Weekend Coffee Share 2nd July, 2016.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share, a new financial year and GROAN…the Australian Federal Election. I have voted and the polls close in 15 minutes and then the coverage begins. For better or worse, we live in a very marginal seat and so our votes really matter. I’ve long been conscious of that and taken my vote seriously, even though I’m not a party player. This sense of the importance of the power of those individual votes, however, has been reinforced by Brexit, which I’m still watching from the sidelines.

Thanks for popping by! Could I get you a cuppa while we’re catching up? How about a Double-Coated Tim Tam?  We also have an open packet with only four biscuits remaining so you’d better get in quick. Tim Tams are an extremely endangered species but thank goodness they reproduce quickly enough to overcome the high attrition rate.

I’m not going to whinge anymore about the cold and the imminent possibility that my fingers and toes are about to drop off. Or, simply shatter like ice! They’re usually deep purple or very worrisome shades of grey! This isn’t just a product of the cold but Reynard’s Syndrome, another bonus thanks to my auto-immune disease, dermatomyositis. While I LOVE research, it can also get a bit scary, even terrifying: “while infrared therapy play’s it’s part in relieving the painful symptoms, drug therapy or surgical intervention may be necessary.”

I was joking about my fingers and toes falling off, wasn’t I? Looks like I’d better get back on my bike and get the blood pumping. I think it’s almost frozen too.

However, as the saying goes… cold hands, warm heart!


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was doing some family history research. This has been an obsessive passion of mine since I was a child. Over the years, it’s grown way beyond names, dates and finding our where we come from to becoming more of a sociological project, placing my ancestors back into their geographical and historical contexts. Many of our historical Australian newspapers have been digitised and uploaded, enabling ready searching where you can really scrounge up some dirt on your ancestors. After all, you don’t earn yourself a headline being virtuous and helping little old ladies across the road. Oh no! It’s all about crime, divorce, notoriety and back then petty theft made the papers and the nitty gritty sordid details about divorce made the papers as well. So, if your ancestors were even just a little bad, there’s some good reading!

Unfortunately, what seemed like a relatively simple task of finding out when John Gardner/Gardiner came from has become mission impossible. To that unfathomable mystery, you can add his wife, Mary Sullivan. She could actually be a bigger concern because, two roads which had seemingly been divergent in the geneological woods, could to be merging together. Just because Sullivan is a fairly common name, that doesn’t mean that your ancestors aren’t common…if you catch my drift. Being related to yourself isn’t what this quest is all about! While I’ve bagged my husband out about Tasmanians being inbred, it seems the Irish Catholic community in Sydney’s Surry Hills could be worse! Thank goodness, my mother has German/Scottish heritage and comes from inter-state and we’ve diluted the pot!!

Convicts NSW

Convicts in Sydney, 1830s.

By the way, you might also be interested to know, that it looks like I’m related to three sheep-stealing, Irish butchers from County Cork who were caught, sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1838 and dispatched to the colonies at His Majesty’s pleasure. While I don’t condone theft, you could argue that they were enterprising businessmen with a keen eye on the bottom line, reducing costs and maximizing profits!

Aside from playing Sherlock Holmes with my geneological research, I’ve had a fairly quiet week. Tuesday night, we watched our daughter dance with her school at Showcase, a regional dance festival and the kids are involved in final rehearsals for the Scout Gang Show which is now only 2 weeks away. I am continuing my ongoing Roald Dahl reading/research project and am getting through Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator.


A View of Heaven…Sunset Down the Road.

Probably the highlight of the last week, has been Thursday night’s breathtaking sunset where the entire sky metamorphosed into a mesmerising sunburnt orange. It was electric and needless to say, I catapulted straight out of my lounge chair and down the street my camera despite a bung foot, cold, and encroaching darkness.

