Sunday, 2 November 2014

the week that was (and the year that will be)

I returned home yesterday feeling as though I had been away for a month
when really and truly
I had been just two hours or so down the road for six days

working with my friend Roz
to make food for a class led by my friend  Sandra
in conditions that may not have been ideal
but were the source of much hilarity though they sometimes needed a good deal of ingenuity
and thank goodness (and the Dogs Above) for my lovely friends Sam and Janet White who positively encouraged us to raid their beautiful garden for greens, beans, herbs and flowers (and who put up with us staying with them for the duration and singing loudly in the evenings)

we constructed a workstation from a wheelie bin and an old door
luckily Roz had insisted on buying a waxed table cloth which provided a cleanable prep surface (I fought the purchase at the time thinking "no! Not more Chinese rubbish!" but I was very grateful for it I can tell you.)

we drew pictures on the plates. Roz conjured wonderful table decorations. 
and nobody reported any tummy aches despite having dairy, nut and gluten intolerances among our punters. we cooked vegetarian food that met those conditions and had a splendid time doing it

on Wednesday I'm off to the cook and teach for my classes at Mansfield. sadly Roz has retreated to her paradisical Queensland garden and won't be coming with me
fortunately the kitchen at Crockett Cottage studio is well equipped and because I'm staying there as well I'll be able to prep in the evenings (without having to fend off magpies and wattle birds!)

and now to 2015
it looks like it's going to be a pretty full year, which is a jolly fine thing. so just to fill in the dots between what's already been announced :

in March I'm exhibiting in Tasmania for what used to be called Ten Days on the Island but is now to be the Tasmanian International Arts Festival and
teaching an associated masterclass

in April (because we had so much fun together in our camp kitchen) Roz Hawker and I will be offering something we have been musing on for a while now...a retreat to a quiet and beautiful place somewhere in Australia. 

we may well make it an annual event (and we are contemplating one in South Australia) as well but the very first one will be the retreat at Tin Can Bay in Queensland.
(but this time we shall be leaving all the cooking and the table decorating to our hosts)

attendance will be by application only - this doesn't mean we'll be weeding out anyone who doesn't have a PhD, it simply means that we will be doing our level best to gather a peaceful and compatible group with the best chances of having a lovely time together, because it is helpful to have a bit of background on you so that we can fine-tune the program and because we want this event to be nourishing and enriching as well as playful and also FUN.

drop me a line through my contact page if you'd like me to send you the fine print.

in June I shall be at the Observatory in Andamooka, working on the Solace project

and July sees me traveling to lovely Newburgh again
and staying to participate in a class led by Larry Thomas 
after which I shall hop across to France to join Les Soeurs Anglaises for a week
before heading to my beloved New Orleans for a bit and thence to the beautiful Pacific North West
but more of that later.
if you've made it this far it's time for a cup of tea.

I'm getting one myself and reading this wonderful story again


  1. India, many thanks to both you and Ros for that wonderful food made under interesting circumstances, eaten with great pleasure and delight, and thank you for bringing Sandra to us for the best workshop ever.

    1. Thank you for the kind words...I'm not sure I can take credit for bringing her to Australia though, I think that must go to Janet de Boer...I merely planted a seed :-)

  2. wow. this is exhausting to read (in the best way, though). and then to think of how much fun and fellowship (i know that's a dated word, but it's the right one) and to see the exquisite care you took with feeding folks. lovely. you and roz are a formidable culinary duo! happy now, happy planning for the big 15. oh, wait, it IS planned! yikes! wonderful all around!

    1. We had so much fun in our camp kitchen that we just knew we would have to find more duets to play together after Bower Bird Blues...

  3. dear India you, and Roz can make food as in Norma Michelinguide restaurant in Copenhagen , i have not been there but knew somebody who has. Sob i do not see you in 2015 and Aus was a dream , but some time after in Newburgh again , i am sure you will return, you are so closed connected to Hat in the Cat . all the best to you

    1. Sorry I won't see you next year but I can tell you I hope to return annually to Big Cat for as long as they will have me...

    2. and thank you Bodil for comparing us to
      I'm honoured but I'm not so sure that they would enjoy the comparison :-)

  4. But a seed must be planted.

  5. thank you for the wonderful journey, sent that link to my parents, both over 80 and very active

  6. I too enjoyed the new york times article very much. Thank you for including it.