Monday, December 20, 2021




What if you don’t have a hall?  What can you use if you don’t have boughs of holly?  Will coloured ribbon bows do? 

At present, up here on this glorious mountain, there are thousands of blooming dandelions adding colour among the rapidly-growing green grass. These days one has to be extremely quick of eye.  The speed of growth allows one…or two, three, or more…no time to blink.  

Lately, to keep up with the growing speed of grass, the meaning of the old saying…”watching grass grow…” doesn’t apply.

Boughs of dandelions could be worthy holly substitutes.  Although classed as weeds, dandelions are members of the daisy family. Are they the yellow sheep of the family?  Dandelions have many health benefits, so don’t go making hasty judgments.

As the curtain falls on 2021, a year filled with every emotion possible, I hear loud sighs of relief…and, they’re not only my own. 

The past 12 months have been trying in too many ways.  Sadly, there are those among us who have lost loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. 

The unbearable sorrow, the unimaginable grief felt by the families in Devonport, Tasmania, whose children lost their lives last week, in the horrific jumping castle tragedy has echoed throughout Australia. 

Lately…in the lead-up to the so-called “Festive Season”…we have been drowning in unconscionable sorrow. 

A loving father’s special Christmas treat for his two little children…a flight over Moreton Bay in a light aircraft…ended disastrously over the weekend.  Engine failure caused the plane to crash into the ocean; the pilot, the father and the two kiddies lost their lives.  The children’s mother was at home wrapping their Christmas gifts when she was informed of the tragedy…

A seemingly endless tsunami of intense sadness mercilessly overwhelms.

Each and every one of us must hold on tightly to our memories. Cherish the moments shared…remember the smiles, the laughter, the love…


Christmas means little to me these days.  Once upon a time I catered for family and friends for fun-filled, lengthy Christmas lunches, but those times are in the past.  After “Open House” in the morning, with friends popping in and out to share a glass or two of good cheer, joyfully, we’d take our places at a long, colourfully decorated table, which bore enough food to last until the following Christmas!

Something I never do, I did this year.  I bought myself a Christmas present, having decided I’d spend the Festive Season with my nose buried in a good story.  

 My gift to me was a set of five books written by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowlings.  What disappointment! I read as far as page 37 of the first book…the first in the series…”The Cuckoo’s Calling”…and I could read no further.  The writing style annoyed me far too much for me to continue reading. The book was classed as a “No.1 Best-Seller”!  I must be far beyond the times because I do not understand how it became a best-seller.  “Galbraith’s” style of wrting certainly is not to my liking.  However, all is not lost…I gave the set of books to the local Aged Care Centre. Just because I didn’t enjoy what I’d read, doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy the books.

The only good thing about the books was, I ordered them online from Amazon on the Saturday and, to my surprise, the parcel was delivered to my door on the Sunday!  How’s that for service?  I’m still shaking my head in disbelief!

Nowadays, for Christmas, as long as I have my two furry besties close at my side, a pile of Liquorice Allsorts, an abundance of fresh fruit, plus a stack of Aussie prawns, I’m happy. 

A few other tempting, tasty treats will be at hand…close at hand,,,too, of course.  I’ve already begun attacking the Liquorice Allstorts.   Fruit plays a huge role in my daily habits, every day, but I will be adding further to my stocks when I raid the supermarket tomorrow.

It takes all sorts.  Liquorice Allsorts go back to my childhood. Year after year they held a special place on our Christmas table. As far as I'm concerned, Christmas is not complete without Allsorts!  Crystallised ginger is also a must, another hang-over from my childhood.  A filled jar is already at the ready.  Well…I must admit…it is a little less than “filled”.  Unable to resist the temptation, I've been raiding the ginger, too!

However, I’m at a stalemate over the Christmas pudding.  With coins being a rarity these days, I’m considering putting my Debit Card in the fruit-filled Chrissy pud…maybe not!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy New Year…may the Festive Season’s goodwill, love, respect and joyfulness last throughout the coming year...and beyond.  

 Be kind to each other; be safe…be well. 

Here comes Santa Claus…I can see the glow of Rudolph’s nose lighting up the far horizon.


Prawn-Avo Salad: Combine 2tbs x-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and l lime rind/juice.  In bowl, toss together with dressing, 36 cooked, deveined, shelled, tails-intact prawns, 1 sliced Lebanese cucumber, 1-1/2c halved cherry toms and 2tbs chopped coriander; cover; chill 1hr or so. Add 1 large sliced avocado. Line salad bowl with cos lettuce leaves; place prawns etc., on top. Serve with wedges of lime or lemon.

Santa Hat Brownies: Preheat oven, 177C. Line 8x8-inch pan. Combine 3/4c plain flour, 1/2tsp salt, and 1/4tsp baking soda in bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk 2 large eggs, 3/4c light brown sugar and 3/4c veg oil for 2mins. Whisk in 2tbs water and 1tsp vanilla until incorporated. Whisk in dry ingredients. Melt 1c semi-sweet choc chips; whisk melted choc into batter; then mix in 1/2c choc chips; pour batter into pan; bake 50-55mins. When cool, cut into 9 pieces; pipe a circle of vanilla frosting on top of each. Cut stems off 9 strawberries; place one on top of each brownie, in the middle of frosting; pipe a small dollop of frosting on point of strawberry.

Allsorts Slice: Line 18 x 28cm slice tray; leave paper hanging over edges for easy removal. Melt over low heat, 125g butter, chopped into 3cm pieces, 160ml condensed milk and 1tbs golden syrup; cook 5 mins/until butter has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into heatproof bowl; add 250g crushed Marie biscuits, 1/2c coconut and 350g roughly chopped liquorice allsorts,; stir until just combined. Press mixture into base of pan. Melt 200g milk chocolate and 20g coconut oil until just melted; pour over slice; chill 2 hrs. Cut into squares when set. 




Wednesday, December 15, 2021





This is a self-portrait…however, I didn't know it at the time when I did the drawing.

Lately without fail…except this morning, I must admit…I've been waking up a couple of minutes before 4 am. On the dot of 4, like clockwork, the kookaburras living hereabouts begin laughing. I think they must wear Rolex watches because they're always right on the dot of 4 am when they start chuckling.   With the assistance of the kookas, I certainly do not need a cuckoo clock.  (I’m cuckoo enough without one of those!)

What’s even more intriguing is I think I'm beginning to grow feathers because I wake the same time the kookaburras do.

If when you wave to me, I lift my wing in response and start laughing....I think it's the time to start worrying!