Tag Archives: Scrabble

Gloat- Day 2 B& W Photo Challenge.

You have to congratulate me on today’s photo. Not because it’s particularly good and when I think of all the millions on photos on my hard drive, it wasn’t even among the best. However, I did think the Scrabble letters would translate well into black & white.

The real reason you have to congratulate me, is that I didn’t post another B & W dog photo. That I was able to pull myself away from the five beautiful dogs chewing on my socks and feet (well, make that the four pups. Lady is too busy sleeping or growling at micro pups who are still convinced this old cranky puss could still be their friend.)Yes, I was able to think about something else.

Well, I have been thinking of a few other things, such as my Irish Famine Orphan research project. I am researching and writing up the stories of around 25 young women who emigrated from Middle Workhouse, Cork to Sydney onboard the John Knox arriving in 1850. I am approaching this as a you have 25 people in the same boat and what happens when they all get out retrospective social experiment type thingy. To get to the story part, I also have to do the geneology of each woman and not having a huge budget (ie $0.00), I’m doing a lot of sifting and my head has become some kind of tabulating machine process names, dates, deaths. Or, in too many cases, being unable to find who she married and their story ends as soon as they get off the boat. That frustrates me no end, because it could well be these women who have the most exciting stories to tell if only I could find them. I am also a tenacious idiot and won’t give up long after it’s become such a cold case, it’s frozen over. BTW, my 4th Great Grandmother was one of those women hence my interest.


Getting back to Scrabble, I managed to spell out GLOAT in a Scrabble match against my husband and son a few months ago. I don’t get to gloat very often when it comes to playing Scrabble against my husband but from memory, I actually won that round. My husband grew up in rural Tasmania and what with all that cold weather in the days before computers and electronics, they played a lot of Scrabble. Indeed, his mother who was a former school teacher, had a massive Webters English Dictionary they used. It’s almost the width of two house bricks.

Our 13 year old son loves playing Scrabble, and wandered into this brutal battleground. Feeling discouraged, I told him that we were training him up so when he played someone else, he’d beat them. I don’t know if that’s the sort of approach you’d find in the parenting textbook. However, my copy must’ve got lost in the mail years ago, because it’s never arrived. How about yours? Do you have one?

Anyway, I have to admit (or more like “confess”), that I was gloating when I finally beat my husband. I knew it was only because he got bad letters, and that he’d soon reclaim his crown. Yet, victory was sweet.

Do you enjoy playing Scrabble or other board games?

BTW I would like to nominate Kathy from Time No Matter to take up the Seven Day Black & White Challenge today.

xx Rowena

Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational.

Strangely, my invitation to join Mensa, must’ve got lost in the mail. However, I strayed across The Washington Post‘s Mensa Invitational, which asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing of one letter, and supplying a new definition.

A friend of mine put me onto this and I’m wondering whether you agree that some of these coud really take off.

Here are this year’s {2005}1 winners:

  1. Cashtration (n.):
    The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  2. Ignoranus:
    A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
  3. Intaxication:
    Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
  4. Reintarnation:
    Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  5. Bozone2 (n.):
    The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  6. Foreploy:
    Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  7. Giraffiti:
    Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  8. Sarchasm:
    The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
  9. Inoculatte:
    To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  10. Hipatitis:
    Terminal coolness.
  11. Osteopornosis:
    A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  12. Karmageddon:
    It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
  13. Decafalon (n.):
    The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  14. Glibido:
    All talk and no action.
  15. Dopeler effect:
    The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.):
    The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a! spider web.
  17. Beelzebug (n.):
    Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  18. Caterpallor (n):
    The color you turn after finding half of a worm in the fruit you?re eating.

1 I’ve run across at least 1 reference stating that this list, under this same name, has been running around since 1999.

2 This one sounds like a near rip-off of one of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons. Check out page 37 of this Photochemistry Manual(PDF

Do you have a particular favourite? I really liked them all.

xx Rowena

PS I might keep this list handy for when we next play Scrabble. I’ve been known to be a bit inventive with some of my offerings.

