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Artworks by Florent Diverchy of WordsnClouds, with gratitude

Indian women in the kitchen !

I follow many cooking / recipe / food / chef’s blogs, and regularly come across recipes that are commendably and deliciously vegetarian (my UK mate Elaine, for instance, is simply vegetarian, like me).

Of late, however – in fact, within about the last ten days – I’ve discovered three new ones to drool over, and they are ALL Indian. And the attraction Indian cooking has for me is that it’s very largely vegetarian, and full of flavour. I like the Indian spices that seem to be the most preponderant – cumin, coriander (I can eat it dried and pounded), brown mustard, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and chilli. (Chili …?)

I do realize that Indian cuisine (or whatever is the word in Hindi) comprises several regional areas and differences; but there is an undeniable element of … um … over-all similarity. It is indeed a broad church, Indian food; but vegetarianism is common to all its followers.

The three sites found lurking in the blogosphere are as follows, in order of their discovery by me:

and all present recipes that have my jaw dropping and my greedy piggy little eyes popping. (OK, I will admit this is quite an easy thing to achieve …)


Herein followeth my whinge: entirely unjustifiable and egocentric, as well as being based on so narrow a client-base that— well, you’ll see.

As you know,

  • I live on my own.
  • In a small flat.
  • With almost no storage space (I had to buy a double-door cupboard to use as a pantry).
  • With two friends in Sydney.
  • And my income is the age pension.
"Four Seasons Magazine"

“Four Seasons Magazine”

This list adds up to the facts that I cannot buy any ingredient I want whenever it pops its head up above the lintel of a chef’s ingredients list; and this is because I will scarcely ever get to use it enough to warrant either its cost or the space it will take to store it.

So things like saffron threads are out of the question, for starters. And I am having to ask this unfortunate trio endless questions like “is tikka masala paste the stuff you’d normally make curry with ? – and will I use it much if I buy some ?” –

As to why I post this whinge, I believe it’s because I hope to reach out to them IN ADVANCE, if you get my drift: to alert them to the fact that every time they post one of these utterly divine dishes, I am going to have to put the questions like “is chaat masala something I’d use fairly often ?” –, or “any idea where I can get tamarind paste ?” –

Having me follow you is not guaranteed to make your life easy – not in any way. The photog.s get comments about the content of their shots rather than the shots themselves; and the cooks are now used to be grilled (oh ! – unintentional pun !) about aspects of their recipes; the travellers have become reluctantly used to being told about where *I*’ve been; and the poets sigh and roll their eyes when receiving comments about the foot, or length of the lines, or whatever.

One day I might turn into a nice person and STOP COMMENTING !     [grin]

I love youse all – especially these three clever ladies, right now …

About four weeks left to go !

This is my excited face !

Wot ? – you don’t think I look all that excited ? That must be because I can’t even take a decent shot with my webcam. Put a camera of any sort in my charge, and you get crap. Voilà.

Well, you’ll just have to believe me: I’m bloody excited, OK ?!!

On August 23rd, Doctor Who‘s new Doctor will be seen in the first of the new series. Peter Capaldi, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY !!!

Stringer and I used to watch re-screened old episodes, back in … oh, I think it would’ve been around ’75 (both of us recalled watching it when Oz first got television – his side of the country much earlier than my then side). I never at any time saw the original Doctor, but from Troughton to Baker, almost every episode.

That, for reasons I can’t recall, was it: every other Doctor from Davison to McCann was completely unknown to the Stringers. I can’t honestly say I gave or give a damn, either.     :-|

It was Chic who discovered The Doctor’s reappearance in the shape of Christopher Ecclestone in 2005. Chic had long been diagnosed with cancer, so he wasn’t active and watched much more TV than previously; and this meant his scanning the weekly program – something neither of us used to do.

We were instantly drawn into it: what early Doctor Who fans could resist the wonderful new CGI fx ? And although we were both rapidly shat off by Eccleston’s CONSTANT utterance, “Fantastic !”, we loved the storylines.

And then …

Ah. Deep sigh … A bloke who took it seriously, and put his heart and soul into it. Easily the best Doctor ever. Terrific storylines. A series of wonderful companions – every one of them. David Tennant can never be overtaken by anyone in my affections.

But now ! – another real actor, and a mature man ! Someone I hold in huge esteem as a performer – even though friends say it’s because of his ‘Malcolm’ performances and the similarity of our language: only watch this if you’re feeling strong (and I’m not as bad as he is !). And if you care to read this article in “The Guardian” about his first interview on the rôle, you’ll see perhaps why I’m excited: it’s the bit about no-more-OTT-scripts. I have posted a comment that will help you understand all.

