It’s been a weird old week – and one in which it’s seemed as though half of the country is on fire while the other half has a (brief) return to winter.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, there have been some nasty bushfires raging north of where we are, with not only damage to properties, but to wildlife and wildlife habitat. It’s enough to break the hardest of hearts.
While there is plenty of smoke haze around, though, all is (thankfully) well here.
Okay, I have a big week ahead so let’s get into the wrap-up. Aside from the fires, the week had other “irritations” and thinks that definitely made me frown, but that’s not what this weekly post is about. This is my cheerful space so these are the things that made me smile during the week.
I know, I know…but I love them. So here’s another pic.
The poincianas are just starting to come out, so be prepared for some more Instaspam.
Weeds that are actually quite pretty
Lantana is a noxious weed and there’s plenty of it growing through our rainforest. The flowers are, however, quite pretty.
Blasts from the past
My cousin sent me these photos the other day. They’re of the bank in Merriwa, a small town in the Upper Hunter Valley a few hours north of Sydney. It’s also where we lived for a few years – from 1975 to Christmas 1978. Back then it must have had a population of about 1500, I suppose.
In those days it was a Bank of NSW and Dad was the branch manager. Our residence was behind the bank and upstairs. We had a line of 3 water tanks outside, an old well that us kids weren’t allowed to go near because Mum found some death adders (a particularly nasty snake) in there, and a fenced yard behind that with peach trees, Mum’s veggies, and our chooks.
If I close my eyes I can still walk through that house and I can still recall lying awake on a hot summer night with the windows open. On the corner across the road was the “top” hotel (every town of this size had a “top” and a “bottom” hotel). In the summer the wheat trucks used to pull up outside and leave the engines running while the driver went inside for a quick schooner before getting back behind the wheel and driving the few miles up to the silos.
My fave podcast episode for the week was a toss-up between this fascinating story on Conversations with William Dalrymple about the British East India Company; and this one where Elizabeth Day (How to Fail with Elizabeth Day) speaks with Alain de Botton about the illusion of perfection and the curse of the ordinary.
An ankle update
I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for an ankle update, so wait no longer. Last year when this injury flared up I saw a podiatrist who taped it up, prescribed deep tissue massage (ouchy do), stretching, shoes (I’m the barefoot queen), and new trainers. He also reminded me to put my orthotics in my trainers. Derrr.
The pain is back again and I haven’t gone to see anyone because:
- what are they going to tell me that I wasn’t told last year and
- I figured the treatment would be painful and
- what if they tell me not to walk on it?
Then my fabulously straight-talking friend told me her husband had success with recurrent ankle, lower calf, foot issues like mine by seeing an osteopath. So I did.
He manipulated the muscles and isolated pressure points and by the time I left my ankle was moving freely again. And it didn’t hurt. There was some other stuff I won’t bore you with, but I think there’s been some progress on the pain front – and that makes me smile.
I spent yesterday with an old and very dear friend. She lives in Perth, on the other side of the country, so it’s a tad difficult to get together. But the best thing about friends like that is that when you do catch up, it’s like you saw each other yesterday.
We had lunch down at The Wharf in Mooloolaba and caught up with everything that had been happening in our lives.
It’s not that long since the Matildas, Australia’s national women’s soccer team, was forced to strike for increased pay and not that many more years than that ago produced a naked calendar in order to fund their own Sydney Olympic campaign.
Now, in a landmark deal, they’ll be earning the same pay as the men on our national team.
As one tweet read:
This is history. Equal pay still remains out of reach for elite women athletes across most sports.
What can I say? We’d been having cravings so in the car and off to Brisbane we went.
To make the trip even more worthwhile we brought back a 6 pack of these little beauties – Hokkaido baked cheese tarts.
Saturday Kitchen this week was Sunday as my friend and her husband came for dinner. The theme this week was Australian and on the menu was barbecued butterflied lamb, a beetroot and feta salad, and a mixed tomato, olive & cucumber salad drizzled with herb oil that I made from a leftover bunch of basil. Apologies for the photos – I forgot to take them when they were looking nice and fresh.
Dessert was, of course, a pavlova. More specifically it was Nigella’s lemon curd pav that I’ve almost made my own. In disclosure – the pic below was the pav I made for Christmas Day last year, not the one I made yesterday and forgot to photograph. The recipe is here.
Okay, that was my week! How was yours?