It was definitely worth it! It’s amazing how that bung foot got moving without any kind of complaints, when I was only seeing through my eyes with that same absolute tunnel vision as the children of Hamelyn being lured away by the Pied Piper. Such intense and captivating beauty, was a much needed pick-me-up when I’ve been feeling flat, achy and blah! Moreover, having those photos to remind me of the moment, carries that wonder forward. Keats and so many poets, artists and philosopher’s didn’t get it wrong when they advised turning the the beauty of nature as an instant pick-me-up!


Yum personified…Koi Dessert Bar, Sydney.

The kids will now be on school holidays for the next two weeks. We have no plans to go away but a trip down to the Koi Dessert Bar in Sydney’s Chippendale is must.

Doll in bed

The 1940s-1940s Paisley Eiderdown

By the way, any of you thrift shop/ retro junkies, I picked up two single bed eiderdowns today. Don’t know how many of you remember the 1940s/1950s paisley eiderdowns but my grandmother had one and it migrated to our place. So, even though I no memories of ever jumping in either of my grandmothers’ beds, I can wrap myself up in this and think of Mama Eunice. I might even have a cup of Twining’s English Breakfast tea in one of her tea cups as well. By the way, I also picked up an original 1970s metal milkshake cup and some vintage cake covers/fly screens. This is Australia and I’m also hoping these domes might protect our dinners from marauding dogs! I’m sure Lady’s ancestors had been sent out with the convicts for repeated food thievery and take it from me, I bet they stole more than just a loaf of bread. Indeed, I reckon those so called royal Cavaliers, were operating in cahoots with those wicked sheep stealers. Never trust a pretty canine face!

How has your week been? Good, I hope!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster. You can click  for the linky to read the other posts.

Best wishes for the week ahead!

xx Rowena



27 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 2nd July, 2016.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much. I had to keep walking down the street dodging roof tops, TV antennas and I think I’ve got the silhouettes of a few palm trees, which seemed very out of place in a cold Winter, when they symbolise a tropical paradise. Hope you have a great weekend! xx Rowena

  2. KB Garst

    My aunt on my moms side did a ton of family history research and gave me a copy of it. I’m really thankful to have it!

  3. Corina

    I did a lot of work on my family tree…at least on my mom’s side. Nothing on my dad’s. But it has been a long time since I went snooping for more info. I know I want to do it but there are always other things that get in the way. I’m glad you are finding time to do it!

    That sunset photo is unbelievable! I’m so glad you showed it to us!

  4. Sanch @ Sanch Writes

    Thursday’s sunset was glorious!

    As for the elections, sigh…looks like it’s going to be a long three years! I live in a very Liberal area so I did feel like my vote wouldn’t count anyway. Still voted properly of course and the only hope is it has an impact in the senate.

    Hope you had a good weekend!

  5. Nancy

    Family history is fascinating, isn’t it? You just never know what you will find. Great thrift store finds. I love vintage household items. They add such charm and nostalgia. My favorite is when I come across something that I remember having in my mom or grandmothers kitchen growing up. I am lucky to have a set of my grandmothers Pyrex baking dishes that I cherish.
    Thanks for the coffee and treats!

  6. Tails Around the Ranch

    Even though born in Germany, my father’s side has some Irish so, no doubt there’s three sheep-stealing, Irish butchers in my DNA too. 😉 Heck, we could even be related! Happy weekend. ღ

  7. Inspiring Max

    There is something about the Double Choc Coated Tim Tam’s. Its a pity I didn’t have any watching the election results on Saturday night. Hope we know the final results this week.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Not quite sure what to make of thew electiuon results but I’m inclined to think both major parties need to look out to the Australian public a lot more instead of the lint in each others’ navels. I live in a marginal seat and take my vote very seriously but struggled to trust either party. I think they need to be held more accountable for their promises.
    Perhaps, I need to have another Tim Tam.
    xx Rowena

  9. Rowena Post author

    I haven’t been out a lot lately but we did a lot of automated called during dinner…Malcolm, Bill…we’re all best friends now!

