Friday, June 29, 2018


I know I’m not the only person who has been caught in “that” moment.  Come on...’fess up!   You have, too.   Over the years, I have...often. 

The moment when you feel like the legendary deer we often hear about...the one that keeps getting caught in the headlights; except, in the instances to which I am referring, the lights just won’t come on - not even a slightest flicker.

Switching to LED bulbs won’t help, either.  Nothing will...except being able to disappear on the spot – “Whooosh!”

Giving no warning, your mind goes on strike, refusing to work.  No incentives or threats will kick its cogs into gear.  Intimidation is useless.  It won’t work.  If you could, you’d pack up your tools, go home and hide, never to resurface; but you can’t.  There’s no hiding place; no escape hatch.   

Face it!  You are caught...trapped!

Of course you, like I, have experienced the excruciating occasions when your mind goes you nothing – nada - zilch – zero – naught – nix - zippo - zip!

It’s pointless shaking your head in an effort to wake up your brain.  Take my word – doing so doesn’t work – and, to the person with whom you are speaking, you look like a bit of an idiot. (Probably confirming what they’ve always thought about you).  I speak from experience.  

Beating your head against the nearest wall will only attract those fellows with the van and the white jackets – so give that idea a miss.  (I’m not speaking from experience in my latter statement...but I imagine it is what would happen).  If you try this method, make sure you do it when no one else is around to see you.

Standing in front of you, oblivious of your state of panic...unaware of the embarrassment you’re someone you know quite well; someone you even socialised with at various occasions.  

Making matters worse, adding to your terror, sometimes it could even be a close acquaintance. 

Try as you may, you can’t remember the person’s name!

Innocently ignorant of your discomfort, the suddenly nameless person standing before you continues happily chatting away, while you continue squirming.   

Meanwhile, your face, which feels like it’s growing redder by the second, and your smile has become fixed as if it’s stuck there by Super Glue.  

Kidding yourself, you think if you keep smiling - keep agreeing with what is being said - enlightenment will come.  It doesn’t.  The minutes feel like hours...weeks.

It is during those agonising, tortuous, humiliating episodes when “my dear”, “dear”, “mate”, “love”, and if push comes to shove, “lovey”, come in handy.
Time, showing no mercy, forges forth.  Hapless and helpless, you’re now in the position where you can’t ask the person his/her name because you’ve known him/her for ages and, as I’ve touched on previously, on occasions, you’ve mingled and conversed during social gatherings.

You have no excuses to offer.  In truth, there are none.  Offering any makes matters worse.  You went to sleep early the previous night, so you can’t blame your denseness on a late night. 

If you try to excuse your bumbling, vacant behaviour, you end up embarrassing yourself even further.  It’s best to shut up. 

And, then, when the person with whom you’re conversing is talking as if he/she loves the sound of his/her own voice (in lots of instances, many do.  I know a couple – one, in particular, who I’m always dodging), at appropriate intervals mumble a muffled “my dear”, or any of the other suggestions I’ve mentioned above. 

If you’re wearing a watch, even if you’re not, pretend you are, and gasp:– “Wow!  Is that the time?  I must be off!  It’s been great chatting with you, my dear.  Let’s catch up again soon!”  Hoping against hope, you don’t!  At least, not until you remember the person’s name.  

Don’t use my ex-husband’s method, though.  He was keen on word-association.  One day, after a couple of weeks of practice,  he put word-association into use with a new client who was visiting from out of town, with the purpose of purchasing property in the city – in the inner-city suburb of Toowong or its nearby surrounds.  

On the day of their first face to face meeting, the new client, “Mr. Trigger”, became “Mr. Gun”, much to my ex’s immediate embarrassment.  Shooting from the lip, word-association triggered the incorrect name for my ex, Randall, in that instance.

Fortunately, Mr. Rifle...oops....Mr. Trigger...had a sense of humour.  They both laughed at the slip of the tongue.  Their light-hearted meeting sparked off a fruitful business relationship. A couple of properties were purchased, which, down the line, generated more business between the two.   

Randall was a gun real estate salesman/agent....and, yes....I remember his name, without word-association or prompting!

Rosemary Chickpea Soup: Pour 1c of vegetable broth into blender with 1/2c sun-dried tomatoes, 1tbs minced garlic and 1/2tsp chilli flakes; blast on high 30-60 secs, until smooth. Set aside.  In a large pot, heat 1tsp x-virgin oil over med-heat; sauté 1/2c diced onion, 1/4tsp salt and 1tbs minced garlic for 5mins, until soft and translucent. Add 1 can un-drained, crushed tomatoes, 1tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary, and 1/2tsp finely chopped thyme; sauté until fragrant. Add the blended mixture, 4 cups vegie broth, and 1/2tsp salt. Increase heat to high; bring to boil. Reduce heat to med-low, add 3c cooked or canned (drained) chickpeas. Simmer, partially covered, for about 10mins. Stir in 1-1/2c shredded spinach/kale or silverbeet. Sprinkle over finely-sliced green part of shallots just before serving.

