Not surprising then that High Teas have become a popular function at Plough Creek Homestead.
High Tea ready to go.
Just love those happy tastings.
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea,” said Henry James in the Portrait of a Lady.
Not surprising then that High Teas have become a popular function at Plough Creek Homestead.
High Tea ready to go.
Following the welcome drinks of Virgin Mary shots and fruit fizzes, a rather delish menu was served.
To satisfy the munchies we served; Asparagus wrapped in Jamón, Sicilian sticks, mini frittatas, pinwheels, summer sausage rolls, fish balls in dipping sauce, various sandwiches and Vietnamese salad with coconut poached chicken in crunchy wonton baskets!
Of course no eating at PCH is complete without the sweet treats, which included; chocolate cake, pink Ice, pink melting moments, raspberry cheesecake, lemon tarts, hazelnut sandwiches, fruit kebabs, meringue nests with rose petal jelly and vanilla risotto sprinkled with rose petals. The final taste treats were mini ice cream cones.
Some gorgeous thank you cards were received, to let us know how much they enjoyed their afternoon. All in all another wonderful celebration was had.
Just love those happy tastings.
Australia Day. What does it mean?
A public holiday is always enjoyed and for many years I never really thought about the real significance of the day. Sure there have often been celebrations, as various friends celebrate their birthdays on this date or during this long weekend.
Over recent years I have found myself reflecting more and more about what it really means. Is that a sign of age, I wonder? I have had an internal debate about the "politics and socially correct meaning" of Australia Day for some time. Invasion Day? Sorry Day? Celebration Day? What well wishes do I offer to others without offending anyone? I think I have found a response that I like. A man who I hold in enormous regard sums it up so eloquently.
Another link I came across also put a perspective that I really related to.
Nevertheless, I love being an Australian. I love the uniqueness of us Aussies. Well, most of us!!
While kick starting today with a cuppa on the back verandah with Tez, we were listening to the ABC. The Governor of South Australia was talking about when he first sighted the shores of Australia. He was a Vietnamese refugee 38 years ago, before settling in his new home - Australia.
It made me reflect about my own heritage and the runaway 18 year old Italian, that my father was. He calls Australia home, but he is Italian. He left war torn Italy to start a new life and landed in the mining fields of WA. He learnt to speak English (Australian) from the Aboriginal men. Making a life here allowed him to have a family with very different outcomes that perhaps one could imagine would have been in Italy.
Both these stories made me think of Vietnamese and Italian food, naturally! Australia truly is a multi-food/taste country and we do it so well. I believe our primary produce is of such good quality, as the soil has been nurtured for so long, with love, by the first Australians.
With acknowledgement and respect to the first Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and with well wishes to all, I hope your Australia Day 2015 has been a great day filled with good times, making wonderful memories and filled with happy tastings.
Recently I have been doing some preparatory work for some weddings I will be involved with. I was searching for some words that could be used in the ceremonies and I came across a “box of stuff” from when I was preparing for my own wedding nearly 20 years ago.
Oh what a day! I still remember so many details like it was yesterday. Lists were hand written.
A working bee that lasted for a week in the lead up to the wedding day meant that many wonderful family and friends shared in so much detail of our day. Brooksy even pushed the pedal on the ELNA to stitch the spine of the wedding booklets.
Wedding ceremony booklet
HAPPY. And yes, I remember so much HAPPY throughout the whole day. There was a small sprinkle of rain in the morning that cleared away for the most perfect autumn day. Many Italians believe a small rain the morn of the wedding is a blessing and a good sign. I have always lived comfortably with that old wives tale….
I have always maintained that our wedding day was the best day of my life and was the perfect wedding, in my view! I so am glad it was. What followed was (and is) the hardest thing I have done. Marriage is the most complex, yet the most rewarding relationship, if you are prepared to put in the effort, one can have.
Just by the by – this is why I support and do whatever I can to ensure that same gender unions can and will be recognised in this country. Any person who choices to make a commitment to marriage has the right to do so, again, in my view!
I digress…. HOWEVER, as challenging and magical life commitment partnerships can be, it is worth every smile, stress, happy event, crisis, love and “don’t like you today” moments that are experienced. It is worth the effort.
