Showing posts from November, 2009

Book review

I have just finished reading the most fascinating book "A Foreign Affair" by Valerie Barnes (published 2004).  Valerie, a young British girl (1947) yearned for the good times promised after the war.  Two chance meetings catapulted her into the most amazing career - at the newly-formed United Nations in Generva as an Interpreter (English, French, Spanish and Russian).  She traveled the world (first class - they were treated like royalty - making big dollars) in the 1950's and 1960's visiting the most exotic locations (long before tourism had become fashionable and cheap) rubbing shoulders with prime ministers and presidents.

She was also married to a Frenchman - who believed it was fine to have a mistress whilst married - which he did for 26 years! They had 3 children  and a nanny (who cared for the children when she traveled).    In 1977 she finally divorced her French husband (he had a very bad temper) and in 1981 married an Australian and moved to Canberra (this las…

End of the week

So glad to see the end of the week - and relax over the next few days (2 to be correct).  Thought I would give a quick up date.

Tristan still hasn't heard about the ICT apprenticeship - so I made contact and was told they are running a little behind and he should hear from them by the 11th December - I am not very good at waiting, but don't really have any choice!

Only 3 weeks and 6 days to Christmas - so I have started my shopping and Steven and I have put in our leave - something to look forward to (even though it is quite short!).

Hope those in the US enjoyed Thanksgiving - Nick your meal sounded very nice.

On Saturday it is my parents 51st wedding anniversary - not something that is very common any more.

AND summer starts next week - even though it feels like it has been summer all of November!!  We received rain last night (it was so heavy it woke me up) - after days of being promised rain, the Bureau of Meteorology finally got it right.  the garden is looking very happy.

As I consider colouring my hair (it has white bits in it!) - I read the following article in the newspaper - maybe I shouldn't.  Then again I shouldn't wear perfume or deodorant either - but then again men also were deodorant and aftershave etc.... so are we all poisoning ourselves?

The average British woman "hosts" 515 chemicals on her body every day, according to a new study.

The poll of 2016 women by deodorant-maker Bionsen said most of the pollutants are self-inflicted by women who sprayed on deodorant, slapped on body moisturizer and applied lipstick each morning.

Today's average British woman uses body and facial moisturizers, perfumes, deodorants and various other make-up products which leave them unknowingly carrying hundreds of chemicals on their bodies throughout the day, Bionsen said.

Moisturizer can contain over 30 different chemicals and perfume up to 400, it added.

More than a third of the women who took part in the study were unaware of the key ingredie…

Tandoori Lamb Roast

1 leg of lamb or shoulder of lamb

Tandoori marinade
3/4 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rindjuice of one lemon3cm ginger grated2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped1 teaspoon ground coriander2 teaspoons garam masala3 teaspoons paprika1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes1/2 teaspoon turmeric

To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Place lamb in bowl and cover with marinade.  Turn to coat.  Cover. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for flavours to develop.  I cut into the leg and rubbed the marinade into the cuts.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan force(or barbecue), place lamb into over covered in the marinade and cook for the recommended time.  I covered the lamb for 3/4 of its cooking time so the marinade didn't burn. ( I have a lid on my roast pan which I used on this occasion - but you could use al-foil) .

I cook my legs of lamb for 30mins per 500g as I don't like my meat with too much blood but not too dry!

I made some adjustments to the r…


Thankyou for all those comments about meals - you now have me motivated to make at least one new meal per week.  I will try one tomorrow and let you know how it goes.


Fireproof: Last week I wrote about the book "Fireproof" and I said it was quite good but not great.  I have now watched the DVD and really enjoyed it - if that is the right word.  It does make you think about your relationship and and how you behaved to your spouse - see a couple fight makes you think twice before you have one yourself.

I have bought "The Love Dare" and really enjoying - it contains many thought provoking ideas - much  of it is standard counseling however with Christian perspective which is the important part.  Last night I read the chapter on Kindness and realized at times I am not kind or behaving in a Christian way  - in particular in the heat of a disagreement.

Kindness is love in action "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in …

What do you usually cook for dinner?