Have just started a kind of fun Christmas book, Christmas Shopaholic. Apparently the author has a whole series but I haven’t read any of them. My virtual book club selected this title for our November read. Have saved the book you are reading on Goodreads. Thank you!
Funny about the lantanas. One woman’s weed is another woman’s flower!! We buy lantana and plant them willingly!! One of the few flowering plants that can withstand our heat and drought in west Texas. I love them.
So glad to read about the relief you experienced with the osteopath. Hallelujah, girl!
I’ve read a few by Sophie Kinsella…they’re good fun.
Hi, Jo – I am very sorry about the bushfires and all of the damage that they have caused. I agree – heartbreaking.
I’m also sorry to hear that you had much frustration this week — despite keeping your post bright and positive (and filled with yummy food pics)! Sending warm hugs your way!
Awwww thanks. I think it’s just the stress of getting everything done before we go away…
Bushfires are so heartbreaking! Great pics! The food looks delish!
Thanks for dropping by.
The bushfires this time round are so frightening and causing so much distress to humans and animals alike. How good are catch ups with long distance friends and yay for Christmas reading, I have got well stuck into the Christmas fiction and I am loving it!
I’m LOVING my Christmas fiction..& my cheesey Christmas movies.
I loved your week Jo and am glad your ankle was looked at and is improving. Your shots are glorious and I love lemon curd so that pav looks amazing!! While some of Australia was on fire we were suffering from winter-like conditions down our way but I did get a great rainbow shot from my verandah and thought it was quite ‘weird’ how Australia can be like that! I feel for all those affected by fires and hope it calms down soon although the weather forecast isn’t looking too good for the rest of the week 😦 In other news, I’m on my way, we’ve left our home to the house sitter and have started our journey to England so that makes me smile, we still have a few days with relatives then we’re off on the big plane to cold wet conditions but seeing our little granddaughter Dottie brings a smile to my face. #lifethisweek
Looking forward to your travel pics. Travel safely… x
Another full week Jo with lots of photos and delicious food. Interesting that you mentioned Alain de Botton – I watched an excellent lecture he gave on romantic love and it really opened my eyes to how brainwashed we are by our culture and by out dated notions. (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-iUHlVazKk)
Glad the ankle’s improving and that you got to catch up with your Perth friend – it IS a long way to travel!
The podcast was very similar to this lecture & certainly gave this old romantic a new perspective.
It’s just horrific to hear about all the bushfires raging. I hope you stay safe and I very much hope the fires are controlled soon. On a lighter note, your Australian cuisine looks delicious! We do a spin on an Aussie cuisine night each Australia Day!
So funny that where you live lantana is a noxious weed. Here we buy it at the greenhouses in the spring. It’s an annual found in a lot of hanging baskets. Why am I always hungry after reading your posts? 🙂
Lol re my posts making you hungry & re the lantana. You know what they say about weeds and wildflowers. I happen to love them.
Jo, with the exception of brush fires and ankle pain, it sounds like a wonderful week. Good friends and great food make everything better. Funny that you guys consider Lantana a weed.
It’s so funny how what is a wildflower in some places is classed as a weed in others. Having said that, I find lantana very pretty.
Every up has it’s down so it seems and your wonderful climate has it’s fires to contend with. Pretty darn fine cuisine though Joanne whether you’re out eating or cooking! Looks amazing.
Thanks for dropping by. You’re so right about the ups and downs. I guess its all part of life’s textures.
Hi Jo – Glad to hear the osteopath treatment worked and you had a good time catching up with your friends. Yummy food photos as usual. I hope the bush fires stop soon. #lifethisweek
It’s been an early & catastrophic start to the season ut sadly I think this is the new normal.
I have been reading about the fires. Very serious and sad. You are right on “pretty” weeds. Good to read about progress on your ankle. I can (almost) taste the pavlova especially with lemon curd. Drool on my laptop again. Thank you, Joanne🙂
That lemon pav is A-Mazing. Give it a try …
I love everything lemon! I may attempt the recipe:)
Good news about the ankle…and I hope it keeps on keeping on. Your food always looks delish. I would love a bite of this and that. I sure remember Banks and residences like that from our country town days. Since my cancer I can eat but less (this is good) but so boring that I can’t go anywhere for a meal as it would be wasted. Nevermind..no more whingeing. Thank you for joining Life This Week, next week’s optional prompt is 46/51 Gift Idea For Teachers 18/11/19. Sure hope to see you link up again. Denyse.
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