Tag Archives: love

Is there an elephant in your bedroom?

17 Jul

sexy 2 Did you know that getting it on is really good for you?

I mean Zumba is ok but the horizontal rumba kicks its arse all day long.

Sex boosts your immune system, can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, makes your hair shinier, and can help battle the effects of mild depression and anxiety.

With sex being the most awesome multivitamin in the world, we should be banging the be-jesus out of each other all the damned time, but the fact is, most of us aren’t doing it like they do it on the Discovery Channel.

I can’t speak for everyone, because I have no idea what happens to a large majority of couples once you add kids, sleepless nights, endless housework, a dash of resentment, and regular exhaustion, but of the ladies I speak to candidly and regularly about sex,  almost all of them complain about the same thing.

The most physical they feel like getting with their partner is punching him in the face….. no, not really (maybe, sort of), but they don’t feel like giving him one either.

I’ve written before that I reckon rumpy pumpy is the tie that binds you as a couple, and if you ain’t doing it those shoes left laying in the lounge room, and the putting the washing beside the laundry hamper really start to get on your tits. Basically, if you’re getting regular intimacy (read : schnuggles and schtooping) you’re more grounded as a couple.

Less easily pissed.


That’s a fact.

If the intimacy element of your relationship is slipping, it doesn’t take long to become a whacking great elephant in the room. You’re avoiding each other, feigning sleep, maybe you’re even ‘doing it’ just to make the other person happy…. that’s a bit awks… Obligatory sex?


Remember my old buddy Isiah McKimmie, the sex therapist? She’s started up a new program called Juicy, Sexy, Love.


I was so pumped (not a euphemism) when I heard about it that when she offered my peeps a free crack at her introductory program I jumped at the chance because if you get onto this stuff early enough it can be a game changer for your relationship….as in, save that shit from going south-er-er.

Know what I’m saying?

Juicy, Sexy, Love. discusses the importance of intimacy as a couple, but it also delves into the other stuff, the really important stuff that will help your love life…… the stuff like -

Loving yourself.

Valuing yourself.

Feeling sexy and sexual and worthy of love and pleasure.

Remember that stuff?

That shit can be hard when you’re nipple deep in the daily sludge.

Isiah talks about the balance in your relationship. The balance of respect, the balance of power. You see sex isn’t just about the beast with two backs.

90% of love making is in your head, so if the planets aren’t aligning, you ain’t feeling the va-va-va-voom.

Anyway, the program itself is not open yet, but Isiah has given you peeps access to her 3 Keys to a Juicy Relationship, so you can suss it out and see if it’s something you think you can benefit from.

3 Keys to a Juicy Relationship is a three part video series, with little ‘play sheets’ so you and your partner can work together to reconnect, and rekindle your spark.



  • You’re ready to take action to improve your relationship and sex life.
  • You know that there are two people in a relationship and you have to work together to make it work.
  • You want to feel happier, more confident and have more energy.
  • You want to argue less and love more.
  • You’re willing to invest 8 weeks into making your relationship awesome.
  • You’re worried about what will happen to your relationship if things don’t get better again soon.


  • You want someone else to do the work on your relationship for you.
  • You want to blame your partner for what is happening in your relationship.
  • You’re not willing to set aside time to make your relationship better.
  • You’re having multiple, long-term problems in your relationship (we suggest you seek help through coaching).
  • You want to leave your relationship.

** This is not a sponsored post. I’m just a big fan of sex and shiny hair **

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Portrait 365 : 64, 65, 66, 67

8 Mar Irene

The Holsbys

The Holsbys

I didn’t technically take this photo, but it was taken with my camera. We’re doing a little cross promotion for D Man’s football club, Little Kickers.

Too lovely not to use it….. I was probably muttering something like ‘Hurry up, this kid is squashing my jugs.’



‘I’m NOT sharing.’

Maya was not feeling the play date.



‘This parenting toddlers part is really tough on relationships. You need to remember why you were attracted to your partner in the first place.’

