So I’ve experienced stalled weight loss. I started trying to lose weight at the beginning of October by eliminating bread, rice and pasta from my diet. I also stopped milk in my coffee and haven’t added sugar to anything except for the occasional sauce like the Sichuan Teriyaki dipping sauce from last week. I haven’t changed my intake of vegetables or fruit, except that I haven’t been eating potatoes. It’s been great enjoying mangoes and avocados.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve experienced stalled weight loss and haven’t been able to continue the steady decline that I had been enjoying. I know that so-called experts say daily weighing is not useful but I have an obsessive personality so I like to measure my mass, blood pressure and pulse rate. I managed to breach 83 kilograms last week and I’ve touched 83.0 kilograms twice. I need to get below that and keep going.
Photograph of weight chart up today
The answer is obviously to keep avoiding sugar and other carbohydrates but I also need to reduce the portion sizes. one of my downfalls is my love of nuts. Yesterday, I went to see Thor: Ragnarok at the local Hoyts cinema. I booked a seat in the theatre with an extreme screen and reclining seats. I knew I’d want a snack. To avoid choc tops and popcorn, I bought a bag of salted Queensland nuts. I love Queensland nuts. I’ve been eating almonds and Queensland nuts over the last couple of weeks and it’s been difficult to only eat a small number because they are so moreish.
After the movie, I walked over to 2 Yummy and got myself some Super Tasty Boneless Duck which is on the Chef’s specials list. The duck from 2 Yummy is really nice. I brought the duck back to the flat and stir-fried some coleslaw with butter and added a little cream to finish it off. The combination was indeed super tasty. Read my review of 2 Yummy.
Regular readers know just how much I enjoy listening to podcasts. Two of my favourites are Mouthy Broadcast and Dork Trek. This week’s shows have left earworms in my head. The common factor between these two podcasts is Jennie Zell.
If you don’t mind some explicit language and NSFW themes, feel free to listen to both shows.
Have you heard of or made Sichuan dipping sauce? Apparently, it’s a big deal in McDonald’s restaurants in the USA. I was recently listening to the Broads at Mouthy Broadcast and the introduction to episode 174 (warning NSFW humour, some triggers and explicit language) was about the furore from fans of the TV cartoon show, Rick and Morty who were going insane over getting some of their favourite chicken McNuggets (hereafter known as Nugs) dipping sauce. Apparently, someone gave away a car for a packet of the dipping sauce. People were queueing for the dipping sauce. I mean, I’ll line up at a good restaurant, but I can’t imagine lining up for a dipping sauce to dip my Nugs in, no matter how good it makes my nugs taste.
I’m not very familiar with Rick and Morty; as far as I know, it wasn’t a big deal on TV in Australia (if I’m wrong, please let me know). I did a little searching in Google and in one episode (check out the YouTube video) Rick starts on about Sichuan dipping sauce for his Nugs.
Plugging the Broads
If you want to hear what the Broads had to say, visit their website and you can play the audio from the webpage. If you like what you hear, then please subscribe. The more subscribers they get, the more likely it is they will stay podcasting. If you like them and their NSFW ribald humour, you may like to become a Patreon Patron. For as little as a few cups of coffee a year, you get to see them record the show every two weeks. I have to say, watching Jennie, Lauren and Peter do their stuff adds so much to the aural experience. You might ask, why am I plugging this podcast? Well, the fact is, I’ve become quite friendly with the broads and some other podcasters who are all based in the USA. It’s been a bit of a revelation to develop some online friendships with some genuinely nice people who all have a similar nerdy geeky sense of humour.
I’ll post the recipe over at Yummy Lummy soon, but basically, I used the recipe from My Recipes with some minor modifications.
The sauce tasted pretty good. I didn’t have any nugs so instead, I used roasted pork rashers which in my opinion are better than nugs although Jennie would probably disagree given her passion for Macca’s nugs.
What else happened this week?
Work was work, but outside of work, I had fun using my new Tupperware® cookware. The Tupperware® Micro Pressure Cooker and Tupperware® UltraPro are great. I made a nice fast pork rasher dish in the pressure cooker and combined microwave oven and conventional oven cooking in the UltraPro with a chicken thigh dish.
