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Flying Fish

Oh to be a flying fish!
With scales of feathered gold
To swim the air and fly the seas
In sunshine bright and bold…

Yeah, maybe writing poetry about flying fish isn’t exactly my strong point.  But how else to start a post that features a half-bird/half-fish creature on a card?

This one came about because I had used the other body parts of both animals in previous cards and had some spare bits laying around.  You know me, can’t throw anything out.

So, the flying fishy was born.  And bedazzled.  And bedecked with a hat. I think he’s rather nice and suited the sky-themed backing papers quite well.  I didn’t add any extra text or wording because I wanted it to be suitable for any occasion.  And I was being lazy (as per usual).  I feel it is more of a masculine card, which is good because I tend to neglect that demographic when making things.  “Got any nice cards for blokes?” people ask me, and I shake my head sadly and say “No…sorry…”  So maybe this one will suffice.

Hope you are having a good week – I feel it has been a long, tiresome one, with lots going on,  and I am feeling a bit like a fish out of water myself.

Take care and thank you for dropping in to visit 🙂

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Tuna Loaf

As I have stated before, I am a bad vegetarian.  For 90% of the time, I eat a vegetarian diet.  But then for the other 10%, all hell breaks loose and I eat fish. I don’t feel good about it and I don’t make any excuses for it, other than the fact I have a really restrictive renal diet and so can’t eat all the proteins a vego would normally have in large quantities eg chickpeas, lentils, baked beans, nuts etc.

So I eat fish sometimes.  Which makes me a pescatarian I suppose.  Sorry, fishies.

Which brings us to today’s recipe, Tuna Loaf.  Not the most appetising of titles, I agree, but the proof is in the pudding, right?  Or, in this case, the loaf.  Tuna Pudding sounds even more gross, so let’s stick with loaf.  It’s an easy-to-make, cheap and delicious dish that tastes just as nice cold the next day.  It’s got a lovely, slightly crispy outer edge and it’s soft and moist in the centre.  The little pieces of gherkin add extra crunch and sweetness.  You can also make it with tinned salmon, which is really yummy (but I can’t have salmon so I have to stick to it’s poorer cousin, the humble tuna).  Try and always buy the sustainably fished tuna if you can.  Make up for some of that pesky pescatarian guilt!

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Tuna Loaf 

Ingredients

425g tin of tuna in springwater, drained
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 spring onions, chopped fairly finely
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons tomato sauce plus extra for glazing
1/2 cup chopped gherkins
Salt and Pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C.

Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Mix all ingredients together.

Press into the tin and press down with a fork.  Squirt or brush some tomato sauce over the top – in a fancy pattern or just haphazardly, I won’t judge.

Bake for approx 35- 40 minutes until top is golden and loaf feels firm.

Cut in to slices to serve.

Voila!

If you’re smart, you will argue for the end piece because it is crunchier and tastier and just the best bit.  You made it, you get first dibs.  It’s like a law or something.

Enjoy with a side salad or whatever vegies you like.  As I said, it’s nice cold too, and perfect for lunchboxes as it holds its shape quite well.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

PS  Yes, that is a ‘Moby Dick” plate in the photo.

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Something Fishy

A very simple card today – didn’t take much time at all and was easy to put together.  I got these fish illustrations from a friend (they were from a vintage fishing manual) and I thought I could put them to good use on a card.  I made a few different ones, but this one turned out the best.

I coloured the fish in with pencils and mounted the whole block onto thick card, outlining it with a black marker to help it stand out.  The fish were highlighted with Diamond Glaze to add a bit of shine and dimension, and to make them look more “fishy”.  I have no idea what colours these fish should be.  I probably could have looked that up but I just winged it. Now, days later, I have googled them and found that the “colours of the Maori Wrasse range from a bright electric blue, to a green purplish blue in the males and a red orange colour in juveniles and females.” So I have made mine a little dull.  Sorry, Mr Maori Wrasse!  I still think he looks handsome, nevertheless (albeit a little bit grouchy because he’s having to wear a drab outfit and won’t be able to impress the ladies).

Apparently, he is also a very “personable” fish, which makes him an easy target for fishermen.  Poor little guy just wants to be friends and then he gets taken home for someone’s supper! 😦  I just want to give him a hug now. You can read more about the Maori Wrasse HERE, if you are so inclined.

Hope your day is going swimmingly – thanks for floating by!

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Something Fishy

A couple of slightly more masculine cards today (if I am allowed to use that gender-specific, un-PC term..).  I took a bit of a detour from birds and hats with these two.  I spent ages on the first card, agonising over what word or phrase should be added to finish it off, before I realised it actually was finished and didn’t need anything else.  Sometimes words get in the way anyway, right?

Hope your day is going swimmingly 🙂

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Beach Blues

We are having some wacky weather this month.  Due to Cyclone Stan in the North, we are experiencing cool, windy, stormy, wet weather.  Yuck.  Actually, it’s not so bad and a bit of a relief from the usual stifling Summer heat.

