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October 12th, 2007

Weasel and Eggs

'There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.'
Salvador Dali


Hi folks,

I apologise for missing the past couple of newsletters. While my shoulder is reconfiguring itself, I only have a limited amount of endurance for typewriter pecking, so I have chosen to use it for essential work matters. But I have been thinking about you and I will endeavour to get a newsletter out whenever I can. Check the website newsletter link for updates if you don't get yours.

Getting along with neighbours is always delicate. Has anyone ever lived next to some bozo that you couldn't stand? One of my readers is having some extraordinary problems with a neighbour, worthy of a Holy Visitation by St Judge Judy. This large extended family is run by a grumpy old woman with a pack of fierce dogs. Her car isn't taxed or insured, and doesn't even have a number plate, but the police still do nothing. Her bad tempered old man is famous for upsetting foreigners with racist comments. A shopkeeper even blames him for ordering the murder of his son and his son's girlfriend, but nothing has been proved yet! All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest, whom everyone once thought was gay. Two grandsons are meant to be in the Army but are always seen out in nightclubs. The family's odd antics are always in the papers. They are out of control.

Honestly - who'd live near Windsor Castle? (boom boom!)
(thanks to Stefan A.)

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #1
At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. Salvador Dali


Gday ,
I really don't know how I got on to your mailing list but I get it all the time and I enjoy it immensely. One question - Is he or are you the one same person of "Shaaddup You Face" fame? I loved that spoof song and when the song was released, I lived in the Riverina Region of NSW where a lotta expat and naturalized Italians and their progeny live. Well some of the do gooder Anglos thought it was a racial song and wanted it banned. Not so the I-ties - They luvved it. Amway, I am mainly from Scots descent and I have always thought of composing a similar song about my grandfather and me as he had such a strong Scots accent and spoke a lotta old fashioned dialect words. Never did, though. I may still do it. Cheers, Fletch

Here's a quote for you:
'Freedom's just another word for something that we've bombed' Leo Dale

wow man,
that song of yours takes me back to when i was a kid struggling with my drum kit i got better on them. so hows it all been going since that huge hit you had. sorry to have bothered you and all mate, darren

(Note: Darren, one of my earliest musical memories is of my father kicking a hole in the drum kit he bought me for Christmas because I played it too much. Thanks dad. You set me on the road to my destiny.)

Dear Joe,
I am walking along the Corsa Como in Milan with my 84 year old mother from Port Melbourne looking in exclusive shops when all of a sudden she beckons me over to the entrance of a posh bar and Shaddap You Face is blaring inside. This made our day. Cheers and all good wishes to you, Hannie

Howdy from Alberta: I had to google you and find out where you were. I remember your Shaddap You Face song. I was thinking about this song at work yesterday and googled it and was happy to find it on You Tube. I've played it at least 10 times. Played it to the kids at work, most of which weren't born when it came out, great trip down memory lane. I put the words on my screen saver at work. Hard to believe its been 27 years since that tune came out. I love it. Thanks again for making a miserable work day fun. Thanks again, eh! Don F. Calgary.

American wanker ... make that, one of the worst ... a pompous opinionated wanker! bye for now, M.

(Note: My Reply: M, Are you referring to me, doll, or something in the newsletter? Joe)

M's Reply: RE: american wanker
everything about you, dill. bye for now, M.

(Note: M is the third person in my life who has referred to me as pompous. The other two know who they are. I particulary like how she ends her little barb with 'bye for now' - sort of like 'y'all come back now, heah?' I also like the 'doll-dill' counterpoint. Am I offended? Not at all.
Firstly, we need 5 definitions straightened out So we can translate 'M-speak' into 'Joe-Listen':

