Wednesday, August 20, 2014


John Thaw aka "Inspector Morse"
Peter Falk aka "Columbo"
Barry Foster aka "Van Der Valk"...on right

My word! Who we associate with says a lot about us; and, in turn, about them, of course.  However, not having planted a bug I’m unable to tell you what is said about you, me or us. 

Please don’t go around sticking beetles on your friends. Arthropods are not the kind of bugs to which I refer.  If you do play around with bugs perhaps heed should be taken of the saying that goes something like this: “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”. Where’s the advantage in doing so if that’s the result?

How silly!  And let's be honest would be very unkind to infest your pets in such a way!

I'm not referring to the bug of the motorised kind - the Volkswagen “Beetle", either.

Gee! It bugs me when I’m misunderstood!

An exchange a friend and I shared a couple of weeks ago started me thinking about association.  Alright…an “associate”, if you insist on being pedantic. 

In a round about way my associate raised the subject of word association. She does it often, not the raising of the subject, but the practice of word association; the utilization thereof.  And it must be said, she often does go the round about route when telling a story; not dissimilar to what I’m doing at present!
Between you and me, she rarely gets it right. She always stuffs it up. I refer to word association, not the route she takes.

Frequently I drop subtle hints that she should give up trying. Her failures are far reater than her successes. Actually, my hints aren’t subtle in any way.  So, you see, I’m not talking behind her back. I tell it straight to her face…or in her ear when we chat via the phone.  We are best of friends, by the way…in case you’re wondering.  She will read this sometime or other. If I happen to go missing, please don’t link my absence my associate!

Our latest discussion proved, once again, word association doesn’t work for my friend.

I’m not sure how we got onto the topic of the late British actor John Thaw and his well-known, well-executed televised characterisation of author Colin Dexter’s “Inspector Morse”; but by the end of our conversation my facial cheeks were stretched and sore, not from remorse, but from laughter.

While on the subject of Thaw aka Morse word association, somehow, reared its fraternizing head.
My friend insisted Thaw also played the role of a detective in an Amsterdam-based TV series; my unswerving endeavour trying to convince her that this wasn’t so failed to quell or thaw her persistent, frozen insistence.

Before continuing I must point out here, without sounding like a big-headed, know-it-all, I am a bit of a Mistress of Useless Trivia, particularly when the subject strays onto movies, movie stars, television series, television actors, novels and their protagonists etc., et al.  It’s an unconscious idle, frivolous hobby I unconsciously stumbled upon when I was a kid; one that has stayed with me ever since.  I just can’t seem to shake it off. I have no desire to do so.  I enjoy playing with it!  And, in my defense, it also must be said that my friend frequently turns to me for answers to questions about such trivial subject matters.

During our telephone conversation the other day, impelled by an image in her mind, my friend upheld her argument. She stood her ground like a fierce Warrior Princess. Xena, eat your heart out! You would be no match for my associate when she’s on a roll about who played what role. And when it comes to putting both of us together, toe to toe,  Xena wouldn’t get a look in!

As our animated discussion continued I was in awe when Thaw magically morphed into Peter Falk, who, disguised as Columbo obviously must have left LA to do a stint in Amsterdam because my friend tossed Falk onto the plate for reasons known only to her. It made me baulk. All I could do was gawk at the phone and let my friend talk her way into more befuddlement.  I’d chalk it up to another example of muddled word association confusion.

A needless profusion of words; a diffusion of theories and suggestions floated back and forth as our discussion progressed. None made any sense. The preclusion of one idea didn’t automatically bring us closer to a satisfactory conclusion of our dilemma. All the while, my laughter bubbled and erupted, as did hers.  We became a lethal combination.

Of course, I found myself growing hoarse trying to explain to her that neither Morse nor Thaw had anything to do with whatever she was talking about. By that stage, she’d not only confused me, but herself as well. As a stubborn adversary she may be, I also can stand my ground until my feet are thaw - I mean sore!  I wasn’t going to melt into submission because I knew she was beating the wrong drum.

Two days later I received an email from said associate.  She’d remembered the mysterious TV series.  It had nothing to do with Thaw or Falk; Morse or Columbo. Our lengthy discussion had been just a pile of mumbo-jumbo. 

The show my friend was trying to recall at the time of our phone conversation was the British television series “Van Der Valk”. It starred English actor Barry Foster in the title role as the Dutch detective. The series was based mainly in and around Amsterdam.  The theme music from “Van Der Valk”; a melody otherwise known as “Eye Level”, became very popular in the early Seventies. Each time I heard the music (and, no doubt, when many others heard the music played on their radios) its association with the television series immediately sprung to mind.I suppose “Valk” could, at a squeeze, be associated with “Falk”, but only in the rhyming department. And of course, similar to Thaw playing Inspector Morse, Falk did play a homicide detective called “Columbo”, often with his arms held akimbo!

If pinch came to shove, I could be forced into admitting there was a similarity in appearance between Thaw aka Morse and Foster aka Van Der Valk; but that’s as far as I’m prepared to go!

It's patently apparent I don’t practice word association. Give me one good reason why I should.
My ex-husband practiced word association.  Much to his embarrassment, one day he discovered it was probably a better idea to give up such a foolhardy habit.  It was a moment of enlightenment!

We were living in Brisbane and, at the time, my husband was a real estate salesman employed by a real estate agency in the suburb of Toowong; a Brisbane suburb in which we also lived.  He dealt with properties in the popular Toowong area, as well as in the equally popular surrounding western suburbs of Brisbane.

During that period, prior to us leaving the city to live at the coast, he’d gained his real estate license. Soon after we settled into coastal living we began operating our own small agency from our home office at Sunshine Beach. 

Back in Brisbane…a wealthy client was due in town. My ex’s would-be client’s name was Mr. Trigger. The sole purpose of Mr. Trigger’s visit to Brisbane was to purchase a couple of investment properties in and around Toowong. 

To ensure he’d remember his new client’s name my ex employed his word association skills prior to their appointment. Everything was going to well-rehearsed plan until my then husband extended his hand in welcome to - “Mr. Gunn”.

Citrus & Spice Pan-Seared Fish: Pat dry 3x155g fish fillets. Combine 1/2c orange juice, juice of 1 lime, 1tbs x-virgin olive oil, 3tsp soy sauce, 1tbs brown sugar, 1/2tsp each paprika and cumin, 1/4ts black pepper and 2 finely-chopped garlic cloves. Add fillets; coat evenly; chill 30-60mins. Heat pan on med-high heat; add fish to pan; sear about 4mins per side; remove and set aside.  Add rest of marinade to pan; bring to boil; reduce. Serve over fillets. 

Green Peas & Roasted Carrots: Cut 6 large carrots into 5x1cm batons; toss in 1tsp olive oil; add 1tsp each lightly-toasted caraway and cumin seeds, 1/4tsp smoked paprika, 2tsp maple syrup, 10g thyme sprigs, salt and freshly-ground pepper. Transfer onto lined baking tray. Roast at 220C, 20-25mins, until caramelized; cool. Tip into bowl; discard thyme. Blanche 150g fresh/frozen peas; drain; dry; add to carrots with 1tbs freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 1tsp orange zest, 1tsp finely-chopped tarragon, 1/2tbs olive oil; season. Toss gently; just before serving stir through 40g pea shoots.  

Three Fruit Citrus Loaf: Grease and flour two loaf tins; line bases. Cream 1c room temp butter and 2c sugar until light and fluffy. At med-speed, add 4 x-large eggs, 1 at a time and 1/3c grated lime and orange zest. Sift together 3c plain flour, 1/2tsp each baking powder and baking soda and 1tsp salt. In bowl combine 1/4c each orange and lemon juice, 3/4c room-temp buttermilk and 1tsp vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixture to butter/eggs alternately; begin and end with flour. Divide between pans; bake at 175C, 45-60mins. Cook 1/2c sugar with 1/3 lemon juice in saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Spoon sauce over still warm cakes; then cool completely.


  1. Mr Gunn...ahahahaha! Word association led your ex up the wrong path. That was funny, Lee!

  2. I am truly woeful at remembering names. Or faces.
    I am excellent at remembering voices. Which doesn't help when I can't tell you whose voice I am referring to.
    My brain has gone out to lunch without me. And I hope it gets indigestion.

  3. We laughed about his blunder for years, Robyn. We still do if it comes up in conversation when we chat. Thanks for coming by. :)

  4. Hey, EC. I'm pretty good at remembering names and faces; but of course, like everyone else I have those embarrassing moments when talking with someone whose name I do know and should know...escapes me completely at the moment!

    I love your saying about your brain!!!

    Thanks for popping in. :)

  5. I only know that I love Columbo:)

  6. HI Granny A...he was a lot of fun. I wish they'd do some re-runs of the show. I'm a huge fan of Morse...and I've read all the books written by Colin Dexter. Great stories.

    Thanks for popping in. :)

  7. In the seventies I could memorize everyones name in a crowded room but now I look at the people and if they should be named lets say Brenda they will forever be rooted in my round knob as Brenda . The moral, memorize the name however possible because some people do not wish to be called Brenda. lol Peace

  8. That's why I lay down with cats ;)

    I love Inspector Morse!

  9. Hahahahahaha! I love that, Lady....Lady....ummmmm....Lady Di! Got it! ;)

    Thanks for coming by. And thanks for my early morning laugh. :)

  10. Me, too, RK... and they just love lying down with it's a win win situation!

    Yes...good old Morse...he's wonderful...and John Thaw played him so well.

    Nice to see you. :)

  11. I don't think I've ever practised word association. I remember in school a teacher telling us a good way to remember something was to think of something similar that would then trigger the brain into remembering the first thing. I always thought that a complete waste of time and why not just remember the original thing?

  12. The Association had some huge hits in the sixties. The two four-tracks I had 413 years ago was of one of their albums, along with CCR's Green River.

  13. In regards to Mr. Trigger, it could have been worse, he could have introduced him as Mr. Horse. Or Mr. Ed, maybe.

  14. I sometimes find if I cannot get to sleep it is amusing to make associations and see where it gets me. When I get interested in it, paradoxically, is when I finally get to sleep.

  15. I conclude from this that you are a good friend!

  16. Hi River...see...your teacher was trying to teach you word association. I don't if we were ever taught it at school...if we were I must not have been listening that day!

    Have a great weekend...hugs to Angel. I hope you're feeling completely well again. :)

  17. See Jerry you were associated with the Association and this reminded you of them.

    Cheers. :)

  18. That is true, Dexter! lol

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  19. Hey there's a wonder you get to sleep at all once you start that little game in your mind!! Stop doing it or you'll end up exhausted! :)

    Thanks for popping in. :)

  20. Hey Lynn...yes, my ex and I are friends. We talk often; every couple of weeks, if not more sometimes. And we exchange emails.

    We'll always be friends. He and I spent last Christmas Day together. There is no reason for us not to be on friendly terms. I'd rather it be this way than not.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  21. It's the citrus loaf for me!

  22. I'll join you in a "cuppa" and a slice or two, Pat. Thanks for coming by. Cuddles to Simi. Take care. :)