Five Sentence Fiction – Potions

Word Prompt- Potions

She paused briefly that morning to read the daily horoscopes, one line in particular making her smile –   ‘ Your potions will cause a commotion’

Really, she thought to herself as she sprayed the new Calvin Klein perfume ‘ Lust’ on her wrists, how do they come up with such ludicrous statements?

Yet on the walk to the bus stop that morning, two Jack Russel Terriers and a Tom Cat, followed her on ground level, a flock of homing pigeons circled her from above.

As she waited for the bus, a  teenage boy, who looked all of 14, blushed as he remarked that she smelt like buttered popcorn

Not quite the commotion she was expecting….but a commotion just the same….Calvin Klein’s ‘Lust’ had gone to work, just not in a very conventional way!

Breakfast Lust Story

A short story…about breakfast!

She had a crush on the waiter at her local café.

It was impossible not too.

He possessed a curly mop of hair, unruly, untamed, his skin was olive and he towered over her, she liked men who were taller than her.

Then there was his accent ( which she had from good authority was Canadian) and lastly, his confidence, self belief…that was what sealed the deal…this café kid was cool.

And he knew it….

She’d been frequenting this café on and off for the past month…always hopeful that her scrambled eggs with mushrooms on the side would be delivered to her table by him.

If this wasn’t the case, she didn’t mind…she had a back up plan….she would order two coffees, one at a time, thus increasing the odds of a brief encounter.

She loved his flirtatious nature…Or was it all in her head?

On her last visit, as she perused the menu, he had approached the table.

This made is hard to concentrate…however, as a regular, she already had her mind made up ….But she kept her eyes on the menu none the less…The longer she did this, the longer he would have to stand there ( oh the elation!)

Time stood still.

She looked up, catching his gaze

As she did, she put on her best attempt at a face that implied she was confused / overwhelmed by the menu…..She called it her – What exactly should I have? Oh, please kind waiter, what would you suggest?? – face.

It worked.

‘What would you like?’ said the waiter in her direction ‘You can have WHATEVER you want’

In a split second her brain fired a primal response.

‘I’ll have YOU thanks’

And all thoughts of a scrambled eggs with a side of mushrooms vanished….instead she was being hoisted onto his broad shoulders, out of the café, off on his motorbike, heading in the direction of the sun, the sea…destination wunderlust.

She realised he was waiting…waiting for her response….she almost had to pinch herself, hadn’t she just ordered him for breakfast?

The blank look on the faces of her breakfast companions suggested it might be the case, but she eventually  interpreted their facial expression as one of dismay…‘The waiter has asked for your order, hurry up…we are hungry!’

‘ Scrambled eggs with a side of mushrooms thanks’

And in an instant he redirected his gaze, taking the remaining orders from her group…never to return.

And although her breakfast was tasty and the two long blacks hit the spot….she was filled with  regret at not giving her  primal order precedent over the request for food and beverages….

In her heart of hearts, she knew her first order  would have been far more satisfying.

Healthy Chocolate Crackles

Dedicated to D.P.A, Happy 1st Birthday

D.P.A turns ONE

D.P.A turns ONE

My friends beautiful baby boy turned 1 yesterday

Hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the birth of D.P.A

But one has to believe….it was a year ago that this blog post appeared, heralding in D.P.A’s triumphant arrival to planet earth: D.P.A’s first blog appearance, Oct 2011

For his birthday celebrations, in keeping in line with my low carb /low sugar approach to life, I set about researching kids party food treats….my heart set on making chocolate crackles.

The humble chocolate crackle…the very thought evokes memories of childhood…birthday parties, celebrations and all things nice, sugar and spice.

And to my surprise…the  Chocolate Crackle recipe can be reworkedgoodness can be inserted, with the nasties left out…all the while staying true to flavour and texture.

And so Hip Hip Hooray for D.P.A’s first birthday, and for this little / big man ( D.P.A might just have turned one, but he is already in size two clothing!) inspiring and challenging me to create healthy sweet treats for young and the young at heart to enjoy.

Healthy Chocolate Crackles

Ingredients

125g coconut oil ( 8 tablespoons )

2 cups Puffed Brown Rice

3/4  cup desiccated coconut

¼ sweetener ( I used Nativa)

¼ cup Cocoa

Method

Melt coconut oil on low heat.

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Pour in melted coconut oil, stir till all ingredients combined.

Place in patty cases and refrigerate for 30 minutes ( or till set)

Enjoy the taste of childhood

Consumption Advice

One might not be enough!

