How to Banish Melancholy


a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

Autumn is that time of year when I come alive and begin to have some kind of structure to my days and nights. I don’t like the heat. Australian summers are HOT and they annoy me, I just can’t function properly. Today is an overcast, cool day with a high of 18 degrees.  Yes, I have the heater on, I’m cold. It’s not really ‘heater’ weather yet but I need socks and 3/4 sleeves and something hot and bubbling away on the stove.

The last few days have been a bit heavy for me mentally and yesterday my energy levels were at an all time low. I knew that I had to banish this today if I wanted to make the most of my day off work. This week I’ll be working 40+ hours and I need comfort food to see me through the late nights home, when all I want to do is relax.

Aloo Matar! Potato and Peas curry.

As part of our ‘Meatless Monday’ household, this vegan dish is comfort, flavour and bliss in a bowl. Socks all the way to the knees, curled up with a great book (currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller), can allow me to feel present while laundry is laundering and spices are spicing up my dinner. Adulting can be a bit rough for me so I adopt the art of Hygge and concentrate on the present.

For me, when I have to start coming out of my melancholic state it’s all about effort and taking things slow… appreciating the small things. The house is clean -ish, warm and smells amazing with spicy aromas wafting through the house. I’m pretty lucky actually. I have created this bliss. The fact that melancholy darkens my door every now and then is not even an issue really. Melancholy should be fleeting. Something that comes, tries to stay but will never be stronger than me and my need to take each day as the blessing that it is.

So, it’s time to get up, wash your hair, put some clothes on and head out the door to buy the freshest ingredients.

The recipe requires only a few things, most of which are staples in my house. It’s cheap and can feed many mouths, making it a winner in my recipe box.

You will need:

2 Tbls oil, (I use Rice Bran)

1 teas cumin seeds

1 teas black mustard seeds

1 teas turmeric powder

1/2 teas chilli powder

1 teas garam masala

1 Tbls coriander powder

2 onions, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 inch ginger, grated

4 tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 med-large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

300g fresh or frozen peas

approx 500 ml boiling water

salt to taste

chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Down to the local food store to buy supplies (avoid busy, autonomous supermarkets when you’re trying to slide out of melancholy), then back home. I scrubbed and cleaned the potatoes, tomatoes and peas, dosed out the spices and pulled out my huge dutch oven so that I could make a big batch of this to not only feed the five adults tonight but to have some left over for the week, so I doubled the recipe. A bowl of this will certainly banish melancholy by a thousand feet. It is a simple, quick recipe that is perfect for mid-week dinner and it keeps well for leftovers. Curries taste amazing the next day.

On medium-high heat, begin by heating the oil and adding the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them sizzle to release their aroma and add your onion. Cook until golden brown.

Add garlic and ginger and tomatoes, stir thoroughly, place lid on the pot and cook gently on med-low heat for about 10-12 minutes, until tomatoes have softened and caramalised.

Add you spices, turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder and salt, stirring for a minute before adding the potato and peas. Add boiling water, simmer for about 30-35 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve over a bowl of fluffy rice.

Enjoy and happy cooking.


Fiji in May

Hi Bloggers,

I went to Fiji for a week. A last minute decision, I needed to get away and do something different from the daily crap I’ve been going through and to just get away. I went with my cousin Annette, who if it wasn’t for her, I would not have gone. She really saved me. I was going stir crazy at home. We stayed on a beautiful island called Sonaisali that I can only recommend if you’re interested in beauty and relaxation.

I can’t tell you what a wonderful place Fiji can be. The Fijian people are so beautiful and so welcoming and it’s so hard not to fall in their pace of ‘hey relax, take it slow’.

As a person living in a western country, I thought it would be hard to not care about time or that I ordered my Mai Tai 30 minutes ago, but I did it with ease (except when I didn’t, usually involving coffee).


Above was the view from the lounge chairs just offside the main dining room and bar. I could sit there forever looking at this view and by day it looks like any kind of Island photo, but the absolute beauty of Sonaisali Island is dusk. As the sun goes down, it puts a perfect glow over everything before the dark blanket covers the wonderous hues that take your breath away.


Okay, so my iPhone 4 is a bloody shit camera, but it’s all I had. I don’t own a point and shoot camera because frankly, I’d rather use a disposable camera that waste money on something that flattens every shot I take. If I can’t own a DSLR yet, my phone will have to do.

The view above was taken from the balcony of my room. If I timed it right, and often I did, I would see this every night and meditate on its beauty.


This is MY daybed hut. I called it mine because I wanted to take it home with me, but it wouldn’t fit in my luggage. The sliding door you see behind it was where I slept. So if proximity says anything about ownership, it’s mine. I got very annoyed if anyone else used it, I became very possessive about it.

