Friday, September 27, 2013

Jewelled Junk


How spoiled we are! Once we were peasants!
No jewels and no birthday presents!
No furs to wear, no silken gowns,
No diadems or golden crowns!
Of course, I speak of my ancestors!
I really cannot vouch for yours!
They may have been from the upper class
Eating from gold, drinking from glass!
But mine were definitely low
In the years long, long ago.
I can't lay claim to blood that's blue;
Mine had a very ruddy hue!
Yet now there's more equality.
You don't seem much more 'posh' than me!
And all of us wear 'junk' (it's plastic)
And manage to look quite fantastic!
Here, at the market, I can buy
Glittery stuff that takes my eye.
Serf and master? Those days are gone;
Humankind has traveled on.
I need no longer feel inferior
Because of my dull and drab exterior!
Here, for just a dollar or two
I can look fancy, just like you.



What on earth is 'Wasabi?' Once I asked that question.
And now I know I feel that it could cause me indigestion!
I found a recipe that's called 'Firecracker Salad'. Yes!
The writer of the recipe has a fire-proof tongue I guess!
He introduces it like this, with 'BAM!' all upper-case!
The very word makes my poor heart beat at a faster pace!
Then he says 'Clear your sinuses with this tasty little treat!'
(So it seems that it's medicinal and not just nice to eat!)
He then describes the runny eyes, the nose that's turning red!
I'm starting to look on Wasabi as something I should dread!
Anyway, the recipe is just potato salad,
Not anything exotic that deserves a bounteous ballad!
Potatoes cooked, potatoes chopped, some onion, quite ho-hum;
It seems this Firecracker Salad is as boring as they come.
Green pepper? OK! Add a bit but it's still not cordon bleu!
I thought a Firecracker Salad might cause something of a stir!
Aha! Here comes the burning bit, the taste to cause a blaze!
'Mix it all with lashings of Wasabi Mayonnaise!'
Mayonnaise with Wasabi Powder! He didn't give proportions;
But I think recipes like this should come supplied with cautions!
His final phrase, an understatement, as I'm sure he knows,
Says 'It does pack a little heat!' Crikey! Stone the crows!
Now I'm the sort of lady who likes her cooking mild;
If I add some Soy Sauce I feel I'm pretty wild!
Horse Radish is beyond the pale; it's really much too hot,
So, when it comes to Wasabi, what hope have I got?
I prefer my eyes non-runny; I prefer my nose pale pink.
So if I'm offered Wasabi I'll turn it down, I think.


Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2012


It has been a year since I contributed to this blog. Although I'm fast approaching 82, life is so busy that I just haven't got round to it. Now there's a little quiet time in my life and I thought I'd give it another go. I always enjoy reading the reports from other people so.......I last wrote in September 2011 and now it's October 2012, so the dates fit quite neatly.


Outside my window...Spring is in full bloom. The sky is a brilliant blue and all the birds are singing.

I am thinking...what a fortunate woman I am, with all my family members living nearby and with a delightful circle of women friends as well.

I am thankful...that, apart from a temporarily (I hope) painful knee, I am extremely fit and active for my age.

In the kitchen...nothing is going on. I'm going out for supper tonight so Malcolm has had a main-meal lunch at the local club so that he'll only need a snack tonight.

I am wearing...a rather old, light mauve and turquoise blouse, with a spencer under it because there's still a chill in the breeze. I'm also wearing mauve and turquoise beads and ear-rings. I'm not a snazzy dresser, like some of my friends, but I do like things matching!

I am creating...this blog page. But I have ideas for a new play festering away in my mind. A friend has asked me to write a little comedy about Lawn Bowls, to take around to bowling clubs, but I first have to find out more about the game!

I am the VIEW club tonight. This is a ladies' club whose soul purpose is to raise money for The Smith Family, a local charity. I joined the group when its meeting coincided with the meeting of his Car Club. He no longer goes to the Car Club, but I still continue with VIEW, because I like the company of the members.

I am wondering...whether we will have a really bad bush-fire season this year. We have had two years of drenching rain and so there's a lot of fuel for fires. We are safe here, in a city on the edge of the sea, but I still find bush-fires terrifying.

I am reading...'The Help' which is the chosen book for my Book Group this month. I am enjoying it so much. I saw the film, but I think the book is infinitely better.

