Friday, August 29, 2014


Number One Son is counting down the days to glorious beach mornings with the salt air through his ears and more pretend games of Rescue Dog saves Bayside residents. Me not so much.  I loathe and detest the hot weather.  My skin, like filo pastry burns and dries in anything warmer than an energy saving eco light bulb and my hair turns into something resembling pea straw.  Still carrying two sets of gloves in my handbag I reluctantly succumb to Spring with scratchy eyes and enough hay fever symptoms to have emptied entire pharmaceutical shelves.  Alas the tiny pink blossom on the miniature fruit tree makes us all happy following a poor performing effort last year and the new chives are standing tall in defiance of Max's backside keeping them warm and bended in the winter sunshine.  As the low cloud is slowly lifting today and the sun is beginning to warm through that means Number One Son gets a bath.  Hero dog or not.  And can't leave your cape on.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Behind the convenience curtain

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I'm not a fan of fakery. Sadly in a supermarket world of profit and maximising shelf life our food items are presented to us in the most commercially profitable way to alter our spending towards fast moving consumer goods.  It's about the packaging we will chose, the convenience we apparently need and the price we are willing to pay.  If you shop only at supermarkets these things all make sense.  And with all that available spare time we can do things that make us happy.  Because apparently preparing food to eat isn't one of them  - for some people.  As a person who lies awake at night thinking about what I will bake tomorrow I see the joy that growing, harvesting and cooking brings.  I've changed over the years however with wisdom growing deeper along with facial lines, I've moved from my apartment living sushi bound lifestyle to a love of fresh country air and home cooked food.  Having grown up in the suburbs my idea of life skills were being able to locate your car from a multi deck carpark and find the right exit onto the highway.  In the country it's actually about life and survival whether it's animal, vegetable or wood pile.  It's about using the locally grown and harvested and sharing your knowledge with others.  That's what Maggie Beer does.  She told us about South Australia, the Barossa free range chook and using recipes that you grew up with.  Whether her ingredients are from sunny Queensland or sitting on her front door step she doesn't need to apologize.  She's done more for Australia than any imported celebrity chef on a mega bonus telling us to buy convenience food from a organisation they don't shop at.  The business world of pantomime rolls on.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My house, in the middle of my sheet, my house...

Another cold night in this most genuine of winters, Max and I sit down to a few taped re-runs of To The Manor Born starring the ever excellent Penelope Keith whilst Max and I dream of a big stately home.  For me fireplaces in every room, for him -  medieval tapestries to sink his claws into.  Our dreams of staff on call and salmon swimming upstream in his food bowl will remain in fantasy land real estate with reality being cold rooms, drafty corridors and constant upkeep only afforded by a large television production company.  We dream of a wood burning stove with time for bread and cakes cooked while warming ancient kitchen tiles.  Having had many a one sided argument with my modern, too many settings stainless steel variety, I sometimes think I would be better off with a wrought iron beast that provided just two settings, hot and bloody hot.  The modern house while efficient and bright, holds no interest for me with attention seeking down lights ensuring we can't move sideways without being in the spotlight.  The indoor outdoor concept just confuses me and open plan really means very little planning other than well, just open. I guess we all have an idea of our perfect house.  When my first grade teacher asked us to draw our house, I can guarantee that in my little primary school of suburbia not one of us came from anything remotely like the Georgian designs we had crayoned onto the paper. Middle front door, window either side, upstairs windows and chimney.   Long live the crayoned house I say.  And it did.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Text from my Carrot

From little things big things grow.  Isn't that how the song goes?  Our first peek at the harvest didn't send me scurrying off to join the Royal Agricultural Society, in fact didn't even warrant a salad bowl.  Too soon.  Obviously.  But you don't know unless you ask.  And pictured carrot was the answer to that question.  Be patient.  Nature won't be dictated to by what it says on the nursery tag.  In fact if we followed their harvesting instructions we'd be eating dirt and roots weeks ago.  I did harvest a very ripe avocado from my handbag however having forgotten about it being given to me by my step mother's daughter in-law's next door neighbour's tree while searching for a pen.  It has sat there for a week all warm and a little bruised from my rummaging and bashing with purse and mobile phone.  Maybe it was the phone that did the ripening. Perhaps those full size uniform shiny carrots in the supermarket have been brought to quick harvest having spent their growing weeks embedded with an Apple of the wrong variety.  Just hope it was on silent.

