Sunday, June 29, 2008


Last night I had an enticing conversation with Steph Smith. Enticing to my senses, a taste sensation no less, in a single sentence - "There's a new cupcake shop in West End".
Whoa - sensory overload! Did you say CUPCAKES! As in delectable decadence in a small well-decorated package??!!!! Why did I not know about this!!!!!

Thankfully I managed to keep all this internal and played it cool with a casual, "Oh really?". Followed not so cooly with a menacing, "Where!". Steph being a trooper, didn't flinch as I salavated in front of her, and filled me in on all the necessary calorific details.

Which neatly leads me into another topic of culinary delight that we touched on...BAKERIES! Oh the big topics were covered at Murray Henman's 40th celebrations!

So this suitably stirring topic is perfect for a blog me thinks. Steph had a neat list of top 5 bakeries/patisseries of renown which I'll now share...and please feel free to send me your own! I love nothing better than an excuse for coffee and cake, so should you need a dining services are available (all for the small price of a sweet treat ;-) ).

Top 5 Bakeries (mix of Steph and mine):

1. Patty Cake place at West End
2. Toowong French Patisserie (Cat and Fiddle Shopping Centre)
3. Balmoral Bakery
4. Flour Power at Highgate Hill
5. Bakery near Ashgrove? (sorry you know my memory!)

Any takers?..................................

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mu'Ooze Magic..

Another great dinner at the local Eritrean restaurant in Moorooka - Mu'Ooze. This time a group dinner to catch up with Andrew and Jane (friends of Andrew M's) who were visiting from Hong Kong.

Andrew, Jane and Murray get serious with an SLR and a bottle of vino.

The share platter for mains - great curries and vegetable dishes all served together on this crepe style bread. Fingers welcomed!

The speciality of the restaurant - freshly roasted and brewed coffee while you watch! The BEST coffee I've had!

Ah good food, good wine and good friends! Bellissimo!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another week endeth..

Top Five's for the week ending the 22nd June:

1) RDO's - I love government jobs! I get a rostered day off every three week's and boy, does it make the difference! I saved up two and used them to make this a four day weekend. Bliss!

2) Sharing a day off with Andrew for the first time. Today we lazed about in the morning (read sofa time) and then went for a drive up to Mt Glorious which was, wait for it, glorious! Beautiful winter weather meant that we were able to see down into Samford valley and across to Moreton Island clearly from the lookouts. Yet, all this beautiful scenery - and no photos! Yes, you heard right, today I was sans camera. I ditched the digitals (who were under-energized) and instead had to savour the experience with my other senses...which leads me onto lunch, and the Mt Glorious Cafe and Restaurant. I cannot recommend the view from this cottage cafe enough along with terrific fare. All in all, I was inspired to do more day tripping, and, take the SLR on a much-deserved outing in future.

3) Cold Feet - are there any other fans out there of this phenomenally good British TV series? I'm/We're addicted. I made the mistake of buying the whole series' on DVD. 36 x 1hr episodes later.....and hence far too much sofa and less computer action! (ah the mental deprivation!).

4) Workmates - I have such a great workplace. Not only is my boss an utter gem who made me a birthday card - isn't she the sweetest - but the guys whom we work closely with in another section (Nursery Stock) are hilarious fun! The other day I was doing an inspection with Craig from nursery stock, and we were discussing children. He was mentioning the 'presents' he and his wife received from their in-laws - that being a children's cubbyhouse! (they have no children). Hmm, said I. Subtle!

He laughed and said that will be me soon - and I said something along the lines of "I've heard children have been raised by wolves.." (meaning to finish the sentence) and he broke down into fits of laughter. I didn't want to kill the moment with the rest of the sentence, so needless to say he now thinks of my maternal side in terms of rare, medium and well done! .... Anyway, good to see we share a good sense of humour!

(No animals were harmed in the delivery of aforementioned jokes).

5) And what would a week be without another set of inane J & A conversations. An avid reader (thanks Paula) said she "wet herself with laughter last week" so I take that as encouragement enough!

Scene II : A rare dinner at the dining room table -

1) as we begin our meals and with no lead in - A: "Trrific". J: "What?". A: "Trrific". J: "I don't get it?". A: "I'm Adam from Cold Feet". J: "Ah, no, you're Andrew from Moorooka - who alas isn't a cool sexy scot from a British TV series. Can I eat now?".

