Wednesday, December 11, 2013


View Across to Gloucester Island

Part of the grounds at the Resort at Horseshoe Bay as mentioned in my post.

Sunrise...Horseshoe Bay, Bowen

Do I really need to name these?

The Big Mango at Bowen

I’ve never been rowin’ with Owen at Bowen; but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I did once go rowin’ with Denis on Hinchinbrook Island, though. An episode that was more funny, than fun!

Silly me!  I let one of my guests coerce me into go paddling the resort canoe with him.  Until that particular afternoon, I’d never paddled a canoe in my life!  I not only ended up drenched, but one of my staff jumped into the island boat and towed us ashore!  His act of bravado wasn’t really necessary; he was being a little over-dramatic – and a mite hysterical – with laughter at our plight!   I must admit, I was engulfed with laughter as was my companion.  Actually, I think he was a little perplexed at my lack of paddling coordination.  He never asked me again.  Denis ended up at Oxford University.  He probably ended up in the Oxford University Boat Club rowing team; seen skimming along the River Thames on many a misty morning.  (I should have thought to have asked him to get an autograph from Inspector Morse)!

A couple of weeks ago when reading the travel section in Saturday’s paper I was reminded of one of my favourite places in the world; the mostly unheralded beaches of Bowen.  I’ve had many wonderful, happy times at Bowen’s beaches. I also had one of the worst times of my life there; but, fortunately, I’ve not allowed the latter experience to diminish my love of those glorious beaches up Bowen way. 

Everyone at some time or other has been disappointed by friends, strangers, relatives, business associates. 

My late brother and I innocently became part of a fiasco when we were employed to co-manager a resort at Horseshoe Bay in 1997. We were duped; conned by experts in the game of conning. Sadly, my brother fell ill, leaving me to manage the resort without his assistance; a sombre situation beyond his control.

In addition to the unexpected turn of events we discovered, to our dismay, the resort owners and the managers we’d been hired to replace were in cahoots, callously playing with the lives of others.  My brother and I became hapless victims of unscrupulous people who had no conscience; a word they probably couldn’t spell, let alone knew the meaning of! Obviously they’d not heeded the sage advice: “Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself”. They had no moral or ethical standards. I won’t go into the sordid details at this time.  Maybe I will later…at length.

Suffice to say there is truth in the maxim; “What goes around; comes around”. Karma works at its own inscrutable, enigmatic way and pace. One needs to exercise patience. 

In the words of model Rachel Hunter who wisely and frequently counselled consumers in her Pantene commercials of the early 1990s: “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!”  Just desserts were served eventually; that they weren’t personally served by me was okay with me.

Back to my pleasant memories of the Bowen area…when I lived in Collinsville I sometimes managed to replace coal dust with sea spray for a day or two by making an escape to tranquil Rose Bay, one of the seven stunning beaches around Bowen. The town of Bowen is 87kms north-east of Collinsville; only a short hop, skip and prance away. Unbelievably, there were some in Collinsville who’d never ventured further afield than Bowen! Once I’d discovered the cosy cabin named “Laguna” situated on the foreshore at Rose Bay with its unparalleled panorama across the crystal aqua-blue water to Gloucester Island, I was hooked. Thereafter I booked the same humble dwelling for my every stay. I fell in love with the intimate shanty on the beach. It wasn’t flash, nor was it modern, but it was spotless, and its bed, comfortable.

 The cabin had everything I needed, except for George Clooney!  The cabin was within close proximity to the beach, which was only two or three metres away across a grassy verge; and then, after a short stroll, the water’s edge was lapping my toes.  What more could I want - other than George, of course?

 It was paradise. In paradise one wants for nothing else, other than Mr. Clooney, of course!

By George! Owen from Bowen was no substitute, no matter how expert he was at rowin’! 

However, Bowen makes ups for what it lacks in the presence of George Clooney a hundred times over and over again with its delicious mangoes.  Oh! Bowen's mangoes are irresistible!   And they're in season...right now!  So excuse me while I go and devour a couple over the kitchen sink!

