Category Archives: Terra Australis

When I was a child I believed…

Long before babies were born with Iphone implants,
Long before you could do your grocery shopping with interactive glasses,
Long before you could have a video conversation from Sydney to Paris on you watch,
Long before digital televisions,  Long before remote controls,
Long before computers and even wire less home-phones were invented,

I believed that people that I was watching on TV could also see me!

The Real Mary Poppins in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney

Nowadays you can do a video conference with anyone, anywhere in the world, any time of the day or night.  🙂  Does that make me a visionary person?  😉  Well, I guess it only makes me old !! lol
Other people said they believed they could…

  • Walk on water with floaties.
  • Turn milk into butter
  • flap my arms and fly.
  • Hide (from Mum) behind the toilet.
  • Make milk by crunching grass and earth, just like cows do.
  • fly with an umbrella like Mary Poppins.
  • fly flapping my arms.
  • ” I could make milk by crunching grass and earth together , just like cows do.

What about you?

What did you believe when you were a child?

Aussi Slang

French Eating habits

When I first arrived in Australia I knew nothing and no-one.

The car I bought became my only locomotion and bed and breakfast. The best in town! In all towns in fact! ha ha. I was sleeping in my station wagon, where ever and  when ever I had the need. I also was eating in the same fashion!! I had no kind of cooler or esky with me. I cooked meat when I came across public barbecues and when a butcher was nearby. One cheesecake a , almost everyday, was my only routine! I had to have my dose of cheesecake everyday!! Until I got kind of sick of it and slowly started to only eat half one a day and then I moved on to ice cream!! lol Because I had no refrigerating system on board, I had to eat the whole box each time! ha ha. There was no rule as to when and what I was eating… After a few months of this diet, I started to calm down a bit and was actually craving real food. I had fruit often because they were easy, and a cereal bowl every morning, sitting in the sand at 5 am, watching the sun come up, drinking in the beautiful peaceful of such amazing scenes. Australia does have the best sunsets I must say. I don’t remember having vegies, only those that didn’t require cooking I guess. I didn’t cook. Occasionally a little instant noodle box, that was special…getting the little pan out …lol. When I was shopping, I didn’t need to read the labels to understand how unhealthy the food was!! lol. (But that’s another fun part of travelling I guess.)

Australians put sugar in everything and anything! gherkins, mayonnaise, tomato sauce and tomato soup… You name it, I am sure you can find sugar in it! I will never get used to it. I find it sickening. I used to eat a jar of  nuttella with a teaspoon for my dinner. I would sprinkle caster sugar over my mashed potatoes and also on my sliced up tomatoes as a child…  but sugar in every can or pre-packed food doesn’t do it for me. I do like sweet and sour like in some Asian food , if it is well done, “Duck in orange sauce” is definitely one of  weaknesses, an old time favourite actually.)

So I guess the sugar contained in everything I’ve found, combined with a really bad diet and eclectic eating times largely contributed to my putting on 10kgs in only 6 months!! It’s not pretty when you’re as small as I am! I was young, free and alone… life was easy!!! No worries back then… I didn’t care.

When I got back home, I quickly lost all the weight, looked after my hair again and went back to my French eating habits. With no effort at all, just following the simple rules:

  • eat 3 meals a day (no skipping, ever),
  • on time (everyday at the same time),
  • and no snacking of course (even a sugary drink outside a meal is considered snacking here).

Easy. No effort. No sport. It didn’t matter what I ate (of course no more cheesecake or ice cream meals), as long as those rules were respected, it was too easy.

Now, 15 years later, I am back in Australia, married with 2 children.  I have “forced” my French ways onto the family. My husband is still finding it difficult to comply but did recognise the benefits or regularity while we lived over in France together. Despite all the “rich” meals we had, he actually lost weight at first and then stabilised. But since we live here, he’s been struggling again. He is Australian.

It is harder in Australia to maintain your weight because the eating habits are wrong and strongly oppressing everywhere you go. The processed food you can find here teaches from a very young age to eat sugary things.  So, right from the start, the Australian child starts with a major handicap, the result is forever unhappy dieting adults. People don’t seem to gather around the table for a meal together. Mothers don’t seem to cook for lunch. In my culture, breakfast and lunch are the two most important meals of the day. They fuel the day, so they need to be proper meals. If not, then we tend to feel hungry all day and snacking becomes natural for survival reasons. (Not that we’re going to die of starvation any time soon though… lol). Dinner isn’t so important because you go to bed and hardly need any energy for sleeping.

