exit, stage right

I just resigned from my job, effective immediately. The Junta wanted me to become an extension of their injustice, lying and manipulation and I refused, so obviously the position became untenable and leaving was the only option.

Nice to be knifed in the back when you are very ill too, but that is when cowards always attack, when you are vulnerable.

Sometimes, you have to hold tight to your beliefs and values, and fight injustice with all your might, no matter the personal cost, and this was my time. Once I would have fallen on my sword and swallowed my beliefs to save my job, but I won’t do that ever again.

Twice I have encountered pure evil in the workplace, this being the second. Oddly enough, both times it was an evil woman and weak men.

Now, I just have to go and lie in wait to take down some teachers from Fanny and Maude’s School for Fine Young Ladies…I wonder if my flu germs are still contagious?


a milled life

I have been reading John Newton’s book “The Roots of Civilisation: Plants that changed the world” which is filled with interesting facts about ,well, the plants that not only changed, but shaped our world, our present day societies. I love the mix of history and biology that Newton provides.

In the chapter on cereals I learned that the word ‘cereal’ is derived from Ceres, the Roman incarnation of Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest. Also that Prince Millet (millet being a member of the grass family, of which all cereals are members) was the celestial ancestor of the Chou emperors of China, and the Dogon people of Mali believed that millet was stolen from the gods.

To me, considering that a cereal, a means that sustains life, is so valuable as to be associated with gods, makes much more sense than to associate a cold metals or gems such as gold or diamonds which we incredulously choose these days! In fact a milled life was a term used by the Greeks for an ordered society – this despite the fact that the actual milling was done by women and slaves! In Egypt, a loaf of bread shaped like the eye of Horus was found at Thebes and dated around 1500 BC.

Rice, according to the legend of Wisnu, the lord of the underworld, in Bali was “born” when Wisnu raped Mother Earth to fertilise her – rice was the result!

Maybe we have come a long way from those first gruels and slurries humankind made from cracked grains, but it is still an important part of our existence. Riots still break out over shortages of rice and other cereals as we have seen in recent years. The planting, sowing and harvesting of grain is still as important to us as it was to the ancients.

So next time we break bread with someone, I for one will remember that the word companaticum, the root of our word companion, means one who breaks bread with another, and be grateful for the not just my daily bread, but the porridge, congee, couscous and pastas that fill our plates as well.

harvest time

Finally got out to the fruit trees and picked the lemons and limes. It has been our best season yet for lemons. I must have picked about 3 dozen very large lemons and there are more on the tree yet to ripen. The limes are steadily ripening on the tree, but the crop is not as big as last year as we pruned the tree back hard as it was getting too tall for a suburban yard. It is wonderful to know that no chemicals have been used on the fruit, and the only water used was rain water or grey water from the washing machine. We feel a real sense of achievement in our small crop.

So I guess I should turn my mind to …. marmalade!




ear, ear


I lost most of my hearing in both ears yesterday and so back to the doctor I went this morning. One ear was totally blocked by wax – apparently I produce copious amounts of ear wax in narrow ear canals, oh dear! I thought the doctor’s glee over what she released from my ear was somewhat overexcited, but I was happy to give her a moment of achievement in what must be a long dreary day!

The other ear is apparently still swollen from the recent infection and the influenza, so hopefully will settle in a day or two. Let’s not hold our breath on that…  At least I have one hearing ear and can now hear the phone when it rings! Mr FD can no longer mumble insults and passive aggressive threats under his breath as I can now hear them also (how quickly the masses unravel and revolt when the firm hand of control wavers for a second).

The doctor sent me home to blow dry my ears! No they are not big ears! My ears are quite dainty and elegant as you a Flamingo Dancer’s ears would be!

It is one thing to send someone home to blow dry their ears, another for that person to know when enough is enough. Was I to blow it from a distance from my head? Was it to be like a gentle sea breeze or a gale? Hot, warm, cool? In the end I optioned for slightly away from the head on the lowest heat setting and dried until I thought I could smell grilled meat…

There is always new experiences to be had in life, and I just experienced one!

the long wait

Mr FD has gone to sit by his father’s bedside tonight. FIL is not expected to live another 24 hours.

The children all went to see their Grandfather this afternoon. It is a very strange time. I can not speak for the emotions that Mr FD must be experiencing, but our children were denied a proper relationship with their grandfather due to his own attitude and treatment of the family, so they feel rather disconnected from him. I feel sorry for him as he is now suffering, and I do not think anyone should suffer in such a manner, but I have no real emotions about him. Well, not those of a positive kind. He is, was, a terrible husband, and an even worse father and nothing more can be said for the man.

SIL asked that FIL be given stronger pain medication this afternoon and the nurse replied that he couldn’t have morphine as “he might become addicted”! He should live so long! I am sure he will have something stronger before the evening is out. Sometimes you wonder if people think before they speak.

Vintage Cakes

Mrs Isabella Beeton - challenge one!

When I am depressed or stressed I love to bake – cakes, cookies, I have even tried my hand at bread. Lying in bed recovering from the flu I have found that my mood has become very black, and so I have decided to give myself a challenge. A challenge other that cleaning my filthy bedroom after two weeks of Mr FD and I living in our bed that is.

So falling back on my best loved cure for the blues I have decided to bake cakes, not just any cakes, but vintage cakes, from recipes provided by the likes of Mrs Isabella Beeton and other classic bakers such as Marguerite Patten, whom I had never heard of until I started Googling “world’s most famous cake bakers” and up she popped.

Margurite was a British Cook who launched  television show just after the war and wrote a number of cook books such as  ‘Soup Basics’, ‘The Spam Cookbook’ and ‘We’ll Eat Again’ under her belt. “We’ll Eat Again”! I feel like Margurite and I are old friends already.

I googled further for Mrs Beeton’s lemon cake and there I hit my first hurdle. Orange Blossom Water. Have you ever heard of it? I have never, in my life. I could only guess that it is akin to rosewater.

Further research tells me I need to boil orange blossoms. No problem, I’ll just go and pick some shall I? Better still, maybe I can buy some at the supermarket? Any suggestions? I guess I could choose another Mrs Beeton cake recipe, but it sort of defeats the challenge doesn’t it, if I give in on the first cake?

I am going to have to research this a little more, but I don’t intend quitting that easily. In the meantime, check out the original recipe:

Lemon Cake Recipe

This classic English lemon cake recipe is taken from “The Book of Household Management” by Mrs. Isabella Beeton, published by S. O. Beeton, London, in 1861. Victorian England was noted for having delicious lemon cakes which were often served at tea time.

Ingredients: 10 eggs,

3 tablespoonfuls of orange-flower water,

3/4 lb of pounded loaf sugar,

1 lemon,

3/4 lb of flour. Method: Separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs, whisk the former to a stiff froth; add the orange-flower water, the sugar, grated lemon rind, and mix these ingredients well together. Then beat the yolks of the eggs, and add them, with the lemon juice, to the whites, etc; dredge in the flour gradually; keep beating the mixture well; put it into a buttered mold, and bake the cake about an hour, or rather longer. The addition of a little butter, beaten to a cream, we think, would improve this cake. Seasonable at any time.

A little butter? Martha Stewart to whom cooking is a science would be imploding. The addition of a little butter, beaten to a cream, we think, would improve this cake.

And before you ask, back in the Victorian era, sugar were sold in loaves. The loaf would be cut into cubes for tea, or pounded it to a specific amount for a recipe. See, we both learnt a new thing today!
Seasonable at any time….we shall see, Mrs Beeton, we shall see.