Coconut oil melts in the heat…and I took these crackles to a beach bbq, on a hot day…and yep, the oil melted very quickly, and crackles did not hold their shape. Best enjoyed straight out of the fridge.

Catch up with a Mate- What’s it all about?

I am sitting in my car, my house / small flat / bed-sit and it’s infested with fleas ( YUK)

I am waiting for a pest removalist to come around and exterminate them all, every last one them…

Luckily I have my lap top with me…and I also have my wits about me….I deem this the perfect time to write a blog post.

Two days ago I got a reminder from the site that hosts my blog, WordPress, that Catch up with a Mate is up for its annual renewal ( meaning they want cash) Not much cash… but cash non the less!

It got me thinking…my blog is almost 1.5 years old…I can’t believe it!

It also got me thinking…what is my blog really about? Has it changed, grown, cross-pollinated since its humble conception in May 2011?

I have to say YES….the blog, like me, is changing…constantly….

Initially the blog was used as a vehicle for documenting catch up’s with friends/ mates. I had hopes that by documenting my catch ups, others would be inspired to do the same.

I had hopes that places I visited, exhibitions, seaside pools and beaches, cafes and  restaurants I frequented would get people of the couch, and out and about in pairs / small groups….kind of the like 1980’s campaign ‘ Life be in it’ but with a 2011 twist.

I had visions of endless conversations and catch ups taking place in my local community, home town, and the movement sweeping the nation…and then the entire world.

Dream big or don’t dream at all!!

It is early days….the movement has gathered 29 blog followers, 8 email followers and I have 35 face book fans.

So far my most popular posts are about Anzac Biscuits, the death of Whitney Houston and my lament about not eating a chicko roll as a childhood in the post – The Taste of Childhood.

Anzac Biscuits

RIP Whitney Houston

The Taste of Childhood

It appears most of my followers are the result of my creative writing ventures…My weekly five sentence fiction stories bring the most ‘traffic’ ( blogging term for viewers!) Check out the blog ‘ Five Sentence Fiction’…hosted by the wonderful Lillie McFerrin…inspiring stuff: Five Sentence Fiction

My creative writing piece that has proved most popular was about Forbidden Love: Forbidden Love

Then there are the blog posts that have evolved over the past 1.5 years, the Friendship Fire Starters , posts offering suggestions on how to ignite friendships, new and old, posts on Domestic and International travel and as I explore low  carb / low sugar cooking options…you guest it…recipes have started to appear.

As I change my blog changes…it is evolving with me.

It is nice to see how far it has come, and exciting to think where it will take me and who will join me for the ride

So as I pay my humble renewal for the right to host my blog site…I do so with high hopes…that the Catch up with a Mate audience, small though it may be, will continue to be inspired , prompted to action ( ?!)  and engaged by its content for another 365

Five Sentence Fiction : Flawed

Word Prompt: Flawed

He had been in therapy for five years..five long, tiring, all-consuming years.

He’d been adamant ‘ he didn’t have a problem’ ‘ didn’t need to see a shrink’, but two years into the process he’d began to realise it was therapy that was giving him his life back.

The turning point had been the shrinks question ‘ Do you think you are bad, broken, unworthy, no good?’ ( classic shrink jargon that he had heard on countless visits)

Yet on that particular day these words resonated with him on a profound level…he finally felt strong enough to sit with his self constructed belief that he was ‘flawed’.

At first the question had led to a deeper depression, he entered yet another layer of darkness as he challenged this long-held misconception…yet he emerged, ever so slowly, stronger, self-assured and aware that the healing process had begun… one day he would feel whole again. 

Almond Meal Pancakes – with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

Dedicated to Little Lisa

Almond Meal pancakes with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

Almond Meal pancakes with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

The key to low carb / low sugar diets to treat each meal as a special occasion, a celebration.

Prepare each meal with love, think about the ingredients you will use in advance, planning is key….where will you source the fresh produce, a local market, health food store or supermarket?

Experiment…not everything will be success…but your failures in the kitchen will teach you as much as your successes do!

Enjoy the cooking process, the learning curve that you are on as gradually eliminate carbs and sugar food products from your diet.

Having just returned from holidays…I well and truly fell of the low carb/ low sugar bandwagon…But I am getting back on the horse…I REALLY noticed the effect of sugar on my body whilst away….The busy mind, difficulty with sleep and depleted energy sources ( it was as if I had a SUGAR hangover…it hurt!!)

