Bovril – Where’s The Beef ?

I’ve been watching a bit too much Ray Mears lately. It’s given me this terrible urge to live in the woods and cook a freshly killed rabbit over a campfire. Living in harmony with nature is very appealing at times, although pooping in a hole in the ground when it’s pouring with rain does tarnish the idea.

Ray Mears considers Bovril to be the essential survival drink (along with hot chocolate I was pleased to hear). Well, I haven’t thought about Bovril since I last ate a scrumptious packet of Bovril flavoured crisps as a kid. My parents used to serve up Bovril with a piece of crusty bread during the cold British winters. If we didn’t have any Bovril they would serve up an OXO cube dissolved in a mug of hot water instead.

So with my hunter gatherer instincts awoken I set off on a Ray Mearsy foraging expedition to see if could track down the essential black elixir. To be honest I wasn’t even sure if Bovril had migrated to the Australian shores. I certainly don’t remember the bush tucker man raving about it. But scouring the aisle of Woolworths I found a small jar hiding between some other beefy imposters. At $5.29 it seemed expensive, but I simply had to have some.

If the price wasn’t shock enough, when I got it home and made a closer inspection I noticed in disbelief the tiny words “suitable for vegetarians” on the front of the jar. How on earth could the beefy wonder drink be suitable for vegetarians? On examining the ingredients I was staggered to discover that Bovril, the most famous beefy drink, has lost its beef.  For some reason Bovril has become a Marmite/Vegemite yeasty extract drink instead – and a pricey one at that. Does Ray Mears know about this? Instead of drinking the essence of a day out hunting Aberdeen Angus I am instead drinking the essence of day out picking button mushrooms. Is this more political correctness gone mad. Turning a man’s drink into a unisex one?

So let’s cut to the chase. What does it taste like? It’s been so long I can barely remember what the original tasted like. It had a good beefy tang I’m sure. But would I be able to tell the difference between it and its new age sibling?

Actually… it tastes damn good and after a few sips my memory of the flavour came rushing back. I’d love to do a side by side comparison with the real thing so see what difference there is. I’m sure there is one.

I was expecting it to taste like Vegemite, which I suppose in a way it does. But Bovril works as a drink where as Vegemite doesn’t. You see I once tried making a Vegemite hot drink in the Bovril tradition. Teaspoon of extract in a mug of hot water. It tasted awful.

So if you enjoy Vegemite and like a good strong beefy taste go give Bovril a try. Take it camping. Spread on your toast! (actually I’ve not tried that). Rub on your face as hunting camouflage. Polish your boots with it. Grease your Landrover with it. It has a 101 uses for anyone with an irresistible urge to live in the wild. Just ask Ray Mears.

Online Course.

I have decided to untertake the online course for facilitators .  I read the instructions as I noticed it on twitter and on facebook.  Basically is sounded complicated and I’m lazy.  My friend Gloria, said I was lazy and I should join my butt right up to the course so here I am doing  just that.  We have to have a blog to record our progress,  I already have this blog that isn’t being used so it seems logical because I love the look of it but have never been able to get to grips with continuing on.  Partly because my other blog is busy but manly because I am  one of lifes

I''m sure I can do this

I''m sure I can do this

little lazzies.

Rex birthday

It would appear that I really don’t have another life.  I have attended a few births and have been quite ill over the past few weeks.  That hasn’t stopped us getting out and about but just my energy for posting.

9th April was Rex birthday, he had a quad bikedscf1398

The kids have had lots of fun riding. We went to our friends in Meadows to ride on their 38 acres.


It was pretty cheap so there were no instructions and lots of the parts are susceptible to breaking so the boys have had hours of fun learning about engines.  This is so constructive for them.  However they are constantly dirty and smell like oil.  Jeremy has also had hours of fine, feeling like he’s a teenager again working on engines.

It is a 125cc and can drag lots of things as well as carrying two or three at once.


New rooms

My friend Sally opened her new studio last night.  It is a room they built from their garage.  A work room/studio where she completes her hand made products that she sells at the local markets and some shops.dscf11411

This was the opening party.  We came home at 11pm and then got called to a birth a few hours later.


Blue Tongue

We have a new visitor to our garden, a blue tongue lizard.


We also had a disaster at our house this week.   We have a fridge with a cooler that can filter water.  It has to be plumbed into the mains to work.  As ours is not plumbed in it makes a clicking noice.   This has been annoying Jeremy who thought he’d gravity feed water into the fridge .dscf10051

This however didn’t work.  So to test his theory that it was the water pressure he attached it up to a hose and then decided to leave the room.  About 15 mins later when we went back to the kitchen, the pressure had pushed the hose off and the kitchen was filling with water.dscf1004

hundreds of litres all over the floor. Here we are clearing it up. Wonder who is taking the picture?

All in one Week

My camera is all fixed but since moving house I haven’t been able to find my memory card.  May just have to get another.  It’s a pain, my phone camera is broken too so I’m photo bare.  It puts me off saying things as life is boring without pictures.

My lovely friend Katie had her baby last week.  She is my ‘cinema friend’.  Ever since arriving in Australia we have attended the cinema every other week, only missing if  attend a birth and other life events.  We had to stop when she had her last baby for 8 months.  This time she is more relaxed and I’m hoping that she will bring Alex along with her.


We attended Womad.  Word of music and dance.  It was an excellent festival and we had a homebirth network stand that I helped with for a number of hours.  The Children came with me on Sunday and we wandered around enjoying the ambiance, eating very large doughnuts and cribbing freebes.

