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I have left the office

Today I am having a late lunch, which is pretty normal. My working life consists of skipping lunch, eating at my desk or eating some left overs in a kitchen facility which by calling it poor is to give it a sparking, over-the-top review.

I miss where I have worked before, places where you could walk and find something to eat, browse shops or do something to take me out of the office.

Where I currently work it does not entice me to leave and take a proper break at lunch. Nearby food venues are now closed, 100% humidity and rain are not ideal walking conditions and the building location requires me to climb a steepish hill or climb too many stairs (44).

But today I had to get out of the office. My work was making me miserable. I had to leave.

So here I am in a park. I had to drive around a bit to find one, but it is nice, there is a water view and a green spider that won’t sit still and let me take it’s picture.

Great now the spider has decided to make my phone it’s new home.

Green Jumping Spider

Green Jumping Spider

Morning Tea Break

Hello blog, long time no see again. Yes I know it is pathetic to write about how I haven’t put anything on my blog for such a long time. But why should I be any different to all the other wannabe bloggers.

I am having break from some help desk database design work. I am attempting to create a lovely flow chart of how an SLA (Service Level Agreement) will act within GLPI, including escalations, automated responses, rules etc.

Such fun.

Anyway back to work.

When a Storm Approaches

It was early March and tropical cyclone Hadi was lurking off the coast. The colours of the sunset are beautiful.




Monsoon Trough

The wet season is trying to start so today we had to do a bit of a cleanup as there was a low hovering in the gulf threatening to dump a bit of rain in our area of the tropics.  As I type the low has moved considerably in land, but we all know one low is always followed by another.

While out and about I came across a few interesting things that I will share in some other posts.

Is it a chicken? Is it a cake?

Roast Chicken Cake

Roast Chicken Cake

Not it’s roast chicken cake!!!

Actually it is a moist vanilla sponge cake made to look like a roast chicken.  Why you may ask, well the answer is very simple.  This week we had to say goodbye to our IT trainee 🙁 as his traineeship was up and after two years of getting a person perfect for the role of IT we have to let them go and start all over again.

He was a bit of a gym freak who introduced the rest of us geeks to the way of the weightlifter which included lots of protein and carbs and no sugar.  So every time we had cake at work he would refuse and instead spend most lunch times consuming large amounts of cooked chicken.

Making a cake that looked like a roast chicken was a bit of a challenge to me as  I am vegetarian and it had been over a decade since I had spent anytime with a cooked chicken.

Chicken Cake Story

Pretty sure it is a cake

Pretty sure it is a cake

I did a lot of reading online and looked at numerous pictures of what other people had managed to create.  The night before I made up the equvalent of 3 cake mixes of vanilla cake and poured the mixture  into two round cake tins that were not the same size and baked.  I was intending to do everything the night before but I felt unwell and ended up having to go to bed.

I got up the next morning at just before 5am (talk about dedicated).  I made up a big batch of butter icing will 250g butter, 3 cups of pure icing sugar and a dash of milk.  I put some butter icing on the largest cake, then the smaller cake on top. 

I stared at the cake for a while.  Picked up a knife and stared some more.  I then cut a basic shape of what I thought a roast chicken would look like and was amazed that it did kind of look chicken shaped.  I then became adventurous and cut from the remnant cake two drumstick shapes and two wings.  I used more butter icing to glue the drumsticks and wings on and then stood a bit amazed that it still looked like a chicken.

The whole cake was covered in the rest of the icing and at that moment I was tempted to leave it looking like an uncooked chicken covered in cream.  Instead I became adventurous and opened the packed of fondant icing, a product I had never used before.  I read the instructions very carefully, warmed it in the microwave and kneaded away before rolling it flat.  Then came the tricky part of picking it up and draping it over my chicken cake. 

Or is it a chicken?

Or is it a chicken?

I patted the fondant around and the cake and did some creative patch work and it now was a raw, white uncooked chicken!

