Oct 272018

beachcombed bouys

its been a while since i posted to the blog, so i thought i better do an update. my twitter followers will have seen most of these images and know what we have been up to, but for the rest of you here is a quick and dirty post about october!

its mainly images and less words, because its a lazy saturday afternoon!

the big news this month was that kai got picked for the gove representative rugby league team to travel to katherine for a tournament against sides from katherine, alice springs and darwin. the team drove out and played a couple of matches on the friday night and then the main tournament was on saturday, unfortunately in the second game kai was heavily tackled while carrying the ball and ended up with a mild concussion, so he missed the rest of the games.

also this month sal and i had 5 days in darwin, she had a tax course in darwin for 1 day so i took a few days off and we flew over for a long weekend, kai stayed at home and looked after himself. we had a lovely time, lots of lazing round the hotel pool, lots of yummy meals and catching up with a few friends. dave, the new co-ordinator at the art centre, is an artist himself and he had an exhibition on the friday night at outstation gallery – who also happen to be one of my coffee customers! so we had a nice night at the opening before heading to the darwin icon that is peewees for dinner.

we also did all the markets, mindal, parap, rapid creek and nightcliff. we discovered a new place that actually has decent coffee – a first in darwin! its called alfoncinos and its down the arcade in mitchell st that runs down to the old bus terminal, just past coles.

our first night we had dinner at what used to be the pearl, it has transformed into a tapas and wine bar and sad to say its nowhere near as good as it used to be.

sal also picked up a couple of lovely skirts with actual pockets!

other meals we enjoyed was lunches at the old standby, the sumatra cafe, one of darwin’s hidden secrets, they do fantastic, authentic padang food from sumatra, and dinner at memories of india which is the best indian i have had in australia at a sit down restaurant. we also had dinner at the laksa house, aka warung ibu ayme, another darwin institution on the stuart highway.

in other news i finally completed reassembling the big boat shed at our house in south, its been a long and sometimes arduous project, but its now complete. I think it ended up being rebuilt upside down, inside out and back to front. Largely due to the timelapse between disassembly when i bought it and when i rebuilt it, as well as the impermanence of the permanent marker that i labelled everything with!

yesterday sal & i headed out on daves boat and had a lovely day on the water, we left the boat ramp at about 8:30, had bagged out with 6 nice mackerel by 11:30, had lunch and a swim at breakfast island and we were home by 2:30!

(dont forget you can click on the “i” to see the image captions)





 Posted by at 1:09 pm  Tagged with:

Mar 172017


my old mate, brian livingstone (livo), used to live here and relocated his family to yepoon in queensland some years ago. he pops back every couple of years for some fishing and to inflict serious and lasting damage on our livers. this time he brought his daughter caitie and settled in for 2 weeks. they stayed with my mate dave ‘butts’ butterworth – which helped prevent early onset cirrosis in my case.

brian also brought a wonderful present for me up on the plane, it was a total surprise, but i suspect dave was also involved! I was actually overwhelmed a bit, its a magnificent gift and will take pride of place at rick’s bar & grill.


our original plan had been to charter a boat for a few days and do a barra fishing trip, but it proved to be so expensive that we bought a small mercedes each instead and decided to spend 6 days camped down at paradise, a.k.a bawaka, we took both dave’s and my boats down and sal drove the troopy down.

we asked timmy to come down too, so we could get him out on the boats and also have him create a cultural education experience for our visitors. he came down on the friday and spent the weekend with us, also bringing djakapurra and yarrangu as well as djaka’s son russell who is a year older than kai.


caitie, sal, brian & dave

we had a few days in town before heading out, and brian, dave and I actually did a run down to bawaka to take some of the gear down and make sure all was ready for our visit. as usual the days were started at rick’s bar & grill with coffees and usually ended there with dinner!

friday morning we launched the boats at yirrkala and set off for bawaka while sal headed down by road, it was a perfect morning with glass off conditions and flat seas, i only stopped for about 45 seconds to catch a large mackeral for dinner!

