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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The good old newspaper...

Photo by [emb] on Flickr

I may be one of a dying breed but I still read the newspaper everyday. Here's a few things I've learnt from my reading this week...

  • It's not my imagination. According to the a Melbourne University arborist the autumn leaves in Melbourne this year do have a deeper and richer hue. Apparently lots of rain followed by a fairly extreme cold snap has increased the sugar generated by many species. More sugar = richer pigments in the cells - who knew?

  • I came across the word 'procrastibaking'. What a fantastic word, I can't believe that such a word has only just come into being! I procrastibake all the time! It was given as an example of an appropriate evolution of the English language as compared to the many new text-speak abbreviations such as LOL, u and da.

  • I learnt all about Wovenspoke fabric designer Amy Carr Bottomley's stylish scarves and wristbands made for cyclists using retro-reflective thread. Now you can be chic AND stay safe.

  • I learnt that star anise is reputedly good for people with asthma and bronchitis so Henry and I have been drinking a delicious concoction made by steeping a star anise in boiling water for 10 mins then adding the juice of half a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of organic honey. Could be my imagination but I started the week with a cold and sore throat but after drinking many of these drinks I'm already starting to feel much better.

EDIT:: After a little more sleuthing I found that star anise is the main source of shikimic acid one of the main ingredients in the flu vacination, Tamiflu. This led to a worldwide shortage of the spice in 2005 and again during the swine flu epidemic in 2009!


  1. I'm glad you and Henry are feeling better Caz. I hadn't heard about star anise's theraputic's a spice that I rarely use but will make sure I always have some in the spice cupboard from now on.

    It's fascinating about the trees. I learned recently from Ahmad that some even have a kind of natural antifreeze in them! I'd love to study plants and insects...

  2. Bless you. I feel I am becoming an old breed of newspaper person and still love the printed medium even though I know the digital medium is full steam ahead. It's not even so much about print. Newsgathering and the sharing of stories is as old as the hills. I love it.

    That star anise drink, is it a tasty concoction or have you had to hold your nose to get it down? I think I'll have to try it.

  3. Deb

    Anti-freeze in trees? Is there no end to nature's mysteries??

  4. Katie, I'm glad I'm not alone with my love of newspapers. I don't even mind wrestling with the broadsheets it's all part of the experience isn't it? Do try the star anise drink. I actually really like the taste - it's just like a lemon honey drink but with a subtle taste of licorice. When I asked Henry (he's 4) to try it he said 'delicious - it tastes like apples' - not sure about that!

  5. As someone who relies on newspapers to keep food on the table (ie, to be employed by them, not eat them) I can't tell you how much I love this post. Or maybe I can. These are all such great finds, especially procrastibaking. Am off to rustle up a star anise drink for breakfast. Have a great weekend x

  6. Yip. Love newspapers, even if I only have time to scan for gems, which there inevitably are. I was sure the leaves were brighter here in Sydney too! Gorgeous reds. Glad to know it's not just my imagination. My asthma always clamours for attention at this time of year - I'm going to give the star anise a try to try and settle it down - thanks for the tip! xo

  7. - Trees- another friend of mine also wondered why the trees were so RED this year, and I have passed along your readings. :-)
    - Procrastibaking- love it! That shall be my new word for the year. I do it all the time! You're putting off things, but doing useful yummy baking, so can't be faulted... :-D
    - Star anise is awesome! I always add some to steep in my Earl Grey tea, love the flavour. And the smell. :-) It's something my mum put me on to as a 'healthy' thing to do, and unlike most healthy things, is very nice. Glad you two are enjoying it. :-)

  8. I must say that I'm not a reader of newspapers, but I like the romantic notion I have of reading one over a long and lazy breakfast.

    I love 'procrastibaking' ... what a wonderful word that is, and as for star anise, that's fascinating!! :)

  9. Manu - thanks for the tip about the star anise in Earl Grey tea it's lovely!

    Tracey - I would be nice to ready the paper over a long leisurely breakfast but it's usually furtive glances during the day and a final read through at night for me...