Weekend Coffee Share 4th June, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

This week, I’m offering you something a little different…pumpkin soup. Perhaps, this might’ve been healthy once upon a time. However, I’ve ramped it up tonight  with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of home-made croutons. I don’t know what it is about this recipe. However, it’s the best pumpkin soup I’ve ever had. I always make it using butternut pumpkin, but it seems to have a special something. Could it be love?

Hope you like the photo I snuck in of the kids eating their Pumpkin Soup! It’s only a few years out of date, but they looked so cute!

Now, that you’d been fed, let  me ask you how your week was?

One of these days, I’ll have to add a rating scale.

Today, is my Mum’s birthday and my Dad’s birthday is later in the week. Usually, we’d go down to their place in Sydney, but we’re so busy. Our daughter has dancing on Saturday mornings and our son has rehearsals for the Scout Gang Show. I’m hoping we might be able to get together yet.

The past few weeks have been fairly stressful. I don’t know if  is the sort of stress you experience when you’re stretching and growing. After all, growth is by nature uncomfortable. So much is going well, and yet my awareness of all these things I’m struggling to change, has also increased. So, while I’m now tap-dancing and doing yoga, I’m still wading through stuff trying to clear up the house. I won’t use that dreaded word “declutter”, because I don’t believe in it. Indeed, after spending hours working on my daughter’s room, I arrived home with a crate of books from the op shop. These weren’t any ordinary books either. They included a four volume set of Home Mechanics Books from around 1910. They were more about repairing things around the home  such as your Grandfather clock and were absolutely fascinating. However, I am trying to follow what I’ll call a “trading policy”. That for everything that comes in, something has to go out. It works well for me in theory. However, like so many things, not so well in practice.

Jeffrey Smart Car Park in Bologna

Jeffrey Smart, Parking Lot Near  Bologna 1992.

This weekend, the whole issue of my teenage son’s school assignments reared its ugly head again. He’s been unwell on and off and the night before his assignment was due, our wifi went down. I don’t need to tell you that was a catastrophe of epic proportions. Anyway, not unsurprisingly, yours truly found herself researching Australian artist, Jeffery Smart, and his painting: “Parking Lot Near  Bologna”. Not to do his assignment for him, but to be able to help.

To be perfectly honest, this painting did nothing for me. Yet, I had to find something. Understand, at the very least, why it was considered worthy of an assignment. I personally prefer more of an expressionistic style with thick, lashings of paint, whereas this almost has a flat, photo finish. No, not my style, but I could see why the trucks might appeal to my son. That said, he’d probably prefer a Ferrari!

The last part of the assignment involved writing a 100 word story about the painting. It finally clicked that this was just like the flash fiction challenges I do. So, we talked through various plot ideas and possible names for the two men (Luigi for the Italian and Sergei for the Croatian) and then moved onto people smuggling. I wanted to teach him the thinking that goes into writing something like this, particularly the structure involved. Having that twist or punchline at the end. So, I wrote an example for him.  Here’s the link. It was very difficult to write, being set in Italy. However, as usual, Google came to the rescue.


Hugh McKay

In  between the assignment and playing Scrabble with the lad, I also read read a fantastic novel, Selling the Dream by Hugh McKay. Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and the author of 17 books, mainly in the field of social analysis. Selling the Dream is his seventh novel. I am in the throws of writing a review. However, if you enjoyed reading Graeme Simsion’s: The Rosie Project, you’ll love it. It’s hilarious and despite being classed as satire, it’s incredibly real. Sorry, I forgot to tell you that it’s set in a Sydney advertising agency and has a serious swipe at the industry and it’s “heroes”.

I really loved reading this book and am really going to try to read books more often.

However, I’m sure you know how it in. Before you know it, the day just disappears.

As has the weekend. So, I’d better get this posted quickly.

This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share.

xx Rowena


8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share 4th June, 2017.

  1. bettylouise31

    You have been busy this week. I smile I no Wi-Fi a major catastrophe. I was in my fifties before it became available. I am not sure it a good thing. Happy birthday to your parents.

  2. Barbara In Caneyhead

    I have never heard of pumpkin soup! We do make tator (potato) soup here. The kids are precious in the photo! Hope for you that a visit with the folks can be squeezed in. And what are teachers thinking sometimes? Would love to hear what the grade turned put to be on that.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

  3. Rowena Post author

    I will be posting the recipe for pumpkin soup soon. It’s apparently the most Googled recipe in
    Australia and has quite a few variations, although my recipe is traditional and published by Margaret Fulton in her 1960s cookbook. My Mum used to make it.
    I have to admit the busy schedule is mostly out of school. As you may be aware, dance seems to be one of those things you quit or get quite into and my daughter is in the dance team at the studio. I am quite happy for this as the studio is two streets away and dancing is so good for you. I am actually trying to get our son out of the house more and away from electronics. However, that also involves my time. My parents can also be tricky toon as my Dad;s a mad golfer.
    Yet, these special family days also need to be prioritized. Are special. xx Rowena

  4. Mabel Kwong

    It sounded like a stressful week, and I hope your son gets well soon. Sometimes life is like that – when it rains, it pours either good or challenging times al at once. Pumpkin soup sounds delicious and looks like the kids are enjoying it…a few years ago as you said but hopefully, also today. Perfect pick me up for winter. The more jam-packed the schedule, though, the more you are able to do and pack in and feel productive. Don’t forget to make yourself some me-time and enjoy those tap-dancing and yoga classes to the max – and of course, spending time with the family too 🙂

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thanks for the encouragement, Mabel. Tap and yoga are fantastic activities. I was going to say escapes, but they’re not really escapes, especially when you do have to work out quite hard physically. Yet, they’re a mental escape and a space for myself where I’m not worrying about anyone else. I can just for for an hour. Yippee!

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