Tuesday, October 31, 2006

And They're Off!

I'm getting in early...but...we are in the midst of our Spring Racing Carnival, anyway! Melbourne Cup Day is just around the corner...less than a week away now! It's one of my favourite days of the year. I don't attend 'Melbourne Cup Luncheons'...or parties, having had enough of those when I organised, catered for and waited on many while working in the hospitality industry. I do, however, celebrate the day...in my own style. My television is set on the race channel from early morning. Champagne chills, waiting in my fridge alongside fresh prawns and other tasty goodies. I race (no pun intended) down to the TAB at St Bernard's Hotel first thing in the morning. The past couple of years I've been the first there and the first to lay bets. The pub is not very far from where I live, about 2kms. I get in and out before the boisterous, madding crowds arrive, back to the sanctuary, though not sanity, of my haven!

I wrote a poem last night...I fiddled with it more this morning...in dedication to our exciting first Tuesday in November...Melbourne Cup Day. My drawing of the horse I did last year. I hope you enjoy both!

Melbourne Cup Day

Every hat possible is visible and on show our iconic Akubra
Fashions on the field glasses of amber nectar flow freely
What a very special event it is there is even a candelabra
Over in the Emirate's grand white marquee it suits ideally

Punters from far and wide have headed to the 'Big Smoke'
Fair Dinkum mate it is Australia's most famous horse race
Quite a few will win heaps while others will go home broke
The whole country remains glued as the horses begin the chase

That smiling bloke over there his pockets are full of dollars
Having placed a monstrous bet on the nose of the race winner
He chats up a pretty blonde while across to his mate he hollers
Broad smile on his face she has accepted his invitation to dinner

Here in the 'Lucky Country' once again it is Melbourne Cup Day
So settle yourself into a handy pozzie and grab your binoculars
Roan geldings sleek chestnuts black stallions and there is a grey
Some first-timers at a big meet and yet many others are regulars

On the first Tuesday in November everyone's attention is drawn
To the battle on the racetrack in awe of the high-spirited crowd
Some arriving early morning whilst others at the crack of dawn
Contagious goodwill undeterred by the appearance of a sole cloud
Drawing and poem by Lee

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hinchinbrook Channel...And Breakwaters!

I was very surprised when watching the News on television last night to see that Keith Williams is planning to build a breakwater nearby to his Port Hinchinbrook development at Oyster Point, south of Cardwell.

1986/87...I managed the resort at Cape Richards, which is situated on the far north-eastern tip of Hinchinbrook Island. A 40-minute boat trip from Cardwell deposited guests and provisions to the resort. Daily, except Mondays, the 'Air Whitsunday' seaplane arrived from Townsville, south of the island, bearing other guests. Some days it made two deposits, stopping off at Orpheus Island either before or after landing in the water off 'my' island. Twice-weekly, a seaplane flew in from Cairns, north of the island.

When I first took over the management of the resort, Margaret and Arthur Thorsborne came over to the island to meet me, to satisfy themselves that I wasn't going to do anything that would be detrimental to the environment of the island and its surrounds. I assured them this would be the furtherest thing from my mind. Arthur not long after I was on Hinchinbrook, passed away. Before he died, he and Margaret produced a wonderful 'coffee-table' book full of the history of the area and a magnificent collection of pictures, glossy and otherwise. Just prior to the book's final pressing, they brought it across to me to see what I thought of it. I cherish my copy. Later, I had Margaret sign it when I visited her tiny cottage in the midst of a national park. As an aside, when Margaret passes away, her property will go back to Parks & Wildlife. We stayed in contact throughout the years. She is a wonderful lady...tiny, but a little fire-brand. I say that in the nicest of ways. Hinchinbrook Island and its surrounds are dear to my heart, still. I will always love it...a piece of me remains there forever.

In the mid-nineties, I moved back to the area to managed a motel in Cardwell. It was at the time Keith Williams began work at Oyster Point, on the mainland opposite Hinchinbrook Island. The protests were beginning. Keith stayed at the motel, so I got to know him as he was a regular guest. We had a couple of 'heart-felt' discussions about the area. I liked Keith Williams as a person. He definitely is a strong-minded man...a straight-shooter...and even though many would believe they are poles apart, he and Margaret are not dissimilar in many ways.

I laughed when Margaret told me one day...."Keith Williams called me 'a little grey-haired old lady'...if that is the case, then he is a 'little bald-headed old man!" Margartet is now 79 and Keith is 77! And the battle recommences.

Margaret also told me at that time, she didn't want to stop Keith Williams' planned development, but she wanted to make sure that if it went ahead, it went ahead to suit the ecology and landscape of the surrounding environment...that the size of the planned development not be allowed to get out of control...that some restrictions must be put on to it. I thought this was a very fair and open comment coming from a person who would live and die for her love Hinchinbrook Island and its surrounding areas...land and sea.

Of course, a lot of the 'professional' protesters got on the bandwagon at the time, as they do anywhere. The media reports were false in some cases...eg...a Sunday a protest 'drive' was held, its destination, the contruction site...I watched from the motel. The cars that were part of the protest drove slowly along the highway in front of the motel I was managing. There weren't many of them in total...but on the television news that night and the newspapers the following day, they reported there were hundreds of cars on the highway. That may have been the case..but a lot of those vehicles were those travelling southwards that were held up behind the slow-moving protest vehicles upfront!

Now...don't get me wrong...I do not want to see that area up there turn into a clone of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts....but we, humans, never do learn, do we? I have sat many times on the foreshore in front of the Sunrise Motel in Cardwell and watched the dugongs only feet away from where I sat. Keith Williams, at the time, said there were no dugongs in the area and that is the proverbial bull dust! You can rest assured I informed him of my sightings...they weren't my hallucinations!

When I first arrived on Hinchbrook Island, it was days after Cyclone Winifred had gone through that area between Kurramine, Mission Beaches, Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and Hinchinbrook Island. There was a lot of work to be carried out, not only the clearing of the cyclone debris (the island also lost its jetty) but I had workmen there on the island to do renovation work for me....such as building a huge deck out around the pool on the ocean-side of the restaurant building. A Sunday came and I said to the guys it was 'down tools time', we were going to go on a picnic trip up through the creeks that run off from Missionary Bay. Coming back in the island boat (an Abalone) that afternoon, to the amazement of the five men and myself, we were surrounded by a pod of dugong (I'm not sure if they are called a 'pod' or not, but that will suffice). We immediately cut the motor and just drifted quietly amongst them. It was such a serene, awe-inspiring few minutes. There would have been 12-14 of these cumbersome, yet graceful creatures around us. Never will I experience anything like that again, and neither will those who were with me that day to witness it. I still get tears in my eyes when I think (and write) about those magical moments.

I gasped last night when I saw on Channel 7 News that Keith Williams is planning to build a breakwater out into the Hinchinbrook Channel! My God! Enough is enough! Put on your battle fatigues and hard hat, Margaret, it's on again! I wish I was back up there to help her but I know she has many on her side to assist her.

The rock groin built at the northern end of Laguna Bay...Noosa Heads....has ruined the beach at Noosa in front of the surf club!! It's nature's way that it sweeps sand to the northern outcrops! All the beach, no matter how much and for how long they keep spending a fortune pumping sand back, will continue being swept up to that rock groin! Nobody ever listens! Nobody ever learns from past mistakes! Humans think they can beat nature! Nature will always rule! I've spent much time at Noosa, as a child, a teenager and I lived there for seven years. The beach in front of the surf club, Laguna Bay was a wide expanse of sand in the days I surfed and swam there!

I argued with Peter McEchnie back in May, 1986 about similar situations. He was the then Minister for Tourism, Sports and Recreation, amongst other things. He was in Cardwell to open the newly-erected National Parks and Wildlife Information Centre. I was managing the resort on Hinchinbrook Island at the time. A special dinner in his honour was held in Cardwell, to which I was invited. He rambled on and on with a lot of useless political spiel and when it came to 'question and answer' time, I couldn't contain myself any longer! That's another story!

