged on I discovered that there is no way he is going to have his books to coincide with school starting. I had no choice other than to persist as this is the only place with the actual booklist. I'm embarrased to say that it took me two sessions to find the list of books and stationery (and worst luck a recorder) - the frustration. Mercifully one of the mother's I bumped into at the Showgrounds was able to talk me through the finer details - thanks Belinda!

When we finally got home we made a restorative batch of date scones:

They are so easy. All you do is while you are waiting for the oven to heat up to 220 degrees is mix 300g self raising flour with a handful of chopped dates and stir in 150ml cream and 150ml water. Squish out onto a  floured bench and cut into scone shapes (I use an egg ring). Brush top with milk and bake for around12 minutes.

After that we were prepared to walk down the hill to tackle Mimi's school uniform.

I still haven't done anything about the five pairs of shoes.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Deja Vu.

Today was Thursday. So I indulged in my usual Thursday behaviour.

9.30am Bikram Yoga class followed by a turn around Gowans Auctions. This was the view in one of the sheds:

You really do have to concentrate very hard to revisualise items in a completely different context. It just wasn't working for me today, see:

Hmm? Maybe not.

Then the children and I headed to the beach - even though it usually results in not one but two additional loads of washing due to all of the sand. It was worth it though as look how beautiful and blue the weather was in Hobart:

I'm delaying the inevitable and giving myself another week before I need to embark on behaviour involving school preparation. Eek - uniforms, books, haircuts and worst of all school shoes as the boys need two pairs each.

Only two and a half weeks left of school hols.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I have been away again. On Monday the children and I headed north along the highway to hang out with an old school friend at her farm. There was no wi-fi so no opportunity to blog. Yet happily there was a pool - we spent virtually the entire two days in it.

There were also lots of old school friends:

And look at all of our children:

Between the five of us we have seventeen. People who knew me in my youth are always surprised that I have four children as I wasn't particularly maternal back then - in fact I have surprised myself. I have another friend who had her babies before me and wouldn't let me hold them when they were new born. Can you believe that.

To my city children's absolute delight there was also a real farmer and a quadbike:

I'm back home again now.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. Yesterday it was back to life outside the yoga bubble.

Sitting outside the Radisson at 4.30am waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport to catch my insanely early flight, a group of yogis and yoginis (including the male World Yoga Champion) poured out of a taxi a tad the worse for wear - I could tell as they were wishing the driver Merry Christmas. As they were all saying goodnight they suggested doing the Goodbye pose - standing with leg behind head that we had been learning in the Advanced classes. I would have liked to have seen that.

I was so exhausted (or brainwashed and confused) after my trip that I went and did the 4pm class. I thought it would be a walk in the park yet I was wrong. It was tough, why was I surprised? It doesn't matter if it's Bikram or Ben standing up the front delivering the dialogue, physically Bikram Yoga is designed to be strenuous and challenging.

So, today I wagged yoga. Instead we went for a restorative drive in the country and had a picnic by the river in Bothwell:

Both of the boys got car sick and spewed. Regardless, it's good to be home.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Day 5.

"Everybody look so happy today!" Maybe it was because Bikram promised an 89 minute Beginner's class and he actually came through right on time instead of the usual 2 long hours. Yet again there was not even a glimmer of carpet between mats - "I know there not much room, just don't make person next to you pregnant without their permission".

All week Bikram has been telling us that we have to flush the toilet every day and reminding us how bad it is that some people don't flush the toilet for 20 years. Well, we have been flushing the toilet twice a day for the last five days. This is what the towel bin looks like after class each day full of 580 towels:

Lucky this isn't smell-o-vision. The cloying reek of Bikram Yoga stench has reached beyond the ballroom - it can be smelt in the reception foyer. I wonder what they are going to do with the carpet. While the Beginner's class is practiced on a mat so there was some protection, the Advanced class was either directly on the carpet or on a towel. I hope that there are no weddings scheduled in the immediate future.

Last night we stayed up late to go to movie night. Bikram is an insomniac who firmly believes that people only need a couple of hours sleep and one meal a day. The ballroom morphed from torture chamber to cinema (yes, smell and all). We were subjected to a Bollywood romance. At 12.15am we snuck out - just after the hero and heroine were rescued from a remote island (think Indian version of the Blue Lagoon yet of course there wasn't even kissing) and the herione was about to be New Zealand. I wonder how it ended.

Home tomorrow!


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Day 4.

What do you want 90 minutes of pain or 90 years of pain?

