Month: May 2010

Reading for life – This is reading!

Very cool video to promote reading.  The British do these things so very well.  Count the celebrities.


Girls in short short skirts, boys in skirts too!

For a good time in Dunedin people flock, yes flock I say, to the netball.  There must have been a thousand people there and most of these are regulars who go every time there is a game on.  Our team The Southern Sting, played tonight in the Edgar Stadium and whipped the opposition, who I think were called the Melbourne Vixen, someone will tell me if I am wrong.  Sorry the score was written in numbers and I don’t remember numbers but we won by a lot.   It was a great way to spend an evening and even though I am not an avid follower of the netball in general, it is excellent to go to a game.  There are lots of reasons to go:

  • It was a free night out, my lovely partner won tickets.
  • It is really really warm in the Edgar Centre which is lovely if you are a Dunedinite
  • There is much fun to be had looking at the crowd with their very loud and in my case rapidly deflating ‘thundersticks’.  Is it true that they re-use them?  Surely not?
  • The game is quite good to watch, great skills and fast moving.  Grown women being violent against each other in the context of sport has a certain charm.  The combination of short short skirts, and sheer athleticism is rather good.  Those women fly through the air and occasionally get really badly hurt, and this is a non-contact sport!

The half time entertainment was the Selwyn Ballet, a Dunedin tradition.  First year university students from Selwyn Residential Hall are trained up each year to perform in the Capping Show and tonight they also performed at the netball.  They were fabulous.

Southern Sting warm up

Here are the netball players warming up for the second half and the Selwyn boys working their magic on the crowd.  (I see my poor old camera’s shortcomings in these photos!)

Selwyn Ballet

Red Riding Hood as you haven’t seen her before

This fantastic little film came to me via Books for Hotties which is a very cool blog with a penchant for all things Grim Brothers at the moment.  Check it out it is fantastic, love the photos of grim characters in this post.  I’m rapidly becoming very keen on short films, seen quite a lot of them in recent months and have posted some on here, like this one.  Maybe that will be one of my goals for next year, to watch 100 short films.  Anyway enjoy Red Riding Hood, find out how a human eye is constructed, the nutritional value of Riding Hood’s basket and other most interesting stuff.  I think it most cute!

The animator is Tomas Nilsson
The music:

Creamy Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Okay, so the title is not something that makes you leap into the air and say to yourself, “Oh yay!  Lets have lentil soup, yum!”  but actually that is what should happen.  This is one of those soups for when you need to be warm, toasty and coddled.  It is full of veg so is great for a week when 5 a day has gone out the window, in this household that is when there are lots of meetings and show and sport practices which go way too late.  Make up a double batch at the weekend and keep it in the fridge or freezer and heat as required.  (I am not involved in the sport practices just in case there was any concern there.)

Now the deal is, you can add and subtract ingredients as you want especially the flavourings, I tend to put curry powder in it instead of garam masala and paprika but whatever it will all be good.  Use what is to hand, maybe make it once according to the rules and then mess around with it.

So here it goes.  The recipe is from Alison Holst’s Soup Book which is like a bible for soup.

1 cup red lentils, 25g butter, 1 or 2 onions, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, 1 or 2 carrots, 1 or 2 stalks of celery, 1tsp ground or not cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp garam masala and paprika, 2 -4 Tblsp cream, 2 tblsp cornflour, 1 cup of frozen peas about 1 cup of chopped tomato, 1 tblsp sugar, 1 – 11/2 tsp of salt about 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs.

As soon as you think about making the soup measure the lentils and 1 litre of hot tap water into a bowl to soften them.  Melt the butter in a large pot, add garlic, carrots, celery.  If you are going to puree it leave them in big bits or chop them small.  Add spices, cook over moderate heat stiring occasionally for 2 – 3 min but don’t let the veg go brown.  Add the lentils and hot water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree all, or part, or none of the mixture then bring back to the boil.

Mix as much of the cream (yoghurt works well too) as you like to a paste with the cornflour and a little extra water and pour into the soup.  Add peas (I don’t) and the chopped tomato.  Add sugar, salt to taste and the fresh herbs (it is winter Alison this will be parsley at best!).

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan – or not. and serve with hot toast or the fantastic bread I will now tell you how to make.

Slice a big loaf of tiger bread or vienna or some kind of bread into chunky slices.  Heat up the grill, put the bread on tray, butter or marge on one side, grate or sprinkle parmesan over the top liberally and cook till it bubbles.  Yum.

YouTube Turns 5

I saw this and I thought, wow!  only 5?  YouTube is so embedded in out lives now that it feels to me like it has been around so much longer than that.  In all the social media tools I use I’m always shocked if something I’m looking for isn’t on YouTube, I’m always confident that I can find things like songs from the musicians I like, trailers for movies I’m interested in seeing and useful tools for work on there.  It has become such a tool in education that even our local Polytechnic have lessons on there for students.  Teachers in our school use videos from YouTube all the time in their lessons and I use Common Craft’s explanatory videos in the library often.  What did we do before?  Showing clips from YouTube has become ubiquitous,  just part of life.  I find it incredible to think that it’s only been five years since we started to use it.  I guess Facebook will be the same eventually.  Used as a advertising tool, to promote yourself and anything else you can think of.  I wonder what’s next?  I wonder how soon until YouTube is replaced by another tool and we look back and think “Oh YouTube, that is so 2010”.

YouTube have made a clip to celebrate their 5 year old birthday.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This book is told from the point of view of a dog called Enzo.  Enzo tells the story of his life which is also the story of the life of his family, and it is told from the end of this life.  Beginning at the time he is picked up from the rural property he comes from through to his last day this is all from the point of view of someone who is about as tall as your thigh.  Enzo is wise, he sees the things the adults can’t see, he feels everyones pain even if he doesn’t always understand why people act so stupidly and treat each other so badly.

Enzo is reflecting on his life knowing he is about to die.  Enzo is his master Denny’s dog at heart and he has felt Denny’s trials and tribulations and knows his dreams.  Denny wants to race cars professionally and Enzo and Denny watch endless races together on video and he watches television while he is at home during the day, then Denny gets a family and life happens to them all.

This book is sad, funny, heart warming and wonderful.  I just loaned it to a friend and she has recommended it to another.  It is one of ‘those’ books.  I thought about it a lot when I had finished it, it is a book that stays with you.  Lovely stuff.  I want more from Garth Stein.

Watch the book trailer here

Spamalot – Bayfield Style

My darling son is about to tread the boards again in the Bayfield High School Musical.  Tonight they were featured on our local news on Channel 9.  Having watched lots of the YouTube clips of Spamalot I’m looking forward to seeing the show preformed by the Bayfield troupe.  Opening night is Wednesday and the Dress Rehearsal for a local intermediate school is on tomorrow, the show runs until Saturday night.

You can see the clip of the interview starring the marvelous ‘other’ son Ethan in a kingly moment in this report.  Below an image from the clip but you will have to go the the link to see it.