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Showing posts from February, 2012

Australia's East Coast...with food, family and friends...

Fresh bamboo shoots, Cairns market (photo the author)
On my recent vacation I travelled from my home in Western Australia to visit my daughter in Sydney, on the East coast of Australia, and then northwards to the Gold Coast of Queensland to visit with a friend, and then even further north to stay with another friend in Cairns in tropical Queensland.
One of my passions is food…I have judged restaurants for a prestigious national restaurant award programme and I am an habitual food market visitor – whether here in Australia or in Europe. While our markets here are improving with the growth of the sustainable and organic food industry, they are nothing compared to the regular markets in Europe.  I am particularly fond of the markets I visit in France, and my European friends always laugh when they see my eyes light up at the sight of a sign in a village indicating Market Day. Market Day, Leysin, Switzerland (photo the author)
While in Sydney my daughter and I went to the wonderful Sydney …

Waiting for Kangaroos...

A kangaroo in the distance under the tree in the centre of the picture (taken with my iPhone)
I am having a night away from home, staying with a friend who has a B & B south of Perth, Western Australia.

The B & B "Piazza di Caro", Lake Clifton, Western Australia

Having been in tropical north Queensland last week I am now in the arid and dry landscape of an area which has had enduring searing 38-40 degrees all summer; in the bush, waiting for the sunset to arrive to see the wild kangaroos come into feed on the grass just outside of my room.

 B & B in Malanda, Far North Queensland (photo the author)
This incredible difference between the north east and south west of Australia reminded me about the vastness of this wonderful, mystical land I call home. "Tame" kangaroo (photo a fellow traveller)
Tonight, it's all about wild kangaroos...

Travelling in my vast country...manners matter...

Cairns Crocodile Park  I have just returned from a two week vacation catching up with friends in Queensland and my daughter in Sydney.  It was a time of healing and also an opportunity to spread my wings with wonderful people, way too many wines and a lot of laughter and some adventures...with crocodiles, sea turtles, sting rays, and parrot fish.
Snorkling with friends on Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef  (photo courtesy Ocean Spirit Cruises) The holiday was also enhanced by fabulous meals and observations about the diversity of the fresh  food available and the cooking styles used to complement it…from the sophistication of Sydney to the fusion, east/west cuisine of Tropical North Queensland. I will post again with more about the cuisine of Australia.
The Gold Coast (photographer unknown) It was wonderful to travel up the East Coast of Australia, from Sydney, to the Gold Coast;  and from the Gold Coast up to Cairns in FNQ – Far North Queensland as it is referred to up there. Each plac…

Mademoiselle, Madame, Ms...and Women of a "Certain Age"...

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort: Catherine Deneuve & Francoise Dorleac, 1967
I was sitting with a few girlfriends, or should that be “women friends”, the other day chatting over a few nice Margaret River sauvignon blanc wines.   We were discussing an article which had appeared in a weekend newspaper about the French title “Mademoiselle” and how the French feminist movement was defending a woman’s right, irrespective of age or marital/partnership context to use the rather elegant title historically reserved for a young, beautiful girl. Catherine Deneuve (date unknown)
It would mean that we women usually referred to as “Madame”who are married/partnered, divorced, never married, or no longer blooming with youth could join Catherine Deneuve, and the late Coco Chanel in being referred to as Madamoiselle.  As the writer advised, in the absence of a neutral gender, the “Ms” that we have had in Australia since the 1970s as dictated by the feminist movement of the day, the Parisienne femolingu…