A specialist friend I work with on Fridays brought me a present from a medical mycology workshop she attended last week. I tease her regularly about liking moist yeasty goodness.
I learnt something new
I never realised there is an international standard for dental notation. I was authorising a result on Friday and a faciomaxillary surgeon had referred to us a specimen from an abscess at 37/38. It puzzled me because most adults have 32 permanent teeth and I had no idea what the notation 37/38 meant. After looking up dental notation I found a wikipedia page which described ISO 3950 which is the dental notation standard.
In the last four weeks, I’ve lost four kilograms. So far so good, but I must remain diligent. My goal weight is 77 kg, so I have another six kilograms to go. My aim is to get slightly under that and then stabilise around the 77 kg mark. At 77 kg, I won’t huff and puff when walking around the lake, I’ll be able to tackle stairs more easily and I will be able to fit in my business shirts more easily.
After losing four kilograms, I’ve already noticed that my trousers are more comfortable; getting in and out of my car is more comfortable and I can wear a necktie more comfortably. Sleeping has also been easier, although; I’ve been experiencing the odd night of insomnia. I don’t know why. I’ve got a bit on my mind at the moment but nothing life-threatening.
It’s reassuring that I can tighten my belt without feeling uncomfortable all day. Wearing a suit is also much more comfortable sans four kilograms. This last week I needed to wear a suit to attend senate estimate hearings at Parliament House over two days. It’s been a long time since I felt comfortable wearing a suit.
The fruit is mainly for a dessert treat. Mangoes are a great treat at this time of year. I’ve also added some slices of pear to some of the salads I’ve been making.
How about exercise?
Yea, well, there hasn’t been a lot of that. I’ve been busy with work, and when I did this while living in Darwin, I began daily walks when I’d reached my goal weight as a means to stabilise. I hope to do the same now that the mornings are getting warmer.
Are there any new cooking ideas?
Well yes, there is, at least a couple of techniques I can easily describe.
The first is to stir-fry but not using Asian foods or ingredients. For example, I’m a fan of tightly shredded cabbage, sliced green beans, sweet corn, sliced asparagus, sliced bird’s eye chillies, tomatoes, sliced celery plus lots of chilli flakes. In a wok, I melt butter until it foams and then add the vegetables. I wait until the cabbage and tomato have softened and lost shape and then add a splash of cream and allow the liquid to reduce to a nice spicy sauce that coats all the vegetables. To this, I’ll serve it with whatever meat I’m preparing for that evening. Lately, it’s been chicken thighs roasted in a moderately hot (200 °C/400 °F) oven for one hour. When I have salmon, I dice it raw and add it at the end of stir frying my vegetables in the buttery cream sauce.
Microwave oven pressure cooking
You will have read previously that I’ve recently purchased some Tupperware®, included in my recent purchases is a Microwave Oven pressure cooker. I made a lamb forequarter curry in less than half an hour. Doing something similar without a pressure cooker would take hours of slow cooking to get the lamb forequarter meat soft enough to fall off the bone. You can find the recipe over at Yummy Lummy.
Tomorrow at work there is a Halloween bake-off. There will be lots of cakes and sweet treats. We have a regular bake-off event to raise money for charity and also for a work Christmas function. Tomorrow may have to be a ‘cheat day’.
Here’s a gallery of photographs, each has a caption. Click on one image to open the gallery through which you can scroll through all the photographs
Please feel free to check out all the photographs.
Weight loss and travel don’t always go well together, especially when the itinerary and program is out of your control. This week saw me chairing an all-day meeting on Tuesday in Canberra, speaking at a scientific conference on Wednesday in Hobart, and attending a stakeholder community committee meeting on Thursday in Melbourne. Each event had catered food and beverages. Most of the time the food at these things will consist of sandwiches or wraps and occasionally there might be a hot treat like a party pie or sausage roll or even a deep fried spring roll. Morning tea, if it’s available is often a muffin or if you’re lucky scones with cream and jam. The beverages that are usually on offer are black tea and coffee with the ready availability of milk. Sometimes fruit juice or a carbonated soft drink will be available too. More often than not the ‘juice’ is high in sugar, low in fibre and contains only about 35% juice. The carbonated soft drinks tend to be full of sugar too.
