Newcastle, NSW, Australia

 

Our stay in Newcastle from Friday 28th June to Sunday 30th June, 2019

Before I forget to mention it, very early on Sunday morning we had some great coffee and breakfast and a lovely walk at Newcastle Beach! That was just a perfect conclusion to our stay in Newcastle for the 21st birthday celebrations for Martin’s daughter Lauren.

https://beachsafe.org.au/beach/nsw/newcastle/newcastle-east/newcastle

Newcastle is actually blessed with quite a number of beaches:

ww.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Explore/Recreation/Beaches-Baths/Beaches

Here now is where our trip started:

We left our home in Dapto with our son Martin early on Friday morning, A taxi took us to Dapto train station. So, we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we had to change to another train going to Newcastle.  I liked the train journey very much! On the train I even started reading a novel by LIANE MORIARTY. It goes by the title “Nine perfect Strangers”:

Nine Perfect Strangers

I had bought this book at Central Station. (We had a lunch break at Central Station. In the meantime I am already close to finishing the book!)

So, we arrived at the Newcastle-Interchange on Friday/afternoon, that is the interchange to the light rail.

https://revitalisingnewcastle.nsw.gov.au/what-we-are-doing/newcastle-interchange/

There had been an incident, that is why the light rail was out of action for a while. So we decided to travel on by bus (towards Newcastle Beach). We got off near the Old Newcastle Train Station. Opposite the Old Train Station was our apartment that we had rented for two nights. The two bedroom private ground floor apartment had a livingroom and kitchen and was exquisitely furnished. We really liked it a lot. However we joked about it, that it was like a jail because of the bars at the entrance and in front of the windows!

https://revitalisingnewcastle.nsw.gov.au/what-we-are-doing/newcastle-station-precinct/

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Opposite from the old heritage railway building was our groundfloor apartment that was very well secured with bars in front of door and windows!

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The following picture shows some beautiful park reserves that belong to the foreshore near the Old Railway Station building:

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Our family have been coming to the Railway Carriage Shed regularly for gatherings over the last 15 years. Plenty of room for the kids, sheltered in all weather, and well-maintained BBQ facilities. A great meeting place.

Date of experience: April 2016″
I think this is actually the place where we were in Jan.1999 for Lauren’s Name’s giving ceremony.

Foreshore Park

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Our son Martin, Peter and myself having a little rest at the foreshore.

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Newcastle has quite a busy harbour!

https://www.portauthoritynsw.com.au/newcastle-harbour/

 

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This was our closest light rail stop:

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The birthday party was at the Honeysuckle Hotel:

https://www.honeysucklehotel.com.au/functions

We had pizzas and wine for supper at the hotel:

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Lauren, the birthday girl, and friend Jeremy were great dance partners!

Sunday morning we caught the light rail to the interchange. Then we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we found out that because of trackwork we had to catch the railway bus to Dapto. In Dapto we did then catch a taxi back home.

We worked out that on Sunday going home we had caught four different modes of public transport, namely:

Light Rail, Train, Railway Bus and last not least a Taxi!

Diary

 

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A few days ago I could see some bits of a rainbow. I tried to take some pictures. But all the colours were gone before I managed to catch them with my camera.

This month we already had quite a bit of rain. I always love to go for walks in the ‘bush’ after it has been raining. Walking among trees and breathing in this beautiful fresh air is just wonderful. I recently took a few photos when the rain stopped for a while. We are very much in the midst of winter now here on the East coast of Australia: Even during the day it does not get very warm at all. In our Yoga class Peter and I were given a few tips how to warm the body on a cold morning. It is really not necessary to keep the heaters on all the time. One can warm the body just by moving a certain way. These Yoga movements are very relaxing. It is like a meditation. All it needs is to take the time to concentrate on my own body, on my breathing and how the different parts of my body move or keep still.

As far as taking pictures is concerned, I find when I take a picture of something I teach myself to look properly at the subject. I like to look at some details in nature. Often I am amazed how the camera sees more than I ever do.

