Strong Arms in old Richmond town

The Richmond Arms
42 Bridge Street Richmond TAS

(Visited August ’18)

This was the first place we dined out for a meal, properly (bar takeaway), when we holidayed in Tasmania in late August of 2018.

Firstly, they had said it would be cold. So cold. I was preparing, you know, for the worst.

We brought our jackets. For sure. We were from Melbourne after all. If anyone knew, it was US.

But instead, sunshine shone so much that day, we left our jackets in our car.

In Tasmania! True story.

Secondly. We had heard a bit about this old-fashioned Richmond town. It was nothing like the inner-city suburb that Melbourne knows so well, home of the yellow and black footy supporters. No.

This was something else entirely. Sure it held a lot history much like it’s sister city back in Melbs…

But unlike Melbourne’s Richmond, Tassie’s Richmond still looked like it was in the 1800s.

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After a wander up and down, into Sweets and Treats, Richmond’s lolly shop, for coffee and what else, lollies, we really needed a bite to eat. It was our second day in Tasmania having arrived the day before, and really, our first proper spot of sight-seeing.

What a place to start on.

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We had travelled approximately 30 minutes from Lutana where our accommodation resided. The scenery was striking and beautiful. What immediately struck me was the constant views. They were all the same, yet so different and continuously beautiful. That’s because largely, there were hills, and water.

Hills and water.

Hills and water.

HILLS AND WATER.

It was very picturesque. We started to understand quite quickly why people said Tassie was such a beautiful place. We went up Grasstree Hill Road and then back down it, winding around and around to finally reach our destination at Georgian-style Richmond town.

And of course when lunch time came, we really had to go old-school too.

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At The Richmond Arms.

The interior certainly matches the exterior. Where the outside shows the age of the building and the time it came from, we found not much was changed inside. Though perhaps slightly updated, the rooms are definitely of another time and place, so don’t go expecting anything life-changing here. The room we sat in was away from the area that housed the bar where Hubbie went up to order and pay at, and in one way it felt like we were sectioned off into a room that may have very long ago been a lounge room.

The Richmond Arms Hotel also has accommodation, something to consider if you want to spend more than a day in Richmond. There is plenty to do and see, and considering the history and beauty of the town, why wouldn’t you?

Despite the age of the tables and chairs, I really was quite taken aback by one feature wall within… it had a quote so beautiful, so treasured and meaningful, and also so close to my heart, as it was a sentiment confirmed to me as the years have gone by, a written manifestation of what I had known all along, but never really verbalised… that I had to photograph it:

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‘An opal-hearted country,

A wilful, lavish land,

All you who have not loved her,

You will not understand

though Earth holds many splendours,

Wherever I may die,

I know to what brown country,

My homing thoughts will fly.’

– Dorothea Mackellar “My Country.”

WOW.

After ordering Hubbie brought over our drinks, a beer for him, and of course a local for me – the Richmond Arms Sauvignon Blanc

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Considering it wasn’t awfully busy it still took some time to receive our meals… I used this time to run around the old-fashioned shops within the street, to find out of all things, a mobile phone car charger! It appeared that my phone was just not coping with all the photos I was snapping, and I couldn’t bare to waste all my battery and go home having not photographed all of Richmond-town. Oh, the horror! My prayers were answered at the large convenience corner store kinda opposite the Richmond Arms.

Exhale.

When the food did arrive, we were very hungry, and it looked delish. Well worth the wait.

I had the Asian vegetable and Hokkien noodle stir fry

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Hubbie had the Chicken schnitzel – served with chips/salad or vegetables and your choice of sauce (no salad, with sauce)

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And baby girl had the Macaroni cheese

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Firstly, Hubbie was so jealous when he saw my meal! I guess the thing with being married to someone is you have to give each other bites of your meal… for better, or for worse. I for one know Hubbie is hanging to have a bite of whatever I order when he starts offering me bits of his… in an attempt to subtly hint “hey, I want some.”

Ha ha.

The sauce was very flavoursome and the noodles and vegetables all combined well to make a delicious dish. There were bits of all kinds of veggies, and the presentation really was up there, not what I expected from the kitchen of that hotel… I was surprised. Pleasantly so.

