Weekend Coffee Share 24th July, 2016

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

If we were having coffee today, you’d be wanting to throw out your slippers and put on your dancing shoes. I spent the afternoon at a my daughter’s somewhat casual mid-year dance concert and we stayed on to the last session to see the teens dance, which totally blew me out of my mind. I didn’t think the human body was capable of such movement without snapping. For someone who lives and breathes inside their head, to see the human body explored and extended in this way was incredible…especially as I battle with a debilitating muscle wasting disease, which has fortunately been in remission for two years and while I’ neither nimble or graceful, I’m walking…and I’m still breathing. These days, I can easily forget how far I’ve come.

How was your week? Hope things went well.

Last Wednesday, I attended a local Authors and Illustrators Forum.  This was the second year it was held and I met a great group of writers and illustrators while taking some valuable tips away from the talk. Probably the most important take home for me, was deciding to get my manuscript for “The Quest: Letters To Dead Poets” professionally critiqued. I decided to put it aside to stew after writing it during the A-Z April Challenge and to be perfectly honest, I had to have a break from  that phenomenal intensity and get back to the “real world” for a bit. Working towards this professional critique gives me an interim, achievable goal rather than shooting straight towards publishing. This still means I have a lot of work ahead.

Meanwhile, just for something chillaxing, my frustrations with my family history and trying to find where John Gardiner came from continues. I’ve hit some brick walls with my research before but nothing like this. Until I find John Gardiner’s death certificate or possibly his arrival details, I have no idea whether our Gardiner family is English, Irish or Scottish. While this might appear semantic, when you have an Irish Australian identity, it could ruffle a few feathers.

However, as frustrating as it’s been, there is a significant upside of NOT being able to pinpoint our John Gardiner out of the plethora of John Gardiners who were living in 18th Century Sydney. It means all bets are off and as I’ve been trawling through the old newspapers online, any one’s a possibility. I’ve also tried to find other family members with a hope of finding him via the side door. So, I’ve been left to ponder whether we’re related to George Gardiner of Albion Street Surry Hills who tragically hanged himself at work for no known particular reason or his daughter, Florence Young whose husband tragically cut her throat having a mental snap or perhaps even mistaking her for a burglar in the dark,  while she was holding their 6 month old daughter, Sadie? There was also John Gardiner, a digger shell shocked during WWI, who stole a coffin and slept rough on Queen Street Brisbane and planned to take it for a sail along the Brisbane River. Apparently, he also stopped off at pubs along Queen Street, placing the coffin on the counter asking: “Where’s the dead man?” He was usually given a few drinks before he moved on. Thank goodness for the Salvos who gave that John Gardiner a home.Terrible to think that we couldn’t look after someone who fought bravely for our country when they returned home.

I’m not sure how much I’ve mentioned that I’m totally addicted to watching Australian Masterchef. We’re now on the homeward strait and we’re down to the last three contestants. You can view past episodes of the show here and if you are much more daring and capable than I, you could even try out the recipes but I’ll wish you good luck. It’s not called Masterchef for nothing and these creations are miracles on a plate. Just spectacular!

While I haven’t even considered trying out the Masterchef recipes myself, the show has definitely helped me lift my gave on the home front. While I might not have crunch, creaminess and acidity in every dish, I’ve definitely been spreading my wings.


The Waffle.

Last night, I finally found the courage to try making waffles from scratch and was thrilled with the results. I might have left the butter out of the mix, but they were great and also represented a small triumph over my paralyzing perfectionism. It only took me two years to find the courage to actually try making waffles in my waffle machine. You can click here to read how I went and check out my grandmother’s recipe.

Now the countdown’s on until I have another birthday. Next Saturday, I clock up another year. Hip hip hurray…I think!

How has your week been? Hope you’ve had a great one!

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

xx Rowena



30 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 24th July, 2016

  1. agshap

    Ahh – coffee and dancing…well, coffee at least for me. Dancing not so much. The knees are giving out on me and well, I just take it slow. But still here and while I can dance I do love coffee and watching the young people dance.

  2. bettylouise31

    Did you know of that time you are looking at for ancestor many were want by the English and came to US and Canada under a different name. Resume their in this country. My great-Great Grandfather came to these and there is no record how he arrived. The records shows he was teaching school in Connecticut. His mother and sister arrived on 2nd Pilgrim boat from Holland. My Grandmother is Scottish and their is no record of birth. As it was assumed it was too dangerous. These were the religious wars that brought many to the US and Canada. There other factors in play.

  3. Diana

    Interesting information you’ve found in your search, at least! Good luck breaking through that research wall. Glad you had an enjoyable time at the author/illustrator event!

  4. Barbara In Caneyhead

    You have had a really interesting time this week! Loved the pictures you shared. Hope you soon get a lead in the mystery of your ancestor. And I pray you have a delightful birthday!