The idea behind Bikram Yoga is that you suffer in class so the rest of the time you're in heaven. It's preventative medecine. Bikram says that people come to him with a junk body, a screw loose brain and a lost soul and like an auto mechanic he panel beats each aspect into alignment through his yoga sequences. However apparently human bodies are harder to fix than cars because we think and speak.

All week we have been trying to guess Bikram's actual age and  have it narrowed down to around 70. He really is a walking advertisement for what he is selling.

The vibe amongst everyone participating in this Advanced Seminar is amazing. There is a real sense of cameraderie - that we are all in this (hot smelly room, extreme yoga, tacky, isolated and overpriced hotel) together. Last night my room mate (from Sydney) and I hosted a dinner party in our courtyard - a difficult feat as there are no cooking facilities in our hotel room. So you had to bring your own food and coconut water. One of our guest's was from Russia as can you believe that there are not one but two Bikram Yoga studios in Moscow. I have also met people from Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Sunshine Coast.

Tonight we are going to brave Bikram's Bollywood movie night. Hopefully we can sit near the door and sneak out early so we don't get stuck until 4am.

Did I also mention that all of this yoga has given me carpet burn on my knee? Apart from that I feel great.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Day 3.

Welcome to Hong Kong. Today the ballroom was an overpopulated parallel universe inhabited by I'd guess around 300 Bikram Yoga enthusiasts (and I use this term loosely). It was standing room only and so humid that by the end of the class it was like being in fog - you could barely see the far side of the room.

It may have been hot yet Bikram himself seemed more sedate - after he had bounced all the girls wearing boob tubes from the class.

Today there seemed to be more of an emphasis on mind as well as the unrelenting physical assault on the body. Bikram warned us on the first night that he was going to suck out our brains, put them in a blender and make us drink them and he is following through on his promise. He told us that one of the main problems facing human beings is self realisation. That we just don't know what we are capable of - the true power that's within us.

Oh, of course it was also a day of spectacles. Bikram couldn't resist the temptation to give himself a wedgie and very impressively waggle his butt cheeks to demonstrate what he meant by the difference between loose and clenched. Whereas two of his World Champions demonstrated the awe inspiring full camel - complete with Bikram standing on their hips. Neither is a sight to forget in a hurry.

When you wade past all of the showmanship and sexy stories Bikram is essentially toting freedom from disease and longevity (even though we are convinced we are being asphyiated by the gas from the heater)which is pretty compelling really.

I'll leave you with the view of the room from savasana:


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Day 2.

It's only day two and Bikram's not selling cheesecake, he's selling PAIN. And today he wasn't so Mr Nice Guy.

He told us a story about how when he first started his classes he used to lock the door and in the 140 degree temperatures people had to "piss in their costumes or shit in their pants". Mercifully, today the doors were unlocked as there was a steady trickle of people in and out during the Beginners class which became a mass exodus during the first savasana. And then once the floor series started and someone tried to leave she was challenged with "why you leave, do you have to go and change your tampon?"

But worse was to come. The girl with the trompe l'oeil tough sticker on her back (an ornately decorated dagger which trickily looked like it was stuck through a flap of her skin just in case you were wondering) who was on the mat in front of me struck trouble. Heaven forbid, she looked down during floor bow which didn't escape Bikram's eagle eye and suddenly all hell broke loose. He asked her why she looked down and she answered that her teacher had told her to. "Who's your teacher? They will loose their teaching licence!" He stood her up and demanded to know who knew her and which studio she goes to. Eventually someone down in the back corner of the room put up their hand and said that she went to eight different studios. All seemed appeased by this answer and I saw her back in the room for the second class - albeit in a different place.

And the yoga? It felt much better today (although I should clarify this by saying that it was still HARD). The Advanced series moved much faster and we progressed through to postures that we hadn't done yesterday. Sorry to report that I didn't have success with the Mountain yet I did make inroads with my lotus which is a start, right? 

Today, there was less demonstrating and more doing. Although after Bikram claimed that he created the word disco, he did demonstrate lifting his man boobs in time to a song.

Never a dull moment.

And just because it's summer on the Gold Coast I capped off my afternoon with a swim at Burleigh Heads:

Don't you wish you were here?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Day 1.

It was standing room only in the Ballroom at the Radisson Resort at the Gold Coast today for Bikram's first day of Beginner and Advanced classes. All up it was five hours of intense yoga. Yes, five hours.

