Sepia Saturday 170: Cassmob & co coffee outings

Sepia Sat 170Happy Easter, one and all. How about a coffee with those hot cross buns or croissants?

This Sepia Saturday 170 image offers many story and photo opportunities but I’ve stuck with coffee though flower shops would have been another excellent option. I was vaguely surprised to find coffee with such prominence in the days of the photo when tea was so much more popular with Australians.

Coffee and this family are a matched pair. We’re far more likely to hunt down a café than a bar especially when we’re travelling…after all you can’t be booked for DUI with coffee…if you could we’d be in big trouble!

My first thought was the Monmouth Coffee Shop at the Borough Markets in London but then I found this photo of the nearby coffee and deli. It has a similar vibe I thought to the featured image despite its emphasis on formaggi (cheese). We absolutely loved the Borough Markets and would definitely put it on must-visit list for London.

Borough Markets, London.

Borough Markets, London.

As we got off the bus a man told us we “must’ go to Monmouth Coffee which we did but only took a photo later when it was crowded. It was a bitterly cold morning with a sharp wind and for once coffee just wasn’t a match for a mulled wine even mid-morning, followed by a huge plate of hot Jamaican curry…yummm.

Since I was already trawling my photo folders I just had to share a few of our other travel photos of cafés we’ve seen. France does tea and coffee shops with such glamour it’s hard to resist.

We loved this square in Aix-en-Provence and had a morning coffee there one day. We were amused by the Aix-presso name given Aix is pronounced X.

Aix-en Provence cafe.

Aix-en Provence cafe.

Or how about following in the footsteps of Cézanne at Les Deux Garçons in Aix?

510 Les deux garcons Aix

The vivid colours of this café in L’Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence really caught my eye, contrasting with the blue of the canal and perfectly offset by the matching colours of the family sitting there. Unfortunately since we were only having coffee we were sitting inside.

L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence

L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Provence

In Bali you can order your coffee pool-side and this is how ours was delivered.

Coffee by the pool in Ubud.

Coffee by the pool in Ubud.

If you find yourself in Winchelsea near Rye, Sussex, why not have a coffee at this wonderful coffee and tea shop plus deli. Delicious coffee and cakes!

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We didn’t imbibe at this lovely café in Tenterden Kent or the Mermaid Corner Tea Rooms in Cranbrook Kent but don’t they look appealing? 

Cranbrook Kent

Mermaid Tea Rooms, Cranbrook Kent

674 Tenterden cafe KentAnd just like that we’re off to Tasmania even though this café in Evansdale looks very Provençal. Lovely food and coffee (have I mentioned I like cake almost as much as coffee?)

Evansdale, Tasmania

Evansdale, Tasmania

Coffee anyone?

coffee and croissant

A tribute to Sir Springer the cat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Get a pet, lose your heart”…perhaps that might replace the “a pet is not just for Christmas” slogan. We happily accept the exchange where we look after our pets’ needs and in return are given un-judgmental acceptance and affection. Cats are of course a different matter –if you’ve ever loved a cat you’ll know that there’s a fair bit of truth in the statement that cats have staff. Cat lovers wouldn’t have it any other way.

Helping Mum with Congress 2006 work.

Helping Mum with Congress 2006 work.

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All this work is just too tiring.

It wasn’t always an amiable relationship on his part, as Springer thought he belonged in the house and should take priority over mere small humans. It wasn’t uncommon to find him stubbornly sitting in the midst of the toys plainly making his residential status clear.

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They only think it’s their play tent…it’s mine as well.

As the other grandchildren have come along he’s often looked askance at them and retreated to a safe position away from them. On one or two occasions he’s given them a nip of warning to their dismay but despite that they too have been enamoured of him and have learned to watch his tail for impatient swishing. When they turn up on an unexpected day, and he seemed to have a good sense of when it was grandchild-day, he was known to give a very disapproving look at their temerity for disturbing his peace. At the end of each visit he would follow us all out to the gate, then roll on the driveway looking smug with a distinct attitude of “na, na, na..I live here, you don’t!”

Sometimes you just have to chill out!

Sometimes you just have to chill out!

