Happy Holidays Dan…

Well, things are a little blue at SGR this week (no, I’m not referring to Jono’s shower-to-bedroom nudie runs), one of our number has left for Europe. Dan (of thebirm.blogspot.com) who has been with SGR since the beginning (all of two and a half weeks) has left for France for ten weeks (a period we are dubbing ‘the weeks without Weekes’).

We were going to declare ‘the weeks without Weekes’ a study/assignment free period but since this was likely to be the case anyway, we are just eating a lot of french fries, french toast, croissants, and Belgian waffles (with French vanilla ice-cream).

Anyway, Dan, we hope you have a top time, rapportez-nous du fromage,


PS: Jono doesn’t really do nudie runs: that was just a joke.


Watch out for some disturbing teas!

Well I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed in the entire tea industry. After their marvelous attempt at creating a novel range of flavoured teas, they seem to have let their standards slip. At least that is my view of the matter and I’ll tell you why.

Liptons are still number one in my tea books for their innovation and wonderful effort. Until recently, sharing that top shelf on my own little tea podium was Twinings. Now if you want a delicious refreshing strong cuppa, try Twinings Irish Breakfast, very attractive in its Irish emerald green box. Or, if you’re are after something a little more adventurous with a dash of the orient, try Ceylon Broken Orange Pekoe, or the classic Earl Grey? Do not, under any circumstances try Twinings Lapsang Souchong Tea or, I suspect, Lapsang Souchong Tea made by any other brand.

I was standing in the tea aisle of my local Woolies before a bewildering array tea in every style imaginable. Feeling somewhat euphoric after my recent tea success, I was searching out some other little pearl to try on those relaxing evenings in. Well, I spied Twinings Lapsang Souchong in its fine little purple wrapper and I thought to myself, why not? Well, with the benefit of hindsight I can now answer myself and tell myself in great detail “why not”.

Gad zooks, man! The stuff is Putrid! Absolutely vile. My esteemed friend and house-mate Dan spun me a yarn of hiking for days in moist socks and then drying them out over a smoky fire and then squeezing the murky fluid into a pot and heating it up. I suspect that Dan knew somebody who worked for Twinings, it would not surprise me in the least if it was the case that Twinings hired young men and women of the hiking persuasion to tramp about their factory floor in moist socks before they were carted off to the smoker (the socks I mean, not the men and women of a hiking persuasion).

Now, the only thing I know about ‘Enterprise’ is that it’s the best Star Trek series they made. But even a pseudo-trekkie knows that for something to be on the shelves at Woolworths there must be somebody out there willing to part with good money for it.
I’m not calling you weird if you like that liquefied smoky toe-jam, nor do I want to bring the fine name of Twinings into disrepute merely because I prefer my tea to taste like cookies and cream instead of a cross between an ashtray and a worn boot. The only thing I wish to say is that the packet should come with some sort of warning. People who are browsing the shelves for something refreshing to have with their lamington after a hard day at the office should not be able to put a packet of Lapsang Souchong into their trolley with being completely aware of the consequences of dunking those little babies in hot water.

The packet itself reads: The celebrated black tea with a distinctive smoky flavour from the Fujian province of China. Here are some suggestions I had for the twinings people to add, in the interest of public safety:

– Just the thing for when your smoking unwashed hiking friend: a) is out of town; or b) doesn’t want you to lick his feet.
– Warning: This product is best tasted by people whose senses of smell and taste are severely impaired.
– Not today Sunny-Jim, why don’t you tuck into that Russian Caravan Tea on the next shelf down?
– The original Billy Tea (just like when you accidentally knock the billy over into the fire and then manage to scoop everything back in with a bit of ash too).

Apologies for my cynicism


Ask Dr Aunty Joan…

Well, we’ve had a massive bundle of mail this week, generally positive response to the opening of SGR, mostly saying how much better we are then other sites such as Google or Ebay or NSW Health. Between comments of your experiences with Lipton’s new teas (no word from Lipton as of yet), and requests for future posts, a few of you asked our advice on some of life’s little troubles. Wise though we pretend to be, I felt as if we needed some outside help so I gave my Dr Aunty Joan a call and she was more than happy to put down her crossword and delicious cup of Lipton’s Cherry-Cola Tea to come and offer her years of experience as a doctor and an aunty to you.

