Sunday, October 26, 2014

Diligite diem


Quebec, 2013 - remembered with gratitude for an opportunity seized with MK, JH, and KSW


I got back from my India trip at the very end of September, and spent two of the first three weekends of October on road trips. And work, though a much happier (virtual) place for me to be these days, has also been pretty full-on over the past few weeks. So after getting a major piece of work out the door this week, it has been really nice to have a quiet weekend at home and do all my usual weekend stuff: go to the farmer’s market, skype with relatives in the US, cook dinner for a friend. It’s even been nice to do things like clean the bathrooms and get the closets organized for the change of seasons.

Maybe because underneath it all, there’s been a persistent awareness of how important and fragile all these routine things are. They are what make life worth living, and they can all be taken away with no warning. My work community and I lost a longtime friend and colleague this week, barely three months after her second cancer diagnosis in less than five years. She was only a couple of years older than I am, and left behind a whole slew of people who were not ready to be without her. She was laid to rest yesterday, halfway across the world, and the only way I could be there was in spirit, thinking of her and all the other people who loved her and trying to comprehend that I won't see her again.

We talk often about the Latin phrase “Carpe diem” – seize the day – because life is fleeting and opportunities may not come again. My feeling this weekend instead has been to cherish the day – hence the probably mangled Latin of the title – and to actively value, as much as I can, the time with people and things that I love. I hope that you all are getting the chance to do the same, and I wish peace and solace for anyone in grief.


In memory of MK, with love

Sunday, October 19, 2014

75 words



Mid-October update, in 75 words or less:

Traveling Kiama for some beach time, first weekend in October; Blackheath for some mountain (and friend) time, this weekend.

Work situation definitely improving – still early days, but I think out of the dodgems and back on the road.

Cooking recent highlights include short ribs (last of the season?), gratin dauphinois (with a layer of blue cheese and caramelized onion in the middle), and a party-sized kale salad. And I finally finished the cumquatcello!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The weeds

Hello! And please excuse the long silence! The last few weeks I have disappeared down a rabbit hole of end-of-winter family illness, solo parenting, multiple appointments with health providers, academic ceremonials, and a mammoth amount of prep for my organization's annual meeting. This generally also involves an overseas trip to an exotic location, and this year is no different - I am writing this from a hotel room in Hyderabad, India, as I prepare to pack up and head back to Canberra after a truly frenetic week. So, no recipes to share at the moment, although a week and more of eating Indian food has broadened my perspective and fired my imagination on what the idea of curry can actually encompass. More on this later, when I once again have access to a kitchen. In the meantime, I will leave you to ponder the following: if you were looking for pasta in an Indian supermarket, to which section would you go?

(You'll have to wait for the answer until I can get the photo which provides the answer off my phone!)

And now to finish packing my overstuffed suitcase...more to come from the other side of the Pacific.

ETA (well, that took longer than I intended...hopefully you can see from my crummy iPhone 3 photo that yes, the pasta resides in the "International Food" section in this Indian supermarket. Meanwhile, the Tim Tams and Oreos are right in with the regular foods):



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