Posts Tagged ‘Alpaca’

The deep fried squid was a bit fishy

September 29, 2016

41yjSAQeq1L__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ oosterman treats

We had promised to try again a restaurant in Mittagong. Mittagong is next door to Bowral and has that Australian old town feeling. A couple of pubs with original fronts together with few mansions still indicating a former glory. Apart from that, our dog JRTerrier Milo has a bitter enemy but behind the safety of a solid glass shop front, inside which electrical globes and lights are sold. The dog behind the glass is menacingly black and huge. A large and formidable Labrador-German Shepherd mix. Milo is pulling maniacally in order to get as quickly as possible to the shop, ready for a blood curdling killing. Each time we visit Mittagong with Milo it follows the same ferocious procedure.

As he pulls us on his lead towards the shop with the monster dog you can sense the tension in Milo. He crawls flat tack hugging the street’s shop fronts till we arrive at the front-line of Milo’s enemy. He wants the attack to be a total surprise. Milo’s feet are scratching the footpath. He is so keen. The huge dog is peacefully unaware of what is to come and asleep behind the entrance when Milo arrives. Instantly all hell breaks loose. Pedestrians scatter into the kerbs. There follows about five seconds of a terrifying ferocious snarling. Teeth are bared and clatter against the glass. Hairs are upright. I am afraid the glass door will shatter. I drag Milo past the door and all is back to normal. The frightened pedestrians might say; ‘my goodness,’ resume their walk. Milo had his fun.


Milo contemplating biting a bit.


But, as we had a nice meal in that restaurant before we thought to give it another go. It is an unlicensed place and perhaps café might be a better description. It is unpretentious and no one greets you effusively or shows you a place to sit. There is a mishmash of different seating arrangements, including soft chairs but also hard benches with long tables. You can fill your glasses with water from a large bubbler on a table with selections of all sorts mustards and sauces. It serves food on ceramic plates. I think serving food on wooden boards might be on the way out. I am not sure about the Himalayan salt shakers. This world and its fashions is now so fast and becoming more and more incomprehensible. It is not surprising so many elderly people withdraw and retire on park benches having a private little sob before bravely continuing on.

I ordered the same dish. Deep fried squid on an Asian salad. Helvi had trouble choosing. The café prides itself on serving alpaca-meat dishes. The friendly waitress suggested to Helvi to try it. Helvi told her as an anecdote that we used to breed alpacas. ‘It would be like eating our own babies’ Helvi answered with her glorious smile. The waitress laughed and understood. I suggested to try a beef steak dish with chips and salad. But, as so often happens. New people were running it and the food wasn’t as good as expected. My squid smelled a bit fishy on arrival. The deep frying did not deter the squid from telling me it was well past its prime, and much to its credit gave me a fair warning. My hunger, as usual, wasn’t brave enough to leave the squid well alone.

Helvi’s steak was also not the best. A little sinewy and a bit teeth defying. The chips were fair and she shared them with me. That was nice. The salad was a bit mushy. The lingering on its own behind the counter for a couple of days did not enhance or make it any more Asian.
Anyway, we all had a good time. Milo greeted us with his usual welcoming wagging tail. I reckon his fight with the black dog always cheers him up.

He loves going to Mittagong.

The missing Pierre Cardin pyjama

December 18, 2013


One of my most perplexing conundrums has been my missing pyjamas. It was some years ago when my dear wife gave me a pair of exclusive pyjamas. They were a Pierre Cardin’s creation with a special French fly in the pants giving easy access in any emergency. Very French. It gave our marriage yet another re-newel. A jewel of night apparel. Even though I wore it mainly in the dark, I slept contently in the knowledge that Vive La France and Pierre were kept alive with Liberté, Égalité but not so much with Fraternité. I am reasonably hetero but have no objection to anything in between. Go for it, has always been my motto.

It was during our sojourn of over fourteen years on our alpaca farm. We were very much into getting the histograms down on the fine fleeces that the alpaca is capable of producing. A histogram is a precise method of measuring the thickness of a fleece. The thinner the fleece’s fibre the more the price given for the fleece. We had bought a very good male with dense and fineness of fleece. It was up to him to make sure this fineness of fleece would be reproduced in his progeny. Hence his much desired matings when put in front of a willing female. His name was Ruffo’s- Ledger. He did his best and not once complained, never had a headache or sore foot.

We used to travel around with him in a trailer and take him for mobile matings to other alpaca farms. Like true troubadours, his legendary successful matings were sung far and wide and we soon made an income from him. He was keenly sought after by other alpaca breeders.It was also a social event. Coffee and cake inside, while Ruffo was ‘at it’ outside. We were always giving him his freedom unencumbered, onlookers were banned. Privacy above all, please.


Afterwards, having had our fill of coffee, Klassische Wiener Apfelstrudel and a thousand dollars in our pocket, we would head home. Ruffo was given an extra portion of Lucerne hay. Multiple matings to different females by Ruffo would be at a discount. He would be given a rest of an hour or so in between with an extra handful of Lucerne hay. Boy, was he happy. However, never more than three matings a day. We had principles and did not want Ruffo to succumb to post coital depressions or a heart attack. It did happen to other greedy breeders.

The reader can well imagine our interest in fine fleeces and fine apparel. This was a period of natural fibres and a strict avoidance, even a loathing, for anything artificial, acrylic or plastic. That’s how the beautiful woollen Pierre Cardin pyjama came about. The perfect pyjama. The dream gift from my lovely H. I used to sit around wearing it during the day, occasionally walking past the mirror, casting a quick glance at my magnificent clad exterior. Almost like wearing a suit. I would not have stood out, even at a wedding. Or perhaps I would have ?

It was a light powder blue in colour with a darker blue collar. The pants had a dark blue stripe at the bottom of the legs as well. I even wore it outside to the farm gate and back. The cows next door used to look up in admiration and gave a loud bellow of approval. Can you believe it?

It was during the move to our new address in BowraL that, after a while, I felt something was missing in my garderobe. My pyjama was missing. I am sure, the reader has similar disturbing events of missing items. It seems so inexplicable. How can pyjamas disappear on their own?

We sometimes got visited by Jehovah’s witnesses on the farm. They were remarkable. Always dressed immaculately. They were polite and most civil. When I had finally accepted that my pyjamas were gone for good I started to reflect on possible explanations. On the farm we always felt safe and when going to town hardly ever locked doors. It is likely some people visited us when we were not on the farm. Who amongst those visitors could have filched my pyjamas? That is the question. Pyjamas never disappear on their own.

I can only think that perhaps someone got in and stole my pyjamas. It is too preposterous an extrapolation to even consider the Jehovah witnesses. They are good people. Apart from Jehovah’s disciples there were also visits from a more Evangelical persuasion. Again, always fastidiously dressed.

Perhaps, is it possible? Can this have happened?

We know men are fallible. We so easily fall down with the lurking of temptations everywhere. Did a well dressed Evangelical person knock on the door? No one answered, but at the same time he might have noticed through the glass door, my Cardin pyjama slung casually over the arm chair. Was the temptation too overwhelming? In a moment of weakness the pyjama was snitched and hidden in the brief case, next to Moses’s sixth book; “repentance, and conversion — the great trumpet, the redemption of the world and life ….. Spirit, take three small pieces of wood from the Oosterman door-sill over which the thief passed in …”

Perhaps this is what happened. Stranger things have happened. We all know that.