1. American: Well, strickly speaking I am a dual National. An Australian-American, so she must mean Australian-American wanker. Just for clarity, so we can extend her offense to as many people as possible in the fewest amount of words.
2. Wanker: a person who masturbates. Guilty as charged. Thank God, for it too. It has kept me off Cheatin' Street.
3. Opinionated: unduly adhering to one's own opinion. Unduly is the key word here. How do we measure how much exactly is 1 Duly?
4.Pompous: having or exhibiting self-importance. pomp: a show of magnificence : SPLENDOR, a pomp of flaming colours --
My thoughts on Pomp? Honestly, I have never considered anyone else pompous in my entire life. I think a genius cannot see the world in those terms. This is a term used by wannabe geniuses. In other words, Salieri would have considered Mozart pompous - not the reverse. As an O.R.G. (Officially Registered Genius), I can testify that we do not possess good enough close-up vision to know if someone is filled with pomp. All we see are large shapes worth investigating until we either learn something or else lose interest. I asked my partner Lin what her definition of the word might be: she said: 'someone who talks big but really can't do much.' Obviously, according to this definition, I can't qualify, as I walk my talk. Actually, I 'run' my talk, as opposed to 'run my mouth'. People once called Muhammed Ali, Salvadore Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, PT Barnum, Picasso, and scores of other largo personalities, pompous. Hey guess what? We still remember their names but not the names of the namecallers. My advice: never call someone this term - because you immediately declare yourself to be a damn fool destined for anonymity.)
5. Dill: foliage and seeds both of which are used in flavoring foods and especially pickles .

So if 'M-speak' is translated into 'Joe-Listen' we get the following somewhat Astrological personality profile:

" Although you are one of those unique and rare individuals who masturbates, and in possession of more Duly than you are obviously due, you still consider yourself very important and are willing to exhibit said importance in shows of magnificence and flaming colours - especially when pickled. "

Hey, I can live with that. )

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #2
Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making. Salvador Dali

G'day Joe,
Seeing as you were having trouble with the scottish dialect- thought you might like to translate this one. Lucky you're an Italoamericanoaustralorpe, though that could possibly confuse your normal Jock and Jimmy. regards bigruss
ps. Incidently, I've worked out that 'wee'is a Scottish expletive (something like 'bloody') Every noun is qualified by the word. When your as fat as I am then being called 'Wee Russ' has a certain appeal. So much so that I was moved to write another Postcard verse.


We've just been to Scotland, we went on a wee train,
We crossed the wee border, hit a wee bit of rain,
I've been eating wee haggis, and that wee black pud,
And I'd climb wee Ben Nevis, if only I could,
There is a wee policeman, though he weighs twenty stone,
And we saw a wee castle made of wee stone,
That large Isle of Skye, as the Scots like to boast,
Is just a wee Island, off Scotland's West Coast,
But I have to say 'aye', I love the word 'wee'
When it's used to refer to, Wee Bev and Me,
So we're now leaving Scotland, We're on a wee bus,
So I'll sign off this card; with love, Wee Big Russ.
Wee Bigruss Aug 07

A Scottish man walking through a field, sees a man drinking water from a pool with his hand.
The Scottish man shouts:
" Awa ye feel hoor that's foo o' coos sharn"
(translation - 'Don't drink the water, it's full of cow shit.')
The man shouts back:
"I'm English, Speak English, I don't understand you".
The Scottish man shouts back:
"Use both hands, you'll get more in."

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #3
Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali. Salvador Dali


Burma's Saffron Revolution: Goodbye, Generals
By Cynthia Boaz and Shaazka Beyerle

"I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life. Mahatma Gandhi

Just because we can't see protestors any longer doesn't mean they aren't there. The Burmese regime wants us to believe their claims that they have "restored normalcy" to the country. They want us to conclude that the repression was successful and that the resistance has been crushed. But that's not the real story from Burma.
No one should be surprised that the regime cracked down; after all, that's what regimes do when faced with dissent. The effects of the protests may be much deeper and longer lasting than the effects of the most recent round of terror against Burmese citizens. Exiled pro-democracy leaders, monks and students all claim that the movement survives and that, in the words of one refugee the people, "have committed themselves to victory in the struggle for Burma." There are some encouraging signs that this commitment is being translated into a systematic strategy to undermine the junta's sources of support and control.
 For starters, the movement learned how to coordinate "lines" or layers of leadership, so that if one group of leaders was jailed or otherwise neutralized, another would quickly step up in its place. And that is exactly what happened after the first wave of arrests, then the second, and then the third. It is believed by some Burma observers that there still more - many more - ready to take their places.
 Next, with monks in the vanguard, the movement has revealed the regime's utter lack of political legitimacy and moral authority. By cracking down on the most respected and revered part of its society, the regime has cracked down on the very soul of Burma. This has activated parts of the population that have up till now stayed on the sidelines, including teachers, villagers, and even government workers. A BBC World Asia correspondent recently said, "It is obvious that despite their best efforts to stifle any opposition, the question Burma's ruling generals need to ask themselves is not if the anti-government protests will return, but when."
  It hasn't taken long. Already, news has broken that citizens in Rangoon were engaging in "silent protests" - such as turning off the state news reports en masse, or turning off their lights - to symbolize their rejection of the regime's propaganda. Ordinary people have withdrawn their consent to the regime, and are willing to take action - if creative, low risk options are presented to them. They will follow in the footsteps of courageous nonviolent resisters who battled against Pinochet's junta in Chile, the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. They all faced repression yet devised nonviolent actions to disrupt their oppressive systems and mobilize people. article