I shrug my shoulders in frustration....and anger. This breakwater, (actually there are going to be two!) the construction of which is to begin next week, should not be allowed. Why has it come to our attention only now...less than a week out from when they plan to commence work on it???
PS...this is what Margaret wrote on my copy of her book...."For Lee...With every good wish, Margaret Thorsborne...may Hinchinbrook stay as beautiful and unspoiled as it was when you loved and cared for it - as you still love and care for it...M. 15.1.1995
Trick or Treat...

It annoys me when some in this country criticise 'Halloween' and accuse those who 'celebrate' it as copying the US.

When I was growing up we celebrated 'Guy Fawkes Night'. For months, my brother and I saved up our pocket money in preparation for the day we would excitedly be taken to the store to purchase our 'Tom Thumbs', 'Sky Rockets', 'Double Bungers' etc., etc. On the day, we couldn't wait to get home after school to erect the bonfire and make our 'Guy'. Poor old 'Guy' would take his place high upon the pyre in readiness to be burned to smithereens after dusk.

I digress...I'll return to Halloween.

'Samhuinn'....pronounced 'Sow-en'...was the most important of the 'fire festivals' of the ancient Celts. It is said it marked the Celtic New Year.

Down the line a bit, the Western Christian calendar changed the original festival of 'Samhuinn' into 'All Saints' Day'. The Celts commenced every day at sunset of the previous day/night. 'Samhuinn' eventually became the modern 'Halloween'. The history of Halloween is intriguingly interesting.

We used to celebrate Guy Fawkes on each 5th November. It was so much fun. Guy Fawkes' Night was taken away from us and is no longer allowed. Why not transfer the fun and games to Halloween? Instead of criticising it, let's have some fun with it. There are few things left to play around with these days of doom and gloom.

Those who criticise others who participate in Halloween celebrations for 'copying the Americans' should, before they are so ready to condemn, read up on the history of 'Halloween'.

Halloween parties are lots of crazy fun....I've been to a few...and just think, if no kids come to your door knocking for 'trick or treats', you're left with all those lollies/candy to enjoy yourself!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is a graphite drawing done by me a year or more ago, of David Gulpilil, Australian Aboriginal actor, starred in such movies as 'Crocodile Dundee', 'The Tracker', 'Rabbit-Proof Fence', 'Storm Boy', 'Mad Dog Morgan' (with Dennis Hopper), 'Walkabout', plus many other movies and television movies/series.
The poem I just wrote now to go with my drawing.

Outback Stockman

The stockman's face glistens under the torrid outback sun
Weather-beaten wiry and worn his teeth tobacco-stained
Alone he rode o'er the dusty dry land his day never done
His love of the vast brown land remains forever ingrained

Parched by day the unforgiving copper luminary beyond
Unrelenting in its punishment upon all that wander below
As if obeying the devil's command it does eagerly respond
Silence is broken by bellowing cattle and the call of a crow
Back To The Future...

I see nothing wrong with John Howard's plan to fund religious counsellors to schools across this country.

As a child going to school in Gympie, every Monday morning a minister of the Presbyterian Church came in to give us a lesson. I'm sure it did none of us any harm. As children, my brother and I attended Sunday School every Sunday morning. That didn't do us any harm, either. I wonder how many kids today go to Sunday School. There would be many who don't, I hazard to guess, so having access to religious counsellors in schools can do no harm, in my opinion.

Many of our young today are growing up with little or no religious instruction and with little or no instruction from their parents on anything!

I think in the tenuous times we live now, a lot of our youth are misguided, lacking in values (most times not their fault) and are wandering around aimlessly, therefore they are choosing the wrong road, and learning the 'hard' way from their mistakes. Some will never learn from their mistakes and will continue repeating them, over and over and over again. But we must never lose sight of the majority of kids out there, who are good kids. Every bit of guidance children can be given throughout their growing years has to be important.

I'm not a 'bible-basher'. I'm not a church-goer. I believe our young have to be helped along the right track of life. There are a lot of broken homes out there with single parents or parents with multiple partners coming and going...what chance do some of these kids have? Very little chance, I believe. If having a religious counsellor in schools helps in some way, no matter how small, it has to be a good thing.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

In The Good Old Summer Time!

In a couple of weeks, I'm having a few friends over for a luncheon. With the warmer weather now upon us, I'm going to set up a long table outside underneath the shady trees where there's continual shade. Then the party will begin as we leisurely graze over the table laden with an array of various salads, special breads, antipasto platter, a fresh fruit platter, a variety of cheeses, a rich chocolate cake with whipped cream and, of course, many glasses of wine and champagne! If it rains...I'll attack that situation when faced with it!

Here are a couple of salad recipes for you to mull over.

White Bean & Chorizo Salad: In a bowl, toss 1 can of white beans, drained with 1 chorizo, finely diced, (grill the chorizo before adding to the salad), 1 small red onion, finely chopped, 1/4 cup finely chopped red capsicum/pepper, 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well. Arrange lettuce leaves in bowl or 4 individual bowls and mound the bean salad on top. Scatter with pitted Kalamata olives and thinly sliced radish. Quarter 2 hard-boiled eggs and arrange them around the salad.

Asian Pork Salad: Dressing: combine 1/4cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoon light vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in large bowl. Mix well. Cook some egg noodles, adding 250g sugar snap peas for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain well. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook 500g of pork fillet (cut into 1/4inch slices), 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger and 2 cloves garlic, crushed for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until pork is cooked, but not over-cooked. Toss drained noodles, pea pods, 1 sliced red capsicum/pepper, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 bunch shallots, chopped and pork with half of the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with remaining dressing.

Marinated Mushrooms & Cauliflower: Clean and quarter 750g mushrooms. Cut 1 head of cauliflower into bite-size florets. Trim 5 celery ribs into 3inch lengths. In a large pot, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 5 cups water, 1/4 cup fresh oregano, 1/4 cup fresh basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer mushrooms to a bowl. Add cauliflower to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer cauliflower to the bowl with the mushrooms. Raise heat to high and boil liquid until reduced to 1-1/2 cups. Remove from heat, strain and whisk in 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, blending well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over vegetables. Add the celery and 500g black, pitted olives. Cover and refrigerate.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Please Take This In Context!

It's amazing how people can try to squirm their way out of what they have said by saying..."It was taken out of context".

That slum-bag, al-Hilali, together with having to be put on oxygen after his diatribe the other day, also said his comments were 'taken out of context'. What a load of the proverbial. My question is...we should save our oxygen and not waste it on a creature like him!

His comment..."The two cheapest things in Australia are the flesh of a woman and the meat of a pig" are the lowest of low comments and very highly offensive.

It, therefore, is understandable why Keating, our 'illustrious' past (thank God!) prime minister, when he had the chance to deport al-Hilali,declined to do so. al-Hilali had two powerful Labor leaders on his side, Paul Keating and Leo McLeay. Keating was the then Federal Treasurer and McLeay a powerful backbencher, both of whom lobbied strongly on al-Hilali's behalf. Well, we all know the history of Keating's involvement with pigs, don't we?

You have a lot of explaining to do, Paul Keating! Keating led a delegation of Muslim community leaders to see the then immigration minister, Hurford in his Canberra office in 1986, in an attempt to persuade the minister to reverse his opposition to the Muslim cleric. Hurford wouldn't budge and continued to fight al-Hilali's right to residency but Hurford was fighting a losing battle. Shortly thereafter, he was booted out as Immigration Minister in the Hawke labor government. Hawke gave him the community services portfolio instead!! I bet Hawke will have little to say on this, too! Both he and Keating are tarred with the same brush! It was Keating's decision to let al-Hilali stay when he was acting-prime minister during Hawke's absence. The reason...it was important to Labor was very close to the Lebanese community. The view, apparently, was that the Lebanese community was very influential in selecting Labor candidates and had a heavy presence in electorates in south and west of Sydney.

