Monday, January 30, 2017

THE PARADE OF THE PRETENTIOUSLY PRETENTIOUS



Gympie's Kidd Bridge..(once known as the "Channon Street Bridge - from 1893 until 1961)

River Heads, Hervey Bay
Fraser Island
75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island
Two of my staff on the little Topper doing a bit of "sailing" on the resort's pool (They copped a serve, too!)


Along with other myriad sage words of advice given by our mother and grandmother, and the many Life’s lessons my brother and I were taught by the same good women, we were told not to be show-offs; not to make exhibitions of ourselves in public, or, for that matter, in private.  We were taught there was nothing attractive about being a blowhard...prudent lessons to live one’s life by...even nowadays. 

I still recoil and walk away if I find myself in the presence of a show-off.  They receive no acclamation or applause from me.

When we were little kids, along with other interested parties of varying ages, often during Gympie’s many floods, my brother and I stood in awe alongside our Nana* while we watched the rapidly running Mary River increase in height as it wantonly immersed the Channon Street Bridge. 

(The Channon Street Bridge, which was christened such in 1893, since 1961 has been known as the "Kidd Bridge").

The quickly-flowing water was on its way, via Maryborough, to River Heads. There it would empty into the Great Sandy Strait where Fraser Island basks in peaceful repose. 

(The 1976 movie "Eliza Fraser", starring Susannah York and Trevor Howard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliza_Fraser_(film) was about Fraser.  In 1836 Eliza Fraser and her husband became shipwrecked on an island, and lived with the island's Aboriginals for a time....henceforth, the island was the named - "Fraser Island" )

Mary River’s source is at Booroobin, west of Landsborough. Quite a major system, the river travels approx., 226kms before reaching its final destination.  

Our entertainment pleasures were simple in those days of the Fifties - and cheap! 

One such day while watching the rising river, a plump, freckled, ruddy-faced, ginger-haired kid skylarked on his bike among the crowd. He was being a damn nuisance, and an idiot.

Acting like he was the star attraction he was ignorant to the fact he sprayed people with muddy water; that they were forced to move to dodge his grandstanding behaviour.

He wasn’t getting his kicks on Route Sixty-Six, but on Channon Street. He wasn’t wary of the Mary!

Nudging my brother and me, Nana whispered quietly: “He’s just showing-off! He’ll soon come to a sticky end. He’ll get his just desserts!”  

As if on cue, seconds after Nana’s prediction the kid hit an unexpected hole or a disguised impediment of sorts. 

Gurgle!  Splutter! Splutter! He and his bike ended up in the drink, sucked under as if by quicksand.

Unharmed, he soon re-surfaced even ruddier of face.

While everyone watched on in amusement he left meekly with his wet tail between his legs. No sympathy was offered.  Muffled laughter could be heard, instead.  Witnessing the would-be circus clown make a spectacle of himself on his bicycle had been an unexpected delight.  

It served him right for being a show-off. Maybe he learned an important lesson from his embarrassment. 

Do show-offs get embarrassed? 

There’s always a schoolyard show-off.  They’re everywhere; schoolyard or not; no matter what the age. 

Run for your life! Nowhere is safe from the braggarts.

If or when we showed signs of getting too big for our boots we were promptly and firmly told to wake up to ourselves. Either that or we were taken to Quatie’s Shoe Shop to be fitted for a new pair of shoes!

When I was managing the resort on Hinchinbrook Island I had three guests who have remained in my mind because they were inglorious poseurs.

One boasted, without humility, he was Melbourne’s most eligible bachelor. These words of self-praise were uttered within 30 minutes of his arrival at the resort!  His announcement didn’t alter my opinion of him.  Figuratively speaking I sent him to a shoe store for a down-sizing.  

Another, adorned in gold chains, glistening, perfectly-formed white teeth, waxed chest and fake tan believed he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.  He soon became toast. 

I had to laugh when I heard a couple of weeks after his departure from the island that Ansett Airlines (I knew I had a few good reasons for liking that now-defunct (sadly) airline company) misplaced his luggage.  I'd hoped the pompous clown's luggage ended up in Bombay, the official name in the city in 1986.  In 1995 Bombay's name changed to "Mumbai".  (Perhaps Ansett sent the luggage there on purpose!  three cheers to Ansett)!

Another likely lad (read “cocky lad”) thought he was too grand to follow the resort’s simple safety guidelines.  Hijacking our small sailing craft, one similar in size to a Hobie Cat, he headed far out to sea.  In the dark of night a staff member had to rescue the fool. 

Upon his safe return I rewarded the arrogant buffoon with a serve.  The serve I gave him wasn’t his dinner, either. It might have given him indigestion for the rest of the evening, though.  Hardly a word came out of his mouth during the rest of his stay.  He didn’t go sailing again, either.  I doubt he even swam in the resort pool!   After the reprimanding he richly deserved from his little adventure, he was very meek, mild and well-behaved!  He was a fellow in his late 20s-early 30s; he should have known better.
  
