Tide of change

Once upon a time, in a sleepy street, near the brow of a hill, stood a single storey red brick cottage, bordered by hardy grassed paths.

The owner loved the home so much, they attached a sturdy white wrought iron bracket. Suspended beneath by two rings, a white oblong marker declared the house’s location.

Being a fan of swashbuckling heroes, the chosen placque featured a galleon, perpetually travelling the oceans at full sail.

Many a long year did that building provide shelter and comfort to its inhabitants. While number 37 gently swayed in the breeze.

Being but five kilometres from the city, the growing populace demanded increased housing density. Standalone dwellings were gradually consumed by multi-storey, hemmed in developments.

Today a refurbished ship 37 voyages upon a shiny new ‘boutique’ apartment block.

Doubting Thomas

How smug I once was, and will be again, I’m sure. Liking to think I was lithe at forty and poo-pooing physiotherapy. Even when I injured my shoulder, lifting weights for vanity’s sake. Other injuries and increasingly sedentary work roles followed.

Fighting the flab in my fifties almost seems too hard a battle to even try to win. I know investment in my health is required to smooth the passage through my twilight years. I’m still working out when they start.

Ten months into a role in supporting injured workers through their rehabilitation has opened my eyes, personally and professionally, to the miracle work of the physiotherapist.

Most recently, I applaud the weekly direction of an exercise physiologist. Damian is teaching me how to get up off the floor without using my hands. Also, how to exercise again starting with Bird Dog*. I believed my decrepitude, dwindling willpower, and self motivation had reached the point of no return, apparently not. I always perform best when I’m doing something for someone other than myself.

Avoiding the scales during the covid crisis, exercising less, and overindulging has resulted in a weight gain of five kilos. My weigh-in, a personal best of 99 kg, 218 lb or 15st 8lb 5oz, what a pity I’m not 2 metres tall. Humpty Dumpty is my pin up goal, now my waist measures 114cm, almost 45”. A 4XL teeshirt is so comfy these day, especially on a beach with Stan.

Time, they say, will tell how and where this doubting Thomas will end up.

*The Bird Dog is a go-to move for stabilizing and strengthening your shoulders, core, and low back. Well-known for simultaneously engaging the shoulders, abdominals, lower back, gluteal, and thigh muscles.

Customs House

Queensland slightly relaxed isolation rules at the weekend. We took to the river, rather than the road. We felt spoilt, a CityCat ferry ride, a walk along the boardwalk in the Autumn sunshine, followed by a picnic in the Botanical Gardens.

The afternoon light, playing on the dome of Customs House, caught my eye.

Best loaf yet

Since posting a recipe for sourdough bread in 2014, I have lost count of the number of loaves made. Over the years, I have tweaked the proving times, the timing of the knocking back stage, ditched the sourdough starter, and tried different flours.

Using 1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast and Laucke Crusty White Bread Mix (flour and salt), this loaf is the largest yet. It was achieved by proving for 24 hours in the fridge followed by 12 hours at room temperature. A gentle knock back as described in the amended recipe below and baking for 30 + 15 minutes.

425g unbleached bread flour
375g water
1/4 teaspoon of active dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt (not needed when using bread mix)

1. Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl then stir in water.
2. Cover with glad wrap (cling film).
3. Store in the fridge for 24 hours then 12 hours at room temperature.
4. Preheat large lidded Pyrex casserole dish or Dutch-oven in oven at hottest temperature.
5. Meanwhile line a bowl or basket with baking parchment and turn out dough onto floured surface or board. Save the cling film for later.
6. Using floured hands or bowl scraper, fold the edges of the dough into the middle. I usually work from quarters then eighths.
7. Place the dough right side up into the lined bowl and cover with cling film.
8. When the oven is at temperature remove the Pyrex bowl, take off the lid.
9. Transfer the baking parchment and dough the into the pre-heated container and replace the lid.
10. Bake the bread for 30 minutes then turn the temperature down to 200oC and remove the lid.
11. After 15 minutes at the lower temperature the bread should be cooked.
12. Cool on a wire rack.

Happy baking!

Why?

Fruitful or less service to universe, race, self?

Resources used wisely or squandered?

Desultory paths wandered with intent or not?

Sands silently stop

Waiting for the all encompassing corruption, subsumption

Contributions ultimately forgotten or turn to dust

Future kind dig, discover, analyse remains

Content of past lives being hypothesised

Perché, pam, why?

Holiday Monday Ghoul

I’m pleased with the second attempt, more ghoul, less demon.

Finding inspiration in the unusual, I could not resist this image cast on the floor, through last night’s wine decanter.

The first attempt was more imagined, something was eager to be released.

Flowers

In this time of limited travel, physical distancing and quarantine, I wonder if picking, buying and giving flowers are allowed.

Instead, I sketched some for you. I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed creating them.

Wishing you, warmth, healing energy, and golden light.