Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fair Suck or Shake!

Can this be true? 

I'm still in bed in the middle of the day! 

Alas it is true. I'm sick. 

Yesterday I felt worse than I do today, but I didn't stay in bed. I went to the doctor and she gave me the name of what it is that's wrong with me. It's called "labyrinthitis". 
It's okay, I'm not going to bore you with details of my symptoms, treatment and scars, the way some hypochondriacle people do. Suffice to say I have a virus which is affecting my labyrinth (I didn't even know I possessed such a thing) which is apparently a small bony chamber situated deep in the inner ear. If you have 2 ears, you have 2 labyrinths and they sense, control and maintain the balance of the body. So, this is why I've been feeling (and looking) as though I'm on a nightmarish, never-ending boat trip across Bass Strait.

Well it could be worse I suppose .... I could have the dreaded Swine Flu.

Anyway as I've been lying here trying hard not to move my head, I've been thinking about our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. I've been thinking about how he misquoted that gorgeous Aussie ockerism 'Fair suck of the sauce bottle, mate'; and I want to explain why he got it wrong (he said shake instead of suck - in case you're from another planet or country). Crikey has a more indepth explanation here

I reckon he got it wrong because he's a Queenslander! Queenslanders get a lot of things wrong. When I moved to Townsville from Adelaide 23 years ago, I had to learn a whole new language! Well that's what it seemed like, anyway.

For example: see the picture below? I grew up thinking these were called icy poles or simply iceblocks.

When I first arrived in Towsville I discovered that the Queensland name for them was a "By-jingo". Though I must admit I haven't heard that name for some time.

In Queensland school bags are called "ports"

Suitcases are also called "ports". Short for portmanteau, I guess.

And you thought this was called a dressing table, didn't you?

No. Up here in sunny, funny Queensland it's called a "Duchess"

A street directory is called a "referdex", a freeway is called a "motorway". And cocktail frankfurts? Well, they're called "cheerios" - of course, what else?

But the most devastating discovery I made when I first moved to Queensland is that there is no such thing as 'fritz' here! Oh, there is something which vaguely resembles fritz .... until you remove the packaging. Then you discover that it's not even close to fritz ..... I mean, it has a consistency almost the same as pate and tastes like dog-food even after you've given a "fair shake of the sauce bottle" all over it!

I think I'll start a Facebook group demanding that South Aussie fritz be imported to Queensland!

I mean, fair suck of the sauce bottle fellas!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This is my life now. Don't you love it.?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Nostalgic Trip Without Leaving Home

From the time I was about 4 years old until I was almost 11 we lived in a western suburb in Adelaide.

Our house didn't have a number because there were no other houses in the street and for a long time the road wasn't sealed.  We had market gardens opposite us and on one side.  

Behind us was a building supply depot, where my father worked and beyond that was the River Torrens.  It wasn't the beautiful Torrens Lake that you see on postcards of Adelaide.  This is the part of the river after it has meandered through the city and the lake, and is on it's way down to the sea.  No beautiful sculptured gardens here. Just steep, scrubby, banks leading down to the water, which at that point is a narrow muddy creek.  Young boys used to catch yabbies there.

Recently, feeling a bit nostalgic, (as I seem to do more and more often these days) I went for a tour around this old neighbourhood.  And, thanks to Google maps, I didn't even have to leave Brisbane.

Naturally, after so many years, things have changed and our street is no longer recognisable as the place in which I spent my formative years.  Our house is gone!  The market gardens have been replaced by commercial and industrial buildings, and the building supply depot has expanded, and appears to have taken over the entire block on our side (northern) of the street.

Luckily, about 10 years ago, I went to visit one of my sisters who still lived in Adelaide at that time, and we did a real tour of this neighbourhood.  Things had already changed dramatically, of course, but our house was still there and I was able to get some photographs of it. 

This is one of the pictures I took. Sadly, we could see that its days were numbered even then. 

But the thing that was really astonishing, was how small it looked. I had always thought of this house as huge. By the time we left there, my parents' family was complete - six daughters aged from 17 years to 3 years.  How on earth did we all fit?

Here is a picture of me and my younger sister taken at the side of this house, probably not long after we moved there.

Here is a picture of me taken in the driveway of that house.  I was probably about 5 years old at the time. Check out the car in the garage.  Also the clothes prop.  This was pre Hills Hoist time.

I have so many memories of living in that house and in that neighbourhood ...... but they'll have to be for another post.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Birthday Card for a Special Friend

Years ago, eons ago in fact, I had a boyfriend with whose Mum I developed a special bond.

I went out with the boyfriend for about  3 years and was even a bridesmaid in his sister's wedding.  Eventually the boyfriend took off for adventures in far flung places, never to return. Sometime later I moved to Queensland and after a while I lost touch with his family altogether.

Recently, thanks to the wonders of the internet and social networking sites, I've re-established contact with the said boyfriend.  No..... no don't get excited dear reader, he's been married to the same woman for decades.

Anyway, he told me that he and his wife were coming to Oz for his Mum's 80th birthday. I remembered that her birthday is on 2nd April, so I decided to make her a card.

This is the front. (Click on pic to see an enlarged view).