Egos are like balloons; easy to inflate, fun to deflate!


*“Nana” is the name we called our grandmother...and that was/is our spelling of the name.  We never spelled it “Nanna”.


Parsnip-Parmesan-Sage Bread: Sift 225g S.R. flour and 1-1/2tsp salt into a large, roomy bowl. Coarsely grate 175g peeled parsnips into flour; toss around a bit; add 50g cubed Parmesan and 2tbs chopped fresh sage. Lightly beat 2 large eggs and 1tbs milk; add to ingredients, a little at a time, mixing evenly with flat-bladed knife, making a rough, loose, sticky dough. Transfer to well-greased baking sheet; pat gently into 15cm rough round; make a cross over top with blunt side of knife; scatter surface with Parmesan shavings and a sprinkling of flour. Dip a few whole sage leaves into olive oil; scatter over bread; bake in preheated 190C oven, 45-50mins, until golden and crusty; serve warm.

Sweet Potato-Sage Bread:  Stir to dissolve, 4-1/2tsp active dry yeast in 1-3/4c lukewarm water. Mash cooked sweet potatoes to make 1 cup. Place in bowl with 1/2c softened butter, 1/3c honey, 1 egg, 2tsp salt, 2-1/2c whole-wheat flour and 1-1/2tbs chopped fresh sage leaves; mix with spatula until smooth; stir in enough white bread flour to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto floured surface; dough will be very sticky. Continue adding bread flour while kneading until dough is tacky, but doesn’t stick to fingers; knead about 10mins, until elastic. Spray a clean bowl with oil; add dough; leave to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; divide into half; shape into oval loaves; place in two greased 9x5-inch loaf pans; cover; let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated 190C oven, 30-35mins.

Pretentious BLT: Whisk together 4 eggs, 3/4c cream and 1/4c chopped chives; season. Lay 4x1-inch thick crusty bread slices in mixture; soak each side, 3mins. Add butter to large pan; when sizzling add bread; cook 3-4mins per side. Serve spread with avocado; topped with lettuce, tomato slices and crisp bacon rashers.  

 
Booroobin...the source of the Mary River.

36 comments:

  1. A good word my grandparents used was skite. The chap who married Mother's best friend was 'such a skite', and he was. It was quite an insulting word. He would brag about everything he had done and about himself.

    Just a couple of days ago I watched a Youtube video made by a newly arrived student lass to Australia from the US as she explained her first reactions. One of the first things she noticed was that Australians don't brag like people do in the US. She could be talking to someone and did not realise that they were a very important person.

    She went on to try to explain the tall poppy syndrome but did not quite get it quite right. We like to cut down the pretentious and the braggers, like the the lad who fell off his bike, but we have respect for genuine high achievers who don't make a song and dance.

    'Another, adorned in gold chains, glistening, perfectly-formed white teeth, waxed chest and fake tan'. Tell me more.

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    1. Hey Andrew..."Skite" was used a lot. Istill do use the word at times. I wonder if the young folk of today still use it; the word, that is. No doubt there still is a lot of bragging going on.

      Calm down! Calm down! Sorry to disappoint you! The guy with the gold chains etc., had a woman(silly woman) with him (She was obviously not his wife. She was someone he was trying to impress; probably the wife of someone else). lol

      I doubt the relationship lasted for long after their island sojourn! :)

      However, I will elaborate further another day...and I have written about it in a previous post somewhere in the far distant past. I'll see if I can resurrect it.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. This definitely awakened a story in my mind about Clyde. He was a terrible show off and a bane to my existence. Not sure if I 'm glad this memory as been awakened.

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    1. Hahahahaha! Sorry about that, Annie! :)

      Thanks for coming by...wipe the memory of Clyde from your mind! I won't bring him up again! :)

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  3. Much the same here we were taught to 'keep a low profile'.

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    1. The better way to be, I believe, Ms. Mumbles. We were soon brought down to earth with a thump! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. Dear Lee, great story to read.. write more and more.. love to read... :)

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    1. Hello there, Krishna....no fear....I'm always writing about something!! I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. I completely agree on nothing being attractive about a blowhard. Obviously not everyone feels the same....:)
    Both those breads sound delicious.
    Have a great one, Lee.

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    1. Hi Sandra...I've only made the parsnip/parmesan one, and it's nice particularly while still warm. One of these days I will try the other one.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. Crikey Lee .... You're hilarious or so my Mum says. You're a bit over my head but Mum loves what you have to say. You should see her. She laughs out loud!! I don't know what you've got but keep doing it. It's so good to see Mum laugh. She also said 'arrrrrrr ..... Hinchinbrook Island! How I love that place'.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I think it may be the school you think it is. It's a great school.

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    1. Woof, Charlie! Believe everything your Mum tells you! She's never wrong! :)

      Hinchinbrook Island certainly is a majestic, wonderfully awesome island. It, like the Noosa area, will forever remain dear to my heart. I have room enough for the both of them.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  7. I was taught the same as you - never care for show offs...walk away, they just like to have an audience.

