Friday, March 22, 2024


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Trent Dalton - HarperCollins Australia :HarperCollins Australia
Author Trent Dalton



Have we finally said, “Bye, bye, to Tay-Tay?” here in the Land of Oz?   Last year we had the Matildas shoved down our throats every which, and loose. And then, for weeks on end, with no swift relief we were inundated with Tay-Tay left, right, and centre.  I tried to shake it off, but it became more than I could bear after a cruel summer.   I kept telling myself, “you need to keep calm”, but it became more difficult day by day. With a few problems tossed in to upset my normally quiet existence, it felt like the universe had swallowed me. I needed to come up for air; for a glimpse of daylight.

I’m sounding like an old grouch, aren’t I?  I do have the perfect excuse.  I can’t deny it.  The wrinkles and grey hair give me away. Because the years don’t lie, I won’t attempt to do so. Every line has its own story to tell.  Half the time they won’t even share them with me.

On the other hand, Tay-Tay, despite the repetitive hype we were hit with, brought much joy to many.  In these bleak times filled with so much gloom and bad news, that is a good thing.

At present, I’m at a bit of a loss because I’ve lost some friends. They’ve gone their separate ways.  For the past few months, each day I watched one or two episodes of the series, “Friends”.  After watching the final episode it truly was like losing good mates.  Such a fun series it is/was.  One would think with all the streaming services available these days there would be more good shows worth watching.  Again, I guess I’m showing my cranky old age, but, to me, there appears to be so much rubbish around I won’t waste my time watching it. I’m sick of seeing characters in the different series with their heads buried in their various devices, sending and reading text that I certainly can’t read.  Talk, for goodness sake.  Give us dialogue, not words on a damn mobile/ cell phone screen!!

Over the past couple of months or so I’ve been doing a lot of reading.  I’ve lost my heart to Trent Dalton.  It’s his to keep. My admiration for Dalton, for his courage, for his bravery in disclosing much about his own troubled, disheveled childhood, troubles not of his choosing, in his semi-biographical; “Boy Swallows Universe” grew with each passing word I read.  When I thought my admiration for Trent Dalton had reached its limits, I read, “Lola in the Mirror”.  Dalton, in both stories, proved when the chips are down, you look life squarely in the eye, and even though it’s difficult, and in far too many instances life can be, one has to pick up the chips/pieces, and continue forth with determination in a valiant attempt not to be defeated.  In both books I laughed, and I cried, and I cried some more. 

Obviously being a glutton for punishment, yesterday I finished reading “Love Stories”, written by…yes, you guessed it…Trent Dalton.  Setting himself up on a street corner in Brisbane’s CBD in front of a fold-up table, a couple of chairs and a blue Olivetti typewriter, Dalton asked people as they passed by, and paused at his table, their stories of love, and what it meant to them.  It’s no Mills & Boon soppy sop, but the book is full of wonderful, emotion-filled, inspiring stories,

Trent truly is a writer of worth. His belief in himself is something we should all strive for…belief in our own self, knowing we can pick up those damned fallen chips if we don’t give up, but just keep trying. Dalton’s “Lola in the Mirror” highlights in vivid black and white the terrible, heartbreaking reality of the current plight suffered by many…far too many. A plight suffered by those who are living in tent communities and in cars throughout Brisbane, and elsewhere.  This is a disgraceful blight on our present day society. Sadly, nothing appears to be being done to rectify this extremely distressing situation.  It’s far from satisfactory….this is 2024…not the Dark Ages!

One’s own history and the history of every country in this world are real. History cannot, and should not be destroyed, erased, by anyone, or any group.  No one has the right to do so, even if they, in their own muddled confused brains think they have such right.  One day I will be history, but that won’t mean I wasn’t here!

I’ve been trying hard to maintain my sense of humour, even though the universe is trying its best to swallow me.  Eureka!  I can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Bit by bit I’m coming out ahead, albeit slowly.  

 And, slowly, bit by bit....I am going to catch up with all your blogs.  My apologies for being so tardy of late.

Vegie Chips: Combine 2tsp salt and 2tsp chopped fresh rosemary in bowl. Peel 1 med (approx 350g) kumara; cut into 2mm-thick slices. Do similar with 2 large carrots, 2 large beetroot, and 2 large parsnips. Pat all dry on paper towel; line baking dish with paper towel. Add enough light olive oil to large heavy-based saucepan to depth of 3cm. Heat oil to 180C. Add 1/8th of vegetables; cook, turning occasionally, 2-3mins, or until golden.  Using slotted spoon transfer to lined tray in heated oven. Repeat other 7 batches, adding to remaining vegetables, and reheating the oil between batches.  Place the chips on a serving platter; sprinkle with the rosemary salt; serve immediately.

Apple Chips: For oven: Preheat oven 200C. In large bowl, toss 2 thinly sliced apples with 2tsp sugar and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Place metal rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Lay slices on top of rack, not overlapping. Bake 2-3hrs, flipping apples halfway through until they are dried out, but still pliable (sounds a bit like me). They will continue to crisp while cooling. Air Dryer: In bowl toss apples as above. Working in batches, place slices in single layer in basket of air dryer (some overlap is okay). Bake at 350C about 12mins, flipping every 4mins.