Saturday, January 31, 2009
The beady little eyes peeping under this gate belong to a little yappy dog called Walter. Walter becomes agitated each time we pass his house on our dog-walk and he desperately tries to squeeze himself under this little gap. Since the photo was taken the owner has placed a strip of wire mesh under the gate which makes me think Walter has succeeded in his super squeezing attempts at least once.
Walter's claim to fame lies in his heroic ability to locate missing puddy cats. Walter tracked the neighbour's missing cat to a storm water drain from where it was able to be rescued before the rain came.
This superdog deed resulted in Walter being knighted by the local community - he is now known as Sir Walter..
He is still just as yappy.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The song featured above was written in the 1950s and use as the tune for a participation dance many of us are familiar with from kindergarten days.
The dance is known variously as the Hokey Pokey, the Hokey Cokey - in UK and Canada and the Hokey Tokey in New Zealand, possibly to differentiate it from the other Hokey Pokey.
And that brings us to icecream...
Hokey Pokey is a slang term for icecream used in the 19th century and early 20th century, especially by street vendors spruiking their wares.
The term may have been derived from 'hocus pocus' or from similar sounding Italian words.
Hokey Pokey is one thing that New Zealanders can lay claim to 100% without any question of doubt!
(Unlike pavlova...jandals...lamingtons...) Made with little balls of hard glassy toffee in NZ or with chunks of honeycomb in Australia, it is the 2nd best seller after vanilla in New Zealand.
If you haven't done your exercise today how about dancing a little Hokey Pokey - if you've forgotten the tune look at:
And if you haven't had your sweet fix for the day why not try the other Hokey Pokey...you won't regret it...
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is a card I made using a transparency of my father and his sister in their youth. The text comes from a poem called, 'To the Virgins to Make Much of Time', - true...
The poem is by Robert Herrick and you can see below that this poem features as the first entry in my oldest 'kept' journal of collections and musings, circa 1969.
The poem encourages youth to enjoy life before it is too late.
The first verse goes:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
old time is still a flying
and that same flower that smiles today
tomorrow will be dying.
The poem is particularly poignant in retrospect as the siblings featured in my card, were to lose their older brother not long after this photograph was taken, in his first few weeks of action in the Pacific war.
Robert Herrick, the English poet, lived and wrote between 1591 and 1674. The great Latin poet Horace wrote his ode, from where we get the famous words; carpe diem, eons before Herrick wrote his poem, and about the same time as Horace either Virgil or Ausonius wrote a poem that includes the line that says:
non-collige vigo rosas
gather - girl -the roses
Ecclesiates says in the bible: 'Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy and a merry heart."
Isaiah also said 'Eat and drink for tomorrow we die.'
It is over 65 years since the photo of my father and aunt was taken.
It is over 40 years since I began the journal featuring 'Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may.."
And today, at this stage in the early autumn of my life the carpe diem summons of existential caution has gained even more weight and power.
So my blogging friends:
Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
After posting the picture of ANZAC bikkies yesterday I was musing on the endearing habit of Australians ( oh, ok, New Zealanders too) to shorten well used nouns. So here we have my cossie out to dry. Cossie rhymes with mozzie, that ubiquitous little critter that sucks your blood and spreads Dengue fever in the Northern Territory.
One of the most delicious diminutives would have to be the pav. The pavlova's origins are hottly disputed across the Tasman but there is some consensus that the dessert was created to honour the tour of Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, either in the 1920s or 1930s.
The earliest record of a pav appears in 'The Rangiora Mothers' Union Cookery Book' of 1933.
A good pav is crispy, crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the inside and can be decorated with any fruit in season, but is especially good with kiwi fruit or raspberries, mango and strawberries.
Monday, January 26, 2009
butter (4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 160°C (325° F)
- Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until butter melts.
- Dissolve the carbonate of soda into the boiling water and add to the butter mixture.
- Sift the flour with the salt and add the sugar, coconut, and rolled oats.
- Stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients until it forms a stiff dough.
- Drop small lumps of dough onto a lightly greased baking pan. Press down on each with a fork. Make sure you leave room between the biscuits for them to expand.
- Bake until golden brown, about 18 - 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the biscuits rest for a minute or two. Then carefully remove the biscuits to wire racks for cooling.
- Store in an airtight container. Makes about 36 biscuits.
I love a sunburnt country
A land of sweeping plains
Of ragged mountain ranges
Of drought and flooding rains
I love her far horizons
I love her jewel sea
Her beauty and her terror-
The wide brown land for me.