I made it using Creative Memories papers and tools.  The ribbon is from a pack of 6 rolls from the Warehouse. 

This is the inside of the card. I should acknowledge that the quotation is by Adele Basheer.

I posted it off to his Mum last Saturday and enclosed pictures of Emma and the Grandies.  I received an email from the friend who said that the card had arrived at his Mum's the day before her birthday "and she's still crying". I hope she's not crying because she thinks the card is horrible. 

I like making cards, because you get almost instant gratification. You know what I mean ..... it's just a short time span between starting the card and having a finished product.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

This is a trailer from TrailerSpy

I'm amazed that this book hasn't been made into a movie before now. Written by Maurice Sendak in 1963 the book is about the imaginary adventures of a young boy named Max, who is punished for being naughty by being sent to his room without supper. Apparently there was an animated version released in 1973, with an updated version of this released on 1988. See Wikipedia

Although the book was written for children, there is some doubt about whether or not the movie version will be suitable for little ones.

The release date for Australia is December 10, 2009.

Thank you to Ruth at Skerricks , whose blog highlighting ideas and inspirations for school libraries, I follow avidly. Ruth had this trailer on her blog and I wanted to see if I could work out how to put it onto mine as well......  

........ And I have.  I'm feeling very chuffed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RIP kitchen garden :-(

Oh dear ..... sigh. The kitchen garden has gone to wherever it is kitchen garden plants go when life expires.  Not sure what happened, but suspect it could be that the potting soil was all wrong. Why do I suspect that? Well...... Jeb decided to use the soil that was left over, to give a boost to some bare patches around the edges of the back lawn.  

For days the tantalising (?) aroma of chook poo permeated the house and, possibly, the entire suburb. We thought that was probably ok. Chook poo's a good fertilizer right? After a while the smell disappeared (or were we in fact suffering from olfactory fatigue by that stage?), but we noticed that large patches around the edge of the lawn had taken on a distinctly dry, seared look - as in, dead. These were the very same patches that had been treated with the soil we'd used for the kitchen garden! 

We had noticed that the lettuce plants were looking a little sickly a couple of days after planting them out, but told ourselves that they had gone into "shock" and would rally once they got used to their new bed. Sadly this was not to be. They curled up their leaves, turned a beigy colour and kind of disintegrated.  I just hope their deaths were not too agonising, poor things.

Sorry, I haven't taken any pictures of the carnage we've wreaked. Too sad. Back to buying, and wasting, lettuce for a while at least.  And I won't be writing about gardens again ...... too embarrassing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Mini Kitchen Garden is Born

Lettuce...... I wonder how many tonnes I've thrown away in my lifetime.

I don't really like lettuce all that much. I tend to buy lettuce only when we're in the grip of a major heat-wave.  Once the weather cools a little my desire for salads cools right along with it, and the lettuce gets shoved to the back of the fridge. Here it might turn into a dreadful mushy mess or, alternatively, a green icy ball.  It depends on what mood my fridge happens to be in at any given time.

It's the same with herbs.  I'm just an ordinary cook but occasionally I'll be inspired by some luscious looking dish in a magazine or recipe book.  This will invariably be a dish which requires a teaspoon (no more, no less) of fresh (on no account should the dried variety be used) coriander or something.  So I dutifully buy some sprigs (you can't just buy one sprig), chop up the teaspoonful and put the rest away for another day.  The trouble is that by the time another day comes along (usually 3 or 4 weeks later) the coriander, or whatever, has turned itself into the dried variety, which on no account must you use for the said luscious dish.

So, finding ourselves teetering on the brink of financial ruin (possibly a slight exaggeration), thanks to the GFC, my son and I decided that there was only one course of action to be taken. No more wasting food and/or money for us.  A kitchen garden is what we need.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Sister and Me

Wanted to try adding pictures to my posts, so here is my first one I hope.  It's a picture of me and my blogging sister. It was taken in a photo booth at Luna Park in Melbourne in 1972. Aren't we just gorgeous? That's me on the left.

First Post

I've been following my sister's blog since she created it some time ago, and I've watched in awe as her first tentative postings morphed into really witty, creative and newsy pieces of writing. 

She and I live on the opposite sides of the continent and, although we talk on the phone reasonably often, it's been  difficult for me to get a real sense of how her life has been going. We had not actually seen each other face to face for about 28 years until I made the trip to her city in 2006. I've made 2 more trips since, but of necessity they've been short stays - not long enough to do all the catching up that needs to be done.

For instance, I had no idea that she was so gifted artistically until she created her blog.  I knew that she had created beautiful albums of family photographs, because I'd seen them when I'd visited. Now, on her blog she posts, among other things pics, of the journal pages (or are they artists trading cards?) she has been creating, and I think they are absolutely gorgeous. As I said, I had no idea that she was so talented.

So, I've decided to follow my sister's lead and join the blogosphere too.  I don't imagine for one minute that I'll be able to match her wit and creativity - I'm not even going to try. But I get so much enjoyment from reading her blog that I've decided that family members and friends might enjoy seeing and hearing what I've been doing too.

I have 5 sisters and we're spread all over the continent, so this is for them and anyone else who might find the blathering of a rapidly aging Baby-boomer a little bit entertaining.