This is another photo of a younger me. It was taken in the Central African Republic after the local ladies came to our campsite and braided our hair. I kept my hair like this for a few weeks, and when I finally took the braids out, I looked like the wicked witch of the west. Lots of frizz and hair sticking out in all directions!
Hubby got his beard braided, but that’s an entirely different post…
Have you ever had your hair braided?
This weekend I had a yearning for cookies. After checking through my favorite recipes, I decided I’d try a new one for oatmeal cookies. They turned out very well – the recipe is a keeper.
4 ounces brown sugar
3 1/2 ounces fine caster sugar
4 ounces butter
1 egg (large)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
7 ounces plain white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces of rolled oats (oatmeal porridge)
6 ounces of either – chocolate chips, raisins, chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) coconut or dried cranberries.
1. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
2. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk.
3. Add your choice of the optional ingredients – I added chocolate, cranberries and a few walnuts.
4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.
5. Roll into walnut sized balls and flatten slightly. Place on greased baking tray.
6. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes in a pre-heated oven 180C/350F until lightly browned.
7. Leave on the baking tray for a few minutes before placing on a rack to cool. Makes aprox. 35 cookies.
1. I cooked mine for ten minutes using fan bake. They turned out soft and a bit chewy.
2. Next time I’ll cook them slightly longer to see how they taste when they are a bit crisper. Just an experiment. This batch was delicious as they were.
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This is another photo taken in the Forbidden city, Beijing. The carvings and figures on the roof are amazing. The roof design allows people to see the figures easily and they add a decorative touch. The figures all have meanings, and they were only used on important buildings such as palaces, government buildings and temples.
This is me in the Forbidden City in Beijing. This previous imperial palace is now a large museum. We visited twice while we were in Beijing and spent hours wandering around the huge complex. Lots of color and beautiful buildings. Lots of people too, although we were early enough to avoid the worst of the crowds.
This statue of Mackenzie and his dog Friday stands in the main street of Fairlie, New Zealand.
The real story of James Mackenzie, the sheep thief and man from whom the Mackenzie country in the south of the South Island takes it name, is still shrouded in mystery.
He departed from his home country of Scotland under a cloud after doing some double-dealing with some cattle that didn’t belong to him. At first, he went to Australia and then on to New Zealand. No one is sure of his exact arrival in New Zealand.
He first came to notice when he was discovered in the possession of one thousand head of sheep belonging to Robert and George Rhodes. Captured, he managed to escape, fleeing barefoot into the surrounding countryside. This was on the 4th March 1855.
It wasn’t until ten days later that he was arrested in Lyttelton on the charges “feloniously taking, stealing and driving away sheep.”
On 17th April 1855 he was found guilty by a jury in the Supreme Court at Lyttelton and sentenced to five years of hard labor on the roads.
Nine months later on 11th January 1856, he was granted an unconditional pardon. The hard labor had caused his health to deteriorate and he also staged many escapes, which were expensive for the Government because they had to recapture him each time. James Mackenzie spoke Gaelic and his English was poor, which meant he didn’t understand a lot of what occurred during his trial. These circumstances were communicated to the Governor by Mr Henry John Tancred, the Resident Magistrate at Lyttelton and Mackenzie’s pardon went through.
James Mackenzie left New Zealand shortly after his release and went to Australia. It is thought he died in Australia but no one knows for certain.
Mackenzie’s collie dog was called Friday. it is thought Mackenzie gave Friday commands in Gaelic since the dog refused to work for anyone else. She was a silent collie and worked the sheep in silence. I’ve heard it said that Mackenzie’s dog Friday was so well trained she could move a herd of sheep by herself while Mackenzie drank in the local pub. I don’t know how true this is, but it certainly adds romance to the tale.
I’m not sure what happened to Friday while Mackenzie was serving his sentence, but the dog was produced during the trial. It’s said the dog whimpered, Mackenzie spoke to her in Gaelic and then broke down and cried.
Visitors to Mackenzie country might find it strange that we’ve named an area after a sheep thief, but as well as being a shepherd, Mackenzie was an explorer and he found a region that is perfect for sheep. These days several large high country stations farm the Mackenzie region.
Source: The Story of James Mackenzie of the Mackenzie country, New Zealand, presented by Catriona Baker.
This is the last of the photos in my series of shots of the White Desert in Egypt.
This is me sitting on one of the white rock formations in the White Desert. And yes, I was having a very bad hair day since we’d been camping for several days and it was stinking hot. This photo was taken toward the end of the day, not long before the sun set.