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #4
I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait. Salvador Dali


The REAL 2007 Australian Citizenship Test

1. Do you understand the meaning, but are unable to explain the origin of, the term 'died in the arse'?
2. What is: a bloody little beauty?
3. Are these terms related: chuck a sickie; chuck a spaz; chuck a U-ey?
4. Explain the following passage:
'In the arvo last Chrissy the relos rocked up for a barbie, some bevvies and a few snags. After a bit of a Bex and a lie down we opened the pressies, scoffed all the chockies, bickies and lollies. Then we drained a few tinnies and Mum did her block after Dad and Steve had a barney and a bit of biffo.'
5. Macca, Chooka and Wanger are driving to Surfers in their Torana. If they are travelling at 100 km/h while listening to Barnsey, Farnsey and Acca Dacca, how many slabs will each person on average consume between flashing a brown eye and having a slash?
6. Complete the following sentences:
a) 'If the van's rockin' don't bother .......
b) You're going home in the back of a .........
c) Fair crack of the...........
7. I've had a gutful and I can't be fagged. Discuss
8. Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a wedgie?
9. Do you have a friend or relative who has a car in their front yard 'up on blocks'? Is his name Bruce and does he have a wife called Cheryl , and they both have mullets ?
10. Does your family regularly eat a dish involving mincemeat, cabbage, curry powder and a packet of chicken noodle soup called either chow mein, chop suey or kai see ming?
11. What are the ingredients in a rissole?
12. Demonstrate the correct procedure for eating a Tim Tam.
13. Do you have an Aunty Irene who smokes 30 cigarettes a day and sounds like a bloke?
14. In any two-hour period have you ever eaten three-bean salad, a chop and two serves of pav washed down with someone else's beer that has been flogged from a bath full of ice?
15. When you go to a bring-your-own-meat barbie can you eat other people's meat or are you only allowed to eat your own?
16. What purple/red root vegetable beginning with the letter 'b' is required by law to be included in a hamburger with the lot?
17. Do you own or have you ever owned a lawn mower, a pair of thongs, an Esky or Ugg boots?
18. Is it possible to 'prang a car' while doing 'circle work'?
19. Who would you like to crack on to?
20. Who is the most Australian: Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson, John 'True Blue' Williamson, Kylie Minogue or Warnie?
21. Is there someone you are only mates with because they own a trailer or have a pool?
22. What does "sinkin piss at a mates joint and gettin paralised" actually mean?

You may copy your mates answers.

The pass rate is 45%
(thanks to Linda Drew)

World Clock
This is really awesome
(thanks to Jim Testa)


The Pomp and Largo of Dali #5
I don't do drugs. I am drugs. Salvador Dali


 Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War
 By Jeffrey Gettleman

 Bukavu, Congo - Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore. Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.
 "We don't know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear," said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo's rape epidemic. "They are done to destroy women."
Eastern Congo is going through another one of its convulsions of violence, and this time it seems that women are being systematically attacked on a scale never before seen here. According to the United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, and that may be just a fraction of the total number across the country.
"The sexual violence in Congo is the worst in the world," said John Holmes, the United Nations under secretary general for humanitarian affairs. "The sheer numbers, the wholesale brutality, the culture of impunity - it's appalling." article

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #6
In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob. Salvador Dali


The Last Mimzy


This is the best kids-oriented sci-fi I have seen in years. I watched it three times before I took it back to the DVD shop (why do we still call them video shops?) and now am looking to buy multiple copies for all my grandkids.

