April Update

Retired coming up to three and a half years ago and I still have a need to “achieve”. Small achievements are quite acceptable, but I don’t sleep well if there hasn’t been something successfully completed throughout each day. Mopping floors does not count yet mowing lawns does. Strange, isn’t it?

So where did April go?

Successful completion of #A-ZChallenge. Look out for Errol Flynn Trivia in 2023.

Attended a Soap Making Workshop. Attempted to repeat my efforts at home and nearly blew the house up. (Does that count ?)

Attended theatrical performance, a cabaret about Depression which was littered with humour.

Completed Harry’s Book Cart though after a few heated discussions it evolved from a bus to a fire engine. I just need to paint ladders on the sides.

Successfully mastered scones. Only took 45 years. Rosemary, Pecan Nut and Parmesan Cheese – to die for…….

Attended a concert : Troy Cassar-Daly and Ian Moss. Loved the former, the latter thinks he’s Brian May. Still, soaking up live music was wonderful, especially without a mask.

Mastered Egg Plant Lasagne. Still picking 6 or 7 aubergines a week so all new recipes are welcome.

Finished 2 books for the Gaia Reading Challenge, 2 for the Books That Made Us List, and 3 for Book Club. Reviews to come.

Planted pumpkins and tomatoes in vege garden. Bonus points because they are ALL still alive.

Painted patio and fence without any paint splatter on brickwork. Now that deserves a Gold Star!🌟


Most importantly, enjoyed my pots of tea watching those around me go to work. Boy, do I love retirement……


Book of the Week, and a contender for Book of the Year.

Cover shows author working from home writing programs to analyse the Concorde’ black-box recorder

Ann Moffatt was born in England in 1939 without an entitled childhood, having worked part time from an early age to assist with household finances. An accident which fractured her skull crushed her dreams of studying for a maths degree, and she filled in the days by reading books about computers. With her aptitude for maths and ability to learn on-the-job, Ann became one of the UK’s first female computer programmers, and was soon recognised as a leading authority on software development and the emerging field of database management.

Her first pregnancy prompted the company for which she was working to pioneer teleworking. That is, retaining women in the IT industry by allowing them to work from home whilst caring for their children, ultimately proving more productive than in-house.

In 1974 she came to Australia as a “sponsored expert” after being headhunted to work on the biggest computer implementation in the country (IBM), later moving on to roles including Director of the Institute of Information Technology and National Development Manager for the Australian Stock Exchange.

Moffatt’s professional experience includes as a programmer, analyst, designer, project manager, company and manager, as well as establishing and managing her own ICT service.

Over the years Ann has received many accolades. She is a Fellow of both the Australian Computer Society and the British Computer Society. She was a Board Member of the NSW TAFE Commission from 1998 to 2000 and a Board member of the IT&T ITAB from 1999 to 2000. She was also a member of the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE Council & the Hervey Bay TAFE College Council from 2001 to 2005. From 1998-2010, she was a Director of the Australian Computer Society Foundation, which advances IT through Education and Research.

In 2002, Ann was inducted into the Australian ICT Hall of Fame as the first female inductee. In 2005 USQ awarded Ann an Honorary Doctorate, which was conferred in May 2006. In 2011, Ann was inducted into the Pearcey Hall of Fame, which is the highest Australian professional award for a lifetime achievement in the ICT industries.


In May 2014 Microsoft listed Ann as one of 10 Australian Innovators, and in 2015 during her retirement, Ann established the Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School (SCXCS) to teach students in Regional and Rural Australia how to program. In March 2016 Ann was named as one of Advance Queensland’s Community Digital Champions.

She remains active in the organisation she co-founded in 1990, FFIT, or Females in IT and Telecommunications, which has grown to more than 4,000 members.

During retirement she also found time to write this book, a fascinating read about her life and career challenges, and working alongside men who both adored her and abhorred her.

Here is a quote from a male colleague that Ann took to an Equal Opportunity Seminar sponsored by her employer in the mid 1980’s. You will either laugh or cry.


Well, it doesn’t work for me. At least my wife is female.She sits by the pool getting brown and plays tennis most days. She is there for me looking beautiful when I get home from work and when it’s time for bed she is ready for sex”.


