Friday, May 27, 2011

Melody Gardot - I love this voice....

Three days ago Mike and I were sitting
in a seafood restaurant in Launceston Tasmania,
the sun beaming through the windows onto our corner table
facing the water, boats drifting slowly by,
two flies fighting on the window pane,
the background music not at all imposing,
until I heard this voice,
which made the ambiance even more magic.

I asked the waitress who it was singing
and she kindly sourced it for me.

Do you likee?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A few days away...

"The Balconies" Grampians National Park

Last month we hit the road for a ten day holiday at Lake Fyans in the beautiful Grampians National Park, in the western district of Victoria. Unfortunately we didn't get to see The Balconies or any of the lookouts, waterfalls and touristy places as the area suffered major landslip in January after a huge storm swept through, causing damage to walking tracks and roads.  Boulders as tall as a house smashed through roads. However, we did visit Hall's Gap and got as far as Lake Bellfield by road.  

The Grampians feature a striking series of sandstone mountain ranges. The ranges were named in 1836 by Surveyor General of New South Wales Sir Thomas Mitchell after the Grampian Mountains in his native Scotland, but are also known by the name Gariwerd, from one of the local Australian Aboriginal languages, either the Jardwadjali or Djab Wurrung language.  Wikipedia

Our friends' touring home 
with boat up ahead 

The little 2-bedroom cabin we stayed in

View from cabin

Grampians in distance

Mike in his pontoon boat

Flower on the foreshore
haven't found what it is

Hall's Gap shops
- all were flooded 3 months earlier
and the picnic area washed away

View from Lake Bellfield wall

Still fishing...

Tomorrow we're heading off 'overseas' again; actually it's a bit of a joke here in Australia, we say 'OS' when flying to Tasmania, which is a little less than an hour away over Bass Strait.  We'll only be away four days; hope the weather is kind, it's a lot colder over there.  I'll bring home photos.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Dream for Winter....

In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage
With blue cushions.
We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait
In each soft corner.

You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows pulling faces.
Those snarling monsters, a population
Of black devils and black wolves.

Then you'll feel your cheek scratched...
A little kiss, like a crazy spider,
Will run round your neck...

And you'll say to me: "Find it!" bending your head
- And we'll take a long time to find that creature
- Which travels a lot...

Arthur Rimbaud
In a railway carriage, October 7th 1870

As translated by Oliver Bernard:
Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems (1962)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jack's got it!!

This young fellow is going places; he appeared on Australia's Got Talent two weeks ago, receiving a standing ovation.  Since then his life has been one constant round of TV and radio interviews.  It's worth a look.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Planets align over Australian skies....

Planets align in the North Eastern skies
looking from Sydney's Western suburbs
Pic:  Bill Hearne

The alignment of the four planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, happens only once every 50-100 years and very rarely on Friday 13th.  The visual treat was visible just above the horizon around sunrise.

Professor Fred Watson, astronomer-in-charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in NSW, said, "Venus is the brightest of all the planets and stunningly bright at the moment.  Jupiter (will be) right next to it Friday morning, about half a degree away.  Then the other planets, Mercury and Mars, are sort of in accompaniment - Mercury's nearer than Mars is and Mars is the one that is nearest to the horizon at the moment.  That's four of the five naked-eye planets all in a fairly close-knit community in the early morning sky.  What's special about this one is that they've come together in such a tight grouping."

Astrologer Douglas Parker believes the alignment has the power to influence behaviour and emotions down on Earth.  He says his horoscope chart shows the four planets are actually very close to each other for about a week.  "Jupiter and Venus together indicates people born around this time will have film-star mannerisms, be extremely popular and have considerable artistic ability," he said. 

And, he says, it gets better.  "Venus and Mars together in the sky indicates people born around this time will have a strong sexual magnetism and a strongly sensual nature," he said.