I met Mandy through blogging and instantly connected with her, but she lived a couple of hours away. She’s now moved back to town and I’m thrilled because I feel like I’ve known her for a long time and I just love her vibe.



‘I’m still thinking about my ex, but I met a new guy and this whole dating idea has really caught me off guard.’

Irene was walking along scowling at her coconut water. I laughed openly at her for not getting into the health benefits and we struck up a conversation about love.

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Love in a Time of Internet and Best Ever Cruciferous Quinoa Salad

2 Mar cruciferous quinoa salad

Cruciferous and quinoa salad ingredientsI assisted on a photo shoot today with the amazing Kirsten Cox.

We were shooting the new web and print campaign for a little internet dating company called eHarmony.

I’m sure you’ve heard of them.

The couples were real life poster couples for how successful internet dating can be. They all met on eHarmony and they’re now living in significant relationships or hitched.

I must admit I’ve walked away feeling all mushy on the insides.

Watching these couples gazing adoringly at each other, they weren’t acting for the camera. That shit was so real that people standing five feet away could feel the waves coming off them.

When they smiled at each other, I smiled at them.

In fact, I probably looked a bit creepy standing there, holding the reflector and grinning like an idiot…. but it just felt so nice to witness such affection, such adoration.

Such love.

eharmony photo shoot with Kirsten CoxOnce more I’m left in awe of the power of finding someone who makes you feel like that.

It’s so mindblowingly profound that of all the people we come into contact with all of the time, sometimes, if you’re really lucky, there’s that one person in a million who makes you feel that way.

I had a crack at internet dating once.

The process itself is a little intoxicating and quite exhilarating and I was a little bit shit at it due to a lack of patience.

I ended up juggling a few too many boys at once because I can’t choose a TV channel when I’m watching Foxtel.

I realise that sentence may make NO SENSE AT ALL, but I think it’s a pretty fair analogy of where people like myself may come unstuck whilst internet dating.

When I’m watching pay TV I struggle to find one channel and settle in to watch one perfectly good program. I suffer from FOMO, or fear of missing out.

I surf those 57 channel of mind-numbing crap like Kelly Slater at the Quicky Pro whose life depends on it.

I catch snippets of a multitude of things and end up turning it off due to utter confuzzlement and brain overload.

Do you know what I mean now?

I juggled a few too many boys at once and ended up looking a bit of a twat because my phone would ring and I’d have no idea which of the paramours I was speaking to.

Poor juggling skills aside, I have no complaints about the experience, in fact, I met a lovely man and had a whirlwind 6 months with him. It didn’t work ultimately but it sure as shit wasn’t internet dating’s fault.

Nor ours really, we just weren’t meant to be.

This is an interesting Ted talk about love if you have a spare 20 mins…. if not, just make some salad.

This cruciferous (the vegetable family that broccoli and cauliflower belong to. I just think it’s a beautiful word) salad is not a love potion, nor an aphrodisiac, it’s just my favourite salad at the moment.

Thought I’d share the salad love.

cruciferous and quinoa salad

Yield – Serves 6 as a side or 4 as a main

What you will need : 

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 head broccoli
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 12-15 big green olives, seeded and chopped roughly
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 small spanish onion, quartered
  • 150g fetta
  • 1/2 a pomegranate (not pictured)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed over salad for juice.

What you will need to do :

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Pop your quinoa into boiling water at a 1:3 ratio and pop a lid on it and leave to cook. It is ready when the little tail pops out (15-20 minutes).

Lightly douse your onion and cauliflower in olive oil and season well. Pop into the oven. You want your cauli to be a little brown and caramelised around the edges so leave for a good 25 minutes depending on your oven.

Throw your broccoli into a food processor and wazz it good until it’s all broken down. Chuck it into a large bowl.

Next, toss your chopped mint, fetta and olives into your big bowl. When your remaining ingredients are cooked and good to go, chuck them all in. Add your pomegranate seeds. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

I tossed a tin of tuna through it for the littl’uns, and roasted up a rack of lamb for us big’uns.