the most exciting thing on the first night was the appearance of wititj, or the olive python as he frightened the life out of russell by slithering across the sand towards him as he sat beside the camp fire after dinner! it was well over 3m long and one of the biggest I have seen, after a bit of fumbling in the dark I managed to pick him up and relocate him into the swamp – well away from our beds!

as you can see our effort at camping more properly falls into the category of glamping – proven by the fact that we lugged dave’s espresso machine out there so we could have a proper start to the day with freshly roasted coffee from arnhem roastery!

saturday we decided the weather was perfect for a run down the coast towards the group of islands known as the three hummocks. timmy was very keen to visit an island which he is named after, he told me it was deadly island – which I couldnt find on the map, but as it turned out i had misheard him and it was actually dudley island! the yolngu name of the island is murrmurrgu, and timmy had never been there so it was a very emotional trip for him.

we followed the coast down and trolled around any likely looking islands or rocks and got a nice range of fish, and some unwanted ones like sal’s shark!

we stopped at one of the three hummocks for lunch, it was actually 2 islands joined by an amazing sand spit, and it wouldn’t have been hard to stop there for the rest of the day! it was totally protected by the other islands around it in every direction, the water was crystal clear and the sand was soft and clean.

when we arrived at murrmurrgu we discovered an even better beach if possible, it plunged straight down into deep water and was just an idyllic location, it was beautiful to see how emotionally affected timmy was by the chance to visit his island – and that alone made the whole week worthwhile just to be able to take him there. I dont think any of us will forget the experience for a long time.

that will do for part 1, i will try to put together a part 2 post later this weekend.

i did record a little video of timmy talking about his experience in visiting his namesake island for the first time,

Oct 072015
pomos sunset from the roof

pomos sunset from the roof

pomos is a tiny little village on the NW coast of cyprus, towards the border with the turkish occupied northern part of cyprus. no one much comes and stays here – and even they are not here at the butt end of summer.

our apartment looks out over the mediterranean, the meltemi blows freshly thru the windows and cools the baking sun a little, the roof is the perfect observatory for the fiery sunsets and the noise of the waves washing up the rocky beaches lulls one to sleep.

there is not much here, a sea food taverna at the boat harbour, a couple of souvalaki joints, a little general store and a cafe with resident backgammon players is about it.


backgammon at the pomos cafe

it suits us entirely well, we can relax away from any tourists, the water is warm for a daily swim, the neighbours have become firm friends and we take turns at cooking! starlo cooked us a fantastic meal of keftaides with pasta and salad and i cooked a butterfly lamb leg on the char grill another night.

she also gave us a loaf of freshly baked bread the other morning with some haloumi she had also made herself, it was the yummiest haloumi i have ever had, it was made with some fresh mint which gave it an amazing flavour.

the owner of the cafe was preparing courgette flower dolmades when i popped in for my daily cypriot coffee this afternoon, of course I had to try the already finished tomato dolmade!

the guy at the taverna at the boat harbour, who also happens to own the apartment we are staying in, gave me 2 bottles of wine and 3 fish when i dropped by to see him this morning.

the village is surrounded by steep hills covered in wild pine and cedar forests, apparently home to the cypriot wild goat that is their national symbol – although we are yet to see one.

its the perfect spot to finish up our gap year adventure, a couple of lazy weeks before returning to reality, sun baking, swimming, chatting with the locals, eating, drinking and walking.

Sep 042015
last supper

last supper

so our week in piemonte has come to an end, we had a last supper with thomas and his family, it was a tribute to the italian cuisine and started with zuccini flowers deepfried in a light batter and topped with an anchovie. we followed this with the classic pasta con vongale and then a risotto con tre formaggi. ida and thomas made classic lemon tart with a soft meringue topping.

now its back to zürich in the car and then an overnight with christian and claudia before flying to amsterdam and catching the train to apeldoorn to spend some time with michiel, boki and dali.

finally some random leftover images!



