What do you call that darl? #blogjune

Pumpkin soup.   A simple yet satisfying winter dish.

bowl of pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup, SBS food

My recent discovery is to roast the pumpkin before blending it into a soup.  This roasting tip (which I think I got from Jamie Oliver), adds more depth and interest to the soup and works well with other vegetables.

Here are some of my favourite soup combinations – all starting with softened onion and garlic, and using vegetable stock.

  • Pumpkin (roasted) and cumin
  • Sweet potato (roasted) and ginger
  • Cauliflower (roasted) and garam masala or curry powder
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Flushed with caffeine #blogjune

Coffee, because crack is bad for you” Unknown

I used to enjoy coffee, but since living in Melbourne I have grown to love coffee. Which makes it that much harder now that coffee doesn’t love me back.

cup of coffee with tulip latte art

photo by Takeaway on Flickr

Lately my face gets hot and flushed when I have a cup of coffee, a reaction not simply caused by a charming barista.  The flushing is painful enough to make me question the wisdom of having another shot (or double-shot).

I’ve gradually been reducing my intake, having more cups of herbal tea and buying decaffeinated coffee, but sometimes the smell of freshly ground beans, the hiss of the frothing machine, the decorative foam art are just too much to resist – whatever the burning consequences.

It make take me some time till “I wake up and smell the coffee”, and learn to live without a trusty cup of java.

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Amazing Grace Hopper #blogjune

One of my favourite sayings is “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission”.  This is something I say to myself when I find myself in a state of inertia, often when worrying about doing something new.

photo of Grace Hopper

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN.

The source of this quote was Grace Hopper, a Rear Admiral in the US Navy.  She was among the first computer programmers, wrote the first ever compiler, came up with the term debugging, and a whole lot of other computing firsts.  In 1969 she was awarded the inaugural Computer Sciences Man (sic) of the Year award, and lots of awards subsequently.  Her Wikipedia entry is an impressive read.

Now as well as a powerful quote, I know about a powerful woman to inspire me to be just a tad more adventurous.

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Would you like fines with that? #blogjune

You know the saying about cobbler’s children being unshod,  well I think librarians are amongst the main offenders of overdue library books, but maybe it’s just me?  According to Patrick Cook’s (1983) Favourite names for boys & girls  “St Julie aids the victims of library fines” 🙂overdue stamp

As I have just returned from paying off some overdue fines at my local library I did wonder why we have not experimented more with other possibilities for the overdue fine.  I then found this  blog post that raises some interesting alternatives; ranging from “no fines” to a sort of “work for the fine” option.  My favourite however would be the “pay what you want” concept.  A concept I’ve seen work in a cultural institutions (MoMA) and a restaurant (Lentil as Anything).

From my time in public libraries a while ago, I know that offering an amnesty on fines does bring back “lapsed”clients.  Perhaps there are ways to stop them becoming lapsed in the first place.

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Being on a committee #blogjune

It was with mixed feelings that I attended my last VALA committee meeting tonight.

vala committee members

VALA Committee 2014

As is the case with most non-profit and/or professional organisations, being on a committee is a volunteer role.  Committee membership requires a commitment of time, a love of reading paperwork, and a duty of care.   Benefits however outweigh any overly long after-work meetings. By serving on the committee I’ve:

  • increased my knowledge in the area of library and technology,
  • met wonderful colleagues who are passionate about libraries,
  • learned what is needed to put together a successful major conference,
  • and hopefully contributed to decisions that advanced the organisation’s aims.

Every committee has its own dynamics, and I’ve been fortunate that the committee I have been a member of has been both functional and enjoyable.

Valete VALA

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A key indicator of being a profession #blogjune

I am both a qualified librarian and a qualified massage therapist.  I did a post-graduate course to become a librarian, and a diploma for remedial massage.  I am a paid up member to both professional associations – ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) and AAMT (Australian Association of Massage Therapists).

Only one of these professions requires me to keep up a yearly level of continuing professional development to remain qualified, and it isn’t librarianship.  Brack_Vocabularius_rerum

While chatting yesterday, my friend Sally (@sallysetsforth) and I agreed that a good indicator of being ‘a profession’ is a commitment to continuous learning.  Accountants do it, Doctors do it, Chartered Surveyors do it, Massage Therapists do it  – but not librarians.

ALIA does have a good Continuing Professional Development Scheme, but it is not a requirement of membership as with many other professions.

Given how quickly the information scene changes isn’t it even more vital that we as librarians continually expand and update our knowledge to meet this level of change, and shouldn’t our clients expect it of us.

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Favourite meal of the day #blogjune

Breakfast is the meal I most enjoy, and that I experiment with the most.

Over the course of a week I could have the following:  weet-bix and milk, a green smoothie, porridge, toast and nut butter, fruit and yoghurt, and the “the full whack” of eggs, toast, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach.hot chocolate and croissant

I have even been known to have a breakfast of finely chopped cauliflower with some yoghurt. Recipe below for those who might be tempted.

Today however I had a petit dejeuner of hot chocolate and croissant. Delightful.

Yoghurt with Cauliflower (the raw cauliflower is very refreshing and crunchy, with the yoghurt adding a nice creamy counterpoint)

  • Handful of finely chopped cauliflower
  • 3-4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • optional you can add small handful of nuts e.g. almonds

Put it all in a bowl.

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