Here is the room as people were still arriving and before cameras became prohibited:

When the Beginner's class started you really couldn't see any carpet as it was obscured by mats - mats as far as the eye could see. The room was mirror free and heated by a gas blower at one end of the room so it wasn't bakingly hot yet the obverbearing humidity more than made up for it. It was punishing.

Bikram directed the class from this stage seated on this chair wearing a high cut Speedo and a black sweat band tied over his forehead (you'll just have to conjure up the complete picture in your minds eye):

Bikram said that Pranayama Breathing sounded like a swarm of locusts descending whereas to me it sounded and felt like being sucked into the vortex of the torture chamber. Wow it was hard yet Bikram serenaded us and recounted bizarre annecdotes throughout - he told the class that he lost his virginity on his 28th birthday.

The Beginners series runs like a well oiled machine. If you've done Bikram Yoga then you've heard the words before - today they were in an Indian accent by the man himself. According to Bikram they are going to make a film about his life story and either Francis Ford Cuppola, or George Lucas or Steven Speilberg is going to direct it.

When the first class finally finished after two long hours we had a fifteen minute break where I sloped back to my room and had a shower - I felt like throwing myself into the pool, but there was no time for that.

Then it was time for the Advanced series where things became much more free form. Both of this year's reigning Yoga champions were on hand to demonstrate and wasn't that a mindpopping show. We were also introduced to such postures as the Mountain and the Cock - as if. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor incredulous. I wish I could do Lotus pose. Maybe tomorrow.

When it was finally all over I couldn't help giggling at the hoard of sweaty, dishevelled and barely dressed people who surged through the resort reception, past all of the uninitiated families on holidays, on their way back to their rooms.

And have to get up tomorrow to do it all over again.


Sunday, 8 January 2012


Here I am in Melbourne en route to the Gold Coast on my yoga odyssey:

At the moment I feel spookily alone and for me it's a truly weird feeling. It's like I've left my husband and four children at home in Hobart....actually it's true, I have and here's the evidence:

I'm not used to being by myself, let's face it in my day to day usual life (when I'm not gallivanting across Australia on a yoga jaunt)  it's rare I even get to go to the loo by myself.

On the plane I was thinking back to my first ever Bikram Yoga class. It's funny how things show up on your radar. Although maybe not so strange considering. I was pushing Tobes on the swings down at Marieville Esplanade, as I did most days, when another mother started regaling a friend and I about Bikram Yoga. I was horrified by the entire concept - an hour and a half in a very, very hot room, sweating and contorting your body into strenuous yoga postures AND on top of that no water until the teacher says you could have some. As if.

I am not very good in the heat regardless of having spent part of my childhood on an Indonesian island. I vividly recall fainting during choir concerts at school in the stifling Sydney heat and I'm sure Kim would love to tell you about one stop over in Singapore on our way back from London where we ventured outside the airport to sightsee.

Nevertheless, I did my first class almost three years ago. It sounds like a long time, yet I had a year hiatus while I was pregnant and living in France. Not that I could have gone if I'd wanted to as the closest Bikram Yoga studio was in Marseilles almost a two hour drive away. I was gagging to practice during the time we were in Paris at the end of our time in France, after Camelia was born. So on the day that marked six weeks since my caesarian (when you are traditionally allowed to work out at the gym) I went to the studio in the Marais only to be turned away - they maintained that I had to wait three months after the surgery.

Anyway, way back when I braved my first class I was surprised that it wasn't so bad. It wasn't until about six weeks later when we were holidaying in Bali that it all turned bad. Kim and I left the children at the kids club and ventured into Kuta to do a class. The sound of the heatpump droning out hot air while the hot sun beamed through the floor to ceiling windows was enough to put me on the floor for good soon after eagle.

After that I truly questioned whether I would ever head back onto the mat again. How's this as a bizarre coincidence - Amanda the Canadian teacher in Kuta taught the next class I did in Hobart. It's true.

Now I'd better go and catch that plane.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Today I got up early so as to have my sixth consecutive day on the mat as tomorrow I am bound for the Gold Coast and the Bikram Yoga Advanced Seminar with Bikram Choudhury along with 250 other people. It was a particularly tough camel and lying on the mat in Savasana after I was convinced my inner voice was taunting me by telling the class about my blog. But it wasn't me it was Anna - speaking out loud!  So a big welcome to everybody reading from Studio New Town.

During Pada Hastasana, with my head pressed below my knees and sweat dripping into my nose the thought occurred to me - why am I going on a resort holiday to subject myself to this every day?

