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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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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Paulson Square

I was walking around London today and I came across a square I did not know. It was called Paulson Square and I walked around it attracted by the beautiful Xmas wreaths on the doors. I dont know if there is an annual competition in the Square for best wreath, but I found myself stopping outside the doors admiring them. They were carefully chosen to match the door, very individual and showed a great sense of pride of place and these were only a few of the ones I chose to photograph. 
Xmas right at your door. 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Winter Solstice

Here in London on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day will soon recede and be over for another year.  The lights shine bright everywhere and the voices rose, in mostly harmonious song, from the wonderful Albert Hall Carol Concert where there were more Santa jumpers, reindeer head bands and twinkly lights to last us a lifetime. We sang with immense joy and love and lots of false notes but oh what cheer. It remains for me to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year with more thought, care and consideration for all around us. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas au naturelle

I cant say that it isn't bizarre to think about snow bells and sleighs in the heat of the Antipodean sun - but perhaps the way that celebrating Xmas has evolved here might be rolled out a little more ...

Some clever clogs somewhere sorted the season so that as December approaches the whole of the outside world is coming into the right blossoms and colours, the festive red, the reflective white and the evanescent green. So my neighbourhood does a sterling job of putting a red bow on a poinsiania or letting the light shine out of the red berries on the palm, while the coral tree seems to take the task seriously to heart and turns completely red. The gentle white candles of this garden plant and the flame reds set the tone magnificently and make the season so natural, so warm and inviting. Hot even, so as the Santas prepare for the season of gift giving, it is only natural that they should stop off for a cool beer along the way. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

All a - flutter

Following nicely on from my last post I walked out today and saw these birds which were not the usual sulphur crested cockatoos - well I was all a flutter - some new birds on the block. Aren't they just lovely. Identifications welcome - a type of corella perhaps ?

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Crikey, did I really do that ?

Do you look back at your life sometimes and almost surprise yourself at how far you have come ? I owe thanks in one significant respect to my hubby who nearly called the wedding off, all those years ago, when I took him to a restaurant which served (ampelopoulia) migratory song birds, a big delicacy in Cyprus. Mercifully catching them, lime -ing them is now illegal, they are a protected species. In my defence I didn't know better but I should have.There was scant care for the environment and frankly no one was bothering with protecting birds - they were mainly hunted and eaten. 

Living in India as I did, and now in Australia I have become a willing twitcher and it is a daily joy to see the birds coming to eat some sunflower seeds or the magpies singing to me from the branches of the Hoop Pine. My favourites are the grey butcher birds which visit me daily. I am happy to share this latest announcement from Wildlife Queensland. 


After two years of leading the campaign for a plastic bag free Queensland, Wildlife Queensland is delighted by the Queensland Government’s announcement on 25 November regarding the introduction of a ban on single-use, lightweight plastic bags in our state.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Farewell dear friend.

Wrote to a friend to find out how she was - a cancer had returned and her much awaited visit to Australia had to be postponed to allow her to have treatment. I did not hear back which was not like her. So I wrote to a mutual friend to find out news. She answered almost immediately to tell me she had passed away on Monday after complications from surgery. Mary Anne was with her till the end.
I put my hand to my mouth and drew my breath in hard. You see she had always been one of these indestructible, incredibly sensible, totally organised, completely alert and very go- getting women with whom I had shared many a walk in the Swiss Alps, many a Committee meeting, and many a lunch and dinner. We had kept up a good exchange wherever I was in the world and had been so delighted that Brisbane was finally in her travel plans. Talking of which there very few places in the world she had not been to, together with her friend and for the years we lived closer, we would look forward to their return from their world wide adventures so we could pick their brains on the Emperor Penguin's life or the joys of the Trans Siberian Express.She delighted us with her tales and her photo albums always meticulously prepared and annotated of where they had been and what they had seen. She lived her life more dynamically, more eloquently and more appreciatively then anyone I know so I should not feel sad, and yet I feel a sense of loss and grief, remembering her kind face and smiling eyes, as once and perhaps only once, while climbing a steep and snowy side, she asked for my hand to steady her passage.