I am hoping...the pain in my knee is going to ease-up soon!

I am looking forward to...tomorrow. I am taking my melodrama group to perform at a local church. The play is called 'Between the Sheets'! It's about a Librarian saving his girl-friend from a 'fate worse than death' through a clue left in a library book. I write song-parodies so there's a lot of audience-involvement.

I am learning......oh dear! I don't think I'm learning anything!!!!

Around the house...As we intend to sell-up and move into retirement accommodation in about four years, we're not doing much to the house, but we feel the carpet will need cleaning any day soon!

I am pondering...the state of the world. I do it frequently. If there were no newspapers, or news broadcasts I'd think the whole world was happy (it seems to be so here) but, unfortunately, the world intrudes. There has just been a ghastly murder in Melbourne, and that has unsettled everyone.

A favourite quote for today...'Ladies! If a man says he'll fix something, he will. There's no need to remind him every six months!' I saw this on-line the other day and it made me smile!

One of my favourite a beetroot sandwich!!! I love beetroot in any form and I've just had some for lunch. I believe it's good for you but I'd eat it even if it wasn't!

I'll add my most recent photo. This is my melodrama group, taken at a get-together last week. We had just presented a program of two plays at a local community centre and we were meeting to discuss the pros and cons. I am the lady on the far left in the front, in a white top.

 My main blog is at   On it you can find many photos of my activities  and my family as well as regular poems about Life with a Capital L. See you there! Just typing Rinkly Rimes into Google will take you there.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September 2011


September 2011
I start with the Simple Woman's format and continue on as a journal.

Outside my window.. there are grey skies, frequent showers and an altogether dreary day, but at least we managed to have a  walk around the lake before the weather set-in.
I am thinking...that I don't feel like cooking this-evening, because I had a hearty lunch at the Awaba Art Gallery, so I'll just make Malcolm an omelette! 
I am thankful...that I haven't anything urgent to do tomorrow. I'll stay in out of the rain and sort out my Summer clothes. The clocks go forward tonight.
In the kitchen...Malcolm is making a cup of tea as I write!
I am wearing...grey slacks, grey and black top and green jacket. The jacket is really for outdoor wear, but I haven't taken it off since coming home!
I am creating...not much at the moment. I completed my ideas for the children's book and they've all gone off to Peter, but I must gather some writing ideas together so that I have something to work on on the coach next Friday, when we set off for a South Coast holiday.
I am going... to Merimbula on Friday, with a group of about forty 'friends'.
I am wondering...if Greg and his family have set-off yet for Byron Bay. They're going up there for a week.
I am reading...nothing at the moment but I have just completed 'The Book Thief', which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I am hoping...Greg and his family arrive at Byron Bay safely! The main road is bad at holiday times.
I am looking forward to.. a week full of activity..... rehearsals, poetry performances and a church concert.
I am hearing...that wretched tinnitus . But I can also hear distant cheers from the TV downstairs, which is showing Geelong winning the AFL (Australian Football) Grand Final . 99,000 fans make quite a loud noise!
Around the house... things are demanding attention. Tomorrow I must try to defrost the fridge before I go on holiday!
I am pondering...which clothes to take on Friday. The weather is so changeable at this time of year that I think 'layers' are the answer.
One of my favorite my camera. I clicked a few things today which can be seen on my main blog......
A few plans for the rest of the week.......I must make them tomorrow. I always set-out the various scripts etc that I need in order on the spare bed.

Now to September.

The month started with Father's Day. All the family came round and I managed to get a photo of us all together. I ruined this one by grimacing. I think I was squeezing Max a bit too hard! The two little boys, Max and Harry, belong to our son, Greg, on the left, and the older boy, Blake, is my daughter's son. The dog is Banjo. He belongs to Blake but has a crush on Malcolm.

I gave a talk on Graphology at Malcolm's Club. I became very interested in it when I was living in S Africa. I know very little but I managed to whet the appetites of the audience. 

On the same day Malcolm was sporting a patch over one eye as he'd just had laser surgery (which was successful). He's wearing a 'necklace' because he's President of the Club! I caught him off-guard.
Another day we went with friends to have lunch at Valentine, on the Lake. This was our view.