Weekend Coffee Share 17th June, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Shark Foam

Did you like my bit of fun with the Scrabble letters? Thought I’d give you a bit of a laugh. We’ve been playing Scrabble as a family over the last couple of weekends. It’s Winter here and Scrabble is such a great hibernation activity. Actually, I play Scrabble all year round, and I’m really thrilled our son’s really got into it. However, as much as I enjoy playing Scrabble online, its not the same as  as  delving into the bag to pull out your letters, and all the highs and lows which go along with it. Like books, I prefer hard copy or “the real thing”.

Jonathon scrabble blog

Our son using the modern dictionary to play Scrabble.

I’m starting to think we should film our Scrabble games, and even post them on utube. They can get quite hilarious what with the various words which crop up, and certain persons attempts to get weird and wonderful “words” through to the keeper. Last week, my attempt was “Quan”. Today, our son tried “Jaxie”, which is cockney rhyming slang for your backside. He’d found a site where you typed your words in and it came back with options. This was very good for him and enabled him to play along with my husband and I who are Scrabble affectionados. By the way, another cheer went up when my husband put down “GLOAT”. He did end up gloating at the end of that game. Although I won the first game, Geoff romped home in the second game and thrashed me by 101 with a score of 238.


Sorry, I’ve been raving on about Scrabble so much, that I’ve forgotten to offer you a cuppa…tea, coffee, juice? I can also offer you a mint flavoured Tim Tam. They’re really addictive (much like Scrabble).

How was your week?

Thinking about the last week, I seriously need a holiday. I’ve been spending the last couple of months, sorting out our house and I’m starting to reach the point where a good week involves clearing the stuff out of the bathtub. Yes, it was quite a eureka moment when our daughter was finally able to have a bath for the first time in well…a long time. Being so focused on cleaning, organization and the state of dust around the place, is so not me and I’m starting to wonder if I’ve crossed over to the devil. After all, for most creatives, cleanliness is anti-creativity.

Rah 2017

Rah the New & Improved Much Loved Lion.

During one of my clean-ups, I found my son’s toy lion in need of major reconstructive surgery, looking like he’d been mauled by a tiger after years of enduring “too much love”, which included having his mane cut off during a “haircut”. So, I did what parents do. I donned my surgical cap. Pulled out the needle and thread and patched him up “like a surgeon”. Well, at least I did my best. I certainly didn’t throw him out. He’s part of the family.

You can read about saving Rah here: Like A Surgeon…Saving “Rah”.

Meanwhile, there’s a world out there beyond my four walls where things have been pretty bleak. Naturally, my thoughts have been over in London following the terrorist attack and the horrific fire which destroyed Grenfell Tower. Words can’t describe such grief, but like people the world over, I care and offer my condolances, which sounds so lame.

However, last night I heard about The Great Get Together , which is being held arount the UK this weekend on the anniversary of the death of murdered MP, Jo Cox who spoke out about greater racial tolerance, acceptance and intergration. Being a social person, her husband, family and the wide community wanted to do something positive to honour her life.

It was all a bit late to organize a physical get together this weekend. So, I did what bloggers do. Organized an online party and invite you to join us here. We’d love to have you along.

Anyway, I hope you’ve had a great weekend.

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd in the Brain.   We would love to have you pop over and join us. Just click on the Linky.

Best wishes,



Too Much Chocolate Temptation!!!!

After indulging on Chocolate Caramel Slice all last week, I was going to be good this week. Perhaps against my better judgment, I decided not to turn my kitchen into a veritable Chocolate Caramel Slice factory by pumping out the next batch as soon as the last piece evaporated with my cup of tea. I decided to wait.

You see, I had become a new, reformed woman. Yes, even I was capable of some self-restraint and could also redefine chocolate as a “sometimes food”.

Restraint on the chocolate front is a new and particularly foreign concept for me. However, while doing my food and cooking research, I kept reading that chocolate is a “sometimes food” and after awhile, I had an attack of the guilts. Even this chocoholic was going to reform.

Although “sometimes” might mean occasionally, unfortunately when it comes to having a sweet, chocolaty treat, I am what you would call more of a “frequent flyer”. Try as I might, that late night sugar craving hits and I forget that I’d had a Tim Tam yesterday or Chocolate Caramel Slice all last week. I want chocolate and I want it now!! Believe me, depriving me of chocolate will result in a tantrum which makes Gordon Ramsey look like a purring, little pussy cat!