Super Patties: Finely chop 227g tempeh; add 28g diced onion, 2tbs crushed garlic, 1tsp brown sugar, 1/2tsp salt, 1tsp ground black pepper, 1-1/2tsp each dried sage, thyme and smoked paprika, 2tbs chopped fresh rosemary, 1/8tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne, 1/4tsp chilli flakes, 2tbs Worcestershire sauce and 1tbs olive oil; mix by hand or pulse in processor, until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. Chill overnight.  Form into flat patties, ½-inch thick.  Heat a little oil in pan over med-heat. Cook patties 3-4mins until browned; gently flip; cook 3-4mins.

Braised Red Cabbage: Finely dice 1 onion; add it to a large pot along with 2tbs butter. Sauté over med-low heat until onion is soft and transparent.  Finely shred enough red cabbage to make 6-8 cups; thinly slice 1 Granny Smith apple. Add cabbage, apple, 1/4c cider vinegar, /4c water and 1/2tp salt to pot. Over med-heat, cover pot; let cabbage cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender (20-30mins). If bottom of pot begins to dry, add 1/4c water. Season with freshly cracked pepper, or more salt or vinegar, if desired. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Words for Wednesday” is provided by a number of people, on Wednesday of every week of each month.  The word fun has become a movable feast. 

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.  Stir the grey matter into action.

Each week we are given a choice of prompts, which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some, or all of the prompts.
This month...the month of June, is my turn to nudge you all into action.  You don't have to play if you do not wish to do so.

Some of us put our creation in comments' section on the post, and others post on their own blog.   Some do both.
Those of us who participate would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme, which includes cheering on the other participants.
If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and all others who partake in the fun and games can come along and applaud.

As advised above, this month’s prompts will be supplied by me, Lee.  Thank you for participating during June.

This week’s “Words for Wednesday” are the six words listed below:



With a great amount of difficulty, she had to control herself during the past week – take a few steps back, keeping her thoughts, and emotions, to herself. 
Any AUDACIOUS behaviour on her part would have been akin to cutting off her nose to spite her face.

It wasn’t the first time she had felt that way.  She knew it wouldn’t be the last. 

In conversations with her very best friend - the one person she trusted completely - what had been occurring around her over the past few days was the DOMINANT topic of their discourses. She tried not to burden her friend, so she kept phone conversations between them to a minimum.

However, there times when she needed a “soft place to fall”; the sympathetic ear of someone who understood her.  

Her frustration and her anger built up by the day; by the hour.  Like Sally Bowles in “Cabaret”, she needed to vent.

The reason for her ANGST was the THOUGHTLESS attitude of some others who didn’t have the COURTESY to forewarn her, let alone keep her informed about what was going on, or admit the problem was caused by them - him, in particular.

It’s not the first time she’d become invisible.  Often, half-jokingly she would say she had the unique, clever knack of being able to do so. 

What went on over the past week or so was not the first time she’d not fitted into their NARRATIVE - their understanding of life.  She felt CONFIDENT it wouldn’t be the last time.

MULTIPLE times her feelings have not been taken into account.  Their careless, inconsiderate attitude makes her feel she doesn’t exist.

Their outlook on life, and towards others, is vastly different to her own. 

She finds their attitude towards her is PROVOCATIVE, to say the least.  It’s very vexing. 
Frequently, she is forced to bite her tongue. 
She dislikes hypocrites, but more so, she hates being a hypocrite, but when forced into a corner, she has little other choice.

In their eyes and way of thinking, she believes they look at her as the ULTIMATE CARICATURE of a human being.  It's not a pleasant feeling.

She knows she’s not imagining the UNDERCURRENT, the undertones beneath what is said to her at times...oft times, making her feel as if she is a second-class citizen.
She is not.

Empathy is not part of their vocabulary.  She doubts they know how to spell the word.  They live under the premise that they’re always right.   

They are not.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Oh, dear! Insanity is rampant!  It’s a pandemic sweeping the globe!   Run!  Run!  
While you still have a chance...or, if you’ve a similar problem as mine...hobble, hobble!  

Many within our universities, with higher education credentials than I have, are allowing the rarefied air affect their brains.  The politically correct academics obviously have too much spare time on their hands.  

 If they get their way, life, as we know it, is history - or should I say.... “herstory”; “whosestory; “whatstory”?  

Acting executive dean of UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Julie Duck, who, as far as I am aware, is not related to Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey or Louie, is cracking down on the gender-neutral issue. This means, of course, that Huey, Dewey and Louie will no longer be allowed to be known as Donald’s “nephews”.  To call the trio his “nieces” is shot to pieces; and Elmer Fudd didn’t do it!   

The feathered triplets are stuffed if Prof. Duck and the rest of her like-minded pedagogies have their way.  Duck!  She is not alone in the madness!

 She and others like her forcing their gender-neutral language down the throats of students, or anyone, is akin to the force-feeding of corn to ducks and geese to fatten their livers in order to make foie gras.  

