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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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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. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Braggadacious predictions.

After my last post on the glorious Miss Olive Pink, a human being memorable for all the right reasons, I have to direct my attention, albeit reluctantly to Mr Donald Trump for the sake of a historical record. I am appalled at how many column inches have been devoted to this man, I am appalled at how anyone within the Republican party could have ever considered him suitable material for the top job and I am appalled at how the media has played on this to make him the monster that he has become. The other day Katty Kay a respected BBC journalist suggested that Trump had won the second debate - on what grounds I ask her and all of you ? the issues, the policies, or that sickening statement that he has utmost respect for women, while engaging in Locker room banter which lets be clear, is not banter, but an endorsement for sexual assault?

In spite of all of this, I would like to believe that Hillary is well on her way to becoming the next President of the US. There are so many reasons why choosing Hillary is head and shoulders above the only deplorable alternative the Republicans have to offer and I hope I can be  "Braggadacious" but humble in my prediction post election. 

If not, and we are "Trumped",  then it will be extremely difficult to pick myself off the floor and start again. The world is becoming quite unpredictable and it has been proving to be an uphill struggle, Brexit, Syria, Colombia all going against what the majority of reasonable -minded people might expect. I am wary and anxious about my own country going through a democratic process and referendum shortly which will make or break its own future. And talking about futures, sadly it will not be long before those voters realise that the Donald is not the salvation that they are looking for. Politicians rarely are, but this one in particular is nothing short of shameful and nothing good will grow from any of the seeds he is sowing. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Miss Olive Pink

With a name like that you know there is a story - And here it is - 

Miss Olive was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1884. When she was a young woman she travelled to South Australia where she met Daisy Bates. She introduced her to the desert landscape and Aboriginal culture and Miss Olive never looked back. She studied anthropology at the University of Sydney and travelled to and from Alice Springs where she did fieldwork on the Warlpiri and Arrernte people. She moved to Alice Springs in 1940 and spent quite some time in the Tanami desert. When she retuned to Alice she became a very vocal advocate for Aboriginal rights. She regularly interrupted court proceedings if she considered that tribal law and custom were not taken into account by the court. She was once fined for contempt of court but refused to pay, demanding to be put in jail instead. Appalled that one of his chief tormentors would be in his jail, the head gaoler paid the fine himself. 
In 1955 she applied for a reservation of 20 hectares of land near the Todd River and she secured it with the help of the Minister at the time Sir Paul Hasluck.(what a wonderful name) This is where the current Botanic gardens is situated.He noted in her obituary that she planted trees with the help of her Aboriginal gardener and each tree bore the name of a prominent citizen and if that person fell out of favour with her she would stop watering it. 
Mr Hasluck say " I visited her on several occasions and could never restrain a curious glance at my tree and felt suitably gratified if I saw that Mr Hasluck was being watered regularly".  
She died at the ripe old age of 91 - unusual  for those years, and she is buried in the Alice Springs Cemetery. All the headstones look east except Miss Olive's which looks west. Her friend Reg Harris said " The old lady would appreciate the fact that she is a rebel still, even in death."

Today the Botanic Gardens in Alice are named after Olive Pink. The Gardens have an extraordinary collection of bush native plants and medicinal plants and walks like the Wattle Walk or the Mallee Walk that we can all enjoy. I read her story in the booklet of the Botanic Gardens while strolling around the gardens and loved her character. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Macdonnell Ranges - Northern Territory.

They extend both sides of Alice Springs - like a protective horseshoe around the town. They are a magnificent range of mountains which offer so much for the keen walker and explorer, with gorges and gaps and places of significance to the Aboriginal tribes who live in the area.  One of the principal attractions is the Larapinta Trail which extends to the west of Alice Springs for 223 kms along the back bone of the range. You can walk along the whole trail or parts of it depending on how much time you have. We dipped into - literally - Ellery Creek Big Hole and Ormiston Gorge both areas of scenic beauty offering swimming, trails and wildlife, though we have to confess we saw very little wildlife but got excited when a monitor lizard crossed the road and  we spotted a heron in the river. One of the ranges with a long shadow of me. 

Ellery Creek Big water hole 

 Some of the rock formations walking one of the trails around the waterhole.

 George getting ready to dive into ice cold water.
Ormiston Gorge - unusually because of the rain, the creek was full so I had to strip down to my knickers to make the creek crossing to get to the other side of the gorge and follow the rocky path up to the look out. 

In our path a beautiful heron which seemed very untroubled by us and was looking for something fishy in the water.

A ghost tree on the cliff edge - stark against the red stone.
A happy camper in the foreground.