2) A: "Do we have any garlic?". J: "Yes in a bottle labelled Garlic". A: "Is that the bottle with the labelled rubbed off?" . J: "aaah does it say 'Garlic' "?!
3) A: "So we don't have any Garlic then?" J: "Well did you taste the contents of the jar with the label rubbed off?". A: "No, I think it's Ginger". J: (thinking to herself - Watson strikes again!) "But did you taste it?". A: "Jen while I didn't discover the Garlic, I did discover that we have three different types of Mustard - Seeded, Dijon and ofcourse Hot English. Very impressive!". (Andrew it seems is not only a garlic conniseur but a mad mustard fan too).

4) A: "Stop looking at me like that". J: "Like what?". A: "Your too good with those eyes". J: (what can I say, I've got a knack with my cornea's) "that's just because you can't outstare me!". A: "Okay here goes" (begining his penetrating stare at me above his glasses). J: (staring back with my mesmerising cornea's).
A: "Where are your eyes??, I can't see your eyes". Ah the benefit of a staring competition with a blind man who can't see above his glasses - J: "There right here staring at yours". A: "Are you looking down, I can't see them when you look down (sounding afronted and confused at the same time) , they just look like two moths on your face". Ah romance isn't dead!
Gold for the Morrisons again!
Hope you had an equally enjoyable week!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday shenanigans...


This was my Sunday.

Morning motivational -
We managed to convince one member of our Afghan family, the eldest daughter Roya, along with her husband to come with us to the World Refugee Day celebrations at Annerley. As one of my friends Adele, who also met up with us, mentioned - it was confronting, yet exhilerating, to feel in the minority for once. Murray, Tom and Cathy also rounded out a great group of friends who came to celebrate the diversity and soak up some new cultural experiences with us.
The celebrations were well under way when we arrived, with great performances on the stage including Iranian dancing (the little kids were amazing!), Congo choir and and African rap group called "No pain, no gain". There was a rock climbing wall set-up for the kids (one of which flew up the wall leaving us all gasping), henna painting, stalls and lots of great food! Ofcourse, you may well guess what my main motivation for coming was...

Roya (from our Aghan family), Cathy, Adele, Murray, Andrew and Massoud (Roya's fiancee).


Afternoon delights -
I accompanied two other classy laaadies, Helen and Candice, to Gold Class (ooh la lah) for Sex and the City - mandatory indulgent chick flick viewing. It left you wanting to walk out of the cinema and straight into a shoe store...or atleast sashay out of the lobby surrounded by a great gaggle of gal pals, in search of a walk in wardrobe to overtake. Very deeply disturbing film - who has that much money? - and when do we start a similar awesome foursome ?! (I bags Miranda's role).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

let there be...

Can I dare to hope?! A proper thunderstorm!

It seems ages since we've had a good thunderstorm...and take it from me, I'm no great fan of thunder normally but there is something to be said for only missing something once it has gone. And gone have been the good old summer days of thunderstorms each afternoon - when all through the day the humidity steadily thickened and you raced for your cars before the encroaching clouds erupted and emptied their stores in sudden, loudly energetic bursts.

I love the build up to a storm really - that's more what it is. The clouds suddenly taking on a blue hue as the sky darkens and the wind begins to chase leaves around on the ground. You sense the electricity in the air and smell the approaching rain. The soulful call of the Coel (storm bird) then guarantees something is afoot. It's almost as if the electricity in the air sparks with my neurons as I feel a real frission of excitement.

Ah thunder, alas, but the downpour is upon us and it's ferociously refreshing!

World Refugee Day ....THIS SUNDAY 22nd

Yep I'm back on the Refugee bandwagon!....

As most of you probably know, for the last year and a bit Andrew and I have been working as volunteer tutors/ community support with a family from Afghanistan. This Sunday there will celebrations for World Refugee Day from 9am to 4pm at the Annerley soccer fields near Juliette and Ridge streets, Annerley.

The day is being organized by the group who we tutor through i.e. VoRTCS. On offer on the day will be music, markets, a soccer and volleyball competition, cultural and art exhibitions and no doubt some pretty interesting food.

If you have any free time on Sunday, it would be great if you could come along and show your support for refugees in our community. Andrew and I will be heading over there about 11am - hopefully with some of the members of our Afghan family.