At the same time as all of this was going on my closest school friend (also my 1st cousin) died.  She is just 17 days younger than me and she committed suicide.  It has been an awful week for my family but feeling helpless and so far away is frustrating.  It put me off writing about personal things as I’ve felt a little lost over it all.

I wrote a small piece which I asked to be read out.  However the funeral was seemingly two structured and arranged and they couldn’t fit it in.  I feel extremely upset about this.  If I were there I would just have stood up and said it anyway but my mother wouldn’t do it.

Here is it on the net, sent out to the ether and I know that she would like what I said and she would feel the same.


We were born 17 days apart we started school on the same day.  We wore our wellies and sat on the door step getting piles, climbed the sewer and got very silly when I kissed Gareth Humphreys.
We were best friends.
We walked to school together every day, when I had 5p pocket money and you had 1pound, you shared it with me.
We played sport to get out of queuing for lunch and we hide down at the radiators.
We were best friends.
You once said you thought we were friends because I felt I had to be as I was your cousin.  What could I say, you were funny intelligent, and all the boys liked you, of course we were best friends.
We wore our wellies to the Nonpol disco, and everyone knew us as THAT Lisa and THAT Christine, we were almost famous!!
The very best of friends.

We laughed and cried made up games, devised tv shows spent hours listening to the Goons and Roger Whittaker.

It  was the happiest time of our lives.  I know you felt it too, you had those terrible pics of us on your face book when we were bridesmaids at Sara’s Wedding.

Life took me travelling around the world and you were always there, the wonders of the Internet to chat and catch up with all, with home and life back in Wales.

I wish I was here now with everyone holding you dear for the last time, but even more I wish I was there when I could have been THAT Lisa. the one who would have known that your funny intelligent and well hidden soul was screaming for help.

I hope you have found your gang.

One last thing and most people wont get this but it is very important to say.
“If I were a rock star, I’d take you somewhere fancy”
Goodbye my friend, safe journey

This is all in one post because it’s the nature of My life.  In one week it has encountered birth and death, work and family, joy and devastation.  My adrenals are shot and some days I want to get off the roller coaster and onto the boating lake.


My camera has returned.  Well It’s made it as far as the post office so far.  I have to sign for it tomorrow.

I can get back to pictures of everything then.

We have had an unusual week with my closest school friend sadly dying.  She was also my 1st cousin(Well Wales is a small place)and I’m sad that I can’t get home to be with family.

Plus homebirth midwives are going to be illegal next year.  I’m getting on my high horse lots of course. Probably won’t work but I will fight to the death for the right of women to birth at home with a registered practitioner if that’s what they want.

Fish pond

Our new house has a fish pond.  I had no idea how much work there was.  This pond has a great waterfall and had potential.  We got the water looked at and it was just tap water.  We topped up the pool and then had to put special ph balancer and other such potions into the pool before we could even consider adding fish.


Once the balances were correct we added the 5 fish, all of which are recognisable by their distinguishing  marking. All very individual.


Lastly we added a few plants for effect.  Now all we have to do is hope all this enthusiasm pays off.

Moving house

We have moved house.  We are now living in Balhannah, a little further into the Adelaide Hills.  It was a major project. We hired a van for 3 days to move everything but the big furniture.  On the last day we had friends come and help to get all the regular furniture to the house.  We managed EVERYTHING including our pianola which weighs well over a Ton.

Our new house 403741453ml1233282116

It’s a log cabin, well it has 5 bedrooms so not really a cabin but a log home.  The area is not quite as fire prone but I’m sure we wouldn’t be staying to defend it in a crisis.


Here is our new living room.  It’s a living room, dining room, family room area.  This is our furniture.


The above picture is the kitchen area this is not our stuff but a photo taken by the agent. (Note to self. Find amazing skull stools to replace).

I have an office with a separate door and a car port.  I can drive straight up and unload my equipment.  I have a table and shelves so far.  Trip to IKEA is on the cards to kit it out with a sofa and some lovely things.  I know it’s not for anything, I always attend antenatals at peoples homes but I love the thought of my own space and the fact that my papers etc may eventually get sorted.

We also have another living room and a sun room.  Here is the view from the sun room.


We already feel much happier.  The other house never really suited us.  Once again school has come up.  We are today going to look at Oakbank.  Rex and Spike want to attend.  Jos doesn’t but will have no choice if the others decide to go.  Oak bank is an area school reception to year 12 with about 300 children.  In senior school you can do horse racing and viticulture. They have chickens and veggie gardens.  This is what we have been told.  Today we find out for ourselves.  A nice feral school would be good!!

Bloody Camera

My new fabulous underwater camera is already faulty.  I blame Rose and her hen party.  I’m sure that my camera just couldn’t cope with the willy shots (which by the way I couldn’t up load on the the WWW for your benefit).

The battery was very dodgy over the night so I assumed that it was going flat.  When I attempted to charge it up however it blew the charger.

Yesterday I took it back.  After being given the run around I got to talk to Greg from Fuji  who questioned me until he was happy I hadn’t been sabotaging the thing.  Don’t worry I explained the whole strip show thing to him in broad technicolour.  So I have to return it.  Harvey Norman can’t help or replace it,(what’s the point of them, I may as well have bought it on the Internet)and they couldn’t send it back for me because it’s a locked bag address and Harvey Norman don’t post to a locked bag no.  FFS.  I have no camera, how does a blog manage without one?