Today, despite having had two beautiful children, and approaching 40, my teenage clothes still fit me. Ok, I agree, my shapes have changed but because my weight is actually a few kilos lighter than 20 years ago, they really still fit me! You see, in my case, having children has been nothing like a burden to keep in shape. Quite the opposite. Having children has kept me on the right path. Because I live in this country I feel I have to be much more French in our eating habits than any French in France. I need to make more efforts in leading by example, and need to instil the habits in my children. That means fighting the whole country’s constant temptations which is like swimming against the currant really. Don’t get me wrong, our diet is far from being perfect, I do the wrong thing a few times a month (or a week) too!!! But I try my best, when possible, to follow my culture when it come to feeding the family properly…

I see mothers who go all day without a meal. They snack, drink a tea or two, probably starving themselves constantly but they are obese! It is so unfair. They haven’t been shown the way. They don’t know how easy it is to stay slim. They don’t know how good it feels to have a good meal twice a day and they feel hungry or are lacking energy all day and have to have another tea to rewind the energy button. I wish I could help them, convince them that it works and really makes life mush easier and cheaper too. Snacks cost a fortune to the individual and to the planet too.(think about all the wrapping)

Children of this nation need to be taught (by their mothers, by leading by example)

  • to eat properly 3 times a day ONLY.
  • Sitting at a table eating.
  • Not playing, not watching TV,
  • just eating and talking around the table like a happy family or bunch of friends.
  • No snacking. (We don’t do morning or afternoon tea. Occasionally when we are with friends we will have one, but if I can avoid it, I will.)
  • Water should be the only source if dehydrated, not sugary tea, orange juice or other fizzy drinks, NEVER. If you need vitamin C, have a real orange, or press one yourself but don’t teach your child to walk around with a can of coke or flavoured milk or anything else flavoured or sugary. Water is the key.

Sugary drinks give you the false impression of being “full”. Everyone knows sugar gives you a short almost instant boost but then your energy levels quickly flop down again. Which means you need another quick fix to keep going through the next hour or so… This is so unhealthy to consume sugary drinks all day, every day, especially destructive outside meals. No wonder Australia has such a high level of obesity.

I have proven that by living the Australian way, anyone can be obese, I was. But by adopting the French way we all have more chances to be slimmer.

So… who is ready to make the swap?

Fishy Banana


Last night, “Petite Chérie” and “Hubby” went fishing. They caught three nicely sized tailors (The bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix). In this festive season we had to find a great and very special way to cook those beautiful sea treasures.

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Red Mushroom in Paper Bark Tree

Queensland, Australia.

Wild Rangers Encounters

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Can we go back to being a caterpillar once we’ve been a butterfly?

Rainbow Lorikeet rescue

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To avoid having birds living on our deck and messing it, a few years ago, we decided to drop nets all around restful sanctuary with wooden floor boards.

It is a rather large area and birds used to find refuge, perch and even race each other, flying straight through it.

Last year we had a Willy-Wag-Tail building his nest under the centre of the roof, right above the table! We were lucky to watch the 3 eggs hatch and become courageous little birds.

But this time wasn’t so happy. A Rainbow Lorikeet caught one of its legs. We threw a towel on him, this allows the bird to calm down and not die of a heart attack. It’s also easier to remove the net that way without injuring the beautiful bird and without getting nipped!

Once free from the net, we unwrapped its body and took a photo. But my hold was to gentle and before I knew it, the loose towel gave him enough freedom to fly away. He was so fast!


I rescued a cockatoo once, caught in the net that was covering a vegie garden.  The amazingly powerful beak attacked my finger and there was no way for me to get it back!! I had to keep the bird entertained with my imprisoned finger to take the attention away from the towel coming to land on him. That is an excellent trick. It worked wonders. As soon as the big white bird was in the darkness of the material, he just released my so very sore finger. Bleeding and swelling, months later,  it ‘s still carrying a scar!

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