Keating refuses to comment! I wonder why! Strange...as he's ready to open his mouth other times! Maybe he's got a bit of crackling caught in his throat!

Lebanese Christian community leader, Eddie Obeid, who owned a newspaper, and later became a state Labor MP, lobbied the New South Wales immigration department to have al-Hilali deported. Obeid's newspaper printing press in Marrickville, Sydney, was burned down just days after his newspaper published a story based on a tape recording of an inflamatory sermon by Hilali in 1982...in which, again, he, Hilali likened the flesh of women to pig meat!

Yes...Hilali....we believe what you said the other day was 'taken out of context'....like hell we do!

I did so want to be in a good mood when I awoke this morning, but I find myself seething because of the disgraceful handling of al-Hilali.

Kick the bastard out, I say...no further procrastination!
Compliments Where & When Due...

In the mail the other day, I received promotional data from Telstra BigPond Broadband. I've been considering switching over to broadband for some time but as I had prepaid six months' ahead with my current and long-term provider, 'consider' was all I'd been doing regarding switching from 'dial-up' to broadband. As my present contract is up for renewal on 1st December, the information and offer from Telstra couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time.

I have nothing but praise to hand to Telstra because of the prompt way they have answered and attended to my enquiries, all done on-line. They made me feel like a valued customer in the way they have treated me so politely and promptly. We've exchanged many e-mails and I almost feel like I know the person with whom I've been dealing.

The deal on offer is a very good one...half-price broadband access for the first 12 months on a 24 month plan, plus free modem and no connection fee. I'll be self-installing the modem....well, I hope I'm able to do so...this could be a lot of fun! Watch this space for updates on hair-pulling and refraining from picking up the sledgehammer!

It will take a couple of weeks, no doubt, for everything to fall into place but this is the most sensible money-saving way for me to go. I'm sorry to be losing my current ISP...Spiderweb...as I've been with them for eight years and have always had wonderful service from them. Plus, I know the team at Spiderweb, personally and I feel like I'm letting them down, however, I have to take the best deal on offer.

We can all be at times quick to criticise but when credit is due, it must be given...and Telstra deserve many credits on the way they have dealt with me on this matter.
Play Time!

I spent today with friends. We went down to the Gold Coast for lunch. It was the birthday of one of my friends. All five of us (yes...I was the 'odd-one-out'...as always)...but that never worries me. We had a lovely lunch and then came back up to the mountain and drank champagne to celebrate his birthday. There'll be no dinner for me tonight! The food was great and plentiful at Jupiter's Casino. As always the coast was busy and it was nice to come back up to the mountain. And as always, it was nice to get back home again. First the shoes were thrown off, then the clothes....ahhh...relaxation!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How Dare He! Send Him Back To Where He Came From!

I'm seething! I'm not sure if I'll be able to type this as I'm shaking with anger! I need to vent!

Sydney-based Muslim cleric, Taj Din al-Hilali has no right to open his mouth, spewing out words of judgement against women...Australian women. He has no right living in this country either! Send him back to where he came from...if he doesn't like the way we dress, that's his problem. I didn't invite him here, did you?

This so-called cleric (who makes these clowns clerics, anyway...are they self-appointed?) blames immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men. He likened them (the women) to 'abandoned meat' that attracts voracious animals.

He goes on further with his stupid nonsense..."women were weapons used by Satan to control men. It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."

So men are animals incapable of controlling their actions in his belief. I wonder if he includes himself in this evaluation?

He didn't specifically refer to the vicious rapes and brutal attacks on four young women in Sydney by a group of young Lebanese 'animals' (remember 'animal' is al-Hilali's description) who received long jail sentences, but it was clear to whom he referred.

He said, "young women who sway suggestively, wore make-up and immodest dress...but the problem, the problem began with who?" (His grammar needs attention, too!) And he continued, "and then you get a judge without mercy (rhama) and gives you 65 years. The uncovered meat is the problem."

He doesn't hold men in high esteem, either....at least, that's how it appears to me....the poor, weak, easily-led creatures, or perhaps he was just referring to himself! (Please, allow me to enjoy my sarcasm!)

A word of advice, al-Hilali...go to your nearest travel agency...buy yourself a one-way ticket back to wherever you come from...you and your idiotic attitudes are not wanted here!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My God! Three Posts In One Morning!

I was up at 2.30am this morning re-working this poem...I hope the end result is to your liking!

Dear You

When others neglect fail and abandon you
You know you can always depend on me
Come the end of the day true friends are few
If allowed my love it would set you free
A love which shall remain through and through
Though without thought you can make me blue

So many the times you have broken my heart
Through all the years since the day we first met
Every time we grow close you soon draw apart
For some reason to you I appear to be a threat
I wish you could be as you were at the start
Instead a rocky road on my heart you did chart

I know there are some others you have preferred
While I stood by confused in tears and in pain
I have cried out often and yet you have not heard
From your selfish acts what is it you seek to gain
Sometimes my image of you becomes so blurred
Very often I think our relationship never occurred

Entwined in the arms of ardent lovers I have lain
Many I remember though some I choose to forget
They are in my past I have no reason to explain
My everlasting love my need of you I do not regret
Others may consider my yearning childishly insane
My devotion which I cherish shall forever remain

Poem by Lee
Breaking News....

It was just announced on "Sunrise" Channel 7 Breakfast Show, that word has come through...Vegemite is not banned in the States!

Keep your eyes on this post...further updates will follow on this breaking story!!!!
I Love a Sunburnt Country...A Land of Drought and Flooding Rains...

In recognition of Dorothea MacKellar's wonderful and wellknown poem.

Our farmers are battling the worst drought on record. My heart goes out to them. They need every bit of support...they deserve it. Let's hope very soon we get the rains that will halt this disastrous drought.

The air up here on the mountain is heavy with the smell of smoke from bushfires that raged on parts of the mountain yesterday. I hope we get the storms the weather bureau predicted we are in store for on Thursday and Friday, if not sooner.

In the glow of the street lights smoke hovers in the stillness of the night and early morning.

Let's hope Cyclone Xavier moves closer to the coast (not bringing damage) and while doing so, pushes rain west to cross over onto our parched land. The threat of raging bushfires is very really and very frightening.

In the early nineties when I was living on Newry Island, no rain, or very, very little, had fallen for almost nine months. My dam was at a disturbingly low level. I had to keep lowering the pump to enable water to be pumped down to the main building and the outside shower/toilet block. There were eight self-contained cabins plus the bar/dining/kitchen area plus a camping site to service. Fortunately, my guests understood the water shortage and bided by my requests to not waste water.

On Christmas Eve, 1990, Cyclone Joy that had been hovering off the coast of Cairns for many days, picked up speed and headed southwards. Early on Christmas morning I made two boat trips to the mainland to pick up guests, some who were coming to spend Christmas Day on the island, with intentions of returning to the mainland in the afternoon. In all, including guests already on the island, I had thirty people to house, feed and entertain.

By eleven Christmas morning it was plainly obvious those day-trippers would become longer term guests. The weather had turned around rapidly...for the worst. The sea had whipped up to a frenzy. A gale-force wind was blowing erratically. The sky, covered by low-hanging steel-grey clouds groaning from their heavy burden, threatened at any moment to explode. I hadn't the time nor the ability to row out to my boat, a 21ft Trojan DeHavilland and hide it up a creek on the neighbouring Outer Newry Island. It would have been an impossible feat. I wouldn't have been able to row my little tinnie back to the 'resort' area. My boat was to remain on its mooring for the duration of the cyclone, bucking like Bronco Billy, almost causing me a nervous breakdown as I watched it lurch and strain on its mooring rope.

