Another week in Instagram and schoolies week

I’m quite enjoying featuring my Instagram images in my blog. It’s such a versatile way of sharing images. If you have an iPhone or Android device I highly recommend it. Coupled with the Evernote Food it’s a great way of keeping track of my food likes and dislikes.

Before we get to the food images I just wanted to write about Schoolies week. Schoolies began when I was at high school. I attended Brisbane Grammar School between 1978 and 1982. I remember as a junior, the senior boys in fifth and sixth form talking about spending a week down the Gold Coast (Wikipedia article) for a long “never ending” drinking and sex session. I remember when it first started it was basically for the GPS group of schools, i.e., the Great Public Schools in Brisbane. It also included the corresponding girls schools like Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

So yes I was one of “those” private school boys. That said, I wasn’t a drinker and didn’t really mix with others except for sport. I represented the school in swimming and still water life saving. Academically I won the Biology prize in fifth and sixth form. Hence my desire that if I couldn’t study medicine I would have studied zöology (although I knew I’d never be any good because I couldn’t grow a bushy beard. You see at the time all the famous zöologists were bearded men of great stature.) Somehow I managed to be popular enough amongst my peers and teachers to be elected a school prefect. Okay enough showing off. When I was in sixth form my friends were all talking about going to schoolies week, getting drunk, having lots of sex and just carousing. I had other plans. I finished school on the Friday, attended the valedictory dinner and then the following Monday started work at Queensland Medical Laboratory as a technical aid. I cleaned benches, faeces sieves and kept stocks of stuff up for the technicians and scientists. I also worked in the media kitchen making media for bacteriology. I heard about the “good time” my mates were having but I was having a better time making money and learning the skills needed to become a pathologist.

Now in 2012 my eldest daughter, viz., Miss17 has attended schoolies week. I woke up yesterday morning to the news that tragically a 17 year old girl from Brisbane had fallen to her death from a high rise balcony. My heart sank. I checked my telephones for missed calls and messages. Blank. Phew. Relief. Then a feeling of overwhelming despair for the parents of the girl who died.

I’ve been conscious of not being an annoying father, so I waited until Tuesday morning to send my first text message just to see that Miss17 was okay. After that we had a short Kik chat each morning. It’s certainly reassured me to maintain just some contact without imposing myself on Miss17.

Some friends have asked why I would be supportive of my daughter attending schoolies. I know Miss17. She’s a mature young woman. I know she’ll look after herself and she’ll look after her friends. I have faith in Miss17’s ability to do the best thing in any situation. Schoolies has now become a huge event as a rite of passage with school leavers spending a week in major tourist spots like the Gold Coast, Bali, Byron Bay and Airlie Beach. It’s also created a by-product, viz., toolies. Toolies are older men who prey on vulnerable girls for sex.

As for Miss11 and Miss15 they’ve been in Geelong this week for the National Club Championships. Their team, Delta Brisbane was again named best club and Miss11’s WAGL5 came first while Miss15’s WAGL10 came second. Miss15 didn’t compete with the team because of an ankle injury so she competed as an individual on the uneven bars and beam. She seems pretty happy. She’ll be back to school on Monday and completing examinations.

Before we get to the food images, I wanted to share a YouTube clip that has taken off here in Australia as a safety message.
Dumb ways to die

To see the images more clearly and to read the comments from Instagram users please click on the image.



On Monday I had a nice quiche from the Urban Bean Espresso Bar. This is a Camembert, onion and sun dried tomato quiche. I had it with a mug of Earl Grey tea.


That evening I roasted a chicken thigh on top of a piece of Multigrain Vienna loaf and served it on top of some freshly made coleslaw. I also added a dollop of Buderim ginger lemon and lime marmalade.


For breakfasts I’ve gone back to a smoothie for ease, convenience and as an attempt to control my weight.
Iced coffee banana smoothie with an egg white.

Iced coffee banana smoothie with an egg white. It's time to lose weight for Summer.

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That piece of public art near my office that I wrote about last week is taking shape.

New public art installation taking place. #publicart #igerscanberra

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On Tuesday one of our work mates had her last day before her wedding this weekend. The relevant section put on a curry lunch. Here are the slow cookers doing their thing.

Something is cooking at work!

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The curry was really good. On my plate are three types, lamb, beef and chicken. There is also some yoghurt, bread and rice.

Lunch dedicated to work mate who is getting married. Curry lunch yumminess.

