Thursday, December 31, 2009


The decade that was.

It has only just occurred to me that today is the end of the decade. Compared to 1999 it is going out very quietly. Remember Y2K? New Years Eve 1999 saw us "celebrating" the end of the century. We, (my husband, myself and our daughter) were in Wales, UK, staying with wonderful friends we had met back in Australia, some years before. I think in December 1999 I had high hopes for the new century. I always remember that when I was in school I used to think that the year 2000 was a lifetime away, and I would be really old as I would turn 41 in 2000. How funny that is now.

In hindsight this decade didn't have a great start. New Years Eve day 1999, our friends were having a combined party with their next door neighbours, unfortunately the neighbour's mother/grandmother became gravelly ill and was rushed to hospital. The party was cancelled. We decided to have a low key affair. I was suffering from the flu ,and had been very sick all day and dragged myself out of my sick bed to join in the "festivities" in the evening. My "angel" who was 6, stayed up long enough to see the fireworks. We had an uneventful night but when it came to midnight, my ex-husband, E's father, wouldn't even wish me Happy New Year, let alone share a kiss. ( I should have figured then, shouldn't I).
Eighteen months later, we separated. I finally saw the light, that I did not need to be married to someone who verbally abused me, who treated me badly. It took a long time to recognize the fact that I had been a victim of domestic abuse. It was a long time ago that we separated, and eventually divorced, but I am very, very glad that we did. When it happened, it shook me to the core as I always believed that marriage was for life, (til death us do part), and I would do anything to keep the marriage working. It also took me a long time to believe in myself and to realize that I had done the right thing by both myself and my daughter.

The last eight years have flashed by very quickly. I was determined to bring up my daughter in a stable home, where she would always feel safe and where there were no "surprises". I kind of put my life on hold for her. No regrets. Now she is 16 and is about to start her last year of school and then possibly go to university or travel overseas. Who knows what is in store for her. She will get her drivers licence this year, so she will be a free spirit, and won't be relying on me to get her to places. Kind of sad that she is growing up, but, I am proud of her as she is a great kid (most of the time).

I am looking forward to this new and exciting decade that will have a whole lot of possibilities for me. I have only great expectations for this next decade. I am not going to have any New Years resolutions, they always end up being broken. No, this year I am just going to look forward to what life will offer, and not dwell on the past.

I can't wait!!!!!

PS. I normally don't dwell on the past. Especially the distant past, but, I just felt that this decade needed closure and this was a good way to deal with it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I just found this on a blog, here. I think it sums me up perfectly. How many times have I vowed to lose weight, how many times have I tried, succeeded, then put it all back on again. This sounds like a much better idea, and I am sure my friends are going to love me for this, ha ha.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas day table

Here is the table that my wonderful friend J, whipped up on Christmas day. She raided the neighbours garden for the beautiful red flowering gum. A unique Aussie take on Christmas decorating, and it matched the Christmas crackers too.

A belated Christmas post

A few photos from Christmas. As it is hot here in December, I prefer to use cool colors on the tree, and use cool color lights. It doesn't quite give the same cosy atmosphere, but when its 30 degrees (86F) you don't need to be cosy.

Some of the presents waiting under the tree.


This could be my place. It would look like this if I acquire more cookbooks.

I need this.

Aaarrrghhhh! I have too many cookbooks. I would love to have more but I have no room to put them. My bookcase is overflowing and every spare shelf in the kitchen cupboards not filled with utensils is filled to overflowing with cookbooks. What do I do????? HELP!
A. Do I actually get rid of the ones I have never used, even though they have pretty pictures?
B. Do I go thru them and copy the one recipe I do use from the book, and then get rid of the book. (sensible option).
C. Find another space to put my new ones?
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunshine Hmmmmmm

Back in April when I started this blog, my first post was about the amount of rain we were having. I now wish I hadn't complained so much. Unfortunately since July we have hardly had any rain at all. I live in a sub tropical climate and although we have a dry few months from the end of July to November, by now we should have had heaps of rain. It has been soooo dry that a lot of my plants are starting to look very, very sick. We have had a few thunderstorms and usually they would inundate us with rain, but no such luck. Today it was looking very ominous.