Friend Joan and I had lunch together at the Bowling Club one day. No-one will ever recognise her from this photo! But the green comes up well!

A group including children was playing Barefoot Bowls as we were eating and they all seemed to have a great time.  

The Book Group held its monthly meeting at our house. This was rather a special meeting as the daughter of a friend has just had a novel published at she came to talk to us about the process. Our lounge is only small, but it was a cool night so we didn't mind all squashing-in.

The Choir made its annual trip up to Cessnock to sing at a Church Retirement Village. Here is Betty introducing an old war song 'Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major'. We do sing other, more melodic, songs too!

And a few days later a few of us went to a local social group to perform our little melodrama, 'Pirate Pie' The weather was glorious so we posed in the garden with the roses afterwards.

When the School Holiday started we had Max and Harry for a sleepover and then took them, along with Rebecca and Blake, to the Museum. Here they are enjoying one of the child-friendly exhibits.

As the month drew to an end, Malcolm and I went on an excursion to the Southern Highlands, where the climate is quite different from coastal New South Wales. Here I am admiring the bluebells, very exotic flowers for Australia.

The month ended with a Pre Holiday Get-Together at Shirley's house. I think our trip to Merimbula will be a great success.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I start with the Simple Woman's format and continue on as a journal.

Outside my window...there are signs of Spring; it's a beautiful day and we have three months of pleasant weather ahead of us before it gets too hot!
I am thinking...I'm very happy to have had my old computer replaced but I wish I were cleverer at learning all the new bells and whistles!.
I am thankful...wearing heeled shoes has enabled me to stride out without getting sore muscles in my legs.
In the kitchen...there is not much going on! There will be cold pork and salad for supper tonight.
I am slacks and  jumper with a blue sleeveless jacket.
I am creating...havoc! My melodramas have refused to move from the old computer to the new and I'm wrestling with possible losses and re-writings!
I am going... to the local markets on Saturday. They're on every month but they're particularly enticing this time of the year. Then I'm due for a busy week.
I am wondering...if my New York friend's apartment suffered at all in the big storm. She's away in England.
I am reading...this month's book group book, 'Beyond Fear'. It's been written by a friend's daughter and she's coming to the next meeting to discuss it.
I am hoping...I see some nice new Spring clothes soon. The shops are bulging because there's a turn-down in trade, but I just can't see what I want. I need to be 16 again!.
I am looking forward to...Malcolm completing the screen he's making for my melodrama group. We sometimes need to 'disappear'!
I am hearing...doves and tinnitus .
Around the house...things don't look too bad, but my study is a tip as I turned things out madly searching for melodramas that had, possibly, disappeared!
I am pondering...what to give the Book Group to eat this month. I'm not the world's best cook and I tend to stress about entertaining.
One of my favorite my Blog. I've been at it for three years now and I'm still hooked on daily writing. My poetry blog is
A few plans for the rest of the week....... to make a tape for my guitarist friend, Suzie. She's going to join the accompaniment of our Family and Friends play so she wants to work on the music.

Now to August
Spring arrived quite early in the month and the Walking Group had a terrific walk right round the suburb and back to the beach. On the way we passed early spring flowers so I've included a shot which shows them.

We also viewed the new Surf House on the way. Opinions are divided about it. It's going to be a very large glass building, and so many locals like Merewether the way it is....slightly behind the times.

Of course, no month is complete without some melodrama performances. The one below was performed at Panthers, a local Club. In this picture the Vicar is reading the telegrams at the Bush Wedding. They were a bit 'naughty' so he didn't understand them!

Then we did the same play (called 'Tiddly Pom') at an evening club. Here is Betty, the MC, rounding-off the evening.

Sometimes I go out on my own to perform my poetry. One evening I performed at the Exchange Hotel. I felt rather out of place as I was very conservatively dressed, but the poems went down well.

One day we had lunch at The Brewery, on the Waterfront.It was a lovely day and the place was bustling.

Even when we were inside, having our meal, we were able to look out on a lovely river vista.

On another occasion we had a drive into inland New South Wales to visit an area with English names, two being Windsor and Richmond. In an earlier era this was an area much loved by painters and our tour took us around to see the views and to compare them with the paintings. Now it is an area of wealthy homes, because it's very rural and yet within commuting distance of Sydney.