Ziggy, an elderly professional fisherman who knew the waters well, made a desperate trip in his 'tinnie' across the waters from Victor Creek, 4kms from Seaforth, to advise me not to take my boat out again until all the mayhem had passed. I assured him I had no intentions of doing so. He had already hidden his fishing boat further up Victor Creek to safety. He stayed long enough to give me his warnings before he turned and raced back to the mainland. As soon as he left, I advised my guests they were my prisoners for as long as the weather remained. All bar one, were understanding. The 'one' is a story in itself that I shall leave for another day, perhaps...suffice to mention...I won the battle with that fellow!

The next three days and nights I didn't sleep. I lived in my bathing suit, remaining continually wet as I was in and out of the main premises all the time, battening down possible missiles etc., etc. I couldn't for a moment let my guard down as I had 30 guests to take care of and at all times I had to be aware for their welfare. I lived on the island alone, which made me solely responsible for all matters and situations. Everything....everything was wet and getting wetter! I had no dry bedding. Sheets that were outside on the clothes lines just got dirtier from the heavy rain splashing the ground below up upon them. The rain poured down non-stop. Guests were 'showering' outside under the downpipes. I gave them bars of soap and left them to it! I had some young backpackers staying...a couple from Canada, two from Japan and a couple from Germany. They thought it was the greatest adventure of their lives! Everyone set up 'home' in the main building as I advised them to stick together in the one area. I didn't want anyone wandering off alone, for obvious reasons. I'd turned the left-overs from Christmas lunch into large pots of goulash and soups, telling them help themselves to the food, to coffee and tea. They occupied themselves conversing, playing cards, reading and generally, accepted the situation. There was nothing else they could do, other than accept it. We were all stranded and there was no way in the world I was taking my boat out again until the weather abated. Finally, I managed to off-load my guests three days after the 'blow' had started. After the first evacuation, I got stranded on the mainland as the weather had closed in while I was depositing the first load at Victor Creek. I had to anchor my boat out and swim ashore, much to the surprise of the guests standing watching from the shore! I reckon I would have beaten Dawn Fraser that day! I remained in Seaforth until the next morning. I arrived with only my bathing suit and me! Fortunately, I was well known at the local little store and by the people who had a holiday house next door to the store. And fortunately again, they were down from their cane farm for the Christmas break, so they put me up for the day and night.

This is a lengthy tale, so I won't tell it all here right now. The rain came down in ever-increasing intensity. The rain lasted for three weeks. It finally stopped the week before the Australia Day weekend, the 26th January, 1991. By that time, every wall in the eight cabins was black with mould! The cabins were fully booked for the long weekend by a company from Mackay for their belated celebration of the end of the year/Christmas party. The septic system on the island was stuffed so together with getting that back on line, scrubbing the walls, washing all the bed linen etc., (by hand), I had a very, very busy few days ahead of me. But, again...that is another story for another day! Hang in there for Episode 2, coming up on your nearest channel!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Twist On a Nursery Rhyme...

Little Bo-Peep has had no sleep
And doesn't know when she'll get any
When she left home
She forgot her comb
Now she has tangled hair of mahogany!

With compliments from Lee!

It's Easy To Pass the Buck!

Tragic though it was, the loss of three young lives earlier this year...three young boys aged 11, 9 and 8 years, killed on railway tracks near Goodna, a suburb of Brisbane earlier this year, can not be blamed on the driver operating the train.

Those young boys had been away from their homes from early morning, ending up miles away from, roaming from one place to another all throughout that day. About an hour before the horrific accident, the boys had been cautioned by police for standing too close to the edge of the railway station platform. Earlier that day, the boys had been seen throwing rocks at a train near the Redbank Station. Now, these are things kids do...they've been doing such things since the world began, but I think it's wrong for the parents of these lads to blame it on Queensland Rail.

Surely, the parents must bear responsibility for the whereabouts of their children. These young fellows had been away all day long, from early morning. I know I would have been concerned for their welfare if they had been mine.

I'm not passing judgement...maybe I am...who knows...but nothing is going to bring these poor little boys back. Let's just hope others learn from mistakes made.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Good Morning, America...It's Time To Wake Up!

I couldn't believe my eyes nor my ears when I read and heard the news yesterday that the US has slapped a ban on Vegemite!!

How incredibly weird and what a stupidly pointless ban this is! All ex-pats living in the US, should withdraw immediately...from the States, that is!

Time is wasted at the US border searching for Vegemite smugglers! Can you believe it?

Paul Watkins, owner of 'About Australia', a store in San Antonio, Texas was forced to stop importing Vegemite six months ago.

The bizarre reasoning behind this ban is Vegemite contains folate, which, in the US, is allowed to be added only to breads and cereals! Work that one out! If it does no harm in breads and cereals, what the harm does it do in Vegemite? How absolutely ridiculous!

Folate occurs naturally in foods. Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells...and I don't mean 'prison cells'! Folate is particularly important for infants and during pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA. It helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.

Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Yeah...folate...must be really bad for you! Not to mention that yucky black stuff us crazy Aussies call 'Vegemite'!

So making my own private firm stance against the stupidity of this US ban...I've just made myself 4 slices of Vegemite on toast...it was yummy!

Again, I say....Wake up, America....you ban Vegemite but you still allow MSG in so many food products!

A new day has dawned...it's time you all joined in with the fun we Aussies have and become...'Happy Little Vegemites'

"We're Happy Little Vegemites...as bright as bright can be
We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast lunch and tea
Our mummys say we're growing strong every single week
Because we love our Vegemite....
We all adore our Vegemite
It puts a rose in every cheek!"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Poem For Today...

As the Gold Coast Lexmark Indy is playing in the background and I await the F1-11s to fly over (hopefully, they'll head back to Amberley over the mountain), I decided it was a good time to write a poem. It must be the roar of the motors and the throbbing power of the jets that are revving me up! The F1-11s were doing exercises when I was down in Ipswich on Wednesday. I adore them...they really make me excited and my adrenalin goes into over-drive! Go Team Australia!

With no further ado...here is today's offering....

Life's Moments Wasted

Along the way we all say words we soon regret
Have moments praying we could become invisible
Puerile silly misunderstandings over which we fret
Battered fragile emotions no longer concealable
Endless angry silences...their reasons we forget

Leading to games of cat and mouse hide and seek
Hearts minds held to ransom emotional blackmail
Hours pass slowly sad nights dim days then a week
Frail senses in disturbance as if buffeted by a gale
An eternity...time wasted over something so oblique

Weekend Indulgence!

A storm has just passed by leaving behind rain, lots of beautiful wet, moist, damp, noisy rain! And I'm loving it! It's a cosy evening to enjoy one of my favourite pastimes...cooking! Followed by eating the tasty fare, while sipping on a glass of red...yes...a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon has just miraculously popped its cork! Just as well it didn't have a screw top or I'd be really concerned! Tonight I'm preparing a juicy steak as per the picture on the right, to be topped with garlic prawns and bernaise sauce. I've gotten as far as preparing a potato bake...thinly sliced potatoes layered with a little olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh rosemary leaves, a sprinkling or three of chicken stock powder, freshly ground black pepper and a splash of water. The 'bake' is presently doing it's 'thing' in the oven. I prefer making my potato bakes this way than using cream.

The steak I will cook medium-rare. I've green prawns at the ready to be cooked in olive oil, loads of garlic, a small pinch of chilli, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. When the steak is cooked to my liking, I will top it with the garlic prawns and then a dollop or two of bernaise sauce will decorate the meal. For greens, I'm blanching some snow peas and that, I believe, should be enough!

