Winter’s log, earthdate 201608.04

04.58 pm

It feels as though today’s been as long as a century, and I don’t mind telling you, all I really want to do at the moment is curl up and go to sleep! Anyway, all I had time for this morning was to have my usual walk on the treadmill, eat breakfast, and play a couple of games of Solitaire, before I had to head back to the bathroom to get ready! Then at around about 11.15 am, off we went to the RACV Country Club in Healesville for lunch today, and it’s quite a drive – you know, I’ve never been able to work out why it always seems to take longer to go somewhere, than it takes to get home again afterwards! Still, the weather was kind to us, and there wasn’t too much traffic – at least, not after we got out into the middle of all the vineyards and wineries, out there in the Yarra Valley! And then… there it was! The RACV Healesville Country Club! :/ Well, it’s not what I’d ever call an “attractive” place, or a beautiful place, or even, for that matter, anything that you’d even guess was a “Country Club”! Architecturally, it was almost “brutalist” – very severe and “industrial”! If you’d told me it was a metal-working facility, or an import/export warehouse, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised – apart from all the surrounding golf courses, that is! 😉 Inside it was little better – “plain and functional”, with lots of quietly neutral colours, and “interesting”, but not too “over-the-top” abstract landscapes on the walls. As we’re Members, we didn’t have to sign-in, but went straight through to the Terrace Bistro, where we were given a lovely table by the window, overlooking the nearby mountains. It was a stunning view, and judging by the vast number of winter-clad trees (i.e. leafless!) it would have been particularly breathtaking at the height of autumn! (Note to self: we must remember to go back there again next year, in autumn, to see if I’m right about that!) The service was quite good, and the food was served in good time, the waitresses pleasant and accommodating. After lunch, on our way out, we had a browse around the Gift Shop in the foyer, where Julian was able to pick up some “Cade” shower gel by L’Occitane – he tried to get some from the L’Occitane shop at Doncaster yesterday, but they were closed! Anyway, he got it today (it’s his favourite!) and I managed to find myself a rather lovely two-tone purple leather wallet – so we both came away from the Healesville RACV Country Club with nice full tummies, and very happy with our “spur of the moment” purchases! 🙂

As I mentioned above – for some strange reason, we seemed to arrive home a lot more quickly than we got to Healesville – even though we took exactly the same route – and if anything, the traffic was slightly heavier on the way home! Of course, the first thing we did when we came through the front door was head off for a cup of coffee (I didn’t, I took my shoes off first! That’s always the first thing I do when I’ve been out – take of my [heavily-censored] shoes!) We had been thinking of taking Lemon and Butter back to the Pet Shop barn-thingy this morning, but just as well we didn’t – we wouldn’t have had time – so they’ll go back tomorrow morning. I’m still a bit “iffy” about getting another two Golden Comets – I just have this weird feeling that if Dapple and Auric see another two sleek, shiny, silvery-yellow fish suddenly appearing in their Fish House, they’re going to freak right out, thinking that it’s Lemon and Butter coming back to terrorise them all over again! I’m now thinking that perhaps we’d be better off getting another couple of “ordinary” goldfish instead… or maybe a couple of mottled white and orange? I’d like a couple of black ones, but I wish they had black goldfish without the “goggle” eyes… Anyway, I think I’ll go with Julian when he takes Butter and Lemon back tomorrow morning (I caught them biting eachother this afternoon!) and we’ll see what happens! And seeing that that’s about all that’s happened here today, now I suppose I can get on with the “good bits”! 😉