But Professor Watson says the alignment of the planets has no impact on human behaviour. "The whole science community, not just astronomy, tells us that the planets have no direct influence on anything that goes on here on Earth," he said.  "The gravitational attraction of the planets, which is the only thing that could make any difference, is far too small to have any effect, unlike the moon which is a small object relatively nearby that does have an effect - it raises tides.

"The ancient tradition of trying to say that planets influence people will take great notice of the alignment of the planets, but from an astronomical and scientific point of view, and might I say from a reasonable point of view, they have no impact whatsoever."

I'm more inclined to believe Professor Watson.

Source: ABC News and The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

'Somewhere' was here this afternoon....

4:30pm this afternoon
from the office window

it has been a bitterly cold day;
I should wear the camera
around my neck
as I missed the wind squall
which sent coloured leaves flying

~ from the kitchen window ~

it is the coldest start to May for 10 years

another rainbow at 5pm
we might have snow in the morning

'troubles melt like lemon drops'
when you stand and take this in

Monday, May 9, 2011


Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis


When snow falls thick
among bare aspens,
I will wade down into

this vale and begin
to make my soul.
When midnight dawns

frozen with no moon
to silver the night,
I will begin with words

made visible, frozen
words rising on no
wind among the black

blind eyes of bare aspen,
rising into midnight
sky with none to hear

except sleeping ravens,
and the world will grow
rife with strange green fire.

Southern Lights - Aurora Australis

Borealis can be seen in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia; Australis in Antactica, the southern tip of South America and Australia.

My son and his wife are currently on a boat somewhere visiting China, South Korea, Russia, Alaska and Canada, flying home via New Zealand at the end of the month.  It made me think of the Northern Lights and my hope that he experiences the display whilst there.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!

To hear your voice
To watch you smile
To sit with you
and talk awhile
To stroll with you
among your trees
To pick a flower
or pull some weeds
To laugh with you
To hear your ideas
To hold your hand
and calm my fears
All the moments
we have shared together
will live in my heart
forever and ever.

Author unknown

Myrtle Mary Broussard c.1934

Myrtle Mary Hewish (nee Broussard) 1975
20/1/1909 - 29/11/1987

Love you, miss you so much.

Art: 1. Bouquet of Flowers
Jan van Huysum 1724
2. Henry Alexander Bowler

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Italian-style Chicken Stew...Take Two...

There has been a chill in the air today, so I thought a hearty chicken stew would warm the cockles tonight. I posted this recipe back in June 2009. So, for those in the Southern Hemisphere, here it is again.

For those in the Northern climes, very soon I'll post a fantastic Mayonnaise recipe...I found it online, can't remember where now but it is super; I make it weekly and I'm sure we'll be using it all year around.

We had this the other night. The above photo is a bit yucky-looking (before it went into the oven) but it was so yum. We had steamed cauliflower and zucchini with it, which gave a bit of crunch.

I know, a Winter dish and most of you are into Summer but make a note - highly recommended for a cold day.

2.5kg chicken, cut into 12 pieces
3 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp sea salt (I only sprinkled S & P)
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 onions
6 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, bruised
1 cup dry white wine
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
6 anchovy fillets, chopped
3/4 cup pitted black olives
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Place chicken in bowl. Add flour, salt and pepper and toss well to coat chicken.
2. Heat oil in flameproof casserole on stove and fry half the chicken pieces for 5 to 6 minutes until browned. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
3. Add onion, garlic and rosemary to casserole and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Return chicken to pan, add wine and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, stock, anchovies and olives and bring to boil. Cover with tight fitting lid and transfer to oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove lid and cook for further 15 minutes until chicken is cooked and sauce thickened. Scatter over parsley and serve with grilled cheesy polenta triangles.

I haven't made the Polenta triangles yet but will do them one day soon. DMJ bought home a Slow Cooker last night. Have yet to read the book and might give it a go tomorrow.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blogged out...

Besides the noble art of getting things done,
there is a nobler art of leaving things undone.
The wisdom of life consists in
the elimination of nonessentials.

Lin Yutang

only for a wee while.....