Food glorious food!

Every so often I get together with two gal pals and cook up a storm and this year’s “MasterChef Southwest” was no exception. One of my friends gives the run down – with pictures! – on her blog: Such a fun time had by all!

Fabulous foodies
Recipes, love and laughter
Sweet southwest escape 

© Leah Dowsett 2013




New adventures

When was the last time you had an adventure?

Did it involve travel, moving house, changing jobs, a significant birthday or just a new routine? Did it involve your head, your heart or your wallet? Did it make you feel exhilarated or exhausted? Did you learn something about a place, a person or yourself?

I’ve found that adventures can be scary, funny, busy or silly, be impromptu or planned, and last a few moments or a lifetime. The great ones keep us revved up and enthused about life. They give us the opportunity to enjoy our favourite things, let us soar to unimaginable heights, stretch us and make our souls sing. The not-so-great ones teach us the meaning of “this too shall pass”, bring out our inner strength, enable us to learn humility, challenge us to be brave and sometimes even remind us of the healing power of tears.

The best thing about all adventures is that they are usually shared with the people we love, whether it be through lots of “likes” on Facebook, a co-worker’s friendly hug, a parent’s wise advice, or a best friend acting as a one-woman cheer squad. (The other thing is that they usually involve great food either in celebration or commiseration!)

I’m prompted to think about this as a good friend at work had her last day with us yesterday after many, many, many years (!!) and she is now heading off on a new adventure. So exciting for her, albeit a little sad for our office – we will miss her! It has made me think about all the transitions I’ve had in my own life, for better or worse, and how they have truly shaped the person I have become. Life really is an amazing journey…

So, hooray for adventures – now get out there and have some!

In walking forward
A heart rich with memories
Blossoms on new path

© Leah Dowsett 2012

First day of holidays

There’s something magical about the first day of holidays!

Perhaps it is the expectation of all that time ahead without the 9-5 routine – days ready to be filled with mornings at the beach, delicious meals shared with friends, afternoon movies, or just a blissful sleep-in without fear of waking to the annoying buzz of the alarm clock.

Perhaps it is that sense of relief at not working – not having to be switched on, tuned up and raring to go each day, and not having to always be reliable, amiable, flexible, responsible, adaptable, practicable, comprehensible, trainable, likable, accountable, or knowledgeable… (Whew, that’s a whole lot of “able” – no wonder I’m exhausted!)

Perhaps it involves the freedom of noticing the passage of time – rather than reaching the end of the day and wondering how you got there, actually having the chance to appreciate each and every wonderful moment.

Whatever the reason, it’s holiday time and I’m happy!

A beautiful emotion
Big smile on my face

© Leah Dowsett 2011

Aahh, Christmas

Another work week over which means we’re a few more days closer to Christmas – yay!

This is my favourite time of year – not just because my office shuts down during the two-week Christmas/New Year period and I get to visit the beach (!!) – but because of the meaning, the family time and the food!! (Warning: there may be a lot of  exclamation points in this post!!)

When I was little I loved the excitement of putting up the Christmas tree with my parents, having presents arrive from overseas from my American relatives and start to surround the base, singing along with the choir at midnight mass, and knowing that a big feast was planned for the 25th. Now I relish seeing the decorations on the streets and in the shops, humming along to a crooning Bing Crosby whilst trying to find just the right gift for everyone and pondering the true meaning of Christmas.

I’ve always been taught that to make something special you have to make an effort so for the Christmas day lunch we always use the linen, the crystal, the china and the silver. There are usually baubles and ribbon decorations as well and the table sparkles! It’s like all the love that goes into the preparation becomes tangible and really does “dwell amongst us”.

And, as a family-raised foodie, the menu is a key part of the day! (Prepare to salivate!) Each of us contributes something with our family (er, Mum…) cooking the American favourites of ham, dressing (like stuffing), pickled peaches and stuffed eggs. In more recent years I’ve taken on the role of cooking the turkey rolls in the kettle barbeque, making the gravy and a salad and bringing some bubbly. Our dear English friends that we celebrate with do the pre-meal snacks, the melon/prosciutto entree, mashed or roast potatoes and lots of sweet treats like melt-in your mouth mince pies, shortbread, rum balls (my favourite!!!) and the pièce de résistance: the steamed fruit pudding with custard and cream!! Yum!!

With all that said, I think I need to stop writing and get organised!!

So, whatever your Christmas holds, I wish you a truly wondrous season full of friends, family, food, fun and, most of all, love!

Feasting at Christmas
With friends that are family
Abundant blessings

© Leah Dowsett 2011

365 posts…and counting

I’ve blogged a year’s worth of poems so I am taking a break for a short while… I hope you’ll check back again and join me for more poetry soon!


Family trip abroad

In sweet foreign climes /

Some precious quality time /

Will soon be all mine

© Leah Dowsett 2011

The big trip

Itinerary /

Excitement builds – trains and flights /

Getting finalised

© Leah Dowsett 2011

%d bloggers like this: