Monday, 30 May 2016

Liebster Award: Part One

There's plenty of time to ponder life's big questions while walking the beach.

A big thank you to Fiona, of the wonderful blog, Life at Abordale Farm, for nominating my blog for a Liebster Award. How lovely! Fiona set some tough homework though with ten questions for me to answer. I had to ponder a few of them for a couple of days! 

Here are Fiona's questions and my answers. I wonder what your answers would be???

1. If you had to choose 3 charities to give $100,000 to which charities would they be and why?  Tough question straight up ! How is one to decide who is more worthy than another? 

Oxfam is a definite inclusion in my list as a very significant amount of every donation goes to the people who need it and doesn't get swallowed wholly up by administrative costs. In his thought-provoking book, The Life You Can Save, Peter Singer (Australian ethicist) identifies Oxfam as one worthy charity that does a lot with the $ it receives. Oxfam works in some of the most impoverished nations in the world; with some of the poorest and neediest of people. Every dollar that gets directly to them makes an incredible difference. 

The Salvation Army is another charity I'd love to give a lot of money to. I don't think there could be a circumstance much harder and lonelier than homelessness. No home; no place to shelter safely and no arms to offer a warm and welcoming embrace. The Salvos offer that embrace to some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our communities.

My third choice would be The Wilderness Society. I have been a member of this environmental organisation for many years now. I believe in their work, around Australia, in protecting wilderness. I made that decision after a trip to Tasmania in which my husband and I got lost and ended up on a logging track. On one side of this "road" was a scene of destruction. Shards of trees littered the ground, the Earth looked broken and churned up and the silence; no bird calls, no rustling of leaves in the wind or at the feet of creatures; was deafening. I knew then that I wanted to support an environmental group that stood up for nature. I want there to be some nature left for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Hence, an environmental charity made it into my list of three.

2. What is the worst job (at home or work) you have had to do?

A teacher's life is filled with endless paperwork. Ugh! It is something which I do not miss at all.

3. What strange food combination do you love?

I love apricot jam and cheese sandwiches. I was introduced to this yummy sandwich combo by a housemate at Uni (so many years ago). I practically lived on them then and I still enjoy this occasionally for old-times sake. 

4. What is the one skill you don't have but would love to master?

Any loaf of bread I attempt to bake is a dismal failure! I so need to work on my bread-making abilities!

5. If you could create a new law what would it be?

I would love to see a law in Australia that protects everyone's right to clean air, water and soil as these are fundamental to health; both ours and the planet's. I think some Canadian provinces have laws like this.

6. If you could change the perspective for every person on the planet about one issue what would it be?

Climate change!

7.  If the shops closed tomorrow how long could you feed your family for? 

Three weeks or so because I have steadily built up a little stockpile,  in my linen cupboard of all places, where I store basic ingredients like tinned tomatoes, passata, rice puffs, cereals, dried fruit, oats, chickpeas, crackers, oil and dark chocolate. My sister-in-law gave us a large freezer a while ago so in there I've stockpiled things like meat, pastry, frozen berries, fish, flours, nuts and meal portions that I've frozen for quick dinners (soups, pasta sauce, stews).  And then, there is our garden. Currently, we are eating silverbeet, lettuce, Asian cabbage, Egyptian spinach with beetroot, leeks and more lettuce to come. The mandarins are ripe now too and we've all been enjoying those. Even Sir Steve dog likes a few segments of juicy mandarin! Guess I could also bake bread at a pinch. Not sure my family would eat it though! 

p.s. The inclusion of chocolate in my stockpile is no accident. I'm sure it's essential for survival or, at the very least, my sanity in somewhat trying times!

8. What do you think the 3 biggest environmental issues are?

* Climate change
* Loss of good agricultural land to mining
* Loss of biodiversity

9. Which famous people would you have over for dinner and why?

I'd love to share a meal with the Dalai Lama. I once attended a conference at which he spoke and his impact upon his audience, including me, was profoundly felt. He has an infectious giggle and clearly radiates a happiness that comes from within. I think we'd all benefit from his wisdom while having a jolly good time, with much deep belly laughter,  if he were a guest at our table.

Jane Goodall, world-renowned environmentalist and a Messenger of Peace, would be an inspiring guest to have over for dinner. She dreamed as a young girl of living and working in Africa, with its animals, and that is exactly what she did! I'd love to hear her tales of life as a young woman in Africa studying the chimpanzees in Tanzania. What a life to have lived!

David Holmgren, would get an invite too. As the co-originator of Permaculture, he has so much knowledge that I'd love to tap into. I'd take him on a tour, before dinner, of our little suburban garden, and ask his advice. I'd promise to feed him well afterwards with food from our garden!

Last, but definitely not least, no guest list would be complete without a musician (for after-dinner entertainment, of course). In my eyes, the music and lyrics of Neil Finn (from the now disbanded band, Crowded House and earlier, Split Enz) are without equal. Anyone who writes a song that asks, "Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?" is worthy of a place at our table. (For your listening pleasure, the link above takes you to Neil Finn's official website and four videos of recent live performances. Enjoy!)

10.  What is your guilty food pleasure?

Like many thousands of others, I'd say chocolate here. I love dark chocolate. Bitter, not too sweet, rich and dark. The best thing about loving this food is that my husband passionately dislikes it. All the more for me!

Feel free to let me know, in the comments, what your answers would be. Do you share the same guilty food pleasure that I do? Is there anyone on my dinner party guest list that you'd have over for a meal at your place?



  1. No surprised but pretty similar answers from me. The skill I would like to develop is being able to sleep during the day and I must start a stash in my larder!
    Oh and I had a craving for cannelloni for breakfast and polished of a two person portion...well it's getting cold now!

    1. In my opinion, lovely Lucy, if you want to eat cannelloni for breakfast, why not! And, there's always a place for you at my table, dear friend. You could squeeze in between the Dalai Lama and Jane Goodall. I think you'd get on fabulously with both of them! Meg:)

  2. I love jam and cheese sandwiches too and Jam and peanut butter. Love your answers and I think we all got to know you a bit better. Thanks for participating.

    1. Thanks again for the nomination, Fiona! Some of those questions were tough but fun. I'm glad you feel they've given you (and others who visit) a better sense of who writes here. Meg:)

  3. Are great questions and I did enjoy reading your answers. You have reminded me that I have been nominated and haven't 'replied' yet but it could be that the questions are not as inspiring as these!

    1. Quite a few of these questions made me really think about my answers. Glad you enjoyed reading them! Meg:)

    2. Glad it got you thinking sustainable Mum I will pop over and check out your questions and answers.