Monthly Archives: March 2016

Isabelle’s Cafe La De Da

Isabelle’s annual Easter Cafe La De Da raises funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

Isabelle may only be seven years old, but when she was five she decided to follow her parent’s example and find ways to help others in need.

12791126_10208072571513500_278176866120505409_n (2)

The Children’s Hospital in Melbourne Australia  improves the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents through healthcare, research and education.  It is an amazing place: bright, cheerful and giving the best care and attention possible to very sick children. Their motto seems to be,

The impossible will be done immediately, miracles take a little longer. 

But the hospital is always short of funds to help desperately ill children.

la de da

Three years ago, Isabelle’s imagination sparked when she watched the TV  coverage of the Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.  Seeing children in wheelchairs and suffering from so many disabilities saddened her. She wanted to do something to help.  The idea was born to have Isabelle’s pop up cafe.

She decided to call it, Isabelle’s Cafe La De Da. The name makes me smile. In Australia, the expression la de da is used as an expression of derision directed at affected gentility or pretentious refinement. You are being very posh, up-market and putting on the airs and graces. It means you can dress up, wear all your bling and celebrate. Family and friends  would have fun gathering at the house for good food and hot coffee knowing all proceeds from the day would be sent to the Royal Childrens Hospital . The family also decided to save every spare coin to be counted at the end of the day and added to the grand total. They had a large wicker basket full.

stuarts pic

Cafe La De Da opened its doors for business on Easter Friday with a vast array of delicious Easter treats. Isabelle took the day very seriously. Everything had to be just right. Dad, in his chef’s apron, would cook an all day breakfast for the many family and friends who called and participated. The main food was followed by an amazing array of muffins, macaroons, stacks of pancakes plus scones, jam and cream. Her Mum would bring out her best china and ensure the guests had everything they wanted. Isabelle would be maître d and welcome people when they arrived, take orders for coffee, and offer treats. She tempted us with chocolate bunnies, brightly coloured Easter eggs and delicious macaroons.

friends

Everyone was having a great time and Isabelle was free to experiment. The result was an offering of hot scones covered in raspberry jam, smothered in cream and topped with brightly coloured chocolate smarties. Does it get any better than that? Just in case you are inspired to make a batch of scones and have Devonshire tea with your family and friends,  here is a quick and easy recipe.

DT@The Victoria Room Tea Salon #5

Quick and Easy Scones

3 cups SR flour in bowl

2 tabs sugar

Pinch salt

 

Melt 50g butter in saucepan

Add 1 cup milk

Whisk in 1 egg

Add this to flour mixture

Quickly make into a stiff dough (may need a little extra milk)

Place on floured bench & quickly knead, cut into shapes with a cutter or a glass. Brush with egg and milk

Place on floured baking tray and pop into hot (250) oven for 10-15 mins

Serve with raspberry jam and whipped cream (multi coloured chocolate smarties optional) Makes 18 med sized scones.

isabelle

Last year, Isabelle received a certificate acknowledging her donation of $485.00. Her Mum and dad framed it for her and it held pride of place on the tablelast year

yum

This year (the third year she has run this fundraising event), with huge support from her staff, family and customers, she managed to raise a whopping $708.10 for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, an increase of 46% on last year, and a total of $1,433 over the last three years.

Children learn from the example set by their parents. Isabelle has great role models in her life and it is wonderful to see her develop into such a caring soul. I feel she also believes The impossible can be done immediately, miracles take a little longer.

Good Friday Appeal 2017

The 85th annual Good Friday Appeal on Friday 25th March 2016, brings together the community to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The strength of the appeal lies in the thousands of volunteers who give freely of their time and their talent. Many groups and organisations fundraise throughout the year, in order to publicly present their grand totals during a live telethon broadcast by Channel 7 on Good Friday.

The Channel 7 telethon is an opportunity for people to view the miracles performed at the hospital, to ring through their donations, and in many instances hear their contribution acknowledged publicly.

Royal Children’s Hospital | Give that they may grow!

Happy Easter to you and yours

bunny

Advertisements

More Than Four Seasons?

Next week it is Easter. The shops are filled with chocolate eggs and bilby bunnies.