Hmmmm...this wine is very 'moresome'...I think I will have to pour myself another glass as it may evaporate!

Friday, October 20, 2006

It Can Only Get Better!!

I arose before around 4.30am...came to my computer and right then, my monitor decided to die! I manoeuvred, with some difficulty, from up high, my older, smaller monitor to my desktop. (I wonder why I stored it on top of that cupboard??) I feel like I need a pair of binoculars to read the screen, now!

The day can only get better...can't it?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Thousand Words....

has been said many times words can paint a picture
Allow me to paint a landscape of my lasting love for you
Please do not be embarrassed by my personal disclosure
From each stroke of my brush much you may construe
Remembering always my heart is yours forever I ensure
My breathless yearning is as fresh as the morning's dew

Readily you are swayed by immediate attention of others
I fade from view hidden deep in the caverns of your mind
In far reaches of your heart dust upon my presence gathers
I am tossed aside like a worn toy why must you be unkind
You are indifferent to my tears that fall like spring showers
After all these years to your apathy I should now be resigned

Fruitlessly time and time again I have turned to run away
I pretend I see you in a crowd often I hear your name spoken
Lost in my midnight dreaming you come to me and you stay
Taking me gently in your arms my heart is no lo
nger broken
I pray in reality we could remain this way but it all goes astray
Once more alone with nothing of you as a reminder nor token

Verse by Lee in between painting! (I needed a break!)

PS....does anyone know how I get rid of all this wasted space below me? I guess I could keep writing...but I've run out of things to say...for the moment! ;) So if anyone can help me with my dilemma, I would be very appreciative...Ta!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Law Is a Law Unto Itself

Enron founder Ken Lay's criminal record is now clean! A judge in Houston Texas yesterday dismissed Lay's conviction on fraud and conspiracy charges connected to the downfall of the energy giant because Lay died before he could appeal. This means that Lay's estate will not have to forfeit tens of millions of dollars the court had deemed fraudently obtained. Lay was convicted of 10 counts of fraud, conspiracy and lying to banks in May. He died of a heart attack in early July.

The collapse of Enron wiped out US$60billion in market value and over US$2billion in pension plans, not to mention the thousands of jobs lost.

The law stinks...it doesn't give a damn about the 'small people'...those who lost everything through Lay's illegal, criminal activities. His reputation gets cleared but they, the victims, have to continue suffering.

Our courts here in this country are no different. They make up the rules as they go along, while reciting some nondescript, indistinctive, irrelevant legal precedent that no one's ever read or heard of!
Reflections...Not In a Mirror...
Looking back throughout the years
I wonder where the time has gone
Laughter shared but alone the tears
Sometimes I think life is just a con
Oh! How to make time stand still
I would wish upon a star up high
To halt the rapid slide downhill
Instead I shall just reflect and sigh

Photos of Lee from ages...12 years to 26 years...and verse by Lee.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm A Happy Little Vegemite!

Today was spent with two good friends of mine. We had a wonderful time. The drive to and from Ipswich as I mentioned the other day is one I very much like. At this time of the year all the jacaranda trees are coming into bloom as are the silky oak trees, so the countryside, though very dry, looks magnificent with the lavender and golden blooms.

I was thrilled pink when I was at the home of my friends. The other day I gave them two of my paintings which they have since had framed. I gasped when I saw my paintings hanging on their walls. They look so great. And I feel very proud of what I have done. It's amazing how much good frames 'make' a painting. They now have three of my paintings hanging in their home and I feel honoured. Sounds crazy, I guess...but it's a nice feeling having others like what you do. Plus, it motivates me to continue with my painting...it's just something I do for my own pleasure.
Committed to Non-Commitment

John Gray got it wrong in his "Men Are From Mars: Women Are From Venus"...I think men are from a planet far, far away...much further away than Mars...a planet yet to be discovered!

The differences between men and women are vast. Firstly, women think with their brains and feel with their hearts. Men don't think with their brains...we all know that. As for feelings and hearts...well, this one's a bit of a dilemma. I sometimes think men don't have feelings....or hearts, for that matter!

A friend of mine has been seeing her fellow for about nine years. He only visits on the weekends, rarely takes her out these days, preferring to spend the couple of nights they spend together watching videos. He goes to his parents for dinner on Saturday nights before turning up at my friend's home. I think he's treating their relationship like a comfortable pair of old shoes...if I were her I would use those shoes to give him a good boot up the butt!

I've not yet met a man who doesn't think with his penis...and I've known many men through my years, including in the biblical sense!

I wonder what it is men want or expect from a relationship...do they look for more than just fulfilling their carnal desires? Are they just looking for someone to prepare their food, to also take care of that section of their appetites?

What is it that men want? Why are some so careless with the heart of another? Is it because they just don't think? Or is it because they just don't care about anyone else but themselves? Is it that they only care about satisfying their own needs and desires?

Is romance still alive? Or is it only alive in the minds of women?

Mr Fogarty

He's full of zest so raucously hearty
Many say he is the life of the party
To some others he could be a smarty
It is such a pity he is not at all arty

Nonsense verse by Lee...

Proof of the trouble I can get myself into on rainy days! But what a wonderful day it's been. I had no good nor desperate reason to poke my head out the door today. I've not even checked my mail box, not that I'm expecting anything, anyway. About the only post I get is either bills or nuisance mail/catalogues. If they get wet...too bad!

Monday, October 16, 2006

*Puff* *Puff*...Sorry...I'm Running Late!

Sorry...I know, I'm late! I hope you didn't go hungry over the weekend. I kept meaning to share some recipes with you. I failed miserably, didn't I? There's really no excuse I can give you...it was just the way the cookie crumbled!

I bought a fondue set for myself the other day at a second-hand shop (local 'Op Shop'). I used to have one...an electric one. I think when I left Mackay to move down to Gympie back in 1998, I foolishly left it at the motel I'd been managing at that time. It was a very handy fondue made by National. I've never seen one other than the one I had. I've still got the power cord and the food draining rack, but they are of little use to me without the rest of it! Being able to freely and easily control the temperature was very handy, indeed! Anyway, now I've got myself another one...this one has the metho-burner underneath for heating...I'm going to throw a couple of fondue luncheons somewhere down the track. I've got a luncheon planned in November and I'm guessing I probably won't be entertaining before then. I won't use the fondue set for my November luncheon as I'll have too many people for a 'comfortable fondue'. I like to plan ahead, so I'm going to share some fondue sauces with you. It sounds like I'm going to have hordes here for my November lunch...this is not so... I think there will only be about 10...which still is too many for a fondue.

When I used to have fondues, which was often, I either had seafood fondues or beef fondues the majority of the time. With the seafood, I used strips of fresh fish fillets, green prawns, squid and sea scallops. With the beef together with using tender beef, I'd also serve various vegetables cut suitably for easy cooking. I also used to serve 'potato gems' for table-top cooking. I don't know if 'gems' are even procurable any more. However, I'm sure there's something similar on the market just as suitable.

Curry Chutney Sauce: Combine in food processor: 1/2 cup each natural yoghurt, good quality mayonnaise, mango chutney, drained and chopped, 1tspn fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons toasted curry powder, 2 tablespoons minced red (Spanish) onion and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, toasted...pulse a couple of times. Pour into bowl, cover and chill several hours. This will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.
Horseradish Cream Sauce: Mix in a bowl: 1 cup sour cream, 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 shallots finely diced, 1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Prepare a couple of hours before using. Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce: Combine in bowl: 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise, 1 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons hot whole-grain mustard, salt, pinch of cayenne or to taste. Hoisin Dipping Sauce: Combine 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup.

