Crab linguine

There wasn’t much colour in the garden when we left four weeks. Now we are back the daffodils are almost done and a large part of the garden is a blaze of blue. I have a mixed relationship with bluebells. They fill the garden with colour for three or for weeks but then a weekend has to be put aside to scrub them out and I am left unsure as to how to fill up the space they have left behind.

The good news is that some of the tulip bulbs appear to have survived the ravages wrought on them by the squirrels last year.

We wanted something simple to eat in the evening so we had crab linguine. No cooking required apart from the linguine. The crabs were bought ready prepared. All I had to do whilst bringing the water up to boil was scoop out the brown and white crab meat into a bowl and stir in a chopped red chilli, some garlic squashed in salt, chopped parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.

When the linguine was done I drained it and then tipped into the crab mixture.


Walking around Sydney, particularly near where we were staying in  Newtown there were a large number of posters stuck on spare walls making protest.

It is now coming up to 48 hours

It is now coming up to 48 hours since we started the journey back from Sydney, around 8.00 am Saturday morning their time and 8.00 pm Friday evening UK time, and the day is starting to dissolve into a bit of blur before we make our way to bed and try to get some sleep before going back to work tomorrow.

If the journey back could have a highlight it was the five or so hours we spent half asleep in Singapore Airport. It was one of those twilight times when we were starting to loose track of where we were and if we had been asleep.

So we started off with beer and cocktails under a pair of old leather trousers that apparently had once been worn by Noel Redding before drifting through the expensive shops and wondering at the things we couldn’t buy.

We finished up eating from a series of stands that had been erected within the airport so as to create a sort of faux Singapore street scene. It actually worked and I was able to watch a man at his wok, cooking sir fried rice over an intense blue flame  in a couple of minutes and then cleaning out the pan with a couple of ladles of water that boiled off almost as soon as it went in and was scoured out with a bamboo brush. We ate noodles and stir fried rice and felt ourselves well fed.

(By way of an aside I could add that on arriving home I putting out a suggestion that we eat noodles I got by way of response a resounding “No!!” A combination of 21 days in Australia and Singapore Airlines has obviously done its job well.)

At the end of those 21 days and somewhere along the way I managed to resist the temptation to throw my passport and mobile phone over the side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and whilst it is nice to be back in our home there is something old and tired about the UK.

In one of the airport bookshops I passed through over the course of the last few weeks I came across a book about Australia called The Lucky Country. I should probably have read the back cover to see what it was about but looking back at it now in my slightly dazed state there was something lucky, and optimistic about the place; creating a city like Sydney out of the scrub and dust that was there before, the sheer diversity in the people standing on the platforms of Central Station waiting to take a train home, the ability to make a life out of the heat of a place like Queensland. All that of course is tangled up with the wreckage and waste that has been left behind.

All that of course means that I am tired and bothered but then I cast my mind back to the walk around Wendy’s Secret Garden. It was under the shadow of the Harbour Bridge and within an arms length of a railway line and trains that made an awful noise as they slowed and the brakes ached in the sun. But for a few minutes it was possible to walk amongst a thicket of green leaves, and flowers and it didn’t take too much to be back in a rainforest or how it might have been two hundred years ago and then you came across hard against a railway bridge that could be seen through the leaves and graffiti that said…




This is meant to be a blog partly about food and I am conscious that not as much has been written as could have been on what has been eaten over the last 21 or so days. By way of amends I will try and remember going backwards from the last day which was a Friday.

We were in Sydney and had lunch in the Kirribilli Club round the corner from Luna Park. I ate my first fish and chips of the holiday. Supper was a spread of Malaysian food in a place called Allbee’s in Campsie. I almost finished myself off with a beef rendang.

