In December tropical cuisine: cooking in clare’s kitchen was awarded the Best Innovative Cookbook in Australia by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Category winners in each country have since been judged against other winners in the same category in other countries for the Best in World. The Gourmand judges have now shortlisted four contenders for Best Innovative Cookbook in the world, and tropical cuisine: cooking in clare’s kitchen is one of these top four books.
This wonderful news can help me raise as much as possible by gaining media attention for tropical cuisine, so apologies to the current top 10 bidders but I have decided to extend the bidding deadline to next Tuesday 25th January 9pm AEST. My cookbook and the auction will receive media attention over the weekend and I hope that this helps to raise further funds for the QLD Flood Relief appeal.
The impact of the floods in Queensland is currently beyond comprehension, and the ongoing risk of further flooding makes what is already a disaster of extraordinary scale even more daunting.
I have been contemplating what I can do to support those affected by the floods.
Anyone who has been involved in publishing, and particularly self-publishing, would know that it leaves one with meagre resources and takes strong sales over time to come ‘back into the black’.
But I do have one thing to give – my book.
So I decided to run a silent auction of 10 of my books to raise money for the many thousands upon thousands of people affected by the Queensland floods.
Here is how it works:
Australian bids start at $59.95 Australian Dollars (AUD).
International bids start at $99.95 Australian Dollars (AUD) ($40 of international bids will go towards postage, I will cover the remaining postage cost as Australia’s international postage costs are so high).
DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE as winners of the 10 books won will be asked to make their payment directly to the QLD Flood Relief Appeal fund.
(International winning bidders will pay $40AUD of their winning bid towards postage and this portion of a winning international bid will not be tax deductible). Winners will then provide evidence of their payment to claim their cookbook.
Bids are to be made on the Silent Auction page
I will post the bid range daily at 9pm, from the lowest of the 10 highest bids to the highest bid of all. The auction runs for 10 days and closes at 9pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on Friday 21st January 2011.
The 10 highest bidders will be the winners of the auction.
Each of the 10 winning bid amounts will be listed on this website, with winners choosing whether they wish their name to be listed or kept private.
Bids must be paid by 9pm Sunday 23rd January AEST via the silent auction payment page, the link to which will be sent to each winner (Paypal, Visa or MasterCard accepted). If bids are not paid by that time the bid will be annulled and the next closest bidder will be notified.
The only cost recouped from the auction will be $40AUD from each successful international bid – all other funds will go directly to the Queensland Flood Relief appeal. If $59.95 is beyond your means to contribute at auction, or if you don’t obtain a winning bid, please consider donating directly to the Queensland Flood Relief appeal.
Books will be inscribed as follows:
“This book is one of ten copies won in a silent auction that raised $…… for those affected by the Queensland floods. Thank you ………… for your generous support, kind regards, Clare”
I hope you will join me in this effort to raise funds for our fellow citizens. Please send the link to this post (http://tropicalcuisine.com/2011/01/11/silent-auction-to-support-qld-flood-relief/) and the donation page (http://tropicalcuisine.com/silent-auction/) to anyone who you feel may be interested, and keep checking in to see how the auction is progressing,
Sunshine soaked comfort
Caresses tender, innocence
Salt tainted sea breeze
Augmenting parched desire
An inner thirst
For a want, then unnamed
…Yet secretly possessed
For a pink bunny to hold dear
Your sweetness echoes
in floral strains, near
….A glimmer of me
Shadows of you
They came with their God and their book
Told him he was outcast, naked and poor
Shunned his tucker, language and lore
Tried to bleach him
With their righteous weapons
Their guns and disease
To scrub and scour all trace
Of what had gone before…
They came, sirens blaring
And took his children away
Filling him with their poison
“It will be better this way”
Yet the cockatoos screeched
a raucous chorus of ridicule
That echoed throughout the land
For the white invaders
Could never extinguish
Spirit’s dreamtime tryst
…And this ancient man
“But we always took her on family holidays !” became the familiar retort espoused by my mother in an attempt to defend her ‘excellent parenting skills’ around the time I finally sought help to leave home. She’d tell anyone who cared to listen… the family doctor, priest, police, social worker, judge…man on the street. She even tried the defense on ME as she barricaded me from exiting the front door on my eventual day of exit from the madness. It was an attempt to paint me as a spoilt, ungrateful teenager; which in hindsight was of course as transparent and feeble as the ice queen was herself.
I had neither the opportunity nor resolve during that period to illuminate those whose opinions may have mattered regarding the truth of what a ‘happy family holiday’ realistically entailed; yet the physical reaction her comment evoked within me was palpable. The inner turmoil in response to her audacity broiled inside each time I heard the defense repeated. My breathing accelerated and the veins in my neck and arms were hit up with intense shot of adrenaline. Yet at that time, even as a sixteen year old I still did not have ownership of the release of expression from my lips. Subsequently they remained in their locked pose, except on the handful of occasions when I simply knew my future depended it. Somehow then, I found the words.