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    1. Hi Margaret....Yes, they certainly do. And I refuse to pander to them.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Mmmmmmmmm, home-made bread. Ever since my doc told me to give up the white stuff I've been sampling browner breads of different grains. Tempting stuff you're showing there.

    Hobie Cat. And I thought that was an American term for a small sailboat. We have a small sailboat like that at our family cabin. Dangerous though even without the ocean. My brother flipped it, rather it flipped him, and he had a fun time righting himself. So none of us could even dream of showing off in that little boat.

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    1. Hi Dave...So you understand how angry I was when I learned that idiot had taken the little sailing craft out to sea without my knowledge! And I was very angry; also for putting one of my staff's life in peril! He got the message upon his return to dry land!

      Yes...Hobie Cat is a world-wide company. The original founder of the company began making surfboards in the late 50s, apparently. And graduated to the little fibre-glass sailing crafts a few years later.

      Pumpkin seeds/pepitas would be great sprinkled over the top of the sweet potato loaf, too.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. Boastfulness certainly is an unpleasant human trait - I've done this and I've seen that and I know so-and-so and I've got such and such a possession. I prefer humble people from whom you have to tease out their special features and achievements in balanced, democratic dialogue.

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    1. Me, too, Yorkie. It is a very unpleasant trait. I've a person hereabouts - here where I live - who I dodge frequently for those very reasons and more! And when I get caught with no escape, I grit my teeth and bear it until an out presents itself and then I'm off!!! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  10. The world really does need more contemplation and less blow hards!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Our world needs more of something, that's for sure!

      Cheers, back to you, Stewart...thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. I don't want to get political here, but you know which bombastic asshole that top quote applies to!

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    1. Hi RK...good to see you as always.

      I try to stay away from politics and opinions thereon in my blog; and I think 99.9% of the time I've succeeded in my endeavour. There's enough being said, over and over ad infinitum, throughout the various media outlets and on social media without me adding to it. Personally, I'm sick to death of it all, and find myself automatically switching off/changing channels.

      Thanks for coming by. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. :)

      Delete
  12. A while back I could of use your first photo at work. I've never heard of using parsnip in bread. Anyhow I'm a big fan of parsnips.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Hi popylady (Dora)....welcome to my blog. :)

      Parsnips have a wonderful flavour. I love them, too.

      You've just reminded me I've not had a coffee today...I opted for a couple of large mugs of cold milk instead because it's hot and steamy here at present.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. Amazing pictures and good eats!

    I am an email away.

    Thanks

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    1. Hey Gail...so nice to see you. Thanks so much for popping in. Don't be a stranger...if and when time allows. :)

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  14. So true about pleasures of the fifties being simple and cheap. Financially it seemed like most were about equal. There didn't seem to be such extremes in rich and poor. Most seemed to be middle of the road.
    YOU have a great day.

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    1. Hey there, Sandra. I hope to have a great day. I'm about to go up and feed my landlords' cat and chickens. My landlords have gone away for ten days and I'm in charge of "The Manor"! Then I've got a little bit of grocery shopping to do...and after that I'm not going to lift a finger. Well, perhaps one or two!

      If I can remain cool it will be good. It's quite hot and humid here at present.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. Hey! Seems I remember reading a book from Australia and they told children not to be a ...tall lilly, or tall something, some kind of flower...not to be a show off. Do you know the word I am thinking about?
    Not much chance of me showing off as a kid, I was lucky if I could keep up with the others. I've not changed much. :-)
    (Rueful smile.)

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    1. Hey back to you Kay!

      "Tall Poppy", Kay.

      I wouldn't know how to show-off...I'd probably stuff it up from the get-g! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  16. Love that opening quote so much!

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    1. It's a good quote, Lux, I agree.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  17. I don't like a show-off either - sounds as if all the show-offs listed above got their just desserts!

    Love that first quote. And my late mom was called Nana by her grandchildren, too (spelled just like that.)

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    1. Hey there, Lyn. They certainly did, Lynn...and it was fun knowing that! :)

      Yes...I pointed out my spelling of "Nana" because some could think I was spelling it incorrectly...but that is how it was in our family, too.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  18. Oh, I have to make that Pretentious BLT! just for the name! I was in the audience of a magic show with a well known magician picking folks out of the audience. He made the mistake of picking some rather small kid who was up too late, I suppose he was about 10. Thought the kid would be cute or something. Which he was, for about a minute. But after that he wanted to be the star of the show and wouldn't shut up. I wondered how the magician would shut him up because the parents clearly weren't, they were beaming with pride. I SUPPOSE I was hoping he'd make him disappear in a puff of smoke, or better still, saw him in half. But actually he just told him that was enough from him and he was going to try someone else now. Well, it worked. But I was still just a bit disappointed. :)

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    1. Hahahahahaha! I'm sure I would've been thinking similar thoughts to yours, Jenny if I'd been there in the audience, too!! I even might have yelled out a few suggestions! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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