Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sunday scribblings "Food".

So...I am almost a week late for Sunday scribblings as tonight is Saturday. Who cares. here I am anyway.
Time has been running too quickly for me of late and I have not been taking the time to write in here as I would like to do.
On the agenda this week, work as usual, and my little car needs to be registered. So heaps of ridiculous running between registry offices, sent from the Australian Capitol Territory then across the border into New South Wales and back again on a bloody wild goose chase between offices to no avail. I will try again on Monday.
Anyway the prompt word? Food.
Food of all sorts,
for the soul,
for the mind,
for the soil,
for the body?
What did you have for your main meal today?
In my country there is a dearth of it available, so much that is over used and wasted.
I will share with you my home made version of Butter chicken, which is easy to make and now a family favorite.
1. Chop up one medium sized onion and a clove of garlic and cook on low heat until onion turns clear.
2.Chop up 1 full chicken breast and add to onion mix.
3.Add 1/3 jar of whatever your favorite curry paste is. Tonight I used Patak's rogan josh paste. Probably equal to 3 heaped tablespoons of the paste.
4. Stir well then add;
1 tin of condensed tomato soup and 1/2 tin of water.
5. Add 2/3rds small tub of sour cream, or improvise and use whatever you have in the fridge without having to go out to the shops, like philly cheese or fresh cream or even coconut milk.
Cook , stirring well, reduce to a thick sauce if it needs it.
^. Serve with Naan bread, to sop up the gravy, boiled rice, a nice salsa and chutneys.
I like tamarind or mango chutney with it.
You can also do banana cut up and rolled in coconut. Also try yogurt with a spoonful of mint jelly and some fresh mint chopped up and mixed through.
For the salsa I cut up an onion, tomato, chives,basil, cucumber and blanched green beans sprinkled with a bit of balsamic vinegar.'
Gives 4 generous serves.

Food for the soul for me is the earth and her bounty, flora and fauna, of which we are all a part.
Food for my mind is reading here on the computer and sharing your blogging lives .
Food for the soil, give back what you take from it. I have a worm farm again after my last one was killed off in last summer's harsh heat.
I am loving this yard attached to the rented house we now live in. The yard is so productive and fertile. I am feasting on Tomatoes, plums, beans, capsicum, beetroot, cucumbers, pears and silverbeet, figs, basil, chives, mint, oregano, coriander, parsley, and grapes, we are also getting a few late strawberries each time it rains. I love being able to step outside and pick straight from the garden. There is more to come yet. Pumpkins, spring onions, leeks and peas have been planted and are yet to mature.
Mmmm food. Let us not mention over-nutrition, and the extra naughty things we eat. I am guilty. Oh dear!
Good night.
Love Linda.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Memories on Mondays.