If you want to meet up on the day, just give me a call/ text.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bollyfunk - Jennysunk

As some of you may or may not know, I've finally got my booty into gear and donned the appropriate attire to 'get down' with those in the hood. If those hoods be sequined and in vibrant-hued colours...

Inspired by "So You Think You Can Dance" and pushed by my friend Niti, I'm now attending Bollywood and Funk dance classes. I can 'crunk' it with the best of them, and my shimmy is quite a sight to behold (sunglasses optional).

I refer to Hamish and Andy when I say I'm "doing" bollyfunk. Now that I've gone to more than two classes, I feel I can technically qualify for participation status. The only downside, apart from being winded on the warm-up and having to invest in some garish gym wear, is not going often enough. I find I'm not alone here - doing a well balanced survey of two - in having the memory of a goldfish when it comes to remembering the previous weeks' dance moves.

My husband is no help in this regard either, as he has yet to ask what I actually do each Monday night! So there's no-one to show off my classy moves to and hence reinforce the endless melange of steps, which fade as quickly as my aspirations to become fitter.

So this Monday was the third week of our dance routines for Bollywood and Funk and the final for each particular genres dances. I was determined to remember at least ONE dance in it's entirity so, if only to prove to myself, I could see what I've spent all this money on (and also to show off my skills, for charitable endeavours, by say entertaining the troops in Afghanistan (ahem)!

Alas, this was not to be...The third and final trying week introduced the element of partners!
Okay, if looking like an uncoordinated startled bear on prozac wasn't enough, I now had to meld these thuddings and thumpings with someone else in some semblence of rhythm. The instructor had gone one syncopated-step too far! Introductory classes people, introductory.

My poor partner turned out to be, ironically, the only male in the class and Indian at that. So one distinct advantage, being a Bollywood dance, offset with one distinct disadvantage - that being paired with me, not male ofcourse ;-) . Anyway, needless to say I was a knockout. My poor partner was, dare I say it, worse than me!

I look forward to next week and a set of two new routines and two left feet with which to perform them!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Today I saw a movie.

It was a documentary. A tragic story about Hope.

It was about Amal. Her name means hope - but it should, and will now, be synonymous with courage.

Amal Basry watched The Titanic at a cinema in Baghdad the night before she fled Iraq. 18 months later the people smuggling boat she was on sank between Indonesia and Australia. 353 people drowned. Amal survived by clinging to the floating body of a dead woman for 22 hours. Now Amal fights to ensure that the disaster is not forgotten, reunite her family and 'find what it was I lost in the ocean'.

I do not remember this tragedy. If I did, I would have only remembered it as 'another lot of asylum seekers' trying to get to Australia.

I am now ashamed of my own narrow-mindedness.

I don't know alot about asylum seekers, refugees, illegal imigrants - but I know more that I used to - and I have Andrew to thank for my new-found awareness of social justice issues.

For your interest, from reading the VORTCS site (our refugee tutoring association) -

1) Because boat arrivals receive much publicity, it is often thought that the number of asylum seekers entering Australia is increasing. According to the Refugee Council of Australia, the number of asylum applications lodged in Australia decreased from 12,366 in 2001 to 5,766 in 2002.

2) Australia received fewer asylum applications than just about any other similar country between 1997 and 2003. And Australia only granted 17.8% of these asylum applications – compared with 57.8% in Canada, 34.7% in the United Kingdom and 28.8% in the United States.

3) Arriving without appropriate papers should not be interpreted as an attempt to defraud the system. By definition, refugees and asylum seekers are people who are at risk of persecution, most often from their government. Applying for a passport and/or an exit visa can be far too dangerous for some refugees; so too can be an approach to an Australian Embassy for a visa. These actions can put their lives, and those of their families, at risk. In such cases refugees may have to travel on forged documents or bypass regular migration channels and arrive without papers. In other situations, refugees have to flee immediately and do not have the opportunity to gather the correct paperwork before they leave their homes.

Today I saw a movie.

I didn't enjoy it - instead I was moved to tears.

And I thought how lucky I am!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And so endeth another week...

Top 5 Fave's for the week ending the 8th:

1) The stupid conversations I have with Andrew - in particular trying to mime a sudden brilliant plan I had tonight of going to Freestyle Tout for dessert. Let me recreate the madness...

