Hello welcome to my Blog

Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Cretan Capers

The island of Crete is the birthplace of Theodorakis, Mouskouri and Kazantakis, giants in music and literature of the Greek world. The diminutive - akis- seems to be the norm on the island but there is nothing little or small about these people who are proud and strong as they showed time and time again, perhaps most recently in defending the Allied Forces in the Second World War. They showed support particularly for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who will forever owe them a debt of gratitude for hiding them and ferrying them away from the Germans sometimes at the cost of their own lives. They are hospitable and friendly and somehow have stuck to their traditions and their earth better than most of us. They are the fruit and vegetable basket for Greece, their cheeses and wines are wonderful and their countryside is breathtakingly rugged and unspoilt. 

We have driven through gorges, walked through others, visited monasteries where we spent some time looking at the interesting architecture and a little more time choosing some of the monastery's wine and honey and swam in water that was so clear and translucent you felt your body was enveloped in cool goodness. There was no one around - we had the place to ourselves - I guess not everyone would want to do the steep gorge walk down there. But what a reward for those who do !
 The Beach of Sheitan Limani which was popular and treacherous to get to.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Solidly spectacular

35 minutes from where I live is my closest beach - one that rivals many others on this great continent. I have a photo of the beach but today I am not going to show you that. My posting is all about how a casual walk on the promenade led me to Redcliffe Point where we gravitated towards some fishermen fishing over these rocks. They were so amazing in colour I took a few photos.

Look at the colours of the rocks, the oyster shells that are embedded in them and then look at the little mangrove plant that is shooting up from the rock itself and finally look at the layer of what appears to be a type of grass growing on the rocks. Solidly spectacular wouldn't you say. So I went on a quest of Google to find out what type of rock this was but failed. Rang up Redcliffe Tourist Information who put me in touch with Moreton Bay Authority and I left a description of the place and my question. A lovely man just rang me to inform me that this is laterite - a naturally occurring rock which has a lot of iron and aluminium oxide in it and the stones weather and oxidise to produce the variety of colours. They are common in tropical and sub tropical climate and are often found where the climate may be humid. Apparently India has a lot of Laterite and makes bricks from it - which I can now recall. 

The little mangrove shoot growing out of the rock and even more extraordinary is the grass !

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Queensland quilters

A curious Cassowary complete with with crown and grass background.

The EKKA is on - the biggest agricultural show in Queensland and I volunteer there every year with great joy and enthusiasm. So much love and effort goes into this show that it is hard not to come away completely singing its praises.This year I have to share the Quilters work - it is just exquisite and the work, the work that goes into each one, is just so meticulous and painstaking.

Look at this one, the forest threatened by the ever closing urbanisation. My choice for the best quilt but it was quite a hard choice. I guess I warmed to its concept. 

The applique work here is just outstanding.

 Look at this little pup - would have him looking at me from anywhere.

One of the many fine examples of the work the quilters have produced. There are so many more to see. Don't miss it.The Ekka is on until the 20th of August and the Quilters are in the Old Museum Building. Go and marvel at their exhibition but take in all the myriad of shows and events that EKKA has to offer as well. The weather is going to be fabulous - Come to Floral Crowns and I will make you a Floral Crown for Free!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Guinea fowl feathers and all

Sitting waiting for the bus an elderly man walks up, I shift over making room for him to sit down and he winks at me. I take one look at him and I am ready to start the conversation. 
In the headband of his fawn coloured cowboy hat he has guinea fowl feathers which I instantly recognise. He wears glasses and sports a big bushy moustache that hides some of his upper lip but as the moustache extends out the edges had clearly been twirled. This is a man with a glint in his eye. Around his neck a red kerchief which matches nicely with his blue shirt. He wears a black leather jacket and leather Aussie boots and a great matching leather belt to his fawn coloured trousers that of course match his hat. He took out a fog watch ( ! ) from his upper pocket to read the time. Oh my, I thought to myself, I must find out about this man so I casually say,

"Well dressed like this you must be heading for the EKKA, the big agricultural show in town which starts tomorrow". 