“You’ve ruined my make up !”, she screamed, the accusation sweeping through the two bedroom cottage like the scream of cyclonic wind signalling an encroaching storm. “What have you done? You’ve ruined all my make up”.
I was eight or nine years of age. My parents had agreed that I could invite a friend from school on our trip to the Grampians, a rugged mountain range in the Victorian countryside. I looked at the figure of my friend Siobhan who sat on the opposite bed in the small room we had just begun to settle into after finally arriving following the long car drive. Her small frame shrunk back into the shield of the curtains, surrounded in the late afternoon light that filtered through the ominous mountain ranges surrounding us. The eerie fall of dusk across the vast national park had already set the tone for the first night of our stay. I had tried to shrug it off as my regular “doom and gloom” outlook that must have snuck into my suitcase as I packed that morning. Perhaps it too wanted to have a holiday from the oppression that typically created it, unaware it was hitching a ride with the perpetrator.
Coming to my senses, I quickly leapt up from the bed and stepped into the hallway, urging my school friend to stay put. Poor Siobhan sat frozen with a stunned expression, utterly flawed at my mother’s sudden outburst. I had no idea what I was walking into, but experience told me it was best to try and shield my friend from at least some of the commotion and just get it over and done with.
As I closed the bedroom door behind me, a hand clasped my shoulder and I was spun into the front room of the cottage where my mother had started to unpack her things. I blinked and tried to gather my bearings, unfamiliar with the wooden paneled interior of the holiday cottage.
“You touched my make up and now look at it. It’s ruined. RUINED”, she screamed hysterically, both hands now upon my shoulders.
My body rocked back and forth to the rhythm of her ranting but my consciousness sat squarely within my head which was spinning metaphorically as I struggled to make sense of her accusations. Whilst I concentrated on anchoring my feet to the floor, as the room swirled around me, I retraced my steps from the moment we had arrived at the cottage. We had all brought various pieces of luggage in from the car, my mother, father, Siobhan and I. Did I pick up the make-up case ? I couldn’t recall. Could it have been tousled about in the boot of the car enabling the contents to end up in the strewn about fashion they now resembled ? Possibly… but dare I suggest it ? I was exhibiting text book behaviour of a victim of abuse at eight years of age by questioning my own actions and sense of responsibility for my mother’s distress.
“But I didn’t touch your make-up!” I cried…then instantly regretted it.
“Don’t lie to me ! You lying, dishonest child” she shrieked as the sting of a open palm reverberated across my face.
I spent the next hour ‘cleaning up the mess I had made’, painstakingly attempting to filter bits of powder back into little bottles whilst Siobhan sat bewildered and most likely quite frightened, in the bedroom. What would I want with your make-up ? I thought to myself angrily as I worked, As if I’d want to paint myself to look like you !
I wonder why my father does not feature in these memories at all. I believe at some stage he emerged from the shadows, by which time the scene had played out and the damage done.
Needless to say, Siobhan was not the only friend to regret agreeing to accompany me on a ‘happy family holiday’. There was more such fun to be had…
(To be continued…)
Hi friends ! I thought I would share with you some pictures of my world here in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, Australia. Right now we are in the midst of the wet season and it hasn’t stopped raining for days.
Today the kids and I had a bit of fun at the park at the bottom of our street that as you can see has transformed into a lake ! (Fortunately, we live on a hill !) Then we went for a short drive to the Barron Gorge to see her in all her glory. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday !
The following series of images was created by Jorge Lizalde for his project Mnemonic, based upon a post I had submitted a few months ago titled Care Bears in the Clouds. The project aims to recreate participant’s earliest childhood memory by collating shared videos and images from the web, to recreate the memory landscape.
Care Bears in the Clouds
One of my earliest childhood memories is of being whisked up into the arms of an older brother and taken outside into the backyard of the family home. Here we would sit atop the timber picnic style outdoor table and chat about anything. It didn’t matter what the topic was. Maybe my brother would point to some birds flying overhead, or we would laugh at the antics of the pet dog. Often we would look for Care Bears in the clouds. Though the topic wasn’t important, the ritual was. It served as a distraction you see… and I think even as a four or five year old I knew it, but it was easier just to pretend. For somewhere inside the house, usually in the kitchen or front living room, my mother would be on the floor hysterical and unwilling or unable to pick herself up. My father and maybe another brother or two would take an arm or shoulder each, in an attempt to lift her up and escort her to her bedroom.
Somehow, someone must have been delegated the responsibility of removing me from the scene. Considering I was seven to ten years younger than all my four brothers, I imagine they were well accustomed to the drama but had wanted to shield me from it.
My memories of these instances present in quick, sharp snapshots, like the clicking frames of a camera and usually at angles that just allow for a glimpse around the corner of the dining room wall or behind a kitchen bench, as I looked back over the shoulder of whoever was carrying me towards the back door. It was confusing and scary, but easier not to ask questions and seek out those Care Bears in the clouds instead.