Rusty’s Markets in Cairns

I had the Sunday morning all to myself in Cairns. It was our third day there, so I decided to take a walk. A friend casually mentioned that I should visit a market in the city. The location of this recommended market was not clear to me at that point, but I figured I had a few hours to roam. If I was a market, where would I be?


A sprinkling of non-tourist-like people were walking in the same direction as I was and seemed to know what they were doing. The intuition to follow led me to Rusty’s Markets.



That was a proper weekend fruit and veggies market. And then there were the purple-and-red ladies again! (I had seen other purple-and-red ladies in the airport and throughout the city. Very curious.)


I got envious of the people of Cairns because of all the fresh produce they get to enjoy.


The market was quiet at 9am, which allowed me to peruse leisurely. $2 for 6 avocados? What a steal.


What caught my interest were the purple carrots (will the purple ladies be interested?)…


… and these “chocolate fruit”. Surely chocolate is made from cacao. A little Google search educated me on the Black Sapotes “Chocolate fruit”: It is a fruit similar to persimmon. When ripe, the flesh is brown with a taste resembling chocolate pudding. I did not know that.


Rusty’s was large and there was no lack of food options (and how international, too). I knew where I was getting my lunch in case I had no one to meet.


And there were bric-a-brac sellers, too!


I resisted the temptation to visit this op shop right next to the market.


Funny thing about that Sunday was: I ended up being at the market 3 times! First was this accidental find; second was to bring a friend and have coffee before lunch; third was to take a group of students after our lunch, where we all scored great bargains, because it was closing time.

That was my little “sightseeing” in Cairns.

P.S. More purple-and-red ladies spotted earlier. They are the Red Hat Society.


Cream Tea, Coffee and Lemon Cake with the Neighbours

26.Jul.14 Making lemon syrup
26.Jul.14 Burnt Lemon Loaf

Yesterday was quite the opportune time to have our first coffee session with neighbours — it was our one-month anniversary in this house.

I made and sent out the invites about 2 weeks ago, not knowing what I should be serving with coffee / tea. The image of a scone and jam helped. Three invites were dropped into mailboxes of homes to our right. Two households showed up at 15:00 and we were presented with a Bromeliad and chocolates!

In the morning, I decided on a whim to make a lemon loaf. Lemons from our lemon tree, of course. The lemon loaf was sugary and moist. Despite its appearance, it was a mighty good tea cake! (Got to trust the ‘Baking With Julia’ book.) There will be a repeat of this recipe.

Such nice neighbours. Even nicer is knowing that we share a bull koala and 8 cats between our households. Their names are Jules, Heather, Janine and Louis. (As for cats, there is Sam, Ginger, Gracie, Lesty, Pun or Poon, Tiger or Tigress, and one more I don’t recall.)

In my search for scone recipes, I learnt that there is a cream tea etiquette, and one should never ever have a scone like a cream sandwich. I like mine Devon-style, what about you?


Hello from Cairns

After three weeks of playing house, Hubs and I are on our first domestic trip for a work conference. Pickle is being boarded in an animal hospital. I hope she gets a lot of cuddles…

My first trip since moving to Australia, come to think of it. It was right down to business for us when we arrived in Adelaide — with work, markets and house hunting, so it is surprising to most that after 5 months in Adelaide, we have not explored much of Australia.

Cairns is what I consider an uber tourist town filled with seniors and gap-year backpackers. I was excited to get here and am quite relieved to escape the Adelaidean winter!

A few more days of work left in Cairns, and I am looking forward to catching up with friends who have travelled from all over the world to attend this international conference. So nice to see familiar faces again.


Everybody Needs Pompoms


07.Jul.14 Stringing pompoms


08.Jul.14 Enough decorating

Since my last visit to Flinders Street Market in June where there was a pompom-making crafternoon, I was on a mission to make a pompom bunting in Juanita Tortilla colours.

There is something cheerful about fluffy pompoms.

And because I can’t stop looking and smiling at them, I decided it was best to take them down from the doorway and drape them on the nails of the wall. Yes, I hit nails into the wall. That was nervous and exciting at the same time, and so committing.

Everybody needs pompoms.

Fresh Oranges for a Week



We were greeted by a friendly man Jules, one afternoon in our first week of moving in. He was our next door neighbour looking for the previous owner, but gifted us the big bag of fresh oranges instead. Noting that Jules’ accent was remarkably different yet familiar, I had to ask where that was from. Good old Pennsylvania in the US of A. How refreshing.

These oranges are an annual harvest from a 95-year-old man’s orange tree. (Not Jules.) Being 95 years of age, these oranges were picked from the ground. Each one so fresh, ripe and juicy. We enjoyed these vitamins for days.

I decided not to be rude — after a week of enjoying the oranges — and dug out a suitable card from the chaos that is my work room. This round orange cat print done by my friend in Princeton, Cathy aka Kittybutt, was just perfect. We recently spotted an orange cat of similar size on Jules’┬áproperty. They have 4 kitties, and one of them was certainly the biggest orange cat I ever laid eyes on.