Saturday, March 7, 2015

In the country yet again (part 1)

My mum is now with me in Melbourne for the next 10 days and we are going to travel around, doing short one-day tours and walking around the city as well as the suburbs. I have just returned from a 16-day trip back to Singapore for Chinese New Year during which I caught up with the three F's–food, family, friends. I shall post the pictures from that visit soon but first let me share the snaps taken during my previous holiday. At the beginning of the year, Ision and I went back to visit his parents (previous visits were documented here, here and here). I will let the photos from that trip speak a thousand words in two separate posts.


This is the backyard panoramic view. Pretty? Yes. Expansive? Hell yes.



Sightings of kangaroos and wallabies (ie. pests) are a very common thing. They scurry away as soon as you get close so there is no need to worry until they collide with your moving vehicle. According to my father-in-law, usually the vehicle won’t survive in that scenario (and the kangaroos do).


With Ision in the picture, you can see the size of the mosquito-infested pond and we were tasked to de-weed its perimeter. This is just one of the many tasks assigned to us whenever we get back. Think of it as a working holiday–we work in exchange for food and lodgings. For this task, Ision worked the grass-cutter and I had to rake the bits and pieces far away enough from the pond edge so that the lawn-mover can be driven over it to turn it into mulch.



My in-laws are not doomsday preppers but looking at this pantry (and a chest freezer full of meat), you can’t really tell.



I grabbed hold of the new thick Belgian chocolate-flavoured Bailey’s as soon as I saw it at the Duty Free shop and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Home-made Bailey’s chocolate ice-cream–what could be more heavenly that that?



Task #n: Building a mini mountain with garbage and fallen tree branches. An formal application had to be made in advance to start this fire and we had to go check it the next day to ensure that everything is all right. There was increased amount of junk because of ongoing renovation work in the house. The bonfire would have looked more spectacular at night but the mosquito problem would be much worse as well then I bet.



Plum, papaya and banana trees are but a small sample of the fruit species grown here. The leafless tree is a fig one–I was told it is a parasitic (notice how it took over another tree)?



Harvesting mangoes using a makeshift entrapment developed by my father-in-law which really works and it makes light work without the need for cumbersome and dangerous ladders! I think he should get it patented.


Feeding lorikeets is one of the things we do to relieve a little of the boredom city-dwellers inevitably encounter when “stuck” in the country. What a pretty sight… and the bird is magnificent too.



Ision told me that cats are defenseless against Reiki and proved it to me. The cat’s restlessness immediately stopped and it assumed that still position in the picture when Ision started giving it Reiki. That cat belongs to Ision’s estranged brother but lives there now as his apartment doesn’t allow pets.



Massager my ass! This must be the best-selling product in the catalogue for I am sure there are plenty of lonely middle-aged women in the country who need to please themselves in the absence of husbands that can truly satisfy them.



I was told this gigantic prawn a.k.a. icon of Ballina (the town where the airport nearest to my in-laws’ estate in Ashby is) used to be even larger but it was torn down and rebuilt smaller to make way for the Bunnings store that is next to it.

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