Friday, August 8, 2014

That smell from the corner of the room

Number One Son loves his bed.  It's his special place for himself and for his special things.  Being an avid collector of rocks, doggie chew bones, plant cuttings and an assortment of tennis balls, when socks go missing you know where to look.  Fortunately he's grown out of the 'I'm so distressed because you went out today I'm going to eat my bed' phase.  Having replaced the trampoline style bed with all four corners gnawed it was only an afternoon chew away from his backside landing firmly on the ground.  He was wise to stop when he did.  His current bed has a certain smell about it, something between a stale gym locker and a once lost pile of raw mince. All the better from his point of view.  From this bed we hear the snores of a tired doggy dreaming of coffee shops, farmers markets and bloody possum on the back fence.  In his dreams he is barking the most threatening of doggie anger but in reality we hear a soft "Yip. Yip. Yip" coming from the corner.  He awakes with a loud yawn to tell the world he's ready for a new day and trots off into our bedroom.  Come on get up it's a brilliant day, his tail wags with force and he licks legs and arms as they dangle from under the doona.  If only we could all wake up like our dogs each day I'm sure life would seem better.  Then if my bed smelled that rank I'd be quick to get out of it too.  So this weekend it's dog bed washing weekend.  He'll give me that look like I've stolen it as I proceed to drown his much loved bedding and watch the water turn a murky brown.  He'll sook in the corner with a long face until it's put back exactly where it was with everything back in it.  He just can't have my socks back and that meat smell... I'll guess we'll never know.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Apple technology

As time goes on I find my interest in what the day's media outlets have to offer fails to capture my attention.  By 7pm on a weeknight I've had my television fill of disguised advertisements, who cares items and go get a life self interest stories enough to hit the red button with great relief.  The twitter universe is unknown to me because I don't know how to use it.  I don't instagram, pound or ounce of anything and I'm barely linked into myself let alone an unmet network of faces who want to sell me something.  The thought of ignoring technology seems almost shameful but I'm pressing on regardless.  The latest apps hold no interest with claims to organise my life in such a way that only a pencil and a piece of paper could do better.  I will continue to get joy in defying being switched on and remain blissfully tuned out.  Sometimes a little rebellion goes a long way.  As noticed on my walk yesterday with Number One Son through our local streets where we update ourselves in progress of neighbourhood home renovations, download some fresh air and connect into our local birdlife community. I see the house on the corner that used to feed the visiting Rosellas and Galas with a tray of seed from the branch of tree has now removed it.  New local laws about feeding wild life has been enforced by this local suburban council to cease the trampling of wildebeest on local hydrangeas - or something, but sometimes defiance wins out.  With the house on the corner now having a single much pecked at apple skewered by a wire and now hanging from the branch, I am pleased that rebellion has won out, through a weapon of mass production - the granny smith.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Holidays shouldn't be this hard

Good pets.  Raised and ruined by good parents. Our plans for a weekend away gets remodeled again when the question arises but what will we do with Max and ... well maybe it's easier if we just don't go this weekend.  The trauma of snatching the blissfully sleeping Ragdoll from his designer blanket and unceremoniously pushing him head first into something with not much more design than a sealed milk crate ends in cries of protest that are distressing for all concerned.  Number One Son in false hope that he's off to school or a fishing trip has a face like thunder when we turn off into the driveway of the pet minding facility.  Max giving out feral cries from the back seat of the car is equally unimpressed with the prospect of days of solitary confinement in cell block C.  Paid playtime and cuddle visits don't impress the privileged and pampered expecting a buffet selection of endangered species in a gravy sauce at meal times.  The longing look, those sad eyes saying please don't leave me here, they don't even smell very good makes it so much harder to turn, run and jump into the car, start the engine and yell "yippee, we're away..", but we do.  And then on the return it's the wailing again from the milk crate, the whimpering from the rear and the two tired from traveling adults need to face the music for being so unspeakably cruel in handing over more cash than the cost of our holiday to have them kept fed and safe.  Max won't speak to us for days and storms around with a 'talk to the tail as the face ain't listening' stance and Number One Son tries to convince us to bust out his new friends from the facility. Yes, it's a big weekend but sometimes it's nicer to just stay at home.