I’m not sure if we were related to nuts or horses. I suppose it could be said we were a little nuts in many ways. I still am, having proudly accepted my eccentricities long ago. Genes, other than those made of denim, are inescapable. In truth, I’d rather be a little nutty than normal....whatever “normal” is; whatever it is, it does sound boring). I intend growing old disgracefully eccentric or eccentrically disgraceful...so far I’m succeeding either way!
My hair has been grey for many years. I’m content with its colour. I don’t wish to be a chameleon constantly changing colour.
My hips aren’t as flexible as they once were; but not being able to run marathons doesn’t bother me one iota. I never ran marathons, anyway. Not pounding the bitumen has never bothered me, running or walking; or hobbling, for that matter.
Over the years I pounded enough hard surfaces, hour after hour, up to 14 hours or more a day, when cooking in restaurants etc. The thought of pounding roads was a pound to far.
Twisting the night away is now an activity of the past, too, which is a shame because I did love dancing the night away.
Nowadays I’d be flat out trying to climb upon a mare, grey or otherwise, old or young; and a stallion would be far too frisky.
The last time I hopped aboard a horse, which, coincidentally, was grey, I was the tender age of 15 years, with not a grey hair on my head. The spontaneous adventure occurred one Saturday afternoon.
After we’d spent a few hours at the public Olympic-size swimming pool, a friend and I were strolling past a Gympie sportsground when we spotted a horse grazing leisurely at the edge of the sports’ oval. The temptation was too powerful to be denied. No one else was around on that clear, sunny day. No sporting events had drawn the locals to cheer on from the sidelines. The coast was clear, so up we got upon said mare.
The horse began to canter - not gallop – just a gentle canter, probably in an attempt to dislodge the inexperienced equestrians atop its back. The grey mare succeeded in its endeavour.
With no reins, saddle or stirrups to help us remain astride, our fate was sealed from the moment we’d swung our legs over the horse’s back. Luckily, no one was around to see us hanging upside down beneath the horse’s belly (that’s how we knew it was a mare, not a stallion).
The horse sniggered as we gracelessly, clumsily slid to the ground. Dusting ourselves off, with only our dignity injured, laughing, we continued on our way, with none others, other than the mare, my friend and me any the wiser.
A few days ago, when shopping in a store I don’t often frequent; a store patronised mostly by men who consider themselves to be handy, the fellow who served me was patronising, condescending and rude. He’s definitely is in the wrong game! He should be kept behind closed doors or out in a paddock away from having to deal with the public.
In his blinkered view all he saw before him was an elderly, grey-haired woman with a walking stick. Mistakenly, he treated me as if I had no grey matter whatsoever.
Obviously, he needs his eyes tested. I wasn’t wearing a hat or a beanie. My grey hair was clearly visible, to all and sundry...those not wearing blinkers, anyway.
“What would an old woman like her know about anything?” He thought, while treating me accordingly. Like my grey hair, his discourteous attitude was conspicuous; his thoughts, almost audible.
I wonder if he has ever run an island retreat, solely, singularly – driven the resort’s boat to and from the mainland ferrying guests and provisions; operated generators etc; catered for the guests’ every needs, and more.
In the past, this grey-haired old woman has done all of the above, and more when living on Newry Island and taking care of the small resort thereon.
It’s a laid down, open misère he hasn’t. I’m prepared to bet he never will, and never could.
Thankfully, there is always a rainbow.
Still simmering after having had my morning disrupted by his brusque, ungracious, ill-mannered, ignorant behaviour, I paid a visit to the pleasant crew at IGA, my local supermarket, for a re-stock.
As I was about to climb into my car, two little boys alighted from the car next to mine.
“I’m three!” Announced one little fellow, as proud as Punch. So delighted to be three, he again loudly proclaimed the wonder of it to me.
Not to be outdone, his brother puffed up his chest like a pouter pigeon, declaring, “I’m four!”
Bursting into laughter, I replied, “I’m not going to tell you how old I am!”
Their father laughed along with me.
Like a gentleman, he said, “You’re 21!”
With that impromptu interlude, once again all was good with the world.
This old grey mare is still what she used to be...an’ she ain’t gonna change for no one!
Orange-Mustard Salmon: Heat 1tsp butter in pan; add 3 salmon fillets, skin side down; cook 4-5mins until skin is slightly crispy. Whisk 1/2c orange juice, zest of 1 orange, 1tbs seeded mustard, 1tsp light soy sauce, 1tsp honey, 1tsp rice wine vinegar and salt to taste; add to pan. Bring to quick boil; simmer 2-3mins until thickened; gently flip salmon; coat with sauce; top with sesame seeds; serve.
Brain-food Prawns: Heat grill/ pan to med-high. Chop 1 red capsicum, 1 red onion and 1 yellow squash into bite-size pieces; toss with 2tbs chopped fresh thyme and oregano, 1tbs olive oil, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper and chilli flakes. Toss 16 large green prawns, shelled, deveined in 1/2tbs olive oil; season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and 1tsp of the fresh herbs. Place prawns and vegetables on separate skewers. Grill vegies over med-heat, 6-7mins. When vegies are nearly done, grill prawns 1-2mins per side. Serve Quinoa Pesto: Combine 2c cooked quinoa and 1/2c prepared pesto (or make your own).
Goat Cheese-Brie-Tomato Tart: Heat oven 180C/ Line greased 23cm flan tin with shortcrust pastry; bake blind. Cut goat cheese and Brie or Camembert into thick pieces; cover base. Cut assortment of tomatoes into rounds; arrange on top of cheese; scatter thyme over top; lower oven to 170C; bake 20-30mins.
Earl Grey Mousse: Bring 3tbs milk to boil; turn off heat; infuse with 2 Earl Grey tea bags, 5 mins. Whip 1/4c cream to soft peaks. Add 2tbs icing sugar; mix gently. Beat 2 egg whites and pinch of salt in processor until stiff. Mix together whipped cream and egg whites, stir delicately with a rotary/vertical movement. Add milk tea, a little at a time; stir gently into mousse. Place final result in 2 dessert glasses; chill overnight.
Grey Matter Smoothie: Blend 1c blueberries, 1/2c steamed broccoli, 1c cranberry or blueberry juice and 1/2c natural yoghurt; add strawberries, if desired.