Here now are some of my recent pictures:

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Uta’s June 2017 Diary

Today is Saturday, the 3rd of June. In Australia this means we are officially well into winter. The temperature here is right now definitely wintry.

Despite the ‘freezing’ temperature, we very much enjoyed today our visit to Berry. Here are some highlights from:

http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/jervis-bay-and-shoalhaven/berry?nst=0&gclid=Cj0KEQjwmcTJBRCYirao6oWPyMsBEiQA9hQPbgfm

Flq2IeqYs6nU5NzxZuPDuZnDn3MzTnuE86NxJCkaAgwP8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

BERRY
HIGHLIGHTS

“Berry is a rustic yet sophisticated village surrounded by rich dairy country and is home to some great food and markets. Enjoy the fresh produce and award-winning restaurants that have built a reputation for outstanding cuisine. . . . ”

Yes, it is rustic all right. It has a very special atmosphere. We regret now, that we had no chance to show it to Peter-Uwe and Astrid when they were here in Australia a few weeks ago. I mean, we were able to take them to quite a few great places in our area, however their stay here just was not long enough to cover everything. There are overall too many fantastic places to show to visitors, and time was running out much too soon.

So, today Peter and I drove to Berry to have Brunch at this cafe:

http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/jervis-bay-and-shoalhaven/berry/food-and-drink/berry-sourdough-cafe

We had been to this cafe a few years ago and loved it. Today we were not disappointed. This cafe is still as good as ever.

This what it says in the write up about the cafe:

“The Berry Sourdough Bakery and Cafe isn’t your average bakery. They have an Alan Scott oven, a mixer, a crew of talented bakers on the bench and all loaves are hand crafted with no moulding machinery used. The bakery makes the most of the location, maintaining a relationship with other local organic food producers. . . . ”

So I must say, it is very much worth a visit. The drive from Dapto to Berry is mainly along some freeways, a lot of them having been constructed fairly recently.  Today we noticed a lot of workers very busily working on some more roads that are to  offload some more of the increasing holiday traffic going through towns down south. Soon the heavy traffic through Berry is going to be a thing of the past. It means, people driving into Berry are to be mainly residents and visitors only. All other traffic further south will bypass Berry on some additional freeway.

Our ancient AUDI very much liked the drive along freeways and accordingly used fuel extremely sparingly which Peter enjoyed tremendously!

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This is a very busy corner with all the traffic going through Berry.
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This is our Brunch.

I had a bowl with barley porridge, fruit, nuts and a bit of cream. Delicious! Peter liked his bacon and eggs and tomatoes on some fresh rye bread. We both had flat white coffee out of soup bowls! I think a large cup of coffee like this for breakfast is a French tradition.

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I think to discourage the use of plastic bags is a great idea.

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Love Eating Asian Food – LEAF = is in this building

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Some more pictures from Berry we took today:

 

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When we stood here, we had a choice which way to go to the toilet.

And here some pictures from this morning before we left home:

 

Yesterday afternoon I had four friends over for our games of Scrabble and Rummy. I took some pictures before the ladies arrived:

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I left some snacks on the box with the Rummikub tiles.

Our Day at Taronga Park Zoo

 This is where we met to catch the Ferry to the Zoo.

This is where we met to catch the Ferry to the Zoo.
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Lucas with his uncle Troy on the boat
Lucas with his uncle Troy on the Ferry
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The trip to Tarango Park Zoo did not take long.
The trip on the Ferry did not take long.

IMG_0974Chairlifts took us up to the entrance of the Zoo.

Peter took this picture on the way back to Circular Quay.
Peter took this picture on the way to the zoo.
Here is another picture that Peter took.
Here is another picture that Peter took.

All the following pictures are Peter’s pictures too. I could not take any more pictures as we entered the Zoo. The reason? It turned out there were already too many pictures on my card! That meant my camera would not work for me anymore. Today Peter changed the card in my camera for a much larger card. So next time there will be no limit to how many pictures I can take, or at least not for a long while.