Dorothea Mackellar 1886-1968
I had prepared an extensive A Day post with flags, coat of arms, recipes, songs and poetry, but something in there was not acceptable to Mr Blogg and no matter what I tried it wouldn't publish. In frustration I gave up and settled for a bikkie.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Yesterday I read an excellent review of a new book on the life and work of Marc Chagall. It is written by Jackie Wullschlager, (chief art critic of the Financial Times) and published by Allen Lane. The author is a noted art critic, historian and novelist and this review claims she has made a superb job of showing us Chagall's take on the highs and lows of the 20th century- as the reviewer puts it - 'Chagall's work is a frieze of the joys and terrors of our parents and grandparents.'
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I am getting into the mood by using a verse from Rolf Harris' very popular 'Tie me kangaroo down sport' which was written in 1957. Although acceptable then, we shouldn't sing one of the original verses as it is no longer p.c.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Autumn evening: on a withered bough
A solitary crow is sitting now.
Although not the end of autumn here, in fact we have only minor seasonal variation, this haiku does follow on from yesterday's crow mention.
The card I made with collage printed papers and one of Utumaro Kitagawa's 'Floating World' geisha prints.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The sale of my old gym and the subsequent cancellation of all classes there meant that I had to go hunting for a new place to pump and stretch. It was either the cavernous venue with no windows and a hundred glistening bodies or the small health centre in a resort on the lake at the edge of town. As the membership fees were identical there was for me no option. I went for the quiet, the small and the salubrious - if somewhat ostentatious.
The path leading up from the carpark is overhung with a beautiful cerise cascading bauhinia. They have these orchid like flowers (Bauhinia is the national flower of Hong Kong- if it still has one), and the really interesting 2-lobed leaves.
As we enter the resort central facilities building we are accosted by a bevy of Greco-Roman statues. Everywhere you look there's a dead eyed fellow looking back at you.
We pass the obligatory golf shop, restaurant and peaceful reception area and climb the Tara staircase to find the health centre.
This torso greets you at the end of the hallway - rather a strange and incongruent choice of art for the spa and gym entry!
Here's we we swan around at Aqua and at any other time we wish...
If you take that door to the right you enter the inner sanctum of the gym and its trinity of pain sweat and muscles. I feel a little like Dorothy from the wizard of Oz when I come here except I've been plonked down in Florida rather than Texas.
One of the best aspects of the new gym is the restaurant and coffee shop that can make a reasonable coffee- usually 7/10, tho yesterday was a fizzer. This crow and his friend were perched on the tree adjacent to our table yesterday and swooped down upon the uneaten food nearby as soon as the diners had left.
The crows on our tin roof wake us each morning with their discordant parody of early morning birdsong. They pose a problem anywhere you find rubbish, such as schoolyards.
For all the new gym's ostentation and preciousness it is a very pleasant place to work out. The staff and the members are friendly and welcoming and I think I've made the right choice.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
One of the things that I love about this region of Australia is that no matter what time of year it is there are always colourful flowers to see on my regular dog walks.
And as every dog walk by nature requires a doogie, here is the star of today's show - Kealia, named by my son Sam, whose dog it really is, after a surfing beach in Kauai, Hawaii that he is particularly fond of.
My poinciana and most others around this area flower in November- December heralding Christmas. But today I noticed that there are a few late bloomers about.
My youngest daughter and I have a competition each year to see who can spot the first red bloom on our tree. Nov 1st is our earliest sighting.
As Kealia and I leave the house for our walk, I see across the street the trailing thunbergia on the neighbour's wall.
Ixora or Prince of Orange lives up to its name and seems to flower most of the year.
The yellow flowering cottonwood tree grows prolifically along the shores of many tropical coastlines. I found from experience that it is not the tree to plant on your 600 m block.
Crotons have to be one of the hardiest most reliable splashes of colour both in the garden and as indoor plants.
There are many boat hire outlets along the Noosa River shoreline.
This white cockatoo and friends were resting in a casaurina or she oak many of which grow along the eastern seaboard of Qld
I don't know what seed this is but it is a beautiful display of natural science
The busy summer tourist season leaves behind some remnants that perhaps we would rather not see but they served to remind me that life is composed of the good and the bad and the ugly and its the contrastive juxtaposing and dissonance of these that give life its colour, texture and edge.
The giant seed pods of the poinciana tree on the grass of my nature strip.
The beautiful frangipani tree or plumeria as it is known in Hawaii. The species look similar however our variety has a less leathery looking leaf and is deciduous.
We have arrived at the end of our journey for today and one hot dog, with a very droopy and drippy tongue is ready for a swim in the river.