MorgspaceSnapper with prawn, mango and chilli (21.12.2005, 12:30 UTC)
Today was the longest day of the year, and the mercury hit at least 33 degrees. It's salad weather, and this is just right. A simple, light and fresh dish for a long, warm evening shared with a friend. Thanks, Ross. Grilled red snapper with a tangy salad salsa: prawns, mango, avocado, chilli, eshallots (spring onions), lime juice, and a little garlic, coriander and black pepper. It's a Rick Stein recipe. More prawn and chilli, and other seafood, recipes.
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MorgspaceOrdinary people #2 (20.12.2005, 21:20 UTC)
I'm a bit late in talking about the first UK civil partnership ceremonies, but I did suggest earlier this month that the real life stories and happy faces of ordinary people would have an impact. Suddenly we're no longer a barely visible minority, but regular people with relationships that, despite only recent shifts towards equality, are likely to last just as long as those of our heterosexual friends and relations. I think the pictures and coverage of Gráinne Close and Shannon Sickels...
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MorgspaceA mammoth task (20.12.2005, 07:36 UTC)
I've just bought Richard Dawkins's new book, The Ancestor's Tale, apparently a history of evolution with a touch of Chaucer. I'm expecting a less speculative, more historically-grounded version of Stephen Baxter's excellent and deeply affecting book Evolution. Last weekend the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the subject of evolution in Kansas. American history professor Bill Wagnon has been a member of the Kansas Board of Education for over 10 years. He says about the pro-Intelligent Desig...
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MorgspaceWeird meme (20.12.2005, 07:29 UTC)
Suzy tagged me for the "weird habits" meme. I'm not quite sure if a meme is more a chain letter or more a way of community building. Probably both at the same time, so apologies to my unfortunate nominees and here I go... 1. I quite like snakes. They're not at all slimy or cold - they actually feel leathery, always at the ambient temperature, and their movement is fascinating. They have such a different way of being and they're much maligned. Since moving to Australia, I seem to have collected ...
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MorgspaceOff your bike (20.12.2005, 06:28 UTC)
This morning, on the final, up-hill stretch of my cycle to work, I was knocked off my bike by a car driver. I was crossing a roundabout when she tried to drive through me. It was daylight - a nice bright morning, heading up to 28 degrees, and I was wearing a silver helmet, red t-shirt and carrying a grey and orange backpack, but she still didn't see me in front of her. I'm not sure who came off worse, really. I've barely a graze, so I'm ok. Surprisingly, given that I fell precisely in front of...
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MorgspaceBarbie and the barbarians (20.12.2005, 06:27 UTC)
For some reason, I really like this piece from the Sydney Morning Herald: Why little girls like to torture Barbie. If you've caught your daughter mutilating her Barbie doll, microwaving her, or decapitating her, don't be disturbed - your girl is perfectly normal... Researchers from the University of Bath questioned 100 youngsters about their attitudes to a range of branded products and found the iconic doll provoked the strongest reaction. "When we asked the groups of junior school children a...
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MorgspaceReal life (18.12.2005, 05:05 UTC)
Thanks for stopping by, but real life is getting in the way of posting at the mo. As well as work's christmas party this week, both this weekend and last weekend have been extremely busy, socially. Three months on from my move to Australia, I've gotten to know some really good people, with a diverse range of backgrounds. Dinner with Susan, Wendy and their son, Olle (met through blogging :). A dinner party at Darren's, with a night out in the Midnight Shift afterwards. Lunch with Canice; David d...
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MorgspaceTechnical difficulties (16.12.2005, 23:18 UTC)
Morgspace was down for about 14-18 hours on Friday 16th/Saturday 17th due to a technical difficulty at TypePad/Six Apart, with only a week-old backup version available. Normal service has just resumed. Hopefully it won't happen again for a long time, and no posts or comments were lost.
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MorgspaceThis world (13.12.2005, 18:00 UTC)
This world: A fading Mountain echo, Void and Unreal. Within A light snow Three Thousand Realms; Within those realms Light snow falls. As the snow Engulfs my hut At dusk My heart, too, Is completely consumed. Ryokan, tr. John Stevens, p. 33.
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MorgspaceTop of the list (12.12.2005, 09:17 UTC)
Google searches change as people follow search links. Writing about Google searches can influence the results as this post will be added to the Google database and listed along with everything else, but this is something of a special event. This blog is on page 1 of Google.com and the top of page 2 at Google.com.au for "Chilli Prawns" - referencing last week's Singapore Chilli Prawns recipe. There's another chilli prawn recipe here. I hope people get what they're looking for, and I'll start inc...
