In these times of constant sorrow it’s difficult to keep one’s head above the mire. Valiantly, we must try to keep our spirits high no matter how challenging a feat that may be; no matter how overwhelmed we feel at times. We must never be defeated by negativity, hate, violence and ignorance. Too often, it’s easier said than done...
To be honest, there are times I really do feel like going on the lam; in an effort to escape the harsh realities of life. I become quite weary of it all. Frequently I feel drained because of all the stupidity with which we are surrounded.
My desire is to soar aloft with Harry Styles, ex “One Direction”, as he floats like Jonathan Livingston Seagull high above the mess below on earth. With not a care in the world I want to blissfully waft like a feather at the fancy of a carefree summer breeze.
I wonder if Harry will let me hum along as he sings his stirring new song, “Sign of the Times”. I say “hum”, because then, and only then, he might allow me to join him in song. Perhaps I could just mouth the words. I’d have no chance of being allowed sing aloud with him.
An emphatic “No!” would be his reply. My car even turns up its tyres when I sing while driving along Main Western Road en route to my local supermarket, and back home again.
If I was a few decades younger and Harry asked me to go on the lam with him, I’d not hesitate. Dammit! Nowadays I’m even too old to become a cougar!
So there you have it...if you don’t see me hanging around the IGA car park or lurking in the aisles harassing both the staff and customers, I’ve given up, and finally gone on the lam.
No! Not “on a lamb”...on the lam! I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. They are two completely different things, silly!
If no one wants to be “Thelma” to my “Louise”, it’ll just have to be me and my two furry, four-legged best mates... that is, of course, if I can entice them to get off “our” bed! They (they’re cats, not lambs) have it in their head they are the guardians of the bed. I’ve as much chance of getting these two, who believe they rule my world, to take notice of me as I have of grabbing young Harry’s attention.
It’s a sign of the times. Maybe I should take up knitting...on second thoughts...maybe I shouldn't take up knitting....
Seeing there is no possibility of Harry letting me glide adrift with him in the great blue yonder the only solution is for me to stay home. Therefore, if, perchance, you see someone riding along the road atop of a lamb, it won’t be me...different lam; different rider.
One bright sunny day, in late 1986, when I was manager of the resort on Hinchinbrook Island, I was visiting New Zealand for business reasons. While driving from Christchurch to Mt. Hutt I did come across a lamb on the road.
I leapt out of the car...having pulled to a halt first, of course...and scooped up the little fellow in my arms. The lamb’s concerned mother, knowing not what to do to get her baby back, stood at the paddock fence, staring. You would be, too, if you were a ewe.
Once I’d deposited the little woolly fellow over the fence, back to the safety of its mother, I felt at peace with the world. I knew I’d done a good thing. Mumma Ewe knew I had done a good thing, too. It was the look in her eye that gave away her feelings...you know the one...
Braised Lamb Shanks: Add enough-virgin olive oil to coat a large Dutch oven; heat over med-high heat. Season 4x300g lamb shanks on both sides; sear until browned on all sides. Place shanks on plate and set aside. Puree 1 large red onion, 3 carrots, 4 garlic cloves and 3 celery stalks in a food processor until a coarse paste. Add 1/2tsp x-virgin olive oil to Dutch oven; add the puree; season; sauté 20mins until browned and aromatic; add 375g tomato paste; stir in 1c hearty red wine, 1c beef stock, 2tbs chopped rosemary leaves, 12 thyme branches tied in a bundle; cook until reduced by half. Add shanks and more stock and 2c water to immerse shanks. Add 4 bay leaves; cover pot; cook in 175C oven, 2-1/2hrs. Turn shanks halfway though; add 250g whole button mushrooms about 45mins towards end of cooking time. Serve garnished with gremolata (Gremolata (combine zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, 1/4c chopped parsley, and 2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish), and with cheesy polenta, if desired .
Lamb Shanks with Chick Peas: Place 2 lamb shanks and 1 quartered onion in pot; add 1/2tsp turmeric and 4c beef stock; bring to boil; reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, skimming if needed, 1-1/2 to 2hr. Add 1 drained can chick peas, 1 can drained cannellini beans, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 1-1/2tbs tomato paste, 1/2c undrained chopped canned tomatoes and 2 potatoes cut into large cubes. Season to taste; cover; simmer 40mins. Serve on creamy mashed potatoes or rice.
Lemon Lamb Shanks: Season 4 lamb shanks; dust with flour. Heat olive oil in pan; cook shanks over med-high heat until browned. Transfer to oven pot; add 2/3c chicken stock, 4 dill sprigs, 2 sliced garlic cloves, 1 thinly sliced onion and 1 small, seeded, thinly sliced lemon; cover; cook in 175C oven, 2-1/2 to 3hrs. Transfer shanks to small bowls; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; stir in 1tbs chopped dill, 1tbs lemon juice; season; spoon over shanks. Sprinkle with crumbled feta.