People with dietary needs like a vegetarian or vegan can usually be accommodated and these days gluten-free and dairy-free options are more readily available. What isn’t as obvious are options for people who are reducing the amount of bread, pasta and rice in their diet who also eschew added sucrose as well as complex carbohydrates.
On Tuesday, the meeting was in Canberra so I was able to bring in a cold piece of chicken. I roasted some chicken thighs the night before and brought one in. I ignored the scones for morning tea because the scrambled eggs I ate for breakfast had me happily sated. On the flights that evening to Hobart via Melbourne I was able to pick out leafy salad greens and eat some small chunks of chicken from the meal.
On Wednesday, I enjoyed a hotel breakfast of eggs and bacon with no toast so that worked well. I had to eat something at the airport for lunch and bought some ham and cheese. I got home in time to make a light supper of leftover minced beef and eggs.
On Thursday, I was awake at 4.30 and had a 6.30 flight to Melbourne so I chose to buy some bacon and eggs at the airport. The meeting I attended had a catered lunch and this was my ‘cheat’ meal. I had a mini-bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese along with one deep fried spring roll with a little sweet chilli sauce.
A food competition to beat all food competitions
I was recently invited to join a Facebook group whose members include quite a few podcasting friends who are all USA-based. They were all engaged in this really compelling food competition. Everyone picks one food. During the first week of competition, everyone must eat one serving of that food once a day. In the second week of competition, everyone must eat two servings each day. The third week of competition, everyone must eat three servings each day. By this time people may start to drop out especially if inappropriate choices were made like bowls of ice cream. In the fourth week, it’s four servings each day. When the contest stretches beyond that, it escalates so the changes occur daily. Five servings, then the next day six servings, then the next day seven servings and on and on it goes. People have chosen foods like pineapple (1 cup), salad (1 cup), scones (or what American friends call biscuits) (1 normal size scone), eggs (eaten any way) (1 egg), chicken, rolled oats (1 cup), strawberries (1 cup) and even broccoli (1 cup). This year there were three people left at about day 38 (L had strawberries, A had salad and F had eggs). That’s when A stopped because she couldn’t be bothered buying salad anymore. At day 40, L conceded to F when she realised she had spent $USD60 on strawberries that week (that’s nearly $AUD100)! On day 40 L needed to eat 17 cups of strawberries and F had to eat 17 eggs. At one stage, L had a hiccough and to let her back in she had to complete the JT Challenge with JT being the initials of a challenger who last year ate eggs but because he wanted to go on a date with his girlfriend stopped one day. To let him back in, he had to eat 12 eggs in an hour. So this year L had to complete the JTC and she had to eat 12 cups of strawberries in one go. She live-streamed the event and she was absolutely amazing.
There are obviously some drawbacks to this competitions. One competitor this year who chose rolled oats quickly found how effective oats are for bowel regularity and was spending significant time in the toilet. Last year, L chose pineapple and fully appreciated the action of the natural digestive enzymes in a pineapple when she developed what is affectionately known as pineapple herpes.
I’m not sure who will manage next year’s competition, but I’m tempted to join in the fun. The question is, what food should I choose? It has to be a regular serving so it can’t be something silly like a handful of sultanas. It would need to be something like a ½ cup of sultanas or dried apricots or something like that. This year, L and F got to day 40, 17 serves in a day. I don’t know what I could eat 17 of in one day.
What food would you choose?
How can I focus on weight loss during such a competition? I’d have to choose a protein, but eating so much protein would be really filling.
What other fun stuff happened this week?
I had my performance review at the hospital for my honorary position and I completed compulsory training in fire, emergency and security plus working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
So, after the usual washing, ironing, cleaning and grocery shopping plus a walk around Lake Ginninderra, I had a bit of fun cooking this weekend. You can see my efforts at making nude wonton and hairy melon at my food blog. I had enough leftover to put in the pressure cooker for dinner tonight which I will eat with lettuce leaves. These meals are low in sugar and hopefully help with weight loss as I have some for lunches this week too.
Click on this photograph and check out the recipe
This morning I had breakfast at Ricardo’s cafe and patisserie and enjoyed a nice smoked salmon and poached eggs dish. On my walk there I came across some interesting street art on the road nearby.