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MorgspaceAn underbelly, down under (12.12.2005, 08:20 UTC)
Late last week, two lifesavers were attacked on Cronulla beach, in the south of Sydney, by a small group of men who, apparently, were of middle-eastern appearance. More than 5,000 white people gathered yesterday evening. About 200 of them descending into drunken violence, physically attacking people of middle eastern appearance, while thousands egged them on, singing Walzing Matilda and the national anthem and shouting racist chants. Text messages had appealed for "real Aussies" to "reclaim" the...
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MorgspaceSalmon burgers (11.12.2005, 13:32 UTC)
Yay! Another new recipe for the blog. These home-made salmon burgers are tasty and surprisingly easy to do. Apart from salmon, they include just coriander, eschallots (spring onions), horseradish sauce, a thin coat of flour and a bit of black pepper. Shaping the burgers can be a little sticky, but the only mildly difficult bit is making sure that they stay in one piece in the frying pan. They're loosely based on a tuna burger recipe by Silvana in a BBC cookbook called 'The Best' that I no long...
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MorgspaceEnd of a cycle (9.12.2005, 12:54 UTC)
There's nothing like car dependency to raise blood pressure and clog the arteries. I'm a regular commuter cyclist: it's flexible, fast, and I can park at the office without paying for the privilege. In 2 months with the car, I've only done 750km, most of that on weekend trips out of the city, and I've only filled the tank once (it's currently 3/4 full). That's the equivalent of a miniscule 4,500 km/year, or 2,800 miles for the old-fashioned. At age 39 and around 83 kilos, frankly, I also need ...
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MorgspaceShadow flag (9.12.2005, 12:45 UTC)
Another image from Burning Palms beach: the shadow from a lifesavers' flag. Nice use of plumbing.
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MorgspaceOrdinary people (6.12.2005, 07:31 UTC)
Two things strike me about the coverage of the Civil Partnerships legislation in Britain. The first thing is just how ordinary the couples are, going about ordinary lives. We're not really that much different to everyone else. The second thing is how uncontroversial, with just a few minor exceptions, the event has been in reality. The majority of the people who have been giving notice of their registration intentions aren't particularly political and cross all sorts of boundaries: Guardian re...
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MorgspaceBack to nature (4.12.2005, 09:22 UTC)
I like the Royal National Park, the traditional country of the Dharawal people who now get their name on the Park's literature and some form of co-operation in its management. It's a pleasant - even fun - drive from the city. A ~95k round trip, which means that I've almost done 700km in the time I've had the car. And it's an attractive park, with bush, forest, wildlife and coastline. Combined with a picnic (excluding wine or beer) it hits just about all of those spots that make you feel like you...
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MorgspaceRain (3.12.2005, 08:06 UTC)
The rain here is incredible. When it happens, it's an 'end of the world' type of rain, not the boringly persistent 'soft day' rain of Ireland. We've had heavy rain and thunderstorms for much of the last week, and last night was intense. My apartment is on the fifth floor, and at one point it felt like the place was lost somewhere inside a cloud, there was so much water buffeting around outside. Murray has captured the evening beautifully, with images that seem almost like they came from Blader...
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MorgspaceSingapore Chilli Prawns (3.12.2005, 07:45 UTC)
Singapore Chilli Crab, but done with prawns instead. Crab is a lot messier; with prawns this recipe is easy peasy. And lip-smackingly tasty. A good quality, tangy tomato ketchup is preferred - I used Beerenberg's. Heinz's is a bit too sugary, unless you want to start bouncing off the walls after eating. I may have gotten the rice:sauce ratio a bit wrong this time. Another chilli prawn recipe, and more seafood dishes. Recipes on request.
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MorgspaceMurder by decree (2.12.2005, 01:44 UTC)
What do you say about today's execution of Nguyen Tuong Van that hasn't already been said? Sure, he was no hero, but state-sanctioned murder is still murder, whatever the crime. I hope that people in Singapore will take from the majority Australian reaction a realisation that capital punishment is neither acceptable nor a necessary evil. In the meantime, the US has, unusually, a white guy lined up to be the 1,000th person executed since the 1976 reintroduction of the death penalty. The death ...
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MorgspaceFun with Marta and Murray (2.12.2005, 01:37 UTC)
Marta and Murray came round for dinner last night. Expecting the 'cold, wet' weather to continue, I tried out a couple of warming recent recipes: cajun swordfish, and mango with sticky rice. Both seemed to go down very well... the return of blue, sunny skies made using the oven hot work. All photos in blog entries are clickable, and there are more on Murray's Flickr blog.