Try this one, too: but I fear they haven’t published my comment. Must be because I was horrible enough to include “WTF ??” in it, eh ?

Very short post (of puzzlement)

I have three times over the last two days found  myself reading the phrase “lucked out” within blogs, both in posts and in comments. What puzzles me beyond measure that is on all three occasions it’s been used in the sense of someone’s being LUCKY !

The phrase doesn’t mean lucky: it means that you missed out on luck.

Where has this totally erroneous interpretation come from, and why recently ?


Addendum:  Rather than respond individually to everyone, here is my explanation. The phrase means my version – the exact opposite of Americans’ – in England, and I grew up reading English books. Amazing, then, that I came across your version only now !


I cried … and laughed !

Do you know about Sir Nicholas Winton ?

I didn’t – not till I read a story from “Open Culture” just now.

Again, it’s roughly a quarter of an hour long, but in my opinion – of course, a humble one ! – well worth the time, when you can find some.

This is in fact a “60 Minutes” segment from the US program, and is very well done. The technical quality of the YouTube video could be a lot better; but hey, who’s complaining …?

And this link is a kind of sequel (prequel ? – aucune idée !).

Possibly the worst aspect of TROWC

The tiny little shit George Brandis is our Attorney-General. He is absolutely representative of TROWC: spends nearly all his time looking smug and what’s left over looking righteously angry. (Everything TROWC does is done righteously, btw …)

The cartoon the above link takes you to is sort of funny.

But it’s far more frightening, because in fact it’s absolutely true. The tiny little shit is gradually closing down everyone.

Well, everyone with any sort of clout. Happily, I don’t have any.

Re-blog of re-blog: is this allowed ?

A blogging mate of mine, over at Seeking my Lost Voice, who is going through some testing times at the moment, posted a re-blog today.

I was so enamoured of it that I simply HAD to re-blog that ! – but I didn’t want to think of what images I might end up with in my Media Library after not one but two re-blogs, so I decided simply to give you the link.

Many of you are aware of my … ahhh … non-religious proclivities, so will not be surprised by it.

I am impressed because the article is in the language of the ordinary person – me ! – and not in academic or quasi-academic phraseology. This bloke writes it like it is, imnsho.

I CRUSH my inner masochist !

Bloody hell … listening to “Outlander” was fast becoming a nightmare, and something had to be done.

The problem was this: all 28 disks contain tracks labelled, imaginatively and helpfully (NOT !!!), Track 1, Track 2, Track 3 and you get the picture. This meant that I could upload to my little Sandisk SanClip Ultra only 1 disk at a time; because if I uploaded an entire 7 disks (1 folder) in one hit, I would simply have Track 1 seven times, Track 2 X 7 and so on. [I've found in the past that the repeats of the track numbers having (1) or (2), etc., following the numbers does nothing at all to unscramble the .mp3 player's teensy brain.]

So there I was, uploading a single disk at a time to listen to, and growing gradually more grumpy. (I know, I know …)

I knocked off trying to sort it to receive my weekly yummy delivery of fresh fruit and vegies from my excellent supplier, and made lunch – finely sliced little potatoes, sliced onion, sliced mushroom (a biggie !) and the brussels sprouts left over from my soup of the other night. It was SO delicious that my mood improved in spite of myself, and I was immediately able to see the solution ! (Btw, did you know that brussels sprouts are DIVINE in vegetable soup ?)

DSCN0044Went for a hunt here in my study, and before too long found them – two Walkmen that Chic had given me when I was being operated on.  Well, actually, one he’d given me ages before, but I did something idiotic to it and couldn’t manage to keep using it. So he went and bought me another for when I was languishing in the horse’s pistol. And I’d forgotten they were even here, at first ! But I even found that I’d kept the instructions for the newer one, so was able to change the batteries and MAKE IT WORK. Struth !! – talk about yer technical, eh ? Sometimes I amaze myself, and that’s a fact.



This weekly writing challenge focuses on the “weekly” part — start your post today, and build on it for the next four before publishing. Who knows where you’ll end up?


“Chinese Whispers” was a great source of fun to all of us, as kids: we were four girls, then – enough for most games without having to bring in anyone else. (Unhappily for her, my little sister was born when I, the youngest till then, was nine and the eldest sixteen; so she was never able to participate in these activities.)

Of course there was occasionally an element of deliberate misunderstanding, in an attempt to make a round more hilarious; but by and large we played ‘by the book’, as it were (that’s my Trekkie background showing through – my favourite Star Trek movie, “The Search for Spock” !).

[end day 1]

In fact I’ve been a Trekkie for a loooong time – since the days of its being on TV with extraordinarily bad special fx, which we willingly overlooked. I think I can remember that the main actors – Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley and Doohan – sort of went through their paces without much enthusiasm. It wasn’t until Stringer and I, almost by mistake, found ourselves in a movie theatre watching “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” that this historical fact became obvious: here they were doing their best. Enjoying themselves.