Based on 'Mimsy Were the Borogoves' - a science fiction short story by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore) originally published in the February 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction Magazine.

Many million years in the future, a scientist experimenting with time-travel, sends a series of A.I. children's bunnies - Mimzys - to the past: some to the twenty-first century (that's us, now, folks, by the way, if you haven't been keeping up!) and some to the latter part of the nineteenth century. (The astounding premise here is that although time-travel might be impossible and/or lethal for humans, it might not be for intelligent machines!)

The toys are found by two children on the beach and also include a selection of wonderful things which enable one of the kids to hum a frequency that can reprogram spiders to design custom designed webs - one of which serves as a structural model for a suspension bridge strong enough to cross the solar system! - to hear each other's thoughts - and a detailed anatomical nano-tech stuffed rabbit that can alter DNA. As Scott and his two-year-old sister Emma play with the toys, they are changed by them.

(A second toy arrived in nineteenth century England, and was apparently found by Alice Liddell. It's influence resultsedin the inspiration for 'Through the Looking-Glass'.)

The two children, helping each other, begin to construct a pathway into another dimension - the dimension where the people of the future live - who the Mimzy is conditioning them to find and assist in their survival.

The acting of children is sensitive and wonderful (Spielberg would love this film!) with key adult roles played by TImothy Hutton and others.

This tale is up there with the finest HG Wells and Jules Verne stories of my childhood - it's probably no coincidence that it was written in the Golden Age of Sci-Fi - and it's something you can watch enthralled with your kids and grandkids. In fact, I can't wait to see it again!

The production has a high pedigree: adapted screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost, Deep Impact) and Toby Emmerich (Frequency). The soundtrack for the film was composed by Howard Shore, and Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters also collaborated on the theme song called "Hello (I Love You)".site

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #7
Let my enemies devour each other. Salvador Dali


Fainting Goats
Das Llamas
Iceage Cobra
Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
A Life, A Song, A Cigarette
Absynthe Minded
Yes, I'm Losing
Second Wind Bandits
Pistol Opera
Le Boeuf Brothers Group
The Teenage Prayers
housewives on prozac
Curly and The Rocket
Worm Is Green
Sinister Trailerpark Magic
Cookie Cutter Girl
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
alright, junior
Guns on the Roof
Heavenly Trip To Hell
Hectors Revenge
Peasants Of Posture
the aimless never miss

and my favourite:

The Fucking Eagles

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #8
Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them. Salvador Dali

Writer's Block

There was an article in last week's Age about the Darebin Songwriter's Award, a key part of the Darebin Music Festival. Darebin, in Victoria, is known for having more songwriters registered with APRA than any other town in Australia. The judges for the one hundred and twenty-three local entries this year are singer-songwriters, Kavisha Mazzella, Kutcha Edwards, and Mick Thomas.

I worked with Mick once before when he donated his time for the 'Requiem for the Soul of a Woman' benefit that Lin Van Hek and I organized for Amnesty International.

Kavisha, Kutcha, David Bridie and myself were the four mentors in the Darebin Festival mentoring program a few years ago where we worked with twenty youth over three months, helping each one of them finetune and prepare music, lyric and arrangement on one of their original songs for a gala concert that was held at the Darebin Arts Centre. A fantastically rewarding experience.

So it was with great interest that I looked at this article by Michael Dwyer of the Age.

Now judging a songwriting competition is a dodgy business even under the best of circumstances. I judged one last month in Brunswick. It just about broke my heart, too. Mainly because trying to objectively judge a good songwriter or song (that you aren't that familiar with anyway) is pretty much impossible in any real meaningful way. Someone always gets angry, hurt, or misunderstood, at best.

The only way judging art can conceivably work is with an unnaturally strict set of guidelines. In other words, let's say, the conditions that must be met are thus: the song must have ten words, twenty notes, be about something blue, no longer than ten seconds, arranged for a brass band, and must not wake the sleeping baby. Like a game. Clear rules that CAN be measured. Or break one and you lose a point. Etc. Winner collects the most points, gets trophy, two dollars and name on plaque in boardroom under names of other dead old men (mostly) who have won two dollars in previous years ­ when two dollars meant more (probably).