And even more ominous.
Unfortunately, as promising as it looked, and we were all crossing our fingers, we only had 4mm (0.15inches). We need at least 3 times that in one storm to get things back on track. Hoping the forecast storms for tomorrow will bring the much needed rain.

Unexpected Visitor

Yesterday I decided it was high time I cleaned up some of the junk that had been accumulating on the verandah. Whilst moving some of the things around, I saw movement under the water tank that is sitting on the verandah. At first I thought it was a python...yes...unfortunately they are common around here. although not very large, and it has been quite a few years since the one and only one that made its home at our place. It didn't stay for long, and I haven't seen it since (huge sigh of relief).

After my heart skipping a beat I took a very cautious closer look and found this.
I am not sure how or why he/she ended up sitting in an empty plant pot under the water tank, but it sure gave me a fright and I am sure I gave it a fright too, when I started moving things around. This morning it was gone, hopefully to a much more appropriate home for a Ringtail possum.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Panang Pork Curry (Panang muu)

I have finally decided that buying hundreds of cookbooks and lovingly reading them from cover to cover, bookmarking fabulous recipes and cutting out hundreds of recipes from magazines has to have a purpose. So I am now.............ta dahhhh............................going to try and aim to cook at least one recipe from each cookbook I have, and also start using some of the recipes I have cut out or printed out and stashed in my recipe folder. It's the old 80/20 principle, 80% of the time I cook 20% of my recipes, or in my case it's more like 99% of the time I cook 1% of my recipes.

Tonight I just produced the most wonderful Penang Curry. I found the recipe, Panang Pork Curry on the Taste website you can find it here . It was amazing, now I never have to go to a restaurant to have Penang Curry again. The only change I made to the recipe, I substituted Valcom Penang Curry Paste, for the red curry paste. It was absolutely fabulous.

Once I get my camera working again, I hope I will be able to start taking photos, but in the meantime, at least you can see what it looks like on the Taste website

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I started this blog many months ago, and had no idea what I was going to write about, other than the weird weather we had been having. Roll forward six months and I still have no idea what I want to say. I love reading other blogs, I think it is wonderful that this can be used as a diary, or to disseminate information. I have become an avid follower of quite a few foodie blogs and have found some wonderful recipes. I have also been following ordinary people who lead extraordinary lives. It has meant that I have spent far more time on the computer than before, but I have loved every minute of it.
I would love to be able to tell anecdotes that make people laugh.
I would love to remember to take my camera with me so that I can have photos to show where I have been and what I have been doing.
I have been far more interested in cooking, thanks to Rasa Malaysia and Almost Bourdain. I have started to get back into my crafty ways, thanks to Dottie Angel, and emma lamb, and I have realised that it was perfectly ok to paint over old furniture to give it a new lease of life, instead of spending a small, no, large fortune.
I love reading blogs, I very rarely if ever leave a comment, but maybe one day I will get up the courage to be more adventurous.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hoops of Fire

I have just spent the week trying to organise my name change. Something that before 9/11 was relatively easy, but now is difficult.  It doesn't help, when some of the information that is needed, is on overseas certificates.  I cross my fingers that the lowly clerk I am dealing with, doesn't decide that this certificate is not sufficient.   The really weird thing about changing your name, is that things like drivers licence, bank details, you would think would be difficult, but are not too bad as long as you have every bit of documentation that you have ever been given.  It's the utility companies that want to make your life hell.  This is where you need plenty of patience and possibly consumption of alcohol to help you on your way through the flaming hoops that they place in front of you.  I have been at the same address for 10 years and have always paid my account on time, but I need to have certified copies of my birth certificate and marriage certificate to prove my name change.  Why now, when I didn't need to show that when I first started up the account??????  

