Weekend Coffee Share – 14th March, 2022.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee!

How are you all, and how was your week? I hope it’s been great, and I look forward to chatting with you over a cup of tea or coffee and no doubt you’d prefer a few Tim Tams to Vegemite toast!

Mr with his t-shirt from Jeremy Clarkson’s Didly Squat Farm.

Last Tuesday marked the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. Mister, who was six years old when I first started Beyond the Flow, turned 18 and is now an adult. Or, in other words, he’s become a man (whatever that means!!) He had a three course dinner for his friends, where yours truly acted as Caterer-in-Chief while his father did the shopping, and did his best to keep me sane. Catering to Mister’s last minute requirements could be rather challenging. Indeed, I could be excused for thinking I was working for a rock star. However, truth be told, his requests were quite reasonable if not quite what you’d expect.

Mum’s famous sponge cake reborn.

One of the great complications in the great birthday party preparations was the birthday cake. Just to complicate matters, I am famed among my friends for baking quirky and extravagant birthday cakes. I am also famed for my pavlova which sends most people into a spin. That’s not to put tickets on myself. I’ve been baking all my life, and it’s something I generally find easy. Not everything works out, and sometimes I’ve had to cover-up my mistakes, but usually I manage to save the day, and all is well. (It’s quite a different story when it comes to anything technical or finding my way around. I am notoriously always getting lost.)

Mum sitting down in the kitchen before I fall down.

Meanwhile, our son’s favourite cake is the caramel mud cake from Aldi. This is fine as an option at home, and something to dish up for himself. However, as the featured birthday cake for an 18th birthday party, it was clearly inappropriate. (Well, at least, it was to me!!)

That sent me into an incredible tailspin about what to bake. It was worse that trying to choose my wedding dress. I managed to find that at the first shop, and even managed to find the dress I loved in the bridal magazine hanging on the rack. How lucky was that?!! Anyway, after going through a gazillion recipe books, I went back to my Mum’s traditional sponge cake with jam, cream and raspberries inside and a dusting of icing sugar on top. By this point, I was wondering how I could ever have considered anything else, especially as Mum and Dad couldn’t make it. They’re still keeping a low profile due to covid.

Anyway, the party went well. I still haven’t written a designated post about him turning 18, which I’ll have to get onto. He still looks and acts the same, but he now has right of entry into pubs, can buy alcohol and has the right to vote. We all know that for an 18 year old how these rank in order of importance!

Meanwhile, I’ve been on something like a five beaches tour of the local area, with Miss at the helm of the Subaru, which has somehow been rebadged “Siberia” in a text which seemed appropriate as it’s white. All has largely gone well in Siberia, except when Rosie joined us for a drive to Terrigal. I’ve never had a dog who doesn’t like going for a drive. However, Rosie metamorphosed into a quivering mess, dribbling the whole way there. Somehow, I managed to miss the climax until we pulled up. Rosie had been sick, and it looks like she must’ve eaten Zac’s breakfast as well as her own. The joy of parenthood. When your kids grow out of such issues, you get dogs to take their place.

Iron man salvaging a coffee table from the beach, much to his wife’s disgust.

The beaches were all closed as the water’s been contaminated by recent flooding. It has been interesting to see how the flood waters affected the different beaches. The Hawkesbury River which experienced significant flooding, flows into Broken Bay where we’re located. So, our beach has copped a fair bit of debris. A poor Clydesdale washed up here last week, and they managed to trace it back to its poor owner who lived up the river at St Albans. I hope she appreciates that at least some of us thought of her loss. That her horse was honoured in a small way.

