The whole family felt very proud; Nathaniel won a baby competition. Barbara is still at camp and Mum doesn’t feel well, she is still somewhat withdrawn after the dramatic events with Les.
It was a good day, Karen turned eighteen and we had an excellent dinner of eye fillet, broccoli, corn, beans, crinkle cut chips and a creamy peppercorn sauce with shallots, followed by an exotic fruit salad.
Cream and Peppercorn Sauce
150ml fresh cream
1 heaped tsp flour
1 heaped tsp butter
2 tsp green peppercorns (rinsed)
1 tsp brandy
½ beef stock cube dissolved in a little boiling water (or meat glaze)
Shallots, finely sliced (optional)
Melt the butter and add the flour slowly while stirring as for a roux
Add cream, peppercorns, brandy and stock
Mix until thick
Pour over meat
I spent most of the day dipping into Adler’s book How To Read A Book, The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading, which explained in great detail, how to read a great book, “those that are of enduring interest and importance” and “of reading analytically, interpretively, and critically”. After dinner, Johnny and I had a long discussion about the process of reading properly.
24th Sep 1981
It’s been a leisurely morning so far. After a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs, I fed the chickens and ducks, tidied the bedroom, gave the vacuum a thorough clean and then vacuumed the kitchen.
Nathaniel and I picked a huge bowl of mulberries and then I hung out the clothes. Jobs had to be done by 3pm so we could leave for Rocky to see Karen off to Brisbane.
28th Sep 1981
Made a mutton-chop curry and dhal early in the morning; the masala for the curry was fragrant and delicious with a mixture of curry powder, clove powder, 5-spice powder, chilli, ginger, fresh coriander leaves, fennel leaves, lots of chives, tomatoes, yoghurt and pepper.
In the afternoon, I took Barbara to Yeppoon Hospital to have her foot examined. They confirmed what we thought, it was a pulled tendon and no bones were broken, however, recovery would be slow. Managed to read a number of short stories from Century of Humour by P.G. Wodehouse while waiting at the hospital. We arrived home at 5:30pm and Johnny had already made the rice for our dinner so we could eat straight away. Had a rum evening with Johnny.
29th Sep 1981
Today Johnny, Karen and Gareth are away so I have a family free day from housework. I should be able to work at my desk most of the day.
The conversation with myself went as follows:
What to do next year?
Because I’m not sure I can do mathematics.
You haven’t really given it a go.
I might have to work next year.
As what? Why not press on with what you are doing this year and consider the matter in November?
The problem has not been defined as yet.
Yes, it has.
- I may not have the ability to do mathematics
- Seem incapable of working hard and consistently at study
- May have to earn money for the family
How to Read a Great Book by Alder & Van Doren (1965) PDF here.