It’s those little things that take us back to our childhood. Reading a dinner menu, I came across a pork dish, with an accompanying apple-based sauce. I just had to have it. The dish was like nothing I’d had before, a bit fancy and full of flavours, cooking techniques and jargon: a pork chop, a balsamic jus, an apple reduction, crispy bacon bits, confit mushrooms, garlic mash potato, deep fried carrot string and a sprinkling of micro-herbs on top. But to me, this was a simple dish – think 1940’s Humphrey Bogart – it was a plate of “porkshops and appleshauce”.
This pronunciation was made famous by Peter Brady of the Brady Bunch staple TV show. My sister and I used to say “porkshops and appleshauce” over and over again to each other in the 1970’s (a long time ago). Yes, confession – we watched the Brady Bunch. So this fancy innocuous dish transported me back several decades to two kids impersonating Peter Brady impersonating Bogart until the laughter takes over and we can’t speak anymore . Here is a snippet of Peter Brady immortalizing the phrase for all time.
Happy Chinese New Year! Always a fun time with fireworks, lots of yummy food and the dancing dragons. Everyone is upbeat, smiling and catching up with family. Yum Cha is especially good at this time of year because of the bustle and pace of the restaurants. So if you get a chance book in for a session and absorb the spirit of the celebration along with the food.
This year is the year of the Rooster. The Chinese zodiac comes around every 12 years. I’m a Rooster so this is my year! As an Earth Rooster I am lovely, generous and trustworthy. Always the positive reinforcement so look up what animal you are and see your good qualities. When your animal year comes around, it apparently brings bad luck. One in twelve is not so bad, but it can be avoided for those superstitious types. Red is the universal panacea to the Chinese. It brings good luck, it protects your house and it even has Feng Sui applications. It is even more potent when given by an elder relative – you know who you are, so I’ll be expecting something Red in order to survive this year 🙂
The title is a little longer than normal, but the journey was longer than normal too. Today, I received my certificate and academic transcript for the recent bout of study undertaken. This had morphed through three different courses and two separate institutions, but I got there in the end. As they say, anything worth doing …
And what a ride with lots of good new information and concepts including a few lateral thinking challenges. My thinking is normally very linear and logical for a scientist and stretching my boundaries to the creative was a worthy goal. It enabled me to see and understand another rarely seen side of me, as well as meet like-minded individuals with which to share the journey.
As per usual, I would encourage anyone to see if they can’t discover another side of themselves and mine the rich environment for creating a greater-than-the-original version of oneself in which to pursue this mortal life. Diversity and expanding boundaries brings a richness with which to enjoy it all. So what are we going to do now? What is the next adventure?
After a cold and wet winter, two things have combined to give us a hint of conditions to come. We changed our clocks to daylight savings time which resulted in lighter and longer evenings. The weather also got in on the act yesterday with a shinning performance of 27.2C to give a taste of the warmth to come.
People’s spirits were automatically lifted with the warmth and the sparkling clear skies. The extended daylight hours also give rise to new possibilities for afternoon and evening endeavors: all manner of outdoor activities; a bit of gardening; barbecues with friends; a glass of wine relaxing in the twilight; a walking dinner along a river bank; post-dinner forays to the ice-cream shop. Start using your imagination now and write a list so you don’t miss any opportunity to enjoy this double act of light and warmth.
With the promise of things to come, let’s look to the remainder of this year and consider the endless possibilities of what else we could do, see or achieve and get creative about making the most of this serendipity. Here comes the Sun!
More street art, random creativity at work. I’ve seen these ribbon pictures popping up all over town on chain-link fences. Here are two images that I snapped near the Burnley Golf Course.
They are quite creative and given their prevalence in public places, I think they are the current trend in street art. I see these images almost daily and they have lasted a while now, so they are obviously not considered graffiti and seem to be tolerated by the community.
I don’t know if this form of art has a name or any hidden meaning, but it is probably like most artistic pieces – it is open to interpretation. To me, I think the artist of the first image is trying to prompt social consciousness and provoke thought. Contemplate the next instillation of street art that you see and how it speaks to you. Appreciate the opportunity for introspection in this crazy fast-paced existence that we call life, and reflect on random art in your world.
Comedy abounds when you choose to see an International friendly soccer match at the MCG. The game was exciting with several saves by the Juventus keeper and three goals with a final score of Juventus 2 defeating Tottenham 1.
