Sole Sister

Cruising in the single lane

Leave a comment

To market, to market

WHEN I was a time-pressed, city-commuting desk slave, squeezing the weekly shop into a packed schedule was always a challenge.

That is, until the advent of the City Farmers Market. From then on Wednesdays became the day when I could look forward to a delectably different lunch and stock up on a week’s supply of fresh, seasonal and nutritious goodies. Since retiring I have missed this weekly indulgence so it was time to treat myself again – especially before the asparagus season ended.

The Queen Street Market outside the Treasury Casino, one of four popular Brisbane farmers’ markets run by local identity and “foodie” Jan Power, is part of an ever-expanding movement bringing produce growers face-to-face with their urban customers. Apart from showcasing the productive capacity of our primary producers the range of offerings reflects our increasingly multicultural society.Alongside the farm fresh fruit and veg, nuts, eggs, fresh juices, ginger beer, popcorn, honey, biscuits, bagels, cakes, fresh pasta, hot smoked salmon, meat, seafood, Italian small goods and fresh flowers the hungry market goer can feast on pocket bread sandwiches, Turkish rolls and sweets, Vietnamese salads and sandwiches, French patisseries, Spanish paella, German sausages, German bread, Cornish pasties ….. and be entertained by a selection of buskers.


IMG_0473Country meets city.

IMG_0448Fancy a felafel pocket bread for lunch?

IMG_0450Supporting local farmers.

IMG_0452Music to shop by.

IMG_0458Raspberries fresh from the farm.

IMG_0461Yay! … Asparagus season.

IMG_0463Yes, please.

As much as I love these markets I do envy cities such as Melbourne and Adelaide – and so many others around the world – which have permanent city markets right in the middle of the action. It’s always a delight when visiting Melbourne to include an excursion to Prahran, or the Victoria Markets, or if in Adelaide to their city market. Or Tsukiju Fish Markets in Tokyo. Not to mention those in Paris.

I wonder had our own Roma Street Markets not moved to Rocklea in 1964 if we would be enjoying a permanent vibrant foodie paradise right in the centre of our own city?

roma street marketsThe old Roma Street Market in the 1930s. What a wonderful city farmers’ market the old brick building would have made.

Leave a comment

Read/hear/see all about it

IF I was to confess an addiction it would be to reading/listening to/watching news and current affairs.

It started innocently – as a cadet journalist I had to start each work day with at least one story idea. So listening to the radio news and quickly perusing the morning newspaper was essential. Knowing what was in the news, and the latest update on events, is essential to the working reporter, so a constant ear to the radio or eye on the TV supplemented the morning routine.  Then there were the newspapers and magazines – woe betide the reporter who repeated a story that had already appeared in print.

In retirement this addiction is impossible to shake. My daily fix is:  5.30am ABC local radio – good for weather; plane arrivals; rail, train or bus dramas; and general current topics; 6am to 9am Breakfast on Radio National for in-depth current affairs, except while I’m at the gym where I watch ABC News 24. Then RN’s Life Matters at 9am followed by Books and Arts Daily at 10am – both excellent for social affairs and arts news, views and events. At 11am a change back to local radio for Conversations with Richard Fidler who unearths some amazing gems with his skilled interviewing style. Then either Local or RN for the News and The World Today, and later Phillip Adams and PM. There are online news websites both local and overseas to be read, and at night the ABC TV News, 7:30, Q & A, Four Corners, and programs such as SBS’s Insight and Dateline. New technology has fed the addiction allowing me to listen to pod casts of programs I may miss – such as Geraldine Doogue’s Saturday Extra which coincides with my weekly date with the Weekend Australian – and the Foxtel feature which allows for two programs to be recorded simultaneously. And I haven’t mentioned the 24-hour news cycle!

A growing dilemma is the trend to paywalls for the major newspaper websites. I don’t begrudge paying for content but having become hooked on clicking happily from The Courier Mail, to the Sydney Morning Herald, to the New York Times, The (London) Times, the (British) Guardian or numerous other sources how can I choose which ones to pay for? Is cold turkey on the menu?

New York TimesThe New York Times …can I go without my regular fix?