Sunday, May 21, 2017




I rarely post music videos, but after seeing Harry Styles' performance on “The Graham Norton Show” a couple of weeks ago...as seen here...not a day has gone by since I’ve not played this song/video...more than once daily.  I love this song...and his performance. 

What a good-looking young man Styles is, too!!  Wow!

Of course, over the years I’ve read all the hype/gossip etc., about the boy band “One Direction”, but never paid them much attention, believing they more suited the younger generations...but Harry Styles, now gone his own way, as have others in the group, really made me sit up and take notice with this performance.   This song has really "grabbed me".

From his “on the couch” segment with Norton and his other guests that evening Harry Styles came across as a very nice young fellow, too.

I’m hooked!   There is life left in this old bird, after all!   (I knew it, but others might have been prepared to argue the point)!

In my extremely humble opinion, this song is one of the best around at present, if not the best...and it’s one of the best, if not the best, I’ve heard for a long time.

Thumbs up from me, Harry!  You can add me to your list of fans!

 Unashamedly, I’m now in style!!

In the words of "Molly Meldrum"....'Do yourselves a favour...." 

The song...the lyrics resonate with me.....I don't know why...but they do....



"Sign of the Times"

[Verse 1]

Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
Welcome to the final show
Hope you're wearing your best clothes
You can't bribe the door on your way to the sky

You look pretty good down here
But you ain't really good


[Pre-Chorus]
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?


[Chorus]
Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
We gotta get away from here
We gotta get away from here
Just stop your crying, it'll be alright
They told me that the end is near
We gotta get away from here


[Verse 2]
Just stop your crying, have the time of your life
Breaking through the atmosphere
And things are pretty good from here

Remember everything will be alright
We can meet again somewhere
Somewhere far away from here


[Pre-Chorus]
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?


[Chorus]
Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
We gotta get away from here
We gotta get away from here
Stop your crying, baby, it'll be alright
They told me that the end is near
We gotta get away from here


[Pre-Chorus]
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?
We never learn, we been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets? The bullets?


[Bridge]
We don't talk enough, we should open up
Before it's all too much

Will we ever learn? We've been here before
It's just what we know

[Outro]
Stop your crying, baby, it's a sign of the times
We gotta get away, we got to get away
We got to get away, we got to get away
We got to get away
We got to, we got to run
We got to, we got to run
We got to, we got to run......


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT



Moira Shearer - "The Red Shoes"

When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina, one matching, if not eclipsing the prowess and graceful fluidity of prima ballerina, Margot Fonteyn.  

When I was a little girl I dreamed of being  the exquisite Moira Shearer who starred as "Victoria (Vicki) Page" in one of the best, if not the best, ballet film ever made..."The Red Shoes".  I lost count of the number of times I watched that movie when I was a little girl.  

 (Shearer always reminded me of my mother.  Compare the photo of Shearer shown above, to the one of my mother in my previous post, and you may see what I always saw).
 
A little later I dreamed about being a trapeze artist flying through the air with the greatest of ease under the Big Top. 
  
I also dreamed of being a six-gun totin’, sharp-shootin’, whip-crackin’ cowgirl like Annie Oakley, or a swashbuckling pirate girl, with overflowing treasure chests in my sights. 

When I was little I dreamed of being the fifth member of the Three Musketeers.  Of course, I’d have to convince them to let a girl into their exclusive corps. 

Although I was unsure about Athos, Porthos or Aramis showing me much pathos, I was certain I’d be able to sway D’Artagnan around to my way of thinking because after he became a Parisian he proved his worth to the other three. He’d been through the wringer, and eventually came out a winner. 

A little further down the track I wanted to be an actress. Tony Curtis would be my leading man, and I, his leading lady.  I’d gaze at the glossy photos of Tony Curtis adorning my bedroom wall, dreaming of being the lovely Laurette de Latoure to his Rene aka “The Purple Mask”, in the movie of the same name, and of being his co-conspirator, Tina, in “The Prince Who Was a Thief”.  Curtis introduced me to the magic of “Houdini”. I never missed a Tony Curtis “picture” at the Saturday matinees Gympie's Olympia Theatre.  I was first through the theatre door, a bag of Maltesers or Jaffas clasped firmly in my hand.

Becoming a drummer was on my list, too.  A photo of drummer extraordinaire, Gene Krupa, held pride of place on my bedroom wall, too.

I could’ve been the Little Drummer Girl, opposed to the Little Drummer Boy.

As I grew a little older I wanted to be a nurse. 

I became none of the above, but the dreams were fun. All were remarkable adventures, none of which were little escapades. 

It’s fascinating where dreams will take you, if only in your mind.  Dreams cost nothing. They’re the cheapest way to travel because you don’t have to pack a suitcase, or live out of one for weeks/months on end.  It’s no little thing that no matter where you roam in your wildest, most fanciful dreams, you always feel at home. 

Someone said more than once: - “There’s no place like home, nor is any other bed as good as your own”. Whoever said those words spoke the truth, in my opinion; but then again, I am a self-confessed homebody.

Thoughtful gestures are what life is about, don’t you agree?  

