How To Make Cumquat Jam

How to make cumquat jam?
First you must go back in time to more than ten years ago. You will go to a Garage Sale at the dance hall on Dixon Road, Buderim and you will purchase, for the princely sum of $2 a plant labelled as Native Lemon. It will languish in this pot, doing absolutely nothing for a few years before it is banished to the back of the garden to fend for itself, as many other plants have done before. Here it will make its grand escape unbeknownst to humans because you were not looking. {It’s a jungle back there!!} One day you will realise that it has grown and go and check just what the hell is going on and realise you are months too late. You sigh, and hack the plastic pot away, heap lots of mulch up to the tree {for it is now a tree} and wish it well.

A couple of years later you see flowers and then…..native lemons?? Oh no no no…you see….cumquats!

You make fiddly cumquat marmalade each year and curse the tree and the person who bought it {yourself} as you prise out every one of the fifty gazillion pips that reside in cumquats. The marmalade tastes amazing but you wonder if it is worth it.

Fast forward to this year, where you decide to make Cumquat Jam {or Jelly depending on where you come from} for this year’s haul is a mighty one. {See picture below} The cumquat tree has obviously been enjoying the weather.

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What is the difference between the Jam and the Marmalade you may ask yourself and you will reply NO MORE FIDDLY PIP REMOVAL! Yes! All you will do is halve the cumquats, cover them in water and simmer for two hours. After this you let the whole mixture cool for a while before squeezing through cheese cloth. When you can’t find your piece of cheesecloth {it’s in the pantry somewhere!!} you choose a sieve instead and let the juice run through and then keep stirring the pulp until you couldn’t be bothered anymore.

You will measure your pulpy juice of cumquat and heat it up, adding the equivalent amount of sugar. For example, you will find you have 2 litres of pulp and will therefore need 2 kgs of sugar. You will keep stirring until the sugar has melted, and then simmering until jam forms. {You will test this by placing a little on a plate and if it sets then your jam is ready}

You will have your carefully saved jam and honey jars ready and warm in the oven. You will not have forgotten to take their labels off and therefore will not have to madly scrub whilst the jam cooks.

You will fill the jars, place on their lids and admire your work. You will ignore the mess and take a photograph of your jam instead. You will write about it. People will admire your craft, both with words and cumquats.

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You are the Cumquat Queen.

 

 

Copyright September 2018

Monster

I’m in a strange place. The days all merge into one. At any given time I do not know the date even if I have seen it fifty times that day, as I play computer games and “chat” to others on twitter. There are so many things I feel I should be doing. Many poems and stories drift aimlessly through my mind. I cannot grasp the ends of these tales or tasks. I cannot yank them into being. Something concrete does not set.

For the moment I am not seeing the psychiatrist. My last visit, I wasn’t really there. He talked, I didn’t listen. The voices in my head all bickered, throwing up obstacles. I felt he kicked me out yet logically I know he knew he wasn’t getting through. It was obvious.

Now I ask myself these questions.  Should I make another appointment? Would it matter if I never saw him again? Am I still me after all of this??

With autism, schizoid behaviour, multiple personalities weaving their way, together with depression and anxiety, my overactive imagination sometimes sees me as a monster. All alone and a monster to boot!!

Except I’m never really alone, not with all those voices in my head. Even through the antipsychotic barrier my voices still bravely talk, telling me bits of stories and poetry. One day I will grasp the ends and unravel to the beginning and there I’ll find all of me waiting where I’ve always been.

Perhaps this monster does need to make an appointment after all. An appointment with the psychiatrist…………and soon.

 

Copyright September 2015

In Therapy

Going to see a Psychiatrist is, I now know, just like having someone saw off the top of your head, stir your brains around with a great, big, wooden spoon and then stitch it all back up again and send you home. This all occurs without an anaesthetic……the anaesthetic comes later!

After my first two hour session of form signing, quiz filling outing {I love quizzes} and brain squeezing I went home in a daze, still no closer to a verdict. I’m still no closer after a second session. Maybe one day I’ll find out what and who I am, at the moment my view on me is changing slightly. I’m not quite as Aspergery as I thought I was. The mind cleaning revealed quite an emotional me. The Psychiatrist knew which of my buttons to push. This in itself is quite scary, having someone understand me so well……having someone with the power to lock me up if I fall apart at some future stage know all about me, all my inner workings. I have enough problems with trust as it is so revealing has been difficult, but necessary.

So here I am…in therapy, not exactly loving it but for the first time in ages, quite sure I do have a future waiting for me to write on.

Copyright July 2015

Asperger’s????????

Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis {and a big thanks to those who do!!} will have noticed I have been anything but regular with my posts this year. Living with depression has its ups and downs and this year there have been many downs. Frustration sets in and devours my creativity which in turn creates more frustration. I even cancelled my Twitter account and disappeared for a few weeks, only to begin a new account because I missed chatting to so many people.

Note: If you wish to talk with me or to read my tiny poems, tiny stories and tiny haiku my new account is @iwasaplatypus

To add to this year’s story a few weeks back whilst reading the ABC news I came across an article on middle-aged women being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. It seems that girls with Asperger’s have been better than boys with Asperger’s at pretending to be human and have therefore slipped under the diagnosis radar. As these women talked about themselves an alarm bell rang in the back of my mind – they sounded exactly like me.

After a couple of days of brooding I visited an Asperger’s site and found a description of the commonalities of women with Asperger’s. It was like the author knew me! Things, attributes, of mine which I had never talked about, barely admitted, were linked together.

To cut a long story short, I visited my Doctor {who I admit I was hesitant to approach} and he believes I am correct in my self-diagnosis. Later this week I will see a Psychiatrist for an expert opinion and hopefully, some advice.

I am amazed.

I am scared.

I am excited.

I am frightened.

I am writing this because my world has shifted on it’s axis. I am what I am and at the same time I am not what I thought I was.

Still me.

 

Copyright June 2015