Isn’t it pretty??? Tastes damn fine too.

cruciferous quinoa salad

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All  head to the Holsby Shop right now.

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Do you speak your partner’s love language?

10 Oct 5 love languages - gifts

** This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas are my own, except the Love Languages bit, which is most of it.

That idea is from someone who is much more emotionally evolved than I am **


The differences between men and women are a piece of cake to understand, right?

I mean, once you wrap your head around the Mars and Venus part.

Let’s not get started on same sex relationships; Suffice to say that things don’t get any less complicated when your partner is the same gender, but for the sake of this post, I’ll just stick to what I know best.

Men like to feel appreciated, and women like to feel special. Women like presents and men like affection.

Or is it the other way around?

Women like affection and men like… what do men like??

Of course, the way we feel loved is a very individual thing, so too is the way we show it, but what would happen if our partners weren’t picking up our love signals and they missed us communicating our devotion?

We can probably guess, right?

Eventual messy messiness.

According to Dr Gary Chapman everyone expresses love, and needs love expressed, in one of five ways. If your communication method is not the same as your partners, it’s possible that you’re missing each other’s love signals and therefore emptying your emotional love tanks… or as I like to call it, the Bank Account of Lurve.

One cannot only withdraw from the Bank of Lurve. One must make deposits to prevent the account from depleting.

Apparently, the secret to this is endeavouring to understand the five love languages and then ensuring you’re both fluent in each other’s tongue.

Basically, it breaks down to this (although we are all complicated and multi-faceted creatures, everyone has one language that speaks stronger to them) -

Words of affirmation


Do you or your partner thrive on sweet words? I think if you are mindful, it is quite easy to do this one. Gentle, loving encouragement and compliments take only seconds to give, and if they equal full love banks then they should be given regularly.
Speaking of appreciation and dropping compliments is not everyone’s style, however, and some struggle to do it.

I reckon this one is a bit like mastering an art. Maybe a bit hard at first, but with some practice you can be a silver-tongued devil in no time, and reaping the rewards of a partner with an overflowing lurve account.

I think this one is my husband. My smart, handsome, funny, great dancing, generous husband. Further research – online 5 Languages Test – shows that this is also mine.

Do we both instinctively shower each other with sweet words?

Of course not.

Quality time

Warning : This one requires the smart phone to be put on silent and placed in another room.

All some partners need is your full and concentrated attention. It is about doing stuff together, maybe sharing a meal, or doing an activity that you both love, but it is mostly about undivided attention. No TV on in the background, no phones, just quality conversation and connection.

I would imagine that every single relationship would benefit from this, but if this is a love language in your household, not creating the time and space for your partner could prove fatal (for the relationship, I don’t mean…. well, you know.)

Receiving gifts

5 love languages - gifts

I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t love a present, or as Doc Gary likes to call it ‘visual symbols of love’.

Some spouses feel most loved when they receive a token of your affection. They needn’t be extravagant, or expensive, just a symbol to show that you’re thinking of them when they are not there.

With the advent of  online shopping and online florists you can have even have gifts delivered to your spouse’s doorstep without putting pants on and leaving the house – Winning!!!

These gifts need not be every day, but if your spouse responds to the language of receiving, they will feel most secure and fulfilled when you’re handing over the goods.

Acts of service

5 love languages housework

This is one I’ve thought about a lot.

Helping your spouse out by doing something for them is an act of service. Some spouses get their love tanks filled by you simply helping a lover out. When you share their load, they see it as an undeniable expression of love. If you’re doing this already, and this is the correct love language then you’re on a winner, but don’t expect miracles because you took the garbage out because it’s not actually that simple. Not all acts are created equal!!

You need to work out exactly which acts of service tick your spouse’s boxes to ensure you’re doing it right. I may suggest to my spouse that we try this one out thoroughly to see if it floats my boat. Even if it’s not my primary language, I’d be in a better mood.