To me, little things do mean a lot - kindness, simple and pure. 

Over the past few weeks I’ve been the regular recipient of the thoughtfulness of others.  Under the cloak of secrecy and blue skies, in stealth silence, friends from up the road have been leaving bags full of luscious home-grown grapefruits at my back door. Each morning I juice a couple of the delicious fruit, as well as two oranges, along with a lemon from my tree thrown in for added zing. 

A few weeks have passed since Cyclone Debbie’s aftermath travelled overhead dropping off a load of water upon our thirsty gardens on its way south.  From that benevolent gift, once more, Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring magic has been on display.  In little time at all, the rain has worked wonders.  Without exaggeration, the grapefruits, as well as my lemons, have doubled and, in some instances, tripled in size.   
That’s no little feat! 

The extraordinary powers of Nature never cease to amaze.

Simple pleasures - for instance, like when I met Simba, the not-so-little, handsome German Shepherd, anxiously waiting in the tray of his master’s ute in IGA’s car park the other day; and the jovial gentleman who took my trolley from me that same day (after I’d unloaded it, of course) – are part of the “little things mean a lot”.

In the sagacious words of Aussie singer-songwriter, Paul Kelly...”From little things big things grow”...this sentiment covers a multitude...pay it forward...

Grapefuit-Quinoa Salad: Strip peel from 1 grapefruit, taking care not to include white pith. Warm the peel, 8 thin slices fresh ginger and 1/4c x-virgin olive oil over med-heat. As soon as oil starts to bubble, remove from heat; set aside 30mins; then strain; reserve oil. Rinse 3/4c quinoa; drain; put in saucepan with 1-1/2c water and 1/2tsp salt; boil over high heat; reduce heat; gentle simmer, uncovered, 15mins; set aside, off heat, undisturbed 5mins; then transfer to bowl; fluff with fork; cool. Segment grapefruit; reserve segments and juice separately. Whisk 3tbs of juice with 1tbs white wine vinegar, 2tsp honey, and salt to taste, in bowl. Gradually whisk in 3tbs reserved grapefruit oil, starting with a few drops, then in a stream to make slightly thick dressing; season with pepper. Toss quinoa with dressing, 1 small minced serrano or jalapeno chilli, 2 finely-chopped shallots, 1c grated carrot and 2tbs chopped fresh coriander. Add 450g cooked prawns and 1 diced avocado, if desired.

Grapefruit-Mint-Feta Salad:  Peel 3 grapefruits. Remove segments; halve segments; add 1 small Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, 1very thinly sliced red onion, 100g kalamata olives and leaves of small bunch of mint. Combine 2tbs sherry vinegar and 2tbs lemon juice; season; pour over salad; top with 180g feta, thinly sliced into shards.

Grapefruit-Candied Ginger Loaf: Preheat oven 190C. Lightly grease 9x5-inch loaf pan. Whisk together 2c plain flour, 1c sugar, 3/4tsp baking soda, 3/4tsp baking powder and 1/2tsp salt.  Add in 3/4c grapefruit juice, 1tbs grapefruit or orange zest, 3tbs canola oil and 1 large egg; mix until just combined. Stir in 3/4c chopped crystallized ginger.  Pour evenly into loaf pan.  Sprinkle top generously with 1tbs raw sugar (and a little more chopped crystallized ginger or walnuts, if desired). Bake 45-55mins. Cool on rack, 15mins. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Malteser-Oreo-Fudge Slice: Line a loaf tin with baking paper, with an overhang. Crush 150g Oreos (or biscuits of choice). Using 100g Maltesers, chop some in half and leave rest whole; cut 50g fudge into small pieces; add both to crushed Oreos. In large pan, gently heat 75g butter, 2tbs golden syrup and 150g, preferably, dark chocolate, until just melted.  Add the dried ingredients; stir until just combined.  Pour into loaf tin; push several whole Maltesers in gently along top for decoration. Chill until completely hardened.  Remove from tin; cut into small squares.

Jaffa Slice: Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Lightly spray a 20 x 30cm slice pan with oil. Line the base and sides with baking paper, allowing 2 sides to overhang. Process 1c plain flour, 80g chopped butter and 2tbs brown sugar in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 egg yolk and enough chilled water (1-1/2 to 2tbs chilled water); process until mixture starts to come together. Press evenly over the base of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 mins or until light golden and cooked through. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Meanwhile, for the Jaffa topping - place 200g pkt Allen’s Jaffas in a small sealable plastic bag. Wrap in a tea towel and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to pound until roughly crushed. Reserve 2 tbs of the crushed Jaffa.  Sift 1/2c plain flour, ¼ S.R. flour and 1/3rd cup of cocoa into a large bowl. Stir in 1-1/2c firmly packed brownsugar and 1tsp finely grated orange rind. Make a well in the centre. Add 200g butter, melted and 3 lightly whisked eggs; mix well until combined. Spread mixture evenly over the base. Sprinkle evenly with the crushed Jaffas, lightly pressing into the mixture. Bake 23-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Cut into slices. Drizzle with the chocolate sauce and sprinkle with the reserved Jaffas.