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That evening I only needed a small dinner. I “poached” some salmon by placing it skin side down in a hot fry pan and adding a lid. I turned the heat down and then waited five minutes to turn the heat off. In the pan I also had a piece of sourdough bread that had some blue cheese on it. I grew a little addicted to the cheese and bread this week. I need to stop this now. 🙂


The piece of public art had more work done on it Wednesday morning.


When I got to the post office there was a parcel waiting for me.

Parcel from post office. A gift to myself.

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It’s nice they had Christmas wrapping on the parcel.

After last week’s Friday Fries (that actually sounds better than Friday Chips) with the Cascade Lime Quench, I wanted another Lime Quench. This time with a house made sausage roll from the Urban Bean Espresso Bar.

Mmm…lime 😃

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When I got home I unpacked my parcel. It is a Magic Bullet®. I had one of these when I lived in Darwin. I’ve been feeling a little down lately so I thought I’d buy a kitchen appliance to make me feel happier, especially with Summer coming. The Magic Bullet® is great for crushed ice drinks and for smoothies. While I’ve been making by breakfast banana smoothies with my trusty Bamix® wand and a jug, the Magic Bullet® is quicker and easier. It is also fantastic for making small quantities of things like whipped cream.

Gift to myself. Mini blender.

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Dinner Wednesday night. Roast chicken thighs on sourdough with blue cheese served with asparagus and broccolini.

Roast chicken thighs on sourdough with blue cheese served with asparagus and broccolini.

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This tasted really good. I roasted at a low heat for an hour. The bread became really crispy and cheesy. It was delicious with the chicken skin and the tender moist thigh meat. I prepared the chicken with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and Tabasco sauce.


On Thursday morning I pulled all the bits and pieces out of the dishwater and tried my new Magic Bullet®. Breakfast caramel coffee banana smoothie made with my new Magic Bullet®

Breakfast caramel coffee banana smoothie made with my new Magic Bullet® 😃

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When I got to work and went to get my mail, I saw men on the piece of public art. I still don’t know what it is. There’s lots of speculation in the office.

Lots of activity on the new #publicart in Woden #igerscanberra

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This is what I tweeted through Instagram for lunch. “Cheesy bacon pie. For store bought this was a really good pie. Chunky tender beef and visible bacon. #winner”


Extreme naughtiness. Chicken thighs roasted on blue cheesy sourdough with potato gems and washed down with Agrum and minted ice #MagicBullet


On Friday morning I tweeted No work on new #publicart today. #igerscanberra
I did see men the afternoon before pouring a lot of concrete into the tubing.

No work on new #publicart today. #igerscanberra

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You may be aware the Tasmanian devil is currently endangered because of the Devil facial tumour disease. This is a pretty sad image of a poor little devil who is suffering from the disease

If you’re not familiar with the Tasmanian devil you may know it better from the Looney Tunes cartoons.

Anyway, the connection with me is my love of Ginger beer, especially Bundaberg Ginger beer.
For lunch, the Urban Bean Espresso Bar does not stock Bundaberg brewed drinks but it does stock Cascade beverages.
So I had a Cascade Ginger beer and a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.

Lunch toastie Cheese and tomato with ginger beer

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A tray of vanilla slices for a big boss briefing this afternoon. We called it “Operation Vanilla Slice”. One of my work mates used the recipe I posted previously at

These were pretty good and it really helped the briefing.


Last night I cooked a pork cutlet. I put a piece of sourdough in a square pyrex container and soaked it in XXXX Gold beer. I laid the cutlet over the top and cooked in a slow oven for an hour. I served it with potato gems. The pork was surprisingly tender and not dry.

Pork cutlet and potato gems

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So today I had my plans disrupted because of the loss of my landline on Thursday. I’ve blogged about that here. The technician (Grant Munro) was very helpful and found a loose wire at the exchange. Once fixed I was back on-line but it was still too late to do the things I wanted to do this morning.

This afternoon I went to a wedding of a work mate. She’s the one who we had lunch for on Tuesday. She looked great and it was a beautiful ceremony at Lanyon Homestead. I got lost because that’s how I roll. I am really very poor with directions and I should have spent much more time looking at a map. What I didn’t realise was that Tharwa Drive forks and remains Tharwa Drive. Friends at work joke that the North side is Mordor yet all I could mumble as I was driving lost was “this must be Mordor”. When I arrived my friends laughed.