When I first decided to change my name, I thought it would be relatively simple.  Change passport, drivers licence, bank details etc.   OMG, you forget how many different institutions have your details and you can't just ring up and say can you please change my name.  SO, please any women out there getting married and wanting to change your name, think long and hard about it. If you ever want to, it is NOT easy reverting to your original name.

Now I am crossing my fingers that as my drivers licence is now in my new name, when anyone asks for ID anywhere that I haven't changed my name, I won't need to prove that I am me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have suffered from being a hoarder for a long time now. After many years of attempting to break the habit, throwing out stuff and giving things away, I usually went out and bought more things to replace everything that I had re-homed.  Finally this year I think I may have overcome this affliction. I have a new term for this, "deneiling".  I think it is a great word and completely encapsulates what I am doing.  I wish I knew why it has taken this long to be able to de-clutter.

I have spent many dollars on buying organizational books, listened to hours of lectures from friends and up until now, I just wasn't able to bite the bullet and really get rid of all my extremely useful, but largely unused belongings.  Now, however, I have emptied bags of clothes and shoes out of my walk-in-wardrobe, that was no longer a walk-in-wardrobe as there were so many things in there, I had to climb over the piles to find anything.  It has been about 4 weeks now, and admittedly there is a pile of stuff to go to be re-homed, which I still haven't got around to taking away, but I am proud to announce that I only took back 6 things from that pile, and I haven't been out shopping to replace anything.  This is a major breakthrough for me.

To continue on this theme of de-cluttering, I have just had the living areas of my house re-painted and during this process I have decided that I have too much furniture, homewares and decorator items.  I do not like the minimalist look but I really can't stand all that excess clutter anymore.  I am sick of buying extra furniture to accommodate all my things, so now I am down sizing, yippee.  I feel fantastic for it.  I used to feel horrible after I had de-cluttered, now I feel liberated!  I couldn't understand why my friends could happily throw out things that they hadn't used for a year.  I always thought, what if I need it next year.  I probably will want it next year, but I don't care any more. There will be a lot of people out there benefitting from my de-cluttering.  I have already had friends over to take what they like out of the pile, and the rest will go to charity. I am now about to go through all the junk stored in a display cabinet that has been filled to the brim for years.  Most of the things in there have been used once or twice and the rest I do use but they really shouldn't be in that cabinet.  This is another piece of furniture that is going through the deneiling process. I have had this cabinet for about 10 years now, and it is time for it to go.  Hopefully I will find a loving home for it in someone else's home.

I still have to brace myself to tackle my ensuite.  That is a huge task, however I have refrained from buying any new makeup or cleansers etc for 3 months now, a miracle for me.  I have been using up all the things that I have, including samples, that are still ok.  I am not only de-cluttering I am saving myself serious amounts of dollars.  Why oh why has it taken this long to see the light?  Now the question is, how far can I go???????

Saturday, April 18, 2009

OK, paradise it is!

After being rather scathing of the weather in my previous post, I now must state that the weather has turned.  The last few days have been absolutely glorious.  That incandescent golden orb in the sky is once again shining down upon us.  Now the Sunshine Coast is putting on it's best to prove that it really is the Sunshine Coast.  Beautiful one day, perfect the next. Yes, this is paradise, this week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Global warming? Yesterday's weather was typical of the type of weather we have been having here and why I had decided to call my blog Sunshine? Paradise?. Unfortunately the Sunshine Coast is no longer the Sunshine Coast.  It has been weeks since we have seen a full day of beautiful sunshine. As usual, it is Easter so it must rain. Fortunately the rain gods kept their gifts to a minimum over most of the Easter weekend, and we had a couple of not too rainy days, however, they made up for it yesterday. So far, in 21 hours we have been inundated with 231mm of rain.  I think I will change where I go on all my holidays in future and a desert might be a wonderful place to be. Move over Nicole!!!!  It seems almost un-Australian to complain about the rain, when so many other places are in dire need of rain, and believe me I have been wishing fervently for it to go anywhere else it is needed.