Saturday, September 27, 2008

Scatterday Challenge for September - Food #3

We had a big morning tea / lunch with friends one day last week, and I made pizzas - Weight Watchers pizzas. They looked wicked - but weren't!

Tomato and Cottage Cheese Pizza
Serves 6 - Points value per serve 2 1/2
Cooking oil spray
2 Lebanese bread
2 tablespoons bought basil pesto
3 tomatoes, thickly sliced
12 drained, pitted green olives, halved
30g grated mozzarella cheese
250g Weight Watchers Cottage Cheese
12 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180 degreec C.
Coat 2 oven trays with cooking oil spray.
Place bread on prepared trays and spread with pesto.
Arrange tomatoes and olives over each base.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
(I also sprinkled oregano on top)
Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
Dollop with cottage cheese and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Cut into wedges to serve.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Email friends - are they always who they say they are?

Have you ever had an email conversation with someone you've never met, and formed an idea of what they're like -
- then been let down by the reality....?

Not yet!

I had exchanged emails with writer, Bridget McKern, one of The Writers' Dozen, several times before finally being introduced to her by my son at the "Better Than Chocolate" launch, and I have to tell you she is everything her beautiful blog promised she would be - warm, intelligent, sensitive and gracious.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A September Garden

Not mine this time, but some brilliant spring colour I captured on camera in my parents' garden on the weekend. Oh, I do love this time of the year!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

What's better than chocolate?

Reading, of course!

Those of us who tonight attended the launch of an enticing new collection of writings by The Writers' Dozen - "Better Than Chocolate" - were the converted, lovers of words and fully acquainted with the wonderful power of books to sweep us up and take us to worlds crafted by others' imaginations.

We know that reading can be as delicious and seductive a pleasure as chocolates!

But millions of children around the world know neither of these treats.

The 13 writers who make up The Writers' Dozen meet fortnightly at the NSW Writers' Centre in Sydney's Rozelle, and have published this anthology of poetry and short stories (both 'light' and 'dark') to help Room to Read with its mission to provide underprivileged children with an opportunity to gain the lifelong gift of education.

Since it was established by former Microsoft executive John Wood in 1999, throughout the developing world Room to Read has:

- built over 400 schools
- established over 5000 libraries
- published more than 200 local-language children's books
- donated over 2 million English language children's books
- established over 150 computer and language labs
- funded over 4000 long-term girls' scholarships

If the readings given by three of the writers at the launch are any indication, there is something here for all tastes. Humour, suspense, poetry - even the supernatural.

In their own words, a "magical mix of memoir and imagination" and "a collection of deftly crafted tales that mirror the facts and fantasies of the circle of life".

"Better Than Chocolate" is no-calorie, no-GI, and non-fattening, and the good feeling that comes with purchasing one - or several! - will stay with you because you'll not only be indulging your passion, but helping a child discover it too.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scatterday Challenge for September - Food #2

My darling daughter had a birthday yesterday, and here's the cake we enjoyed at our family birthday dinner - in all its sparkling splendour!

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Ever held $100,000,000,000 in the palm of your hand?

- and it's worth HOW MUCH?!?!?!?

One Australian dollar.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

...especially since my talented SIL co-wrote it!

Here she is - Sheridan Jobbins - standing out from the crowd at the world premiere and looking absolutely gorgeous in an electric blue Armani gown, having walked the red carpet.

And on stage later with writer and Director Stephan Elliott, and stars Ben Barnes, Jessica Biel and Colin Firth.

Kinda makes my life look pretty ordinary ;-)

Can't wait for "Easy Virtue"

Noel Coward is reputed to have quipped "Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade", and from all reports our Australian screenwriters Stephan Elliott ("Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") and Sheridan Jobbins have served up a perfectly delectable treat with their screenwriting of Coward's 1920s play, "Easy Virtue", which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this week.

Look at this delicious trailer...

In short, a young upper-class Englishman [played by Ben Barnes] marries a brassy blonde American divorcee [played by Jessica Biel] after a whirlwind romance in the South of France but must return home to face his family, headed by his cold and controlling mother [Kristen Scott Thomas] and war-shattered father [Colin Friel].

Apparently there follows the usual comedy of manners critiquing British class and society, with all the clever repartee we expect of Noel Coward, deftly infused with champagne sparkle by Elliott and Jobbins, and elegantly filmed by Ealing Studios at one of those glorious English country houses I love to imagine I own!

My kind of film! I can hardly wait for its release here (January 22 next year) because I can't get enough of English period pieces - and of course Noel Coward's wonderfully acerbic wit is always a treat. Am I showing my age here?

[Apparently Ben Barnes provides luscious eye-candy too....]

More reviews...


Toronto International Film Festival

Reuters review by Kirk Honeycutt


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy 90th birthday, Bill!

Friends and family gathered for a happy morning tea today to help Bill celebrate his 90th birthday and to thank God for all he means to us.

Thank you, 'young' Bill, for showing us how to live and love as we should. You are a dear man.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scatterday Challenge for September - "Food" #1

Hardly one of the 5 healthy food groups, but nevertheless delicious and imparting a feeling of wellbeing.
Some friends gave us a HUGE bag of orange-covered chocolate balls today - more than I've ever seen in one bag! They looked so bright and inviting I simply had to capture their shiny lusciousness before I popped one (or two) into my mouth!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Follow me ... please?

Those clever fellows at Blogger have recently introduced yet another lubricant for social interaction in the blogosphere. If you look down the right hand column of my blog you'll see a heading "Followers", and if you click on this you'll find you open a window very much like this one.

All you need to do is to decide whether to be public or anonymous, and that's it - you're a follower!

What it means is that a list of blogs you are following (receiving notification when new posts are added) will be added to the bottom of your Blogger Dashboard page (if you're a Blogger member) and to your Google Reader (if you have a Google account). No need to save all those bookmarks in your favourites, no need to keep checking back for new posts. Easy peasy.

If you elect to be a 'public' follower of, say, "Snippets 'n' Scraps", your profile photo (in miniature) will appear there in the margin of my blog, with a link back to your blog, making it even easier for my readers to pop in to your place and check out what you're writing about. Right neighbourly.

From the blog-writer's point of view, it's about warm fuzzies, knowing someone is interested enough to read my meagre offerings. If you choose to follow privately, however, you'll still be told when I post, but I just won't know you're there watching .....hmmm.

Monday, September 1, 2008

David Jones Flower Show

Today is officially the first day of spring, and the first day, too, of the annual flower display on the ground floor of David Jones' city department store in Elizabeth Street. This year's theme is "The Carnival of Colour" and in the style of the Rio Carnival the flowers are colourful and the arrangements dramatic.

It's interesting to observe how the look has changed over the years. I recall cottage garden flowers in soft, spring shades of pink, blue and yellow which I loved, and while I can appreciate the beauty of today's more structural creations I would love to see a return to the prettiness of the earlier years.

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