494 pages in length and despite still being totally clueless about what computer coding is, or even does, this is an inspirational look at a life well lived.

Another Project or Who Said There Was Nothing To Do In Retirement ?

One of the projects I’ve undertaken recently came to mind during Lockdown. I’de been reading a lot, particularly on social media, about the wonderful deeds of women in the past, particularly women from overseas. The Americans and the English seem to honour and celebrate the achievements of both their men and women whereas we Australians tend to be a little too “laid back”.

My friend Bernadette studied History at University. I opted for Geography and mostly courtesy of those great movies and television series during the 1960’s. Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan was all I needed to pass exams about the Amazon and John Wayne movies filmed in Monument Valley also contributed greatly to my success in the subject.

Together we thought we should highlight our Aussie women, past and present, who have done so much to change our landscape. Today, after four days of continual rain I am thankful for Myra Juliet Farrell (1878 – 1957) who came up with the idea for an indoor folding clothesline.

We would love you to join us here:

Trailblazing Women Of Australia at

https://trailblazingwomenofaustralia.wordpress.com/blog/

No femminazi here’s a photo of the most important young men in my life.

Harry Kilom and Bentley

Pandemic Quilt Project

The Greater Brisbane area has just come out of a three day Lockdown albeit with restrictions. Having been flat chat for the last month I relished the enforced slow down: movies during the day, toasties for tea and never picked up a broom.

It reminded me once again of all the satisfying projects that came out of Lockdown 2020. ( Don’t look at me like that : stuffing and baking a cauliflower does not qualify as a project apparently).

Back in autumn, when Lockdown was as its strictest, ABC Radio Brisbane put out a call to Queenslanders to contribute a small textile square which would be made into a ‘quarantine quilt’.

The only criteria were that the squares needed to measure a particular size, they should feature joyful and colourful motifs, and they needed to represent people’s isolation experiences during the pandemic, with a focus on what made them happy.

Too easy? Not for this black duck who failed art and sewing and was asked to leave cookery class in High School.

Courtesy of Queensland State Library.

The submitted squares came in by the hundreds.

“Woven into each square are the personal stories of individuals who have not only struggled through life in lockdown, but who have also kept a sense of humour about life in a pandemic. The finished squares, mostly depicting the lives of women around the state, feature everything from going bra-less at home, a plumber doing repairs, gardens, books, cups of tea, jigsaw puzzles, and face masks.”

Once all the squares were collected they were attached to backing thereby constructing the quilt, which is now hanging proudly in the Queensland State Library.

What I really like is that each square includes the details of how it came to be : who created it, how it was created, and what it represents.

Courtesy of Queensland State Library

For more info, including a breakdown of each and every square, go here:

https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/queensland-quarantine-quilt-comes-state-librarys-collection

Considering I neither knit nor crochet I found this fascinating.

Now that’s what I call a PROJECT.

A New Year – A New Decade

Haven’t managed to stay up till midnight for over forty years. It’s one of those quirks for being a bright eyed, bushy tailed morning person. 

Don’t set New Year Goals nor Resolutions though I am ruminating about some new projects. Despite being retired I like projects. I have a need to achieve or create. Little things. Little things are okay.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” – Anais Nin

So let’s share something chilled and wet to bring in the new decade together. Join me at my local waterhole, the Grand View Hotel in Cleveland, Queensland.

Built in 1851 the Grand View was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992. It is well regarded for its views overlooking Moreton Bay to beautiful North Stradbroke Island ( AKA Straddie – because we’re a lazy lot), and its alfresco dining in the beer garden, regularly voted one of the best in the state. The tucker passes muster too.

G.J. Walter Park is situated between the Grand View and Toondah Harbour ( where the ferry terminal carries passengers to Straddie) and is one of Queensland’s oldest parks being gazetted as a public reserve in 1889. 

This area is home to koalas and many bird species that depend on the mangroves and mudflats for survival. Of course this means that it has been targeted by Developers for the construction of 3600 units and a water park. Apparently this is called progress.

Said farewell to 2020 at lunch with my youngest daughter sitting amongst the frangipanis. She reminded me that I’ve always been one to question progress. Sounds like another project, doesn’t it?

365 new days. 365 new chances.

Cheers!

