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There are occasions when I am very proud of what we do... last nights dinner was one. I made Butter Chicken.

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The joy of exploration of the dozens of cuisines now in this country, the pleasure at discovering something new. My only prayer is that we do not end up like the confused cuisine of the USA ...  Please!!

Two different sides of the planet are amongst the most enthusiastic alfresco (outdoor) cooks of meats, poultry and fish (and occasionally vegetable) using items that can assist, add flavour both during and after and also work to tenderise meats. The America's both North and South and Asia. I don't want to get into an argument here... let me be the first to acknowledge that the countries of the Mediterranean on all shores also have some excellence in this area. Many western countries, Australia included, often fall a little behind in this area. Have you been to a BBQ in tropical climes lately? It may be important to differentiate between Barbecue and cooking over charcoal as is normal in many Mediterranean and Middle East countries.

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Port Fairy Bowling Club and the away days...

My father was obsessed with lawn bowls. Dad had been a great swimmer and a member of the life-savers in Port Fairy when he was younger and I loved to watch him as he swam in his languid style, effortlessly cruising through the waves and seemingly never getting tired. As he aged and since Port Fairy had no swimming pool, the sea became less attractive and for a few years Dad gardened.. he grew everything. Then along with his good friends he had grown up with all his life, he discovered lawn bowls.

The bowling club in Port Fairy was on the corner of Bank Street and Gipps Street, opposite the river. It had tall shiny leaf hedges all around it above the green corrugated iron fence, mostly to protect the bowlers from the cold winds that could spring up at any time and send the ladies hats spiralling into the air and everyone running about looking for their cream cardigans. On the Bank Street side of the greens, was the entrance, it was sort of an arch that had been carved out of the shiny leaf and had its own door way, the street was a metre or so below the level of the greens and walkways, so you had to climb a few steps and woe betide you if you did not shut the gate, you would be stridently reminded by the ladies either those who were busy preparing the afternoon tea or those on the greens and even those sitting with their knitting watching proceedings. There were some things that just had to be.

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Bill Haley and the Comets were rocking the speakers at the new movie theatre that Pinhead Reardon had built in Bank Street, the very foundations of the place had been a playground for so many of us as we ran up and down the floor joists and perilously balanced above the floor metres below... eventually the council became worried about the kids and stopped us. A month or two later, the theatre was used for an Anzac memorial service and then the movies started. So did Rock and Roll.

I begged and begged, came up with every reason why I had to, absolutely had to see the movie, regardless of the fact that newspapers and radio commentators and any one else with an opinion that mattered, thought that this new phenomena called Rock and Roll, was the absolute epitome of all evil and that Satan himself was on screen, hell bent on the utter corruption of youth and the destruction of society as they knew it. (Interestingly in some hindsight the phenomena of Rock had a massive impact and reverberated widely, even today the life style and changes that Rock music made to the lives of every day people, is profound.)


Someone just said that Xmas is just weeks away... that is so unfair. No time, nothing done, nothing planned and not even an inkling about what to do. I swore last year that I would not do it all again, I think maybe I might even stick to that.

What is this awful thing that seems to happen to our collective psyche at this time of the year? We become obsessed with strange things, buying presents, decorating houses, cooking festive food. I am no different, I succumb each year to the madness. Its almost like some switch is activated in my brain and a release of chemicals sets me off on some mad merry chase for reviving that which is past. This is a list of various issues surrounding Xmas