I think I do get a little bit affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder because I am usually pretty miserable all Winter (ha ha – or most of the time, let’s face it) and this last week or two have been decidedly down.  It doesn’t take much to knock me off my perch, mood-wise, and I think the dull weather really bothers my psyche.  So, I have been a bit sad and stressed and in-the-dumps.  Just struggling a bit with life in general I guess, through one thing or another – the murky weather mirroring my mood (or the other way round).

Anyway, yesterday I went snorkelling with my good friend SR.  Yesterday was NOT perfect snorkelling weather, especially when you’ve never snorkelled before (like me).  The water was very rough and a bit churned up, the wind was cold and it was not the lovely, sunny and bright conditions you would ideally like when mucking about in the ocean.  However, we still had a nice time and saw so many fishies!  I was surprised at how many were that close to the shore (we were only 3 metres or so from the beach) just swimming about amongst the reefs and rocks.  I wish I had an underwater camera so I could have taken some pictures but, alas, I do not.  You’ll just have to take my word for it – there were fishies!  Little white ones and spotty ones and I don’t know what any of them were called (George, Fred, Martha?) but they were very cute and plentiful despite all the people bobbing about in their environment.

It was so nice to be in the water, even for just a short time, and I do so love the beach, in any weather.  We went for some walks up and down the shore too, just to talk and catch up.  Just having your feet in the sand and the wind in your hair is enough to blow away some cobwebs and get your mental well-being back in to check.  I will have to practice my snorkelling technique (well, I don’t actually have one at all right now…) and improve my swimming strength, but all in all, I would happily go again.  I should make the effort.  I am always saying I love the ocean, but I never go.  It’s always too far or no one wants to go with me or it’s too sunny (I burn) or too cold (I freeze).  No more excuses now.  You’re my witnesses.  It did upset my vertigo a bit (it’s been really playing up lately) but I’m not going to let that put me off, if I can help it.

Anyway, it was a good morning with good friends and an equally good breakfast afterwards at the Soda Café (Field Mushrooms with Polenta and Goats Curd – yum!) and just what I needed to get rid of the blues, at least for a few hours.  The sun did eventually come out, after all.  Hopefully I can keep it with me for a little while longer 🙂

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A Fish Called Fatty

A Fish Called Fatty

I am called upon by friends & family to do many things.  Babysit kids?  No problem.  Help you move?  Done.  Organise weddings?  Sure.  Drive you to the airport?  Absolutely.  I’m happy to help, if I can.

One of the more out there requests I have had in recent years was to write a poem for a friend’s little girl, regarding the death of her beloved goldfish, Fatty.  I’d forgotten all about this until I found the poem, hidden in a stack of papers-to-be-sorted in my office (yep, I’m still tidying and clearing!).  My friend’s daughter, Katie*, was sad about her little friend, Fatty, dying, as goldfish are wont to do with alarming regularity (well, obviously the one goldfish can only die once…but if you have a few of them, well, you get what I’m saying!) and was having a bit of trouble getting over it.  So my friend asked me to write a little something that would make her smile again and feel comforted.  The resulting poem was written very hastily and while I was supposed to be finishing off a budget report, so please excuse any misuse of iambic pentameter, grammar or other rhyming conventions…

A Fish Called Fatty

There was a fish called Fatty
Who Katie loved a lot
She’d would never fry him up
Or cook him in a pot

A happy little goldfish
Fatty would swim around
He’d go “Bloop, Bloop” with his fishy mouth
But hardly make a sound

He wanted to be a rock star
But couldn’t really sing
Plus he couldn’t play guitar
Which was the annoying thing

So Fatty was content
To swim about all day
He liked to make Katie smile
And watch her as she played

“I am so lucky” he said one day
Whilst swimming and blooping about
“That Katie is mine and I am hers.
Why would I want to go out?”

Fatty lived a happy life
With never any sadness
He felt safe with Katie about
She filled his heart with gladness

Fatty is no longer with us
He had to pass away
But if he could talk to Katie now
This is what he’d say:

“Thank you for looking after me
and making my life great
I’ll miss you lots, now that I’ve gone
You were my bestest mate!

Now don’t be sad
And please don’t cry
I’m having fun
That’s not a lie

I get to play guitar now
And boy I’m getting good
I play for all the Angel Fish
In my neighbourhood!”

Apparently, the poem did the trick and cheered Katie up.  I think it is sometimes easy to dismiss a child’s sadness as something they’ll “get over” and, particularly with the loss of a beloved pet, that’s quite often just not the case.  They don’t always have the capacity to think beyond what is “here and now” and need some comfort that things are ok and that death isn’t an ending, it’s the beginning of something else and something that we all have to face.  I kinda liked to think of Fatty rocking out in Heaven with all his fishy little friends and I’m glad Katie felt better thinking about it too.

Here’s to all our very-much-loved-and-adored pets that have passed on to the great kennel, stable, fish bowl or chicken coop in the sky.  May we see them again some day.  🙂