Here now are some more pictures that Peter took:

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People have a great view from the top of Taronga Park Zoo.
People have a great view from the top of Taronga Park Zoo.
The giraffes share the great view.
The giraffes share the great view.

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Uta’s July 2015 Diary (continued)

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Just a few days ago I took these pictures on one of my morning walks. I remember it was a very cold but beautiful sunny morning. I wore one of my warmest winter jackets. The other week, during the winter school holidays, I saw one morning a lot of movement around this little playground. A father arrived with two children;  some other children belonged to some women standing around close by. I sat for a while on on of the seats near the playground. The women were busy talking to each other. I was just observing, not talking to anyone. I kind of blended into the landscape, nobody taking any notice of me. I would have loved to take some more pictures, but I did not dare to.

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Little Lucas is three today. We are going to see him and the family tomorrow at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. Alternatively we might all go to the Powerhouse Museum if the weather turns out to be too bad. It could be very windy and wet. But we hope it is going to be all right tomorrow. Yesterday there was widespread snow all over New South Wales,  even a bit into Queensland! However very close to the coast, where we are, there was no snow.

On the fifteenth of this month it was three years since Gaby died. Peter wrote some beautiful commemoration again into Facebook.

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I love to spice my food with Madras Simmer Sauce. The green pieces in the picture are Kale!

 

 

We saw already the whole six-part TV series Glitch on iView after having started watching it on ABC TV. It is a fact that we soon got hooked. So we continued watching it online. Last night we watched the last part of the series.

I googled some information about it. Here is one of the write-ups:

http://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/2015/07/08/abcs-glitch-australias-attempt-blockbuster-tv/

“The national broadcaster is staking its claim in the high-concept, big cast, epic drama scene with Glitch, its new six-part series available in full on its iView service from July 9.

The first episode hits the ground running as small town police officer James Hayes (Patrick Brammell) is called to a graveyard to investigate a “disturbance . . . .  “

Bulli Beach Cafe, July 2015

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As we were waiting for the food buzzer to ring, we observed a few sparrows flying in and out of the restaurant space. Peter tried to catch them with the camera, however they always flew away too quickly to take a proper photo.

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I was sneaky and took a picture of Peter as he entered the Cafe.

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The special offer on one of the blackboards looked quite enticing. But the offer was for the evening. We had come just for a simple lunch. This was yesterday, Friday the 10th. Peter just tells me, “coldest weather is on its way”. I wonder, how much colder it can get. Isn’t it cold enough by now?

We took some seats inside and studied the menu. Breakfast was only till 11 am, and it was already well past 11. Then we discovered a section “breakfast all day”. Under this section we found some special offers.

I had chosen fresh fruit salad with yoghurt.
I had chosen fresh fruit salad with yoghurt.

Peter had gone to pick up my salad and had to wait for the buzzer to ring to go and get what he had ordered. It did not take long and his huge 10 Dollar burger was ready to be picked up. We had asked for an extra: small

We thought the servings were very generous.
We thought the servings were very generous.

Later on I had a pot of Earl Grey tea and Peter had some coffee. We were very happy with our lunch. Earlier on we had already gone for a walk. We thought it was not too cold since there was absolutely no wind. Unfortunately there was no sun either. At least it did not rain.
We really enjoyed our little walk even though we both felt a little pain in our knees.

I took quite a few pictures. Here are some of them:

On arrival I took this picture before I got out of the car.
On arrival I took this picture before I got out of the car.
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Uta’s Diary, towards the End of May 2015

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This picture we took when this cafe had just been opened. This was a few years ago. It took the place of a book shop. Not many book shops in our area have survived. Over the years we have been to this cafe a few times. We like their coffee. We also like their hot chocolate.

The other day we had lunch in this cafe before we went to a close by cinema to see THE WOMAN IN GOLD. This movie did grab me emotionally.