My smoked salmon and poached eggs breakfast. Not really weight loss friendly
The Medical Fun Facts Podcast
This afternoon I recorded episode 89 of my podcast. This week’s show is on norovirus and norovirus infection. I have a lighthearted dig at cruise ships which I think of as floating buckets of vomit and faeces.
I haven’t let a drop of Diet Coke pass my lips since Good Friday this year when I broke a tooth gnawing on a beef rib. I’m regularly reminded that Coca-Cola is bad for the enamel of my teeth and when that tooth broke and I knew it would be weeks before I could get it repaired I figured I should lay off the black stuff.
After the tooth was repaired, I’d been off Diet Coke for more than a month and hadn’t really missed it. So until last week, I hadn’t touched a drop.
Well, the major change has been my determination to lose weight. Even though I had stopped drinking Diet Coke I was still drinking other soft drinks (or what friends in North America call soda or pop). For example, every day I was enjoying a 375 mL can of Solo or Sprite. When I decided a couple of weeks ago to stop consuming food and drink with added sugar I did what I had done before which included chewing sugar-free gum and increasing my water intake plus drinking more black tea and black coffee. Years ago when I was motivated to lose nearly 23 kilograms, one of the mainstays of my diet was sipping a can of Diet Coke each day. It helped with the cravings for sugar. So whether I like it or not, for the time being Diet Coke is part of my weight loss strategy.
So, this week, I took my first sip of Diet Coke in months. It was good. I enjoyed it. I’m now a Diet Coke consumer again.
Work has been enjoyable and the Canberra weather has been improving in terms of daily maximum temperatures, I wish the humidity would move along with it but sadly it remains dry.
Thursday marked fifteen years since the 2002 Bali Bombings and I noticed the NT News posted a photograph that I was in.
Yesterday I managed a walk around Lake Ginninderra and enjoyed getting up and personal with a cow. I also saw what I think are some Australasian darters. I wasn’t able to get that close to them, the birds were high in the branches of a tree.
For breakfast this morning, I poached an egg. It’s not something I do very often. I’m pretty hopeless but I want to get better at doing it. I think every weekend I’m going to poach eggs until I get it right.
My friend at work who is a Tupperware® consultant arranged with another friend at work to host a Tupperware® party. I had a good time. I ate pizza and self-saucing Cherry Ripe pudding. So much sugar, so many carbohydrates. I now feel bloated and full and on a sugar high. Sadly this won’t help with weight loss 😜
I bought a small microwave steaming container in an auction and got a citrus peeler and funnel as free gifts. I will now proceed to order an ice shaver module which will fit on the FusionSystem Mincer.
I like Tupperware® parties. This is my fifth. I think I’ve been the only bloke at each party!
Monday night’s show is about the Measles virus and measles. This week, the show will only be posted to the new website and not to the old website. I hope I don’t lose too many listeners and subscribers. If you want to subscribe to the e-mail newsletter and never miss an episode here is the link.
15 years and 15 kilograms on…from the Bali Bombings 2002
Fifteen years ago today terrorists detonated bombs in and near a nightclub in Kuta, Bali. I was 15 kilograms heavier then. The Bali Bombings 2002 terrorists and their support network and their evil ideology killed 202 people, 88 of whom were Australian. More people were injured and many have been left with permanent scars and disabilities. When I see former patients from the Royal Darwin Hospital on TV I can still remember of them and the condition they were in when they arrived.
The good news is the terrorists were executed (I do not write this lightly). The relationship between Australia and Indonesia is stronger (this is a good thing). We have the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre which is a shining example of how to set up a centre of excellence for trauma and critical care (this is an excellent thing). Sadly the evil terrorist support network still exists and the evil ideology behind persists (this sucks).
I hope the NT News doesn’t mind that I’ve posted a photograph from today’s issue in this blog post.
I’ve shared a few e-mails today with my good friend, Prof. Len Notaras, AM about what happened back then. Back then I was 100 kg and now I’m 85 kg, so 15 years and 15 kilograms…
I hope a similar disaster never occurs again. I wish the world was a safer and more peaceful place. Sadly in the history of sapiens, we’ve spent more time in conflict than in peace. I truly hope we evolve more rapidly into peace-keeping people so this sort of barbarism can be a thing for us to read in history books.