Many have heard me say this before; “Tez is not perfect, I am not perfect – but we are probably perfect for each other “!
One of the books on my summer reading list was Sophia Loren’s book.
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow My Life by Sophia Loren
I was blown away by her last sentence in the book. I had no idea she and I were so alike…. Oh, others of you may have recognised similarities, but they had not been so apparent not me *chuckle* …. We, (Sophia and I) are both still trying work out what we will do when we grow up.
Generally, I have loved all the aspects of the working life/career I have been so fortunate to have.
When I was a kid, I worked in my uncles shoe shop….that is like lollies to a diabetic (remember ‘Debra’ means lover of shoes). There is photographic evidence!
My nursing career has been a kaleidoscope of work life that has so many facets, colours and chapters. I have immense love for so much of my nursing world.
Of course, Midwifery was “the love” of my working life.
I have dabbled in many activities over the years designing and making kids clothes, cake making (my only source of income during the nurses strike of 1986), catering, sewing wedding clothes; the list goes on….. Tez calls them hobbies; those things I do that cost me money and don’t allow him to retire …. Haha.
Some new chapters, in draft, ready to be attempted in 2015. There are still many things on my bucket list. What do I want to be when I grow up? How does one decide?
Maybe it is time for a change of pace. The last few weeks have been reflective, deep, meaningful, personal and even, a little intense at times. My reflections have been different to the regular musings of me.
HOWEVER, I have been missing my tucker…..
Usually when I think about writing a post for the PCH and PCCS blog, it focusses on what has been happening at the homestead, or in the classes, or places we have visited to eat recently. Sometimes I venture into the garden. As you know the PCH garden is a significant passion of Tez and mine. Sometimes I chat about nothing at all or just rave about general living.
Today my brain has taken me down an enquiry rabbit hole. I am seeking to gather information from you. In fact, I am suspicious that there will be a series of “seeking info from you” posts over the next few months. I have this small idea dancing in my brain….probably will go nowhere, as many don’t, nevertheless, in the meantime;
Where is a great place to eat in your local neighbourhood? You know, the sort place you visit when you think to yourself “can’t be bothered cooking tonight, so let’s pop out to………… and have something to eat”.
Share with me, please? Name, location and even a link.
This has been inspired by a recent shout out by our fabulous friend Lloyd in London. He was seeking names of places for a planned trip to NYC.
Yes, I know there are all sorts of apps, pages and sites on the Internet that offer suggestions, but I still like the recommendations from mates!
So, gimme, please!
Oh yeah, anywhere in the world is good – you never know when I may call past your local….
It is said that it is a short 24/7 news cycle these days. In the last few weeks it feels like we have been dealing with one shocking news story after another. So many things happening that cause us to be distressed, disbelieving, enraged, horrified and so on. It can be a challenge to maintain a positive attitude at times and continue to teach our young well and protect the babies from the pain of the grown up world.
Two particular stories have been deeply distressing this week.
Firstly, the Paris atrocity; the raw emotion and pain I observed in my Parisienne friend who lives here in Gippsland after the news of the slaying in Paris hit our airwaves, was heart breaking. She loves her home country and city and at the same time has embraced her Aussie lifestyle with zest. But her birth place of Paris, is still in her heart and I did not know how to console her.
The second was a recent feature story about 81 women (that we know of), who died in Australia in 2014, probably as a result of domestic violence. Reflecting on the domestic violence situation in Australia during a lengthy discussion with Tez, left me feeling like I was watching my friends’ raw emotion, it just left me feeling so wretched.
Over the last 24 hours I have not been able to stop thinking about these things.
What can I do?
I know that there is a common view that the raising of children and the lessons of life are the responsibility of each mother and father, but I am drawn to the “global village” notion. I think each mother and father does have to teach each daughter and son life lessons, but I also think that aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, teachers and bus drivers, among many others, can also contribute. I would like to think that as an aunt, friend, godmother, sister, step-mother and colleague that I can offer a contribution to help the kids I know and love, to grow and create a better world.
In 2014 there were a number of babies born in my circle of family and friends. In each one of these babies I see the future and I feel hope. In each young person I am involved with as they reach adulthood and start making decisions, I see good and I respect them. In the work world I participate in, I believe that essentially good things happen and make the lives of others better, each day.