One way you could do a fondue is to heat up the oil in which ou've marinated your garlic prawns...using the long fondue forks, cook your prawns and scallops etc., at the table. Marinate the seafood in olive oil, garlic (lots of it!), salt, ground pepper, finely diced shallots, pinch of chilli or cayenne, a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice....before you commence your meal...remove the seafood from the oil...and away you go! Have lots of crusty bread at the ready!

Now ... I need to find is that tall, dark, handsome stranger to join me over a table for two...the fondue is ready...the candles are in the holders...the wine is maturing...and at this rate, so am I! I'll be past my 'used by date' by the time he turns up!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Humpty Dumpty's Dilemma!

Humpty Dumpty had a lot of gall
Humpty Dumpty was looking for a brawl
When the crowd left
He became quite bereft
Finding himself all alone
And the only thing Humpty could do was groan

Verse by Lee...in a moment of insanity!
Softly, Softly...United Nations' Pussy-Footing Waltz!

The UN has voted to impose sanctions against North Korea...fancy that! Also included in these sanctions is a call for countries to inspect cargo being shipped to and from North Korea...well, well! There was no mention of military action...and surprise, surprise...not...China says it won't examine North Korean cargo.

The UN have just proved...again...how faint-hearted they are! The Security Council couldn't secure a paper bag!

The Russians are sitting on the side-lines enjoying the circus. They haven't got the guts to stand up and be counted. They'd rather watch the US take all the flak! South Korea are, understandably, "between a rock and a hard place", being closest to the heartland of Mad Kim Jong-il and his robots. One can understand South Korea's hestitation, being prime candidates as targets by its outlaw neighbour. China...well, they're sitting on the side-lines with Russia, sharing bags of popcorn.

You can bet your bottom dollar Iran is taking down notes on how to emulate North Korea and how they get away with their rogue stance. NK is being allowed to thumb its nose at the rest of the world. Iran will be studying intently, you can count on that!

The UN stands for absolutely nothing these days. Rogue states such as North Korea know that and defiantly abuse the situation. North Korea has a squirt of a megalomaniac dictator ruling it. Its income is derived from running drugs, counterfeit money and selling weapons. A hard, 'no quarter given' stance MUST be taken against North Korea. It MUST not be allowed to hold the rest of the world to ransom!

One of the things that might help bring the little dictator to his knees (not that that would be a big fall for the little fella) is confiscate his supply of quality cognacs! The saying 'chop him off at the knees' really can't apply to Kim Jong-il...because it looks like he already has been!

Why is it that small men have this major inflated opinion of themselves?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sunday's Musings...

On the Outside Looking In...

Cheers resounded through the air
He returned from I know not where
To me it appeared he didn't care
That amongst the crowd I was there

Life's Banquet

Life is not a bowl of cherries
Nor is it a box of chocolates
His feeling for me often varies

It is my true heart he violates

A couple of quick verses...by Lee
Who Do You Trust?

A disturbing report in today's 'Sunday Mail' shows just how low some women can go.

Partners/wives/girlfriends/de factos (whatever name and status they give themselves...I can think of a few other names I could call them but then I'd have to censor myself!) are fleecing Australian troops in war zones. The Defence Department is now, because this gold-digging, callous practice is so widespread. giving departing troops advice on how to protect their cash while they're overseas. Some of the guys are losing up to $50,000.00... and homes...the money is being greedily stolen by their so-called 'partners'.

It's sick, isn't it? I really don't know how these women can live with themselves. I've never asked anything of or from any man in my life...two ex-husbands included...and I never will...let alone stooped so low as to steal from them! I'd rather be broke, have my independence, no matter how fragile it may be and have a clear conscience!

The Sun Also Rises...So Do I!

After finally going to bed and sleep around 3.30am or shortly thereafter, I was up and wide awake again at 6am! It seems I've had my share of sleep as I don't at all feel tired. Maybe I needed the late night/early morning to do some filing in the system of my mind! It's a a bit like doing a 'defrag' on my computer, I guess, putting everything in its right context and pigeon hole, throwing out unused, not required data etc.

Sunday is well on its way. I've made no plans other than to relax here at home, contemplate my navel, prepare something nice to eat later...a big pile of garlic prawns comes to mind...and hope I don't get any visitors! I feel like being alone with my own thoughts and activities to amuse me. As I was trying to get to sleep earlier this morning with my mind doing cartwheels, a couple of ideas for poems snuck in and fell off the wheel...so I might write a little poetry later. If I do, I may post whatever tumbles out upon the keyboards from my adled brain...and then again, I may not!

I never needed you to make me cry
I learned how in the years gone by
When you entered my life I swore
We would be different you and I
Above others you seemed to soar
On a pedestal I placed you on high
Beyond the stars and so much more
My heart my soul my whole desire
You understood but don't anymore
With nothing left...no one to care
You went away leaving me there
My tears flowed I held out my hand
To discover I was living in fantasy land
And my life was not as I had planned

Verse by Lee

Sleepless In Mount Tamborine!

It's 1.40am Sunday morning...not a sound can be heard. Everyone else around me...in the neighbourhood, that is...are well away in slumberland!

Maybe I should get onto 'talk-back' radio and see if there is another lost soul out there who is seeking a 'lost soul'!

Naaa...it's not worth the effort. I've decided men aren't worth the effort. It always seems to be a one-way street with men. Lots of take and very little give...I'm sounding cynical, these wee hours of the morning, aren't I?

Really, don't mean to be...as I don't believe I am a cynical person...just a realist! I guess I'm just feeling a little down...'the mean reds'...have been feeling that way most of today, to be honest. The mood will pass...they always do...they leave as quickly as they arrive, giving little reason for their visit in the first instance. However, I do have a fair idea why this one arrived today...or yesterday...well, Friday it knocked upon my door...I should have known better and not opened the door to allow it in! Men...the root of all heartaches...that's what caused it! Never mind, tomorrow I'm going to bury my head in my paints, brushes and canvases and put all thoughts of them...or one of them far from my mind! Two can play this game!

Now that I've gotten that out of my system...I might go and read for a while and put on some nice 'mood' music!

Sorry to have burdened you with my woeful mood...the sun will rise in the morning!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Will Man Ever Learn?

Apparently the answer is "No"! Turtles in our waters are dying. Dying from ingesting 'man's' litter...plastic bags, rubber thongs, balloons...and on the list goes. No matter how much information is given, man doesn't pay heed.

Years ago when I was living on Newry Island, a couple of fishermen arrived to have a drink at my bar. One headed up the track to the toilets while the other propped himself up at the bar.

"I'll have a stubbie!" He mumbled.

Politely, I told him I didn't stock 'stubbies' only beer in cans.

He scoffed and growled at me, "What! No stubbies?"

His attitude immediately made me bristle.

"I try to cut down on glass products here on the island because every day I'm cleaning up the beach out front here...picking up broken stubbies that clown fishermen throw overboard when they've finished drinking from them! So, cans are a better option...plus they're lighter for me to transport from the mainland."

"You calling fishermen 'clowns'?" the disgruntled fisherman tossed back at me.

"Yes...I am...if a fisherman throws glass stubbies overboard...or anything else for that matter, he is a 'clown'. They can take cartons full of beer out with them but they're too bloody lazy to take the empties back home with them, instead they throw the empty glass stubbies overboard...therefore, they are clowns! I know that none of the broken bottles that end up on my beach are from this island!"

His head sunk down towards his shoulders as he asked, "Can I have a can of beer, please!"

Just as this discourse finished, his mate arrived back from the ablution block.

"I'll have a stubbie, thanks," he asked innocently.

His mate made shooshing noises while making movements with his hands to shut him up...it was obvious he didn't want to start me up again! The rest of the men at the bar laughed out loud. The poor hapless mate had no idea what was going on! I joined in with the laughter...and just waved my finger at them!

The two fishermen came back the following day....and asked for cans!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good Out of Bad....

