So, here we are at the end of another week. Here in Aus, they’re cautiously saying that the COVID-19 curve is flattening and are beginning to talk not just about control, but suppression. We’re still at level 3 and will be for another month. Across the ditch in NZ they should be coming off level 4 restrictions this week. Fingers crossed.
It’s been hilarious watching our prime minister finding different words and phrases to prove that he’s not copying the kiwis. Either way, both countries have done so well and we’re all hopeful about the possibility of a “Pacific Bubble” that will allow us to travel between Australia and New Zealand again. Even though we know there are still many more months before that is on the cards, it’s still a little light at the end of the tunnel.
Okay, onto the five things that made me smile, think or wonder about…
1.Things I’m watching
Masterchef is back – and I’m very glad about that. Aside from the fact that I enjoy the show, it’s something that all of us watch after dinner each night – and after months of the three of us wandering to different parts of the house while MKR (Grant), Married At First Sight (Sarah) and Australian Survivor (Sarah and Grant) were on, that’s a very good thing. Plus, the dog is heaps happier not having to run between everyone. She’s free to relax on one lap.
I wondered how I’d feel this year – with three new judges – but it’s good. Andy Allen, in particular, seems a natural at it. And I’m loving the banter with the all-stars version.
Also this week I’ve been watching the neighbourhood children (who probably should have been social distancing better) turn the jacaranda tree on the nature-strip into, well, I have no idea, but it involved pulleys and ropes and baskets and hours of fun. They had walkie talkies to communicate with parents but as much as they were from different households, it was fabulous to see kids on the streets playing.
2. What I’m loving on the interwebs
I’m loving the #meat20 pics that are circulating around the socials at the moment. I think it probably started on twitter but given that I haven’t looked at Twitter for a couple of years now, who knows. Anyways, the idea is to post a photo of yourself at 20.
I couldn’t (easily) find a pic of myself at 20, but I did find one of me at 25 – at least I think I would have been 25. This was taken on the first overseas trip that Grant and I did together – to Singapore.
This picture of James Martin’s dog Cooper. Now, if that isn’t doggy joy I don’t know what is.
Also this week I loved these pics on the ‘gram.
The Rainbow Connection
The rainbow pavement movement. It started with some kids and some chalk in (I think) Melbourne. Here’s a local example.
There was also this really clever bookshelf – you’ll need to look closely to get the message – and a fabulous meme about ifTrump was the captain of the Titanic which I won’t post only because this is supposed to be a political-free zone.
3. The jigsaw files
Okay, so I’m not really doing them (my attention span doesn’t go that far) but Sarah and Grant are – and I’m contributing the occasional piece (which I’m announcing loudly). I do find it quite restful listening to them moving the pieces around in the box.
We did a contact-free swap with a friend in our suburb for this one. They’d warned us that it was missing a piece, but it was still disappointing to finish and see the empty space there.
Currently we’re off to Thailand with this one.
4. Things I’m reading
I’m reading mostly travel-related books this month. I finished this old favourite early in the week
and am now reading The Anglo Files by Sarah Lyall. It’s been sitting in my bookcase for a few years now waiting for its chance. Lyall is an American journalist who fell in love with a Brit and moved to London. The book is touted as being “a deliberately merciless (yet affectionate) taxonomy of the British species.”
To be honest, I’m not getting it – sure, I’m nodding at times, but I’m finding it on the whole biased and any humour is quite tart and (I think) a tad unkind. Plus, it doesn’t feel as though she’s understanding the British, or even attempting to, but rather attempting to place them into a box that she’s more familiar with. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll finish it.
What I am loving though (and am almost finished) is my first audio book – Michelle Obama’s Becoming.
I tend not to read (or watch) anything that’s won awards or that everyone else is reading – it’s a ludicrously hypocritical reverse snobbery thing. And I rarely touch biographies or autobiographies. This one, though, is different. I’ve long admired the Obamas and after listening to Michelle’s story in her own voice, oh man, that admiration has grown so much.
This one is a long listen – 18 hours – but I’ve been plugging away at it on my afternoon walks.
5. What I’ve been cooking
It’s been a massive week in the kitchen.
First up was Nigella’s Lamb and Aubergine Fatteh. Okay, the recipe (which you’ll find here) is for beef, but we used lamb mince. Sarah (in particular) was very “I don’t know how I feel about this” in relation to the aubergine and Grant, who also isn’t keen on eggplant (unless it’s Rice Boi’s version down at Mooloolaba Wharf – back in the days when we could eat out…aaah, the memories) would have said the same except they’d both not long received a lecture about opening their minds when it came to trying new things.
Anyways, everyone loved this, and it will be on regular rotation in Chez Tracey. It’s really like a Middle-Eastern nachos and the perfect Sunday night supper. I served the toasted pitta bread on the side so they didn’t get soggy. Give it a go.
Also during the week, I made this laksa. I cheated on the paste – it’s made locally on the Sunshine Coast and sold at our weekly markets and is, I think, the best laksa paste going around. If you’re interested, you can find out more about it here. This version had a little chicken and tofu in it but was jam-packed full of veggies.
Saturday Kitchen’s destination of the week was Thailand so this book came out and I got to use heaps of these little scud Thai chillies I’ve been growing.
I made fish cakes and a spicy yellow fish curry. On account of the candles I decided to light to make things a little more special, the lighting was terrible, so no photos of the food.
Sarah thought it was hilarious that the candles I lit for a Thai dinner had all come from France – the beautiful ceramic one I bought in Lille, and the empty yoghurt pots I carried home and now fill with tea-lights. Yeah, I could have put more thought and effort into it all I suspect!
Last but absolutely not least I made these Singing Hinnies – which you’ll need to wait until next week to hear about.
In case you missed it
On the blog this week:
Okay, that was my week. What’s been making you smile this week?