October 2008 - alvers.info

Just a place for my old thoughts

Am I food obsessed?
Friday, 31 October 2008 1:57 am

Ok, so I was thinking about this the other day, which was also echoed back to my by Deb, that I may be obsessed with food.

It seems that most of my posts here, on Facebook and in conversation with people are related in some way to food. Whether it is reliving a memory, exchanging recipes or just chatting about places to go.

So I was sitting there last night at the local sushi train (which has started doing great sashimi) and thinking "Hmmm...maybe I am getting obsessed with food."

Thursday, 30 October 2008 5:25 am

Yes, after promising for quite a while I have finally posted some shots from our holiday. Please excuse the spelling 'cos I was working as quick as I could to get them posted and never checked with Deb.

So, with no further ado...I give you our Europe 2008 pictures.

I will try to link a few into the blog and tell you about them which will make more sense than just looking at them in alphabetical order.

The post-holiday blues
Monday, 27 October 2008 11:56 pm

I think I am suffering from the post-holiday blues. The trip has started to fade into memories and is losing its crystal clarity.

Oh well. I guess I have Christmas to look forward too. We are planning to stay in Brisbane this year and just take it very very easy. No interstate trips, no rush to Woodford, just a simple and relaxing time close to home. Should be very nice.

On the home front we are getting costumes ready for Libette's little Halloween gathering this weekend. I won't give away any secrets but I have had a great time getting back into liquid latex and makeup again. May the living dead have a great time this weekend.

Oh, and I am going to my school reunion the following week. Deb is heading to a friend of ours art gallery launch and I will be going into the city to the reunion. Should be...interesting. At least Jon and Anita are definitely going so there will be some moral support.

Other than that not a lot else is happening on my front. I promise to try and get some photos up on the web as soon as possible though. I might try to get that done at lunch time today. Let's see how I go.

Oh, and just to rub it into the interstate and international readers (and Deb who is stuck in a windowless office), the weather today in Brisbane is absolutely STUNNING. That at least has to make you feel good.

Lunch with Lu
Friday, 24 October 2008 4:15 am

Another lunch with Lu. This time she has PROMISED that we will get together on Sunday before Christmas. And this will involve Shane. She PROMISED.

Yes I am posting this to shame her into actually booking a date. I promise to provide wine and spanish style tapas.

Whoa! That went quick...
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 6:10 am

Well, today is Deb and my eight wedding anniversary. We are so very slack that we sadly haven't done anything at all in terms of celebrating it. Not even a card.

I had said that I would book a resturarnt somewhere which I then promptly forgot to do which was good because Deb invited a friend of ours over for dinner. So good thing I hadn't booked somewhere expensive.

Honestly, it doesn't feel like eight years. That we were standing on the beach at Noosa getting married.


Can I go now?
Monday, 20 October 2008 3:05 am

Well we have officially been back from holidays for over a week and I am slowing getting back into the swing of things. After fighting off the cold that Deb had for the last half of the Europe trip I finally gave in and got Man Sick for the last two days of last week.

I woke up Thursday and thought, I don't feel well, oh well. I had a shower and thought...No, I still don't feel well. I then went back to bed and only woke up at midday because Deb called me. I am feeling better now though and with the help of a few Codral tablets have been keeping the lurgy at bay.

Even with both of us still coughing a fair bit the weekend was pretty productive. We got the house cleaned up on Saturday and then headed over to Sammies Girl to pickup some seafood for dinner. I had a craving for whole fish again so grabbed a couple of nice Bream. Grilled with a pasta salad with capers they were pretty good. Not the sweet heavenly flavour that I remember from Italy but not bad at all.

Sunday we went for lunch with JT to chat about the holiday. It was a really nice place called the 'Hundred Acre Bar' at St Lucis. Not cheap, but quite nice and with absolutely stunning weather it was a lovely way to spend lunch.

From there I got us lost (how do you achieve that in a car with SAT Nav!) on the way to Sammies Girl for more seafood. I am on such a jag after our European trip that I just can't get enough.

So dinner last night was seared scallops in a garlic, basil and fennel top reduction with a warm spring vegetable salad. Not bad at all. Deb ended up bring over the last of the sauce and mopping it up with bread. I love that she likes my cooking so much.

And today...well thanks to the wonders of Brisbane not having daylight savings I keep getting booked for 7am & 8am meetings. Which I had forgotten about and so had no chance of making it into the office on time so I am working remotely today.

Given that I am still getting over this sniffle it is probably not a bad thing either. The office just seems to kill me for some reason when it comes to colds.

Anwyay, back to reading documentation. Oh, we should get some pictures of the holiday posted today or tomorrow. Deb and I have brutally pruned them down to the top 90 or so which we just have to label and get posted.

Keep an eye out for them soon.

How do you know you want to be back on holidays?
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 11:58 am

So far we have been back from holidays for 5 days and we are slowly getting our sleep patterns back. I am still waking up at 2am on the dot but it is getting easier to get back to sleep.

