Last of the autumn sun

Kids in the Autumn sunI’ve mentioned a few times that our place loses the sun for a couple of months every winter. This means we all make the most of any chance to enjoy a sunny day in autumn.

So when Rosie the 19 year old cat, Poppie the 8 year old Bichon and Bella the nutcase puppy had a chance to lie in the sun last weekend, they took it.

My wife and the science of baking – part 2

Torta GiangujaAnd now, by popular demand, the finished Torta Gianduja, ready to be served. It was rated a triumph by the panel of expert judges who enjoyed it last night.

And as a bonus – crediting Dish Magazine April 2010 – the recipe is below.

Torta Gianduja Recipe

My wife and the science of baking

Kitchen ChaosOn Sunday afternoon my lovely wife baked. We were going out for dinner at friends and she had offered to make the dessert.

She has a stable of excellent desserts she could have called on but decided to try something new – to bake a Torta Gianguja or Chocolate and Roasted Hazelnut Cake.

The only issue with this decision is that Jean is not a natural baker – as she is the first to admit. Something about the discipline of following a recipe runs counter to her “free spirit” approach to cooking in general. After each baking adventure she wonders aloud why she ever attempted the recipe, why baking is so complicated and stressful, and why she doesn’t learn from past experience.

Testament to the complication and stress involved is the state of our usually spotless kitchen at the end of Sunday’s baking odyssey.




It’s been almost a month

Painting MessAfter promising at the start of the year to keep a steady stream of posts flowing, I have been remiss. It has been a month since my last post.

Please forgive me. The hustle and bustle of daily life has left little time for the the ramblings that make up this blog.

And it’s not because of a lack of material.

There’s always something happening at our place. Currently the exterior of Casa Kainui being repainted by a team of eager and hard working painters. They arrived 2 weeks ago and immediately surrounded the house in scaffolding, ladders and other painterly things.

I learnt early on that any semblance of privacy rapidly disappeared and no room was a safe haven - even two stories up in the bathroom a little head would pop around the open window and wish you a cheery good morning – always at the most inappropriate moment.

Their work has been cut short by a solid week of rain that is still continuing and which means the house is split between two colour schemes and is surrounded by ladders, pots of paint and scaffolding. With the forecast being for another week of rain this chaos might be around for a while yet.




It always pays to look the other way

Just north of Pienza in Tuscany is a stand of Cypress trees that have been photographed more often than most others. The reason is they seem to represent Tuscany to tourists and they are visible from the main road. In each season they summarise the beauty of the region.

It’s not unusual to see half a dozen cars stopped at the side of the road with the occupants out shooting the grove of trees.

Interestingly very few people turn around and look the other way to a view that, in my humble opinion, is even more Tuscan. Captured here in late Autumn.

That house in Nelson

Every time I pass through Richmond I pass an old run down house sitting in the middle of a field. I always mean to stop and photograph the house but there has inevitably been a good reason not too.

Until recently.

On the drive back from Pelorus Sound, I stopped and risked life and limb crossing the main road to captured a shot.

A weekend away


This gallery contains 10 photos.

It’s been a few years since I’ve spent time in the Sounds. Or in this case Kaiuma Bay in Pelorus Sound. It was June’s 70th birthday and a family weekend away to celebrate. After flying from Wellington to Nelson we … Continue reading