I must say that while I am a tad trepidatious about so much yoga I am very curious about what it will be like and absolutely exhilarated by the concept of a week in a Queensland resort without nappies, washing, meals to prepare and the other everyday elements of domesticity which accompany my usual existence.

What else did I do today? I walked the dogs and the children to the park and cut all of the red hot pokers out of my front garden beds. This is the after shot:

I thought I'd finally eradicated them yet every year there they are demanding attention and clashing with the more sedate pinks, whites and yellows.

Suppose I'd better go and pack.


Friday, 6 January 2012


Remember when we had a family day trip to Oatlands just before Christmas? Well, we went there ostensibly to procure this chemical free, Tasmanian grown, ground in the historic Callington Mill flour:

My children adore Italian food and it has to be the one country where they will eat whatever is on their plate - and let's face it it is usually pizza or pasta - with none of the requisite complaining. I must admit to being rather partial Italian food to the extent that when we were there last, and I was pregnant, I used it as the perfect excuse to taste my way around Italy. Let's face it I was going to end up looking like the size of a house anyway. Rome, Naples, Siena - pizza, pasta and at least one if not two gelati a day. My favourite was anything from Grom whereas Kim tried a pear and pecorino from a gelateria in Cortona and was instantly enamoured. He keeps threatening to experiment and make a Roqueort and caremelised apple ice cream?

So, all was good until my next appointment with my French obstetrician who put me on the scales (as he did every single visit) and told me in no uncertain terms that at two thirds of the way through my pregnancy I couldn't put on any more weight. And that I'd have to 'reduce'. There was no mistranslation. In France during pregnancy 10 - 14 kgs is the accepted weight gain over the entire 40 weeks. As far as I know there is no limit to weight gain during pregnancy in Tasmania - I had NEVER been weighed before and as an extreme case in point a friend of mine put on 30 kilos during pregnancy and wasn't chastised by her doctor (can you believe that).

Anyway, I deviate, back to the subject at hand - carbs. Tonight I made the children a pizza. I always use this book for the recipe for dough:

It is insanely easy. or 1 pizza, measure 225g plain flour, then I tip in some dried yeast and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Start mixing and then gradually add 150ml hot water out of the tap. You want a nice, soft dough - add more flour if it's too wet, more water if too dry. Easy. Especially as I use my KitchenAid so you don't even need to get your hands dirty:

Leave it to rise for an hour then knock out the air, fit onto a pizza pan and bake in a very hot oven for around 12 minutes. Trust me  - you need never buy a pizza base again:

Apologies, it was half demolished before I remembered to take the photo.
Then, because I was worried that this post was going to be dull and short I decided to really impress and make pasta. Recipes usually state 1 egg to 1 cup flour yet I find that too dry so I start off with less and add flour until it's the right consistency. We scored the food grinding attachment for my KitchenAid for Christmas so I can inally use the pasta disks I have had sitting in the cupboard forever:

However, it all clagged together and got stuck inside in the rather elaborate inner workings. This one works much better:

Right now I am about to cook the pasta so will hold off publishing this until I can show you a photo.

Ta da, pasta with crab, garlic, chilli, pasta and lemon juice:

Worth the effort?


Thursday, 5 January 2012


Today was multiple vaccination day in our family with both Tobes' and Camelia's numbers being up. I had put it off as long as I could. It was the threatening letter from the Family Assistance Office that finally goaded me into action. Tobes had been worded up. When the nurse told him, just before jabbing him in each arm, that it might hurt a little bit, he piped up 'nothing hurts me'. And he was right, the little darling didn't even flinch:

He takes after his father who's claim to fame is not even taking Panadol after having all of  his wisdom teeth taken out.

OK, so maybe I did bribe Tobes with a trip to the health food store in the village:

This is my children's idea of the ultimate treat! Bring on the carob coated honeycomb.

Meanwhile, I'm taking a holiday from A Suitable Boy and reading my first ever Noel Coward:

Did you watch the adaption of Easy Virtue on ABC1 on Christmas night? I adored every moment of it.


Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Have you ever been to Malmaison, just outside Paris? The day we did I fell in love with the ceiling in Josephine's bedchamber. I have a bit of a thing for the sky so for years after I coveted a glimpse of it in our bedroom - admittedly without the tent like drapery and overwhelming use of gilt which would look delusional in our house: 

Yet where in Hobart do you find an artist to trompe l'oeil your bedroom ceiling a la Malmaison? Luckily, the heavily trompe l'oeiled French restaurant Le Provencal is just around the corner in Macquarie Street. We have been dining there for years and years and years pretending we were in the French countryside because of the convincing view out of the window. We had dinner there the night Felix was born and when we used to wag Thursday night Adult Ed French classes Julie would make us order our French.

