Making biscuits

ANZAC biscuits.JPG

Photo from the internet with thanks to whoever took it (I forgot to take a pic of my creations, but they looked much like this)

Up at Auburn again this weekend, and did the usual cooking for dad. Apart from the regular stuff, I decided to try making Anzac biscuits as he often mentions them as a favourite that his mum used to make. We don’t have any recipes from Nana Becker, and he could only tell me that they were the chewy kind rather than the crunchy kind. I tried to find a recipe that would be chewy, but failed – I will have to do some more research. (They ended up crunchy but still very tasty.)

Anyway it got me thinking about baking, that underrated skill, and the pleasure its results have given so many people over so many years. Nana’s Anzacs, Mama’s (my other grandma’s) shortbread, my aunt’s cockles, and mum’s many biscuits – in particular almond nuggets, chocolate chip biccies, chocolate biscuits (for Christmas), and melting moments (flavoured with lemon peel). My mouth waters thinking of them – and I’m not even mentioning the cakes. They are all simple simple simple to make, and use basic ingredients, nothing difficult to come by or expensive. They were everyday specialness – made with love and filled with memories and happy vibes. It’s just a pity about the excess fat and sugar!

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Greeting the new year at the beach

It’s that time again – mid January and CHO comes back from holidays for our first dinner of the year – fish and chips at Christies Beach. It was a sweltering Thursday night this time, over 40 degrees… so we were more than ready for a swim after eating at the park. Amazingly good turn out, all things considered (again a swim was an enticement) and we had a lovely time. It was great to see some ‘regulars’ and to meet some new folk too. Caught up with the news in everyone’s lives – Llew’s travels, Shelley and Sally both telling stories at the local 10x Nine event later in the week, gardening update from Gail (the beans, the tomatoes, the zucchinis, the fruit…), Max has grown now that he is 2 and as sweet as ever, and more.

After tea we went down to the beach and wrote in the sand: the thing we want to let go of this year close to the water so as to be quickly washed away; and the thing we wish for in the coming year further out. It’s a lovely ritual, and followed by a swim, made for a special and happy night.

First up, some pictures from the park…

And now a few from the beach (with thanks to Sarah for taking most of these while I was in the water!)

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Making things (happen)

As a bit of a follow up to last week’s blog post and the power of working with others to create change in the world, I read something that I found interesting and inspiring during the week. On the surface it is about art, but it is also about changing the world and making things happen, a bit at a time and also on a larger scale. It’s about living an active and collaborative life and reaching for ways to make things better. The book it came from is called Draw your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles, and she is referencing someone called Elaine Scarry, who wrote a book (in the 1980’s) called “The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World”. Here is the quote:

“Art – bringing a physical object into the world where there previously was not one – illustrates on a small scale what’s possible on a larger scale… You imagine ————– and you paint ————. You take something from inside your mind and put it out in the real world – from my head to my hand, from my head to your hand – which means that what was once inside your mind is now shareable. Imagining a city, you make a house… Imagining a political utopia, you help build a country. Imagining the elimination of suffering in the world, you nurse a sick friend.

…[T]he creation of an artifact – a sentence, a cup, a piece of lace – [is] a fragment of world alteration. And if you can make these smaller changes, …if you can alter the world in fragments, just think what can be imagined together, what might be possible in community: a total reinvention of the world.”

Another angle on this is that those fragments of world alteration that we are all part of here in our everyday mundane and ordinary lives, ‘change the world’ because we are part of the world, and if things change here the world as a whole is a little bit different as a result. I love this thought as I beaver away at work or in the community – it doesn’t seem like much, and in many ways of course it isn’t and can’t be – but we are in the world and our little moves forward are part of the big picture.

(Pictures today from the internet, illustrating lace and cups as per the quote above, plus the covers of the books mentioned.)



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I went to the Art Gallery last night and saw the exhibition of Aboriginal art that is part of the Tarnanthi Festival. It was all really beautiful and thought provoking, and I could have spent hours more time there (but they closed!). One of the pieces was called ‘Every face has a story, every story has a face: Kulila!’. I have taken photos of it above, including the comment made by the artists, and a list of their names. (Here is a link to a page on the Art Gallery’s website that includes more info and better pictures!)

I was particularly struck that the word Kulila means Listen. The women work together to make their sculptures and talk over their lives while they do so, so they can make their lives better. What a gift this must be, to talk and listen and make together, something women have been doing for a long long time.

The rest of the title of the work also affected me – every face does have a story and every story does have a face – this is something that I know really well from work; talking and listening to lots of different people with lots of experiences and stories and faces over a long period of time. And the listening, exploring, working things out does make a difference, does make things better (often), as the artists’ statement above says… not just for the ‘faces’ – the individuals involved, but also for the ‘stories’ – the issues and concerns and social challenges that people live with and through. Working together creatively, listening to each other, leads in quiet ways to a different world.


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Two galahs, evening, the last sunset

As a last reflection on 2017, here are some pictures I took in Auburn, mostly on the last night of the year, of the beautiful evening and the sunset from the top of the hill (a place I have photographed before for this blog). It’s hard to take sunset snaps directly, but I have put them in to give a sense of the quiet and the beauty. The galahs and the moon were taken a night or so earlier.


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The large and small – an end of year walk

I went for a walk tonight – my last beach walk for the year as I will go to Auburn tomorrow. It was beautiful out, and lots of ordinary-but-not-if-you-look things to see along the way. Here are the pics I took, with captions if you click on them, to describe what is going on (though it is obvious mostly!), from evidence of air, to marching birds, to washing birds, to flowers and feathers and geology and the moon, sand and sea, long views and close ups. The world is gorgeous in big and little ways isn’t it?

Happy New Year!

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Taking the plunge

Here’s a video to get us in the mood for jumping into adventure (or not) in the new year!

Go for it!

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