The young fellow who burned the Australian flag during the Cronulla riots in December last year, has been taken under the RSL's wing. Firstly, he was made to apologise to the Returned Servicemen's League for his actions. Now, they've persisted with this young, misguided lad to the stage that at next year's ANZAC Day parade, he will be a bearer of the Australian flag in the march.

Personally, I think it's very good the way they, the members of the RSL, have guided this young man and taught him what the Australian flag means. Instead of penalising this kid, they've given him the understanding of what it is to value one's country and flag. They've taught him pride and dignity...lessons he will carry through the rest of his life. Well done!

Follow-Up....twenty-four hours have passed and things have changed...already! Many people have protested over the above plan and it looks like it won't go ahead. I agree that what the teenager did was atrocious but he has been shown the error of his ways and appears to be truly sorry for his thoughtless actions on that day of the riots. Continued vilification does no one any good. He confessed. He apologised. Youths make mistakes. Can any of those 'casting stones' at him admit they are guiltless of youthful misdemeanours? Don't misunderstand me, I think the burning of one's flag is a diabolical act but I think, also, those threatening disruption of the ANZAC Day March are equally diabolical!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Please Explain!

It's way beyond my comprehension...I need help here!

For those of you who are not aware, I live in a beautiful part of Australia...at Mount Tamborine, in the hinterland up high beyond the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast and a hour or so from the hectic rush of Brisbane city. There are many amongst us (and some from other areas) who would like the ambience, the landscape and the beauty of this area to change...and change drastically. I do not and will never understand their thinking or their actions!

In one of our local little newspapers I read, today, of the destruction of up to 50 bangalow palms in a council reserve here on our mountain greenery. Landcare volunteers retrieved an axe, a tomahawk and a broken shovel from the site in September. I know where I'd like to place those tools! And would, without hesitation, given half the chance! (An eighth of a chance!)

How hard do we have to work to instill in the minds of the idiots who act so mindlessly, destructively and carelessly not to desecrate what nature gives us so freely?

I'm not becoming a 'cranky, grumpy old woman'...I've always been this way! And these clowns certainly don't help my mood!
A Little Light Entertainment!

Modern Day Jack & Jill

Jack and Jill didn't go up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Tho' they thought they oughta

Jack had other things on his mind
As Jill followed close behind
To see what she could find

Reaching the top Jack looked around
Much to his surprise he found
Jill had arrived before him
And she was lying on the ground!

Verse re-alignment by Lee
We Spay Female Animals, Don't We?

A woman in Pittsburgh used her four-week old baby as a weapon during a domestic dispute! The 27 year old 'mother' swung the baby through the air, hitting her boyfriend. The baby suffered a fractured skull and some brain bleeding and is in a serious, but stable condition. The baby's head struck the boyfriend/father. Four other children were in the house at the time of the despicable act.

What more can I say? My title speaks for itself!

Still Angry!

With all the very serious and sickening things going on in the world at present, I'm also so extremely angry over the 'waste of space' guys who are preying on women in Brisbane (and elsewhere). These clowns should be gathered up and put into the forces...if they want violence...good...send them to Iraq or Afghanistan, East Timor...or maybe, North Korea!

It would be difficult, I know, deciding into which category they could be enrolled as they're not men...and they're definitely not women...perhaps a new category can be created for them!

I wonder what goes on in their minds...if anything? They obviously have no consciences. I also wonder if they've ever done anything worthwhile in their lives, or if they ever will!

Life is a gift...they should treat their lives and those of others with respect and dignity. I guess they can't even spell 'respect' and 'dignity'!

North Korea has exploded a nuclear bomb....and I'm angry! It must be condemned. The toughest of sanctions must be applied. Here is a country who depends on international aid to feed its starving people, and yet, it spends its resources thumbing its nose at the rest of the world! North Korea must be punished for its defiance! North Korea must not be treated with kid gloves.

It's beyond understanding...South Korea is so productive and yet North Korea allows itself to be run by a maniacal despot!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rising Nostalgia...Awakening Desires....

It's okay...don't get too worked up or excited...it's just me drifting off into my regular dream/fantasy world!

In today's paper (Sunday) there's a review of 'Giardinetto's Restaurant' in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Wow! I didn't realise it was still going strong! I know Gino and his wife (Gino Fiorini, the original chef/owner) opened up another Italian eatery at Hamilton a number of years ago by the name of "Fiorini's" if my memory is correct but I imagined with all the changes that have occurred in the 'Valley' throughout the last few years, 'Giardinetto's' would have been long gone. I'm glad to learn that it hasn't disappeared into 'restaurant heaven'....or 'limbo'!

I have had some great, fun, lunches and dinners at 'Giardinetto's' ...it was the 'in' place to frequent...all the journos, advertising, radio/TV people, including me (I was working in the fashion industry at the time) regularly wined and dined there. Good times were had shared with fun, interesting people. Reading the article today caused me to reflect back over that particular time in my life and, in a small way, just a teeny-weeny way, I miss that kind of fun. I seem to be missing a lot of 'madness' in my life at the moment...and I enjoy 'madness'. I've been 'mad' a lot of times in my life and it's about time I got 'mad' again! It was an interesting crew of people I hung around with in those days. I wonder where they all are now! We used to party a lot...barely a Saturday night passed without a 'bash' going on at someone's place...great parties with intelligent, yet insane folk...conversations were always such fun...the music was an eclectic mix ranging from jazz, blues, classics to rock. Yes...they are people and times worth remembering. There was always an array of various spirits, mixes, beer and wine there...but nobody got stupidly drunk...and drugs weren't part of the equation. I guess by today's standards, we were naive...innocent in lots of ways...but we did know how to enjoy ourselves! I cherish the memories and am glad I had those wonderful times. It would be nice to have similar again!

However, that is past and this is now! Maybe I should take myself off to 'Brunelli's' again for lunch today and dream!

I would, except I'm broke...and Bathurst Mount Panorama is on!

I've still got some pizza left over from the one I made for myself yesterday...and I've got a bottle of re-corked red on the kitchen bench...somewhere hidden away, I must have a red and white-checked gingham tablecloth...I've got white napkins...so I'm quarter way there...and I don't have to leave home!


Pope Benedict has decided to keep limbo where it is for a little longer!

Apparently, for the past twelve months or so, the top dogs of the Catholic Church have been compiling a document recommending that the Pope abolish limbo! I wonder what they intend replacing it with...umm...I guess a child care centre would be good!

This has me a little baffled!
Maniac At Play...Someone Please Take His Toys Away!

North Korea's Kim Jong-il is out and about again playing with his war toys.

Not that I'm an Al Gore fan or what he's running around world sprouting about at present, but perhaps Kim Jong-il should sit down and view a screening of "An Inconvient Truth"...and then have a meeting with Gore and his cronies so they can convince him (Jong) about man's part in global warming!

The US....(no one takes any notice of the UN anymore) must sort this maniac out once and for all. But, the US is between a rock and a hard place. If they act powerfully and strongly against Jong, they will be criticised severely...if they don't take action, they'll still be criticised severely. It's time to prove might and use force against against this little 'Hitler'.

Washington has to stand up and be countered on this one...and soon. This guy Kim Jong-il is a megalomaniac of the first degree (amongst other things) and must be stopped.

Friday, October 06, 2006

At a Loss!

Saturday's already here! Where did last week go? Did we have it or was it skipped over? Beats me...this time last Saturday, I had a guest here. It doesn't seem like seven days ago...and yet, on the other hand, it seems like a year ago! Time...strange phenonemum! I wonder if it can be altered...umm? The last couple of days my two cats have taken to sleeping in, so I've not been able to make the bed until they decide to rise and shine! They're still curled up as I write...the bed can wait! I've just finished reading today's paper. I think I'll go and splash a bit of paint around shortly. I've started a large painting that I promised I would do for my friend who visited me last weekend. It's only in early conception stage at the moment. The rest of it is in the lap of the gods!