The male duck will no longer be known as a drake; a female duck, no longer a hen.  Gander, in reference to a male goose, won’t be allowed.  

On top of that, I suppose, we no longer will be allowed to “have a gander” over our neighbour’s fence to see what’s going on over there.  We might be able to “goose” someone, though, and get away with it.  I’ll have to run that by Prof. Duck.

Confused, chickens are calling foul. 

To confound even further, perhaps we should revert to calling cocks and hens by their Latin name - “Gallus gallus domesticus”. 

Those who have these brain explosions should be tarred and feathered.

 “She”, “he”, “her” and “him” won’t make the grade.  

Will “boycott” become “personcott”?

“Manage” will be dismantled.  Upon closer scrutiny, “disMANtle” is at risk.  

 “Management” is offensive because it consists of both the singular “man”, and the plural “men”. 

As for “huMAN”,  MENtion of it will be prohibited.  It’s MENtal! 

We’re being MANipulated by a rabble of over-educated twits trying to ram their agendas down our throats. They expect us to follow them like a mob of sheep (you and me, but not ewe) into a world of absolute nonsense.

Mother Nature  will be on the outer.

Boyfriends/girlfriends won’t make it to the front door, let alone be invited inside to meet Mother and Father; Mum and Dad; Ma and Pa.   

MANual or MANuscripts on MANners will be on the censored list. 

Housewife/wives won’t exist, nor will “woman/women”.

 “Chairman”/“chairwoman” becomes a chair – better than a stool, I guess.  

Mr, Mrs and Miss will be dismissed.  

HERbalist, HERmitage, HERetical, HERbicide, SHEnanigan, SHEer - not allowed.  

The list is endless. 

There’s no point causing a donnybrook over this insanity.  The creators of this nonsense have their heads so far up their nether regions, they can see half an inch in front of them, let alone an inch.  

I wonder what “donnybrook’s” gender-neutral name will be.

It’s laughable, but not funny.

I could be the poster girl...woman...for a movement against PC stupidity. 

Having the name – “Lee Frances George” - I’m already miles ahead of the gender neutral nutters.  I beat them to the punch because my name can be either male or any which order my names are placed. 

Note, the spelling of my “Frances” is – wait for it – don’t expire...the female spelling.- with an “e” opposed to the male spelling, which is “FrancIs”.   Whoop-de-doo!

What is going on?   To be more specific... it clearly is a load of gender-neutral MANure, isn’t it?     

I can’t say, “bull#%&@”....I’m sure “bull” is on the banned list, or will be...not that I am listening and adhering to their blather.

Duck Nuts and Beans: Heat 1tbs olive oil in pan over med-high heat. Using sharp knife, slice a criss-cross pattern on skin side of 240g duck breast fillets; season well. Put into shallow bowl with 4tbs soy sauce, 2tbs honey and 2tbs raspberry vinegar (or balsamic); marinate 2 hours or overnight. Wipe duck dry; heat on-stick pan; sear duck breasts skin-side down; then reduce heat until the fat has rendered down and skin is crisp, about 10mins.  Turn duck over; transfer to preheated 200C oven; cook for 8mins; rest for 5mins.  Blanch 100g green beans; drain; rinse under cold water; drain. Put in bowl with 1tbs walnut oil, 40g walnuts/pecans and 2tbs chopped sundried tomatoes. Arrange beans and some salad greens, on plate; Put the sliced duck breast, cherry tomatoes, and walnuts/pecans on top of the beans. Drizzle over a little dressing - made with balsamic, raspberry vinegar, Dijon mustard, walnut oil, salt and pepper; serve.

Glazed Duck Hazelnut Salad: Score skin of 4x175g duck breasts in a criss-cross pattern. Season generously with salt and Chinese five spice; rub into skin thoroughly. Place duck breasts, skin-side down, on a cold dry fry pan; slowly heat pan over very low heat to render down most of the fat off duck breasts. This may take 8-10mins, depending on thickness of the fat. Once fat has rendered, increase heat; fry until skin is crisp. Flip; cook other side, 3-4mins. Just before duck is ready, drizzle 1-2tbs honey and 2tbs soy sauce over duck. Toss and turn duck in the honey and soy; cook until liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze. Transfer duck to a warm plate; leave to rest 5-10mins. While duck is resting, to a pan of salted boiling water add 20g green beans; cook for no more than 1min. Meanwhile, crush 100ml hazelnuts lightly with pestle and mortar. Drain beans thoroughly; pat dry. Whisk 100ml hazelnut oil, 2ml olive oil and 100ml sherry vinegar together with some seasoning. (Tut! Tut! Female names!) Toss beans in vinaigrette. Place salad off centre on warm plates. Slice duck lengthways; place beside salad. Drizzle remaining pan juices over; finish with a small drizzle of the vinaigrette.

 Ginger Daisy Cocktail: Coat Champagne flute rim with sugar; drop in 1 maraschino cherry.  Place 30ml gin, 30ml ginger liqueur into mixing glass; fill with ice; stir until chilled; strain into flute; top with Proscecco Brut.