Luckily, memorable music is not written that way. But there is a seasoned art and craft to songwriting - and that is what troubled me about this Age article.

Kavisha, Mick and Kutcha were asked the questions, 'How do you write a song?' 'What do you look for in a good song?' The article was then reinforced with four quotes by qualified songwriters of repute including Lou Reed, Paul Kelly, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young.

I thought Kavisha Mazzella and Mick Thomas accounted themselves well. Kavisha said that the song has to speak clearly. Mick suggested a marriage of words and music (good) and writing the song in such a way that it needed no introduction ie. everything you need to know is in the song (very good!) Kutcha replied that it would just be whatever hit him at the moment: the melody or the story. That's honest, at least.

Then Mick said something silly. He added that Paul Kelly allegedly summed it up best:

'If I knew how to write a song, I'd be home writing it.'

Boinggggg!! (Was that the spring breaking on the Metronome of Intelligence?)

Scratching my head at this perplexing and hopefully humorous reply, I kept reading, looking for some redemption from the other High Priests of the Craft:

Leonard Cohen: 'It's a mysterious condition.'

Neil Young: 'Someone may say, but they don't know.'

Lou Reed: 'I don't have a clue.'

Now I'm getting angry. What is this? Are these people all on drugs?

I seriously pray that all four of these quotes were taken out of context (if so, shame on you, Mr Dwyer) because all four comments are completely ridiculous and will help no one learn anything about how to write a song.

Before I explain why, let me clear up a simple misunderstanding.

Songwriting is like anything else. No big deal, folks. You learns your craft. You writes your song.

Like making bacon and eggs for breakfast, for instance. Or constructing fine Stradavarii. There are certain things you do to make a thingo. Certain things you do to make bacon and eggs. Certain patterns you learn which form the basis of your technique. Then you add creativity, herbs and spices, inspiration, passion, experience, salt and pepper ­ life, love and Issues important to you and, if you are focused and a master of your craft, you create a song. Pop goes the weasel! That's it. Breakfast is served. Weasel and Eggs.

Important Aside: Creating personal masterpieces is another matter. I've gone into that in previous workshops and sometimes you don't even know if you've created one of these elusive creatures until much, much later. But like my old grandma used to say, 'Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly . . . . . . . until you can learn to do it better.'

All this hocus-pocus about the mystical process of songcraft comes from our shamanistic reptilian brainstem, I think. Right up there with The Priesthood. Latin. Medical School. Those kind of things. Mysterious ooga-booga mumbo-jumbo that was meant to keep power sequestered in a few hands. Songwriters used to be like mystics once ­ they'd fall on the ground, frothing at the mouth and sing out a big chunk of Jim Morrison-style love-prophecy all over the stage. I once worked with one of these REAL Holy Musicians in Fiji. Within context of their tribal situation, music was Sacred, with an important historical component - the Musician WAS a Holy Man.

But I'm getting too old, the world is too fragile and history is much too patriarchal for these kind of artists today. Give me a fanculin' holiday from Prophets, please. Give me instead some Woody Guthrie, some Lead Belly, the fifty white-hot sustained writing years of JS Bach - even my grandkids beating on toy drums - people who can compose on a beer box without blinking. The master songwriter who can write a damn good song from a recipe, a newspaper clipping, a poem, a dream, or a shopping list.

Wagner once said he created Tristan from six months of theoretical mediation and three weeks of passionate writing. I can learn something from that kind of sustained focus.

Look, if you know the basics of writing a song and are having trouble writing one, it simply means you don't have anything you really want to write about. You don't have a good enough REASON to write. Go find a good reason. The song will be there waiting for you when you arrive.

That is my definition of Writer's Block.

Awhile ago, I gave one of my mentoring students an exercise: to set one of Langton Hughes' poems to music. He couldn't do it. He said it was too strange to try to write with 'someone else's voice'. I said, 'Ok ­ fair enough ­ but what if I gave you ten thousand dollars, could you have it ready by next week?' He said, 'Yes.'