The wonderful and unforgettable Doreen Barrack 1935- 2016. 
To her life long friend and support Mary Anne my heartfelt hugs.

Thursday, 17 November 2016


Mind if i just jump in ? Can't wait for you guys to casually finish your dinner so I will just hop down walk across the deck, have a good sniff and then take the short cut back to where my dinner is waiting. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Pollsters - PAH

Allow me this little rant - I don't often do it but seeing how many times the Polls have mislead the public in the last few years makes me want to put out a purge on Pollsters, calling for their extinction and elimination from the western world. They conduct polls where no one dares tell them the truth, they produce spurious results that people rely on, they offer  no insight into what is happening, no wisdom about why anything might be happening and ultimately are hugely wrong in their predictions. 

Does it really need Brexit, Colombia, The US election and I don't know what else to reveal to us that these people with their useless questions, assumptions and mathematical models have nothing to offer and the information they provide is not worth the valuable paper it is written on or the screens it is disseminated from ? 

Why do we keep going back to them ? Isn't time we put them all out to grass, or better still doing community service which might involve some real work with real people to do penance for all the wasted time we have spent listening to them, being misled by them,  and not gaining an ounce of wisdom from them. Think about how much money could be saved for starters let alone the freedom to strategise what you and not they think is important. 

Rant over - back to butterflies and birds and all the things that make the world a better place and my friend Faith had just the poem to express this : 


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


So we have been Trumped and my Braggadacious Predictions are hollow for Hillary and she will fade into her Foundation. I ascribe some of her loss of votes to the many disenfranchised white men who see their ever diminishing role in the world but are unable to even think about giving a woman the top job, even though the only man around is such a poor specimen. But how about the women who voted for him or the ethnic minorities, how on earth can we explain or justify their actions ? Is their desperation so complete that they are left with no choice ? So we have to ask ourselves how we have let them down to this extent, how the gap between rich and poor is yawning wider and what on earth can be done about it. 

We hang our heads and ponder at the madness in the world and the difficulties faced by ordinary and good people when they are given hope by such empty and dangerous rhetoric. He is sowing the seeds of bigotry and injustice, racism and sexism and sadly the persons that will be let down, will be his  gullible supporters who will realise that his words are as empty as his plans. Lets hope so, as some of his threatened actions may border on the positively dangerous. 

America you will need all the help you can get after eight glorious years of Obama and Michelle and their wonderful family. What a disappointment for them as they watch their work getting undone and their efforts thrown away. And for what ? All that money spent for the campaign would have pulled a  fair few Americans out of their property trap, given a livelihood to refugees, those that are allowed to come in, and probably bolstered many enterprises. Instead it has all been gobbled up by big business, TV channels and bloody awful pollsters who should offer to govern in his place, as a penance for getting it wrong. Well, wrong in my eyes at least, but I fear even those with him, wont stick around for very long. The reality and the disenchantment are not too far down the line.

America will struggle to be great again, it has now receded so far into the dark days, that it can no longer even be considered a contender anymore. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Flutters in the City

Today I took a long walk back home from an arts and crafts market. The day is bright and sunny and the city is ordered and clean. But something phenomenal is happening around me. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, there are butterflies fluttering by, soaring to catch the sun, chasing each other, meeting as pairs, swooping, looping and letting the wind carry them upward or sideward. They are mostly black tipped, small yellows, little blues, too many, too fleeting to allow me to identify them all. So I wondered if others had noticed and found this in the ABC news in an article by Jessica Hinchcliffe: 

"Thousands of caper white butterflies from western Queensland have migrated to the south-east in search of food.
Residents in suburbs throughout Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast including Mansfield, North Lakes, Manly, Redcliffe and the Glass House Mountains have reported sightings of the butterflies in "plague-like proportions".
The caper white butterfly is most commonly found in the west of Queensland and in New South Wales, on the other side of the Great Dividing Range."
wonder how many citizens stopped to have a look around them and noticed them ? They will be gone in a flitter, flutter moment. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Back to Nature

This is the time of the year when we like to escape to the mountains and there is no better place to go then O'Reilly's in Lamington National Park.