Hubbie enjoyed what he had ordered. He was happy in that it was a hearty pub-style meal, and to be honest, simply what he had expected… it was chicken with vegetables after all. He was full, let’s just say.

Baby girl’s macaroni was overwhelmingly cheesy – hence the mac and cheese – so she struggled with it. She was not hating it, but wasn’t so much a fan as that was during her ‘plain’ phase. And this cheese-dripping-over-every-inch-of-macaroni meal was as far from plain as you could get. We fed her that, and chips and vegies from Hubbie’s plate to satisfy her lunchtime requests.

No fault of the meal’s… it was all her tastebuds that decided for her. It was an especially cheesy meal, not for the faint-cheese-hearted.

When it was time to go, we left happy and satisfied. We had been venturing through Bridge Street, and next… to Zoodoo Zoo it was!

It ended up being a most wonderful day 🙂

Food: 8/10. It was hearty, tasty, presentation was great… it ticked many of our boxes for good old-fashioned fare.

Coffee: N/A. We can’t put all our food and coffee eggs in one basket can we? We like to try out as many places as we can when we’re someplace new, meaning food and coffee don’t tend to happen at the same place. That happened over at Sweets and Treats earlier! I hope to one day be back at the Arms, and then I will know.

Ambience: Quiet. Lunchtime in Richmond tends to be a calm affair, even with the fact that it is a destination… it may pick up on weekends?

Staff: Almost non-existent, other than to bring our food over. If you need them, you know where to find them… up at the bar.

People: Pensioners pensioners pensioners. You know there were a lot of older people wandering around the street, clearly tourist-minded, however considering what there is to see, do and appreciate, I am surprised there were not a lot of younger families? Perhaps we came during off-peak season, which come to think of it, is not a bad thing.

Price: $69.00. Is that it? For food and drinks? Crap I am moving to Tasmania now…

Advice: Go when you’re not yet overly hungry, so you don’t mind waiting that extra bit for that steaming plate of love that comes out of the kitchen some time later.

In a nutshell: A really authentic and memorable lunch experience. The food is not average or out of date in any respects, despite what the interior and exterior may look like. The surrounds are interesting and reflect the nature of the street and town as a whole, which make the whole experience that much more pure and relevant. In my mind, legs and ARMS, it’s the only place to go.

The Richmond Arms Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #6 “Lunatic”

Did you know that we are currently in the full moon phase? Although that shiny orb in the sky has appeared to be glowing in a circular fashion for a few nights now, the official full moon time was this morning at 8:07.

Do you get affected by the full moon? Do you find those around you getting cranky, emotional, irrational even? Is traffic more trying? Random upsets with friends occur? An annoying hiccup at work? Your pets go ape-shit?

I’ve started paying a lot of attention to the moon cycles. Ever since I started going off-kilter because of them… and my cat too.

The moon. Lunatic. Lunar. How did the term evolve to how we use it today?

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Photo by Guzmán Barquín on Unsplash

Let’s first look at the word ‘Luna.’

Wikipedia says, Luna: a Spanish, Italian and Romanian name of Latin origin, meaning moon.

How does this differ to ‘Lunar?’

The Collins Online Dictionary says, Lunar: of, or relating to the moon. 

We are clearly talking ONLY about the moon here. So where did the -tic come from, and how did this evolve to people going crazy?

The Online Etymology Dictionary says Lunatic is a late 13th century word meaning “affected with periodic insanity, dependent on changes of the moon.”

Origins are from Old French ‘lunatique,’ meaning “insane,”

or directly from Late Latin, ‘lunaticus’ meaning “moon-struck.”

Ok, so the moon can make you crazy, we get it. But is there any proper evidence to support this long-held superstition?

The Lexicon Orthopaedic Etymology says that the first uses of the word were related to epilepsy rather than insanity. It was believed that epileptic seizures were triggered by moonlight, therefore the term lunatic was reserved for those patients.

Epilep-tic.

Luna-tic.

Hmmm. 

