Weekend Coffee Share!

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How are you? I hope you are doing well. This week, I’m able to offer you a slice of yellow sponge cake complete with jam, cream and fresh strawberries and blueberries. It’s all rather delectable, even if I did make it myself. Meanwhile, no doubt you’re wondering why it’s yellow. Well, I’d run out of cornflour and my husband had already does a lengthy trip to the shops, and so I used custard powder. It made a slightly difference to the taste, but it rose perfectly and the texture was fine, although with a few minutes less in the oven, it would’ve been perfect.

Well, yesterday marked three months in lockdown, and I’m pretty sure this week marked a turning point for people’s sanity. I won’t get into the details. Let’s just say there was tension in the air and it wasn’t just at our place. I sat in on a webinar with Sydney University and they’re saying that people have been feeling more tired during lockdown. That certain describes us. I’m feeling like a bear curled up snugly in its cave.

However, fortunately hope is in sight – what’s been heralded as “Freedom Day”. That’s set for the 11th of October – three weeks away. It’s going to be bigger than the end of WWII when the Dancing Man was photographed celebrating in Sydney’s Martin Place. Well, our beloved NSW State Premier Gladys is thankfully warning people no to go crazy, and the unvaccinated are in a league of their own unless they have medical exemption and the requirements for that are pretty stringent. The other thing our happy would be revellers might not have heard is that covid cases in our hospitals are still increasing and they’re expecting to reach capacity around the time we break out. It’s been challenging in the reporting of the covid crisis, but now more than ever we need to listen out to the small, quiet voice that’s asking questions and challenging the status quo. This could well be our scientific community. Someone with a more educated and informed opinion.

Anyway, I launched anew blog last week and I was actually intending to write a post from there this week, but I’ve had a major distraction which I’ll get onto shortly.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been mentioning my emerging obsession with English-Australian author, Ethel Turner, who is best known for her 1894 novel – Seven Little Australians. Well, I’ve been thinking about what to do with my research and how to progress it, and I decided to start off with a blog: Tea With Ethel Turner. Aside from having written these coffee share posts for about eight years, cups. f my grandmother’s had special, much treasured cupboards where they lovingly kept their “old ladies” as I think of them. Visitors were asked to choose a cup and family generally had their favourites and my dad’s mum used to point out who drank from what while I was choosing mine out. It was in its own way our own variation on the tea ceremony.

Anyway, having tea with Ethel Turner seems like a good idea. I can’t actually have tea at home with anyone outside the family atm unless there are compassionate circumstances, or I’m part of their singles bubble (which does apply to my 76 year of buddy, Roland). So, having tea with Ethel Turner at the moment isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds and at east it’s “allowed” within tightest interpretation of our covid restrictions.

So far, I’ve had two posts and a third is almost done. Here are the links and I’d really appreciate your support. It’s a bit daunting starting a new blog, when Beyond the Flow is up and running and it took quite a lot for it to start kicking over. However, I’m not starting from scratch in a way because hopefully it will attract some of my readers here.

So, here are the links:

As if I wasn’t researching enough with all of that, received a message which has taken me off to WWII and the escape of the Polish pilots into Romania, into France and into Britain. Four years ago, I met a Polish-English gentleman, Roland Chorazy, whose father Edward Chorazy, had been a bomber pilot during WWII. Roland and I met in our local independent bookshop where he was enquiring about books to research his father. As you know, I’m right into history research and have been researching WWI and we started to chat and agreed to meet for coffee. We’ve been having coffee once a week now virtually ever since.

Researching Roland’s father’s wartime service has been incredibly difficult. Firstly, there’s the usual thing of parents saying very little or not quite knowing how all the threads come together. In this instance, Poland was closed off for so many years and Roland wasn’t aught Polish growing up for this reason, and it was probably something that grieved his father deeply. There was obviously a point of no return under communism and finding a new home was the only option for a very long time.

So, already you have a research rift between Poland and Australia both in terms of language and communication. Then, it turns out that the Polish pilots service records in England are in Polish so future generations growing up in English-speaking countries can’t understand them. When you think about the outstanding contribution the Polish pilots made to the British war effort, this is obviously quite an oversight and a slap in the face.

However, thanks to the Internet, connections are being made. I have been contacted by a family who met Roland’s father while they were staying at a hotel in Blackpool, along with the best man at his wedding, Alojzy Dreja. He’s sent through a photo. Meanwhile, I found a post by an English woman whose mother had been friends with Alojzy Dreja and she posted a letter he’d written and two beautiful hand-painted cards. You can read her posts here:

Anyway, this has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

11 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share!

  1. Jo

    Custard powder is made partly from cornflour so it sounds like a pretty cluey substitute to me! I’m a fan of vintage china and enjoy my tea from them too – I don’t think it’s my imagination tea tastes better from a pretty cup.