This movie did not get a very high rating. I would have rated it much higher. I did not find it boring at all. On the contrary. And I found all the actors very good.

Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Director: Simon Curtis
Writers: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), 1 more credit »
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl

Biography
Maria Altmann was born on February 18, 1916 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Maria Viktoria Bloch-Bauer. She was an actress and writer, known for The Rape of Europa (2006), Woman in Gold (2015) and Adele’s Wish (2008). She was married to Friedrich Altmann. She died on February 7, 2011 in Cheviot Hills, California, USA.
Waged a seven-year legal battle against the Austrian government to recover five works by Gustav Klimt, commissioned by her uncle, which were seized by the Nazis when Austria was annexed in 1938, including two done of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. She sold “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) to Ronald Lauder in 2006 for a then-record $135 million. The four other works brought $192.7 million at an auction later that year.
Played by Helen Mirren in Woman in Gold (2015).
After she moved to Los Angeles, her brother-in-law Bernhard Altmann sent her a cashmere sweater, not yet available in the United States, with a note: “See what you can do with this”. She sold the sweater to Kerr’s Department Store in Beverly Hills. The resulting demand for cashmere enabled her to start her own clothing business. Among her clients was Caroline Brown Tracy, mother of Spencer Tracy. Bernhard Altmann was forced to sign over his Vienna textile plant to the Nazis in 1938 in exchange for the release of his brother. Having immigrated to the United States in 1941, he added cashmere wool fiber to his New York City-based yarn trading company in 1947. He then re-launched his Vienna factory and opened a factory in Texas, undercutting Scottish manufacturers, which had the cashmere wool market cornered at that time.

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Three years ago, in 2012, we took this winter picture of Lake Illawarra. Well, from next Monday on, the first of June, our winter season has started. But if you ask me, we’ve been in the midst of winter already for the last few weeks. The nights are dreadfully cold, and during the day it does not get very warm either.

Before I got up out of my warm bed this morning, I was planning in me head what I would cook today. I knew I still had half a cabbage and some carrots and sweet potatoes in the fridge. Also onions, ginger and eggs. Peter had one Kranski left and there was some nice sweet Muscato wine in the fridge. Later on I managed to make a lovely meal out of all this. It would have made a nice picture, especially topped with some fresh parsley!

Instead of the wine Peter preferred to have some water with some apple cider vinegar in it. The ginger pieces I cooked together with the the orange vegetables in some vegie broth. I took them out, cut them into very small pieces and added them to my meal on the plate since Peter does not care to have ginger pieces in his meal. But he had nicely fried Kranski sausages. And we had a fried egg each.

I found this meal very satisfactory. I rounded it off with an espresso coffee. Peter did not want any coffee, but he did the dishes. I had my coffee while I was wiping some of the dishes and putting them away. Peter is going to have some afternoon coffee and cake later on, while I am looking forward to have a pot of tea to warm me up in the afternoon.

Well, today seems to be a day, when it shows that Peter and I have sometimes different likes and dislikes. But I think this all right. As the French say: Chacun a son gout!

Sussex Inlet in August 2014

We spent last weekend at Sussex Inlet as you may have seen from my previous posts. There are some more pictures from that weekend that I still want to publish. We had a barbecue on Friday night as well as Saturday. On Sunday we had to leave for home soon after lunch.

Nighttime at Sussex Inlet
Nighttime at Sussex Inlet

It did get very dark at Sussex Inlet. Our Units were quite some distance away from the barbecue area. I found it a little bit difficult to walk along the dimly lit grass. I was always grateful when someone helped me to find my way.

Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.
Here are sausages, pepper steak, onions and mushrooms.

Monika and two of her daughters enjoyed doing the barbecue. There were different salads, as for instance potato salad as well as rocket salad and bread rolls.

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This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.
This was the barbecue area on Saturday morning.