I was reading the newspaper today and came across an article about cooking dinner.  According to research - the average British mother relies on just nine different meals to feed her family. Nine in 10 mothers polled admitted cooking the same meals over and over again while one in four made the same meals on the same day of the week. Over half (55 per cent) cook at least two meals to keep the whole family happy!

The research found that the average mother has eight cookery books in the house, but has attempted just five recipes.  I must own at least 50 and must admit I don’t use most - I just like looking at the pictures!!  In  fact I gave away 4 cookbooks on the weekend as I have never used them and I thought someone else might! Top nine meals relied upon by UK mums

Spaghetti BologneseRoast dinnerShepherd’s Pie/Cottage PiePasta dishMeat and two vegPizzaCasserole/stewSausages and chips/mashIndian/CurryI would make numbers 1 to 7 quite often, but I do love salad in summer.  What are yo…
Last week Gaia (our 3 year old Doberman) had an operation - to make sure he was ok, he was allowed to sleep inside for a couple of nights. As you can see by the photo he is looking pretty happy with himself - he is almost smiling!   He has completely recovered from the operation and now back outside with his brother Brenin.

Whilst Gaia was indoors, Charlie the princess cat had to go outside - she was not pleased.  She now has her castle back and she is once again thrilled. She often sits at the window looking out at her dogs feeling very important !!  She was very naughty tonight when I found her with a dead bird that she had caught:(

Nick, do you remember this, that wet summers day in January when we were bored and wanted something to do.  It feels like yesterday.  I think that is me lying on the floor reading whilst you and Ali build a tower.

Time for bed - thinking of the folks in Adelaide who will having a couple of days of 40+C and extreme fire danger.  Our turn is on Thursday and …

Abide with Me

Abide with Me was written by Henry F Lyte in 1847
Lyte was in­spired to write this hymn as he was dy­ing of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis; he fin­ished it the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. The next day, he left for Ita­ly to re­gain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks af­ter writ­ing these words.
My favourite hymn

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all w…

Rambles from me

I am not going to write much as I am too tried and want to go to bed early tonight. (after my cup of Jasmine tea).  It has been a very busy week with my clients wanting lots of stuff  now!!  As Parliament sits next week it is bound to get busier.

The weather has been warm to hot all week - however think of my family in Adelaide who have had over 35C-39C (95-102F) all week, making it officially a heatwave - now that is hot. So I won't grumble at our 33C (91F).

After work today I officially started my Christmas shopping and bought 3 books for Caius (he doesn't read this so he won't know!!).  Both sons have given me lists - ranging from cheap to expensive - at least I have enough to select from, however I think they think they will get everything on the list! (lol).

So bed time is calling so good night from me.

PS - a story on our News this week about an iceberg spotted off Mcquarie Island - its 500 metres long and 50 metres high (from the waterline) - just image how much is unde…

Emile Vernon

Dear brother the painting in the last post and the one above (Beauty under the orange tree) was done  by a French artist called Emile Vernon, born 1872 and died in 1919 (however some sites give different dates), he belonged to the Romanticism and period.  He liked to paint pretty women.  The painting below is called A Summer Rose. The link below contains 43 of his paintings.  I think they are lovely.

My day in a nutshell.....

I awake to the sound of 2 Dobermans banging on the back door wanting to go for their early morning walk.  Its 5:45 and they have just beaten the radio coming on – they always do.  Steven gets up and I cover my head with the doona and go back to sleep – well not really – but I manage to doze until 6:15 and reluctantly crawl out of bed – I hate getting up early which is why I love weekends.

I get to work by 7:30, I pass through security - my lunchbox goes through the scanner at security and on most occasions it tips over and when  it contains salad with beetroot everything turns red – which never impresses me!  I slowly walk (up 2 flights of stairs) to my office.  The first thing I do is put the kettle on then turn the computer on.  I grab my breakfast bowl and make breakfast (I have a range of cereals so I can have variety – I could also set up a breakfast club!).  Whilst eating I read the local papers (all part of my job thank-you). 

Work can now commence.  I might have to respond to …

Casting All Our Care On Him

There's no storms that we can't weather
If we cast all... our care upon Him,
Under His wings, He will shelter you,
Trusting in Jesus..upon Him we can depend.