Here’s our first letter:

Dear SGR guys,
My name is Timmy and I’m four and three quarters. I read your stories and liked them. Mummy says I can’t make myself a cup of tea because I’m too little but Mummy and Daddy tried a packet of Thai Green Curry Tea and thought it was yummy.

You all seem very smart, can I ask you a question? [ED – YES, CERTAINLY] Thankyou [ED – YOU’RE WELCOME] my friend Sue said that if you watch too much TV you will get square eyes, I don’t watch very much TV (only Playschool, Spot, and Question Time in the House of Representatives) but I do like to watch all the clothes in the washing machine. Do you think I might get big round eyes?

I love you,

Little Timmy.

And Dr Aunty Joan writes…

Hello Little Timmy,

Wow! What an exciting question! Firstly, your friend Sue is quite right. If you watch too much TV, is has been shown to give you square eyes, or ‘ocular cubosis’ as we Aunty Doctors call it. As for watching all the clothes in the washing machine (which is great fun), there hasn’t been as much research in this area. A few studies have shown that kiddies who like to read get huge ugly goopey eyes and don’t make many friends, so don’t try this.
What I suggest is that you try to balance out you TV watching with your Washing Machine watching. If your mummy is a bit worried, maybe she could get a top-loader, or even a twin-tub. The boys here at SGR have a twin-tub and they call it all sorts of nasty names, maybe she could have that one.
Anyway I hope this helps,
Stay away from the naughty boys,

Love, Dr Aunty Joan.

Dr Aunty Joan will be in once a week to answer any questions you always wanted to ask a doctor or an Aunty, but never did. If you have a question for her, reply to this message and we’ll get back to you.

Tom and Dr Aunty Joan.

New tasty teas?

When I first heard of a new range of teas by Lipton (www.lipton.com), I was the tiniest bit skeptical (www.tom.was.skeptical.org). New flavours such as Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Orange and Honeycomb, seemed unlikely to combine comfortably with the refreshing taste of black tea.
Nevertheless, in the interests of having something to complain about, I bought a box of Cookies and Cream teabags on my last trip to Coles and hurried home to put the kettle on. In fancy squiggly letters on the side of the box were the words “Add milk for a latte experience”*. This I did and then settled down to sample my beveragal experiment. I was instantly converted, my skepticism falling away like a novelty chair. I cannot begin to describe to you how a hot cup of tea can taste like a plate of Assorted Creams, but Gad, my taste buds were certainly doing a double take that day. I’m jiggling my way through the rest of the packet so I can go and buy another flavour…

If you are a representative of the very fine Lipton Tea Company, congratulations on a winning success, here are some suggestions for other flavours that might prove popular: Dr Pepper Tea, Lamb Kebab, Cappuccino Tea, Bacon and Eggs, Cough Medicine Tea.

Thanks for reading, now go quickly to your nearest tea vendor (don’t stop to pedantically look for split infinitives) and buy some of these little liquid beauties.

Now all I need are some Tea flavoured bikkies and a Good-Book flavoured bun and I’m set for my evenings.

Happy Dunkin’


* For a real latte experience, sandgateroad.blogspot.com recommends actual Latte, available from any quality cafe.

Welcome to Sandgate Road…

Sandgate Road is, as the name suggests, a road. It is not, as the name less accurately suggests, in Sandgate.

As well as being a road (or perhaps to be more semantically correct, a street), Sandgate Road (hereafter abbreviated to SGR) is a handsome brick house set a safe distance back from SGR (the street).

On top of being a street and a house (and this is where it gets deep/clever/confusing/to-the-point-where-you-stop-reading) SGR is the group of fellow who live therein and thereon (or vice versa).

Essentially, it’s SGR, not SGR or SGR that really makes SGR SGR.

If you ring SGR there’s about a one in seven chance that the person answering the phone will say:

“Hello, Sandgate Road, XXXX speaking…”,

Or if XXXX isn’t home:

“Good morning, Sandgate Road…”,

or something like that.

If this happens to you, mention this entry to receive a free back issue of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Anyhue, (preferably magenta) enough of my syntactically questionable ramblings, I’ve got legitimate work to do,