On Friday night, soon after our arrival, we already did have a barbecue with all the family. On Sunday Matthew and Caroline cooked lunch for us. Sunday was a rainy day. This is why it would not have been such a good idea to carry all the supplies for lunch to the barbecue area. It was decided to have lunch on our verandah. Our family had rented four units. They were all next to each other. From every unit a table was carried to our verandah. And everyone carried their own plate, drinks and cutlery from their unit to the tables on our verandah. We had been sixteen people. But Mark had to leave early. Soon after it turned out that four of the young people could not stay for lunch either. In the end we were ‘only’ eleven people, including two year old Lucas’.

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Beautiful Lasagne
Beautiful Lasagne
Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!
Red cabbage, potato salad and red wine which we did drink our of cups!
My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
My lunch plate. I had rocket salad, potato salad, red cabbage and a real lot of lasagne sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
On Saturday Lucas met up with a wombat.
On Saturday Lucas met up with a wallaby.
On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.
On Sunday he did get to see some kangaroos.

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Watching the kangaroos
Watching the kangaroos
With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.
With this bit of rain the grass that the kangaroos can eat for sure is to grow a bit more.
A friendly visitor
A friendly visitor

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Saturday night was card game night in one of the units. Expecting Ebony and Lucas needed a rest and went to bed early. Eight people were playing cards, always four at a time. The rest were just watching.

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After the card games we asked everyone over to our unit for some drinks of sparkling wine. We had a few bottles of this and Caroline poured the sparkling wine into these blue wine glasses. We were able to use the glasses from all the different units. I mentioned that I was looking forward to my approaching birthday. I actually sang a song about my approaching birthday which may have impressed a few people!! Ha,ha. Anyhow, I was in a cheerful mood.

Here is the song (the German version);

Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.
Man hat mich lieb
und schenkt mir viel,
zum Essen, Trinken und zum Spiel.
Ich freue mich, dass ich geboren bin
und hab Geburtstag bald.

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The following day, Sunday, after lunch all the units had to be cleaned before we could leave. Some people were still cleaning while others were waiting outside. Here I am with the group of people who were waiting.

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Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.
Ryan had come with a van and could take in it all of our stuff that did not fit into our car.

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We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.
We drove back along this road. 40 means 40 kilometres.

Grünkohl – Kale

kale

Cooked Kale
Cooked Kale

The pictures are from Wikipedia

Kale or borecole is a vegetable with green or purple leaves, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. Wikipedia

I copied underneath some pages about kale for your perusal. First I want to relate now some of my recent experiences with kale:

After having had a look at the above you are probably convinced that kale is very good for you. Apparently kale is getting more and more popular in Australia. We did buy a bunch of it the other day at a greengrocer’s in Thirroul. It was only three Dollars, which we thought was a very good buy. Today we bought another bunch here in Dapto, costing us five Dollars.

Today’s bunch was a Hydro Produce. Does it mean it is free of pesticides? I hope so. When Caroline gave us a bunch of kale the other day, this was probably organically grown kale. Caroline usually buys organically grown vegies.  Out of Caroline’s kale I made a meal for breakfast. I had a few boiled potatoes which I cut into small pieces. Then I hacked the kale leaves into tiny pieces. I also cut some fresh red capsicums into pieces. I used two frying pans: One for the potatoes with the kale pieces, the other one for the capsicum. I sauteed everything in organic butter. I transferred the cooked capsicum to the big frying pan. Then I used this smaller frying pan to do some scrambled eggs in. Once everything was served onto plates these looked rather colourful: Sauted potato pieces, tiny green kale pieces and pieces of red capsicum on one side and beautiful yellow scrambled eggs on the other side. I like to eat food that looks colourful like this! 🙂 When I cooked this breakfast we still had Caroline and Matthew with us. They praised my cooking which made me very happy.