I hope this fine weekend finds you well and enjoying the short time off before the new week starts.
Here is my entry into this week's Memories on Monday prompt. You can see the rest on my side bar link of the same name. have a read and join in the write up if you feel like it.
Since my last post was about the fun I had at a concert last week I thought I would write about earlier concerts I have attended over the years. Really thee have not been that many, I am pretty quiet.
My first memory of a concert was when I was probably 8 years old. It was at the Darwin Botanical gardens and our small school, Larrakeyah primary, all attended a display of ballet and a show with Rolf Harris. I know I had probably gone to shows with my parents earlier, being an army brat, but this one is the first I remember. I remember that the ballet company got a few of the older, bigger boys up on the stage and they had to catch the ballerinas as they jumped into their arms. I thought it was amazing that they didn't fall in a heap and of course, them being bigger boys they were all very proud of themselves too, coming into close contact with such pretty gals at their pre-teen stage of life. There was much applause and patting of backs afterward.
Apart from school concerts the next one of note that I remember would have been when we were living in Sydney. My Dad had just returned from Vietnam and it was the very early 1970's. The opera house was new and just opened and my Dad got tickets to a show there. It was a mixed type performance with some classical and pop music. The artist I remember was a funny little bloke who had a few songs on the radio at the time. His stage name was William Shakespeare. I remember that concert because it had audience participation that I enjoyed. William Shakespeare had a sing along thingy going on with the audience and then told us all "Now you can say that you have sung in the Sydney Opera house and people will think you are famous". I was probably 11 or 12 yrs old at the time. Funny what your memory holds on to and lets go of isn't it? So yep! I have sung in the Sydney Opera house when it was brand new. I have been inside there quite a few times for tours and shows and I still marvel at it's architecture.
We went over to Singapore and lived there for a bit over a year after that. When we came home to Australia there was so much good fun music around and as I was living in Sydney there were lots of concerts to go to. You of course wouldn't have heard of the bands but boy they were fun times. We even had a few good bands in the school hall.
The boys school and the girls school were across the oval from one another and a few times a year we would be allowed to go into the Randwick boys school hall and have an afternoon dance. We sat and looked at the boys from across the hall and longed to dance, to meet a boy, and talk to him, to have a boy like us. But most of us were too shy. Anyway if you knew any of the bands around Sydney in those days, we had the La De Dah's play there for us. Some of its members went on to other bands and became well known. That was fun.
I guess you would have had to be around in those days and know the Aussie bands, to know whom I am talking about.
While I went to school there I found an earlier friend who now lived on the western side of Sydney at Doonside. I think it was at the Bankstown or Blacktown showgrounds that I attended my next concert with her. May German was a girl that I had befriended in year 7 at high school when she was living in the migrant hostel at East hills, after she had migrated here from England.. We went to this concert with some of her friends. I was probably 14 at the time. I remember seeing fun pop bands that were around and just starting out in those days. Sherbet, Skyhooks, ACDC, Daddy Cool, Brain Cadd were there, and this woman who vamped it up called Madam Lash who ran half naked around the stage with a whip. Ha ha, I wonder what she looks like now.There were others as well whom I can't remember.
But Skyhooks. wow, I loved them...instantly! They were my favorite band from then on. And I loved ACDC too, they became world famous. Still going strong except without their original front man Bon Scott. What a cheeky little bugger he was, ha ha, sad to lose him though as he joined the list of stars who succumbed to fame and the rock and roll lifestyle.
That was great fun, but I got sooooo sunburned that I blistered, there was no shade and in those days sun screen creams were very limited and the ones that were available gave me a rash so I wouldn't use them. Of course I hated hats too and it was too hot to cover up.
When we came back to Sydney after being in Singapore we eventually ended up back at our old address in Waverly which was a great spot for teenagers (just a few minutes walk from the eastern suburbs beaches) to be and went back to the same school. I made a new lot of friends, one of whom, Anna O'Hanion was my best school friend with whom I attended a few other fun concerts. We went to the Hordern Pavillion together and saw Skyhooks several times. One night we even talked to boys. Oh no....hahaha. Anna's father would have never let us go anywhere again of he knew.
I remember one concert we had gone to there, the support act for Skyhooks was a young red headed girl who was probably only 18 or 19 at the time. I still like her and have an album of her music on my ipod that I listen to at work. At the Skyhooks concert she got up to do her act, and as a group of buoyed, over enthusiastic young teenagers, we all kept shouting out "Skyhooks, Skyhooks" and she tried to sing her songs but gave up and left the stage in tears. Poor girl. Her name? Renee Geyer.
At another Skyhooks concert we attended together one of the support acts , I can't remember who they were, sang this song. Hahah. The punch line of it was "Little pink spiders in my brain and I wish I was sane like you" hahaha, at the end of the song they threw rubber spiders out the the crowd. I got one of them as it landed near me and slipped it into my bag. When I took it out in the light to look at it later it was painted with bright pink oil based paint, that was still wet and I got it all over me. Yeah real funny guys. A bit of fore thought might have been nice, but we laughed anyway. Also at that concert Skyhooks had some stage props that were pretty amusing. They used to have a song called Smut, I won't tell you what it was about. But up on the stage they had 2 giant phallus made of Styrofoam or something and during the song they exploded showering everyone with twisties. Funny. Twisties are a sort of cheese flavored pastry snack food, in the same vein as potato crisps. Hahaha. So when mixed on the floor with pink oil painted spiders. Hmmm. Poor cleaners.
We soon moved back to Wagga and when I started school there I tried to talk to the kids there about the music and bands that I had loved, and being a country town , all I got for my attempts were blank stares and nobody knew who they were...yet.
Music started filtering out to the country areas and concerts started happening with some of the bands I knew in Sydney. Anyway in the mid 70's many bands were making their names and went to the country areas to play and become better known. In Wagga one night I went to a concert in the picture theater with a band called "The Little River Band" They later became international as did INXs . I also got to see another band that went global called "Crowded House".
After I was married my husbands favorite performer was , and still is , Bob Dylan. We went to Melbourne to see him, that was many years ago and he has been to Australia several times since then. I also went to see Natalie Cole in Sydney, at the Capitol theater. She was good but I was a bit disappointed because she was so perfect in her performance that the whole show might have been pre-recorded and mimed. It sounded exactly as you would expect to hear from a recording. I still listen to her music and sing along. She is a beautiful singer.
Then not so long ago, last year Pete and I went down to Sydney and saw James Taylor and Carole King. They are so good, still.
That is about it until last Sunday when we went to "a day on the green" in Bowral. I wrote about that in my last post.
Good Night.
Love Linda.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sunday scribblings "A Thousand Years"