So here I was at home on Saturday night minding my own business and trying to be good. As you could probably appreciate, I’m not that good at being good. Yes, it’s confession time. There I was playing online Scrabble again and checking out puppies for sale on the side. While puppies aren’t chocolate or Chocolate Caramel Slice, I’m not supposed to be looking at puppies at the moment either but how can I resist? They’re just too cute. Besides, it’s not my fault. It’s all those terrible online advertisers who know the very weakest point in your Achilles heel and flash it up at you in a way you can’t resist. I looked up puppies once or twice on Gumtree and now they come and visit me every single day. It’s not my fault!

So there I was playing online Scrabble and looking at puppies when along came an invitation to get this app which provides you with endless recipes, shopping lists and all sorts of cooking info. Isn’t it cruel the way advertisers flash evil temptation at you when you’re practicing self-restraint?!! Before I knew it, this chocolate-starved, weak-willed chocoholic had succumbed yet again. I was whizzing up a chocolate cake.

This is how I came across this recipe for Flourless Nutella Cake. This recipe only required eggs and Nutella and took about 30 minutes to cook. Such almost instant gratification was too hard to resist. 1, 2, 3 and that cake was in the oven and the countdown was on.

Well, it wasn’t quite 1, 2,3. I had to beat the eggs up and heat the Nutella in the microwave and mix it all together. All that might have taken about 10 minutes but it was all very easy peasy and the results look truly professional. You would never guess that there were only 2 ingredients.

A close-up of inside the cake.

A close-up of inside the cake.

The kids were in bed when I made this but I’m fairly sure they could make it themselves with just a bit of supervision around the microwave and of course making sure the Nutella actually ends up in the cake and not in their tummies instead. I do try to limit how much Nutella the kids eat as it is definitely a sometimes food. A word of caution regarding nut allergies… Nutella contains hazelnuts.

So here is the adapted version…


The cake in its tin

The cake in its tin.

Flourless Nutella Cake Version 1.1

Based on recipe by Matt Moran, Masterchef.


6 large eggs

360g Nutella.


  1. Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a round 21 cm springform or standard cake tin with spray oil and line with baking paper. I used a standard cake tin and it was fine.
  2. Crack eggs into a medium sized mix master bowl and beat on the highest speed until the eggs have tripled in volume, which should take 3- 6 minutes.
  3. Using a set of kitchen scales, weigh and measure out the Nutella. This is quite a messy business but finger-licking good! Probably best measuring it into a medium-sized glass bowl which then goes into the microwave to 20-40 seconds to soften the Nutella up.
  4. Add 1/3 whisked eggs to the softened Nutella and gently fold it in until well combined. The mix should turn dark brown. Add another 1/3 eggs and fold in. Repeat with remaining 1/3 eggs. Ideally, the Nutella will mix through easily but when I made it the Nutella was still firm and not mixing well so I returned the batter to the mixmaster and beat it carefully on a slow setting for a few minutes until the mix was dark brown and well mixed. It didn’t seem to do it any harm.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in the oven to bake until cooked through, about 20-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from pan.
  6. I served it up with fresh strawberries and it could also like a dollop of cream but doesn’t need it.
  7. You could also dust a little icing sugar over the top.



I haven’t mentioned that I used to work in market research and so every time I dish up one of my new cooking creations or indeed “experiments”, I grill the family to get their detailed opinions. They’ve now come to understand that “good” and “nice” or especially “yuck” don’t cut the mustard. I need detail and they have become much more expressive.

Unfortunately, when I asked everyone what they thought about the Flourless Nutella Cake, it turned out that the rest of the family didn’t share my enthusiasm. My daughter said: “It tastes like egg.” She didn’t finish her piece. Our son said it needed icing. My husband wasn’t sure about the texture and didn’t really feel that it tasted chocolaty enough. He found the taste a bit vague. To be fair, I don’t think he’s tried many flourless chocolate cakes.

I am thinking of making it again and adding more Nutella…say 1-2 tablespoons.

I wonder if I’m the only mother in existence whose kids are so fussy about their chocolate cake?

How about you give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!

XX Rowena