What I'm going to eat this weekend is also in the lap of the gods! The freezer will be raided later, perhaps...or I might make another pizza for myself. Who knows? If I don't, no one else will know! I'm in one of 'those moods' today...not sure what I feel like...food-wise, that is! I still feel like a human being when I touch myself...let's make that clear from the outset!

I guess I should post a couple of recipes as that seems to be my habit on the weekend...so, let's go! No more procrastinating....

Chicken Breast with Herbs & Goat's Cheese: Melt 30g butter and combine it with 250g goat's cheese, 1 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, chives, sage), 2 crushed cloves garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Gently lift the skin on 4 boned chicken breasts. Push some of the goat's cheese mixture between the skin and the flesh. Pat skin back into place, then spoon a little more mixture into the centre of the chicken underside, fold around to encase and tie chicken fairly loosely with string into a neat parcel. Melt another 30g butter in a pan and brown chicken over medium heat. Remove from pan to an oven-proof dish. Cook in a 180C oven for 10-15 minutes. Increase heat under the frying pan (on top of stove) and pour in 1/2 cup brandy to deglaze. Flame, then boil stirring for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock. Boil until reduced by half, then pour in 1 cup cream. Heat through. Gradually whisk 2 tablespoons flour, mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon butter, into the sauce until sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste. Place cooked chicken breasts on serving plates, pour sauce over, garnish and serve.

Carrots & Apples (Just to be different!): Scrape 750g small carrots and cut into halves length-wise. Heat 30g butter in saucepan, add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 100ml each chicken stock and dry cider. Simmer carrots uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until just tender. Peel, core and slice 2 medium Granny Smith apples. Add to pan about 6 minutes before the end of cooking time. Splash in 20ml Benedictine at the same time. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. If you don't have any Benedictine...and my guessing is you haven't...throw in some brandy...or just forget about it all together!

Spiced Apple & Rum Cake: Prepare a pastry: cream together 185g butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Add 1 egg yolk, 2 tablespoons water and grated rind of one lemon. Work in 2 cups sifted plain flour and a pinch of salt to form a soft dough. Take a quarter of the dough, roll it into a ball and place in the freezer...yes...the freezer...do as you're told! Press remaining dough out flat on a dish and refrigerate for 1 hour...no...not the freezer this time!

Filling: press 250g cream cheese through a sieve and then beat it to make it soft. Add 1/3 cup sugar. Beat until light. Beat in 2 eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla.

Apples: Peel, core and quarter 4 cooking apples. Cut them into thin slices. Place apple in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons dark rum, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir gently to incorporate.

Roll out pastry (the one from the refrigerator...no...not the one from the freezer...have patience!). Line a greased 20cm springform tin. Spread half the cream cheese mixture onto the base of the pastry. Add the apple mixture on top of that, draining off any excess liquid. (You're allowed to drink the excess liquid!) Press down firmly. Add the remaining cheese mixture. Finally....take the pastry out of the freezer...grate it coarsely and sprinkle it over the top of the cake! See...your patience was rewarded! Bake in a moderately slow oven...170C for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until filling is firm.

Serve warm, if you like...or cold, if there's any left over...you make the decision...I'm not in a decision- making mood today!

Maybe my mood will change when I win tonight's Lotto! The power of positive thinking has to work one of these Saturdays!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


No...not that kind! I'll leave that for another post!

As I wrote in an earlier post, I'm a huge fan of Jamie Oliver. I'm watching with great interest his programme on the setting up of "Fifteen" restaurant here in Melbourne. You all know the format, I imagine...taking disadvantaged kids (whether from drug abuse, family abuse etc.) and giving them a chance to change their lives around.

Work in a restaurant kitchen is not easy. It's stressful, demanding, time controlled...it commands and demands concentration and commitment.

Watching the show unfold and these kids who have been chosen (remembering they made a choice and applied for the positions advertised) is making me tear my hair out from their lack of commitment. So many of them don't turn up to the classes or are continually late. The lack of respect to their tutors shown by some angers me.
Their disinterest during the theory classes frustrates me to the point I feel like jumping through my tv monitor and shaking them by their collective shoulders! I spend the whole time during the show grumbling and growling at them! ;)

I've trained apprentices. I've also trained office staff, resort staff, amongst others. And yes...sometimes these kids can be so damn annoying. It doesn't take long to sort the sheep out from the goats, though. However, during the process one has to somehow retain one's sanity...and it's not an easy job!

I just hope the kids who really want to turn around their lives aren't pulled down by those who couldn't care less. I think there are some amongst them who are committed and I wish them well. They have a long, hard road ahead but it will be a worthwhile journey if they are able to knuckle down.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My 2006 Update.....

Simple Simon....Modern Times...

Simple Simon met a barman
He thought he wasn't fair
Said Simple Simon to the barman
You have no flare, I swear

Said the barman to Simple Simon
Show me first your dollar
To let you in free is uncommon
Then he grabbed him by his collar

Simple Simon stood his ground
To catch his breath a while
Shaking his head he looked around
He began to feel a little hostile

Simple Simon glanced about him
But no one else was there
Realising he was out on a limb
Sullenly he sat down upon a chair

Simple Simon dug in his pocket
To see what he could find
All he could detect was a docket
And it put him in a bad frame of mind

When he requested a glass of water
The barman asked for five dollars
He said, 'Come again, you oughta
The water is free to our regulars.'

My Thought For Today....

A roll in the hay is worth two in the bush!
Give Me Land, Lots of Land...Don't Fence Me In (I Want Your Land!)

Mexico are going to plead with President Bush not to go ahead with plans for a 700 mile border fence between the two countries. Doesn't a country have the right to protect its borders? I say 'yes, it does.'

An estimated 1.2 million illegal immigrants were arrested in the last year trying to cross into the US...and that's only the ones who were caught!

It is quoted the decision (of erecting the border fence) hurts bilateral relations, goes against the spirit of co-operation needed to guarantee security on the common border, creates a climate of tension in border communities.

What a lot of hogwash! 'Co-operation'...what co-operation? It doesn't seem to me that the Mexicans are co-operating. Perhaps they should look to themselves and ask why it is their people are trying to enter the US...illegally. They should 'fix up their own backyard' and take better care of their people. Just my thoughts on the matter!
Sickening Losses of Innocent Young Lives

At this point in time the Amish shooting toll has risen to five. Words can't describe this atrocity. Nothing will make me understand how anyone could commit such a crime.

Monday, October 02, 2006

When And Where To Draw the Line!

I came across an article in 'The Australian' about dogs being entrusted with ceremonial roles at their owners' weddings, some (the dogs, that is) even wearing matching outfits! I was reminded of a wedding years ago in which I was one of the attendants. During the rehearsal, the bride-to-be carried in her arms a dog basket decorated with tulle, ribbons and flowers, bearing three or four chihuahua puppies. The mother dog ran around our heels at the altar. I, of course, jokingly and with a touch of sarcasm, made a crack about having them at the wedding ceremony. To my shock, this is what the bride was planning!

On the day of the 'great' event as we strolled down the aisle, the mother of the brood, with ribbons around its neck, nearly got stood on by me a few times (purposely a couple of times!). The basket with the puppies in it had already been placed in front of the altar! When the wedding party congregated outside after the ceremony to get our photos taken, the dogs had pride of place in every photo taken. I think when the photos were developed I was in none of them as when they were being taken, I kept easing myself out of the frame! The whole thing was a joke and an exercise in bad taste, to my way of thinking! People really do go overboard sometimes. By the way, the marriage lasted only six months! I wonder why! I guess the groom wasn't prepared to take on a ready-made family!

Don't misunderstand me...I love my two cats...but there is a limit to everything!

graphite drawing by Lee