As you can see, a cat of definite opinions! He’s never been a cuddle cat, tolerating only small doses of cuddles, but he always loved to be near us wherever we were. He was oh, so predictable in his habits: when breakfast was due (as soon as someone woke up), when it was time for an afternoon snack (between 4 and 5); when it was time to reluctantly come in at night (about 10pm) and when to annoy Mr Cassmob to let him out (the earlier the better from his point of view). When he wanted to come back in he would yodel loudly to get my attention and then need to be dried off if he’d been caught in a storm.

This is what we called his "mad eyes" look when he was fired up for mischief, including his tendency to kick himself in the ear...silly boy!

This is what we called his “mad eyes” look when he was fired up for mischief, including his tendency to kick himself in the ear…silly boy!

In short, his staff were perfectly trained, and in return he mostly did what we wanted. He accepted that when we went on long holidays he would have an excursion to his fancy cat resort complete with an enclosed aerial walkway where he could sun himself, a hammock to snooze on and his mummy rug brought from home. On the way there and back he would talk loudly and put his paw through his travelling cage, to be reassured. He knew full well the difference between the route to the resort and that to the vet, which generated a much louder conversation.

I wonder where they'll go on holidays next?

I wonder where they’ll go on holidays next? Among Mum’s family history papers in the study.

Within our complex he seemed to be popular especially with those who love animals but can’t have one for various reasons. He would trot around, fluffy Persian-like tail held high, looking like lord of all he surveyed. This earned him our aka of Mr Trotsky. His daily name, Springer, came from his youthful mischievous habit of leaping out and kung-fu-ing you at hip height as you walked by.

The most recent photo of him we have - in Pavlovian mode.

The most recent photo of him we have – in Pavlovian mode. Where are the mussels Dad?

Pavlov would have been impressed with him when he flew down the stairs at the smell of Thai food preparations, because after all, those activities and smells went with Thai Mussel fritters, and he liked nothing better. In fact on a recent occasion, when Thai was being prepared but not mussel fritters, we offered him freshly cooked prawns. From his response you’d have thought we offered him cat food, and the cheapest version at that! Our previous cats looooved prawns and for them we made a dish of prawns their last supper.

What are THEY doing here again? On an unexpected grandchildren visit.

What are THEY doing here again? On an unexpected grandchildren visit.

Ever neurotic, he was utterly terrified of strangers and was a better stranger-early-warning system than a watch dog. If you saw him fly up the stairs, belly to the ground, tail down, you could guarantee there was someone walking through the complex, and far too close to our unit. We ultimately concluded that he had perhaps come from a cat farm (something we hadn’t known about previously), as we could never quite get him past his fear of anyone other than family.

Now which one should come off next?

Now which one should come off next?

It was only last Christmas that his increasing maturity became evident and he resisted the temptation to climb the Xmas tree, and carefully (or madly!) remove the baubles as he’d done every other year. From time to time he’d indulge in fits of craziness flying up the stairs like a bat out of hell, doing wheelies with his legs spinning out from under him. Hilarious to watch.

Nearly two weeks ago Mr Springer disappeared from home and hasn’t been seen since. We’ve tried everything under the sun to find him but reluctantly we’re very slowly accepting we’re likely not to see him again.

We can’t (won’t?) accept that someone might have catnapped him for nefarious purposes because he was just too speedy to be caught. He doesn’t appear to have been hit by a car as no body has been found. We hope that if he has gone to cat heaven that it wasn’t too terrifying a trip for our little nervous Nellie, and think that being bitten by a snake or poisoned by cane toad, rather than attacked by the dingoes or wild dogs that are in the reserve across the road, are the likeliest possibilities.

Chilling out on his chair and his mummy rug (sarong)

Chilling out on his chair and his mummy rug (sarong)

They say it takes two weeks to create or break a habit, in which case we may soon stop looking for him everywhere and come to terms with his empty Ikea chair without his furry little face looking at us. We’ve found it surprisingly difficult to come to terms with his absence –there’s something much “cleaner” about eventually having to have a very ill cat put to sleep, than the everlasting wondering about what happened.

Through it all we’ve been so grateful for the kindness of friends, family and strangers who’ve responded to our distress. The take-home message from this experience is very much about the goodness and kindness of most people, and how much most people love their pets. We’ve also been so impressed by the people at the Top End Lost and Found who coordinate information on lost and found pets.

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Among my blog comments today is the notification that I’ve been awarded the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by new blogger, Su Leslie, from Shaking the Tree blog.inspiring-blogger

Sharing one’s stories with other bloggers is one of the delights of blogging and finding that others enjoy your stories and writing makes it even more rewarding.