Physical touch

affection - 5 love languages

We’re not talking about the wild thing here, we’re talking about affection and touch. Love making is definitely a factor in this, but there are a million other ways to touch a physical touch lovin’ spouse that will help them feel the lurve.

If you have a partner that simply craves a cuddle but is left hanging, over time this can become a deal breaker. A caress on the face, or the back of the neck, holding hands whilst watching tv… also, canoodling is fun, just quietly.

Are the 5 Love Languages the secret to love that lasts as the book would suggest? Is Dr Chapman handing us the secrets to nuptial nirvana on a silver tongued platter?

I have no idea, but understanding your partner’s love language may certainly be a tool in your tool kit, and a well stocked tool kit is a welcome thing. I’m open to considering anything that may help lay the course through the marriage maze.

Which love language do you think is yours?

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Flogging my blog on Friday over with my fellow floggers at With Some Grace.

Kissing Cousins

12 Jun cousins (1 of 10)

These kids don’t get to see each other very often, but when they do the way they play together, and love each other, warms my heart to it’s beating core.

There’s something precious about seeing the child of your sibling’s flesh play with the child of your own flesh.
Almost as though you’re recreating your past.

There’s something special indeed about the connection between cousins, and I hope these guys always love each other like they did this day.

cousins (9 of 10)cousins (3 of 10)cousins (2 of 10)cousins (4 of 10)cousinscousins (7 of 10)cousins (1 of 10)



Do you have special cousins in your family?

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Linking up to My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

No one said marriage would be easy.

29 Jan Holsbys wedding day

Holding hands on our wedding dayI caught up with a girlfriend recently and she was all ablush with the first glow of love.

She had met someone amazing. He inspired her, he understood her, their physical connection was electric and her whole world was turned upside down.

She thought she had met THE ONE.

Exciting stuff, right?

One minor issue stands in the way……

Not that long ago I stood on a hill, one summer afternoon, and I watched her say ‘I do’ to the man who was then The One.
She has grown disillusioned by her marriage, and disconnected from her partner.

I do not judge the situation, nor her actions, but the conversation we had that night has brought up a lot of questions for me.

I asked how things had been going in her marriage lately and as you can imagine, things hadn’t been dandy. She felt they weren’t connecting, he didn’t understand her anymore. The spark of electricity was replaced by a smoking fizzle.
They just did the day to day stuff. Work, home, food, kids, bed, and do over every day……..

‘IS THIS IT?’ she posed.

It’s a damn good question, because when you say ‘I do’ you’re vowing to be together forever and, in reality, forever is a really long time.

A long time to never have the butterflies of a new admirer.

A long time to never have another first kiss.

A long time to never feel the electric moment someone’s bare tummy touches yours.

She asked me if I was happy and I told her that I was, and that I was content….she replied ‘what the f*ck is content?’

Is content a bad thing to be?

I’m no relationship expert, as you know. This is my first long term relationship (over 12 months) so I’m really making it up as I go along, but one thing for know for absolutely certain -


I don’t mean hard work like Sudoku, I mean hard work like Burma Railway.

Marriage is hard because after the excitement of the first kiss and the first bare tummy rub (or other bare rubbing parts) dies down, what’s left is actually fairly unglamorous. What’s left is a roundabout of peaks and troughs that sometimes feel like you’re lost at sea, and you can only hope your boat is seaworthy.

Mortgage payments, phone bills, broken toilets, sleepless nights, finding time for yourself, arguments over housework…..this is the shit that makes relationships difficult. None of it is ground breaking stuff……but it is the toiling grit of daily mundanity that grinds you down in time.

We live in a fairly disposable society these days, so it comes as no surprise that the divorce rate is so high. You know, when the going gets tough (and other Billy Ocean songs)……

Do you not think the previous generations have felt marriage disillusion or dissatisfaction?

Of course they did. So, why is the divorce rate so high now?
Do we quit too quickly? Give up too easily and just keep on moving on to the next thing, like we do with phones and computers and shoes?

