It's Not Over Yet

Last week did not go as planned.

Let me clarify. I'm not talking about the performances--they were great. But I'm being egocentric and talking about how last week went for me.

I knew our schedule would be tight--five cities and five concerts in five days--and that I would see very little of the great cities of Melbourne and Sydney, but I had not expected to spend most of those days in hotel rooms, ordering room service, watching Animal Planet, going through a tissue box a day. I emerged from the hotel room only to attend the Melbourne and Sydney performances. Oh, and maybe to do the tiniest bit of shopping in Sydney.

But things are looking up, and the last few days have been packed with laughter and relaxation as we've had a few days off before this afternoon's performance in Nowra. We've spent the days sightseeing in Canberra, sipping coffee at a Nowra cafe, walking along the Shoalhaven River, and poking around a wildlife park. Ellie, Nick's wife, has joined us now, and the two of them have been so much fun.

Graeme at Parliament House in Canberra

Flat White

Shoalhaven River in Nowra

Ellie at the wildlife park

Nick and Ellie

It's not often that I meet people that actually like the American accent and want to put it on. 

We spent much of last evening's dinner swapping phrase usage and pronunciation notes. I'm coming to understand the many applications of the word cheers and getting closer to its pronunciation: chee-ahs. Nick and Ellie sound pretty good with their "Smoke 'em," though I'm not sure where they came across that phrase. They must have met a Texan at some point. They're still working on "Yo. What's up." It's the yo that's the problem, as it should be pronounced yoh, with a clipped /o/, not yo-oo-ou.

But that is not my point today. This is my point:

Dark chocolate pate, with crispy wafers and blackberry glace. Have you ever heard of something so wonderful? It was thick and rich and creamy and smooth. A bit like mousse, but denser. Banana dumplings are in the background.

It's been hard to go wrong with the food in New South Wales. It's all looked and tasted so wonderful, that I've forgotten to pause to take a picture before digging into it. But I've been making notes, and I plan to work on my own versions of these dishes when I get home: muesli pancakes, risotto with rocket (arugula), cornish pasty, pan-fried gnocchi in blue cheese sauce, chicken sandwich with cream cheese and mango chutney, chocolate pudding, and, oh-my-goodness, affogato! 

If you're too far away to taste-test, don't worry. When I get them right, I'll share the recipes.

Our six weeks here are nearing their end. After today, we have only two more concerts. On Monday we'll board the plane for LA where we'll spend a couple days. Then, a week from tomorrow, we'll be home. It's been wonderful and wearying. While we're looking forward to returning home, we plan to enjoy our last several days. Our mobile broadband account has two more days on it before it expires, and there's much more to share between now and then.



  1. Chee-ahs to you too, Janine! Were you implying that you were sick for a whole week? Or did watching animal planet move you to tears, that you needed that much tissue? I hope you have a great final few days in AU before returning to the US of A! By the way, will the blog still be updated upon your return, or do you have another blog you use, or are you not much of a blogger while at "home"???

  2. Hey there, Trevor. I wondered if that would be unclear, but I just couldn't type the words sinus infection after living with it for a week. Though Animal Planet is very good, it was the sickness that caused the tissue-usage. I'm feeling much better now, even though it lingers a bit still. This blog is a new thing for me, and it started just before our trip, but I plan to continue it from home. It'll probably be mostly about food and food-related stories, but it's a new thing yet, so we'll see. I hope you'll stick around.

  3. Hi Janine,
    Love your blog, makes me feel hungry though for good food. Excuse my ignorance but what's affogato? I'd love to know what you think of Byron Bay. Finished the redoing of the dog head this week so praying it fires in one piece. Catch ya, Jac.

  4. you guys are having a blast! blessings, benjamin

  5. Sorry you didn't get to see too much of my fave city -- Melbourne! And I will happily be a recipe taste tester when you get home! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUUU!

  6. Hurray for a week from tomorrow!

  7. Shopping in Sydney?...Mica and I want to know what you got us!

    And ditto Jess's comment.

  8. Affogato=two shots of sweetened espresso poured over vanilla gelato or ice cream, with or without a topping of liquor. Tried it for the first time a couple weeks ago. Wow.

    Byron Bay tomorrow. It's our last stop. I'm hoping for a sunny weekend and a beautiful beach. I'll share later.

    Jacqui, let me know how the dog head turns out.

    And it was window shopping...sorry. : (