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MorgspaceDavid and Antony (2.12.2005, 01:35 UTC)
David (my friend remembered from Balmain gym) came around for food on Monday night. David is a fellow fan of Antony and Johnsons, so we've arranged to go and see them at the State Theatre next month. Seeing Antony perform in Dublin last July was a sublime and emotional experience. Something of a personal watershed for me, as Fearg and Barry might remember. Does anyone know how their repeat performance in Dublin went on 25 November? Their European tour sold out early, Jim Carroll writes in th...
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MorgspaceAn inability to "relate correctly" to the real world? (30.11.2005, 11:15 UTC)
"Church's views on gays a sign of deep-rooted misjudgment": Patsy McGarry sums up the Papal instruction on homosexuality extremely well in the Irish Times today (subscription required). McGarry is the paper's Religious Affairs Correspondent. Rome has this time gone so overboard on the homosexuality issue its primary achievement would appear to be the undermining of its own authority. Yesterday we were told once more that not only are gay people objectively disordered and prone to the intrinsic...
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MorgspaceScapegoating (29.11.2005, 21:12 UTC)
It's possible to become very angry with the position taken by the Catholic church in its missive on "persons with homosexual tendencies, considering their admission to seminary and Holy Orders" (Suzy has a translation here), and a Vatican newspaper piece stating that homosexuality has no social value and risks "destablising people and society". It's also possible to take comfort in the thought that the strength of the Vatican's attack is a reflection of the acceptance that lesbians and gay men ...
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MorgspaceWhat is it about straight men? or "How the other 90%+ live" (29.11.2005, 10:06 UTC)
I recently read a paper from Wharton Business School in Pennsylvania, where "Ann Moore, chairman and CEO of Time, Inc." was claiming that fundamental differences between men and women are genetic. Her evidence? She and her husband would make lists for the housekeeper of the most important staples they needed in the house. "Never did my husband's and my list overlap, even by a single item." Her list included necessities like diapers, eggs, milk, toilet paper. Her husband listed macadamia nuts a...
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MorgspaceMeat 'n' two veg (27.11.2005, 08:57 UTC)
As close as I come to it, anyway: cajun pan-fried marlin, roasted rosemary potatoes and asparagus roasted in balsamic vinegar. Yummy, and just right for a cool, wet weekend. The big slab of marlin steak is half of a $9.75 steak from Peter's at the Sydney Fish Market, and the cajun spices are Herbies, from Rozelle (it's local).
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MorgspaceAnniversaries: 10 years ago (27.11.2005, 06:15 UTC)
Ten years ago this November, I met Mary Robinson, then President of Ireland; a much better anniversary to remember than this one. I was only six months in Ireland, full-time anyway, and I'd written a report on an exchange project between Ballymun and West Belfast that she officially received in her residence, Áras an Uachtaráin. Mary Robinson in person is charming, inquisitive and sincere; meeting her was a genuine highlight. As president she was inspirational and, as well as sy...
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MorgspaceAnniversaries: 2 years ago (27.11.2005, 06:11 UTC)
November has become a strange month for me, probably because two years ago today I went through the worst experience of my life: a major surgery that - while not 'cosmetic' - was more about social acceptance than clinical necessity. It was the tipping point in a relationship of more than 6 years and, just over a year later, that relationship ended. The surgery wasn't what either of us was expecting. The consequences are still with me, and probably always will be. Next week, the original surgeo...
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MorgspacePrawn and scallop soba (26.11.2005, 12:53 UTC)
I should've put this post up earlier in the week, perhaps, but I followed a busy weekend with a week of tonsilitis, work, and lots and lots of sleep... Despite the strep throat, this doesn't tickle on the way down. It's a great dish for warming up and feeling healthy: lots of protein, flavour, spice and fresh vegetables. I'm slowly improving on the recipe, as well as adapting it to whatever is in my fridge at the time... this version contains buckwheat soba noodles (hopefully Suzy will find t...
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MorgspaceThe bigger crime (22.11.2005, 08:53 UTC)
Nguyen Tuong Van is an Australian national who's been convicted of trafficking heroin in Singapore. Singapore carries a mandatory death sentence for the crime, regardless of any previous criminal record. Van, 25 years old and with a previously clean record, is due to hang on 2 December. The Singaporean government wrote to his mother a week or so back, telling her to make funeral arrangements. With Van's twin brother, she's now in Singapore, spending an hour a day with Van, separated by a glass...
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MorgspaceNorth Sydney food market (20.11.2005, 12:31 UTC)
Here are a few pics from the North Sydney farmers' market. The final two were taken by Philippe. The avocados look to me like something out of Alien. Unlike Avocados, I'm not keen on aubergines/eggplant, but they do look gorgeous. The market is a foodie's paradise, and not all of it is to take home. The market starts really early on a Satuday - we arrived late, some time around 8.30am. Bacon and egg rolls with coffee are popular for breakfast. We avoided the cakes, but Philippe took a pic...
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