I have just had a lovely weekend. One which I have been eagerly awaiting since, um, probably early December last year. My Christmas present. I have been speaking out for the last few Christmases and cheekily telling my family what I wanted. That is something I have previously thought a bit pushy. But now I think.....well, why not speak up when asked. Anyway I have been to a great concert last night. The tickets were my Christmas present. It was at Bowral in the southern highlands, just a few hours drive from here, at the Centennial winery. I even had a bottle of classic white, very nice too, which set the mood. The concert? Called a day at the green, had 4 different artists , the first being "The Dingoes" an Aussie group still going strong since the eighties. Their best known song , you may recall it, was "Way out West".
The second artist attending was Diesel. He has been a part of the Aussie music scene for the last 25 yrs or so. I never liked him before. I hadn't seen him live until last night and disliked him because I thought , from seeing him in interviews on the television, that he had too big a head and was far too intent on telling everyone how good he was. But, he is good, he is. He has contributed heaps to the songs that we hear and love on our radios every day.
The third artist. Wow. Hahaha, so much good old fashioned rock and roll fun. George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers. Woo Hoo, up dancing, singing and having fun. The people beside us were going around and pulling everyone else up to dance with them and I joined in and had a great time. Bad to the bone, hahaha. A few thousand old rockers all together.
Another lady who was sitting in front of us had a big bowl full of fresh prawns which she told everyone that she couldn't take home with her, (she was from Orange) so she passed them around and shared them, unloading the remainder onto us. I felt a bit uncomfortable, but she was insistent. Another dancing partner.
The fourth artist, one of my all time favorites and the master, the one I wanted to see more than any of the others. Joe Cocker. He was great, as I had expected. A laugh, a sentimental tear and nothing lost to his age in the quality of his fantastic voice. Nothing at all. The lady from Orange said he was 67 years old.
Well now that I am talking about age. The audience was great too. They had a big screen at the side of the stage and during the intermissions between the artists. Cameras kept scanning the crowd and focusing on individuals. It was great entertainment just watching that alone, for an avid people watcher like myself. As a people watcher I really loved looking at the faces as everyone went past, back and forwards to the grog, food tents and toilets.
At the toilets, I was joking with a couple of ladies behind me in the line up who said, "Babe you are going in after the men, it is all up to you, oh you are so brave". Hahaha. The toilets were transportable ones, which are usually foul, but I am sure the guy in the line in front of me must have been listening as when I got there it wasn't too bad. When I came out the ladies were waiting expectantly so I reported to them "Well...I have seen worse", and they breathed an exaggerated sight of relief. Funny.
As you would expect the crowd was made up of a variety of ages, many of them would have been young in the 70's when Joe Cocker was one of the wild boys of the music scene so where of similar age to us. The faces of the gorgeous young dolly birds of the day and the way that they had aged was fascinating to watch. I don't feel so bad, cos' well some of them.....Makes me wish though that I hadn't worried so much and been so self conscious of my looks when I was young. It was all such a waste of time doing that. But..... yeah I know....different ages and different stages. There was one old girl, I don't know if she was in her usual style of dress, but she had blond hair, bleached to within a quarter of an inch of it's life and teased out into an early 80's style frizz that looked like something from the Rocky Horror Show. Hahaha. Oh dear, I am nasty aren't I? Some of the old guys had the most fantastic beards you would ever see anywhere.
But those faces, a thousand years and more of Aussie genes, shared from all around the world. All aging, growing, glowing, loving taking a trip down memory lane. Fantastic.
The lady beside us, the one who got everyone up dancing, had come down from Cairns, she had her ticket given to her by friends as a present. She took some photos for me to share. I gave her my email address to send them too, I sure hope she remembers to send them, or doesn't loose the address I gave her. I of course left my camera behind, sitting right here on the computer table. Fun!
A thousand years and more of Genes.
Love Linda
Woo Hoo!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sunday Scribblings and Monday Memories

