Design a site like this with
Get started

Martha’s Musings

Welcome to Martha’s Musings…M&M for short. She’s a younger, distant relative of another very wise lady I know…Aunty Acid…

~~~When a scrawly, handwritten recipe I’m following to the letter, says to cook for 40 minutes in a “mod oven”… will the recipe still work in my old Westinghouse oven I bought at the turn of this century?

Patchwork #39

This patchwork includes a getaway, some history, and a walk in the park.

We’re on a wee trip away…we flew ‘across the ditch’ as we coin it down here…to NZ. NZ is only 3-4 hours flight away, 3 and a half with a tail wind. The star attraction of our trip is our daughter’s birthday, and a few days relaxing, exploring, and taking in what’s new in Christchurch.

My daughter, Ms M, and her partner moved house just 2 weeks before we arrived. But despite how recently they had unpacked the boxes, their wee cottage looks surprisingly organised as if they have been there for months. The cottage is gorgeous. It has 123 years of history backing it up. The street is named after a household name in New Zealand. Thomas Edmonds, from London, moved to Christchurch and after opening a store and hearing the laments of housewives who’s baking was failing them, created/invented Edmonds Baking Powder back in 1922. He coined the phrase ‘Sure to Rise’, to reassure the customers that their sponges would indeed rise with his baking powder. You can find out more here

So when we went for a walk later in the afternoon last Sunday, in Edmonds Factory Park. We discovered from the informative panels placed around the park, that the area was the parklands surrounding his factory building. I think that is very cool. I grew up with Edmonds Baking Powder in the cupboard at home. Mum always found a reason to make a sponge cake for our family!

There are some wonderful treasures waiting to be discovered in Christchurch. We went to Sumner Beach on Sunday, it was a cloudless day, and a comfortable 25 degrees, unlike the 35 degree heatwave happening in Warwick, Qld! I’m not missing that at all. The beach is popular, great for swimming, climbing rocks and walking through caves. And of course a shop or two selling good creamy Kiwi ice cream! It was a fab day out and the birthday girl enjoyed it immensely.

The Gondola is always a good trip out, we will do that later in the week, taking in the view from the top. The weather has been very kind so far, as Autumn can be a bit fickle. We will enjoy the mild temps, and I’m soaking up my Kiwi culture, enjoying hearing ‘my speak’ from the locals. Our Kiwi accent is such a contrast to the Aussie one. Our vowels ar completely flip-side from the Aussie ones. Hence the common joke, “say fush and chups!”

So on that note, Kia ora, noho pai, kia harikoa,

Until next time…

Missing in Action

Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Rowena Curtin

Missing in Action

We walked briskly with our tour guide along gobsmackingly gorgeous narrow colourful streets. 

Back at the hotel, no time for a thorough preen, just a bird bath as we splashed on a refresher before dinner.  

We had the cutest waiter. Walter was delightful, 80-something. a slight build, a stooped back, loads of charm, a crooked smile, a few teeth missing, and a great sense of humour. He couldn’t do enough for us all.

 Our last night in Italy. As I packed, something was missing.  My hat! I hoped the next one to wear it would have as much fun as I was having.  

Thanks for reading. This is a tiny slice from my book, Blarney to Bastille. You’ll find more here

Patchwork #38

This patchwork is about marking a big day, and an update on the battlement.

Three Years On

I heard on the radio yesterday, it is three years since we all heard the announcement that Covid19 was officially a global pandemic.  Wow.  Haven’t we gone through a range of living conditions and emotions since then?  We’ve been in lockdown, for some, it was an extended lockdown. The world shut down, and travel was off, going further than 5k from your home was forbidden. We all wore masks, slopped on the sanitiser, and every other thing we had to get used to as the new normal.  

Our regular things in life, like getting a haircut, all went by the by.  We started looking like hippies, but we did what we needed to do to stay focused, and not get glum, while we missed regular contact, and couldn’t go out for drinks and eats with friends. The borders were zipped up, locked down, and guarded by the military or police. The great wall between NSW and here in Queensland; the orange wall where people would calmly gather to hug, share news, and hang out with family and friends.

Then after the vaccines were done, the borders began to open, slowly, like a flower opening, petal by petal.  We all went a bit crazy when we were unleashed. Our local sports shop saw shoes fly off the shelf.  Bike shops couldn’t assemble bicycles quickly enough as people planned their trips for the great outdoors.  

And now, three years on, things are still not the normal we used to know, but at least we can travel, see friends, and explore!

So I think we all need to take a breath and acknowledge the three years we’ve just come through.  It’s been quite a wild ride!

The Battlement

The netting is still in place.  I wondered if so much netting was too much, but it’s working.  The birds are staying away and my grapes are slowly ripening.  Maybe an insect has got in and sucked a few grapes of their juicy flesh, but the vine is still laden with bunches looking plump and starting to pink.  I don’t know when I’ll get to pick them, the season seems out of whack this year.  Normally, the season over here is all over and grapes are picked by now, but as I have heard others say, the grapes are late this year.

Anyway.  That’s a wee slice of life from this weekend.  I hope yours has been/is being exactly what you want it to be.