It starts with one conversation at a time. I hope, with all my heart, that each conversation I have with these young people is heard as love. That each one grows knowing that love makes lives so much richer and therefore, they avoid hate. I hope each contribution I make, helps make something for someone a little better each day. If I can be a mentor and role model to just two of my babies and their world is better as a result of that, then it will be a sharing of a love that has made all efforts so worthwhile.
Recently I was complaining of some aches and pains. The reality that I was born in the middle of the last century, made me think that I need to be a little more “grown up” about how I live life and maintain health and wellbeing. So I found myself a new GP. Reconnected with some other trusted health & wellbeing professionals (after all, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket and the gals around the cauldron want me to keep all options open!!). So I am currently working from the head down and getting things checked out. I have also decided that I am only half way through living my life…so no time to be old or sick!
An interesting thing happened on the way to the festive season. I had some health issues that needed to be dealt with. It is ALL GOOD now…however; the most incredible thing happened…on another level …that is what I want to share with you in this post.
PEOPLE ARE GOOD and CARING and LOVING. Starting with my immediate; husband, sisters, besties, family and group of mates. There was not a deliberate exclusion of anyone in particular, who I shared my recent concerns with - it just happened as it did…without exception, the love, caring and support that was demonstrated toward me and also towards Tez, was staggering. It made us both realise how incredibly rich our life is.
As I observe, listen and engage with many people, I am always intrigued by the quirkiness of “human nature”. People react in many and varied ways and sometimes, I am quite surprised by it. No one can ever predict how someone will react to any situation. No one can ever pre-determine the extent of emotion a situation can stir. I sometimes think I know how someone will react and then it is completely different to what I thought. ALL THAT IS OK….‘cos what I have observed is, that most people are GOOD and CARING and LOVING.
So my husband, sisters, besties, family and group of mates; thank you - from the bottom of my heart….feeling love…..
YES, I know you have heard it before … the Beatles said; “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE”. I think it is true.
Writing a blog is an interesting process. I fluctuate between wondering whether I have something worth saying (aka; is what I have to say, worth sharing?) to believing that my views may be of interest (aka; the pleasure of sharing my thoughts is fulfilling). It can be very enlightening.
I have no sense of who may be reading the posts and whether they are interesting or not. And to be very clear, I have no delusion that I am a writer. I am not even sure that I know what my blog is about… I do know they are the ravings and rantings of me – however, do they matter? I enjoy putting shape to my thoughts. It is common for me to problem solve by talking “in draft” and finding a conclusion through that process. Writing the blog is like that. Talking to myself “in draft”. I put my thoughts and reflections down then it takes my mind in a new direction. Sometimes, even reaching a decision and/or a conclusion!
I have been reading over my early posts and this captured my attention from 18/12/2012 …….. It has suddenly become apparent that I live in approximately six parallel universes and the power jets have been re-boosted!! It is true that I have a number of aspects to my life however; the choice I made was to focus the blog on PCH, the garden and the lifestyle we love.
So what is the meaning of this particular ‘monkey monkey underpants’ moment, I ask myself? It has come about as I was documenting my reflections of 2014 and I realised how deeply personal my thoughts had become.
I was exploring very emotional reactions to numerous things; extremes of disappointment & joy, dislike & love, envy & pride, discomfort & confidence. Suddenly I thought – is this what I really want to share? WHAT do I REALLY WANT to share? Does anyone actually read it and does it make any difference? Does it matter if anyone reads PCH Blog? Does my blog have to only include PCH and PCCS highlights?
Well, I guess the answer is, that it is my blog and I can write and say whatever I want….there are no rules and if no one reads it – does it really matter?
2014 was a huge year and it was also a blink in time…I have had numerous moments I am very sustained by and some moments that I have learnt valuable life lessons from. I have firmly grounded some wonderful new relationships and I have also freed up some others.
The ebbs and flows of 2014 continue to reinforce the wonders of the circle of life, love and living.
Featuring the "PCH country cook and gardener"
Una goccia di Toscana...
Une touché de Provence...
a taste of Gippsland