However the very first known entry is in the 5th century Latin version of the Bible, where a father asks Jesus to cure his son as he is “lunaticus” – that is, suffering from epilepsy.

“Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick…”

Have you personally felt the effects of the full moon? Have you ever felt like going a little ‘cray cray’ at a certain time of month? (And no women, I mean the other time…)

I know a medical professional who sees 6 independent women from the police force, and they all concur that on the night of the full moon, they are much, much busier than usual.

Take that as you will. But today, tonight… beware…

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Photo by Drew Tilk on Unsplash

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #5 “Choking the Chicken”

Yep. You read right.

Today I am doing something a bit different. Sure I am going to be exploring the above phrase and its origins, but rather than basing my research on online google searches, I am going to say right now, what I am about to say can’t be found on google.

I AM GOOGLE TODAY PEOPLE. You won’t find this info anywhere.

I am going to bring forth a theory based on someone else’s fact, and so if you disagree with me, I’d love to hear it… but I think it’s pretty darn good.

Since I talk about origins, of course I can’t proceed without talking about what my Monday phrase first means. So, how do I put this…

‘Choking the chicken,’ diplomatically speaking, is the act of pleasuring oneself, intimately…

With the term specifically reserved to men. For good reason.

Think similar terms like “taking the dog for a walk,”

“spanking the monkey” and

“bashing the bishop.”

And if you still have NO IDEA what I am talking about, you clearly should not be on this blog.

Onwards for those that do.

With the phrase well and truly explained and the image clear in our minds (sorry!) I will now go onto the fascinating story of HOW I CAME TO FIND OUT ITS ORIGIN.

And guess what? Real chickens are involved.

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Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Some time ago we were visiting some family friends, who had backyard chickens at the time. Baby girl being the age she is, was fascinated with the chooks, and our friend caught some for her to pat.

As he held one, he was telling us about the chooks, and how he had to sometimes… choke them. Not choke as in strangle, but massage the area beneath the hen’s neck which is called the ‘crop,’ which if it became watery and squishy in nature, might mean the food they had eaten had not emptied fully, which could lead to an infection for the hen.

To keep this from happening – he laughed – he had to “choke the chicken.”

At first I stared in awe. I mean, the term kind of went over me, as I stared, watching him massage the neck of the hen, up and down, until something, slowly and quietly, spewed and dribbled out from the hen’s mouth.

Oh God. Then it hit me. 

CHOKE. THE. CHICKEN.

The official term used is ’emptying a chicken’s crop.” Look it up on youtube. Hell, I’ll give you the link that I watched. Go to 4:20. There you go, easy peasy pumpkin easy. And then watch as the chicken… well, you know.

I must advise, only those that know what they are doing should perform this manoeuvre. You can fatally harm a chicken if you don’t do this the right way. But as you can see in the video… OMG. Like it looks, the same! Oh God. I feel sick. Please don’t vomit guys, don’t vomit.

And there you have it. Choking the chicken. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Okay I will stop now.

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

Decorating like a Rebel

Doughnuts. Read, dough-nuts.

And then some people say donuts. Do-nuts. I can be a grammer nazi all I like, but when it comes down to it, if someone is gonna give you an opportunity to decorate delicious doughnuts and then take them home for a very reasonable price, well they can call them DO-NUTS all they like.

Insert school holidays. Insert Rebel Donuts. These guys do these decorating classes each school holiday break, and for $9.50 which includes the online processing fee (at the time of this writing) you can book yourself in to decorate not one, but two doughnuts!

Ok… so I may have omitted something here, but…

It’s for your kidshhh. (Find one for the session if you don’t have one).

You (or your child) get to pick the filling – think nutella, caramel, cookies and cream, jam – and then the topping, which could be your doughnut dipped in white or milk melted chocolate, and then… you decorate to your hearts content!

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Think mini m&ms, sprinkles, chocolate licorice, hard candy and soft jellies… it’s a candy-lovers paradise!

These classes run most mornings during the week, and last for half an hour. Considering most doughnuts are about $4 and you are getting 2, customised to taste, and then further personalised by yours truly to pretty up… well it’s a pretty awesome deal.

