Tuesday, May 25, 2010

she bringeth good tidings to Brisbane

Not only is the Messiah being played on at least 22 sets of speakers around Brisbane, and to be sung/played in extremely fine concert at St John's Cathedral on Ann St at 7:30pm this coming Saturday the 29th of June, *ahem* but..

Thanks to a friend of a friend, I've discovered Sol Breads in Toowong. An organic sourdough place. This is real bread! In Melbourne I always wished we had a bakery near us that made decent bread. There were a couple of chains, and that was it. To get better stuff, I didn't know of anywhere closer than.. well, I guess I could have gone to the deli. I like Phillippa's.

Anyway, Sol is more expensive than your average supermarket bread, but also highly superior. I paid $6.50 for a very decent fruit loaf, which is cheaper than at the Bean Scene (quite a different sort of bread), my choice source of fruit bread, which probably merits a post of its own, and I'll take some photos.

Sol is also a cafe (yay), with sandwiches and cakes and such. Coffee, of course. All looks good. And did I mention, it's tiny. Like an overgrown cupboard. Made me feel very cool going in there, though also means you can't escape the notice of the shopkeepers, and I thus felt compelled to buy something. It's probably a clever design in that way.
I have no regrets.

8/23-29 High St, Toowong

Friday, May 21, 2010

the Word

I've been doing a subject at uni about the development of the English language - the history and the spread of it.

Apart from admiration for the language, and horror at its ability to dominate/kill other languages - and it's not survival of the fittest language, by the way, but survival of the culture with the most force in any place who says 'Now I am King of your country' and sticks by it long enough -

Actually I'm writing out of appreciation for fine things English, which undeniably exist.

Handel's Messiah, namely.
Fittingly with the history of English, Handel was German. But he sort of became English. Very representative.

(was the company of the preachers, great was the company of the preachers, of the preachers.)

I here express my fervent admiration for other things British:

Toast and marmalade
Tea (English/Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey)
Tea (the event, as in afternoon tea, Devonshire tea..)
Scones!! With jam and cream. Ohhhhh.
Crumpets, with butter and honey

A willingness to try Vegemite and keep eating it. No other culture would do that.

And, of course, Harry Potter. And Shakespeare, and Keats, but this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list.

And the culture that among many things, good and bad, is responsible for this.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm reading this book at the moment. Because I love his writing.It has reminded me of a conviction I had already - not to eat meat if ever in America, because it's not safe, if for nothing else. And because it's not real meat.
I'm not an angry vegan, and decidedly not an activist. I am undecided on many things, however.
Generally, it seems like humans are omnivores.
I am sure that in Australia most people eat more meat than we need.

I don't know what farming constitutes these days, though. In Australia.
I do know that every time I read about vegetarianism, farming etc., I remember seeing my Grandad and two of my uncles, all sheep farmers, race to kill and gut three sheep. And I know what kind of lives those animals got, and for me it would have been a bit boring, but for a sheep it might have been all right. They just ate all day.
I've ridden my bike through a few areas of Victoria and seen cows all over the place. And smelt them, when I couldn't see them. Moo.
But when we drive past Hazeldene's chicken farm in NW Victoria, I never see any birds. Hm.

For me, the issue is excess versus balance. In consuming, in waste. In exercise and thinking about food, being fat or skinny. In expecting to eat meat and eggs three meals a day. Or never, and why. In information overload. Do we need milk, or do we not? Who do I believe?

Added: Some writing from Choice. I found this pretty good.
Chicken farming in Australia
'Free range'

And particularly this one, for those who really want eggs and are prepared to pay a bit more and buy a few less.