Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Like Winter

There I've said it. I know I should love summer given I live in a little tropical paradise but it just doesn't do it for me. Who needs heat when you can generate your own menopausal hot stuff? Sunbathing with a hole in the ozone layer as big as a country ... I don't think so. Flies, sandflies (why do they always fall in my wine glass??), mosquitoes. Yeah right, bliss.

Give me winter anytime. It has all my favourite things.

Boots. I love boots and in winter nobody cares I wear them every day. Not such a good look in the summer I'm thinking. This year has been a bonus boots year with some gorgeous Clark's ones and then the little slutty ankle boots ...
Flannelette Sheets. Now who doesn't just love them? Cosy, cosy, cosy! Especially when you can hear the rain on the roof and you're snuggled in your bed with flannelette sheets wearing your flannelette jamies.
Big Fluffy Socks. Especially good when worn with boots. (see above). Or with flannelette jamies in your flannelette sheets (see above).
Wet Wild Sundays. Nobody minds if you stay home in the warm when it's raining outside. In fact it's almost compulsory. Nobody insists "it's a lovely day for the beach" or "shall we spend the day in the garden?". No, the only expected activity is the dash out to the mailbox to get the Sunday paper and then it's a fast track to the couch with a crap movie on tv, coffee in hand and a cosy throw rug ... and Big Fluffy Socks. (see above).
Rugby. Considering I know absolutely nothing about the rules (apart from head high tackles are a no-no) I still love this game especially internationals. Dinner with Leonie & Les, wine, Big Fluffy Socks (see above), big screen tv, the haka, 30 men running around a field with small shorts on and if you're lucky the occasional fight .... bliss. And you get to yell and swear at the tv as much as you want to and nobody minds one little bit.
Vegetables. Winter vegetables yum! I know, I know, with the world the way it is you can pretty much get anything any time of the year but silverbeet, pumpkin, potatoes, leeks, broccoli etc, well they're winter food! So there.
Soup. Ok so on a Wet Wild Sunday (see above), wearing your Big Fluffy Socks (see above) what could be better than a big bowl of Vegetable (see above) soup with some Vogels toast?

Speaking of which, off to the kitchen I go to put a pot of soup on and perhaps a Hunza Pie? A winter Sunday ... I'm in heaven. Wish you were here!

PS. Hunza Pie Recipe - Barb, Katie might like this especially with all the gorgeous veges at PrairiErth Farm


3 sheets shortcrust pastry

1 cup long grain rice

½ tsp salt

2 bunches silverbeet

1kg pumpkin, roughly chopped

Pinch nutmeg

Salt & pepper

3 cups grated tasty cheese

1tsp mixed herbs

3 tomatoes, sliced

1/. Preheat oven 160C. Line dish & bake pastry blind for 10 minutes.

2/. Cook rice in boiled salted water. Drain well.

3/. Discard tough stems from silverbeet. Chop & lightly steam over a medium heat in covered


4/. Cook pumpkin in saucepan with a little water until tender. Drain & then puree with nutmeg, salt

and pepper.

5/. Sprinkle one third of cheese & ½ tsp herbs over pastry. Cover with half the rice.

6/. Place all silverbeet on the rice & then another 1/3 of the cheese.

7/. Cover with pureed pumpkin & then the remaining rice.

8/. Top with sliced tomatoes & remaining chees & herbs.

9/. Bake 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Happy Birthday Queenie!

Today is the day I ignore all my Republican leanings (no, not what you are thinking my little USA friends) and swear allegiance to the Queen. Who wouldn't when she gives you the day off work!

A friend pointed out that it's not going to have such a ring to it when old Chucky-Big-Ears gets the throne. "Kings Birthday" just doesn't have the same ring. All things considered though, even if he does get the throne ("My arse he will" says Queenie) it will probably still be called Queen's Birthday Weekend given his proclivity to wearing big frocks & tiaras ... ok so they are really robes & crowns but they are all frocks when you get down to it...

Whatever the reason it is a great weekend. It's not that I don't like working or my job - I feel fortunate to both have employment and at a job that makes me think every day - but I do value the time to be with friends, family, myself and not have to rush. If I want to share a glass of wine with a darling friend on webcam then I can. If I want to cook for my oldest friend and watch crap tv together, I can. If I want to have a late night phone call with my cousin-who-should-be-my-sister, I can do that too and all the while not worry that the alarm clock will be ringing in just a few hours ...

Yesterday Joolz was telling me how someone told her that "50" is the new "teens" and the more we talked about it the more it made sense. It's like being 18 again but with a back story and a bit more information. We are still asking the questions we asked at 18 - "who am I?", "where am I going", "what shall I do with the rest of my life" - but now we are confident that the risks we take won't hurt us. We've been hurt. We have been broken. We survived and we know that no matter how bad it gets we will keep on surviving. In spirit at least.

Yes, we face mortality now but with a real handle on it. Our friends have died or faced life threatening illness or injury. We know with certainty now that we will too one day. It's no longer that we think of life having a "Best By Date" rather it is now an "Expiry Date".

The difference is at 18 I could push it to the back of my mind and ramble through my life waiting to see what happens next. Now I want more and I refuse to wait for "one day." Yes the priorities differ. At 18 the most important thing was where we were going on Friday night, what would I wear & who would I go with. At 51 I am suddenly preoccupied with losing weight, eating well, exercising more. Anything to make my life right now the experience I want it to be. Life is just far too much fun to be in the passenger seat, or sitting at home waiting for the big idea to arrive in the mailbox.

I'm sure there is much more to say on the subject but for now there are things to do, places to be, things to see. Go have some fun too!

PS. See Sheila, you are world famous in NZ!!