Bilby-for-story1

Already the Australian days are cooler and soon, on the 31st March, all Victorians will turn back their clocks one hour and embrace daylight saving. Of course this will put my time at odds with our family in Queensland. Queenslanders argue that they have enough daylight as it is, so their time stays the same. However, all states in Australia agree that the continent has four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter

However, the first Australians understood that this continent has more than four seasons. Daylesford Nature Diary: Six seasons in the Foothill Forests is based on the six seasons Aboriginal communities used to understand the changes occurring in the flora and fauna around them. Tanya Loos, Daylesford naturalist and local newspaper columnist, lovingly illuminates the world within and around a Wombat Forest bush block – from that mysterious bonking at the bottom of the garden to why there are suddenly so many green parrots in late summer.

 

4511082

 

Acutely observed, the Daylesford Nature Diary reintroduces the six seasons for Victoria’s southern foothill forests in all their splendour.

Part What Bird Is That?, part Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, the 36 tales of nature contained in the Daylesford Nature Diary are insightful in the knowledge they impart, while whimsical in tone.

Starting with early spring and heading round to winter, Tanya provides a series of sketches of the birds, plants and animals putting in an appearance each season. Not simply the rare and endangered, but those you might commonly expect to catch sight of from the back door.

Gently threading her way, Tanya instructs us on how the natural order of things is attuned to the rhythm of the six indigenous seasons. Life beats to their pulse.

The diary also includes a full colour, beautifully illustrated wheel calendar by Anne Mason of wall poster size as a reference and guide

934015_orig

All my life I have enjoyed regular camping visits to the area known to me as The Grampians, now referred to by their original indigenous name, Gariwerd. I love every inch of these beautiful mountains, in particular a scary outcrop called The Jaws of Death. Two ledges of rock cantilever over a massive drop to the valley floor below. How could any man, woman or child resist testing their courage?

subhero-brambukculturalcentre
At the Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre is featured the six seasons of Gariwerd.

Six distinct weather periods are recognised in the Gariwerd seasonal cycle. These are genuine seasons that relate to climactic features as well as referencing environmental events such as plant flowering, fruiting and animal behavioural patterns.
For thousands of years, the lives of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung have been intimately linked to this seasonal cycle.
Understanding the land through seasonal observations was once essential to survival. Today the cycles are a vital tool and contribute to the management of Gariwerd.

 

sixseasons-ballambar (2)   sixseasons-chinnup (2)

sixseasons-gwangalmoronn   sixseasons-kooyang (2)

sixseasons-larneuk (2)   sixseasons-petyan (2)
By understanding the six seasons, you can begin to understand Gariwerd and its people.

This morning I struggled into my wet-suit and plunged into Patterson Lakes for my early morning swim. It was cold, darn cold and I decided that from now on I would either kayak or bike ride until  warmer days arrived. But whether I wait six seasons or four for warm weather to return, I really don’t mind. Every season has its beauty and I love them all.

Reading, Revitalising, Regenerating

Often we look so long at the closed door we do not see the one that has been opened for us.      (Helen Keller)

Recently life has been filled with frustrations; organizing new cards, finding old receipts and worrying about replacing the stolen new car. Our family and friends have been absolutely wonderful and so supportive. They shine a bright beam of love into our lives and we feel so fortunate to have such positive people around us. They are the door that has been opened to us and we appreciate each and every one.

But sometimes something will unexpectedly trip you up and forces you to look at the closed door. My dark blue backpack was discovered under the water at the end of a jetty. It has been there for two weeks. Discarded. Thrown away. The things that supported me and my life, considered worthless.

In that pack was my reading glasses, spare pills, writing pad, the pen inscribed with my name etc. Everything smelt of black mud, death and decay. Unable to be resurrected everything had to be abandoned, tossed in the bin, removed from my life. I have washed a black pashmina shawl and a folding shopping bag four times in strong detergent. They are hanging on the line in the vain hope that sunshine, rain and wind may take away the smell of decay. Fingers crossed.

So what has pulled me out of the morass in my mind and allowed me once again to see the open door? A writing friend asked me to read a draft of her latest novel to see if it is ready to move forward on the road to publication. Reading the 324 pages gave me the space I needed to regain my perspective and reset my thinking from negative to positive. I gave myself permission to leave everything unattended while I read Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The duty of Daughters by Wendy Dunn . I found myself immersed in a 15th century world of power, courtly intrigues, life and death drama, failed relationships, love and redemption.

How magical reading is in times of stress. It transports us to another time and place. A good book entertains, a great book entertains and informs.   It can change our perspective. By the end of the manuscript I was thankful for what I have and the life I lead. After all, a robbery is insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Distressing? Yes. Devastating? No. It is simply a hiccup to be managed, dealt with and forgotten.

purole flowers