You’ll have to excuse the blur around the edges. Every time I lost concentration on what I was doing, I kept hitting this stupid editing button that’s on the iPhone. Instead of leaving well enough alone hitting it once, I kept hitting it hoping it would revert back to normal eventually, but all it kept doing was blurring it even more. Stupid technology. Maybe squint your eyes to make it unblur (I know, not a word), I don’t know, in any case I apologise.




This is the beautiful Lily Pond outside the main entrance of the resort. Very beautiful no? All the plants and flowers were beautiful. A huge hibiscus tree outside my room was stunning and made me sad that I can’t grow anything at home. I definitely do not have a green thumb. I love beautiful gardens and appreciate the hard work that goes in them, but I can’t be trusted around anything that is green and living. There was a whole team of gardeners working every day making this island paradise. If I had that at home, I’d have a beautiful garden too.


This is the same view from the lounge chairs near the dining room, but on a different night. See how the colours differ from the first photo? It really is an amazing place, that throws a myriad of hues all over the place, everyday different, everyday something to marvel at.

Fiji is a great idea if you want an Island holiday. Don’t expect any great food and fruit because resort food isn’t the best. I do have one suggestion and that is, if you’re on a budget, maybe stop on the way from the airport to the island at a supermarket and stock up on water, snacks and some fruit to keep in your bar fridge. I saw wonderful fruit there that looked a lot better than what was available at the resort.

The resorts are three times more expensive than the mainland. Food prices for dinning are okay, but it can be a bit hit and miss in it’s consistency. The fruit wasn’t that great. I guess I expected big mounds of fruit lying around, tasting delicious, but all we had was a bit of pineapple, a bit of watermelon, some orange segments and the rest looked like canned fruit swimming in bowls of syrup. I was a bit disappointed in that.

You won’t starve, but for a foodie like me, it can be a bit of a let down.

Moving on….


A great thing that happened to me was that I got the ‘sit and read’ vibe back again. It had been months since I could do that, with everything that was going on in my life and in my head, I couldn’t sit for more than 10 minutes without getting up and pacing. This is not good for a Literary Major currently enrolled in University. I needed to get back into reading and absorbing what I was reading.

I read:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Audible)

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson (paperback)

More than half way through Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson (Audible)

Half way through On the Road by Jack Kerouac (paperback)

…. only didn’t get through:

The Rum Diary by Hunter Thompson

Plato’s Symposium

The Maltese Falcon

The last two were going to be re-reads anyway, so who cares. Not bad for 6 days and a lot of time sleeping.


So, go to Fiji, if you must and make sure you take me along with you. If only because I’m a good person who would love to go again and again and well, now I’m such an old hand about the place.

Have a happy day Bloggers.


Blogging at Half Past Midnight

So I was going to write this whole spiel, actually I did but then I deleted it all, about what’s been going on with me and why I haven’t been around. Yeah well, nobody wants to hear it in depth, so I’ll keep it short.

My Mum died in March, which pretty much tore my life apart. She was an amazing force in my life, just like your Mum is to you….. and she was my best friend. I miss her like crazy.

In short, I’m not doing too well. I thought I was okay. The first month I just put one foot in front of the other, but the last 2 weeks have been hell. It seems the grief has hit me later than I thought. So I’ve been writing like crazy since she died, nothing I can publish here, but it has been helping.

Anyone got any tips on how to get through all this? I’ve now lost both my parents and seeing as I was Mums full time carer, I’m feeling rather redundant and having trouble remembering to shampoo my hair let alone pay the gas bill.

What am I going to do with my life now that I am no longer a full time carer?

They didn’t warn me about that.

I miss my Mum very much and my heart is really hurting over this.

On a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Again, I am trying new and interesting ways to procrastinate today. I wish I could break through this bad habit I have of doing everything else except study. The problem is, there are a couple of books this term that I’m just not getting happy with. This may be the cause, because usually I don’t need any encouragement to curl up on my over sized armchair with a blanket (although, not needed today), and a cuppa.

Today’s distraction is brought to you by the super-fabulous day Melbournian’s are enjoying right now. It is the first day of Spring and it has certainly come to the party. It is just beautiful outside and the thought of being indoors today is just too much to bear, but I don’t trust myself going out there. I’ll get distracted by other things and my book will fall by the wayside, so indoors I stay as punishment for my procrastination.

The local Fire Brigade has just sounded the siren, signifying that it has struck noon on this sunny Sunday. I’ve already done some basic housework, there is a bit more preparation to be done for dinner tonight, but other than that, I have no excuse not to read my book. Technically I only have this week to get through it before needing to read the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ which only takes me about 2 days to read. THEN I’ll hopefully have caught up with the rest of my class.

So does anyone have any great ideas on how to beat procrastination? My cousin Carmen once said that in order to study and to concentrate, you need to eat sugar. While that does work, it’s not exactly healthy for me with the amount of study that I need to accomplish. I don’t want to be a diabetic on my graduation day.

The man currently causing my procrastination. Louis Ferdinand Céline

The man currently causing my procrastination. Louis Ferdinand Céline