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Archive for December, 2012

The Big Buddha

Big Buddha, Phuket

The Big Buddha, near Phuket in Thailand sits on a hill and is visible for miles. I love the serene expression on his face.

Model of Buddha

Here’s a model of the entire area, which gives an idea of exactly how big the big buddha is.

What do you think of his expression?

A Quick Trip to Brighton

For a change of pace I thought we’d visit Brighton in England today.

Brighton Beach

This is the Brighton Beach and the pier. The beach consists of lots of pebbles, which makes the deck chair business very profitable.

Brighton Pavillion

Above is the Royal Pavilion, a seaside retreat for the Prince of Wales. The palace started off as a small farmhouse. The prince gradually added land to his plot, as money allowed, and created the oriental palace and grounds we see today.

Recipe: Lemon Slice

Our lemon tree produced a bumper crop this year, so I decided to try out this recipe for Lemon Slice. It’s very like a Key Lime Pie in that the ingredients are similar, but the taste and texture is quite different.

Lemon Slice



1 1/2 cups of plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

125 grams melted butter (1/2 cup)

1. Combine the dry ingredients with the melted butter and mix well

2. Press mixture into a tin lined with baking paper. The recipe suggests a 27cm x 18cm x 3 cm. I just grabbed a tin out of the cupboard. Smile

3. Bake the crust in a preheated oven for 10 minutes (180C – 160C if fan forced – 350F)


400g can condensed milk

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tablespoons plain flour

1. Place the condensed milk in a bowl and beat in the eggs. About one minute.

2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and flour and beat until combined.

3. Pour over the base.

4. Return to the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until topping is set.

5. Cool and dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar/confectioner’s sugar) before serving.

Shelley’s notes

1. I cooked my slice for exactly 20 minutes. Next time I make this recipe I’ll check it at 15 minutes. I think my slice was slightly overcooked, but it still tasted good.

Lemon Slice

Are you a fan of lemons? What is your favorite lemon recipe?

Summer Palace, Near Beijing

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace is a beautiful spot with statues, temples, ponds and gardens. Originally the domain of the royal family, the tranquil gardens are open to the public these days. A visitor needs plenty of time to explore and a good pair of walking shoes. This is a photo of Kumming Lake looking over to the Buddhist Temple.

Merry Christmas

Pohutukawa tree

Pohutukawa flowers

This is one of our native trees – the pohutukawa tree. It’s an evergreen and bears these gorgeous scarlet flowers around Christmas. Our local council has planted these trees all down our street and in some of the neighboring reserves. They make for a pretty picture.

I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas. Enjoy your day.

Want One For a Pet?

Vulture sign


We took these photos at the Everglades. The vultures were hanging around on the footpath and gave me the creeps. They’re ugly and were a bit smelly. I preferred the alligators.

Would you like one of these for a pet?

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

This is the Temple of Heaven, which is set in the tranquil Temple of Heaven park in Beijing. I loved the vibrant colors of the temple and understand the buildings were repainted in honor of the Olympic games. In the actual park there were people enjoying the sunshine, playing board games such as chess and others selling trinkets to tourists. Our tour guide told us parents will often discuss their children and search for suitable marriage partners while meeting in the parks.

Climbing the Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China has always held a mystique and allure for me, so during our visit to China it was top of my must-do list. The large number of tourists was expected, but the sheer steepness and the big steps that presented a challenge for even my long legs were a surprise. The first part of the climb was made trickier by the mass of tourists. It would have only taken one person to over balance and the rest of us would have gone over like bowls.

Another surprise was the hazy air. You can see what I mean in this photo. We took this shot at the top of the wall, just below the farthest watch tower. Most people only made it as far as the first watch tower, but hubby and I both climbed as far as we could go. It was well worth the effort, and the beer we drank at the cafe at the bottom of the wall tasted like nectar.

Is there a particular place or historical site that you’ve always dreamed of visiting?

The Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Teddy Bears Picnic

I smile every time I see this photo. It reminds me of the song about the Teddy Bear’s picnic.

This photo of a group of young panda bears was taken at the Panda Research Center at Chengdu. Enjoy the song. I hope I don’t inflict you with an earwig!

The Gorgeous Scenery of Guilin, China

Li River, Guilin, China

The journey down the River Li near Guilin is memorable for the beautiful scenery. It’s also full of boat loads of tourists, but you can’t see them in this shot. Along the length of the river the locals fish and wash and go about their daily business. If you’re ever in the region this is a must-do trip since not only is the scenery stunning, but there are photo opportunities galore.

Check out my post at Marie Treanor’s blog about books as gifts for Christmas. I’m also giving away a download of Christmas is Coming. While you’re there make sure you scroll up and down since lots of authors are talking about their Christmas highlights and giving away prizes. Contest winners are announced on Sunday.

Also take the time to check out the Christmas DIY posts at Maria Zaninni’s blog. You’ll find a variety posts ranging from recipes to jewellery to table decorations. Once again, scroll down to read all the posts since there are lots of interesting ones.

How are you holding up with Christmas preparations?

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