Aug 272015

the start of the susten pass

whilst we were in denmark staying with thomas and mie, they mentioned they were coming down to piemonte in italy for a week at the end of august and asked if would like to join them and stay in the villa for the week.

they were going down for a 40th birthday party for one of thomas’ colleagues and bringing thomas’ parents, 2 brothers and sister in law. so it was going to be 13 of us including kids.

we jumped at the chance to head back to italy, which remains our favourite country in europe, it also meant we had the chance to drive from zürich up and across the swiss alps and down to italy. i knew that some of the world’s best roads are in this part of europe so i did my research to find the best of the best and create a route that would be a little longer but take us on an amazing route through the alps and along the passes with the reputations for amazing roads, scenery and steepness!

we were lucky enough to get a VW golf which was a perfect car for the roads, beautiful neutral handling, enough power for the conditions and small enough to throw round the hairpins!

the views were breathtaking and I can safely say the roads were definitely the best I have ever driven in the world, nothing compares to this.

first we drove the susten pass from wassen to innertkirchen, this was the most impressive road and had the least traffic as its not as well known as some of the other passes, then we drove the grimsel pass along side the aletsch glacier and down to brig glis before crossing over into italy.

for me it was the realisation of a life long dream to drive these roads, reinforced by watching clarkson and the top gear mob throw ferraris and aston martins around these moutain passes! it was just as much fun as i imagined, tempered only by the frustration when i caught up with slow traffic with no safe place to pass – the serial offenders were the sad sacks on their hardly davison motor bikes – forced to travel at painfully slow speeds due to the woeful handling and low ground clearance of their iron strides, they hold up just about all traffic as they splutter like a massey ferguson tractor around the corners.

it was also a great sensation to cross the border into italy, the buildings were all a bit dilapidated, the road magically deteriorated and suddenly no one was taking any notice of the road laws – very refreshing after the perfection of switzerland for a month!

of course what improved was the amazing food and coffee! we pulled into a service station to get some fuel and went into the ‘chef grill’ and got yummy panini with mozarella and prosciutto and a €1 euro espresso that was the best coffee i have had since leaving home!

it felt like coming home to be back in italy, and we realised just how much we love this country, its amazing produce, food, coffee and its wonderful people!

Jul 242015

having a beer at cafe les halles, zürich

we have been nearly 2 weeks now in zürich – and i am not sure where the time has gone!

we have really enjoyed cycling around here, oh that australia had a cycling culture like this, no stupid helmet laws, bike paths everywhere, motorists that are considerate of cyclists and lots of facilities for them. its such a wonderful way to explore a city, so much faster than walking so you can cover much more ground, but still with the ability to stop to take a coffee, or a photos, or explore an interesting shop.

zürich is all the more pleasant for having very little traffic on most of its roads, probably a consequence of a first class public transport system as well as being bike friendly, also you are never far from the water with the lake and rivers running through the city.

the weather has been beautiful and perfect for swimming in the river, we enjoyed a day there earlier in the week, its a bit hairy in the water because its flowing quite fast, kai and I were jumping in upstream, floating down and swimming across the current to climb out some steps on the opposite side of the river a couple of hundred metres downstream then walking back across a foot bridge, along the side of the river back to the starting point and then jumping back in again!

we had to get it right because there were pretty serious rapids just downstream of the steps so if we missed the steps it would have been a bit hairy!

sal and i also scored an amazing little vintage wooden cart the other night, we were walking down to have a beer at a local bar when we passed an expensive vintage shop that we had seen previously – i had warned sal that we wouldnt be able to afford anything in such a flash looking shop – but this night they had a collection of stuff outside with a sign saying “gratis for taking”.

the cart was the highlight, although we also took a nice glass bottle as well, we decided we couldnt pass it up so we passed up on the beer instead and i walked the cart home!

as always our visit has been as much about the people as the place, sal and i met a couple of guys up in a park overlooking the city when we went for an evening walk one night. we quite often take a couple of beers and ride or walk to somewhere nice for an evening drink and this night we ended up chatting to aidrian and fabian while having our beers.

they were very interested in australia – if slightly overawed by the wildlife! as we were all out of beer we invited them back to have a couple more at home – where kai quickly roped them into playing uno. hopefully we will have a chance to catch up with them again before we leave switzerland.