This is a place steeped in history and one worth getting to know about.The O'Reillys go back three generations and what started as a dairy farm has now become a mountain resort. More importantly they have always understood and appreciated the need for forest conservation and for preservation of the environment which has meant that the vast tracks of cleared land now have secondary forests forming with a plethora of birds like this curious and wonderfully coloured Crimson Rosella.

We walked through forests and met rocks delicately balanced, luminous or luminescent bracken, waterfalls more than we could count and enjoy, beautiful ferns and crows nests shining in the sunlight, tree ferns which were a dentelle of detail, a snake slithering out to greet us by the path and trees, including Atlantic Beeches and Brush Box that extend far above the forest as high as our eyes will take us. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

Beautiful Bulimba

Today the skies were that deep blue and clear. I headed off to Bulimba on the ferry looking at the flowering jacarandas on both sides of the river. Bulimba's little jetty is complete with a little tower and its High street - another Oxford St - is full of lovely shops and eateries and this must be the best named cafe in the whole of Brisbane.  

Stalks and Stems is one of my favourite little flower shops complete with gifts and bouquets made with taste and affection. 

 The typical Queenslander with the flowering jacaranda in the garden is so lovely to see at this time of year.

In Bulimba's Memorial Park there are weeping figs and small leafed figs which are a living tribute to the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in the First World War. The aerial roots have been encased in cylinders which are individually painted and make for interesting art work in the park.

There is a bright orange notice inviting the children to the Park for Halloween which reminds me to put out my pumpkin lantern for my own neighbourhood children on Monday night. 
As I walk along back to the Ferry after a lovely stop at the ever appealing Riverbend Bookshop I come across this street - now would nt you just love the address Marina at NO 1 Love St ! This is home to great friends of ours, who live just round the corner and are full of love. It's in the air. 
 The orange Ferry, in honour of the Brisbane Roar, a brisbane team, rather than Halloween took me speedily and happily back to the city.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Feathered and flying friends

We had our babies on the same day and so began a relationship which has endured and crossed continents and seas. This accounts for few postings recently, but I can say that my days have been filled with fun and a lot of catching up. Facebook is good about reminding us of our relationships but how much better when friends keep up the friendship and come to stay. This is Gina's third visit and this time she has come with Jonathan. We have wandered into Brisbane, eaten soft shelled crab burgers at River Bar (highly recommended), took the City Hopper and enjoyed views of the city, walked in the parks and sat on the deck admiring our many varied birds. Here is one just looking at straight at you! 
In between some champagne and sauvignon blanc we catch up on old friends and new ones and each other's families. We literally pick up where we left off the last time we met and there is comfort and ease and a lot of laughter. Then there is introducing each other to new friends and neighbours and even new concepts and happenstances which occur. I had to confess almost complete ignorance  of gender neutral persons which I understand is one more status I should now be aware of. 

It was a joy picking up a huge amount of facts on types of clouds and winds - and I can see why Jonathan loves paragliding and why trips up to potential take off places make for a wonderful day out  even if I did pick up a tick lying in grass. 

What are good friends for if not for a bit of surgery after breakfast and the removal of the tick from my head - it refused to move and there was a lot of yanking in the nicest possible way but my Doctor- cum -surgeon for the day assures me that most of it was removed. Three weeks from now, might be the proof in the proverbial pudding. 

They head off to Northern Queensland to remember places they knew and loved many years ago but promise to return for more of the Brissie beauty.