I made an interesting observation after reducing my sugar intake this last week. While I’m not about to discuss weight loss after a week, I have noticed I don’t feel as bloated and my trousers and belt don’t feel as uncomfortable. There’s also less farting and my stools aren’t as loose.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that I’m advocating for any particular lifestyle change. I know with my concerns about irritable bowel syndrome, my weight gain and a desire to take better care of myself it would be easy to start looking at various popular lifestyle trends like low FODMAP, Paleo and Atkins.
I’ve previously gone full Atkins and had a pretty stunning result with a weight loss from 100 kg to 77 kg in less than a year. I kept it off for about 5 years but last week when I weighed myself I saw that I was close to 90 kg and if I kept on eating the way I was not only would I proceed to >90 kg but I’d feel crap with it.
The abdominal discomfort was getting to be too much. My belt was feeling too tight. My trousers were feeling very uncomfortable in all the wrong places. My shirts were getting tight in the wrong places too.
The last thing I wanted to do was buy a new wardrobe. Business trousers and shirts are very expensive and buying a size up would mean a minimum of two pairs of trousers and five shirts. At least it’s spring, so buying a new suit could potentially be delayed. No, the better option is to make an effort to lose weight. This is what I will do.
This week I changed to black coffee. I ate no bread. I ate no rice. I ate no porridge and I didn’t have anything with sugar added to it. I’ve been tempted by soft drink but I’ve resisted by chewing sugar-free chewing gum. I’ve increased the amount of fruit in my diet and it’s been a pleasant sweet treat. My meat intake has increased especially chicken. I’ve also increased the amount of cheese in my diet but I’ve tried to be careful not to overdo it.
What I have significantly increased is the volume of vegetables like lettuce and cabbage and especially Savoy cabbage. Savoy cabbage is particularly good because I can shred it finely and then cross cut it. The cabbage remains crisp and crunchy.
Cabbage is also really good boiled. When boiled with some stock, it takes up the flavours nicely.
Eggs have also become a feature of my daily ‘bread’. Boiled, fried, scrambled and cooked as an omelette.
No added sugar is how I must persist.
One of the things I like to do when focusing on my health is to chart or record data. To this end, I’ve started a daily spreadsheet recording weight, blood pressure, heart rate and steps.
While most authorities recommend against daily weight measurement, I like to do it.
Tupperware® FusionMaster Mincer Review
To help vary my meat intake I’ve purchased a Tupperware® FusionMaster System Mincer. I wrote a review for it today after making some beef and blue cheese mince burgers. No sugar in these burgers.
Tomorrow night a show on Legionnaires’ disease will drop at 7 pm Canberra time.
So what have I eaten this week?
Here is a gallery. You can click on one photograph and a gallery will pop up. You can then scroll through the photographs and let me know which ones looked the most appetising. There’s not much sugar in these dishes.
It’s been a fine and mild long weekend in Canberra. For readers from distant shores, some states and at least the Australian Capital Territory (apart from the greatest Australian territory, viz., the Northern Territory of Australia) are enjoying a public holiday on Monday while Victoria enjoyed a public holiday on Friday. I don’t even know why Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) has a Monday public holiday (I probably should look that up!). I know in Queensland it is labour day which is odd given it is usually gazetted to coincide with the first day of May (to celebrate my birthday I assume). In Victoria, Friday was a public holiday so AFL fans could watch a parade in the streets of Melbourne.
AFL grand final
The AFL grand final is held on a Saturday (yesterday) while the NRL grand final is held on a Sunday (today). A Melbourne team, viz., Richmond Tigers defeated the Adelaide Crows. I didn’t watch the game, I was binge watching Star Trek The Next Generation. That said, I’ve told a friend that next year I may take an interest in AFL just to expand my horizons. My aim is to follow the Chinese Suns from the Gold Coast, my number two team will be the Brisbane Lions and my number three team will be Carlton. Obviously, there is a Queensland connection with the first two and I chose Carlton because one of my best friends is a supporter.
Who knows, this time next year when enjoying a long weekend, I may watch both the NRL and AFL grand final games.
NRL grand final
The greatest game of all
While my team, the Brisbane Broncos, were defeated last Friday night by the Melbourne Storm, my number two team, the North Queensland Cowboys, made it to tonight’s grand final game after defeating the Sydney Roosters. I am hoping for a Cowboys victory. If they lose, however, I won’t be greatly disappointed because the Storm is my number three team given their players form the core the mighty XXXX Queensland Maroons. It’s nice not having a Sydney team in the NRL grand final.
