Apnea and the family reunion 

I had a dream this morning

I was at my relatives house celebrating Christmas having laughs and having lunch with each other at the table. It was so good to see them all again full of life and in high spirits.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door

“Hi there I thought I’d bring some friends along” it was my older cousin. I haven’t seen her in years she was a grandmother now. I couldn’t wait to swap stories with her and see the new members of her family. Laugh at tabloid parental advice and talk about our own parenting pitfalls. 

 All these people rushed in after her, all these people I haven’t seen before – extended family waiting to see me. Everyone was hugging me and thanking me for coming to the party. I haven’t felt so happy as being right here, right now, all together just like yesterday. We kept laughing and enjoying ourselves. I could’ve stayed in this moment forever. It was then I realised all these people in my dream were dead.

My phone alarm rang i gasped and choked for air, ripped violently from the womb of sleep. Then reality dawned on me that it was just another day, another day to walk back into the office and carry out a multitude of tasks while accomplishing nothing. Nothing felt special about today. I wish I could’ve went back to that party and saw all those people again. The memories of their faces already becoming washed out, swirled and blended into a pastel coloured singularity. 

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Well it’s getting harder and harder to look for this clip on Lickwars so I decided to embed this for future viewing and go “Wow I’m absolutely blown away by this amazing piece”:

Awesome Kiesel contest entry by @Pellumbqerimi 🎸 Be sure to show him your support 👍 ➡ What's your favorite entry ? #LICKWARS

A post shared by @/#Lickwars | @marounaouad (@lickwars) on

and then there’s me down the bottom playing some other tune 😛

A mountain most glorious

What a way to start a Sunday! A good friend of mine invited me out for a ride to Mount Glorious. I am always apprehensive about riding there. Always too many riders, Boys in blue hiding in bushes, cyclists, warped road surfaces, leaves on the road, a combination of wet and dry surfaces, cars with baby on board stickers and the list goes on…

If you can push that all aside you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the ride. A dash through the twisty hilly roads in the crisp clean air; a place where you can do nothing else but gain riding confidence as you lean harder every time through every turn. Catch views of the ever expansive Wivenhoe dam as it disappears from view at a blinding speed!

People who preach mindfulness like a newfound religion always talk about the grand idea of “Living in the now”. Riding in these hills will force you to push all those unwanted niggling thoughts out of your head. This to a rider is the art of achieving zen; this is meditation in its most exciting form. It doesn’t matter what issues you’ve had during the week in the office or knowing what will happen when you get back home. You are focused on nothing but keeping those wheels on the ground worshiping the asphalt altar. Heaven or Hell can be around the next blind corner but you know that if you lean in with faith that a correct amount of torque and centrifugal force will keep you from becoming the next road rissole. You are forced to be entirely focused on one task – to stay upright!

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View from Wivenhoe Outlook. The picture does not do it justice. Also a bit tricky to carry a DSLR while thundering up and down Mount Glorious!

At the top we stopped in for Coffee in the Rain forest. We recommend ordering the bucket of coffee.  Admittedly today was not about the riding 80km for coffee but about clearing our heads and having a bit of a laugh.

This is the fourth time I have ridden up and down Mount Glorious. Many have conquered this mountain a lot more times however it’s a great place to hone your road craft and shatter those nerves you had for the twisties. There’s always something new to look out for and you can either be afraid of the consequences of riding or know your limits and be vigilant to avoid them as best as you can.

Have fun, ride safe so I can hear your awesome riding stories 🙂

“Isolated”

1846 10-5-99 was not the date that painting was finished ; it was probably two weeks later from memory.

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This was a painting I did back in school in 1999. At the time I was wondering where I was going to go in life. I loved art, music and computers but was worried about how I was going to go in the HSC and always pressured to do my best.

The man in this painting (yes, yes a representation of me) ponders life and what’s ahead of him, how the choices he’s made in his life up to know will influence the consequences of his future. The vices he has are starting to wreak havoc on his body i.e. the cigarette and the tar coloured arm. On the wall is a family picture with the two children being in between the spaces of the parents to appear like a happy family though the children know that the parents stopped communicating a long time ago. When my parents separated in 2001 my sister and I were not surprised at all and felt relieved it happened.

I enjoyed putting this painting together. I first started with a regular canvas and painted it in black gesso. The next gesso was applied  by smashing the brush into the canvas to create texture in the artwork (note the cracked lines on the wall near the man’s head). I remember painting the wall purple but not all of it so you can see some of the gesso left behind. I painted the floor in burgundy acrylic however didn’t like it so started playing with oil and palette knives to create more textures in the artwork. I remember when painting the lamp i only placed a little bit of black at the edge then realised that way too much was actually used.

Sometimes I still feel like that man in the painting wondering what will happen next on the horizon. However what I need to remember is not what I can or can’t control about the future; it is how fast can I adapt to it and improve the current situation I’m in – whatever it is.

I now have a loving wife and a happy son and I can certainly assure Craig from 1999 the issues that were facing him back then weren’t even worth worrying about. Everything sorts itself out one way or another in the end.

Universal Sauce / Gravy Ratio

Not a fan or reading recipe books I generally like to create my food based on ratios so that they are easy to remember and can be applied to a wider range of cuisine. This is what I’d like to call the Universal Sauce / Gravy ratio:

1:1:1 & flavour

1 cup of fluid:1 tbl spoon binding agent:1 tbl spoon fat

Too general? Here’s an example:

1 cup beef stock: 1 tbl spoon flour: 1 tbl spoon butter & curry powder

Here’s another:

1 cup milk: 1 cup flour: 1 tbl spoon butter & nutmeg

Want a clear looking gravy? Use cornflour instead.

The best way to combine the ingredients is to start melting the butter and flour together in a pot to create a “Roux“. Once that delicious ball of fat and flour has been created slowly add the fluid and bash with a whisk to break down the blobs of flour. Keep adding the fluid until desired consistency is reached. Keep in mind when the gravy cools it gets thicker.

Enjoy, Rinse pot & repeat!

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Universal Sauce / Gravy paraphernalia