On the food front I have cooked spaghetti pomodoro twice and two types of spanish prawns, one sauted in garlic, chilli & olive oil an the other fried with chorizo.

Oh I wish we were still on holidays...

Saturday, 11 October 2008 5:41 am

During the trip I tried to take a few multi shots so that I could stitch them together and make a panorama. The results have been pretty good. Check this out...

Cinque Terre - Italy

Pisa's Piazza del Duomo - Italy

Granada - Spain

Home again, home again and 4 kilos lighter.
Saturday, 11 October 2008 5:31 am

Well, I am home and now very annoyed. I had just written a huge post about the trip and getting home but accidentally must have hit the hotkey for browser-back so I lost the lot. Yes, very annoyed.


The flight back was just as tough as going over but at least we were not required to navigate a strange city as we had done we we arrived in Italy originally. To make it even easier Serena met us at the airport and had stocked the house with all the basics as well as the makings for her pepper steak.

After a few coffees and a chat Serena Deb and I both gave into the lack of sleep+jetlag and slept for a couple of hours. Last night we took advantage of our new jetlag/timezone by keeping Serena up till 2am drinking port and talking about all manner of things. It was a very very nice way to come home and beat the hell out of arriving to a cold empty house.

I should say that the house, to my eyes that have not seen it for over a month, looked awesome and I fell in love with it all over again. The weather is overcast but warm so the air is thick and rich which just added to the home coming.

Well, to the holiday. I don't think I had posted anything much since Granada. Internet access became few and far between on the last leg of our trip and frankly with so much to do it seemed a little sad to be sitting in a dark little room typing when I could be out doing stuff.

I really enjoyed Granada, it was one of my favorite locations. In talking about it with Deb we both fell for places that we stayed in for a few days. It is very hard to form an opinion when you are only in a location for a single day. Valencia was a bit of an exception but then again I was in a sleep deprived state for most of that anyway so it is hard to tell really.

I should say that Granada had my absolutely favorite tapas bar in the whole universe. The food was outstanding and it had such a vibe that you just had to love being there. It was about the most authentic Spanish eating experience you could wish for.

From Granada we got the night train to Valencia which is a fairly brutal process because you arrive in Valencia at 5am but cannot check into the hotel until after 10am. So Jose our guide attempted to walk us around the town, which was still fast asleep, until it was time to check in. We did get out for lunch to a place that did the best Paella I have ever eaten. It was pre-ordered and cooked specifically for us so it was very very good.

From Valencia we headed for the last leg onto Barcelona. Another great city with an amazing mix of the new and the old. Some streets look like something out of a medieval city and others are international chic. A very interesting city. We took the opportunity of an extra day to head out to the Dali museum by ourselves. Besides the muesum being a truely faacinating place the trip itself was sort of our first real adventure during the whole holiday of having to get ourselves from point a to point b across a big space. So we were pretty excited that we figured out all the right trains etc and arrived happily at the museum. As Deb has mentioned the other highlight of that part of the trip was finding a tapas bar with awesome food and a cow bell that they rang to let everyone know that a new plate of hot tapas was on the way round the room. A truly excellent experience.

From Barcelona we headed onto Paris and a lovely few days to kick back and do our own thing. After arriving and checking in we went for a walk from the hotel to the Eiffel Tower. Now I was sure it wasn't that far but realistically we had to have walked 3-5 kilometres by the end of it and decided to catch a train back to the hotel.

Over the next few days we hit all the big sights, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Notre Dame plus districts and shopping areas. It was a really nice end to the whole trip.

I even managed to sneak in another Danny Day in which I freaked myself out twice by going 50 metres underground into the Paris Catacombs Cemetery and then 300 metres up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I don't consider myself to be scared of heights but as the lift headed off for the top platform I couldn't bring myself to look down. Whoa!

We will get some pictures picked out of the 1700 that we took and post them in the next few days. That will also help to jog my memory of other things to tell you about. Until then I will get this posted so that I don't lose it again.

Oh, I should say that after all the food, the pasta, the wine, the beer, the tapas I have actually lost 4kgs. How sweet is that! I had to get Deb to double check the scales were working before I would believe it.

Gaudi's Sagrada Família

Tuesday, 7 October 2008 1:21 pm

Just a quick post from Paris. It is an amazing city that we are having a great time looking around. So far we have visited the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. We cheated a bit because the Louvre is supposed to take three days to get around if you seriously look at everything but we knocked it over in three hours. Saw the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo which was very cool.

The food and wine has been awesome although pretty expensive. Basically resturant food is twice the price of home and in Euro so about three times the price. I did get to have snails and Steak Frites which was actually good value at 14€.

The hotel we are in is very cute and has met our expectations for location, appearance and frenchness. I am definitely not ready to come home yet.

Oh God it's early
Wednesday, 1 October 2008 3:54 am

It is 5:30am and I am standing outside a hotel in Valencia leeching off of someones wifi. We have just come off of the overnight train which was fun but reminded me of why you can't sleep on them very well. We only have one day in this city before heading for Barcelona.

I am looking forward to a shower when we get into our room on a couple of hours.