So, if you are after trompe l'oeil then Peter Gouldthorpe is the man. I was initially embarassed about asking him to paint the sky on our bedroom ceiling. Yet then remembered he must have had much stranger requests having heard stories about him painting a full length portrait of Camilla Parker-Bowles in another Hobart house.

This is what our ceiling looks like now:

On Sunday mornings we all point out what we can see in the clouds. Tobes is convinced there is a kangaroo with a joey on it's back.

And the sky is always blue.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


I have been trying to drag out the memories of our amazing trip to India back in November not only with Indian food, but also with Indian literature.

I'm ashamed to admit that over the last three weeks I have been chipping away at this tome yet am still not even half way through:

I'm starting to loose track of who's who and that is a tad of a bad thing as I still have so far to go. While I'm really enjoying some of the characters and genuinely wondering who will Lata Mehra marry, I'm finding some of the characters tediously boring.

As usual, I have been using the State Library of Tasmania online catalogue to feed my book fetish. It is the best thing for book addicts and it's free except that we have to pay the mortgage and the rates and the water and the electricity etc etc on our address.

If you haven't tried it this is how it works. All you need is a library card and then you can place holds on books as you find them on the online catalogue. Don't think that you need to be restricted to just books, they also have vast collections of DVD's and CD's. Magically, they will then find it from any library around the state and email you as soon as it arrives. Even better, they will hold it for you with your name on it, on shelves especially for that purpose, so that you can just drop in and pick it up.

So today I led an expedition to the Library itself to pick up the books I have on hold. My children consider a trip to the Library to be one of the biggest treats - right up there with an outing to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

After picking up my holds I then had a trawl around the shelves and found these magazines (for that elusive time when I get to sit around and drink tea):

I was curious about Traveller magazine, having never spent money to take it home. This issues headlines shouted 'Hobart: Could it be the next cultural capital?' Could it? Good news - now that we have MONA and the Henry Jones Art Hotel the journalist who wrote the article thinks that in time it could be.

Anyway, time for a quick read before bed.


Monday, 2 January 2012


This morning, after a four day hiatus, I was back at Bikram Yoga in the hot room. As I begin to countdown the days until Sunday, I'm planning on going every day this week - until I get on the plane to the Gold Coast. As anticipated it was hard, yet no tingly ears today. I really struggled with Pada Hastasana - there was no way I could get my head below my knees when usually I can. This seemed to be today's theme as all the head to knee, throat choke postures were more nose to knee. I wonder if it will be fixed by tomorrow?

This afternoon we wandered down the hill to the waterfront to go to the Taste Festival at the newly remodelled Princes Wharf Shed:

I must say that the absolute fortune squandered on renovating the shed has vastly improved the whole 'Taste' experience as it wasn't dark and dingy as it used to be:

And while I'm on the subject of the shed and I know it's 28 degrees in Hobart today, yet before we know it, it will be cold and wintery - fingers crossed they put an ice rink in the forecourt of the shed during winter for skating.

Back at the Taste, it was easier than previous years to find a table - it really is lovely sitting out amongst it by the water on a warm summer's day:

As usual, there was a fabulous selection of Tasmanian wine and beer yet the food really is just takeaway at restaurant prices and nothing particularly unique. We could have had curry yet resisted the temptation. We could have had French crepes yet we make them at home. The children could have had fish and chips yet nobody was up for it.

So we had......drumroll please.....Persian Kebab wraps:


And oysters:

See, nothing to write home about.

Here's Felix voluntarily tasting his first oyster:

Which he promptly backwashed into his bottle of lemonade. We were going home then until we bumped into friends - so we stayed and watched the entertainment:

Kiki and Pascal - he was English while she had a rather brash unpinpointable European  accent - I'd hazard a guess that she was trying to be Russian? He juggled lots of things, and she contorted herself through a tennis racket (minus the strings) and mercifully didn't dislocate anything in the process. She also squeezed a couple of chubby middle aged men from the audience into children's tutu's and coerced them into cavorting around the stage.

We are home and now that the children are tucked up in bed, we are sitting out on the deck, enjoying a glass of Tasmanian pinot & bbqing roquefort & organic pork sausages home made by Kim in the style of the man in the van at the Pezenas market on Saturday mornings:

The taste of southern France in South Hobart......Taste?