You know the secret to a successful marriage?

Wanting it bad enough to work at it.

The thing about these feelings of dissatisfaction is that you must address them head on, for the elephant in the room will become the size of Godzilla and this will only breed contempt…..and contempt will kill your relationship faster than a crying toddler kills your sex drive.

You need to stop looking at the bits that give you the shits and focus a little on what you do like about them. Maybe once you remember those bits, the faults won’t seem as massive and unconquerable. We’re not ever going to change our partners. Sure, you can train them somewhat, but you can’t change them, and trying will only cause rifts.

I think that marriage is a choice, and I know that fidelity is a choice, too.

I’m sure it’s exciting to feel all of those thrilling ‘firsts’ again, but you really need to remember why you married someone in the first place, and if you stood face to face in front of your family and friends, and pledged forever, then maybe you owe it yourselves to try to find your balance again. I think you can reconnect, but I think you really have to want to.

Because it’s hard.

It’s hard considering someone else. It’s hard being honest about your feelings all the time, and having round tables when you just feel like going to bed. You have to work out those niggles before they become relationship cancer.
And you’ll fight. Of course, you will….. But do it with respect, and sit down and listen to each other after.

Obviously, if it’s over, it over. Sometimes people drift apart and the chasm between them is too vast for the tenuous fingers of love to reconnect, and I’m never going to advocate trying to flog a dead horse.

Someone I admire said to me recently ‘No one ever said it was going to be easy’, and I had to smile.

Bastards. Could have warned us.

Do you know someone asking the big questions about their marriage? Share this with them….maybe it will help in some way.

What do you think keeps a marriage strong?

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Half Year, Half Birthday. My little love……

21 Nov

Brotherly Love

23 Oct

When the divine Zanni, from Heart Mama, was expecting her new baby to join them any second, she wrote to her daughter Elka about the impending changes. Her letter got me to thinking about siblings, and in particular, my children.

In some families siblings are best friends, and in others they are like distant ships passing in the night.
Can you encourage friendships to grow?

Five month old Kiki lies on the floor, her eyes training on D Man’s every move. She is transfixed by the golden haired boy; her big brother. He runs back and forth in her line of vision, delighting in the fact that she turns her head to watch him, over and over again. She gazes at him adoringly, startling every now and then at his squeals, and he basks in her attention. Their giggles are like fairy laughter in my ears as I observe these first independent interactions of my first-born son, and new-ish daughter.

This is their earliest play developing, and they are so happy to just be near each other.

My son, D Man, often looks to me with his little arms outstretched -

‘Hold, Baby?’

We set them up so they’re safe and supported and gently put Kiki in his arms, and he just sniffs her and kisses her head…..then he gets bored and he pushes her away so she face plants on the couch and he reaches for a plastic dinosaur with one hand and picks his nose with the other…..but the first part is no less beautiful.


To continue reading, pop over to Heart Mama

An Anniversary and A Marriage Made in Heaven…..Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

30 Sep strawb yoghurt 2

Tomorrow is Mister H and my second wedding anniversary.

If I had a hat, I would surely have been clinging onto it because we’ve had one hell of a ride, if you think about it. Life is really quite an adventure, huh?

International jaunts in the guise of honeymoons, a seriously grown-up mortgage, a move from the urban cool, to the suburban un-so, watching our delightful little man grow from a baby into a boy, and of course, our darling baby girl joined us and three became four.

One hell of a couple of years, indeed.

In fact, if we continued this trajectory, with this speed, our heads may well implode by our tenth anniversary, which would be a shame as I’m looking forward to making it to the tin gift, as I’ve always wanted a genuine billy can.

Mister H and I broke up for a time in our early dating period….. Or to be more precise, Mister H broke up with me.
What an idiot.

When he realised he’d made a terrible fuck up faux pas, one of his wooing techniques was to whisk me away to Port Douglas for a weekend of romance. I was making him work pretty hard for the honey, but I relented in the case of a tropical, all-expenses paid, weekend away in Far North Queensland.