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And then you go home. And you eat it. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

You can find Rebel Donuts at 968A Nepean Highway Mornington

Find details of their school holiday classes via rebeldonuts.com.au

Now we just need an adult decorating doughnut class… waiting patiently here…

(And you can read more about Rebel from my first intro into their doughnut world – tee-hee – here) 😉

Life Rules by SmikG #1 About wine and being shitty in reply

Keep this list handy…

#1 Don’t write/email/respond to someone who has pissed you off, while you are still pissed off… and drinking wine.

BAD IDEA.

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Photo by James Jadotte on Unsplash

Explanation: In my online writing course the students give each other feedback on our 5000 word submissions. The other day I was totally cranky pants and thrown off by one such student who thinks they are smarter than the teacher (why are you doing this course then?)

I didn’t like their disparaging and condescending remarks to my submission, and then, the student got the entire plot of my story wrong!

Like, why comment on something and tell me you don’t believe it, when you didn’t read my synopsis properly in the first place! GRR ARGH!

So I stewed… and I stewed…

And I drank some wine…

And I stewed some more…

And then still shitty (and still sipping on red)…

I took the wine to the computer…

And I wrote a reply.

(Insert snapping dogs and cats clawing at one another).

I was diplomatic in my reply. Sure. But now, a few days after, I’m feeling…

BAAA. 🐑

Sheepish.

Why did I let someone I don’t even know get to me?

Note rule number 1!

 

 

‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #4 “Dead on Time”

I’m squeezing this one in tonight. Before the witching hour begins.

Have you heard that one before? About that freaky time between midnight and 3am where spooky things and odd disturbances are more likely to occur? Well I’ve got another one for you. Because I want to break down the above post title, but also, I am going to throw in my own interpretation if you will allow me to.

Dead on Time. Literally we are talking about ‘time.’ But why do people get all morbid and say “dead on”?

Well the “dead on” part means literally – “absolutely”

“precisely”

“exactly.”

Combine them and you get the meaning “precisely on time.”

The word “dead” on its own finds its way into other phrases. Things like:

Dead still

Dead quiet

Dead serious

Dead drunk

What can we take from these?

Well, the dead are still

The dead, are quiet

Death, is serious.

And if you get too drunk, you can be mistaken for dead

But, what about that phrase I mentioned, “dead on time.”

Sure, it means exactly on time.

But I am about to go further and I’ll apologise right now for getting so morbid on you.

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Photo by Ahmad Ossayli on Unsplash

Many years ago I wrote a blog post called “Dead on Time.” It followed 3 funerals I attended in a matter of weeks. It made me think a lot, and I came to reflect on some similarities.

I believe dead on time is dual in its meanings. It has another one.

The living are late. And the dead can’t wait.

The funerals I’ve been to always run to time. There is no one living to hold the proceedings up. A wedding will have a bride whose hair didn’t go to plan, a nervous groom pacing the floor at his parents home, but meanwhile, at a funeral…

Sadly, all is said and done.

And though those who have passed may be on their way to another realm, another world, there is nothing to stop them on their journey…

And therefore they are dead on time.

Right? Wrong? Or so, so wrong?

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #3 “Easy peasy pumpkin easy”

I have only ever known it as ‘pumpkin easy.’ But my daughter insists, every time I say it this way, that it is in fact – “lemon squeezy!”

I honestly thought it was her stubborn nature as she often proves herself to be 6, going on 17 and all… until I did this google search…

“EASY PEASY…”

And the “lemon squeezy” result came up far more times than my “pumpkin easy” preference did!

It must be a generational thing. Hubbie too finished my testing ‘easy peasy’ opener with –

PUMPKIN EASY.

Ok, so besides who says it what way, what does it actually mean?

Simple. Like literally. It means super easy or extremely simple.

“See, we fold this here and there you go! Easy peasy pumpkin easy.”

“We turn right into this street and it’s there – easy peasy lemon squeezy!”

The original term is easy peasy. Common add ons can be:

Pumpkin easy, or

Lemon squeezy, or even

Japanese-y!