The weather in Canberra has been remarkably mild. I wouldn’t say warm, but not cold and there haven’t been too many clouds in the sky. Not that I’ve been able to enjoy the weather. You see, since returning from Bendigo I’ve been feeling unwell. Crook is a better description. I have a dreaded lurgy, a wog, you know, man flu. That most maligned of all ailments. I’ve been rendered inactive with a mild fever, a constant low-level headache, sore joints and a nose that runs for hours and is then overtaken with nasal congestion which makes breathing feel like hard labour. To be fair to Bendigo, I did manage to get out to see Floriade before Man Flu took over.
Squarespace to WordPress.com
So, what have I been doing? I’ve been resting and drinking large quantities of water and other liquids. I’ve also spent days manually copying and pasting material from one website to another in the absence of an easy to use export function from the Squarespace platform to the WordPress.com platform.
The Medical Fun Facts Podcast
My podcast, Medical Fun Facts has been hosted on a Squarespace website for the last couple of years. Squarespace isn’t a bad platform but it isn’t as flexible as WordPress.com or WordPress.org. So what I’ve done is to copy over the blog posts from https://drgarylum.com/blog to https://medfunfacts.com. Even though I’m only talking about 84 posts, this task took days to accomplish. It wasn’t just the text but it was also photographs and audio files. The biggest risk with this move is hoping both Apple and Stitcher approve my request for a new podcast. Until I get word from Apple and Stitcher, I will keep “Medical Fun Facts” intact but the new podcast, viz., “The Medical Fun Facts Podcast” will exist on a new host.
I need to lose weight
So what else have I been up to? After returning from Bendigo which can best be described as a gastronomical journey I’ve been pondering the weight I’ve gained over the last couple of years. I’ve tried to look at my portion control but continually fail. The only thing that has worked for me in the past has been to reduce my carbohydrate intake. I don’t want to go full Atkins again though. It’s not sustainable. It’s unpleasant and makes meal planning and going out difficult. I mean, it helped me go from 100 kg to 77 kg over about 9 months and keep it off for at least 5 years. I’m now back to about 90 kg. I feel uncomfortable and I don’t want to spend money on new clothes. So what I’m going to try is to reduce my carbohydrate intake without going to extremes. I won’t eat anything with added sugar and I won’t eat any bread, rice or pasta but I will continue to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables regardless of the carbohydrate content. This will necessitate an increase in meat and cheese consumption but I will try to focus mostly on white meats like chicken and if I have to, turkey. I also need to be careful about cured meats. Previously I consumed large amounts of salami and other cured meats but since the International Agency for Research on Cancer warned about risks associated with cured meats which I presume to also include bacon, I’m mindful of being more careful. I’ll let you know how I go.
I went with a click bait type title for this week’s show. It’ll drop tomorrow (Monday 2 October 2017) night Canberra time at 7 pm AEDT. Please note, some Australian states and Canberra have moved to daylight saving time today. If you own an Ikea VIKIS digital clock you can get instructions on how to change the time here.
I missed the beginning of Floriade 2017 because I was in Bendigo for the weekend watching Miss 16 compete in the 2017 National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival. For the last few years, I’ve tried to attend Floriade on the first weekend, mainly because it’s less crowded because the bulbs tend not to be as well developed.
Check out the map. If you click on a place marker it will open up information including photographs.
Fishing in Lake Burley Griffin
I have no idea what these blokes will catch but there’s no way I’d eat anything from one of Canberra’s artificial waterways.
Hello Sir Robert
I like how the sculptor captured Sir Robert’s face.
My thoughts on Floriade 2017
The surface area is smaller this year.
The parking is more difficult because the usual parking area is undergoing maintenance. I wonder if this was thought through in advance knowing the parking for Floriade is always tight. I suppose for the ACT Government event management like this is tough.
The nook the gnomes usually occupy was roped off so the gnomes had a new spot. It doesn’t seem to be as ‘cosy’ for the gnomes. There seemed to be fewer gnomes this year.