  2. Natalie

    Good to know the links to your new blog. Are you keeping both blogs or are you moving your posts from Beyond the Flow to the new blog and keep one blog? Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

  3. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Jo. The texture seemed very close to cornflour. I totally agree with you about tea out of a china cup. I get slack, but I think my dad still only drinks his tea from a china cup.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  4. Rowena Post author

    hi Natalie. Thanks for your interest in the new blog. As you may recall, I’m supposed to be working on the WWI soldiers’ bios. I came across a letter from a young girl to Ethel Turner and I found myself increasingly distracted. I found aspects to her I never knew about. She had so much compassion. she also included a a considerable reference to Aboriginal culture but the publishers later took it out. She is such a treasure trove. So, I am working towards writing some articles about her and getting into the groove via the blog. There are also some biographical details which are a bit conflicting, and I thought the blog would help get these sorted out. I am also more of a collaborative thinker. So Beyond the Flow will pretty much stay as is, and I’m not sure where Ethel will go.
    BTW I know you love a good doorscursion and mostpeople have no idea what that is and probably think I’m crazy but I’m in lockdown. Anyway, I was contacted by a French ceramic artist today and I was so excited and decided to check out where she lives on Google Earth. It was so much fun and I was taking photos with my phone (including doors). Then, the dog leaned on the keyboard and the next thing I find myself outside a cafe with a painted blue bicycle out the front. Somehow, I’d ended up in a cafe in Ankora, Turkey. I had to laugh because I have no sense of direction. It’s so typical of me and my husband didn’t believe it was the dog at all.
    Hope you have a good week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  5. Gary A Wilson

    Hi Rowena.

    I’m sorry to be so slow about completing my rounds for last weekend, but I took much of Saturday to work on my own sci-fi story. I managed to tie myself in a bit of knot with details that I struggled to keep in balance, but I made some good progress and now most of the writing is done with a cleanup pass needed to make sure all the pieces play nice with each other. I have still to weed out some paragraphs that are obsolete after rewriting the ending..

    I’m amazed that you decided to stand up a new blog. My one blog takes so much of my time that it would crush me to try and breath life into a second.

  6. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Geoff. I’m a bit concerned about what I’ve got myself in for. Ethel Turner was only meant to be a short break from my WWI research. Now, it’s become another mission along with working on my friend’s father’s story. He escaped from Poland and fought in the PAF in WWII. I’ve never really considered Poland all that much and now I’m experiencing a full immersion. It’s the only way to understand, but hard to juggle multiple projects. Just as well I’m in lockdown.
    Hope you are keeping well.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  7. TanGental

    Yep. Considering we have no petrol in London, the gas prices have soared and we’re warned food shortages are inevitable it’s all good. This is our very own EFFing crisis – energy food and fuel. Well done Boris you twannock. That said we did visit friends in Derbyshire by train this weekend which was delightful.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Hi Geoff,
    I’ve missed the news a bit lately and have only heard snippets about what’s going on in the UK. Have you got an election coming up any time soon? Any hopes of ousting his Borisship? A revolution?
    The UK isn’t alone with troubles. We’ve had more protests in Melbourne and the far-right neo-Nazi element posing as tradies and it’s been ugly. Horrible knowing these elements are around too. Closer to home, our much loved NSW Premier we all simple call Gladys because her surname is unpronounceable and because she’s been guiding us through this covid debacle and I feel I can trust her. That she has a good read on the balance between lockdown and opening up and getting the economy and people’s jobs back on track. With us almost out of lockdown, the ICAC which handles corruption nailed her and she’s resigned while she fights it out. No one I’ve spoken to is happy with the timing. Then, the deputy premier resigned as well and someone else. So, three by-elections looming.
    I don’t know about other people, but the handling of the pandemic has made me think so much more about who is making the big decisions and who decides and how. I’m not sure I want to know.
    Anyway, it’s good you got away to Derbyshire. Any particular reason you went there?
    Good luck with it all. I’m not sure what would happen if we were in charge but it couldn’t be all bad.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

  9. TanGental

    Nope, we’re stuck with Bojo until 2024. And Derbyshire is where my new daughter in law’s parents live. We were having a post wedding catch up without the kids monitoring our behaviour. Splendid. Lots of walking talking good food and James Bond!

  10. Rowena Post author

    2024 is such a long way off. I’m afraid I can’t offer you an escape hatch here quite yet.
    I love the idea of the parents getting together for the weekend unsupervised. I’ve never heard of that before and it sounds fabulous. Of course, I’ve changed sides now and I am joining the parent side of the equation instead of being among the young folk. It’s such a pity!
    I been sanding this table and am realising I should’ve worn a mask with the wind blowing today. I’m feeling like I’ve inhaled a pack of cigarettes. Whoops! I’m usually a lot more cautious but I got away with it yesterday and developed false confidence. Actually, anybody she be wearing a mask doing this. I am not much of a DIYer. Geoff does a wonderful job fixing things, and I’m much more adept at breaking them!
    Take care and I know better to say “stay sane”, but there’s always hope.
    Best wishes,
    Ro

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