The amusing part was the temperature – very cold. I wore many layers including thermals (top and bottom), as well as a long thick woolen coat, gloves, a knitted hat and scarf, plus a blanky. I was impersonating the Michelin man. With all this paraphernalia, I was just okay (not cold). I had planned for the open air, the cold night and sitting sedentary for long periods of time. There were some that were impervious to the weather, which I found astounding. Young kids were running around in shirt sleeves or soccer jerseys completely oblivious to the frigid conditions. Most of the adults were in coats, beanies and scarves, but there were a set that had dressed to impress and wore suit and tie, or dress and heels.
This eclectic mix of people and wardrobes was rather amusing and I had to smile at practical versus stylish where one suffered for their fashion. But the thing that made me chuckle was when the sprinklers came on while the players were “warming up” on the pitch before the game. Being sprayed with cold water would then make it doubly hard to “warm up”. Life tells us to look out for the unexpected, so check for surprise sprinklers next time you’re on a sports field.
To those who have read a blog or two, you might be aware that I had a sabbatical from my life with ankle surgery, so I put a few things on hold. Because I needed to relearn how to walk, I had put on hold my services at a local dog shelter. You can’t walk a dog, when you can hardly walk yourself, but this weekend I returned to SADS – Save-a-Dog Scheme, which is a no-kill shelter. http://saveadog.org.au/
It was like ‘riding a bike’ as the saying goes. The puppy dogs are always happy to see you. You chip in, clean pens and pick up poo. Once all the chores are done, you get to walk the dogs, to give them some freedom from their pens in the outside world. Their exuberance and love of life is refreshing, their curiosity unbridled. They want to see and smell everything and their waggly tails show their appreciation. Their effervescent happiness is contagious and you can’t help but smile yourself.
I am back on the roster to volunteer my time. It’s an alternative workout that provides more than exercise endorphins, but lots of licks and wet noses too. This is what I call fuzz therapy, so get creative with your exercise routine and see what sort of fun you can have while working out.
I ran away on a gloriously decadent holiday to the Kimberley (more to follow in future weeks). It was so different to my current life: stunning scenery, amazing wildlife, beautiful weather, wonderful food and several cocktails for good measure. I went unplugged and experienced a level of freedom away from the cares and responsibilities of my life. My holiday was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, nothing that remotely related to my day to day life. I had a holiday from my life and that’s what a holiday is meant to be!
I had the chance to meet new and very interesting people: crew, guests and expedition staff. They were a very diverse bunch, all with unique stories. Needless to say that between the people and places of the Kimberley, “new” became the “norm”. Therefore I was indeed thankful to return home to my house, my cats, my family and friends, my life and my routine (which I have a new appreciation for). Most of all I was glad to come home and have a solid 8 hours of sleep in my own bed. We need to refresh what we take for granted as sometimes it’s the simple things like sleep that we don’t realise are so important to us. So good night and sweet dreams. x
It is always nice to have guests visit, but I did get a pleasant surprise when I went to the toilet and found a possum lurking in the window. It would seem that he or she had been caught out during daylight hours and had thought the best hiding spot was amongst the passion fruit leaves outside my toilet window. I’m not sure that I would have made the same choice. Hanging out in toilet windows might be high off the ground and secluded, but the rushing water noises and associated smells would counter that security.
The possum barely flinched at my entry and use of the facilities. Hoping he or she was not dead or injured, I tapped on the window frame and he or she lifted their head to sense the surrounds and any potential threats. I was lucky enough to snap a photo, before darkness fell and he or she slipped back into their world.
A young brush tail possum was my unexpected guest for the day. It is good to be surprised now and again and to share your world with someone or something new. Keep an eye out for those unexpected visitors because they can bring a change of pace and a new perspective.
I thoroughly recommend a hearty laugh, a laugh shared with friends, a laugh to the point of tears. I watched “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy over the weekend and it was a spectacular piece of silly and a rather enjoyable diversion. Laughter is good for the soul. It had its laugh out loud moments, as well as its silly giggly moments, sometime to the point of tears (Melissa’s fight scene in the kitchen with a fry pan). Some of the dialogue was outrageous and ridiculously brilliant. These are the snippets you remember and a smile forms at the recall of these lighthearted moments. It was simple and easy entertainment. Melissa McCarthy was also funny in “The Heat” with Sandra Bullock and “Bridesmaids” where she teamed up with Director Paul Feig for all three movies.
I think this movie predisposed me, but later that night (after a shower) I put my underpants on backwards and it forced a laugh out loud moment. I haven’t done either of those two things in quite awhile. It is good to know that lightness of mood can remain with you, as sometimes you are not cognisant that it had gone away. Maybe do a health check on your own mood and if in need, go and do or watch something silly. We are always happier with a lighter and brighter mood.