Archive for November 2011




Food Sensitivities

I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I have developed a sensitivity to fresh strawberries and pineapples, but I keep forgetting to test my theory in a controlled way.

Take today – today I feel like I’ve swallowed a cactus. My mouth has felt prickly all day, and while it’s eased off somewhat, my tongue still feels thick and my throat is tender. I had a few strawberries yesterday, and last night my mouth felt all ulcerated. The thing is, I also ate quite a bit of home made honeycomb, (and a massive amount of sugar) and that is quite sharp, so I couldn’t definitively say that I didn’t have numerous micro cuts in my mouth. And it seems that this always happen – when I have strawberries or pineapple I always seem to have had something else that could have caused the issue, like maybe I’ve spent all afternoon eating Doritos. But I love strawberries, and I always forget that they have this effect. I was going to take an antihistamine – if the discomfit went away, it would give me a pretty definitive answer, but I only had Polaramine which would knock me out for 12 hours and keep me groggy for a further 12, and, well, I had to work, so I didn’t. Must get some Telfast to keep on hand. 

The thing is, it’s only reasonably recent too – maybe the last year or so that it’s started happening…maybe it was a turning forty thing. 

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Add a comment November 28, 2011

REVIEW: The Company Articles of Edward Teach

BOOK: The Angælien Apocalypse/The Company Articles of Edward Teach

AUTHOR: Thoraiya Dyer

PUBLISHER: Twelfth Planet Press

RRP: $12.00

In The Company Articles of Edward Teach, Dyer takes the body swapping trope in a different direction. While it is about wish fulfilment, it isn’t jealousy and misunderstanding of another’s life. Rather it is about two teens, wishing they were anyone else. Both raised in orthodox families – Layla, a Muslim, resenting the dominance of her father, the control others have over her life. Avi, Jewish, and railing against the future his mother has mapped out for him.

A chance encounter sees their wishes fulfilled, not by swapping with each other, but by both being thrown into bodies in a different time and place. and explores the effect on the psyche.

The story tells the struggle of the teens to hold onto their identities, and to survive in a time of violence and sickness, as they try to implement and practice and hold onto what they know, understand and believe, when it isn’t compatible with the thinking of the time they are in.

Well told and fast paced, the story captures the brutality of the time period it is set in, and does a good job of portraying the confusion a modern teen would feel if they were confronted with this situation.

Overall I found this an enjoyable quick read.

 

Add a comment November 21, 2011

REVIEW: The Angælien Apocalypse

BOOK: The Angælien Apocalypse/The Company Articles of Edward Teach

AUTHOR: Matthew Chrulew

PUBLISHER: Twelfth Planet Press

RRP: $12.00

I’m always a little bit terrified when I read a story that utilises biblical elements. I think there’s always a possibility when you read stories that dwell on premises that are at the core of your belief that you’re going to get offended. Maybe because an author has seized on just a few points that they think they know, but they’ve failed to understand, or because they take the story into the realm of the blasphemous.
This doesn’t mean I don’t read stories that contain those elements though. I might read them, but my stomach will stay balled up and my breathing will be shallow because I’m tensed, waiting to see how things play out, unsure whether I am going to be offended or upset.
I was a bit apprehensive when I started reading “The Angælien Apocalypse”. Actually, that’s not quite correct. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really have any idea what it was about when I started, but within the first few pages I was getting the idea.
The story is set in the near future and looks at the imminent return of Jesus, together with the rise of the Anti-Christs, and the warring factions behind the return. There was one point in particular where it very nearly lost me, providing an either/or scenario that I couldn’t come to terms with, but as I continued, albeit with some apprehension, this resolved itself.
All in all I enjoyed what Chrulew did with this story, weaving numerous aspects from various parts of the bible into a cohesive and entertaining story.

Add a comment November 20, 2011

The downside…

Do you know the big sucky thing about this new job? It has coincided with Transperth trialling the 4am trains. This means Tusk is now working full nights on a weekend.

What this means for us is that from 6am today until probably around 11am Sunday, we’re going to have seen each other (in a conscious state, at least…as romantic as the whole watching someone sleeping supposedly is, it doesn’t quite cut it for me) for a total of maybe 15 minutes.

1 comment November 18, 2011

Back to the salt mines for me…

I liked this being retired thing, the not working, the sleeping in until 10am, the pottering around, watching TV, reading, hanging out on Twitter. It was awesome. I highly recommend it people – if you get the chance, retire!

And it was working so well!  Until two of my three children spread their wings and flew. I *thought* I was ready for them to move out, I really did, but it turns out I *really* wasn’t. I empty nested in a big way. It doesn’t help that it was the two noisy ones that moved out – the Munchkin remains, and he is as quiet as ever, happy to entertain himself.