Christmas Dessert: Put 125g light brown muscovado sugar, 50g butter and 175g water in a small pan; bring slowly to the boil; stir to dissolve sugar. Increase heat; bring to the boil; boil 3mins; cool. Place 40g cut mixed peel, 50g glace cherries, cut into eighths, 85g  each raisins and sultanas, 2tsp mixed spice and 1/2tsp almond essence in bowl; add 3tbs dark rum; leave to macerate. Beat 4 egg yolks until light and fluffy; gradually add the sugar syrup; beat all the time. Place in pan; whisk over direct heat until as thick as double cream. Place in the mixer bowl; beat until cold. It should now be thick and airy and leave a ribbon trail. Whip 450ml cream to the same consistency as the parfait base; fold in. Fold in rum-soaked fruits and 85g toasted almond flakes. Pour into clingwrap-lined 900g loaf tin; freeze overnight; or up to 2 weeks if wrapped well. Remove parfait from tin; place in fridge 30mins before serving; decorate with glacé cherries and dusting of icing sugar. 

Chilled Mango Dessert: Cut flesh of 1 large mango into chunks. Divide 12 roughly-crushed amoretti biscuits between 4 serving glasses; using 400ml Greek yoghurt, top with yoghurt; add mango chunks. Drizzle 1tbs clear honey over each; chill 1 hour or so.  

Mango Delight: Remove flesh from 2 large ripe mangoes. Place in blender or processor; puree with 300ml condensed milk, 1c ricotta and 3tbs lime juice for 2-1/2mins. Pour into individual serving glasses; chill 2hrs or so; garnish with mango.


  1. I lost my brother in 1997. I am sorry you had that trouble in 1997 and got conned too.

  2. I lost my brother in 1998, was a very harrowing time....

    I'm sorry for your loss.

  3. Bowen mangoes. Mmmm. Mangoes are the queen of fruits...
    And karma the very best sauce. Served hot, cold, anyway at all.

  4. I am not a fan of mangoes having grown up watching other eat those horrible stringy ones. Turpentine mangoes I think they are called. The name just puts me off. The smell of rotting mangoes on the ground under foot.

    But I have 4 bowers that my boy brought home that I will try to do something with, even if it's just purée them and freeze for desserts. Thanks for the recipes Lee.

  5. I love them, too, EC. I love mango season and eat as many as I can because the season is so short.

    And I agree with you re karma, too! ;)

  6. Hi Carol...when I lived in Collinsville I had five Bowen mango trees in my backyard...and I was in heaven!

    When I was managing a motel in Cardwell later on, we had over 20 trees on the property...need I go on? lol

    Just slice a cheek off one of those Bowens your son bought home...and try it before you puree it.

  7. "Do I really need to name these?" You could have and saved a whole heap of electrons! :-O

  8. Darn, I shouldn't come here and see those scrumptious desserts when I have to lose five pounds before my doctor's appointment tomorrow. Wonder how many calories there are in mangos. Beautiful photos. Makes me want to find my own shanty on the beach. Have a great holiday and 2014, if I'm not back here again this year.

  9. Delightful story! Back while in the Boy Scouts, one of the tests that had to passed before earning a Canoeing merit badge was semi-sinking a canoe and paddling it back to shore full of water. It was while doing this that I discovered just how hard it really is to capsize a canoe on purpose. So, I suppose this means that all of those who can flip a canoe over after just taking a few strokes with their paddle must be very talented individuals.

  10. Sorry to have done that to you, Cosmo...but I'm sure you feel better now after the effort! :)

  11. Hi is said by the "experts" that there are 60 calories per 100 grams in mangoes.

    And a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2014 to you and yours, Dave. :)

  12. Hey there Jerry...we didn't manage to capsize the canoe...although I think that was down to good luck, not good management.

    We somehow seemed to get wet from the splashing of the paddles. We weren't very coordinated!

    A few years later when I lived on Newry Island I did become adept at rowing the island dinghy...but that was a case of having to do so!

    Good to see you...thanks for coming by...take care. :)

  13. Bowen is Mr. RK's last name - I'll have to let him know about this place!

  14. Well, there your man goes, RK! ;)

  15. Who is George Clooney.....?

  16. Rosemary's nephew, Adulamite....

  17. Herb's sister, Adullamite.