The biggest change was in the placement of stalls. Usually, the purveyors of various goods and services you find at fetes and carnivals are lumped in one main area so that you can easily go from vendor to vendor. It meant you could get this part of the Floriade experience over and done with in one hit. Not this year though, all the stalls have been scattered and I didn’t notice any particular theme. Given the cost of parking, I didn’t have enough time to visit each and every stall across the entire ‘Floriade footprint’. I expect some people like it that way. I hope it helps for the tourist numbers.
Here is a gallery of photographs. Click on one and then scroll through the gallery.
In the ten years I’ve lived in Canberra, I’ve only ever seen the jet running a few times. It has required significant maintenance over the last few years. It’s good to see it working again. I hope it has continued trouble-free operation.
Will I go back?
I might, Floriade is ‘free’ in that there is no entry fee. There are parking costs and the prices of goods and services are way overpriced. I bought a small long black coffee (essentially dirty water) for $4.80. I bet the food is overpriced too.
Is there anything better?
Yes, Tulip Top Gardens is much better but it’s a bit out of the way and there is an entrance fee.
This year’s National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival was held in Bendigo in Victoria, as it was last year and the year before that. Next year the carnival will be held on the Gold Coast in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gymnastics centre.
Miss16 who is Level 9 at Delta Brisbane was competing in the Delta Brisbane B team in the Level 10 competition. Delta Brisbane was the 2016 Champion Club and is one of the largest clubs in Australia. Her competition days were Sunday and Monday.
I elected to take some days off from work and enjoy a short break. I drove down on Friday stopping along the way for toilet and food stops. My IBS seems to be getting more unpredictable, so much so I’m considering a FODMAP approach to eating.
Click on the place markers for more information about each place I stopped.
Dog on Tucker Box
I left Canberra at roughly 7 am (see the map’s marker details) drive to the iconic Dog on Tucker Box just before Gundagai. I had a cup of coffee and emptied my bladder.
Not long after passing the Tumblong turnoff, I needed to pass a couple of semi-trailers going up a reasonable incline. I made an error and exceeded the 110 kph speed limit by 18 kph and a NSWPOL constable in a patrol car pulled me over. I’ll receive a substantial fine and loss of demerit points from my Driver License. This field of yellow is near where I was pulled over.
Not a yellow submarine but a yummy yellow vanilla custard
Morning tea was going to be a vanilla slice from the Holbrook bakery. I made a quick stop though to shoot a photograph of HMAS Otway at the entrance of Holbrook.
I’ll provide a rundown with the food I ate on the trip at Yummy Lummy. This will probably be published in a day or so.
I decided lunch would be at Cafe Derailleur in Wangaratta. It was a delicious caramelised pork belly with an Asian slaw salad.
One of my problems, when I drive, is a desire to get to my destination in the best possible time. Even though I had cruise control on most of the way, I had one speeding infringement but this didn’t stop an internal desire to keep moving. I should have stopped at more places.
After I finished lunch, I got on the road again and headed to Violet town for a spot of afternoon tea.
When I arrived in Violet town I visited the Lions park public toilet and then stopped at a local cafe and pondered the choices in the display cabinet. There were no vanilla slices left so I went with another iconic Australian sweet, viz., a Lamington.
After a very nice afternoon tea and toilet stop I proceeded to my final destination, viz., Bendigo and the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna.
On my first night, I walked down the road to the Lake View Hotel and enjoyed a scotch rib fillet steak with a peppercorn sauce, chips and greens.
A disappointing Friday evening
The good news is that each room in the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna there is a large screen television which has access to Fox Sports which meant I was able to watch the preliminary final between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm deep in AFL country.
Unfortunately, the Brisbane Broncos were defeated convincingly and the Melbourne Storm proceeds to this week’s grand final of the greatest game of all.
Bendigo has a rich Chinese heritage associated with gold mining. This wonderful museum has some wonderful pieces including the longest dragon in the world at about 100 metres in length.
I’ve created a gallery of photographs. Please click on one and then scroll through the gallery.
No, not that sort of happy ending! The second NRL preliminary final between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Sydney Roosters was being played in Sydney. While the Brisbane Broncos are my number 1 team, the North Queensland Cowboys are my number 2 team (and the Melbourne Storm are my number 3 team). These are the teams with the highest proportion of Queensland players who after all are the best athletes playing sport anywhere in the world.