  5. Deb

    Happy birthday to you!! Hope its a wonderful one! I like to watch the cooking shows too and begin to feel inspired. (As my tv dinner is cooking). My latest binge are the home improvement shows. I love them and wish I could do those things to my own house!

  6. Joanna Lynn

    Kid’s dance recitals are the absolute best entertainment. Glad you’re feeling so well that you were able to go. And, as far as Masterchef, I love it here in the US as well. I especially love Masterchef Jr. It’s fun to see Gordon Ramsey’s softer side.

  7. Rowena Post author

    I don’t think we had Gordon Ramsay in Australia. We had Heston Blumenthal who was amazing.
    The only trouble with the show is that we’ve all become more fussy!
    After being the good parent yesterday and staying on to the end of the concert, my daughter’s band teacher caught up with me. I’d forgotten to pay for two term’s instrument hire. Ah. You can’t get it all right!
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Rowena

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much. My Dad thinks I’ve been completely distracted but it’s important to me. I think we all need to know our story and that began long before we arrived. I don’t believe we are chained by our genetics, but it can be a helpful indicator. My grandmother on this side was a child prodigy concert pianist and I’m curious about where that came from and I recently found out her aunt was an accomplished violinist who died young.
    Then, I’ve also found a lot of other stories which I’ll have to write up. These old newspapers are gold!

  9. Rowena Post author

    I shudder at the home improvement shows, although I do wonder if I could get one out to fix our place up. However, my husband is quite conservative and doesn’t want the place ruined. No hot pink feature walls for him…or me!
    After putting so much time into watching my kids perform lately, our house is screaming neglect. It’s hard to get the balance right…or even close!
    Hope you have a great week and thanks for popping by!
    xx Ro

  10. Joanna Lynn

    Gordon Ramsay is British and the “mean” judge but he does care about the contestants.
    I’m in the same boat you are…I just paid tuition for my son which was due June 1st!

  11. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Monika. I’ve got to get myself motivated! We can have a virtual coffee and cake next weekend.
    xx Ro
    PS Lady has been escaping by sneaking out under the house. Geoff blocked her off and then she employed guerilla tactics and got herself stuck under there yesterday morning. The poor dog was hysterical and worse than with the fireworks apparently. No one likes getting trapped but I am struggling to be overly sympathetic…especially if she does it again!
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Ro

  12. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Barbara. I have a message for my missing ancestor: “you can run, but you can’t hide”. I am obsessively persistent!
    Hope you have a great week!
    xx Ro

  13. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Diana. I hope things are going a bit better for you. I read your posts every week but can’t seem to find where to leave comments. Good luck with finding some work.
    Best wishes,

  14. Rowena Post author

    Betty Louise sounds like you have a fascinating family history if you can track it all down. I have been a bit concerned that my ancestor was a convict and changed his name. At the moment, I still have some people to explore but it’s going to be tedious. Make that more tedious. I’ve already been combing through records. Just need to find that clue…! Hmm…those sound like the words of an addict!

  15. Rowena Post author

    Watching people dance is my thing too, although I’ve booked myself in for an adult ballet class. They had a man recovering from a stroke in a previous class and I thought even if I only get my hands in the right position, that will be enough. I think it will be a real hoot!

  16. Rowena Post author

    Hi Van!
    I don’t think there was anything special about Sydney flour but I do wonder whether the cookbook was sponsored because it refers to the brands of the ingredients. Perhaps, the cooks were just recommending the brand they used. I’m not sure. Sydney Flour doesn’t exist anymore.
    By the way, Australian flour is higher in gluten for some reason.
    Thanks so much for the birthday wishes.
    Best wishes,

  17. bettylouise31

    My father’s side has been documented by others. My Mother’s still has a lot
    of unknowns. My Mother was French. They came to US from Canada. They were Catholics. There is a Guay province in southern France. They were Presbyterians.

  18. New Journey

    First Happy Birthday…..your waffles look so good…sounds like alls well down under….sorry I have been absent but having fun on vacation, eating way to much, but really enjoying my kids and seeing friends….and can’t forget that I have been to the beach way more than I care to admit…LOL hope you find you roots soon…LOL sounds weird but you know what I mean….enjoy the up coming weekend….I am on my way up north for a road trip with my daughter to my sisters for a quick weekend stay and then back…next week this time I hope to be home in Arizona….it will have been 6 weeks since I left…time to go home….LOL xxkat

  19. Rowena Post author

    Sounds like you’re having a great time, Kat. I need a break myself. Maybe even a break from myself!
    Take care and I hope you have a great weekend! xx Ro

  20. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Kat. We watched some of that this morning. It was great to see the spectacle after all the negative press about these Olympics…security issues, virus. They put on an incredible show! xx Ro

  21. New Journey

    yes they did….we enjoyed it….my favorite is watching the parade of athletes…..so proud of them all….what an experience……must say the Australians looked great….xxkat

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