One morning, we were walking along the romantic, crocodile infested, waterfront when we happened across a stunning little, white weatherboard chapel amongst the palm trees.
It had stained glass windows, and housed maybe 50 people at a push, and I fell in love…..With the chapel, not Mister H. I was still cranky as hell at him.

I’m going to get married there one day, I murmured, all glassy eyed, but not thinking him.

Just someone special.

Anyhoo, fast forward 12 months or so and he did propose to marry…. And as you may have guessed I said -

‘Sure thing, Sugar Lips, let’s get hitched’

Sorta. That’s what I wished I said. That would have been cool, huh?
What I actually said was along the lines of -

‘You’re not just saying that because I’m up the duff, are you?’

I’d pushed that chapel incident far to the reaches of my mind, so imagine my surprise when I asked my Dutch husband-to-be, with friends and family all over the world, where he would like to get married?

Port Douglas. In a little chapel.

Someone special, indeed.

Strawberry is the fruit of love and they’re damned cheap and delicious at the moment. Each tasty, little, red gem is like pure sunshine on your tongue.
I can truly see why they’re the fruit of love…..and the food of love? Ice cream, of course.

‘Tis surely a marriage made in heaven?

I wanted to make a creamy, yummy, strawberry frozen yoghurt but every time I’ve used fruit in an ice cream it’s gone icy and poo.

I realised my favorite fruit ices were often delicious swirls of fruit that actually tasted more like jam than pureed fruit, so after a couple of experiments, I came up with this.
It’s easy, it’s healthy, and it tastes like love in a bowl.
This can be made either with an ice cream machine or without….something for everyone.

Yield – about a litre

You will need -

  • 300g fresh strawberries, hulled, and chopped
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 700g good quality Greek yoghurt

Throw your strawberries and sugar into a heavy based pan over a low heat on the stove. Cook down, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or so until it’s quite jammy and strawberries look kind of clear and gummy.

Icecream machine -
Chuck your yoghurt into the machine and turn it on, stirring in all but 2 tablespoons of your strawberry mixture. Churn as per machine directions (about 15-20 minutes), then transfer into your freezer container. Dot your remaining strawberry mixture on the top and then swirl it through gently with a spoon.
Freeze for 3-4 hours until firm.

In freezer without machine -
Mix your yoghurt and all but 2 tablespoons of strawberry mixture in a bowl and place in the freezer. Every half an hour, remove from freezer and stir vigorously breaking up all of the ice around the edges and making it smooth again.
Repeat about 4 times until it’s almost a soft serve consistency.
Dollop your remaining strawberry mix around the top and then swirl through.
Freeze for a further 3-4 hours until firm.

This would work with almost any fruit by my guess. I can’t wait to try nectarine, and peach….oh, and mango.
I don’t generally give D Man store bought ice-cream yet, but he loves this and I have very little guilt giving it to him. There’s a bit of sugar, but whatevs…..no preservatives, no hidden nasties and sweet, sweet fruit of love.

Tragic Love and Chicken Soup Remedy

17 Jun

I’ve dated some truly prized dicks in my time. I’m not referring to appendages, but to appalling character. I never purposely intended to date penises, but it would appear that I have shown some rather poor judgment of character in my past. I wish someone had have told 18 year old me that bad boys were a fool’s pastime. Being a know-all, I doubt I would have listened, but that’s by the by.
I reckon the contenders for the Top 3 All Time Most Shithouse Boyfriend would have to be as follows :

Mr Double Jeopardy
Oh, my Lordy, this guy was a great player. He had a whole double life goin’ on. It must have been fairly bloody exhausting for the poor chap, in retrospect, as I know that maintaining one relationship is hard enough work, so cultivating two high maintenance ladies for a year, one of whom (me) he co-habited with, probably entitles him to some kind of award. He was also incredibly industrious with a secret career as a drug dealer. I would have loved the opportunity to agree to be the Bonnie to his Clyde, but alas, I was ‘that woman’ who has no idea what’s going on right under her nose. I dare say that if he did receive an award it should definitely consist of a monstrous pair of brass balls mounted on a plaque, because that’s what he needed to pull off such a feat of duplicity. Anyway, it ended spectacularly with a suicide attempt (his, not mine), and a stint in therapy (mine, not his). The truth of the matter is, he was probably so exhausted from his ruse that he just wanted to sleep the eternal sleep. His family whisked him away and I never saw him again.

