Finding an on-line course that has the bonus of being free
Have you heard of FutureLearn? I recently found this site where you can browse free on line courses from top universities and specialist organisations. You are able to join courses that are about to start or are in progress or register to find out when courses will run again. Ken booked in for three courses, two with regard to film making and one run by the University of Southampton, UK, dealing with the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. There are opportunities for you to offer your opinions regarding the course you are taking, ask questions and join in a forum with other participants. Amazingly the courses are all free.
There are a large number of topics available on a variety of subjects so have a look at their site:
This morning I attended a course at my local U3A on Memoir Writing. I wasn’t sure what to expect or whether it would help me with the writing of the book I have in progress covering our ‘alternative lifestyle’ days. That still remains to be seen but hearing snippets of other peoples life experiences was so interesting and inspiring. Human endeavour is absolutely amazing and should be documented. As I have mentioned before, if you are unable to find the type of course you are looking for, have a look at the U3A website where they offer on-line courses in variety. www.u3aonline.org.au
After the death of Josephine, the lady I was visiting through the Community Visitor Scheme, I was undecided whether to continue on the program. It can be a challenge when you realise that many of the inhabitants of the Aged Care Facilities where you visit are only a little older, and in many cases, younger than yourself. However, when Rosemary, the Co-ordinator of the program, rang me and asked if I would be interested in visiting Dorothy who is 102 and in need of a visitor who could chat and listen to her life stories, I just had to accept. I visited Dorothy for the first time this week and spent a really enjoyable hour in her company. I was amazed to find that she can see perfectly without glasses and loves a game of bowls in the recreation facility at the home. She told me about her family, the number of which she has lost count, and of her late husband who she met when she was 14 but didn’t marry until she was 24. I anticipate having many happy visits with her.
How rewarding volunteering can be!
Keeping in touch with family and friends
I was reflecting recently on friends and aquaintances that had passed through my life and who I no longer had regular contact with. This got me to thinking how great it would be to re-establish some of these connections so I made some phone calls and wrote some letters. Everyone I contacted was pleased to hear from me and although it hasn’t been possible to meet some personally due to tyranny of distance, we have exchanged e-mail addresses and agreed to keep in contact. One really enjoyable experience was finding the son of a friend on Facebook and asking if he could put us in touch again. He arranged for us to chat on Skype when she visited him and it turned out to be a very long conversation. We first met when both 16 at an interview to enter Secretarial College. She has now bought an iPad but has not yet mastered using Skype though I’m sure she will quite soon.
Fortunately I have managed to keep in contact with most of my cousins in England and a few friends of my late mother, two of whom still write long and interesting letters. Sadly one of my cousin’s has developed alzheimer’s and is no longer able to communicate, so I am glad that I maintained contact with her over the years.
Friends and family make up the fabric of our lives.
Update on my felt-making project
My friend Olga recently returned from visiting family in Chile and kindly brought back a present for me of some beautiful carded wool in brilliant colours. I decided I must make a vest-type jacket for her as a thank you. I did some practice panels, and eventually a panel which will be cut into two for the actual jacket. I still need to do more panels in order to complete the vest. One panel I made was a complete disaster as I didn’t use sufficient material and it turned out covered in holes. Perhaps there will be a use for it in a later project. Ken took some film of me doing the felting with the idea in mind of eventually making a short film of the process. He produced what I thought was a nice title showing some of the coloured wool. There’s a lot of perfecting on my part before a film could be made but there’s a challenge on the horizon.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to look through all my cookery books with the idea of discarding those not used. Goodness what a collection and what memories were contained within those pages. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours recalling successes and failures. My most used book is one given to me as a wedding gift by my Aunt Helen. It has lost the cover and the index is stabled together at the back but it’s still the book I pull out first for an old time favourite. Another of my well used cookery books is one I bought when I first came to Australia in 1976 and is The Rodale Cookbook from Fitness House, Pennsylvania, USA. One of the recipes I’m confident you will enjoy and which I always have in the cupboard is
Almond Crunch Cereal
Preheat oven to 225F/110C
3 cups uncooked rolled oats (not quick oats)
1½ cups dry coconut shreds, unsweetened
½ cup wheat germ or soy grits
1 cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup honey
¼ cup oil
½ cup cold water
1 cup slivered almonds
½ cup raisins (optional)
Combine oats, coconut, wheat germ or soy grits, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Toss ingredients together thoroughly.
Combine honey and oil. Add the cold water, a little at a time, mixing until crumbly.
Pour mixture into a large, heavy, shallow baking pan which has been lightly brushed with oil. Spread mixture evenly to edges of pan.
Place on middle rack of preheated oven and bake for 1½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Add almonds and bake for a further ½ hour. Mixture should be dry and light brown in colour and feel crisp to the touch.
Turn oven off and allow cereal to cool in oven. If raisins are to be added to cereal, do so at this point. Remove cereal from oven, cool and put in a tightly covered container. Store in a cool dry place. Yield 8 cups.
A recipe from my book: What to eat if you don’t have meat
1 medium tin red kidney beans
1 clove garlic crushed
4 medium carrots
2 cooking apples
2 medium onions
3 large potatoes
2 tsp Madras curry powder (or your own mix)
1 tsp yeast extract
Fry onion and garlic gently in oil then add sliced apple and continue cooking until pulped. Add sliced mushrooms and carrots together with curry powder, stock and yeast extract. Cut potatoes into small chunks and add to curry. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer very gently for half an hour. Add kidney beans and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes.
It’s well worth making up a double quantity of this recipe and freezing because it will be a firm favourite with everyone.
Well once again I’ve come to the end of the blog but will sign off with a quote:
LIFE IS LIKE A CAMERA
- FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT
- CAPTURE THE GOOD TIMES
- DEVELOP FROM THE NEGATIVES
- IF THINGS DON’T WORK OUT, TAKE ANOTHER SHOT