i also made contact with joanes, who is a zürich coffee fanatic like myself. he also owns a lovely lever machine, the londinium 1, i contacted him online looking for tips for cafes and coffee roasters in zürich and he kindly asked me to come around to his place for a coffee session.

joanes has a fantastic setup with an unusual versalab grinder – a grinder i have read a lot about but never used, as well as his primary grinder, a compak K10 and of course the beautiful Londinium. we have different tastes in coffee, joanes preferring single origins, lightly roasted and updosed for a bright, fruity and slightly acidic espresso where as i prefer a darker traditional italian roast with the caramel, chocolate, slightly smokey flavour.

none the less i was very impressed with the extraction he got from the lightly roasted single origin coffee from tanzania that he was using, it was good enough to have me considering having a play with this style of coffee when i get home. he managed to avoid the sourness and over-acidity that i usually find with this style of espresso.

we also enjoyed listening to some vinyl on his beautiful hi-fi system, he has a very nice high end tube amplifier and some lovely hand built speakers. good music and good coffee is a fine combination indeed!

it was a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon and a reminder of the way the internet enables the connections of people with shared interests all over the world.




Feb 082015
feb  004

karekare beach


thats karekare beach which is just next door to us at Piha, its where they shot the film ‘the piano’, we went for a swim in the waterfall which is just a few hundred metres behind the beach. we quite often come over here for a swim and a surf, its an incredibly pretty spot – even by NZ standards!

we have had a busy couple of weeks since my last post, slowly bedding down our plans for nz, jeremy gets back later this month so we have to be out of his place in piha, we have scored a housesit next week for a few days in henderson which is nearby, then we go down to a farm at patetonga, east of hamilton for a week, we have some sheep and calves to look after!

then we come back to piha for most of march, we have rented a bach right down on the beach, as in walk out the door and across the lawn onto the beach, so we will be back here for 3 weeks or so, then we head to tauranga to stay with friends a few nights and housesit a home right on the beach at papoama beach, tauranga for a couple of weeks.

with all this moving around, and the fact that jeremy and leesi would be back and need their car, we tossed up renting a car for a couple of months or buying, in the end we bought a little toyota carib station wagon, we will sell it when we leave and it should work out cheaper than renting a car, even if we lose quite a bit on it.

other than that the strawberries and blueberries are finished, but the corn season is in full swing! we are getting 6 cobs for $1.50 at the moment! needless to say we are living on corn! avocados are still 6 for $1 so guacomale is the other staple.

i have also given in on the coffee front, i realised that we were not going to survive 12 months without decent coffee in the morning, so after some hurried research i decided on a ROK Presso for the best compromise between decent coffee and something i could fit in the suitcase, matched with a knock, hausgrind grinder from the UK. for the coffee tragics you can read more about the ROK and the hausgrind on the seekrit squirrel forum, HERE



Jan 242015
dport  015

kai on the devonport foreshore with auckland in the background


i realised its a while since i posted, and in fact when I uploaded the images I realised I had completely forgotten to post about our trip to devonport, takapuna and dinner with the fabulous luke, zekiah and lorenzo!

we were heading over to auckland to sal’s cousin, luke’s for dinner last friday week and as it was a glorious summers day we decided to head over to takapuna on the north shore, for some shopping and a swim before going to dinner.

we arrived in takapuna about lunchtime so i suggested to sal we head down to devonport where we would be more likely to find a nice cafe for lunch, so thats what we did. we had a wander thru the trendy shops, grabbed a bite of lunch, had a great coffee, kai had a play in the playground, climbed a couple trees and had a swim and then we bundled back into the car and headed back to takapuna.

just as we were leaving zekiah sent sal a text saying she was going to takapuna with lorenzo for a swim and did we want to come over from piha early and meet her there!! of course we rang back and said, ‘guess what! we are on our way there now, see you when you get there!’

so a relaxing swim and lazy afternoon was spent on the beach at takapuna and then we went back to luke & zekiah’s for a lovely dinner – zekiah had made a yummy chicken and chorizo dish which we polished off with gusto along with a few beers and a nice wine!

i also found some more images from round piha that i hadnt posted yet, so here are a few more summer snaps! white’s beach is our little private beach, its only the next beach north from piha but the access is a very steep climb up from north piha and then a magnificent view from the peak, and then a mountain goat climb down the cliffs into whites beach! most of the forest tracks start from the back of piha, so its easy access for us and an alternative to getting our exercise on the beach!

