On the Origins of Fuck Part 2: But what about the D?

so long as it's words

Last week I got to visit the manuscript that started it all. The one with the brilliant little note in the margin insulting some unpopular cleric with one of the earliest recorded instances of the word fuck:

whole page adjusted Brasenose College MS 7, f.62v [photo mine, with thanks to Brasenose College, Oxford and Llewelyn Morgan]

What this picture shows is one full page of a fifteenth-century manuscript. The two main columns are a section of Cicero’s De Officiis – a moral treatise on good behaviour – which was the second-most frequently copied text of the Middle Ages. And at the bottom of these two columns someone has come along and written the following:

1.  false are the works wich this Abbot writ in the abbie of Osney alias Godstow 1528
2.  O d fuckin Abbot

This handwriting is found on several pages throughout the manuscript and, very unusually, it gives us…

View original post 1,150 more words

Ultimate comfort must haves

It is a cold rainy night here and I decided to make my favourite comfort food for dessert tonight….Apple and Rhubarb Bread and Butter pudding. And it was soooo good!

But it got me thinking. It has been a crappy week with so many horrible things happening to good people around me and I know that every one has weeks like or much worse than mine. And when I have weeks like this I make a bit of comfort food ( see above) and read my favourite book ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott or watch ‘Monsters Inc’ or ‘Despicable Me’. 

It’s just feel good comedy or literature, that makes a bad day seem better. So I would like to know…what are your favourite comfort things? Is it a bath with a book? An amazing cocktail, potato laden dish, a favourite book or movie? It could be all these…I would just love to hear what makes a bad day (or week!) seem better for other people! 

 I will leave you with the recipe and method for the bread and butter pudding (I love it, its super easy!)….until next time! xx

Take care xo

Ingredients*

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 300ml pure cream
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 thick slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 40g butter, softened for spreading
  • 2 Pink Lady apples ( or Granny smith)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar ( for sprinkling)
  • 4 stalks of rhubarb 

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 5cm-deep, 17cm x 28cm (base) baking dish. Whisk eggs, milk, cream, caster sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl. Wash and cut rhubarb and apples into thin, bite sized pieces.

  2. Step 2

    Spread both sides of each bread slice with butter. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Arrange half the bread in rows in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining bread and arrange cut and washed apples and rhubarb. Sprinkle raisins or other dried fruit if desired.

  3. Step 3

    Pour egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 35 to 40* minutes or until golden and set. Serve.

*Original recipe can be found at http://www.taste.com.au, I have amended ingredients and cooking time slightly.

The Ugly Side of the Literary Other and Societal Implications

Ancients Romans writing about their battles with ‘Savage and Terrible’ Celtic warriors, English explorers writing about how ‘Beastly’ American Indians were towards them and how in the book The Help ‘Home Health Initiatives’ were introduced so black maids didn’t have to share bathrooms with their white employers because…’They have different diseases than we do’. What do all these things have in common? They are strong examples of othering by a colonising race over the colonised.

The concept of othering within Literature is not an unusual or new concept by any means. What is basically meant with the term ‘othering’ is a simple but dangerous concept. There is an enlightened superior  ‘us’ and a ‘Savage’, ‘Inferior’ and lowly ‘other’. The other is usually different in physical appearance or social status, so a real or imagined line should not ever be seen to be crossed in the eyes of society.

Where this thinking becomes truly dangerous is when injustices such as mistreatment, neglect or in some cases genocide in horrific circumstances occur with the belief that the other that is persecuted is inferior, in some way, therefore is unworthy of the basic right to live in peace.

While this all sounds like something that only exists in post colonial fiction that we see published in the 18th and 19th centuries, the post colonial gaze still lingers in todays society.

With migrants coming over in boats in Australian waters the media teaches us that something needs to be done about ‘them’. The line between the self and the other is still as clear as ever.

For years in Australian culture the definition of the self was to be an ‘Aussie’ and migrants and even some first generation Australian’s with parents hailing from another country would be seen to be told to ‘Go back where you came from’… Cronulla riots anyone?

Thankfully this type of behaviour is changing but the fear mongering about unknown ‘other’ races still exists. As long as there are people that perpetrate stereotypes that unknown cultures need to be automatically feared society remains fragmented at best.

When a society aims to work together to become another within rather than creating fortunate few and misunderstanding and fearing the other a more peaceful society exists. And no I don’t believe that its an utopian ideal…I just think the media needs to lay off the fear and take the time to understand people different to yourself……

The Power of Food

Why I love food isn’t exactly a mystery, its what keeps me alive. So why is it that the thing that keeps us is alive something that creates so much passion and diversity around the world?

When people discuss their travels, the food is one of the most memorable aspects of the adventure. You remember a place you visited far more fondly if you had a to die for tiramisu in Italy for example. And if like me you had a fish in Venice that tasted like the canal smelt you are less likely to want to return to that part of the world…( well Venice is pretty amazing and it had great gelato…so I forgive it!)

Food isn’t just something to merely keep us alive, like we view oxygen, but rather its a source of pleasure, guilt, well being, vitality and creativity. Nothing personally makes me feel better than whipping up a baked treat in the kitchen for the ones I love.

The thing I love most about food is that its the great equaliser. Everyone needs food and enjoys it. The dinner table is where all people of different walks of life can potentially sit down and enjoy the pleasure of good food and maybe a cheeky wine or sherbet depending on what you like :).

Maybe peace negotiations between countries could go a bit more smoothly at a dinner table? Just a thought!

Till next time,

xxxt

Start of Canadian Lit studies.

This semester I’m studying Canadian literature… Which I was warned was dry and dull. I’m pleasantly surprised to say that I’m finding it complex and really different. At the moment we are studying excerpts from the early explorers diaries and relatives stories.
It makes me realise how much we take for granted that the world we live in is easy to get around. These men set out to explore the continent and many times just never returned home. One unfortunate party was believed to have resorted to cannibalisim to survive… I’m not entirely sure if that was verified… But in 2014 we can hop on a plane and go virtually wherever we want. Tragic accidents still happen but they are the exception.. Not the norm.

We know the earth is round not flat, that if we get a cold we very likely won’t die and that there is not much left to be explored on Earth so we can feel far more certain about the world we live in. And it’s thanks to early explorers that did all the work for us. Now I’m not saying humans are out of the woods yet… But isn’t awesome that we can appreciate just how far we’ve come as a civilisation?

My First Blog Post!

I never even dreamed of having my own blog, until this morning driving to work. I had three takeaway coffee’s in my car and I realised that the things in my life that made me happy were the simple things like the smell of fresh coffee, new and old books and amazing food. I believe that in the end its these little things that really make life so enjoyable.

Im currently studying at university to become a librarian and I am so excited, scared and happy to be doing something with my life that I actually want to do. So while I’m studying  i’ll be blogging about my English lit studies, the books, teachers and any adventures that studying affords me! There will be much food, recipe and coffee talk as these are the things that keep me going! Any mean spirited comments will be deleted so please be nice 🙂 But plenty of discussion on books, food and coffee will be more than welcome! Till next time 🙂 xxx