"Oh he said the last time I was at the EKKA I came by tram and that must have been in 1967!" 

He comes all the way from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and his name is Reg. He hands me his card and I see an equally fascinating last name and the clue to his get up. He is involved in Opal mining. Lightning Ridge is home to Australia's biggest Black Opal mines. Black Opals are the most precious of the opals and while they come in all different shapes and sizes their inner dark background is unmistakable and makes them very rare and valuable specimens. 

I know these are a poor substitute for Reg - he is much more colourful, but I have his card now and so I will design a trip over to find him in Lighting Ridge. I love my bus stop.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Winter light

Winter seems unwilling to knock on our doors with any conviction this year and while I know that this might not be the best for us, I have loved the balmy warmth of this different sun and its rays which have a gentleness about them. Then a slight chill settles into the evening, when teas are slowly sipped in the shimmering light and soups take centre stage in the dark that descends abruptly.So today's blog is about some of that light and the images around it. 

Watering the garden - such a simple and sublime task and suddenly golden rays appear from the neighbour's as the light of the afternoon fights for a space to enter. 

Then an unexpected visitor - or at least one not so frequently seen on the back deck, coming to  say hi. A kookaburra  shaded against the light but distinct in its outline and its call. 
A reminder to stop for a while, put away those phones, take in the bird calls, as I write the kookaburras in the trees nearby are having a larf, the bats are dotting the twilight sky, and the time has come to rest, while the world folds gently into itself.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Stella in grey cable knit

Those of you who know me will appreciate that I have felt keenly the absence of a dog in my life. However this is not the time for another and so I resort to borrowing the neighbours' dogs to take for walks and patting some I find out and about.

Just this weekend though I had an additional joy. Stella came to stay for one night as her humans were heading off to a party. She came with her bed and blanket and her pyjamas. I kid you not. Her bowl and her dinner and breakfast, all prepared. So I was left with the easy part of remembering what it was like to have a dog in the house. Well it brought me right back to the ground. They remind you that life is not about you - but mostly about them- somehow they are experts at getting us to care enormously about their welfare and their comfort, hence the jammies and the treats and I am sure much else besides. She jumped onto my bed and I found myself reliving the moments when my much larger dog Tara would do the same, and so as not to disturb this blissfully snoring dog I end up on the edge of the bed, practically falling out of it. 

They are there to remind us of what a "no agendas" in life is all about. Yes, no hidden aims, no point scoring, just simple true companionship and love- of the very best kind. Pure and simple and without criticism or fanfare, one that celebrates you just the way you are. I guess we celebrate them back and that is where the grounding comes in. As we set off it is no longer about just me and my petty problems. We make time for taking this all important walk, heading out into the sunshine with them, letting loose in both our body and our thoughts, but knowing we are never alone in that time.We both come back the stronger and the happier for it. We both will eat our dinners with relish!

We had fun and I tried to be a good human -they are good to us so why shouldn't we be ? Their ability to kick start our caring quotient is unparalleled. If they could write this up as a some kind of a business model for the 21st Century they would be laughing all the way to the pet food store.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Robbed I was ...

Yes, I was talking about sharing  in my previous blog and how important it is to make sure there is enough to go round for everyone but in this case I am feeling robbed everyone, robbed.
A couple of months back I walked into my back garden and proudly took a picture of my first bunch of bananas. Here it is in all its glory.
I went to Europe and came back and eagerly skipped down to check the bunch and whether they were ripe enough to cut and this is what I found:

If you look carefully at the top is one small banana still hanging in there - but where are the rest ?? I was devastated that none were left for me and my mind goes to the possums and the bats feasting furiously in my absence. I picked my one and only green banana and kept it lovingly in the fruit bowl till today. It has ripened and was right for eating and I have never tasted a more delicious, sweet but firm finger banana. Oh the pain, the pain. It was over in two mouthfuls but I must not grumble, I must not grumble. Sharing as one little Ozzie boy said ( he must have been all of four) is caring!