Today we had another sunny but very cold and windy day. Exactly the sort of winter day where some hot comfort food is very much appreciated. We still had some slices of kassler (smoked pork). Normally I do not like to cook any meat together with my vegies. However Peter wanted the kale cooked together with the kassler. And he wanted it cooked a long time (the German way) so it would be quite soft. So the kale with slices of kassler in it was cooked for a long time. In the meantime I also boiled some potatoes to go with the meal. I added some butter and pepper to the kale.  My slice of meat I did not eat for lunch. I left it on the side for eating it another time. Peter did eat two slices of kassler with kale and potatoes. I could see that he loved it a lot. We each had a can of beer to go with this very enjoyable meal. For desert we had some preserved sour cherries topped with a bit of organic yogurt and some custard. After lunch Peter served some espresso coffee with a piece of chocolate. Delicious! 🙂

Isn’t it amazing that we, being ‘poor’ pensioners, can afford great meals like these? As far as income is concerned we really do belong to the people with the least money. Still, we think our lifestyle is not poor at all, in fact we always are grateful how well we can live with our bit of money. Plus we have on top of the Australian pension a tiny German pension. This extra tiny pension helps us to do occasionally a bit of extra travelling. Our government thinks, it is about time we all learned to get by with less money. But I think most pensioners would find it very hard to make ends meet if the pension was to be adjusted to a lower level.

Here now is a link to the following page: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38

I copied only some sections of it!

What’s New and Beneficial About Kale

Cholesterol-lowering benefits

Risk-lowering benefits for cancer

Providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system

Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale.

WHFoods Recommendations: . . . . At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and one way to be sure to enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavor from kale is to cook it properly. We recommend Healthy Steaming kale for 5 minutes. To ensure quick and even cooking cut the leaves into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting qualities before steaming.

……..

Kale and Pesticide Residues:

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their 2014 report, Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, conventionally grown kale are contaminated with concentrations of organophosphate insecticides, which are considered to be highly toxic to the nervous system. While they were not among the 12 varieties of produce most concentrated in overall pesticide residues (and therefore not part of the EWG’s traditional “Dirty Dozen”), the EWG felt that this organophosphate concentration was relevant enough to bring attention to kale. They actually renamed their produce category of concern from “Dirty Dozen” to “Dirty Dozen Plus” with kale, collard greens, and hot peppers being the “Plus” conventionally grown produce. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of kale unless it is grown organically.

………

Apparently all this is in kale in good, very good or excellent amounts:

vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C , manganese, copper, vitamin B6,
fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron magnesium, vitamin B1. omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, folate, vitamin B3″

Please go to the link if you want to find out more about the exact amounts.
Originally I copied nearly everything but then I shortened it quite a bit so the post won’t be so very long any more.

Isn’t kale a marvellous food? What do you think?

Experimental Photos on a dark Sunday Winter Morning June 2014

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I have my laptop in a very small easy to heat room. I love this small space on a cold winter morning. It feels so snugly warm. Still I have diverse layers of clothes on. I am out to keep as warm as possible. I do not want to catch a cold. With temperatures like we have right now I cannot be too careful! The forecast for today is: Cloudy, windy, max. temperature 16 C.  This means no sun! Doesn’t sound very good, not good at all. If it gets very windy, I better stay indoors. I do not like cold wind!

Peter is watching a football game in the living room: England versus Italy. I took my coffee to this computer room to occupy myself with taking pictures rather than watching another football game so soon after yesterday’s game: Chile versus Australia. I liked the way the Australians played, but really I am not that much into football that I want to watch every available FIFA World Cup game. But it is great to see that so many people get a lot of enjoyment out of it. In many cities all over the world the games are being watched on big outside screens. Our twin grandsons watch the before mentioned game in a pub in London right now!

All the above photos I took this morning. I glanced some very colourful clouds when I looked outside. My pictures are just some trial pictures. I saw the cloud much more colourful. It did not turn out that good in the photo.

There are several pictures on the wall in front of my laptop. One picture is titled “Family Name History”. The picture was given to us on our 50th Wedding Anniversary by our children. It says a lot about our family name. The print is rather small. This is why it did not come out well in the photo. Maybe some other time I can try to take a better picture of it.