Saturday just gone saw the Lattimore clan gather at Peppers Spicers Peak to celebrate a belated 70th birthday for George. In attendance, we had the four boys, their respective other halves and two kiddly-winks.
The Peppers Spicers Peak lodge is located approximately one and a half hours drive south west of Brisbane and rests on top of a plateau with beautiful mountain views. The grounds of Spicers Peak are neatly mowed and have cattle casually grazing in near by paddocks. The lodge also features a heated pool and spa, which has a spectacular uninterrupted view thanks to an edgeless pool design. If I had to describe the Peppers Spicers Peak lodge in a few words, it would definitely include relaxing, indulgent & romantic. As a testament to that, within an hour or so of being at Spicers Peak, I felt as though I just wanted to relax on one of the many sofas and simply unwind.
As soon as we arrived at Spicers Peak, everyone had a cold drink in their hand. We spent the next half an hour looking around the beautiful lodge and soaking in its relaxing ambience.
We were then informed by our hostess that lunch was ready as we sat down for one of the finest dining experiences I’ve ever had. The set menu we had included the following dishes:
- Cod with salmon pearls
- Tomato gazpacho with goats curd and olive oil
- Sesame seared tuna and nicoise style salad or;
marinated veal cutlets with broccolini, polenta cake and tamarillo
- Chocolate gateau and mandarin ice cream
I hadn’t eaten any of the courses on offer, so it was an awesome experience. The highlights for me include the medium rare veal, the beautiful tuna steaks that Claire ordered and the wonderful dessert! Claire was of course excited to find out that Ben (the chef) had prepared the entire menu gluten free as well! Wine lovers will be happy to know that each course of the meal included a different wine too.
Given that this was my first Peppers experience, I would have to rate them extremely highly after this outing. If the other Peppers properties rate in a similar league as Peppers Spicers Peak; it is no surprise to me that their guests keep coming back time and time again. If you were looking for indulgent accommodation located around the Scenic Rim and the cost of the experience wasn’t really an issue – I would highly recommend you check out Peppers Spicers Peak.
Lexico Publishing Group have just released their new web site design which has been deployed over all of their reference.com domains, most notably dictionary.com and thesaurus.com.
The news that the sites were being redesigned was first broken by Jeffery Zeldman, one of the most influential people in pushing the semantic web and standards based design forward. Lexico contracted the Zeldman owned company Happy Cog Studios to work on the redesign. I think it is fitting that a high profile semantic web fanatic be involved with the redevelopment of a dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia.
This is my very brief critique of the new site:
- I really like the new colour
- I like the simple, now classic tabbed navigation between dictionary, thesaurus and reference dot com sites
- Though not surprising, I like the fact that the new design contains less than 50% of the HTML of the previous design
- I hate the massive horizontal banner on the front page, it just breaks the look of the site.
- The front page feels cluttered and hard to read because of the multiple sets of small lists of links
- I don’t like the use of the little images in the lists of links on the front page. I think they should have signified the important link through the link text weight or by changing the bullet point image.
Other than, what I’d personally consider a poor choice for positioning their primary advertising – I’m pretty happy with the new design. I’m sure that the people maintaining the site are going to be much happier they’ve now got a simple set of CSS to manage instead of embedded markup.
About two months ago, Claire and I ate breakfast at a new Gold Coast cafe named C Espresso Bar. For those that aren’t aware, it is located in the newly constructed Southport Central precinct at Southport.
We were in the area again this morning and decided to return to the C Espresso Bar for round two, which produced the following synopsis:
- They make a great cup of espresso
- The staff are very nice, happy to see you and fast
- The food was excellent again and served quickly
- They stock gluten free bread
All the above points make for a fantastic breakfast, however point four really topped it off. For the majority of people, a restaurant providing gluten free food doesn’t make a lick of difference. Unfortunately for a minority of people who suffer from a gluten intolerance, serving gluten free food is a really big thing. Ordinarily when we go out for breakfast, Claire is generally restricted to having straight bacon and eggs with nothing else. Needless to say, when the owner informed us that they stock a gluten free bread – Claire was all but doing hand stands in excitement!
If you’re looking for a Gold Coast cafe for breakfast that you can get:
- A great espresso
- A great big breakfast
- A gluten free bacon, eggs, toast & sauteed mushrooms
then you might like to give the C Espresso Bar a shot.
I mentioned a while ago that when a council has to perform roadworks, that keeping drivers as happy as possible is all about the timing. It would appear that in the last seven months, the Gold Coast City Council haven’t learnt a whole lot.
This morning on the way to work, I was traveling North on the Gold Coast Highway into Surfers Paradise at about 7.30am. I was shocked to find the traffic at a stand still at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, when it is normally flowing smoothly at about 70kph. I looked down the road in a hope to see what was going on and couldn’t see any flashing lights or cars frantically changing lanes to avoid the obstacles. After being forced to sit in traffic for about 45 minutes and moving about 2km, I was greeted with a sign informing me to merge right. I was shocked to find that the roadworks which the sign was warning everyone about, started nearly immediately after the sign.
I would have thought it fairly important to actually give the motorists notification of the changed traffic conditions. I’m fairly sure that if that sign had of been displayed somewhere near the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, that most people could have formed a single lane in an orderly fashion. Instead, no one was notified of the changed traffic conditions until it was too late and the start of the peak hour traffic hit a choke point; within minutes the traffic was backed up 2km down the road.
I don’t think anyone has any real issues with councils performing the roadworks, they are essential to keep the roads in great condition. However, a little bit of grey matter from the council workers on duty would go a very long way to keeping the motorists much happier.
Today was an incredible day, for more than one reason.
Important Reason #1
Claire’s Grandfather, Eric Colls passed away in his sleep at the age of 86 after suffering a stroke a few weeks ago.
Important Reason #2
Claire’s older sister Emily gave birth to a healthy 8lb 8oz baby boy.
It is hard for me to begin to explain the emotion we went through today, so I don’t know that I’ll bother trying. What I will say is that Claire’s Grandfather Eric was fantastic. He was sprightly, quick minded and very funny. I always remember him constantly having a joke with us and telling us a yarn. He has lived in the Chinchilla area for most of his life, served our wonderful country in the Australian Army and survived the war. He has an incredible memory for history and can remember most of the people who have passed through the Chinchilla area over the last 50 years, which in my opinion is quite remarkable.
It has been an incredible day which I didn’t expect; then again who would have expected it. The one thing I think is uncanny is that the expression about one door closing and another opening has been fulfilled in this instance. I’d like to leave you with something that I think sums up Eric in many ways, which was presented to him on an award recently by the Returned & Services League:
Your country called
We salute you
We’ll sure miss you Grand Dad.