six unrelated things
TV shows often depict one step in emergency resuscitation as an almighty punch in the chest. I have this exact feeling – in a figurative sense – with my children from time to time. This week I read essays they have recently written, one on constitutional law, and the other on Yeats and modernism, and felt that bang, that thump into consciousness: these children are adults, articulate, independent and so smart. The shock is repeated from time to time in the whiplash fast forward effect of their growing up. When did that happen? It’s one of those things you know and understand, and at the same time, cannot quite believe.
‘Six Impossible Things’ was shortlisted for the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Award for older readers – YAY! – with ‘Graffiti Moon’ by Cath Crowley, ‘The Piper’s Son’ by Melina Marchetta, ‘About a Girl’ by Joanne Horniman, ‘The Midnight Zoo’ by Sonya Hartnett and ‘The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher’ by Doug MacLeod. I am really thrilled, and have once again had the weird sensation of feeling happy for Dan, (my protagonist). I do know he’s a character, not a person, but that is the way it feels.
Toffee glass is always a good idea – it looks beautiful, eating toffee reminds you of being a kid, and it’s so easy to make. We had a birthday here recently and I made a plum and fig and hazelnut and dark chocolate cake with toffee glass.
Put one cup of castor sugar and one quarter of a cup of water in a saucepan. Stir over low heat to dissolve sugar. Turn heat up to medium – high enough for rapid bubbling – and stop stirring. Let it bubble away for about four or five minutes, till it turns golden and smells like toffee. Pour onto a foil lined baking tray and spread quickly with a knife. Cool. Break into shards.
Walking with the old doggie takes forever these days, so you get to stop to look at stuff like this –
and this – for a long time…
I love the secret signs that are plastered all over the place; they remind me of ‘Down Below the Street’, from Sesame Street.
I preserved some lemons. We had lemons, because of the rain, unlike last year. One of my favourite ingredients for middle eastern dishes. Apparently delayed gratification is good for us. And you can’t eat these for a month, because that’s how long the preserving takes. Strange fact of preserving: you go through all the palaver of sterilising the jars, but then you jam the lemons in with your (washed, but not sterile) hands. Squeezing them down to release juice is part of the deal: you can’t just tip them in. And into the jar goes (washed, but not sterile) lemons, cinamon, cloves, fennel seeds, bay leaves. And salt – who knows how clean that is? I know it’s a preserving agent, but who’s to say rats haven’t just had a party on it before it’s packed?
Sad, sad news – even for distant fans, Gerard Smith, TV On The Radio bassist, died on Wednesday. I’m linking a song, Killer Crane, because I’m guessing musicians might like to be remembered for the music they made, and this clip has some nice photo montage material of the band. The idea of someone dying of lung cancer at the age of 36 is heartbreaking.