I know I could have captured images of the bride and the wedding party but my friend Nat was there with her camera and I figured I could get a nice photograph from her later. Nat is also a photographer. Check out her site at

I was more interested in the car Nat and Ursula arrived in. It’s a Corvette which Ursula’s husband recently imported from the US.

Here for a wedding but the car is more interesting. Hi @kecozanat

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When I got home this afternoon I had to complete a Twitter challenge from Thursday. In March this year I posted an image to satisfy the same challenge from TheBernieBrand and PeskyPippi

You can see the link here
This is a result of Pip’s page of the Whipped Cream Club

The details of the twitter thread from Thursday is here
So here is me sucking on a can of whipped cream

Did this for twitter friends @theberniebrand @donovanshaw @fairyofsarcasm and others

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Tonight I had a pork cutlet. I served it with coleslaw that I made this afternoon. It tasted pretty good.

Dinner. Pork cutlet and fresh coleslaw.

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So that’s it for another week. A long post I know. I could have split it up and next week I might do that.

Mentioned places and products
Bundaberg is where my mother and her parents spent many years owning and working on sugar cane farms. There’s even a street named after them, viz., Que Hee Street. Google map

Buderim Ginger
I love ginger. Even if I wasn’t Chinese I think I’d love ginger. I also love ginger beer. I remember as a kid Mum taught me how to make our own ginger beer. I remember bottles exploding and making an alcoholic batch or two. They were good times.

Bundaberg ginger beer is my favourite. It uses sugar from cane farms in Bundaberg.

XXXX Gold is the beer my grand parents drank and it’s the only beer I’ve ever tried. It is also a sponsor of the greatest rugby league (representative) team in the universe.

Magic Bullet®
I bought my Magic Bullet® from Deals direct

Of all the kitchen wands, I like the Bamix the best.

This is a drink produced by Schweppes.

Tasmanian devil

Devil facial tumour disease

Lanyon Homestead
Google map

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia but I did learn how to carve a turkey from a Thanksgiving site.
5 Turkey Carving Tips – From Armand, The Butcher


24 thoughts on “Another week in Instagram and schoolies week

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  8. Love a homemade sausage roll!
    So sad about the accident at schoolies. We don’t have any kind of activity like that in the NT which makes me glad. I don’t think I’d be happy with my kids going there.

    • I think if we were still living in Darwin there’s be questions about doing it in Bali. From what I’ve seen on the news, the Gold Coast may be safer.

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  10. Glad to hear that your land line was repaired. Starting your day off with a smoothy sounds perfect for your busy schedule.

    • Thanks Karen. I was anxious that it would end badly, but so happy when after a couple of telephone calls it was all fixed. 🙂

  11. What an interesting and eventful week! The Magic Bullet is great…even for a make-ahead drink and you store it in the fridge. Ginger is my all time panacea. As a western-trained doctor, do you believe in ginger being good for people with a “cold” constitution?

    • I don’t know about colds and upper respiratory tract infections, I know it helps clear my nasal passages and for that I’m grateful. There’s no question it helps with motion sickness. Whenever I get on a boat I bring a pack of crystallised ginger. Sadly Darrell Lea no longer exists so I have to source Buderim crystallised ginger now.

  12. Hi Gary, very sad about the young girl dying. Horrible when these tragedies happen. I haven’t read the articles yet, but it looks like it was ledge walking.., very tragic.

    We have our own versions of schoolie week here. As a parent it can be hard to allow them to participate. We just have to trust our children, and worry the entire time. Now I know what my parents went through. Congratulations on your own remarkable scholars and your girls own tributes. You are a great father!

    Your week looks spectacular as always!! The public art looks interesting. I wonder what it could be? Love anything with ginger, the pork cutlet, vanilla slices, chicken thighs, coleslaw, and summary! That whipped cream; priceless!!! Have a great day!!

    • Thanks Judy. I find writing a blog post very therapeutic.
      I received a message from Miss17, she’s home with her sisters at their Mum’s place so all is good. I think their next adventure is a week in Cairns to visit one of my brothers who lives there.

  13. Great post Gary! I love the insight you give into your week. I love Bundy Ginger Beer. Ginger beer is strangely a very popular drink here so Bundy ginger beer is available everywhere. In fact I was out to lunch today and we were talking about how Bundy is the best! But we hate the rum hahaha!

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