Friday Fictioneers – Write a 100-word story based on the Photo Prompt image above by  © Jennifer Pendergast

Taking Grandad for lunch was an adventure on his 95th birthday.  Grandma booked at Honey Dew because the table settings were pretty. The fun started when they sat down, and Grandad looked up.

“What the hell is that?”

“A light shade, I think…”

“What happened to it?”

“No Idea. The menu is interesting.”

Grandad’s fork floated upward, but with their concentration on the menu. no one noticed.

A mysterious magnetic force in the light shade was the cause.

The latch fell away on Danielle’s bracelet. Again unnoticed.

“There’s action from table 4, Boss, the new menu is working a treat.”

Thanks for reading

I’ve had a hiatus from writing while I have worked on other projects. The lampshade had me quite flummoxed but I spied a fork in there, so played with a magnetic theme.

Patchwork #37

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is a day to embrace our strengths and weaknesses, love and acknowledge ourselves for all of our achievements, be ourselves, be true to ourselves, and be proud.  We are all unique individuals, so stand strong, believe in yourself, be happy, stay determined, and never give up.

Maybe at times, it doesn’t feel like it, but we’ve got this!   You’ve got this!

I hope your day is amazing.

Patchwork #36

This patchwork is about market days, the mix and blends of aromas, flavours, textures, colour, tunes, and smiles. A sunny Sunday morning on the Southern Downs, Glengallan Seasonal Market, at Glengallan Homestead.

It was a perfect day for the market, with the wind staying away…last time we went to this market, the wind blew and the marketeers were hanging on to their gazebos for fear of them taking off!

Weaving around the trees on the sprawling grounds, we saw familiar stalls – the Fudge stall is always a go-to.  They know us well!  We are return customers, as their fudge is superb. We bought some Malting Moments! If you’d like to try this deliciousness, head to Whisk Creations.

And then we heard the sweetest sounds…the very cool tunes of Cathi Brown.  Cathi performs with Melomaniacs – contemporaries of the Warwick Choral Society.  Wow! I could listen to her sing all afternoon as she wandered about with her microphone, red umbrella, and backing music on a cute little compact speaker she hooked on her umbrella handle. Simplicity is the key! Her music gave a relaxed Sunday morning vibe. Check out my short video of the super-talented Cathi Brown, on my Facebook Author page here

Glengallan is well worth a visit if you’re in this neck of the woods. 

And on an ending note… here’s a dad joke alert about shopping…

Instagram and Chrome are going shopping.

Instagram: Aren’t you going to buy anything?

Chrome: Nah, I’m a browser.

I’m sorry, that was so bad…but good as well LOL!

Happy days everyone, keep smiling, stay well, stay safe, be kind…repeat…

Patchwork #35

Welcome to March!  To be sure to be sure! ‘Tis the month for wearing green, for fun/bad/silly jokes, for Guinness…but any day is good for Guinness…

This patchwork is about a black consumable …not Guinness...that is proving very hard to come by…

Tea from the Rainforest

I’m a bit of a tea enthusiast,  It’s my go-to.  Whether it’s green tea, black, white, Rooibos, flavoured, iced, or herbal… any of them will fit depending on the mood.

My packet of Daintree Tea was getting low, so I rang around the supermarkets to see where I might buy more.  None of them had it in stock. It seems it has been ordered each week for the last three months, but it has been unavailable.

So, I have been added to the list of people keen to have a packet in their pantry…I hope I get a call soon to say it has arrived in stock.

Daintree Tea is my current favourite black tea, as it reminds me of a very pleasant afternoon in Port Douglas, two years ago.  We were in the Book Lounge where I was offered a cup of Daintree tea, and that simple act of kindness in a very cool bookstore started my need to have it in my pantry. 

I Love books – I love tea.  The perfect partnership!

That’s all for now…catch you next time 😉

TTT #16

This recipe goes back to 2011. I went out with two workmates from my wonderful days working in residential aged care in Timaru. Debbie, Anne, and I went along to an evening with Jax Hamilton, a MasterChef Celebrity Chef, for some fun, sexy food, giggles, and learn how to do some new dishes.

One of the handouts we received is way too much to type out again, so, as it has been in pretty good nick since that evening in 2011, here is a photo of it. Jax was so lovely, we got a photo with her, but as I have changed my phone once or twice at least since then, I no longer have it saved. But it was a great evening, Jax was amazing and so entertaining, and the food was absolutely delicious. So here, we have one of the dishes she prepared for us. © Jax Hamilton.

Smoked Chicken and Pesto Ravioli with Basil Butter

Martha’s Musings #4

She’s often cynical, and deliberately sarcastic, but always optimistic – Martha has a solution for 99.9% of your problems.


I’m packing for a trip. My suitcase is open on the bed in the spare room. I am also taking gifts, so I’m planning to arrange them around my clothes. One such gift is a cute wee toolbox. It’s not a grey or black one, it’s a cute pink one.

I’m doing a visual in my head of how I will artfully pack all this stuff. I like doing visuals; if it doesn’t work or I stuff it up, no one needs to know! My head is like a Rubik’s cube, sometimes… just without all the colours...