Meanwhile, Lismore up on the North Coast has been decimated by the worst floods in living record. I can’t do what’s happened justice, but this video is personal and powerful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhIylzniCTM

I incorporated the Lismore floods into my flash fiction piece for Friday Fictioneers this week: The Last House Left Standing: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2022/03/10/last-house-standing-friday-fictioneers-9th-march-2022/

I have been following what’s happening in Ukraine to the best of my ability. My response is very simple: “Putin, go home!” However, as we all know, that isn’t working. I listened to a podcast my Irish author and philosopher Michael Harding about our emotional and spiritual response to what’s happening in Ukraine and found it interesting and comforting. Here’s the link: https://shows.acast.com/MichaelHarding/episodes/lets-find-a-way-through-this

Well, I think that’s about covered the last week. So, I’ll thank you for joining me, and turn it over to you.

Meanwhile, you might like to join us over at the Weekend Coffee Share, which is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

14 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – 14th March, 2022.

  1. Scribble and Scran

    Congratulations to you for making it through the 18 years! and quite right an Aldi cake is not appropriate, so well done on that front as well! Definitely gone to be something home made.

  2. Rowena Post author

    The sponge went down well, but half of it came home and has been converted to trifle which is still in the fridge. It seems we overloaded them with finger food at the start and had quite a lot leftover. However, I always like to have a generous amount of food. Not good to be stingy.

  3. Natalie

    Rowena, Happy 18th birthday to your son and congrats to you and your husband! The cake looks great. I hope the weather improves and your local beaches go back to their pristine conditions soon. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

  4. Amila Wickramarachchi

    Happy birthday to your son. They grow very fast.
    This cake looks delicious and lovely photos too. It sounds like a great experience at the beach.
    Have a great day!
    #weekendcoffeeshare.

  5. Thistles and Kiwis

    Happy Birthday to your son – the cake looks excellent! It will be interesting to see how long the clean up post floods takes. And to think two years ago we were watching the fires in Australia…

  6. Gary A Wilson

    Okay – I’m mystified.
    How did that coffee table get to the beach?
    If it washed in on the surf, it should be nearly destroyed.
    If someone left it there – I’d have to ask what they were thinking?
    That would be raising littering to a whole new high.
    Maybe this guy is just cleaning up the beach and his wife needs to applaud him.

    Inquiring minds and all.
    Fun stuff Rowena.

  7. Ju-Lyn

    I just had a peep back at your “About” post – Mister & Miss sure have grown so much … children mark time so much more dramatically!

    I hear you on making celebration cakes; I’ve been baking for a long time too, but mostly breads and tray bakes and small cakes (cupcakes, loaf cakes, muffins) – the one kind of cake I still shudder at the thought of are celebration cakes! We always made the children’s birthday cakes (with lots of help from Lego, Playmobil and other toys are decoration), but I can’t get my head around sophisticated grown up cakes! So I really applaud your lovely offering for this special 18th birthday!

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Ju-Lyn. I really need to update my About page but I really liked how it reflected where we were at the time, and things have changed a lot – especially the kids and my health is much better.
    I made the train cake years ago for our son’s 3rd birthday and was very grateful for my husband’s help with shaping the cake. Toys for decoration are a great idea. Lollies and chocolates are also helpful decorations. Ferro Rochers around the edge of a large cake works wonders, although I haven’t used it myself yet. I have it filed away at the back of my head.
    If you love brightly coloured parrots, you’d appreciate my latest post. We had a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets in our backyard this morning.

  9. Rowena Post author

    Gary, the mystery of the coffee table will probably never be solved, but our guess is that it floated down the Hawkesbury River potentially along with the dead horse. The waves at our beach can be very mild-manner so wouldn’t necessarily destroy it.
    Another option is that a group of teens took it down there. There’s a carpark beside the beach which is known as “The Office” and it’s where the teenagers on their provisional licences (P plates) park and hang out. The next question is how long will it take for the coffee table to be seen sitting beside the road looking for a new home, and will Atlas be there as well?

  10. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much. I am hoping the clean-up from the flood is faster than the bushfires because there are still people in temporary accommodation from the fires.
    I found a charcoal log on the beach which had clearly gone through the bushfires and the floods. I took quite a few photos of it, but wanted to do a separate post. It seemed to warrant it, but I haven’t got back to it yet.

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