Day: July 30, 2018

632. Sunday 29th July 2018. Dentist, Lunar Eclipse and Blood Moon and PIES…

Friday 27th July

We attended Griffith University Dental Clinic today for a check-up, clean and polish. We are quite happy to volunteer as patients for the students to learn on real life situations. The students need to learn and they are always well spoken, knowledgeable and under supervision. It is nice to interact with young people who will be the leaders in dentistry in a few years.

Saturday 28th July.

The alarm woke us at 4.15 am in time for us to dress in warm clothes and spend a chilly hour in our park beside Biggera Creek.

270718 eclipse
Eight second time exposure. Yes, there is the moon shining, out of focus while a little above and to the left is the red planet…MARS.

The Lunar Eclipse and following Blood Moon was what we wanted to see and we did. However I had a major mental block when setting the camera so I had minimal shake when pressing the shutter button. I really had a DUH! morning as I tried to take 8 second exposures on a moving moon. On top of that I simply did not try to get a quick shutter speed and higher ISO. In short almost all my photos turned out blurred and or not in focus.

Hmmm! Maybe I will do better next time. I only have to wait until 31st January 2019.

By now readers will have seen many many photos of the eclipse and blood moon by far more professional photographers

Sunday 29th July

Today was another morning of getting up early. This time so we can get on the road. First we drove to Redland Bay to take a few items we had stored for Peter. Then it was off to Acacia Ridge to watch grandson Chris play Rugby League. This week they lost 18/16 amid some controversy. The ref allowed the game to continue three minutes past full time. In that three minutes the opposing team scored a try and converted it, putting them two points in the lead. Protests were in vain. The result stands.

By the time we left the field it was well after 2 pm and we thought we would have some lunch on our way home. We decided that as the time was close to 3pm there would not be many customers at The Yatala Pie Shop.   How wrong can you be? It seems many other people must have been on their way home and felt like a pie at the same time as us. The shop was what we call “chock a block” full of customers. I must confess to having a fondness for a good meat pie and Yatala make a good meat pie. Today I had one of my favourites, a Steak and Kidney Pie. This is a huge pie and Donnis had to help me eat it all. The pie shop is located between the M1 motorway on one side and the Gold Coast Railway line on the other. It has been operating in Yatala for 130 years. The shop is located between two reaches of the Albert River. The pie shop was flooded when the Albert burst its banks on 31st March 2017. An army of employees and volunteers cleaned and repaired and remodelled, put in new ovens and refrigeration and was back in business in just 10 days. It is a credit to the owners that they make a damn good pie and people are prepared to wait and queue for them. It is also a credit to the owners that so many volunteers were prepared to get in and clean up so the shop could open again.

On previous visits to Sydney we have visited another famous pie shop, The Heatherbrae, outside Newcastle near Raymond Terrace, New South Wales.    On each of our visits it has been busy. I think the Yatala Pie Shop may just have the edge when it comes to throughput of customers. On the other hand The Heatherbrae probably makes a better coffee.

Another iconic pie shop is Robertson Pies at, of all places, Robertson in the New South Wales hinterland. I recall the people of Wollongong on a cold wet wintery day would drive to Robertson for a meat pie and a cuppa. As a bonus it sometimes snows in Robertson. Patrons often bought a couple of family pies to take home. I also recall when trail bike riding in the mountains our group always managed to take a detour through Robertson for a pie before riding down the steep winding Macquarie Pass to The Gong.

Beechworth Pies in Victoria are available at several locations but none bigger than the town of Beechworth. They call themselves Australia’s Greatest Pie. That could be debatable but they are welcome to say so. The Great Ausie Pie Comp has a few other choices as you will see below. Of the eight locations found around Victoria, Donnis and I have eaten at five of them including the wonderful Yackandadah Bakery.

Pinnacle Pies about 60 Klms west of Mackay in north Queensland also have a stake (pun not intended) in the best steak pie comp. The pies are not made in a traditional bakery. Rather they are made in the small kitchen of the rustic Pinnacle Pub. Once upon a time they offered a meal free if you eat a large pie with chips in one sitting in under 10 minutes. Pinnacle only offer a plain steak pie. No chicken, curry, steak and kidney and so on. All they have is a steak pie with chips.

A stand out bakery is Snows Bakery and Bread in Alpha some 1,050 Klms northwest of Brisbane. It is a surprise to find such good and tasty pies at the right price in a town of less than 600 people. Many towns no longer have a local bakery so it is a pleasure to see this bakery still going strong and offering a good pie at a good price.

I cannot forget to mention Freycinet Bakery and Café at Coles Bay Tasmania who make a yummy scallop pie. They have a similar population base as Alpha in Queensland but arguably more tourists. Unfortunately they only make a few scallop pies each day and by 9am they are all sold. Actually scallops are not that easy to buy in quantities, not compared to buying steak or chicken or even pork. We managed to buy the last scallop pie of the day when we left. I had to share with the co-pilot who asked if I would go back for another but that meant staying another night and waking even earlier. We had a timetable to maintain.

If I had to choose a winner I would put my choices to one side and take a look at the Great Aussie Pie Competition winners for 2017.    None of my contenders even gets a mention. In fact most of the Winners and Runners up came from Western Australia where we have not yet tried a pie. Another huge surprise is the Fairbairn Bakery of Cannonvale Queensland won an award. WTF! That bakery did not even exist when we left there in 2014. Hmmm! We expect to be in Airlie Beach in a month. Perhaps I can put the Fairbairn Bakery on my to- do list.

I could have a few GRRRR moments coming. WordPress, my blog platform since day one has announced that Facebook in their wisdom have changed THEIR system and the link may or may not work. WordPress have made some suggestions how to overcome the problem and also suggest the “fix” may not in fact work depending on my settings within Facebook. The changes are due to take place from 1st August 2018 so I will soon find out if it works….or not… next week. Please keep your fingers crossed and please continue to read along with me each week. One way or another I will continue to share my blog either directly through WordPress *(I do not expect any changes if you follow directly) or for Facebook only users, via Facebook.