Spring is here and I’ve missed the opportunity to plant more trees. Every winter I say I am going to put more trees in, and every September 1st I say, "Oh bugger". Our hot summers just cant cope with trees planted too late. Did you manage to get anything new in? Never mind if you didn’t, console yourself with a good little read by getting stuck into our latest Bunch of Fives.
From My Bookshelf:
Jumbucks Misadventure by Sally Nowlan is wonderful kids book about a pet lamb that ends up on a live export ship. Sadly Sally passed away a couple of months ago but she achieved her dream of publishing a childrens book. She was a friend of ours from Bimbi, who grew up in the Quandialla district and was a passionate fan of sheep. My daughter loves this book, and we read it every few weeks when she spies it on the shelf. I would recommend this to any family who has ever had a poddy lamb, and to any family who hasn’t had any experience at all with sheep. Its heartwarming and funny, as well as giving insight to the cruel trade of live export.
Before the Fall - Noah Hawley. Eleven people board a private jet from Martha’s Vineyard on route to New York that crashes not long after take-off leaving only two survivors (and no, this is not a huge spoiler). It’s a page turning thriller, unravelling the mystery of why the plane went down; was it a conspiracy? Bad luck? Or something more sinister at play? It was written by the creator of the fantastic TV series, Fargo, so I had pretty high expectations but he manages to keep up an energetic pace that keeps you guessing to the end.
I didn’t put this one under TV only because its been around for almost 20 years. Mother & Son is one of my all time favourite TV series and I recently treated myself to the box set. It’s a charming and wickedly funny show about Maggie Bear (Ruth Cracknell) and her son Arthur (Gary McDonald). Hilarious Aussie humour and lots of recognisable scenarios involving the long suffering son who cares for his mother while his selfish brother makes endless excuses as to why he cant possibly help him with the care load. I watched it with my kids (aged 7, 11 and 13) and they all found it hilarious and sat through every episode. I remember watching it with my family when I was a teenager and I fell in love with Ruth Cracknell. I still think she is the funniest woman on Australian TV.
Liberty is still one of my favourite things. If I ever get to London it is ALWAYS top of my go-to list. I love the wonky Tudor style building and all the levels of general prettiness. As a teen I had dresses, blouses, singlet tops, shorts, appliqued skirts and a big bunch of ribbons made out of these beautiful soft cottons. If I knew I was going to grow up and have two little girls AND that it was going to come back in style (I'm still adamant it never went out) I would have kept it all. Sadly, the only thing left I have is a little fabric covered box filled with ribbons and offcuts. My eldest has discovered it and has taken to wearing a different liberty ribbon to school each day, giving me flashbacks of boarding school, madly ironing them before breakfast each morning. I had a couple of scrunchies made out of them too but they’ve lost all elasticity and- sorry to any scrunchie lovers out there- I am glad of it. I just cannot believe they’ve made a comeback! The closest thing to them that I can come at are the gorgeous little bowed scrunchies made by Catherine Yantsch of @chipandbunny. Check out her beautiful products on her Instagram feed or go to her Etsy shop for more liberty goodness.
@travissausage is the instagram page of the cutest little dachshund you everdid see. And he was bred by me, from my little Esme. He lives with a gorgeous human named Lucy who dotes on him and takes beautiful photos of his cuteness. Little Travis has haemophilia (a gene passed down by Esme that we didn’t know about until he had some issues after immunisation) and he pretty much has to be wrapped in cotton wool but he still lives life to the fullest. I know dog pages are not everyones cup of tea but make the exception with this one; he is super adorable.
Dinner! If you're anything like me it’ll get to about 5pm and you’ll start wondering what you're going to cook for the masses, you’ll panic and offer up some kind of sludge even the family dog turns its nose up at. I am so sick of thinking about/preparing/cooking and eating food. Sick of it! But this insta feed, @everynightoftheweek , has kind of given me inspiration. When I say ‘inspiration’ I mean I have never attempted any of her recipes but if I was more organised I would go here to find one. I love her practical and hilarious approach to mealtime and descriptive recipe instructions (think a sweary Nigella). I am still laughing at her #meatfreemonday post from the 27th August (pictured). Go and read it. It sums up her personality and feed perfectly.
The Hunting. An incredibly awkward, embarrassing and heartbreaking discovery for the parents of a teenage boy who posts a nude photo of his mates girlfriend onto a website that is filled with images of nude teenage girls, and gets reported to police. A very real and possible scenario makes this 4 part Australian series a must watch. Excellent portrayals of a mother (Asher Keddie) torn between wanting to protect her son and wanting him to face the consequences of his actions. Richard Roxburgh plays the arrogant father who has created a monster. A pretty confronting opening scene might make you rethink watching this with your teens, (which is really who needs to watch it) but make time for it. Its an excellent insight into teens and how they want to belong and how they can make really stupid mistakes. Find it at SBS On Demand.
The Fleetwood Mac gig that I mentioned I was going to in the previous Bo5 was fantastic. I don’t know why I was ever concerned with Stevie’s voice not holding out because she never missed a note all night. The same can’t be said for poor old Christine McVie though; she started off well but halfway through ‘You Make Loving Fun’ things went south. The lady sitting next to me leaned over and said “I think there is something wrong with the sound” to which I replied, “Yeah! The sound of her voice going!”. (There was good reason that they didn’t include ‘Songbird’ in the set list.) Neil Finn slotted in beautifully even though his ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’ duet with Stevie was divisive with fans. One of the stand out moments of the night was Mick Fleetwood’s ten minute drum solo during ‘World Turning’ whilst the rest of the band went off stage for a breather. It was legendary. Other highlights of the night were Stevie’s twirling performance of ‘Gold Dust Woman’ and her heartfelt rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’ during their encore (guitarist Mike Campbell was a member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). The whole night was just such a joyful occasion that Mum would have really loved so I’ll make the promise here for you all to witness- if they ever make it back it’s my shout, Mum.
As a rule, I don’t like muffins. Something says big, puffy American snack to me so I have avoided them at the café cake counter. But these are different. More banana cupcake than muffin but much easier to make. Plus the addition of greek yoghurt practically makes them a health food. Doesn’t it? Plus a recommendation from Annabelle Crabbe sold them to me. Recipe from the Taste website.
Banana Yoghurt Muffins
- 1 ¾ cups self raising flour
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 cup greek yoghurt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large mashed bananas
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease 12 hole muffin pan. Sift flour and sugar into a bowl. Combine yoghurt, egg, oil and 1 cup mashed banana. Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Spoon mix into muffin holes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold.
The Dark Crystal remains my all-time favourite childhood film. I know lots of kids were traumatised by the puppetry and some of the characters in this film but I adored it and I am waiting out the years until my children are old enough to sit down and watch it with me without being scarred for life. When I saw that Netflix was releasing a series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, I was pretty pumped thinking we could all sit down as a family and watch it together (eight seasons of ‘Full House’ has worn VERY thin!). Unfortunately, having watched the trailer it would appear they have remained true to the appearance of the original characters and thrown in some next level violence for good measure so there goes that idea. Looks like we’ll have to suffer through three seasons of ‘Fuller House’ instead. Yay. I am still going to watch it for the sake of nostalgia. I just hope it isn’t too far removed from the original- remakes always leave me holding my breath and making that cringy face at the screen before I either settle into it or turn it off in a furious rage.
Fun fact: I maintained for much of my life that when I got my own dog I was going to name it ‘Fizzgig’, after Kira’s little scruff in the film. That was until a couple of years ago when I was telling some friends the name I was considering for our next pooch and they mistook it for ‘Fisting’. My dream died right then and there.