under the seal pond

Hello! I seem to have lost the urge to write here (yet) again. What can I say, except that life has been fantastically busy, which is great and that well, part of my online life seems to have lost some of it's sheen. Not so great. I kind of miss it, but then I don't. Today I was musing about why that may be, but I can't quite put it into words adequately, words being such slippery things. It has something to do with the light drawing in and summer ending. Perhaps with an accompanying acceptance of events running their course. Not exactly as I would have chosen, but then life doesn't always go as you would like, does it? 

Anyway, onward, because really I do need to catch up a bit with my photos. The weekend of the big storm, Grace and I went to the zoo to see the baby elephant. I had hoped that the inclement weather (although it didn't rain while we were waiting) might have deterred the crowds. Ah no. Still, little Mali was exceptionally cute and how often does one get to see a baby elephant? Grace didn't whinge once during the 45 minute wait. We just talked and she zipped about to see various things along the line. It was quite lovely.     

I hadn't expected it, but my favourite part of the day was visiting the new seal enclosure. We spent a while checking out the stingrays and then went down the ramp. I could have stayed down there under the seal pond for hours if Grace hadn't dragged me back up to the surface. It's all dark and you look into these big windows of startling blue water. Then suddenly a seal torpedos past. The are so fast and flick the water around in an explosion of shimmer and light. It is truly amazing to watch and I'm quite keen to go back again soon.

Oh and in other news, my sister and her family Betty have been visiting which is super exciting. So I need to deal with the next lot of photos (and recipes - still cooking up a storm) so I can download my camera and write about my gorgeous nieces. Oh, and how well they all played this time!  Looking forward to a quiet Easter, how about you?

holiday snaps

Finally loaded the rest of the holiday snaps onto Flickr last night. I've been looking at the pictures again, especially the ones from the second camp site, which was much nicer than the first one in amongst all the powered sites, and remembering bits of the holiday. Like the big family group camped across the flat who were from suburban Melbourne and somewhere in Eastern Europe, Russia perhaps. And they seemed to be having the best time. All day, when they weren't walking or visiting the caves, they collected wood. Huge amounts which they dragged back to one of the fireplaces. The first night they sat around a small fireplace, toasting marshmallows and singing. Beautiful songs in another language, accompanied by a blue guitar. However they built such a big fire that the fire truck came and their singing was cut short. On the second night, they collected even more wood but used a big fireplace and settled in for the night. I worried the singing would keep me awake at night but it was rather pleasant.

Life since then seems to keep getting busier and busier. Each day seems jam packed. It's the school term I think. It's all good - but I'm starting to look forward to the holidays again. 

Oh look at the time, must go to bed. Have been cooking for the stall tomorrow at our Playtime in the Park event. Yo-yos, chocolate peppermint yo-yos, lemon slice and I made pumpkin pie for dessert tonight. Not sure whether pumpkin pie is my sort of thing, but it does use half a pumpkin which is a bonus. Particularly if everyone else is also eating said pumpkin. Oh, and before the playtime in the park, where I will be rushing round like a mad thing taking photos and talking and helping out, is another community event to save our open space. Where I also want to take lots of photos. At some points of the day I will want to be in two places at the same time. A tardis or some for of instant transporter would be handy. 

cooking, eating and a bit of head stuff

This morning I ate the second and last peach from the golden queen I planted last year. It is a beautifully vigorous tree but with all the rain and humidity, the last peach was starting come under insect attack. It didn't look ready but it was just right, even better than the first one which was a little overripe. Can't wait until next year when we should have more than two. There are also two tiny little figs on my tiny little fig tree, but I can't see them ripening this year - so I've been getting the odd lot of figs from the shop up the road. Some beautiful white figs which I made into a fig and almond tart with chocolate and orange. It was very special and I might try a similar approach with pears. And Black and Greens dark, dark chocolate. Safeway had Black and Greens on special for $1.99 a packet the other week and over a fortnight or so we tried each flavour. I don't think I can ever go back to Cadburys now. Maybe we'll just have it on Tuesday night (Big Love ). Or maybe on Friday night (Breaking Bad)


So yeah, I've been cooking up a storm. I seem to have my cooking mojo back. We've had sweet potato gnocci. Beetroot dip, chocolate and beetroot cake.Anzac biscuits. A ridiculously easy banana bread that I made one day when Gerard talked me into using up the bananas that were about to get up and walk out of the fruit bowl all by themselves (if I ever write up the recipe it will be called can't be stuffed banana bread). Stuffed peppers. New and exciting variations on the tofu burger (no, I am not being sarcastic). Poached figs. Vegetable tart with this sour cream pastry recipe. The pastry that has made me believe that I can make pastry - even without a food processor. Yep, I've been inspired. 

I think some of it has to do with wanting to get through the veggie box and there's been a slight shift in my attitude to food. The medication I'm on makes it even easier than usual to put on weight, sweet carbohydrates are more attractive than ever and it tends to increase the don't care factor. It also slows your metabolism a bit. So if you tend to be big anyway, well you're probably just going to get bigger. And to make matters worse, I was having, as the psychiatrist would say, a low mood. Over a pretty long time. Coupled with a lack of energy, making it hard to do everything I wanted. So all these things go round in a circle and basically you feel like shit. And we got stuck in a pasta rut, supplemented with too much crappy chocolate. The psychiatrist (who I avoid talking about my food issues with - but that is a whole other post) wanted me to add some anti-depressants to the mix but I was pretty hesitant about that. So after Christmas we reduced my medication a fraction. And it's been fantastic. I have more energy, I feel as though I've gained quite a few IQ points, I'm getting more done. And paradoxically I'm sleeping better. Oh, and I did my first yoga class in five years and it was great. It was hard but I can't wait to go back. So yeah, it's all good.

fig and almond tart

The other thing that happened, and this is particularly relevant to the cooking and eating bit, after I started to feel a bit better, I read this - Eat food. Stuff you like. As much as you want. Then I went and poked around the Ellyn Satter site. And light bulbs just went off everywhere. So I've been making more of an effort with the meals I put on the table. Making more of the food I like, that we like. Not stressing about it all so much.  And guess what? I'm eating better than I have for ages. More ordered eating. More fun cooking. Yet another win. I'm still fat, but don't feel so dreary about it. In fact I've thought less and less about it. And more about doing things. Yes indeed.

Oh, and I have my computer back. It's lovely to be back at my desk. It feels like home.