O Lord may I trust you more and more
More like Jesus, loving and true,
Give me the strength, as I try daily,
To give more of myself...afresh to you.

Let's be faithful to our loving Savior
Sheltered in Him, with love so strong,
He is our strength, adoration, and hope,
Someday we will hear, My Child, well done!

Through days of trials, God is there
With outstretched arms He waits,
Just trust in Him...His word believe,
If faithful, crowns of life we will recieve.

By Bernice  Ward

Book review: FIREPROOF

Fireproof (based on the screen play by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick)

I don't usually buy books that are heavily advertised with heaps of hype - as Fireproof has been this year - it started off as a movie (which I haven't seen) with all the Christian bookstores heavily promoting it and I thought why not, when I saw the book.

Basically it is about a young (non Christian) couple who have decided to get divorced after 7 years of marriage - as they prepare to divorce, Caleb's (the firefighter husband) father gives him a challenged - it commit to a 40-day experiment called "The Love Dare".  I won't tell you what happens next.....

My views - the book was ok, not a masterpiece of writing which is often the case when they turn a film into a book.  The part about the marriage was interesting.  When does a marriage turn from loving each other and wanting to spend every minute together to fighting over trivia (eg the lost socks).  I doubt many couples could pin point…

Apples and herbs

Very excited as my Patio Pink Lady is finally going to produce apples (she is 2 years old) - my dad told me I will need to reduce the amount of apples otherwise the tree might fall over - the main stem is still quite thin. I am worried that the neighborhood possum will find the fruit and eat it - so I think I will need to cover the tree with netting.
This is my Lemon Balm (herb) which for some reason this year has really grown - producing very large leaves. I am told you can put a leaf in hot water and drink as a herbal tea as it is meant to have a mild sedative/calming agent. You can also crush the leaves and rub on to the skin to repel mossies. However Lemon Balm should be avoided by people on Thyroid medication.

My other herbs (sage, spearmint, mint, purple basil, time and rosemary) are all doing so well - the rain has made all the difference in the amount growing. In fact we had some much mint Tritsan was able to make a large jar of Mint Sauce. My neighbor was thrilled when …


Outside my window...dark and cool with a clear sky to see the stars (missed seeing the space station going over).

The time is... 9:17 PM

Today I feel... really organized and happy: I booked an eye appointment for me as I need new glasses (haven't been for 3 years), an appointment for the dog to have an operation next Thursday and hairdresser appointment tomorrow and organised a shopping trip for Caius and I next Saturday

The weather here... has been sunny all day at 24C - I love this weather, tomorrow will be 18C with possible showers. We need more rain as the dams are only at 52.4% for summer.

I am thinking... about reading my book and having a cup of Jasmine tea (my favourite drink)

At the moment,I am thankful... my children are healthy and happy
and we are blessed with such wonderful weather.

Dinner tonight...chicken kebabs (marinated in herbs) with oven cooked chips (nice and crisp) and salad - very tasty

I am wearing... pink pyjamas with pink slippers and a tan coloured cardie

I am …

Footprints in the sand

One night I dreamed that I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from the life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints. Other times there were one set of footprints. This bothered me because I noticed that during the low period of my life when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints. So, I said to the Lord, "You promised me, Lord, that if I followed you, You would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I have needed You most, You have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you".

Mary Stevenson

Happy birthday Brother

Happy Birthday Stephen - I hope your day wasn't all work!!!
This is a photo of Stephen and I when we were kids? Cute!!

More stuff.......

The other day I was reading the new "Get up and Go" document (link below) (guidelines for parents and carers) and how to bring up your children eg nutrition, exercise, play, sleep etc... (I think the aim is to reduce obesity). The first thing I thought was - how did my parents manage to bring up 4 children without such a guide and amazingly they knew what a nutritious meal looked like and how important getting outside and playing was - eg using ones imagination. It got me wondering if modern parents need this sort of guideline??? The answer is probably yes based on the statistics below on the use of the TV - however would those parents who use the TV as a baby sitter reading this guide any way?? And those doing the right thing don't need it at all.

What was scary was the research the government undertook: children as young as 4 months were watching 44 mins of TV a day ( I wonder if they understood what they were watching), children under 4 were watching at least 4 ho…