Yep late late late again, but the mood has taken me,( after reading around some of the other blogs I visit), to write. So late for both "Sunday Scribblings" of last week and also for "Monday Memories", here is a story.
Both of these great prompt sites are on my favorite reads side bar, click on the links to go have a read.
I wanted to share a view of a man I remember, names changed of course. Though he is gone now I believe.
His name can be Trevor, for this story.
Trevor was in the nursing home side of the hospital I worked in, a long term patient, which usually meant that he was there to be looked after until he was no more. He was a minister of religion and due to alcohol related disease still thought that he was. He would minister to the other patients and staff and pretend that that was his job. He believed it was. He was a strange mixture, showing himself straight and upright, but when you went around the corner and he believed you out of sight and earshot he would cry for his mother like a baby and fall into his own personal hell. A hell be-known only to himself for he chose not to share it with us.
Trevor was an educated man and his room was filled with books of different types from novels to poetry, philosophy and religion. In fact it was quite a cluttered mess, paper every where in all forms. A real pain to do the bi-weekly dust and clean in there and the daily vacuum as things were placed in piles on each flat surface and every corner of the floor and he didn't like them disturbed. Supposedly because he knew where to find his things that way. He barely had room to get around them and settle his large frame into the lounge chair in the corner.
But they were his.
I remember his ex wife, they were long separated and I only saw her visit twice in the time he was with us. She was a real old tartar, but due to circumstance I am sure she had lots of her own stories to tell. They had two sons, one of which was estranged from his father, the other of which Trevor thought very highly had been brain damaged in a car accident many years earlier. Trevor spoke of him often and of the horrible phone call he received from the hospital when the accident occurred. Of how he was reluctant and traveled slowly, hesitantly, to the hospital where his son lay horribly injured, afraid to see and learn of the extent of his injury. He visited his father often and we could see that he must have been an intelligent boy before his accident. He was able to calm and reason with his father where others failed and they would talk literature together. Trevor could become violent, not so much physically but verbally though capability of the physical was not beyond him.
The patient across the hall from him had a running battle with Trevor. They hated each other with a passion but neither of them was willing to be moved to another ward as that would have been giving in. No there was no way either would do that. So (lets call him Harry) would sit in his doorway and glare at Trevor until Trevor either got up and walked out to the dining room or got so annoyed that he would threaten Harry and call him names. It was obvious to the staff that they enjoyed themselves. It was quite funny really, these two old guys, showing their aggression and neither willing to concede to the other. Trevor called Harry "The cockatoo". It is an Aussie saying meaning "The lookout" or sticky beak and Harry would antagonise Trevor by being the quintessential. Cockatoos always post a bird as lookout to warn the other birds of danger while they feed on the ground, and to the call, they all take off and away to safety. Hahaha.
Trevor had a very good appetite but always complained about the hospital food as a matter of course. Though he always ate everything given to him. I can still remember his coffee, made black with two sugars from my many rounds with the tea trolley. I liked him he was quite the character and a good man despite his outbursts which were attributed to his condition. It was sad to see a man like him in that state. He wasn't as great an age of some of the other patients.
We used to say about the patients we cared for, "If you don't laugh, you would cry".
Trevor I am pleased to say was one of the lucky people who left our care via the front door rather than the back door. He was with us for over a year and was transferred to another facility on the coast. He left in high spirits and with anticipation of a nicer place to stay with a view of the ocean.
I hope he found it.
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Safe"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is the word "Safe".
What a word, what a question. The T.V. has been on since 5.30 this morning and in between work, etc I have been watching the horror of a huge super storm about to launch itself upon the north eastern coast of Australia. A cyclone called Yasi that is 500km across and has wind speeds of 295 kmh, categorized as a level 5 event, the highest you can get. It is predicted to hit the coast around 10.00 tonight near the town of Innesfall in Queensland. It is now, according to reports too late to leave and the evacuation shelters are all full. This cyclone is the largest ever in recorded history we have had to deal with in this country. In an age of media and computer communications the event is right in our faces, in our lounge rooms and workplaces.
I am safe being many hundreds of km below that area but I have a knot in my stomach thinking about the people who live and are visiting that area of my country.

Are you safe in your bed
Wrapped in sleep and warmth
while the world trembles.
Man can never
conquer nature and her terrors
And wonders.
Earth, water, wind and fire.
Essential to life in balance
Out of balance
we all know the story.
We are paid back in kind by her.

Or are we, I don't know anymore. Is this part of the earths cycles or the result of mankind's interference with her cycles. When you look at it we do not have a great deal, in fact only a handful of years in comparison to the age of the earth, from which to draw our information to make that comparison. Science analyzes and concludes to later be found wrong in it's assumption. So how do we know. All we can try to do is the right thing, as we believe and hope the best of an out come.
We don't really know. But we have to accept it, because...... well, we can't fight nature.
But we can try to live within it.
I am being fatalistic today aren't I ? Scary Scary stuff.
It is hot here, being summer, of course. We have several days of total fire ban despite the cooler wetter summer we have had. To prove the fact that we can't rely on the protection that such a season provides, there are fires burning around our surrounding state of New South Wales and further south in the state of Victoria in areas which were recently flooded. Hmmmmmm. Safe?
Something to ponder, especially if you are in the midst of a northern hemisphere chill.
That's all Folks.
Love Linda.