E G Whitlam 1916 – 2014

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Gough Whitlam

The 24 hours news cycle and the internet were not thought of 40 years ago when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister of Australia in 1972.  Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that I learned of the death of Gough Whitlam via the rolling coverage at the foot of the big screen in the foyer of the city office when I arrived at work this morning.  I shared and communicated the news with friends and acquaintances via text messages and Facebook.

In 3 short years Gough Whitlam achieved so much.  He had a vision for Australia which included universal access to healthcare and education, indigenous rights, support for the arts, multiculturalism, no-fault divorce,abolition of the death penalty, voting for 18 year olds and of course, the abolition of conscription and bringing the troops home from the Vietnam War.

I was 14 years old when the “It’s Time” campaign swept the Labor Party to power in 1972 and still not old enough to vote by the time Whitlam as dismissed in spectacular fashion by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr in 1975.


There has been much written and said today about Gough Whitlam and his legacy but I would like to share a few words that I read on an online forum by a contributor unknown to me.  This really sums it up for me.

“He cared. I’m so glad that he was part of my history.”

Shiny Shoes

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Just a short post tonight as I have been busy with the photo project which is progressing well.  There are a lot more of the older blog posts which now have the photos reinstated.

Last week I was in the local shoe shop where I had bought these 2 pairs of shoes a couple of months before we travelled overseas.

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I wore them practically every day for 6 weeks and have worn them quite a bit both before we left and since our return as they are simply some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned.  I asked about cleaning them and as I had suspected I was told that they could be washed in a washing machine.  I decided to handwash them using a little of the regular liquid detergent that I use in the washing machine.

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After soaking them for a few hours, I rinsed them thoroughly, squeezed the excess water out and set them out on a towel on the bench to dry.

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Once these are completely dry, I will repeat the process with the red ones.

The lady in the shoe shop also advised that you can buy replacement inner soles for $5.   It is nice to know that some things are actually made to last rather than designed to be tossed in the bin at the first sign of wear and tear.

Behind the Scenes

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I have been doing quite a bit of organising over the past week or so but it has been behind the scenes and I cannot really show you photographs of it.

Although it is not immediately evident, I have been working hard to reinstate a lot more of the photos that I accidentally erased from the first 2 years of the blog.  I am doing it in conjunction with slowly but surely sorting out my digital photos which is a huge job.

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One day all of the photos will be back in place, but in the meantime I wanted to share this older post with you.  When I look at my blog stats, it is one of the most consistently viewed ones so I am sure many people will be happy to know that the photos are back in place.

Please take some time to look back at some of the older posts and you might be surprised to see some previously unseen photographs.  There are still plenty of posts left to add photos to, so if you find one without that you are interested in, please post in the comments and I will try to make it a priority.


The More You Spend…………

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……..the more you save!


It is not a new line but I have been appalled to hear this numerous times on the radio over the past few days.  It is the latest advertising campaign for Harvey Norman.  I cannot remember the exact details but is based on the premise that you get a larger discount if you spend more money.  The examples in the advertisement are over $1000, over $2000 or over $3000 so we are not talking small amounts here.

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I find this type of advertising unethical and just downright wrong.  How many people will get sucked in?

Harvey Norman 3What do you think?

Gloriously Gluten-Free

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I made a gluten-free lasagne for dinner tonight.  That is not particularly earth-shattering as I know that you can buy gluten-free pasta and I have used it on previous occasions.  However, this time I was inspired by a Facebook post from a friend and decided to substitute the lasagne sheets with sliced zucchini.

I use a combination of potato flour and chickpea flour to make the bechamel sauce.

Here are all of the components prepared before I assembled the lasagne.


The last layer in place.

010Ready to serve.

001Plated up.

002The verdict?

The zucchini did not provide as much support as lasagne sheets, therefore, the lasagne did not translate neatly in one piece onto the plate.  The taste was excellent which means it was a success by my standards.  I would definitely make this again with a few adjustments.  I would make the meat sauce drier which I think would help in maintaining the shape.  The zucchini could perhaps be sliced a little thicker.  You could also make the serves in individual ramekins.


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While there is always something that can be found to do, it is a great feeling to know that the everyday tasks are all done.

Yesterday I did 4 loads of washing which included the bed linen and towels for both The Duke and I plus our most recent Air BnB guests who departed yesterday morning.  The washing and ironing are all done, I have a meal ready for dinner tomorrow night, the bathroom is clean and beds freshly made.  The dishes are done and lunches partly made for tomorrow.

So, there is nothing left to do apart from settle into bed with a new magazine that my mother passed on to me recently.


The housework will return soon enough but for now I am going to indulge myself.


Weekend Work

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After spending my weekdays in the office there is nothing I enjoy more than spending time in the garden on the weekend.  I will start with what we actually did last weekend.

We finally finished building this raised garden bed.  There are now 4 beds complete and we eventually plan to have 9 of them.  The cardboard is a large carton that was the packaging from the refrigerator we bought last year.  We always keep any large pieces of cardboard as it makes a great base for the beds and is very effective at smothering the underlying grass before eventually breaking down.  I will cover the remainder of the base with some more cardboard before gradually filling the bed with a combination of fallen leaves, mulch, compost and grass clippings which will, over time, become rich soil.  It will all be sourced from our block.


We also created a bed for the asparagus.  Since asparagus grows very vigorously and spreads, we wanted to make sure that we are able to contain it.  The Duke dug a trench and buried some offcuts of Colorbond steel to a depth of 320mm to form the border of the asparagus bed.  Here is the work in progress.

This is what it looked like once we had finished and planted the asparagus.


The lettuce seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago have not put in an appearance so yesterday I bought some seedlings and planted them in between the corn which is growing nicely.

The other thing we did today was to start to tidy up around the citrus trees.  Here is the lime tree with a new border of rocks and some mulch.  You can the orange tree behind it and grapefruit to the far right which have been bordered with rocks and now I just need to finish weeding them and put the mulch down.


We decided to border the other orange tree and the lemon tree in one large area.  The Duke collected up the rocks from down the back near the water tanks.  We have an abundance of volcanic rocks on the property so it is good to be able to use them.


I have planted more seeds – most expired by several years – so will see how they go.  Lettuce, radish, chilli, tomato and bok choy all went in today.  I am determined to grow more of our own food and am hopeful of greater success now that the vegetable patch is completely fenced.