A trip to PROV

A couple of months ago I made a visit to PROV, the Public Record Office of Victoria.  I had already used their online services to view wills and probate records of my ancestors, however records created after 1926 are not yet digitised and need to be viewed in their reading room.  I had quite a long list of wills and probates I wanted to view, so decided it was time to make the effort and visit in person.  The reading room in North Melbourne is open Monday to Friday, but also the second and last Saturday of every month.  It just so happened the coming Saturday was the last Saturday of September and they would be open.

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Posted from North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Beetroot relish

There’s a cafe in North Melbourne, called Pocket, which serves a delicious breakfast bagel of bacon, fried egg, cheese and beetroot relish.  Inspired by this, and having finished a jar of chutney a friend had given us, I decided to make my own beetroot relish.

The recipe below is a combination of three online recipes.  Give it a go and feel free to tweak the ingredients to come up with your own version!  I’ve been using the relish in my own egg and bacon muffins, on home made hamburgers and with corned silverside.  It’s really quite versatile, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

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Beetles devouring our lilly pillies

Over 12 months ago I spotted a bright green beetle on the outside of the window. It was similar in size and shape to a ladybird, but instead of red and black it was bright green.  I took a photo, admired its shiny shell then promptly forgot about it.

The deck in our backyard is bordered by several lilly pillies which have been looking sparse.  I took a clipping to the local nursery and they suggested I spray the trees with EcoPest oil, an insecticide which uses paraffin oil as an active ingredient.  I did this, and repeated the process several weeks later in order to eliminate any pests which might have hatched since the initial spray. Hoping I’d eliminated the pest, a month or so later new growth appeared on the trees and they were starting to look healthy.  A few days after spotting the new growth, I noticed the leaves were being eaten again.  The pest oil hadn’t solved my problem. Then, one morning while enjoying breakfast in the sun I spot the culprit – one of the bright green beetles I’d been admiring a year earlier!

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Visiting Learmonth Cemetery

It’s been a while since I shared a post about my family research, and although this cemetery visit was a couple of months ago I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about it since March! I went to Daylesford for the Labor Day long weekend this year.  About half an hour from Daylesford is a small town named Learmonth where I believed one of my ancestors, John Rankin, to be buried.  I had already seen two photos of the grave on the Australian Cemeteries website, but as you can see from this photo it wasn’t possible to make out the full text on the headstone.  The information recorded on the Australian Cemeteries listing was only partial, and it seemed very likely this was my John Rankin, but I couldn’t be sure from what was available online.

Being so close it was a great opportunity to stop in and visit the cemetery and visit his grave in person.

John Rankin's grave as seen on the Australian Cemeteries website

John Rankin’s grave as seen on the Australian Cemeteries website

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New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Following from my post last week summarising the information available from the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, this week I’m going to take a look at the New South Wales Registry.

While my research hasn’t been as involved in NSW as it has in Victoria, to date I have 7 resources in my family tree from the NSW Registry spanning all three event types giving me some experience using this registry.

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Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

I started researching my family tree at the beginning of last year. During my initial research I spent a lot of time searching the various state Birth, Death and Marriage indexes. I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts summarising the information available in each registry and tips I’ve picked up along the way for getting the most of out the registries. For more information on my research and links to the other posts in this series as they become available, head to my Family History page.

I’ll be starting with the Victorian registry since that is where my research began. This post also comes at a good time because a significant changes have recently been made to the Victorian registry online.

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Ok Google…Is there anything you don’t know?

Since Google Now first appeared on my Nexus 4 in 2013 I’ve been continually impressed by the little bits of information it has offered up.  At first it was the small things like the weather in my current location, or if I was away from home then it would let me know what the weather was like in my home suburb as well.  Then my mobile phone started offering directions to addresses or businesses I had just searched for on my PC.

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Pallet Garden

At the end of last year I saw some vertical gardens on Pinterest made from old pallets. The idea appealed to me, and I decided to try making my own. Fortunately there was a spare pallet on the job site where my brother was working, so he brought it home for me to use.

There are plenty of guides on the internet explaining how to make one, including this one on the Bunnings website. I read a few guides and ended up taking ideas from several. Here’s the result!

This post has become quite lengthy, so I’ve divided it into four key sections:

  1. Prepare your pallet
  2. Fill the pallet with dirt
  3. Plant your garden
  4. Make it vertical

At the end you’ll also find some handy tips I’ve learnt after maintaining the garden for a year.  Post a comment if you build one of your own or have any feedback!

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Skiing at Falls Creek

On Friday I arrived home from a week at Falls Creek.  We had amazing weather, and there was lots of snow coverage. I carried my Bryton Rider 20+ in my jacket pocket to track my runs, and loaded them up into the BrytonSport website.

Here’s a handy Google Map layering our tracks from each day, and a few photos from on the mountain.

In total we covered 163.93km, reaching a maximum speed of 54.9kph on the last day towards the bottom of Big Dipper. Looking forward to going back next year and trying to beat my speed!

Posted from Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia.