Monday, July 31, 2017

CONTRARY TO APPEARANCES -THE OLD GREY MARE’S STILL WHAT SHE USED TO BE...




My hair is no longer the colour it once was.  It once was dark brown/brunette with natural auburn-chestnuts highlights running at will among the strands.  (My mother had natural auburn-coloured hair; her mother, my grandmother, when she was a young girl and woman had rich, chestnut-coloured hair).  

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. 

 


34 comments:

  1. Good work although I thought I was reading 'Game of Thrones' for a minute.

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    1. Hahahaha, Treey. I've not yet caught up with "Game of Thrones" - I have a couple of seasons here on a hard drive. I'll get around to watching it one of these days...I'll finally get with the rest of the world. I'm bingeing on streaming with Netflix and Stan at present. My eyes have definitely turned into a square shape...more rectangular, actually!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  2. Ha, I may have to paint your grey mare; once again I am hungry and it isn't even close to lunch, our generation can run circles around the young ones, when I was 55 I could out work 20 year olds, terrible shape they are in; once more they don't care. I don't think they'll live very long.

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    1. Hi there, Linda. I have no intentions of out-working or out-walking anyone these days....they can have that all to themselves...I'll just go along at my own pace, not in competition with anyone. :)

      I'm trying to decide what I'll have for lunch today...I think it will be something that will take little labour...perhaps a toasted cheese sandwich and a large mug of tomato soup...yep...that'll do me!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. This old grey mare is right there with you.......they can take me as I am or.....

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    1. Same with me, Delores...they can like it or lump it. In in the words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. Well I am an old gray crone - but I am still kicking and growing and living. I think the youth of today in some ways aren't as strong as we are. Love your food. sandie

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    1. Hey there, Sandie...good to see you. I reckon I can kick as good as an old and young grey mare, too! lol

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. The horse incident - nice try. Riding a horse is no light matter, but young people believe the sky is the limit, and that's the beauty of it.
    The two little kids and their father are indeed a lovely, bright interlude showing the good side of the world.
    The food displayed in your post looks delicious.

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    1. G'day, Duta. We had fun that Saturday, all those years ago...and the memory has always remained with me.

      Those two little boys were joys.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  6. I am relishing my time as a crone. And love the time you spent with the youngsters and their father. The perfect antidote to the rudeness of the oxygen thief in the store.

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    1. Me, too...in my chosen, reclusive way. Minding my own business and not interfering in the lives or others and expecting similar in return. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  7. I have chosen not to be grey, but there is no question that I am also an old grey (at my roots) mare. However, I am strong, smart and very viable and have enough money to buy what someone is selling in a hardware store (albeit, I am thrifty). I got mad at reading your post and you having being treated that way. Most lucky people get old, and someday that clerk, if he is fortunate will be in your shoes and I hope he is treated the same. Hold your head high, Lee, we have fought many battles and we are still standing (proudly).

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    1. Oh, never fear, Arleen...ignorant clowns like that fellow will never get me down. I never lower my head to idiots who should know better. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. Oh, those look like not only tasty dishes but healthy as well. Our doctors have been after us to eat more fish too. We've been grilling these Tiger shrimp on our Weber grill, as was suggested by Paul Hogan is his commercials from long ago.

    I hate it when I'm treated with less than respect, particularly by people whose job is to serve the customer. I'm thinking, wear a t-shirt that says "Treat me respectfully and you'll have a better day." Something like that.

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    1. Hey,Dave...your T-shirt idea is a good one! lol

      I love salmon fillets...and I love canned salmon, too. I also love sardine and fresh fish...I guess I just love fish!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  9. No excuse at all for rudeness to someone who is not being rude. I remember how you put that trapped guest in his place during the cyclone. I met a couple in Thailand once. She was Thai born and he was Australian of Anglo Saxon heritage and Thailand was their home. He told me that while he is fluent in the Thai language, he does not use it much in public. He added, it works better for me when people don't know I can speak and understand Thai. I think perhaps the same for your situation. It pays to be a bit ahead of what the the salesperson thinks you know.

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    1. Hey Andrew...I'm never rude to those serving me in whatever business it may be. I would be ashamed and embarrassed if ever I was. I've been on both sides of the fence...there is no need for rudeness...anywhere...ever. These days, unfortunately some seem to thrive on it.

      I knew what I wanted when shopping in the store, and ignored his ignorance. He wasn't going to belittle me. I think this fellow is rude to anyone...male, female, young, old and middling.

      The husband of a friend of mine walked out on him one day. Said husband is a very handy man...he built the house in which they live...and it was no easy feat, even for a professional builder. My friend just put down what he was intending to purchase, turned on his heel and walked out of the store, and went elsewhere, off the mountain, to buy the timber he needed.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  10. I absolutely LOVE little kids who front up to anyone and proudly announce they are three, or four. Their little faces filled with the joy of being, is a real picker-upper, like an unexpected rainbow.
    Did you go to the counter and get one of those forms to fill out about your store experience? You can do that without adding your name, be anonymous and say he needs further customer service training as he was rude in assuming you knew nothing. May I suggest writing to the store manager?

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    1. So true, River. The little kiddies' faces would brighten up the darkest day. They're pure gems.

      Naaaa...I couldn't be bothered doing that. If I did, I'd put my name to it, anyway. Anonymous is not the way I go. The next time I go to the store...I'll just by-pass him. The other guys there are nice. I think this particular fellow continually has his "monthlys"....if you what I mean! lol

      He's the one who is missing out on the joys and plesantries of life...one day he may wake up to himself...maybe. I've got better things to do with my time than try to educate him how to be a decent human being. He'd be in his forties...if hasn't learned by now...he never will. No hope! ;)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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    2. With the cult of youth any senior now is not shown much courtesy. I am told that Chinese hold their elders in high esteem, but China is a bit far. Little children do not see the age of the adults though and they are refreshing.

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    3. Hi Vagabone....the fellow concerned is in his forties...he should know better...but I guess it's too late now for him to learn the art of respect and manners.

      Thanks for popping in. :)

      Delete
  11. I'm 32!

    Rude customer service means loss of customer.

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    1. Wow! That makes you 11 years older than I am, Mr. Ad-Man! :)

      As it is the only hardware store here where I live, I have no choice...but I will make the choice whenever I go there next to have someone else serve me.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  12. Going with the positive ...
    I love impromptu interludes like that!
    I also love salmon.

    All the best Jan

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    1. G'day Jan...those two little boys lightened up my day. They were just wonderful. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. I am relishing my time as a crone.


    แตกใน xxx

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    1. Hello there, sin soleng...nice to meet you. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  14. I'm so glad you had that lovely family to change the day to happy for you. I was thinking about that employee who was brusque with you, that you should have whacked him in the head with your stick. :)

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    1. Hey Lynn....I would have enjoyed giving him a few whacks! lol

      The little boys were lovely little fellows; they certainly did change the mood. Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. How random life can be. That young father had no idea that his remark would lift your spirits after the bad experience down at the handyman store... but I know that what happened there isn't the reason why this has been a difficult week for you. Thinking of you Lee - whatever it is.

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    1. Thank you, Yorkie. No...you're correct....the behaviour of that idiot is not why I'm so sad.

      The little boys were just wonderful.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  16. This is very enlightening! Did not know about dung beetles before. So aptly named. :)

    Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

    บุนเดสลีกา

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  17. I must admit to laughing at some of the post until I came to The Boor. Then I got irritated. I recently read a stupid (and inaccurate) comment by a youngster on the television who said that people over 70 should be made to resit their driving tests because they cause the most accidents. Actually his age group does but that's beside the point. Ageism never occurred to me when I was young because I could see what those who were old had achieved and often still could achieve despite the frailty that often comes with age. I'd better stop otherwise I'll be here all day.

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