Dec 202014
piha  002

kai playing with kelp

I feel like there has been a significant shift since our arrival in piha, we always knew the first month was going to be a lead into the ‘gap year’, a month still in australia and a month staying with friends and family rather than on our own.

already, after only a couple of days we can feel the difference, its great to be just us in the house again, (as nice as it is seeing friends and family!!), we are also starting to find our way on this path of the gap year, we are becoming very relaxed, but also really enjoying just living.

its the little things – we have been going for big walks on the beach at piha and it crossed my mind that when i get home i must try and walk the beaches at home more – then it came to me that the reason we can do it so easily here is precisley because we are not working or going to school!

piha  001

kai in silhouette

i think our thoughts and minds are becoming very peaceful too, not just from the no work, no school, but on top of that the tranquility of a little coastal surf village in NZ!

i feel like we are also having a cleansing of sorts, eating really well because of both the abundant (relative) supply of fresh produce, but also again because of the time we have on hand, and combined with daily real exercise its got us all buzzing! (excuse my purple patch).

even within the tiny confines of jeremy’s bach, we are finding our own individual enviromental spaces – which has always been important to all 3 of us.

piha  004

looking down from the loft bedroom

little things are great too! the morning coffee ritual continues because jeremy brought one of my Caravels and a Lido grinder and I brought a bag of our coffee with us – so I get up and put the caravel on, grind some coffee while i wait for it to get up to temperature and then pull a couple of shots of caffeine nectar!

piha  005


its also giving us a chance to consider some of the aspects of what life in retirement might look like, and I think over the next few months that will be an interesting insight – what will we fill our days with to replace the routine of ordinary life?

that also informs our choices for what we choose to do over the gap year – i get the sense already that as nice as it will be catching up with friends all over the world, having a series of bases like piha where we are in our own space and free to do as we choose, will be our preference.

i will sign off with a picture i took just on sunset last night down on the beach, a surfer and his girlfriend having a kiss, watching the sun slide away.

piha  003

love on the beach!

Mar 172014

brian  015friends are special, its a self evident truth, but we were reminded of it this week past when old friends Brian & Penny visited nhulunbuy. they left about quite a few years ago, but we have remained in touch over the years and caught up a couple of times.

brian & penny stayed with our mutual friend dave, but the days started at rick’s bar and grill for coffee and ended here for dinner and copious amounts of alcohol! we once again enjoyed sharing our table with others with a fine appreciation for food, meals included char grilled steak with grilled vegetables and french fries, freshly caught fish in panko breadcumbs, thai fish cakes, mango salsa and wild mountain rice, fish amok (cambodian curry), and potato and mackerel bake.

brian, dave and i worked on several EBAs together and i grew to admire his intellect, humour and humanity – and a week of fishing, drinking, eating and talking crap only confirmed what a great mate he is. it was also good to spend more time than we usually find for each other, with dave – we live 100m from each other and dont spend as much time as we should hanging out.

its so important to maintain relationships across time and space, beyond family its all we have and one of the main things that defines us.

as with all really good friends, we may not stay in contact, or even catch up all that often these days, but when we do it just picks up from where we left off.

we got plenty of fishing in too, brian got some nice barra out of the bay  and we had a great days mackeral fishing out on dave’s boat.

anyway, time to let the images do the talking!