So, in another visual, I imagine myself on the plane. That’s if I get through that pre-boarding thing where they look at the contents of your bag on a screen. This always gets me thinking, or a little edgy, as I’m not your normal, average, typical traveller. I have been known to pack a crockpot in my luggage. True! And a set of spanners. I found them at a garage sale and they had to come home with me. Sometimes my bag is like the one in the Harry Potter movies…the things that come out of that bag!

So back to my visual. Back to this tool kit. I’m sitting in my seat in the economy (cattle class) section, there’s just enough leg room so my knees aren’t up around my chin somewhere. I’m reading, or watching a movie. There is an announcement in my headset telling me to fasten my seatbelt, there is a bit of engine trouble and things could get bumpy. I press the call button. The fact that the plane is having problems, a bird had got caught in the jet or there is a wiring issue, and the staff has gone into ’emergency mode’ so they aren’t at all fussed about a passenger pressing the bell. I know how long it takes to get a cup of tea, so it would be worse in this mode. I’m guessing all this as I have never been on a plane in this mode, thankfully.

So back to my visual – the cabin crew attends to me eventually, and I say, “I can help! I have a really cute pink toolbox in my luggage!”

The fact that it’s in the cargo part of the plane, and we are 33,000 feet off the ground with no possible way of getting my bag from the luggage storage below, doesn’t seem important. Not in my visual, anyway; my visual, my rules. At that point, I laugh out loud and roll my eyes, and carry on sweeping the Autumn leaves.

It’s very healthy to have a good laugh at ourselves, don’t you think? Laughter is the best medicine, well if I laugh at myself and every other nutjob that provides a chuckle, we’ll have enough laughter to bottle and export to everyone in need! Problem solved!

Martha thanks you for reading, she isn’t the easiest passenger to deal with. Stop by again soon for more amazing hacks, helpful hints, and other odds and sods you always wanted to know.

Patchwork #34

This patchwork is about unexplained noises, curious sights in the sky, seeing the funny side, and having time out.

I’m not entirely sure you will find this as funny as I did, and hopefully not boring.  I think it is more a case of ‘having to be there’.

So, long story short…I was driving up William Street, to work.  The hospital is at the top of the street.  Halfway up, my car starts to make a noise I have never heard before.  I have been down this road before…pardon the pun…late last year when I was working out of town, parked in a quiet street, and when I turned on the ignition, my car really went nuts.  Steam bellowed out from under the hood, I freaked out, turned the car off, and panicked, I wondered what to do next.  That was then.

This time, the noise got louder.  I pulled over quickly and by then the noise was thunderous.  I turned the aircon off, turned the ignition off, and still the noise!  Is something going to blow up? Should I get out of the car? What the hell?? I said something far stronger than that though.

A dozen thoughts were screaming at me…

What’s about to blow up? It cant be the compressor.  Not again!  I only had the car in for service a week ago and it got 5 stars for being so good.  So what the hell is wrong now???

Then I looked up, as you do, and saw it.  No way!

Panic over, it wasn’t my car making the noise at all, which was a huge relief, I couldn’t see how it could possibly be.

The noise….rolling my eyes….was the hospital’s helicopter, carrying patients. We are used to the helicopter arriving with incoming or dispatching to another hospital, the flight path is right over our house.  

So it was coming in, approaching the helipad, but was hovering momentarily, right above my car, and the noise was reverberating through my car!  In hindsight, I felt a bit like Roy did in Close Encounters of the Third Kind…when the baby ship hovered above his car. He got a sunburned face, I was just dumbstruck!  

So my concerns vanished, I started my car again and on went the aircon. And I watched the helicopter finish its journey and land where it was supposed to.

It had me going, thinking the worst, though!

Cloud Hands

Today during Tai Chi, the sky was filled with some curious-looking clouds.  It was coincidental that we were learning and practicing Level 5 and doing ‘Cloud hands’…when another class member said ‘Look up, check out those clouds!”  I had to interrupt my tai chi to take a quick photo.  Clouds often change within minutes of taking a photo, but these stayed put for a good hour afterward.  Very cool to see, especially during Tai Chi.

New Page Alert

Keep an eye out for a new page to hit my website. The content will be familiar, but it’ll have a fresh, new look!


It’s Friday, it has been a busy, hot, working week here on ‘the Downs’ in Southern Downs, SE Queensland.  I wish you a great weekend, for whatever you have planned or for whatever randomly turns up.  The weekend goes too fast, but it’s about quality, not quantity.

With the Rose City Writer’s Group monthly meeting tomorrow, we’ll gather, and pack in some writing ideas, great reads we recommend, inspiration, motivation, teamwork, fun, and afternoon tea. Our meetings are like a shot in the arm with words being intravenously fed into our minds.  Imagine that.  Instead of a bag of plasma or hydration, a bag full of words and brilliant ideas for that next story!  Now that’s a thought and a half!

Keep smiling, keep cool if you live down here, keep warm if you live up there, and show a little kindness every day. It’ll help someone along the way. The late great Glenn Campbell said it best.<3

Thanks for reading