So to get the ball rolling, I introduced him to the fact I may have had a cunning plan! This involved Andrew's favourite "Kia eyes" (the explanation will take too long) and once hooked (I took the bemused frowning as encouragement), I followed this winner up with silly arm movements, to indicate my 'freestyling' dance. After guesses of Bollywood and serious psychiatric disorder - I had an inkling that I may be floundering alittle - so I tried to break it down into 'style' (involved pouting and puffed out chest?!) and.....well, there was no And, as I finally shouted FREESTYLES FOR DESSERT at his blank face. Needless to say he put me in my place straight away, "Why didn't you just mime swimming?"...hmm, damn my neglected Articulate practice.

2) Andrew/Jenisms:

  • A: "The steak took 17.5 minutes, only turned it once, with 7 mins on the first side and about 9mins on the other" J: "Oh there's no 'about' it Andrew!".
  • J: "Did you notice the echo?". Andrew looking quizzically at me over the table.."No". J: "Huh, huh, huhhh.. see that echo with the wine bottle". A: "Ah yes, another glass for you Mrs Morrison!". (nb: there was an echo with the empty wine bottle when you directed your voice at it!...good experiment should you get bored with your dining partner at the table!)
  • A: "That pepper says best by 2002!". J: in supercilious scientist voice "Andrew pepper doesn't go off!" (my standard response to anything with a due-by date suggesting we should be dead by now).

Gold for Morrisons!

3) Sundays, relaxing ones (in this case with in-laws up the coast), where you finally get your spiritually starved souls to church in the morning and follow that up with some serious journalism - well, we searched for it in the Sunday papers for quite some time anyway! Then another good serve for the soul, in the form of Songs of Praise. Yes, you heard me admit it here first! I might as well go the whole hog and say that, not only am I a fan of Antique roadshow, but I do enjoy abit of Songs of Praise on the side! I'll search for the appropriate group to associate myself with on Facebook and truly come out of the vestment closet. I have to say there's something really nice about visiting (with Aled no less) historic churches from all over the beautiful English countryside, set to some well-sung hymns, to make you feel like it's Sunday! (put away those aghast expressions!)

4) Getting through presenting 3hrs worth of training on Quarantine Diseases and not blowing it! Even the curly questions I got from the participants didn't throw me too much (no I'm not 100% sure that the fungi found in Tuttenkhamen's tomb would be viable after 5000yrs!) nor the fact that some were nodding off right before my eyes!

5) The anticipation which gets you through the week because it's a LONG WEEKEND...need I say any more!

Thumbs down:

There not being four days to the long weekend, so you can fit in seeing friends AND the dreaded domestic duties!

NB - WATCH THIS SPACE for exciting news concerning a joint venture with a friend...
NNB - Actually it may not happen overnight, but it will happen! (we hope)
NNBB - aaah, that DOESN'T have any reference to babies!...well, not the obvious one you might think!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Did I mention rambling?.....

Ah yes, never one to scrimp on the side serve of words, is old McWaffle here!

It's an egotistical thing obviously - the need to draw people into alignment with your own (dis)illusions of mastery. I admit, I'm a lover of wordplay and she is being used and abused by me, well and truly! Min can attest to the beginnings of my foray into fraternising with the flourishing font of imagery. Ah, those were the good years!

But alas, the font has succumbed to the drought too and it is now no more than a recalcitrant bubbler. No more do I put on my foppish hat and delve deep into my soul, pouring out twisted tributes to anything and nothing. I am a surface dweller, a bubbler without the lever. But, in the begginning there was:


Deep down,

below the shell of skin,

further still,

past the barrier of bones

guarding organs


(within) a twin lies,

sheltered, seldom ever shown

never exposed, leads a life of its own.

Deep down,

dark lined walls
of the tunnel,

of the well,

beneath the surface.

(surface) memories and events,

line the raw surrounds

Deep down,

Deep down

Deep down

gaining momentum,

spun wildly

out of control.

A downpour of emotions,


floundering, reaching

towards the inner sanctum

of the twin.

In black troubled waters,

slowly drowning,

Deep Down.

