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Thursday, 20 September 2018 Dereel → Learmonth → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 20 September 2018
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More free junk
Topic: general, opinion Link here

The amplifier in my office is flaky: from time to time one or the other sound channel drops out. And somehow I regret having paid the princely sum of $30 for it. So when today I saw an offer for a “Sanyo Stereo (with 2 large speaker, it has a turntable, tape deck and FM radio)” on Freecycle, I jumped at it. Left my phone number, got a call back. Yes, it's mine, in Learmonth.

Where's that? Over 50 km away, onn the other side of Ballarat. The last time I went there was 7 years ago, where coincidentally we went to pick up a piece of furniture that proved inappropriate. Looking at the map, it seemed that it might even be the same house as last time.

Off there anyway, and was left being led through a particularly untidy garden to the house next door. The system is definitely not what I expected:


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Still, the loudspeakers look good, and it might come in handy, though it's clearly not suited to propping up a monitor.

But while I was there, I found various other things outside the house, with a sign “Free” next to them. A couple of corner stands and a wicker stool similar to one that Yvonne already has, and something like a miniature grandfather clock, only 50 cm high. Here first the old stool, then the new:


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So I took the lot, with the exception of a vase of which I didn't like the look. On reflection, I should have taken that too and left the choice to Yvonne. Clearly my choice was good: Yvonne didn't notice that the new stool was different, and asked why I had moved it. And the clock proved to be battery-driven and functional. We don't know where to put it yet.


Wasted shopping excursion
Topic: general, opinion, gardening Link here

My main purpose for the excursion today wasn't the stereo system: I had lots of things to pick up in Ballarat. But by the time I got to Bunnings, I had forgotten nearly all of them. All I found on my shopping list was herbs, gas and duct tape.

Duct tape was no problem, but gas was an insurmountable one: I had left the old cylinder at home. Herbs were also an issue, not helped by Bunnings' signage:


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A good thing that I wasn't looking for roses.

Finally left with some tomato seedlings and a far-too-large pot of Vietnamese mint (daun laksa), the only one they had. Somehow it seemed like a wasted day.


Friday, 21 September 2018 Dereel Images for 21 September 2018
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More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Mick the gardener along today to do some more work, notably planting cannas and laying irrigation. We now have the second trellis in place:


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The plants I bought yesterday are already in the soil: the Alyogyne huegelii and the Vietnamese mint:


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The basil that Yvonne bought on Wednesday is also in there, but I have my doubts about its viability:


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These pots with white gravel (quartz?) in them seem to be designed to be eaten immediately, and I fear that it won't take root properly.


Simplifying Indian cookery
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Last Saturday I gave up on making masala vada because I didn't have the time. Miraculously, the soaked pulses hadn't gone bad by today, so I finally got round to completing the dish. But it's so difficult! I'm supposed to grind the pulses in a food processor. What was I thinking of? I noted to add enough water. How much is “enough”? Today I measured it: 275 ml water. What does that do to the consistency? Surprisingly, it turned out not to be too bad. I had previously given up on deep-frying them, and the recipe showed my attempts:


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But that was nearly 3 years ago, and when I tried it today the patties burnt on the surface and didn't cook through. OK, alternative: in the oven.


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That came out quite well, though I think the whole thing needs more spice. But I've come quite a long way from the original recipe.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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