Su has provided a list of her nominated blogs so why not pop over and see if you can make some new discoveries – I did!

Thanks Su for your very kind comments and for choosing my blog for the award.

Sepia Saturday 166: Army bakers

Sepia Sat 166 2MarchThis week’s Sepia Saturday theme is about work, ideally it would include an image of a woman working but that seems to be so uneventful and ordinary that no one photographs it. Instead I’m including three photos which came to me as part of my aunt’s photographic archive.

Army cook, Pat Farraher, baking.

Army cook, Pat Farraher, baking.

The photos all feature Army bakers probably around the time of World War II. My uncle, Pat Farraher, is the main person in each. One is very serious and I’d love to know who the Visiting Dignitary was.

My uncle, Pat Farraher, on the left meets an unknown Vis Dig.

My uncle, Pat Farraher, on the left meets an unknown Vis Dig.

Another is the complete antithesis –a frivolous one. Would you want these men making your bread and pastries? Unfortunately I don’t have the background story behind any of the photos.

Uncle Pat and a mate "act the goat".

Uncle Pat and a mate “act the goat”.

Inventive Sepians might conclude there’s another link, because after all in the real world, cakes are often carried in boxes just like the women were packing in this week’s theme photo. Not to mention that it would be as never-ending a task to feed many hungry soldiers as to fold all those boxes!

Social Media Geneameme

The world is your family tree oyster with blogging. Edited image from Office Clip Art.

Share your discoveries on your blog.

Jill Ball from Geniaus asked us to respond to her Social Media Geneameme. Here are my comments on the Geneameme:

1.       Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.

If we can count blogging as social media, which I would, then that would be my favourite. It gives me the chance to express my opinions, tell my family stories, receive comments from others (who often become friends) and respond to their comments. I think the latter is very important if we’re to build links through our social media.

2. How do you use social media to further your genealogy career or business?

I tweet my posts and discoveries I’ve made on other’s blogs. I think the most useful thing I can do is offer comments on other’s blogs, and really appreciate their comments on mine, hence why it’s important to respond. I like Google+ for its ability to differentiate between groups (family history, family, friends). I’m slowly coming to like FB better.

3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it? (This came from my Social Media presentation)

I can relate to this. Thanks to Shauna Hicks’ presentations in Darwin a few years ago I dabble in twitter and facebook and over time I’ve become more acclimatised to FB than I did when it was just a day-to-day thing.

When I came back from Papua New Guinea it all seemed quite trivial and I wondered why I was bothering.

4. What aspect of Social Media makes you grit your teeth?

I hate feeling like the tail is wagging the dog and that we “must” follow twitter or FB or Google+ slavishly. I think often of the advice from my former professional staff development person and also the Steven Covey’s “7 habits of highly successful people”. We need to decide what works, what doesn’t and use these tools to serve us rather than derail us from our objectives. Twitter/FB/Google+ do not have to be our masters!

 5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?
Using Google Reader enables me to stay in touch with what’s happening in the genealogical world. This can be a great advantage compared to waiting for months for magazines to publish “what’s new”.

6. How do you fit social media time into your busy day?

I respond to blog comments as my highest priority. I now have my “friends and mates” list in Google Reader and get to them as soon as I can within the constraints of real life. Other than that, I do social media when I have time or a lack of firm commitments.

I’m increasingly trying to use social media as my servant not my master. Also to remember that live family are at least as important as dead rellies.

7. Do you have a story of how social media enabled you to connect with a long lost relation or fellow  researcher?

If we call blogging social media, which I do, then it has been invaluable to make connections with others. Perhaps more to help them as much as to help me with specific family research. It’s so enjoyable to know that others get benefit or pleasure from your photos or stories.

8. You have a minute to share a piece of advice about genealogy and social media. Go for it.

 Just like any other “appliance” don’t let it control you! Real life is your own life…make it count. If leaving stories for your descendants is important to you, blogging is a valuable way to do it. Remember others need your encouragement and support too….what goes around, comes around. I feel I’ve made real friends from my blogging and that we know and understand each other, and just like real friends they understand that life sometimes gets in the way, but we can pick up where we left off. I’m eternally grateful to them for helping me to feel part of a community, however far-flung.

Thanks Jill for this thought-provoking geneameme and the opportunity to participate in a discussion which started on the recent Unlock the Past cruise.