The North Queensland Cowboys were victorious and will meet the Melbourne Storm this Sunday evening in Sydney for what will be a great game.
Sunday avocado with Hollandaise sauce and poached eggs
For breakfast, I enjoyed poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce and smashed avocado.
After breakfast and a walk around Lake Weeroona, I drove to Bendigo Stadium to watch Miss 16 compete. . Bendigo Stadium is pretty good for gymnastics. It’s big and can accommodate women’s and men’s competitions at the same time. The only problem is air flow which I think needs some attention given the cloudy haze of chalk dust that floats in the air continuously.
Gems are the standard lunch
For me, gymnastics at Bendigo Stadium means potato gems (or for my North American friends tater tots).
As I was leaving Bendigo Stadium I was feeling a little delicate in my abdomen. I was experiencing some colicky cramping pain. That said though, I still felt hungry so I went back to the Lake View Hotel and ate a Caesar salad with anchovies and a crumbed poached egg.
I spent the rest of the evening in discomfort and pain. All I can say is that a warm bath is so soothing.
I woke up feeling considerably better. The intestinal colic has stopped at about 3 am and I just felt delicate. The best way to evaluate how healthy your bowels are is to eat something so I had a piece of toasted raisin bread and then some crispy bacon with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.
Again I took a short walk around Lake Weeroona and spied a couple of black swans with their cygnets.
Back to Bendigo Stadium
Day two was the finals for the Level 10 girls and Miss 16 was again competing in the morning. She performed better on the second day.
What the hell! You had one job Bendigo Stadium!
The tuck shop ran out of potato gems. I had to make do with hot chips.
If you have Facebook, click on this image and check out the comments from Bendigo Stadium’s Facebook page
It was great to spend some time with Miss 16 while we were in Bendigo but saying goodbye is always tough. She is such a happy bubbly person and watching her with her teammates and coaches lifts my heart to see her so happy.
Dinner with Julie-Anna
So for my last night in Bendigo, I ate at the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna restaurant.
I enjoyed a lovely crumbed steak covered in pepper sauce and served with hot chips and greens.
For dessert, I enjoyed a berry ice cream sundae with white chocolate and pieces of crunchy honeycomb. It was amazing.
I left the Comfort Inn Julie-Anna just after 6 am and felt a little sad. If I attend the 2018 National Clubs Gymnastics Carnival, it will be in the Gold Coast and not Bendigo so this may have been my last stay at this motel.
I had a final bath, packed up and drove out of Bendigo with a heading to Canberra. Click on the place markers for more information.
Australiana iconic sweet number 3
I didn’t eat breakfast in Bendigo so I had to find a coffee and breakfast within an hour of leaving. I stopped at Murchison and found a bakery and enjoyed an apple turnover and coffee. I remember loving apple turnovers as a kid at primary school. Our tuck shop sold a really good apple turnover. The Murchison bakery didn’t disappoint me. This apple turnover was delicious.
My final vanilla slice
Yep, I think I’m a Hobbit, I had second breakfast. I stopped at Hide’s Bakery and enjoyed the best raisin toast I’ve ever had. It was amazing.
On the way out I picked up a vanilla slice to go.
Truck stops are good places to eat morning tea
So after second breakfast in Benalla, I drove north and stopped at a truck stop northbound near Glenrowan.
This is where I enjoyed my final vanilla slice of my trip. You can find the place marker on the map.
My first pie of the trip
After morning tea I stopped just before the Victorian/NSW border and had lunch at Henri’s Bakery in Wodonga.
I love a potato pie and this one was delicious.
I can’t eat anymore and I need a dunny stop
Would you believe that by the time I got to Tarcutta I wasn’t hungry? I’m sorry good people of Tarcutta I didn’t spend any of my holiday money in your fine town. I did leave a deposit of another kind though.
The good news is that Miss 16 got home to Brisbane safely and for dinner, I had salmon and salad.
I’m hoping I haven’t insulted my bowels too much and I’ll feel okay soon.
As I write this though, I feel like I’m developing an upper respiratory tract infection. I have a headache and worsening nasal congestion.
I’ll try to post a food-related story tomorrow but I am starting to feel like death warmed up.