  10. Rowena Post author

    That must be why our dogs love us so much and they’ve been extremely patient waiting for us to go out and collect!

  11. Rowena Post author

    Hi Nancy, I’m right with you on those vintage kitchen items. I also picked up a handbeater. It has two beaters at the base and a handle on the side and it was used for whipping cream and I remember my grandmother & aunts out in the kitchen using it to beat cream. In some ways, you could view it as a form of oppression but it does a great job. This is my second one and we’ve used it to make pancakes and they’re so light and airy. An aunt used to use one of these in cooking classes at school. I was copying some of her recipes and they were saying to beat for 30 minutes and I couldn’t understand it but it was the hand beater and they used to bake in pairs and share the beating. Great story but I do love my mixmaster. Had a vintage Sunbeam like Mum had (she was glad to update it when I was a kid) but the beaters died. Must get replacements!
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Rowena

  12. Rowena Post author

    I grew up in a very Liberal area and my vote felt meaningless. This seat has gone back & forth a fair bit in the last 10 years. I’ve know a few of our local MPs through my community involvement but I’ve had to back off over the last couple of years and am losing touch.
    Had a great weekend. Quiet at the moment but we’re firing up for the grand performance. Next weekend both of our kids are in the Scout Gang Show. Next week is going to be huge!!
    How has your week been Sanch? Well, I hope! xx Rowena

  13. Rowena Post author

    The trouble I find with these more complicated, difficult to resolve people is that you build up all your details and once you put it down, you have to start all over again to pick up the threads. I feel so close and yet…!
    Glad you enjoyed the sunset. This one was particularly sensational and my Facebook feed was full of photos and it was interested to see such a rich variety of perspectives. Hope you have a good week xx Rowena

  14. Rowena Post author

    You’re so lucky, although I love doing the research…as much as I complain about the frustrating dead ends.

  15. Joanna Lynn

    That sunset was absolutely BREATHTAKING!!! I am a huge fan of the sky. My friend sends me pictures of clouds all the time because she knows I love them. Those desserts look luscious. Do you get to choose whatever you want like a buffet or is it a per item place? Yummy!!!

  16. merrildsmith

    That sunset is amazing!! What a shot!
    Good luck with your family research. I’ve only done a bit of it for our families on ancestry.com, but I remember the frustration of trying to find out more about people I came across in historical research.
    BTW, my younger daughter has the condition with her feet turning blue, too. Mine do it a bit sometimes, but hers really turn blue/purple.

  17. Suvi

    I love a sunset! We are sailing and have seen some special ones too 💕 I would be interested in doing some family research but it seems like a daunting task, LOL!

  18. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Suvi. The family history research has become so much easier since the Internet came along. If you still have grandparents or elderly relatives alive, I’d ask what you can now names and dates but also stories. You don’t need to know everything but things like how they met, where they go married, went on their honeymoon. Funny stories. Then you need to organise them so you can find them years down the track. The second part could well be the hardest. At least, it is for me. I have snippets all over the place, despite being somewhat organised. Of course, the computer is a wonderful filing tool but it is hard keeping track of it all.
    My Dad will be taking our son sailing this week if the weather holds up. I’d love to go but I’m not doing well with the cold at the moment and give it a month or so, and it will be great!
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Rowena

  19. Lisa

    I don’t know what a “Tim Tam’ is but it sounds delicious lol, and that sunset is beyond gorgeous! Thank you for the coffee 🙂

  20. Rowena Post author

    Lisa, Tim Tams are definitely worth flying all the way to Australia for, although you can buy them overseas. They have two rectangular chocolate biscuits joined together with a chocolate cream icing and coated in milk chocolate. They’re incredible!

  21. Rowena Post author

    You buy desserts individually at The Koi Dessert Bar. They’re $12.00 each and as you could imagine, it’s a very difficult choice to make!

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