Food stuffs. Last night we had plain-old pan-fried chicken breast, on plain-old steamed rice which had a bit of finely chopped spring onion mixed through it (so it wasn’t really “plain-old” steamed rice at all, was it! 😉 ) and for dessert I had a “bald-kiwi-fruit-brown” skinned Nashi pear, and the very weird “bubble-wrap-pop”, but delicious anyway, chocolate Chia Pod. Today for lunch – what can I do but give you all a link to the Terrace Bistro menu, and tell you what I had from it! 🙂 For my Entrée (at least they call it an Entrée there, and not “Starters” as a lot of restaurants seem to be doing these days!) I had the “Chick pea salad, crispy haloumi, harissa yogurt”, which was really lovely – there were maybe a few too many chick peas, but I didn’t eat them all – I did, however, eat all of the crispy haloumi and the harissa yogurt! 🙂 For my Main Course, I had the “Chicken tagine, cous cous, skordalia, jumbo olives, preserved lemon”, which was also very nice. Actually, I had a bit of a problem finding the chicken pieces in all the (very yummy!) sauce that it was swimming in! Luckily, I’d ordered the Side Dish of “Grilled ciabatta” which was exactly the right sort of thing with which to sog up all the lovely sauce! Of the chicken: there was one chicken leg, and one chicken thigh – skin on – hard to find in all the sauce, and extremely hard to cut the flesh from the bones in the bowl-type dish it came in. Of the cous cous: it was really weird! It was so enormous, that at first I thought it was baby corn! But size notwithstanding, cous cous is cous cous – ’nuff said! Of the skordalia: I’m not sure what its “base” was, and after about one or two mouthfuls of hard-won chicken, the skordalia was pretty-much all mushed into everything else – but I did get the impression that it was pretty yummy too! 🙂  Of the jumbo olives: there were only two of them (I’m not surprised!) and they were “pitted” (so they had a great big round hole going through the middle of them) and boy, they sure were “jumbo”, with a capital “J’, “U”, “M”, “B”, and “O”! Of the preserved lemon: there wasn’t really terribly much of that – just a few “skirls” of preserved zest, artfully arranged, here and there over the plate. The main ingredient in the whole dish appeared to be tomatoes, and tomato passata (tomato puree) But the whole thing was very nice, and the platter of Grilled ciabatta, which I shared with Julian, was really great for mopping up the sauce! For dessert, I had the “Citrus almond cake, blood orange Bavarian cream” – and this had to be one of the strangest desserts I’ve had for quite a while! I’d imagined a sort of cup-cake or friand-sized slice of cake made with almond meal (and liberally doused in almond essence!) accompanied by some sort of zesty orange cream – or something of that nature, anyway. What they brought me was a tall-ish “leaning tower of Pisa” water-glass of what looked like a pale, orangy-pink mousse, with a bit of whipped cream on top! Somewhat incredulously, I said to the waitress and she put it down in front of me, “That’s an almond cake?!?” She smiled and said happily “There’s cake inside it!”, before she whisked off elsewhere… I tackled my leaning tower of pink mousse… digging in deeply down one side to see if I could discover this miraculous buried “almond cake” treasure! Well, what can I say! Yes, it was nice. Was it what I was expecting? No. Would I order it again? No. Was I disappointed? Yes, very. It was more like a weird sort of trifle, where a layer of sponge, or more usually slices of Swiss Roll, are used to line a glass bowl. Sherry is liberally sprinkled on the sponge (or Swiss Roll) and about two inches of custard is poured into the bowl, on top of the sponge (or Swiss Roll) and allowed to set. Cream is then whipped until it forms soft peaks, and is smoothed over the set custard, and finally, a red jelly – usually Raspberry or Port Wine jelly – is mashed and crumbled with a fork, and very carefully applied to the top of the whipped cream, so that it resembles red jewels on white ermine (or something fancy like that, anyway!) Well, this dessert today was exactly like that – only the sponge (or Swiss Roll) was bits of almond cake (minus the sherry – or the almond essence!) the custard was way too much citrus mousse, they skimped on the (Bavarian) cream, and there was no jelly on top! All in all, I’d give them 8 out of 10 for the Entrée and the Mail Course, and about 1.5 out of 10 for the Dessert. We both had a short black, which came with a small, round, un-iced chocolate biscuit, and I would have given those two items at least and 8.5 out of 10! So that was lunch today, and I do very much want to go back there again.

We’re not having any dinner tonight – just coffee! 🙂

Weigh-in this morning. What can I say? I’m ignoring all of this until August 15th! (i.e. five days after I finish taking these pills – it takes a few days to get them out of your system!) I went from 64.7 kg to 65.1 kg – and tomorrow it’ll be even more, especially after all the carbs I ate today – but I don’t care! Fact: I’m on those horrible pills, Fact: ya gotta enjoy life, and Fact: it’ll all come off again, once I finish with these hideous little discs of water retention! 😛

And that brings me to tomorrow – I think we’ll probably be having a fairly quiet day, after we’ve swapped over Butter and Lemon (I should have called them “Piranha 1” and “Piranha 2”, not “Butter” and “Lemon”!! 😛 ) Anyway, that’s about “it” from me for tonight – but do drop in again tomorrow night to find out how the fish-swap went, and what we ended up with, and how much more my weight went up (because it will, you know!) as well as all the news and hot gossip from this neck of the woods! Until then though, please try to bee good, remember that it isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe – and don’t forget to always drive carefully, to look after yourselves, and to keep warm and dry when it’s wet and cold… but most importantly, please, whatever else that you do, don’t forget to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂

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