But awareness of how my body reacts to sugar, more so than carbs, makes me more determined than ever pick up where I left off…So the low carb/ low sugar approach to life is once more in full swing.

And so I present Almond Meal Pancakes– with blueberries, lime and double cream

The perfect way to start ANY day

Makes 6 pancakes  / Serves 2-3 people

1 cup almond meal

2 Eggs

¼ water ( for puffier pancakes you could use sparkling water)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of Natvia/ Stivia ( optional…you may not want to add sweetener)

Punnet of Blueberries

Some heavenly double cream

Place butter in pan, melt and spread around the pan.

Spoon pancake patter into pan ( you may need to use the back of a spoon to spread  pancake batter around the pan)

After pancake batter has been in pan for 2 mins cooking, press desired amount of blueberries into batter. Flip pancake over to cook other side.

Repeat till pancake mixture is no more!

** You may prefer to cook the pancakes without inserting blueberries into the batter. Make your pancakes, and when finished, place desired on amount of blueberries into pan, heat through….and then place liberally on your yummy almond meal pancakes.

Serve with double cream

Impossibly good

xx

The Man in Black

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I sat in the audience at Indus Restaurant, Ubud, Bali….it was hot, humid and their was a general buzz of excitement in the air.

A crowd of 200 people had gathered for ‘ An Evening with Nick Cave’, part of the 2012 Ubud Writers and Reader’s Festival line up.

I felt a  fraud, an impostor….I was neither fan nor friend of Mr Cave….I had never understood the allure, listened to an albums, read a book or followed him in the press.

Yet I was in the audience, sat amongst die-hard groupies, being who worshipped at the altar of St Nick….middle age women blushing at the very thought of an evening in HIS presence, grown men proudly wearing ‘ Pussy Riot ‘ t-shirts.

My general assessment of the situation was that the entire audience was on heat…for Mr Nick Cave.

And then there was me…nevously I wrote in my travel diary the names of those I knew would sell a body organ to be in my place…It is to them that I dedicate this blog post:

Elena

Scott Gray

Philllippa

My cousin Andrew and his wife Emma

Then he appeared…the man in black…

He read from his book …captivating the room with his wit and charm

He answered questions , signed things books, postcards, pieces of paper

Then he left

What did I make of it all? What was all the fuss, the hype, the heavy breathing about?

I concluded three things

  • Nick Cave has lived the rock and roll lifestyle… IN STYLE since 1973… He has dared to pursue a lifestyle most would not have the courage nor faintest desire to…He has earnt the right to tell his story, it is a very colourful story ,worthy of an audience
  • Nick Cave the artist has stood the test of time…he has been writing, producing, performing and collaborating in music industry for nearly 40 years…He he has done so with conviction, passion and unrivalled self belief
  • Nick Cave idolises Johnny Cash, sites him as one of his personal heros…My heart softened upon hearing this, something I could relate too…and all at once I felt a new understanding and appreciation for this modern-day man in black.

So is Nick Cave Australia’s version of Mr Cash?…The attire– the formal black suit, the pride in his appearance suggest so….His craft– his ability to tell stories, beautiful stories through music to which people connect suggest so- His story– A man who has been to the brink and back ( many times over it would appear), who lust for life and love remains a constant, suggest so.

And prehaps after all, I was meant to be in the audience on that balmy night in Ubud…..it was me after all who would benefit most from meeting Nick….

For now my own journey of discovery can begin, a door has been opened, Nick Cave’s words and music have lured me in….I might just be beginning to understand….

Note- I insert this song clip as in Ubud, Cave referred to Johnny Cash covering his song ‘ The Mercy Seat’ as the ‘ Greatest Honour / Compliment’

Note-I have placed this blog post under the category ‘ Friendship Fire Starters- Music’, as it is my friends who inspired this post…..A Friendship Fire starter is a term I use to describe  something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people….I think that sums up Mr Cave’s music nicely xx

Five Sentence Fiction: Detour

It was as if she had woken from a bad dream…she felt a stranger in her own home, its entire contents made her skin crawl, the nick naks, the paintings and that god awful 7 seater leather brown couch.

Yet hadn’t she always wanted these things?….the couch, the 3 bedroom city apartment, the high-flying career, the six figure salary?

If she was honest with herself, she had never stopped to ask if happiness truly emanated from the lifestyle she has worked tirelessly to create.

