Profession: Herbalist

Lives In: Australia

FAVOURITE THINGS. That'll do nicely for an introduction.

No particular order, mind.

Plants: Eremophilas. Salvias. Roses. Heritage fruit trees e.g. Cox's Orange Pippin. Quinces. Quandongs. Old fashioned vegetables e.g. Star and Moon Watermelons. Lazy Wife Beans (it's just the name. Mine did very poorly this year). Hellebores. Mints. Herbs of all kinds. Blue Nodding Lilies. Vanilla Lilies. Chocolate Lilies. Mint Bush. Coolibah trees. River Red Gums. Scribbly Gums.

Animals: Catz 'n dawgs. Kangaroos in the bush. SAVE THE SNOWY RIVER BRUMBIES. Alpacas. Hereford calves. Wombats. Platypuses. Sulphur crested cockatoos. Black cockatoos (the clowns of the avian world).

Authors & Fictional Characters:

Fiction - Jane Austen. Louis de Bernieres. Georgette Heyer. Evelyn Waugh. Truman Capote. Damon Runyon. Henry Lawson. Nancy Mitford.

Characters: Elizabeth Bennett. Emma. D.I Napoleon Bonaparte.

Non-fiction - Tim Flannery. Peter Latz. Elizabeth O'Connor. Alice Duncan-Kemp. Pop science generally. Stuff about Archaeology or Ethnobotany. Schultes. Robert Hughes.

Favourite Herbals & Herbalists: Culpeper. Gerard. David Hoffmann. Simon Mills. Jeanne Rose. Galen. Michael Tierra. Hildegard von Bingam (I don't think that's spelled right. Whatever ...).

Filums: Brother From Another Planet. A Bush Chrismas. Star Wars part 4. O Brother Where Art Thou? Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Bladerunner. Arsenic and Old Lace. Northwest Frontier. Dead Man. Muriel's Wedding. Rabbit Proof Fence. Jedda. Some Like It Hot. 24 Hour Party People.

Actors: Johnny Depp. Toni Collette. Alan Rickman. Judi Densch.

Best Lines from Movies:

"White folks just get stranger all the time" - Brother From Another Planet.

"Nobody's perfect" - last line in Some Like It Hot (Joe E Grant to Jack Lemmon, as Lemmon pulls off his wig and reveals himself to be a man)

Comedians: Billy Connolly. Dawn French. Kath 'n Kim. Lenny Bruce. Lenny Henry. Jennifer Saunders. Peter Berner. Dave Hughes. The chap who wrote the song about Werner von Braun and Poisoning Pigeons in the Park ... what's his name???

Muzac: The Clash. The Elvises (Presley & Costello). Robyn Hitchcock. Pink Floyd. Johnathan Richman. Joy Division. Independent/Alternative etc. I'm just a geriatric punk, really. But I love a Mozart opera as well. There's always something to look at in an opera. And some Baroque pieces e.g. Pachelbel's Canon. And Malcolm Fox. A bit of Southern Gospel goes down well, too. Arlo Guthrie. Woody Guthrie. Oh yes. Leadbelly.

Personal Philosophy: Malthusian Luddite.

Thinks: (i) The best way to reduce the world's population is to educate women.

(ii) The world is a total mess, ruled by boring egotistical greedy people/corporations/insurance companies, so I'm just going to tend my organic garden and keep my head down.

(iii) To remain healthy, happy and reduce your likelihood of chronic disease, go to a (properly qualified) herbalist, homoeopath or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner. Drink more water. Take psyllium every day. Drink the juice of 1/2 lemon in a big glass of water first thing every morning.

Foods: Home made biscuits. Mushroom soup. Chocolate. Thai/Asian. Sweet and Sour Fish. Vietnamese salt and pepper prawns. Roast lamb (or beef if there's someone around who can make Yorkshire Pudding).

A good Neapolitan pasta sauce:

Take 1 bone (Lamb shank, for preference). Fry till brown in a large pot. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 or 2 cloves garlic. Fry till transparent. Add 1 jar tomato sauce (the Italian type, just tomato puree really), plus a little water. Some chopped parsley. Simmer until sauce is thickened and the meat is falling off the bones. Serve with fresh pasta or gnocci. Sprinkle with either Parmesan cheese or: Mix grated rind 1 lemon, 1 crushed clove garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Drinks: Ginger Tea. Black Tea (Prince of Wales for preference). Cooper's Pale Ale. Toohey's Old (beer). Merlot. Cab. sav. Dessert wines. Amontillado. Chai.

Ginger Tea (for colds, and to keep you warm in winter):

In a stainless steel or glass saucepan combine (just don't use aluminium): 1 litre water. 1 - 2 " ginger root. 1/2 tspn. ginger powder. Rind of c. 1/2 lemon. 1 cinnamon stick. 1 - 2 sprigs thyme. Bring to boil and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes.

Strain into cups and add lemon juice and honey to taste.

Can also add: 1 clove garlic (not as bad as it sounds. You don't taste it really) - antibiotic OR 1 nasturtium flower with stem - antibiotic. OR a small slurp of (purely medicinal) brandy.

If you've reached this point, good for you!!

It's the road never crossed 'cept by folks that are lost.


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