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?