A good enough reason.

If I offered Paul Kelly or Lou Reed one hundred thousand dollars cash money, and all the home-made spaghetti they could eat for five years, to write me a song about a Cane Toad trying to fuck a tractor, by Friday, what do you think the reply would be? Would you like that in B-minor or C major, Maestro Dolce? Please pass the parmesan cheese.

Can you imagine a TRUE Master uttering any one of those inane statements about their work? JS Bach, or Stradivarius, for instance. Step back in time with me and let's see what it sounds like . . . .

Seventeenth Century Journalist: 'Mr Stradivarius, what makes a good violin?'

'It's a mysterious condition. Someone may say, but they don't know. If I knew how to make a violin, I'd be home making it. I don't have a clue.'

Eighteen Century Church Reporter: ' Maestro Johan Sebastian Bach, how does one write a cantata?'

'Mein Gott, It's und mysterious condition. Somevun may say they knoooooooow., but they don't knoooooooow. If I kneeeeeeeew how to vrite und cantata, I'd be home vriting vun, dumkopt! I don't have und clue, I know nutting . . . . NUTTING! I just vork in the church.'

Ridiculous. Bach could write a cantata in his sleep and he WAS home writing them every week anyway.

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #9
The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot. Salvador Dali

More Music

Groucho Marx gets down with barrel house piano player and blues singer Gladys Bentley on an episode of 'This is Your Life':
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlosFG7WyUc article
(thanks to Frank Dolce)

The Pomp and Largo of Dali #10
Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing. Salvador Dali



Snakes in Snow Tart
White Chocolate Tart with Snakes

I made this for our joint birthday parties last weekend. The grandkids fought over the snakes.

1-2-3 Shortcrust Pastry (blindbaked)
300 g plain flour
200 g chilled unsalted butter
100 g castor sugar
1 egg

300 g white chocolate, finely chopped
100 ml double cream
125 g unsalted butter, chopped
4 eggs
100 g castor sugar
1 tble golden syrup

packet of snakes
extra white chocolate for grating
icing sugar

1-2-3 Shortcrust Pastry:
Use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar lightly. Add the egg and continue creaming until absorbed. Carefully fold in flour, mixing only until just combined. The dough will still be a little sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
Knead the chilled dough lightly first to soften, then roll out evenly in all directions with a small amount of dusting powder.

Blind Bake: Line a 3.5 cm deep, 24 cm fluted tart tin, with a removable bottom, with the pastry, pressing gently into base and sides. Cut excess pastry around edge with rolling pin, cover with plastic wrap and chill the tart case for one hour. Preheat oven to 180C. Press a layer of aluminium foil into the tart case and fill with beans to keep the edges stable in the oven. Bake for 10 -15 minutes. Remove from oven when outer edge of crustis cooked. Remove beans and check bottom. If bottom is still moist, return to oven (without beans) for five minutes until base is ready.

For the filling, combine chocolate, cream and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir continuously until butter and chocolate are melted and mixture is well combined. Remove bowl from heat and set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar and golden syrup until pale and creamy, then fold into chocolate mixture. Pour filling into tart shell ( TIP: Place a pizza pan, or any flat surfaced pan, in the oven about 10 minutes before you are ready to put the tart in. Place the tart tin on top of this and it will keep any overflow during the baking from messing up your oven. This is the way I fill the tart case with the filling: I place the half filled tart case in the oven on the pizza pan, then ladle the filling into the tart case slowly until it just reaches the top. This step saves you the trouble of having to then move the full tart case from the bench into the oven which invariably causes some spillage which is unpleasant. My way of doing it avoids that problem.) and bake at 150C for 35-40 minutes or until just set. Cool tart to room temperature.

To serve: Grate enough white chocolate to cover the top of the tart so that it resembles a snowfield. Lightly score the top of the tart into the individual slices. Just mark it lightly. Do not cut it yet. Place one snake lengthwise along each marked slice. Lightly dust with icing sugar.



Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a "playful drunken mood"
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

~ Hafiz ~
The Gift ­ versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)




The Pomp and Largo of Dali #11
"I am a genius who also paints." Salvador Dali