We were delighted to see blossoms on the fruit trees. I think they said these were nectarines.

Some dwellings were not mansions. This was an old inn from bushranging days. 

Shortly after this trip Malcolm fell in love with an old MG and bought it! Here he is sitting in the driver's seat for the first time! You can't see the grin, but it was there!

We were treated like swells at our next melodrama venue! There was even a dressing-room with Artists written on the door and lights round the mirrors! We usually have to change in the toilets!

This is my favourite shot from the Melodrama 'Tiddly Pom' at the brand new Charlestown Bowling Club. Nigel (Loretta) and Belinda (Joy) are receiving post wedding congratulations. The wedding guests drank virtual champagne!

That was Wednesday. On Thursday we had another show. This time it was a shorter, sillier one called 'Pirate Pie' and we performed this at a place called Argenton. I didn't take any photos because the 'girls' were acting with their backs to the light. The next day we acted again, this time at an old folks club called The Coffee Pot. As you can see, the audience was quite docile, but they joined in the fun and we had a lovely lunch afterwards.

Of course, there were other un-photographed events during the month. We didn't see much of the family. Rebecca is so busy with the Income Tax season, and Greg never seems to draw breath! But we had the boys every Thursday and tha's always fun. There were Choir Practices each week and one Choir Performance, and we enjoyed our monthly Scrabble session too.

I only hope everyone else enjoyed August as much as I did!

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 2011

I start with the Simple Women's format and continue on as a journal.

Outside my window...the sun is shining and a football game is going on on the oval next-door.
I am thinking...I really should be attempting to shift the Writer's Block which is affecting my newest project.
I am thankful...that I'm so lucky to have lived so long and happily.
In the kitchen...there is a large joint of beef I want my husband to cut to fit inside my slow cooker.
I am wearing...a blue jumper and matching jacket with slacks. I put the jacket on when I went to the shops and it's too chilly to take it off again!
I am creating...a childrens' book, with a cartoonist friend of mine, but my side of it is not going well.
I am going...nowhere this weekend. Next week is very full....a beachfront walk on Monday, teaching Public Speaking at a local school and putting on one of my plays in the evening on Tuesday......and so it goes.
I am wondering...what the ache is at the top of my leg. I always think everything's cancer!
I am reading...the enormously fat weekend papers, which are full of woe.
I am hoping...I see something of my daughter this week; she works in Income Tax so she's run off her feet at present.
I am looking forward to...everything.
I am hearing...birdsong; they seem to think it's Spring but there's still a month to go.
Around the house...on the surface everything looks good but oh those cupboards!
I am to present my September talk on Graphology.
One of my favorite chocolate. We only have it at the weekend and it's like a childish treat.
A few plans for the rest of the week....... to REALLY work on that children's book!

I was surprised to see that I had some new Followers on this Blog, although I haven't added anything to it for months it seems. I think two poems of mine from my main Blog, Rinkly Rimes, crept in by mistake.

But I like the format and I enjoy reading about the lives of other people, so I'm back again to consider how my life has been during July.
As usual it has been very social. It being winter we've been in the house more than usual and we've had the boys around sometimes, of course. Usually, it's just on a Thursday, when we collect them from school, but all three of them were at our house one weekend and they decided to have a wrestle!
Afterwards Blake said farewell to his little dog, Banjo, who was staying with us while the family went camping. I thought they were mad as the night temperature inland dips below freezing at this time of year! Anyway, it appears that the warmer months are dangerous because of snakes, so they decided to brave the cold. They went to an area where the river has recently been stocked with fish and, by all accounts, they had a good time. Rather them than me! (Sorry about Banjo's eyes! It appears dogs have 'blue eye' rather than red when the flash is used.)
The weather was very wintry while Rebecca, Brian and Blake were away. We had enormous seas. Sometimes the waves were too high for even the surfers to risk them.
Most of the socialising was of the indoor-type in July, as one would expect. The Choir did a concert at an Old Age facility early in the month. They actually did another one last week but I was unable to go. I was also unable to go on The Walk one day as I bit into my muesli a little too hard one morning and bit a tooth in half. I had to have an emergency appointment at the dentist's for an extraction, instead of taking a brisk walk with my friends! Here is the choir performance I managed to attend.
Later in the month we performed one of my little melodramas at a Church drop-in centre. It was an old one, 'Unhand Me!', but it was new to this audience. We were given a really sumptuous lunch afterwards.

