X country skiing

Manderfeld skiWe were out in the glorious sunshine this afternoon with a first for Veda: X-country skiing.

The weather was perfect: cold (-10°C last night but just -2°C now) , no wind and sunshine.  The snow was perfect too having minus temperatures  for the past week.  veda found downhill difficult (who doesn’t on cross country skis?) but thoroughly enjoyed the day.

A well earned ‘Gluhwein’ (mulled wine for the British) to finish the day off!

Oh yes, for Ronny, Mika & Andy, Werner & Brigitta: the chocolate cake was sublime!

Altitude restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Shangri-La viewOur Christmas and my birthday present from Chris & Freya was a surprise, we went with them on the evening ferry from Manly to Sydney, catching the sun setting over the city on the way; but we didn’t know what was in store for us.

Just a few hundred meters from Circular Quay is the Shangri-La Hotel with its Altitude Restaurant on the 36th floor.  This was our present!  A meal at a window-side table looking out over the Opera House and Bridge.

4 Starters, A choice of 3 main dishes followed by 2 deserts all accompanied by their respective wines.  Fantastic food and good service to go with the spectacular view.

What a night 🙂

This was the menu: Epicurious menu

The Great English Roast Christmas Dinner

Christmas 2012 5

Christmas roast dinner

This is the main reason for my 3 kg weight gain over Christmas: the great English Roast Christmas dinner

Contents: Roast turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, roast carrots, sausages wrapped in bacon, french beans in a courgette ring, Brussels sprouts, bread sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy!  Served on our Copeland Spode

This is Ria’s plate, you won’t find bread sauce anywhere near my plate, I hate the stuff!

Now we just have to survive New Year’s party and then the diet can begin!

Of course we spent the entire time eating and not taking much exercise as the weather was British: rain, rain, rain and more rain

Rhonda’s magic mince pies

While over in England for Christmas we were given some mice pies by our neighbour, Rhonda.  She makes a lot of really great homemade jams, pies, cakes etc. but her mince pies are the best I have ever tasted.

We asked her for the recipe which she gladly gave and she added some of her own homemade mincemeat

Mincemeat for mince pies used to contain meat,  but now it is only fruit peel etc.

Today Ria made her first ones and they are (were) great 🙂




We joined Vanessa for breakfast before squeezing into our Cinquecento (not much leg room in the back!) and driving down to Portofino.  The weather was looking better than yesterday so we decided to take a picnic with us and walk from Portofino to San Fruttouso along the cliff path.

A coffee on the waterfront (5.00€!!) and watching the boats bob in the water was very relaxing, although the coffee was priced for the usual millionaire guests and not the likes of us.  Later we discovered that Portofino is a favorite amongst the jet set! Continue reading

Center map

Veda makes Nepali tea

Veda is back from the RWTH where he is following a German crash course and now is teaching us the art of making Nepali tea.

Veda makes Nepali tea

It is not the same as in the Ashram, but we will keep trying until we get the recipe right.  We have the ingredients from Nepal but maybe our technique or the tea is not yet perfect.

Our first tomato

Big day today!

Our first organic tomato

After Ron removed the ugly bush which was in between our houses and made a little terrace there we (Ria) have planted tomatoes against the wall.  The terrace is a real sun trap (when the sun shines in Belgium) so we are hoping to gat a good crop of our own organic tomatoes.

Here is the first one!