I then used a basting brush and painted the chicken various places with yellow food colouring.  I made up the colour brown with the food colouring and transferred some of the colouring to a little bowl that had a mixture of warm water a glucose syrup in it.  I then just painted, highlighting areas that would look more cooked and a I used the water/glucose mixture to give it a bit of a shine.  I was very happy with how easy it was to create a cooked look.  I also added a little cinnamon sugar on various edges (a suggestion given to me by one of the guys at work) and it made it look like seasoning.

End of cake making story

It was a big success at work and people thouught I was some sort of cake genius but really it was very simple to do and one of the easiest decorated cakes I have ever made.  If you like making cakes I would recommend making one that looks like a roast chicken.


January 2013 a New Year

My desk is fairly tidy and I am to resume work again tomorrow after too short a holiday, so an entry about the new year seemed like something to do.

This afternoon has been spent lusting over laptops in the vain hope that I will actually manage to buy one this year. The buying of a computer for myself is an ongoing fancy that arises every few months. You would think that I would actually make it happen as I am “in IT”.

I have also passed some of my time today filling in blanks in the family tree. My husband speculated last night that at the rate I am going I will soon have listed everyone that was alive on the planet in my family tree. If I do manage this achievement it will be worthy of a post on this website.

Talking of this website I do know that it is a much neglected site but I look upon it sometimes a bit too much like work and a bit of a drama to access. Yes that is a poor excuse but maybe I will improve during the year.

This year like all years is going to be a big year and one that should not be neglected. I am going to try and attempt to make the most of the year, the months and the days. All years should be treated a big years, this is very important advice I am imparting and something I have tended to ignore in the past.

Something a bit less deep but just as important was purchasing a book during my holiday break.  I found a second hand copy of  The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden when visiting a book shop with my Dad.  I have in the past enjoyed doing a few cross-stitch patterns based of the lovely drawings from this book and it was something I thought I would never find to purchase.

I found the January 5th entry from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady to be very similar to the weather conditions we have been experiencing since returning from out holiday.

5  Great gale of wind and rain from the south west.

She was surely writing about here and not England.

Cat Language

Asking the cats if they wanted their dinner led to a discussion about how many words they know. Not that I asked them how many words they know, the discussion was with my husband. So what words do they know other than their names?

Fishy-fish-fish – Even if said very quietly will result in an inundation of cats wanting food.
Biccy (bic-bic) – Second favorite cat word.
Hairband – Sends Biggles into hunt mode.
Fetch – If you ever want to see the hairband again
Ping Pong – Results in CousCous finding you a an orange ping pong ball.
Straw – Biggles loves this word as he will get a straw sculpture to play with.
Mousie Mouse – It’s white small and furry.
Tenty-tent – Every cat in this house loves their pillow tent.
Beddy Bye Bye – Cat word for bedtime.
Toiley – Stinkers word used to toilet trained her
Scratchy Pole – Self explanatory.
Down – Vital cat word.
Back – How we manage to get into a house with 4 cats.
Huggy – Stinker loves this word.
Belly/Tummy – Results in Biggles rolling over.

Other words will be added as I think of them or the cats learn a new word.

August 2011

Six months since our cyclone and I have decided to try and get my life back together. I have decided to try and revitalise my blog with hopefully interesting comments and observations. This is a tall order so stay tuned for this flurry of activity to either be short term or actually work.

Ninja (cat) has watched this post and has given it the thumbs up for publishing.

I live

OK I am going to do something about my much ignored blog.  Actually I should say we are going to do something about our much ignored blogs.  I have information and I am going to attempt to fill in a lot of missing days in my life for the year before the year is over.  as you can imagine buying and moving into our magnificent house (hall) has consumed what used to be a lot of indulgent me time that allowed for the proper and loving maitenance of a blog.

So if you have an RSS feed (yeah I know how unlikely is that!) I do apologise now.

White good shopping

Well it had to happen we went shopping and replaced the items that had died.  I now have an upside down fridge, which is bigger and so much better.  Peter has a new washing machine which is also a lot bigger at 8kgs, maybe one day I will learn how to use it :).

Nice to have cold food again.

The picture is of a plant for the garden that was bought in Bunnings.