The empty nesting brought a strong element of restlessness, and maybe part of that is that my workload at home has been cut considerably – way less washing when you remove two young adults from a house, less cooking, pretty much less everything, really. I didn’t really want to go back to work, at least, not full time, and not to a high pressure job, and I didn’t want to go and work nights again at the job-that-served-a-purpose.

Then, in one of those little quirks, an advert popped up on Facebook that a chain store was looking for casuals over the Christmas period, so on the spur of the moment I flicked my resume off to them. Actually, not my resume, but my professional CV. I didn’t tailor it at all, I just attached my latest and hit reply.

It must have been suitable, because a couple of days later I received an email inviting me to a group interview, and several days later I get this phone call:

Them: So, you know how you applied for a Christmas casual position? We think you are awesome and we’d like to offer you an ongoing position.

Me:

Them: In homewares. With kitchen goodies!

Me: Ooohhh…shiny!…and dangerous.

Them: Or you could work in ladies shoes…

Me: ***faints***

Them: Well?

Me: Um…home wares might be safer for my wallet.

Them: Wonderful! 

Then, I thought that through…Homewares is on the second floor, I have to walk *PAST* Ladies Footwear to get to it…

Oops.

Anyway, I had my store induction today, and got slated for a couple of shifts on Friday and Saturday, and when I got home, they rung me to see if I could work tomorrow.

And so it begins again…

 

1 comment November 14, 2011

Fondant Fan Art…Fandant? Fondart???

Remember these guys?

Yesterday, while playing with my fondant, I had the sudden realisation that my current creation was quite Doozer-esque, so then, of course I just had to try and make it totally Doozer like 🙂

The result:



Also, this may have opened up a Pandora’s Box of ideas, because now there’s a plethora of geek figures and items I want to try making.

Add a comment November 12, 2011

Vanilla Slice

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while, but with one thing and another I kept forgetting. As gross as I think it is, I make a vanilla slice that everyone seems to love. Now, as a general rule, I’m not overly precious about my recipes, and I was asked for it again, so it prompted me to post it here 🙂

INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cornflour
  • ½ cup custard powder (If you want to get Brand specific, I prefer Nurse’s)
  • 1 litre milk
  • 60gm butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Shell

  • 2 sheets puff pastry

Icing

  • 1 small tin passionfruit
  • 1 small bag icing sugar

METHOD

Shell

  1. Cook pastry in a very hot oven until puffy.
  2. Flatten with hand.
  3. Place one sheet in tray. (I use the alfoil BBQ trays that you can buy in a 3 pack.)

Filling

  1. Combine sugar, cornflour and custard powder in a heavy based saucepan.
  2. Mix well to combine.
  3. Blend with a little milk until smooth.
  4. Stir in remaining milk.
  5. Add butter.
  6. Stir mixture constantly over heat until custard boils and thickens.
  7. Reduce heat.
  8. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in vanilla essence, then quickly stir in the beaten egg yolks.
  10. Pour hot custard over pastry.
  11. Place 2nd sheet of pastry over custard.

Icing

  1. Mix bag icing with tin of passionfruit. Mix well so there are no lumps.
  2. Spread over top layer of pastry.
  3. Refrigerate.

Notes:

I tend to double or even triple the filling mix so that my slice is about 5cm or more thick. Personally, I think this is why everyone loves it, but if you are going to make it thick like that, you also need to add some more cornflour so that it is a lot firmer.

Add a comment November 11, 2011

Fondant Fun

Today was a day of unwinding after a few full on days, so I thought it’d be fun to play around with fondant. I’ve played with flowers and the actual icing of cakes, but not really used it for making things, so that’s what I did.

 

And here’s some of the results:


1 comment November 10, 2011

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

I had no expectations for this as a movie, and overall it wasn’t anything new or brilliant, but it won me over for a few reasons. The opening scene is Jessica Alba in her tight black leather, very reminiscent of her role as Max in Dark Angel. She is running around doing the spy thing while being all gorgeous, and she is NINE MONTHS PREGNANT.

It is awesome!

She also has two step children, one of whom is partially deaf and no one makes a big deal out of it – this is just an accepted thing –

Predictably, the three of them get drawn into an adventure, and this means that Marissa, as a new mum has to take the baby with her. There’s no hunting around for babysitters, and grumbling about taking bub to work (At least, I don’t think there was…I don’t recall it)

All in all it was a fun movie. Nothing new, but for those reasons, I loved it.

Just try and ignore the 3D business.

Add a comment November 9, 2011

Book trailer – Nightsiders

I’ve been playing with Photoshop lately. And I’ve ended up making my first book trailer.

 

Add a comment November 2, 2011

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I’ve Said It Once…

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