We’re Just Not All High Achievors

According to Astrology my star sign makes me a Gemini, the sign of the Twins. This means that I’m communicative, interested in many things, yet easily distracted.

I blame this on my lack of ability to complete projects. A creative thinker my ideas are good though the “follow through” poor as something newer and more dazzling comes to mind. Whilst others built decks throughout the worst of Lockdown, authored a recipe book, or have remodelled bathrooms my claim to fame is finishing a jigsaw puzzle. This does not really distress me as I acknowledge my many small achievements – like channelling Nigella Lawson in the kitchen and binge watching West Wing – though I do marvel at those folk who have managed to change their world and perhaps the world of others.

One of my friends, Annie, is one who falls under this heading. We worked together for a number of years at a Brisbane College. Though I always admired her professionalism, work ethic and integrity, I thought she was a bit odd. Yeah, the pot calling the kettle black…..totally aware…..

I knew she read tarot cards, and had a massive interest in metaphysics, and I knew that she developed study programs to assist those working with the aged as well as Art Therapy.

Anne states that she “loves making theories tangible to people, and enjoy providing them with tools to understand themselves better, and to trust their own healing processes. I am a firm believer in holistic health (mind, body, spirit), and of using the power of creativity and intuitive knowledge to create a life that has meaning and purpose”.

So what is it that Anne created over Lockdown?

Her own study program to assist in achieving the above goals!

I’m still battling to complete my Dementia studies because though interesting it was in no way uplifting, something sorely needed during a Pandemic. Well, that’s my excuse.

But I’m loving Anne’s regular entries on Social Media which she calls Soulwork For The Week and which tend to resonate.

Look at this exercise :

There is something powerful about a self-portrait. Whether painting or photograph. When we look at ourselves, we search our features for hints at who we think we are. But what if a self-portrait, instead of revealing our outer nature, actually revealed your inner nature… just as Dorian Gray’s self-portrait revealed his inner nature. Would you be comfortable sharing it with others?

And she’s working on a novel.

Just let me get back to writing Christmas Cards or they’ll not get finished either.

NOTE :

Happy to pass on a Link for those interested.

A Recipe Book For Those With Food Intolerances.

My daughters have eaten all manner of interesting food whilst travelling the world including moose, armadillo, duck tongues and sea urchins. Do you think I’ve ever been able to get either of them to eat cucumber? Not on your life ! It wasn’t until they were both in their early twenties that I could stop hiding Brussel Sprouts in their meals. How I adore the much maligned Brussel Sprout – my favourite all-time veg.

Thankfully my offspring have never suffered from any food allergies. I remember the increasing difficulty of holding celebratory Morning Teas at the Office because of the various food intolerances so many suffered. It became easier to cater for your own needs only and not to share-a-plate.

Blogger, Jillian, from FeedMyFamilyblog.com has a husband and a son who each have 8 food intolerances, 3 of which are shared.

Jillian is one of those “quiet achievers” who knuckled down during the social constraints of the Pandemic to produce a Recipe Book from her years of tweaking meals to better meet the needs of her family. Mothers’ And Others’ Recipes From the Heart has recently been published in both e-book and print format and includes recipes handed down through the generations with variations to cater for different dietary requirements.

Recipes cover Biscuits and Slices, Cakes, Desserts, Dips and Savoury Nibbles, Salads and Main Meals. They are easy to read and to follow. More importantly these are all meals that can be integrated into everyday meal times.

Under the name of each recipe is a colour coded reference to advise which intolerance the recipe caters for : Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Sulphate Free or Nut Free.

At the end of each there are notes should you wish to make further variations such as swapping one ingredient for another.

This book has been produced with much love and with contributions from Jillian’s family and friends.

One disappointment only: not one Brussel Sprout in sight!

Here’s a link for further information:

Mothers’ and Others’: Recipes From the Heart

You’ve got to respect those amongst us who have achieved something other than a batch of sour dough or brownies during ISO, don’t you?

NOTE:

Although Jillian and I both live in Brisbane we have never met, yet we have shared information about local WordPress events and Book Fairs. She asked for an honest review which I like to think I achieved by replicating one of the recipes in her book – the Roast Vegetable Couscous (with tweaks as I’m spring cleaning the pantry and defrosting the fridge in readiness for Christmas).

Delicious – even if I had to hide the pumpkin.