#Lest We Forget

Today is a day of reflection and commemoration (not celebration) for many Australians. We do this in different ways. The marches and speeches and so on are one way. I saw another way via Facebook last night, when the floodlights of the MCG were off and thousands of people stood in silence for a minute – you could only see the light of their phones, across the ground.

The link I’ve embedded below is another. We should remember those who fought and died as well as those who returned home wounded in body and spirit.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Funcannyannieblog%2Fposts%2F1339439599436336&width=500

It’s also worth reflecting that the first ANZAC Day – the landing at Gallipoli – was 102 years ago and was part of a war they’d called “the war to end all wars”. Yet so many more have followed…

As said by Costa A here:

“ANZAC Day is about remembering how awful war is, how many Aussies died because of it, how many Aussies were brave enough to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us, and how – out of respect for all of this – we have to work as hard as we can to avoid the need for future wars. This means combating climate change, not taking the bait of dickhead Islamic extremists, and learning from our (Iraq, Vietnam) mistakes. Having a big strong tough-as-fuck army is important too. But it’s a Plan B we wanna have to use as little as possible. #lestweforget “

 

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WT&TT: Scalzi’s Thoughts on Utopias

See this link. Last week, John Scalzi (sci-fi author) had his annual “Reader Request Week”, where people send in questions they’d like to hear him answer. He then answers these. 

I’m sharing this one because I find the idea of utopia interesting to explore…in part because it seems so challenging to do, given the amount of times that a supposed utopia turns out to be a dystopia instead. Obviously I need to get my hands on the series referenced here – “The Culture”, by Iain M. Banks. Hmm. 

Who Really Inhabits the Refugee Activism Space?

Every day, it seems, there are things going on in the world that are just plain awful. I glance at them and pick a few to get properly worked up about. Then I take action about those things in some way – like going to the Palm Sunday rally. It was blooming cold and a little wet, though luckily most of the wet had occurred the day before. Still, there was plenty of people there – some reports said 5,000. We listened to the speakers – of different faiths and backgrounds, young and old, male and female – give witness to the truths as they saw them. Including one articulate woman, Idil Ali, who had the courage to speak truths to the power of a dominant force in the refugee movement, the Action Collective. She’s part of RISE – Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees, a group that is run by refugees, for refugees. Why aren’t they more mainstream I wonder? Is it because they don’t quite fit the narrative that other “mainstream” activist groups want to send?

See video here: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FRefugeesSurvivorsAndExdetainees%2Fvideos%2F1613517298688403%2F&show_text=1&width=560

At all of these rallies, the dominant presence are the loud, sometimes confrontational, people from the Refugee Action Collective or Network. There are other groups too – I need to do some investigation at some point into how the groups are connected.

In the lead-up to Sunday’s rally there was some friction – as mentioned in the video I think. It’s reminded me that we all need to be critical thinkers as activists, to make sure that the cause we’re fighting for is what we really think it should be.

I have a little motto for these things that I was given last year after hearing from a good speaker. Solidary and allyship, three bits of advice = 1. don’t be a dickhead – it’s their space/agenda/issue, not “yours”; 2. respect the main people affected by l-i-s-t-e-n-ing and following their lead in actions; 3. remember that issues are all connected (i.e. climate change issues are connected to refugee issues are connected to land rights issues and so on). Or, as RISE say, “Nothing About Us Without Us”.

A failure to listen properly has caused hurt here. But if that’s acknowledged and the wake-up call is heeded, things can improve.

There were some really good messages during the speeches. A moment that touched me was when one speaker asked us all to make hearts with our hands as she took a photo to send back to Nauru, to show those waiting in limbo that we’re still here, still pushing for change, still wanting to bring them here with us. Pressure is key – things are shifting. we can keep building momentum. Four years in limbo is far too long – let’s create change.

 

 

WT&TT: The New Relevance of the Fantasy Novel (Reblog)

Excellent thoughts from author Betsy Dornbusch, coming to you via a guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2017/02/24/betsy-dornbusch-the-new-relevance-of-the-fantasy-novel/

“BETSY DORNBUSCH: THE NEW RELEVANCE OF THE FANTASY NOVEL

These are weird days for the country — hell, the world — and I think as writers it behooves us to look at our place and what our work means or can mean in the context of this changing landscape. Betsy had some thoughts in that direction, so here she is to talk about it:

* * *

A few years ago I wrote a book called The Silver Scar. I’ve been joking since it sold if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named got elected, at least Alt-America would be awesome publicity for my future thriller featuring a pagan eco-terrorist and a Christian soldier trying to stop a crusade in a balkanized United States run by martial neo-Christian Churches. Alas, Scar doesn’t come out until 2018, so it’ll have to wait for its big promotional moment in the sun, which at the rate the EPA plans to roll back its regulations might be burning much hotter by then.

But I have another book out February 21, the conclusion to my Seven Eyes trilogy, called Enemy. It’s about this chronically depressed prince who suffers a coup by an upstart, spoiled lord and then has to find his missing queen, figure out how to live with magic that blinds him, and fight a foreign invasion. Cheerful stuff, right?”

Read mmore by clicking on the link above.

Mushroom Gravy (with Roo Skewers)

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Finally got around to writing this recipe up…

The other night I had some kangaroo skewers and a heap of mushrooms, ready to be used. I’d heard about mushroom gravy before, so I decided to give it a go myself.