WHAT?!

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Photo by Orlova Maria on Unsplash

The latter part of the sentence contains playful words added on perhaps for the fact that it is often used in the company of children (hence my almost everyday use of it). It is an example of a rhyming duplication… think other examples like teenie-weenie, and super-duper.

The term ‘easy peasy’ was originally used in the 1940 American film called The Long Voyage Home. We can only guess at the lemon squeezy addition, with some believing it goes back to a British commerical for soap in the 50s-60s, where the slogan used was “easy peasy lemon squeezy” to promote its lemon-scented dish soap called “Sqezy” (pronounced squeezy).

America’s version was ‘easy as pie,’ used as far back as from 1976, but we can still see that the British term was in use much further back than when the US one arrived on the scene.

I for one, have no idea where the pumpkin came in… only to assume that it may have digressed from the ‘easy as pie’ expression, and someone thought that pumpkins (and their pies!) were easy… hence ‘easy peasy pumpkin easy’?

As for the ‘Japanese-y’ addition… a few sources cite that it comes from a silly childhood rhyme:

“Easy peasy Japanese-y

Wash your hair in lemon squeezy!”

Why I never. I can imagine there was more rhyming and schoolyard nonsense attributed to this version rather than a downright racial slur… but fair to say I will still be using the orange vegetable version thank you very much!

Do you sayeasy peasy”? Which version do you use?

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

Baby girl says the darndest things #6

I have the most interesting conversations with baby girl, who is 6 going on 17.

She knows everything, and expects me to read her mind.

This from a while ago.

It is morning.

 

“Honey, why was your door open this morning? Did you open it?”

“Yes.”

“You opened it and then went back to sleep?”

“I had to go toilet.”

“Did you go?”

“No I was waiting for you.”

PAUSE. “Did you call me?”

Hands in air. “I was standing here waiting for you!” Indicates the door.

“Honey how can I help you when you don’t call me? I was sleeping.”

“Mama! You should have known!”

(Face palm).

“Ok, so did you go toilet then?”

“No.”

“Do you have to go now?”

“No.”

 

I give up. 🤯

 

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #2 “Don’t get your knickers in a knot”

The above phrase is also commonly referred to as –

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist.”

“Don’t get your panties in a knot”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

Collectively they all mean the same thing…

Don’t get too excited or upset, or

Calm/settle down.

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Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

There doesn’t appear to be a real definitive origin of the phrase, other than to say that the term “don’t get your knickers in a twist” appears to have come from Britain in the 70s, only to have moved along to the U.S and Australia and become their version of “don’t get your knickers in a knot.”

The term ‘knickers’ itself is a British one, and the phrase is primarily reserved for women and their lower apparel…

Although the first recorded literary mention seems to come from Wilbur Smith’s The Train from Katanga (1965) I have to quote the 1968 novel by Frank Norman, titled Barney Snip – Artist:

“Oh do stop it,” she gasped as their lips broke away from each other with a resounding plonk. “You’re getting my knickers in a knot!”

And that my friends, is an appropriate usage of the term ‘knickers in a knot’ don’t you think? 😉😂

(How’s about that ‘lips broke away … with a resounding plonk’! What is a plonk sound? How do lips parting, go plonk? Hmm). 🤔

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #1 “Hold Your Horses”

Have you ever wondered at the term “hold your horses?” I say it a lot, primarily to baby girl being the impatient 6 year-old that she is, and to our cat Mister F, well because… he can’t wait for anything and meows incessantly when he wants something.

It makes simple sense if you stop to think about it. In a historical sense, it refers to keeping your horses or carriage from moving and holding them still, and this is interpreted in our every day speech to mean:

to not get ahead of ourselves

to not rush

to be careful, and

to not celebrate too early.

“Hold your horses, we’re not there yet.”

“Hold your horses, you don’t know what is around the bend.”

“Hold your horses, you haven’t won the game.”

“Hold your horses, have another think about what you just said…”

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Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

First said as “hold your hosses,” it became our modern day interpretation in references like from the magazine Chatelaine in 1939, with –

“Hold your horses, dear.”

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!