;-)....woohoo for the Q's b'day

Thursday, June 5, 2008


"I wasn't looking at the horizon. I know that it's all around me, but I wasn't looking at it."...."But two days ago, I got used to looking into the distance. And I saw that besides tables, chairs and objects, my world also included the mountains, clouds, the sky. And my soul - my soul seems to have eyes that is uses to touch those things."
The Valkyries (Paulo Coelho)

"But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never know. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I'm going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don't want to do so."

The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

This would have started a good ramble about the limitlessness of our horizons and where they can lead us, should we be aware enough to look outward. It would also have touched on how realisation of the limits we impose on ourselves can occur when we take our hands away from our eyes. The pleasure and overwhelming limitless is at once awe inspiring and frightening.

But now that all seems trite for a topic that sprun to mind as I noticed the beauty of winter in the warm rays enriching the Brisbane city-scape one afternoon. The same afternoon I had one of those moments when you dissasociate from consciousness and realise - I am an ant.

You have to look no further than those quotes above to get a good idea of what I would have said anyway. Instead I'm going to recount some reflections on others journeys - small stories of others horizons and how they have stared at them and expanded their souls.


When I think of liberation of the soul, I think of Bronwyn, and in particular her recent journey overseas ( When I think of a slogan for her I also think "just do it". Uncertain that her job was giving her fulfilment, she didn't just keep on thinking what could be, but thought -what next! I admire her so much for taking leaps and bounds where I would fear to take the first tentative step across the line from comfort to uncertainty - to the horizon and all it holds. Her driving force is not comfort and complacency but discovery and compassion....oh and a good shot of demestos to clear the way forward ;-). This gloved crusador, for all things experiential, gives me hope that one day I'll remove the shield of fear and go forth and conquer those ambitions - one Machu Pichu at a time.


When I think of altruism I think of the elder sister of our refugee family. Roya is the "hostess with the mostest". She cooks, cleans and struggles to keep her orphaned teenage/early adult siblings living together harmoniously as they struggle against her seemingly 'imposed' authority. Every Wednesday Roya and her family greet us with open arms and bottomless cups of spiced tea as we attempt to offer whatever feeble english tuition we can give - usually in the form of 'conversational' english! Every Wednesday they thank us profusely and we leave (stomach's moaning and bladder's bloated) overwhelmed by their fortitude and our own easy fortune. Their gratitude for something we take for granted is so moving and humbling, and their belief in the rewarding horizons so encouraging.

Roya who realises so well the situation at hand, yet is so powerless to stop her family breaking apart thinks her engagment will be the salve that is needed to heal wounds. She thinks nothing of herself, nor her happiness but of her family and their needs. I was moved to tears, when she was talking about her engagement and her response to my question of whether she loved her husband-to-be " he's a good man.. I think".

If I think my horizons are limited by fear, I think of the actual adversity this family has seen and endured and yet continues to look outward and ever forward with keen eyes and feverent hearts. They believe in Australia, the land and the people, as just and fair. Persecution has not stopped now they are here, but it takes another more insidious, unaccountable form. Yet still they believe in the prospect of golden soil and wealth for toil, in the home of the young and free.

Personally, I take great stock not only from these people, but from all my friends, family and whomever I have shared, even fleetingly, a connection. I see in others what I yearn for myself and thereby adopt parts of all these connections into who I am and want to be. Nature vs Nurture doesn't begin and end in the womb, that's for sure! I often marvel at how little 'me' there is in myself. I am so much a collection of others, good and bad. Like my hair colour, which I have tried to so vainly to disguise for so many years, do I really remember anymore what is natural, intrinsictly me? But that's for another 'non-rambling' blog :-) ...

Anyway, nothing warms my heart more than new perspectives and random bursts of totally truthful moments. The smile from an unexpected source, the handmade card from an overworked colleague, the small yet natural conversation with a stranger, the discovery of knowledge you thought was beyond your emulsified memories, the stirring of the desire for neural wealth, the softness and warmth of the setting sun on a winter's day, the opportunities we can only chance upon and never properly express, and the joy of our natural world - life being lived all around me, interconnecting with me and continuing without me - for me to observe and enjoy and contribute to.

"The wise men understood that this natural world is only an image and a copy of paradise. The existence of this world is simply a guarantee that there exists a world that is perfect. God created the world so that, through its visible objects, men could understand his spiritual teachings and marvel of his wisdom."
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)