Thursday we trailed back from Cairns to Sydney and we had a few extra hours in The Artist’s House so lunch was our finishing off most of the cold food left in the fridge and supper was homemade pizzas put together by Jason.
Wednesday we took a boat trip up the Daintree to spot crocodiles and bird life. We had lunch in Daintree village, a steak burger and chips and ginger beer. Supper was more wraps on the balcony of the House. I cooked steaks on the BBQ and made more guacamole.
We had a large part of Tuesday to ourselves and spent the morning walking up and down the streets in Port Douglas centre until it was time for something to eat. I think the place was called The Larder. It operated as a glorified sandwich bar and I had a Vietnamese roll with chicken. For supper we had wraps and tacos stuffed with beans and chicken cooked on the BBQ and prawns with garlic and lime juice. We ate sat out on the upper deck under the starts and the moon.
Monday we went to Mossman Gorge and walked through the rainforest. Lunch was a picnic by the swimming hole just down from the falls. We had supper in The Beach Shack down the south end of Four Mile Beach. I couldn’t decide what to eat and ended up with a good piece of chicken and salad.
Sunday we walked through the market in Port Douglas and I bought a hat. We had lunch in a club where we had to sign in overlooking the water. I had a very good steak and chips. For super we cooked sausages on the BBQ and ate them with potato salad and garlic prawns.
Friday was the day we arrived in Port Douglas. We had time to kill when we arrived and so spent some time walking around the centre. Lunch was in a place called Fresco and I had a very good soft shell crab burger and chips. Supper was a seafood pasta made with prawns and green lipped mussels.
Thursday was our last day in Cape Tribulation. For lunch we ate for a second time at Mason’s cafe having quickly given up on the idea of buying some food to take back to our beach hut. I had a roadkill burger and possibly the best chips of the holiday. In fact we had extra chips as the one bloke doing all the cooking, serving and everything else had made too many and was happy to let us have them. He also remembered my name. Supper was had in a surprisingly good restaurant called Whet. I had belly of pork with a Vietnamese salad and it was very good and spicy.
Wednesday morning we went swimming in Mason’s pool and had lunch in the cafe. A chicken burger with chips. Supper was had in the beach bar by the beach huts a two minute walk from bed. There is a possibility I had another burger.
Tuesday we arrived in Cape Tribulation. It was heavy with rain when we got there and we had lunch in the beach bar. This might have involved a burger and chips. We spent the rest of the day sat on the beach and went back to the beach bar to eat in the evening for steamed Spanish mackerel and chips (I think I prefer the mackerel in Ireland).
Most of Monday was spent either heading out to, on or coming back from the Barrier Reef so lunch was a buffet on the boat. We ate out in Cairns in the evening in a cafe/restaurant by the museum. I had steak and chips.
Sunday we took the old scenic railway from Cairns to Kurunda and had lunch in Frogs. In the evening I cooked a couple of steaks which we ate with pasta and salad.
We arrived in Cairns on Saturday and had burgers and chips by the esplanade. We ate in for the evening – pasta with a tomato sauce.
Friday we had another enormous breakfast and then spent the day walking the streets of Newtown. I managed to squeeze in a Vietnamese snack of a chicken salad and in the evening we suffer ourselves with mezze and kebabs in a Turkish place on Enmore Road.
Thursday we were again over fed by our hosts and used this as an opportunity to avoid lunch and build up an appetite doing the coast walk from Bondi. We then ate in Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in Watson’s Bay in the early evening. A seafood medley before getting the ferry back in the dark.
Wednesday we were over fed for breakfast by our hosts in the guesthouse. We then took ourselves off into Sydney where, after some walking, we were able build up sufficient an appetite to eat in Sailors Thai. That evening we had pizzas from a place on Enmore Rd. They came out of a wood fired oven and were some of the best pizzas I have had in a long time.
Tuesday we took a couple of cabs to Tara Guesthouse in Newtown. We walked out for lunch and ended up eating burgers in a place called Buzzzbar. We were back in Campsie in the evening having got lost on the trains eating Japanese picking off sushi from a sushi train.
Monday was a Bank Holiday and in the morning we walked into Campsie. Lunch was a late lunch cooked on the BBQ by Jason.
We arrived in Sydney early Sunday evening and ate pizza and salad before going to bed.

You could try and match the pictures with the food.