Powdered for convenience

I gave my left over yoghurt to the
dog this morning and felt bad about it, as if I was casting off the best steak
to the dog and should have kept it for the humans.  I’m not even sure that yoghurt is good for dogs but ours wolfs it down with such gusto I trust he knows what he’s doing.  If there’s
something the dog dislikes he leaves it alone. 
If only it were so simple for us
humans: to take in what’s good for us and leave the rest.  
And so begins my sermon for the day, at
least that’s how it feels to me now, as if I am about to issue an edict on the
importance of taking in only what’s good for you and avoiding the rest. 
Of course that’s not so easy.  
I prefer the yoghurt that my daughter
tells me is not good for me because it’s full of sugar.  I’m not fussed about a little extra
sugar, not at my time of life, but she is. 
For some reason yoghurt has always
been a staple of mine, long since I first encountered it in the supermarket as a
teenager.  Then we were told of its
health bearing properties.  
daughter has since taken up a student job in a yoghurt shop and from her I
have learned that yoghurt starts its life in that silver box with the
pokie-machine type handle which she pulls down to release the liquid yoghurt, in powdered form.  
Powdered form for convenience, I presume.  Just add water. 
When I was this same daughter’s age
and worked in a hospital as a social worker, I enjoyed a tub of yoghurt every
lunch time.  How I longed for my
yoghurt then, not just because I was hungry but because it marked a junction in
the day, half way through. 
When I was a student I spent more
days at home than at classes.  I
lived then with my horse racing and gambling boyfriend and preferred to freeze
my yoghurt to make it last longer. 
It was a lottery this business of
freezing yoghurt.  I chose Ski
brand despite the extra sugar, because it had the best freezing properties, but
an unlucky tub could come out streaked with ice and lumpy, almost inedible.  The perfect tub came out smoothly
frozen with all the creamy qualities of ice cream at its best.
I miss my passion for ice
cream.  Once my favourite
food.  Also a staple.  It comes to me now that ice cream and
yoghurt are derivatives of milk. 
Could it be my preoccupation with yoghurt and with all things milky
comes out of that deep basic infantile need for milk?  Perish the thought. 
 When I was a child I marveled at the way my mother shared her food,
especially the best food, the ice cream we were allowed once a week on Sunday
nights after a dinner, a block of Neapolitan ice cream cut ten ways so that
each of us children and my mother could have a sliver.  My father was diabetic and therefore
missed out.  My father could not
eat what to me then were the best foods: the sweet foods, the cakes and ice
cream, the lollies and chocolate, but my mother could and yet she seemed just as
happy to give them away as she did to get her share.  
I could never be so generous, I thought then.  I could never give my share away so
willingly. And yet now I find it easy.  Besides the sweet things have lost
their allure.  
My mother used to
say similar things when I was growing up, that as you get older, your appetite
changes, you want less.  This can’t
be so for everyone.  Can it?  

Yoghurt and blogging are good for you

Nancy Devine has honoured me with a stylish blogger award, for which I am grateful.

Here follows my acceptance speech, which at Nancy’s request includes seven things you might not yet know about me:

1. I would spend all day blogging if I could and then feel terribly guilty for it. To me it would be like spending all day long in a coffee shop chatting with like minded friends about things that are of interest to us all. The occasional tense moment might arise, but most of the time we would travel into new areas of thought and occasionally retreat back into safe and familiar territory, always with the knowledge that there is so much more to learn out there.

2. The only way I can justify the hours each week I spend on blogging is to convince myself I do it for the writing practice. This then is an insult to my blogger friends, as if I do not appreciate our time together. Nothing could be further from the truth.

3. When I was little I wanted to have nine children just like my mother and at the same time, despite my reservations about the man who was my father, even then, I imagined I wanted to marry a man just like my father: a tall Dutchman with blue eyes and blond hair and a deep gravelly voice.

4. I have achieved none of these things. My husband is neither tall nor blond. He is fifth generation Australian and descended from convict stock and my children number four.

5. Over the past several months, in fact since I broke my leg last September, I have undertaken to eat a tub of yoghurt a day. I understand yoghurt is good for you in many ways and I now have the fantasy that it might help my bones.

6. One of my great pleasures is to escape into BBC period pieces, the Jane Austen variety. Their worlds seem so much slower than ours, so much more predictable, but I despise the class divisions and the gender divide in those days appalls me. I would not want to live in such an era. So why escape into it? I keep asking myself this question.

7. Despite my best efforts to be generous to others, I fear I have a jealous disposition. I am inclined to resent those who do better than me, particularly when it comes to writing. I suffer such pangs often within the blogosphere where there are so many wonderful writers.

I think it comes as a function of being sixth in line in a family of nine and always looking up to my smart brothers and sisters ahead of me. I could never imagine that I might be as smart as them. No amount of education, psychoanalysis or life experience seems to shake that view completely. I admire intellects that are accessible on the one hand and on the other I wish they were mine.

As for the bloggers to whom I would like to offer this stylish blogger award there are too many to list. Also, I’m aware that many who receive such awards find them onerous.

So I offer this reward as a mark of respect, not as a requirement that you follow through on any of the tasks assigned, the stuff about linking back to the award giver and listing seven things about yourself and passing the award onto five other bloggers.

All these things to me should be voluntary and no one should feel pressure to oblige. Nor should any of my blogger friends feel aggrieved to not be included here. I’d list you all if I could.

That said, I’d like to make the first two awards to Rumi and Rilke who cannot speak for themselves but can only respond via Ruth at Synch-ron-izing and Lorenzo at The Alchemist’s Pillow.

Thereafter I’d like to mention Christina Houen’s relatively new blog. Christina is a wonderful writer who presents views of life in Australia that to me represent something of the essence of being here in this country.

I suspect he would not want an award for all the usual requirements but I cannot go without mentioning the remarkable, Jim Murdoch of The Truth about Lies. His blog is a font of information for all people who read and write. His blog tends to be a series of reviews on a vast array of books.

Jim is a poet who writes beautifully about other people’s writing and occasionally talks about his own writing process.

And finally, though there are so many more I could list here, so many wonderful bloggers whom I have met over the past few years since I took up blogging more seriously, I’d like to mention both Blackland’s Angela Simeone, a young artist whose work, both in her art and her writing is haunting and powerful.

And secondly Lynn Behrendt who strikes me as a brilliant poet and a modest artist whose wonderful work deserves the highest praise and recognition.

Visit these people and you will come to find our more of what I blog for: intelligence, aesthetics, deep sensitivity and a light touch of humour.

These bloggers are all artists and wordsmiths in their own right, and I value the fresh insights they offer on life’s journey.

Finally, and I should not for I have already exceeded my quota, I mention Kass of The K…. is no longer silent, another poet and a wise and generous woman that many of you will already know.

I must stop now because a flood of associations leads me on to other names and other folks. I have met so many wonderful bloggers through my travels. How rich and wonderful is the blogosphere.

Thanks Nancy for prompting these thoughts and enabling me to introduce and boast about some of my blogger friends.