Yet that morning, as she opened the bedroom curtains, she permitted herself to stop, stand still and admire the first rays of morning sunshine.

It was then she felt it, saw it….change was visible on the horizon.

Five Sentence Fiction : Orange

I have just returned from 10 days in Ubud Bali…a magical time, a time that I am yet to fully process…it was EVERYTHING all at once…

Whilst I was on holidays, Five Sentence Fiction celebrated its first birthday…Catch up with a Mate says Happy Birthday to You!

As a gift, FSF, encouraged us to choose a prompt of our choice, from one of the 52 fantastic prompts that had been used during the blogs first year.

I chose ORANGE…Here is my story:

The girl looked down at her feet, holiday feet, happy feet.

Each toe was painted bright orange, it was like walking around with 10 mini suns glistening and radiating beneath her.

She had asked about town, the meaning or symbolism behind the colour orange, but no one seemed sure.

She had been temped to google to colours meaning….but knew that the answer would be irrelevant.

To the girl, orange was the colour of happiness…she had 10 brightly coloured toes to confirm it.

Eat Pray Love….Vomit

In 2009 I attempted to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s international best seller ‘ Eat Pray Love’.

I did not get past page 50.…the book repulsed me, or to put in more kindly, did not agree with me.

The fact that I was unable to loose myself in Gilbert‘s story concerned me slightly…every where I looked in 2009, on buses and trains, commuters were engrossed in HER book, dinner party conversations and work place chit chat were dominated by three words ‘ Eat, Pray, Love‘…followed by ‘ Have you read it?’

I despaired….Why could I not be caught up the ‘ Eat Pray Love’ phenomena?…What was wrong with me?  If I took Oprah’s word for it, Gilbert’s book represented the  voice of the modern women.

Yet this voice did not define ME

I could not relate to Gilbert’s tale of woe, the collapse of her marriage and the state of detachment she found herself in as a result.

The reality I know is that when life events throws you of course, be it through divorce, illness, death, heart-break, …is that things get tough…really tough

Things get worse before they get better.

But they get better.

And I for one could not relate to the luxuries that Gilbert’s lifestyle afforded her at a time of crisis. If only the everyday women could be provided the same opportunities for personal growth and development, healing and discovery…spending months on end in ashrams in India, eating Gelato in Rome, finding divine peace through yogic practice in Bali.

When shit hit’s the fan I reach for a block of chocolate and watch Anne of Green Gables on repeat…on my couch…at home.

No one has EVER offered me a book deal to document MY healing process…or suggested I take a year off to FIND myself!

The end, enough said…moving on! I just sound bitter!

Bali in 2012– I have returned for the Ubud Writers and Reader Festival…it is day three of the four days festival…and I have once more been seduced by its charms, its literary wonders, music, film and dance spectacles, charged conversations and powerful ideas.

And as I lay awake this morning ( the result of a SUGAR hangover)  I wrote this post in my head before I committed it to print….The effects of sugar on my body I am learning, is an over active mind and an inability to be still / find peace.

Try as I might to refute it…I am living 10 days a la Elizabeth Gilbert…. hence the words below shall fall under the heading ‘ Eat Pray Love….Vomit’ ( self-indulgent writing warning below)

Maybe Ms Gilbert you did have a point after all…We all have a duty of care to ourselves, to do just that, look after ourselves, within whatever means we are allotted in life.

And just like Ms Gilbert, I find myself writing about MY journey ( but without the million dollar book deal!)

28th September – Pre Bali

I was tired

I was agitated

I was unsure of myself

I was underestimating my abilities

I did not smile at the small things

I had forgotten my motto for 2012 was to  ‘ expect the unexpected’

Yet, despite the presence of these feelings…I was HAPPY

Mid way through Ubud Holiday –  5th October

I was still struggling to let go of pre-concieved ideas….I was wondering around Ubud thinking…this just isn’t the same as last time?

Then it came to me….

It was NEVER going to BE

And upon realising this….I became aware that….

I know more about myself than I had been prepared to give credit for

I have come far, changed so much, since my 2010 trip to Bali

There is still a long way to go….

Bring it ON

And as a result I enjoyed immensely day two of the festival…the writers, film makers, singer song writers, the company of my fellow volunteers, the festival patrons…

It all just came together…..day two of the 2012 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Today is day three…I am so excited…I have the hottest ticket in town in my hands, cocktails and conversation with the one and only : Mr Nick Cave….I don’t understand the allure…But I want too!!

To be continued

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