 Posted by at 6:08 pm

Feb 072014

holv7 (10)

our last night in saigon, alex and minh came over on their motorbikes and picked sal and i up and we took off over to the other side of the river and a seafood restaurant that had been closed for tet festival up until last night.

it was a great final meal on a trip of great meals, we let minh order, and the rest of the night there was just a constant stream of plates of various shellfish – which was obviously the specialty of the restaurant. they were mostly cooked over charcoal and had a variety of sauces and marinades, we also had chargrilled corn with onions and salted eggs and plenty of greens.

a steady flow of beer helped wash it all down before we mounted our steeds and tore off back into the city where we went up to the 23rd floor of a non-descript looking office building – but at the top is the Shri Restaurant & Bar. we had a coffee while looking out over saigon at night, then it was back to the hotel for a goodbye beer and our last nights sleep before flying to singapore tomorrow and then on to darwin and home.

here are a couple more photos i hadnt put up yet, i am sitting at the airport as we wait for our flight to singapore and feeling a little sad about leaving this beautiful city, but confident we will be back again – for a longer stay and more exploration of the rest of vietnam.

I am sure one thing this trip has settled for both sal & I are that there are plenty of places we would be happy to spend 6 months a year as a base, malaysia has several possibilities and we have previously considered bali, now vietnam is definitely on the list.

dad used to come up to saigon every year and spend a few months here, i can understand now how he fell in love with the place and people.

it also completes a small ambition of mine, dad and i had travelled to so many countries together and vietnam was I believe, the only one i hadnt been to.


 Posted by at 11:25 am

Feb 062014

holv6 (6)

thats the view from the steps of the thuc cafe, where i have just enjoyed an espresso on the way home from breakfast, its typical of the heart of this vibrant place, wide footpaths, tree lined streets, small parks, with all the buzz of an international city.

the longer we spend here, the more convinced we are to come back and live here for an extended time – like 6 months, it was always our loose plan to spend our retirement living somewhere overseas for 6 months and somewhere in australia for the other 6 months – saigon is the first place in our recent travels where I am really certain I wish to come back to and spend time actually living here.

breakfast today was at the i.d. Cafe, the first time we visited we sat downstairs where they have their coffee machine and a couple of little tables, and enjoyed an espresso, it wasnt until I asked where the toilet was and they directed me upstairs, that we discovered they have a large upstairs space with a small restaurant, funky decorations and a view out over the local streets.

so today sal & I went back for a leisurely breakfast, sal had an omelette with baguette and i had char grilled pork with vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, peanuts, thai basil, coriander and a typical vietnamese dressing. with a couple of short macchiatos the bill came to about $12 – which is not cheap in saigon but it was yummy and is at least half what a similar meal in a trendy cafe would cost in sydney.


Feb 042014

holv3 (14)

Bánh mì is the perfect fast food and/or hangover cure in Saigon. walk any street in Saigon and you’re likely to find at least one street food vendor smearing a small baguette with pâté, dropping in some cold cuts, pickled vegetables and fresh coriander squirting in some soy sauce (and adding a few chili peppers) … then wrapping it in a small sheet of paper and snapping a rubber band around the assembly. Off you go with a great hangover cure, midday or midnight sandwich snack.

Luckily you can usually find a street cart selling bánh mì right next to a cafe serving a great coffee so you could probably live on a diet of bánh mì and coffee indefinitely!

sal and i had a bánh mì and coffee to try to dispel the foggy head and lethargy that undoubtably had plenty to do with the excesses of last night, sal headed home but i decided to wander down town to the restaurant where we dined last night to pick up the jumper i had left there due to my early onset dementia.

as i was strolling along the shady boulevards of saigon i was assailed by a number of dodgy looking old men on motorbikes, slowing down so they could offer me ‘special massage with nice girl’, i suspect what they were offering was neither special nor a massage – and probably not a nice girl either!

it did occour to me they were missing their mark, had they offered me “special bánh mì or phở” – I probably would have taken them up on their kind offer and jumped on the back of their honda.

instead i gently declined their offer of “special massage” and continued my meanderings through the shady streets.

Dec 062012

after months of waiting, my pre-production ES-2 Espresso Machine has arrived from Espresso Strietman in Holland.

Wouter Strietman has made a pre-production run of 20 machines and I was lucky enough to secure one of them, drawing inspiration from machines like the Arrarex Caravel from the 1960’s and incorporating modern electronic temperature control they are an amazing design.