I shall NEVER forget the wide shot after the end of the opening scene that turns out to have been a training exercise and the ‘bodies’ strewn all over the deck are starting to think about becoming alive again … Absolutely enormous doors open and incredibly bright light spills in; and there, tiny against those huge doors, is a man … and it is Captain James T. Kirk (well, actually Admiral, now). And when we cut to the closeup, he is looking MARVELLOUS ! – best hairpiece ever seen. It’s a moving moment for a Trekkie from umpteen years back to see Kirk looking better than he did in the … what ? – ’60s ? And those uniforms !! – to die for.

[end day 2]

Which reminds me that only once in my working life did an employment position call for me to wear a uniform. It wasn’t a success. I don’t have the right body-shape for a uniform – ANY uniform – because such garments are always manufactured for either the normal size of woman or for what Asian countries think is normal (namely teeny).

I have never been ‘normal’ in anyone’s idea of size: whilst I’m not vast or heaving, nor do I gasp as I walk … and I have zero problems getting through doorways or into those toilets in department stores that insist on putting one of those rectangular disposal bins in such a position as to render entry somewhat challenging … and no-one turns his or her head in disbelief after I’ve passed, I assure you ! So: whilst none of these conditions applies to me, I’m nevertheless impossible to fit for a uniform.

It was a shit job anyway: one I took ‘between other jobs’, and I was delighted to have an excuse to pretend to become angry and discriminated against as I walked out. [grin]

[end day 3]

It’s not nice, is it ?, to be dishonest about one’s reactions;  for it marks one as a person who can’t be taken at face value. Face value is pretty important to me. I liken it to the way I write posts – spontaneously. (See ? – now you know why you so often shake your head uncomprehendingly …)

Spontaneity I find to be a very vital aspect of life, and I don’t really understand why … other than that I find spontaneous people to be so easy to deal with, as you know exactly where you stand when you’re in their company.

And it was spontaneity that led to that childhood game of “Chinese Whispers” (it was never called “Telephone” here) being so much enjoyed by all we bright little girls … to the extent that it was very rarely we didn’t end  up rolling about on the floor in fits of laughter.

I do love to laugh.


[my bad ! – end day 4 !]

I started out laughing at my own stupidity when I realised that the ‘four days’ I read in TDP’s prompt referred to four more days after the initial entry.

Then I stopped, and wondered if I would ever, ever ! learn to read everything thoroughly before plunging in. Remembered how often Stringer had cause to sigh and say to me “Darling, did you scroll the whole way down ?”.     :-|

With me it’s not a matter of age catching up, but something in my DNA: I’ve been this irritating kind of superficial peruser for as long as I can remember. What I really can’t grasp is that the ingrained habit cannot, it would seem, be overwritten with practicality. What will it take to force me into being thorough with regard to input before acting upon it ? – is there anything ?

Or am I going to spend the rest of my days missing out of key factors, and responding incorrectly to what I scanned as being the matter at hand – like a child playing “Chinese Whispers”, responding to something she only thought she understood …?


All Those Christmases at Once


You know my feelings about asylum-seekers and the way they are treated by TROWC (and I agree: the Opposition has no alternative to put forward). Perhaps you should know this, as well …


Originally posted on howardgoldenberg:


Christmas Island tragedy: Screams, yells and then they drowned…Devastated Christmas Islanders …witnessed yesterday’s horror…

After three days on Christmas Island it is my turn to take night call as doctor at the Detention Centre. At ten PM I receive a call from Team Leader, the always-smiling Henry. I hear no trace of a smile in his voice: “Security is bringing five men in to the clinic who’ve slashed themselves and another man who tried to hang himself.”

When I arrive in the clinic, all cubicles are full. There are the five men who have cut themselves, and not one, but two, who’ve tried to hang. I don’t know where to look first. I don’t want to look at all.

In the nearest cubicle a man lies flat on his back, his throat livid in the glare of the examination light. He does not move.

I speak…

View original 899 more words

A masochist ? – moi ?

You mean, just because I lost track of the fact that Audible is an Amazon company, and when my younger sister sent me a $50 Amazon voucher for my birthday I ordered the audio version of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” ON DISK direct from Amazon …?

And I could have ordered it as (the world’s largest) download from Audible …?

And I wouldn’t have had to pay freight ?

AND I wouldn’t be sitting here now transferring 28 disks onto the PC so as to be able to dub ’em onto the little SanDisk ?

How DARE you insinuate that I’m a halfwit by agreeing with all that ? – I’m a quarterwit !     :-(


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