Ingredients:

  • Veggies (I used squash, carrot, bok choy, lettuce)
  • 2x kangaroo skewers
  • Noodles (I used “Singapore noodles”
  • Mushrooms
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Stock

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Pot
  • Tongs
  • Kitchen spoon

Method:

  1. Cook veggies (in my case, all but the lettuce of course – that was just arranged on a plate at the end instead)
  2. What I SHOULD have done was cook the skewers first so I could use the juices from them in the gravy. Also, because I hadn’t cooked kangaroo skewers before so knowing when they were ready to eat while they were cooking in the gravy was a bit tricky. Using the gravy as the cooking “liquid” made it keep reducing as well, so I had to keep adjusting the flour-to-stock/water ratios (created higher possibility of lumps)… Ah well, live and learn.
  3. After making gravy and cooking skewers, cook noodles by adding them to pot of boiling water and letting them sit for a few minutes.
  4. Dish up onto a plate and serve. It was delicious.

How to Make Gravy (yes, I had part of the Paul Kelly song trying to play in my head while doing this – trouble is, I couldn’t remember most of the song…)

I used this recipe. (I swear I’m not being paid by taste.com or anything – they just have a lot of simple, easy-to-follow recipes – with minimal fancy ingredients that I don’t have/ need – on there.)

  1. Heat oil in frying pan, add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are browned
  2. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  4. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens into gravy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper; adjust liquid quantity to achieve required consistency.

 

Recently I also saw another recipe for mushroom gravy that had a couple of extra ingredients, like tomato sauce, soy sauce and onion. It was Adam Liaw’s recipe in the Sunday Life magazine (02/04/17). He also had serving suggestions of what to try with the gravy… I’ll have to road test his version the next time I have mushrooms!

 

Palm Sunday Refugee Walk for Justice

Banner for refugee rally reading: "Walk for Justice for Refugees - 2017 - Bring Them Here - Close Manus, Close Nauru Welcome Refugees Permanent Protection - Palm Sunday, April 9. In the top right corner, a young girl holds a sign saying., "It's not fair".

Taken from the Walk for Refugees 2017’s profile picture

This event is occurring this Sunday. I’m excited – it’ll be the first time I’m able to attend. (Meant to go last year, but the knee intervened…)

I saw this photo up at my uni the other day.

Poster of baby in red t-shirt lying on white floor looking away from camera - text underneath read: Malcolm Turnbull #LetThemStay

#LetThemStay poster at uni – on one of the health student discipline-specific noticeboards. Way to go!

It made me happy. A bunch of my friends – including some who did the #LetThemStay group shot with me last year (well, the same student club) – are going along to Sunday’s rally.

There are rallies across Australia:

Details of Palm Sunday Rallies for Refugees 2017: NSW - Sydney (2PM, Hyde Park North to Circular Quay); Newcastle (12:50PM, Wheeler Place); Wollongong (2PM, Crown St Mall); Lennox Head (11AM, on beach front near bus stop). ACT: Canberra (1PM, Civic Square). VIC: Melbourne (2PM, State Library); Bendigo (SATURDAY, 10AM, near steps of info centre). WA: Perth (1PM, St George's Cathedral). QLD: Brisbane (2PM, King George Square); Townsville (4PM, Rock Pool, The Strand). SA: Adelaide (2PM, Victoria Square). NT: Darwin (5PM, Esplanade Park, from southern to northern end). TAS: Hobart (1PM, Parliament Gardens); Launceston (1:45PM, Princes Park to City Square).

Palm Sunday Rally 2017 details.

 

 

(Source: Catholic Religious Australia)

I’m going to the Melbourne one and I”m really pleased that some issues regarding solidarity – doing these events with refugees, not for or to them – appear to have largely been resolved. See the link below/.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDemocracyInColour%2Fposts%2F1902309170026451&width=500

See if there’s a rally near you and come along!

Food Glorious Food

Last week I went to the Queen Victoria Market in the hour before closing time on the Sunday. I picked up a few food bargains there because, as they close Mondays, they have to try and sell as much stock as possible – otherwise it’s not fresh or is too old, etc.

That meant I had a few new meat combos to try. Here’s what I did:

Night #1, Honey-soy chicken wings.

The marinade was provided by the butcher. Here’s a recipe I found though, if you want to make it from scratch.

I steamed veggies in one pot and cooked all the wings in another. I bought about 500g worth if I remember correctly, so that gave me nine wings in this case. I ate three with dinner and saved the other

After steaming the veggies, I used the bottom pot to fry the potatoes (when I remembered them)… I started off boiling them but hadn’t washed them properly so ended up tipping out (most of) the dirty water to finish them off.

Night #2, lemon-pepper skewers

IMG_0639

Chicken on skewers flavoured with lemon and pepper. Yum!

Cooked in the frying pan then eaten with shredded lettuce and boiled corn, mushrooms and celery. I’d had chips earlier in the evening with friends, too, so imagine there’s a stack of wedges on the plate. 😉

Night #3, parmesan schnitzels with veggies and couscous

IMG_0644

Two small chicken schnitzels with (store-made and -coated) parmesan-flavoured crumb, fried in the pan. The veggies (zucchini, carrot,cauliflower, mushroom) were cut as if I was going to stir-fry them, then fried in oil in the pan. The couscous was made in the usual fashion (boil water, add couscous, let stand for ~5 mins) as per the packet instructions, with a bit of salt and pepper stirred through. Yum!

WT&TT: Five Things: When You Break Your Story

Interesting blog post linked below.

I’ll be frank with you all: I’m not working on my story at the moment. I just haven’t got the time or mental energy to do it. After all, I’m focusing on 3rd Year Masters at uni full-time, plus a few other extra-curricular projects. I fit in a social life around it and around my casual job. It’s a wonder I’m able to keep blogging! (Scheduling helps a lot with that.)

I still like doing WT&TT though. So I’ll keep doing it, as much as possible.

Source: Five Things: When You Break Your Story