From the Coalface {SQT} Cheesemakers and Advent

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Head over to her blog to check out all the other Quick takes!



Have you ever wondered how to make cheese?  No, neither have I.

A few weeks ago my husband and I bought a cheese-making kit and decided to have a go at something that we eat all  the time.  It was a bit of work getting all the equipment together, but watch out unsuspecting family and friends… Christmas Feta is on the way.

And as I turned my curd, I could not of course forget the scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.”

“Did He say, ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers?  What’s so special about cheesemakers?”

“Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products. ”


It has been one of those weeks in Brisbane with day after day of unrelenting heat.  It doesn’t happen like this too often in the sub-tropics, where we can usually rely on a thunderstorm every couple of days to cool things down, but God in His wisdom has decided he would like to take a few extra days off my purgatory and spend it in Brisbane in late November.


We have had an easy week of school as our end-of-academic-year teacher visit was last Friday which is always a bit like an audit/school inspection and far too stressful for my liking.  After the teacher left, it was Tequila Time!  Or, at least it would have been if I drank Tequila.. but you get the gist.

Needless to say we now have an easy jog to the finish line for Christmas holidays next week.  Amen!


I have already spoken of my fascination with the Amish , so just to prove I really am stalking them, I watched a BBC documentary tonight on ABC Iview called, “Amish: A secret life.”  It differed to my expectations, namely, to be taken on a dreamy escapist journey into utopia.

Surprise, surprise, it showed the very human side of their church, with just as many divisions, factions and dodgy leadership as the rest of fallen humanity.  It was quite interesting also to see how little the producers must know about Amish beliefs, as they chose a Latin chant for “Salve Regina” (Hail, Holy Queen) as the music to play while the Amish gathered for their Sunday Church Service.

This ancient hymn to Mary includes the words invoking the intercession of Our Lady and starts with:  “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope.”

Can’t get much more Catholic than that.  Some of those old Amish Anabaptists might be a little miffed however..

Irony of ironies, it actually won a BAFTA award for “Editing:Factual”.

This particularly beautiful rendition of the Salve Regina starts at 6:29 in the film below.




I have been ruminating on the Church in Australia particularly over the past couple of weeks, on Church attendance, educational options & non-English speaking Catholics.  It has been a bit of a wild ride, but has left me with a great peace and hope, funnily enough, that all those feelings I have had are actually backed up by the numbers on the page.  We are a small minority of a small minority.  We do need to look to each other to survive.  At least our survival odds so far are better than the Russian plane disaster.


Next week we have our annual Christmas Nativity Play, including the famed smoke machine’s return.. An Angelic Salutation will no longer seem complete without it.



If you have not thought about it yet, Advent starts on Sunday.  For a super easy Advent wreath all you need is 4 candles.. just light one each Sunday between now and Christmas.  Being craft-challenged I just re-use some glass tea light candle holders each year (3 purple, 1 pink).  Our wreath melted in the ceiling last year and I am yet to sort out whether there will in fact be a wreath.. can always say we are going minimalist and just stick to the jars.  Or I could head back to Lacey’s site which always seems brimming with ways I could ease my guilt with a quick print-out and colouring-in for the kids.

Have a great week everyone!



    • Absolutely! I have to credit my husband for a growing appreciation for Monty Python, after hearing him throw so many one-liners around I ended up having to watch it just so we could communicate! Eg. “It was the SALMON.”


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