The Greek Hitler
I thought this dude was so cool. He had a 1960’s Dodge, and a ’50’s BMW motorbike. He wore cowboy boots and vintage leather jackets, and worked in a nightclub. I moved into his pad within two weeks and strapped in for a fairly fast and furious roller coaster ride of mind bending. Some people just love power play, and this cat could have powered the grid to the whole Eastern Suburbs. He was so damned controlling. If he played guitar like he played me, he would have been a cross between Hendrix and Slash but without the ‘fro.
My mum came to stay and saw the whole embarrassing lot and very subtly left him a note when she departed. It read ‘Do not try to clip the little bird’s wings, as she’s just learning to fly’. Then, she not-so-subtly told me she thought he was a dick.
God bless that woman. I bought a one way ticket to the UK.

Mr Anger Management Fail
Holy guacamole, this dude had a temper! Once he flipped his shit he couldn’t control himself and I stupidly stayed with him for a year and a half. WTF was I thinking? I was young, he was sexy, and he told me I was nothing without him…and I believed him for a minute. The dichotomy about this charming fellow was that he made a cracking farmhouse style chicken soup. Ironic, huh? Chicken soup is hailed as the most nurturing of all liquid meals and this thunderous lad was about as nurturing as Hurricane Katrina. He made this soup by boiling chicken wings and adding some veges and there was something so wholesome about it that even though we broke up with a very loud bang, I still thought about his soup. It was so long ago but over the years I tweaked the formula and now I have a winning recipe.
So much so, that recently a girlfriend of mine said she could eat this soup every day for the rest of her life.
I’d actually like to dedicate today’s post to her. Not only has she known me throughout all of these tumultuous dalliances of my twenties, before I hit the jackpot with my Mister Right, but she has just bought home twin baby miracle girls. Her husband has been away for two weeks, and she has coped magnificently, even coming to visit me in the ‘burbs, two 15-week-olds in tow, and freshly washed and blow dried hair. Ah-may-zing!

Now you have the recipe, my dear friends, go forth and eat this soup every day of your life.

Read the recipe through first as I kind of do the stocky bit first so as to not get soggy vegetables.

Yield : a big pot full

You will need :

  • 1 kilo chicken legs, skin on
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped, but with the tops and leaves left whole
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped, the green top part left whole
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a small handful of fresh thyme (2 teaspoons-ish dried if it’s all you have)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 potato, skin on and chopped
  • a handful of beans, cut into 1/3

Throw your onion, celery tops and leek top into a big heavy based pot with a little oil. When they’re all fragrant, add your chicken legs and just start to get them a little browned. You don’t need to brown all of them all over, we’re just starting a little caramelisation process to release the sweetness of the veg and the yumminess of the chicken. Add your stock and your barley, throw in your thyme and bay leaves and pop on a lid for about an hour or until the chicken is coming away from the bone.
Using a slotted spoon, pull out the celery tops and leek and disgard. Put the chicken into a separate bowl and allow to cool.
Pop your potato into the soup and allow to cook for 5 minutes before adding the rest of your vegetables excluding the beans. The beans go in in the final three minutes so they keep a little al dente. Pick your chicken meat and add to pot.
If you want to skim the fat off, you can either refrigerate it until the next day so it;s all on the top, or you can lay a piece of kitchen roll on the top of the soup and it absorbs into the paper……I just eat it. Fat equals flavour…..sorry, Michelle Bridges.
Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

I like to add lemon juice and Tabasco to mine.


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