The courier waved me down in Woolies car park this morning to tell me she had a box for me,

I whisked it home and unpacked the very well padded parcel to reveal the component parts of the ES-2, I have put it together with the drip tray holder inverted which allows it to sit upright on the table for pictures, the intent is to wall monut the machine.

as you can see, there is not actually much to it and assembly took a matter of minutes with no instructions required! everything is well built and very solid feeling, i love the industrial finish – its not a polished and glossy finish like my big Izzo lever but it really suits this machine I think.

you can see the nice detail on the control unit here, and finally the assembled machine. it will be a few days before I have it up and running as I dont have time to work out the mounting system and set it up but I am hugely excited to see just how good the extractions are from this timeless design of coffee porn! Wouter also kindly included a couple of nice porcelain cups bearing his name as well as 3 different portafilters to try.

in my excitement this morning I did forget to mention the relationship with Wouter through this process, he has been fantastic, communicating at every step of this unique process, adaptive to issues as they came up (he couldnt use wood handles and send it to australia easily), he has sent photos through as work progressed and generally been a pleasure to deal with. i am sure I will have even more positive feedback once i get to the point of pulling shots on this beauty!

Nov 232012

sorry for my lengthy absence from the pages of nhawi, my primary excuse is that I have been struck down with the scrouge of Ross River Virus.

to save you having to listen to a litany of whinging about aching joints and lethagy, i suggest those ignorant of, or with a morbid curiosity for, the details of RRV, do a google search and enlighten themselves.

i have been crook with it for about 2 months and can expect at least another month of feeling like an 85yo man, an insight I could easily have lived without.

anyway with no further ado i present you with proof that i am not completely overcome, a small video of a shot pulled on my Arrarex Caravel manual lever coffee machine with a new ‘naked’ or bottomless portafilter – which will mean absolutely nothing to all but the few coffee obsessed readers of my little blog. again readers, google is your friend.

and with that i shall return to the cricket and watch the skippies flog the saffies.

….back from the cricket, my friend Koffee Kosmo has requested a view of the extraction looking up into the portafilter so here is ‘nekkid2’

Aug 022012

the new Able DISK Fine for the AeroPress turned up this week, they save using paper filters in the AeroPress and are very fine stainless steel mesh filters that deliver similar results in the cup to paper filters.

i did a quick pour with some Panama Esmeralda Geisha and it was sensational!

you can see here just how fine the disk is, there was no cloudiness in the coffee nor any sludge in the glass.

clean up is easy as well so i think its a definite winner.

here is the link for the, Able DISK Fine

and if you are not familiar with the, Aeropress


 Posted by at 5:40 pm

Jun 232012

i have become a little obsessed with vintage lever coffee machines, in particular the Arrarex Caravel – which is not the machine above! The Arrarex Caravel is a piece of inspired late ’50’s Italian design, beautiful, simple and incredibly effecient and reliable. There were thousands of them sold into Italian homes in the ’60’s and 70’s and in testament to their design, a surprising number still exist in pristine, working condition. In my search for one to buy, I was offered the little beauty above- a late ’50’s Baby Faemina. As you can see the condition is as new and the design is also beautiful and simple.

below is the Arrarex Caravel I eventually managed to purchase, its a very early one, in great condition and it should still make great coffee. I look forward to its arrival and the chance to put some coffee though it.

last night i lashed out and paid top price for another interesting machine, many australians will be familiar with the atomic stovetop coffee maker, thousands were sold in australia in the 60’s and they remain a popular item today, they are still being made by an australian company today so you can still buy a brand new one. Old ones in good condition from the sydney importer, Bon Trading, Woollahra fetch a premium on fleabay, more collectible are the early Italian labelled ones and particularly rare is the La Sorrentina version with green bakelite handles and knobs.

somehow and somewhere along the line i seem to have become a collector!

more coffee chat and stuff online at australia’s best coffee forum –


Apr 072012

i made this little video for the home barista website – a site that caters to coffee obsessed tragics like myself! I created it for a thread that showcases peoples routine with extracting a coffee from their lever coffee machines. warning – its probably totally boring to the majority of readers, only those infused with the passion of coffee will understand!