We had our Book Club evening mid-month. We discussed 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' which is about a well-known Australian mogul and his family. We all decided we'd rather be us! Here are Gwen, Pam and Gwenda enjoying the evening.
The next little flurry of excitement was Betty's birthday party. She's the one in black here. This was the only photo that came out at all well. Bev organised  a quiz and the prizes were bank-notes with Betty's face on them. Strangely enough, the shops wouldn't accept them!
 The most recent social occasion was Malcolm's club's Xmas in July luncheon. Xmas in July is very big in Australia as it's usually too hot for traditional fare in December. I made-up a poem for the occasion which went down quite well.
There were several other enjoyable events in the month but they were not photographed. I got together with my friend, Peter, the cartoonist on the local paper, to discuss a book idea. He always incorporates his little dog, Romeo, in his cartoons, and we're attempting to write a childrens' book about the dog. So he came for coffee and we tossed some ideas around. Nothing concrete yet, though, and we know it's an uphill battle, getting things 'out there'.
I also met a new aquaintance, Maureen, for coffee and we discussed concert ideas. She directs the Broke Festival. (Broke is a small NSW town but the performers come from all over) It's held at a winery, which sounds promising! Not that I drink wine, but I like the atmosphere it creates.
Malcolm and I also had a very tasty lunch at our friend Pam's place one Sunday. Unfortunately, there was a mix-up with the dates so we were the only people to turn up! Which meant we had a feast of pork crackling!
All our Fridays have been taken-up with melodrama rehearsals, of course. We meet for lunch and then rehearse in the room upstairs in a room the management allows us to use. We always have a great time, although my reputation as a bossy-boots grows with each play!
My Nanny Nap was disturbed today by a big local Rugby Football match! This is a very peaceful neighbourhood, but we are sometimes invaded by Saturday Sport. I took a few shots from my bedroom balcony. Theey are practising on our median strip.

Australia has been horrified by the news from Norway, of course. It's only a small country (about the same population as NZ) so they can never have expected such chaos. We're also quite disturbed about the American financial situation and we're hoping a default doesn't cause  a world-wide slow-down. We've come through the Global Turndown very well, due to our minerals, but our high dollar is causing problems. Our dollar is now worth $1.10 US, and that makes our exports too expensive. I suppose we'll all muddle through as usual.
See you in August.
Brenda Bryant.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A June Beach



We took a picnic tea down to the water,
Though it was chilly, even in the sun.
This is the view we looked at as we sat there.
It's very clear that winter has begun.
The oval pool you see here is the children's,
Obviously emptied for a clean,
But still some hardy souls are by the water
Though it's definitely not a summer scene.



Maxine and I, we think as one!
Old age is really not much fun!
Finding that ones outer shell
Is giving-up is just pure hell!
Parts that once were lithe and slim
Now are shriveled-up and grim!
Parts once rounded now are fat,
And really not worth looking at!
People say 'For goodness sake
Don't leap naked from a birthday cake!'
Doctors really earn their pay
Studying, day after day,
Every ghastly variation
On the human situation!
But, though I am an old has-been
My brain is fixed at about sixteen!
And I'm sure Maxine is just the same!
Both of us still in the game!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March Past

A muted Autumn in the Domain, Sydney.


And so the world turns, yet, every year, the turning still astounds us,
As we compare our seasons and the weather that surrounds us.
So here is March and here we feel the bite has left the sun;
Day after day of 'English Summer' refreshes everyone.
While 'you' have shivered in the snow, we've broiled in summer heat,
And the gentleness of early Autumn's deliriously sweet.
The sun still glows, but later, and with a gentler light,
And everyone remarks on how they're sleeping cool at night.
In New South Wales, where I live, the trees are always green,
So our Autumn isn't brilliant, for few russet trees are seen.
This is my homesick time of year when I long for years gone by
When March meant sunny daffodils beneath a blustery sky.

A riot of Spring in London

And so the world turns every year, all the world is synchronised.
Yet every year we're comparing notes, and acting all surprised!



No pen or pencil
Could better stencil
The patterns on the bark.
Each leaf outlining,
Against the shining,
In a perfect leaf-like mark.