Amazing words

Earlier in the year I mentioned  in  this post that our health authorities were developing strategies to help us maintain  our well-being in the face of the stresses brought about by the earthquakes of 2010/11. Their latest initiative is the  December/Christmas   All Right? campaign  which highlights the importance of giving things that really matter – time and kindness. To this end, we get daily ‘happy’ messages  in our newspaper, like this one that I read  this morning.

You are Amazing

You are Amazing

Kind of nice, isn’t it? To be told you’re amazing by officialdom; to be given a pat on the back, instead of the usual stern, finger-wagging, ( but important ) public service messages of  ‘Don’t drink and drive”, “Pay your taxes”, “Pay your fines or else…”,  which all hold a note of threat, or impending doom, over our heads if we fail to  comply.

I particularly like the  “Let’s remember it’s often the simple things that bring the most joy” part of the messages…..because it fits so well with the theme of my blog ;), and my About  page which states that “Although the big things have changed and continue to change, the little things prevail and bring joy.”

Little, simple things, such as the Cherry Clafouti I made the other day, or

You're an amazing clafouti :)

You’re amazing Clafouti  🙂

little things, like the delight of discovering a very old, and very lovely, interpretation of one of the most loathed words in our city…LIQUEFACTION…..

Liquefaction, as we have come to know it, (much too well),  is the conversion of soil into a fluid like mass during an earthquake or other seismic event.

Take a peek at this video clip to see how parts of city nearly drowned in the stuff a few years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6-knLM7MZA

And, then, consider the pleasure and sensuous beauty of this type of liquefaction that I found Upon Julia’s Clothes 

Whenas in silk my Julia goes,

Then, then methinks, how sweetly flows

That liquefaction of her clothes!………

O how that glittering taketh me.

by Sweet Robin/Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

‘Liquefaction of her clothes’; oh, how I love that image as it sashays and swirls through my mind and swishes over those other gray and grim memories. What was Julia wearing , I wonder. Was it Watered Silk?;

Portrait, Princess di Sant' Antimo (1840-1844)

Portrait, Princess di Sant’ Antimo [ in watered silk](1840-1844) by  Francesco Hayez

in the style of a princess?

And, isn’t amazing that with a well-chosen phrase, or a slight change of meaning to a word, we can give our world a whole new look?

So, even if you don’t live in Canterbury, make some appropriate changes to the following messages from the All Right? campaign and give someone a kind word and a little time during the holiday season. You may be truly amazed! You may find you’re truly amazing!

“You’re a wee Canterbury gem.”

‘You’re cooler than pirates and ninjas combined.’

‘You’re strong (even if you don’t always think so).’

‘Your smile is life changing.’

‘You’re lovelier than the summer sun in Hagley Park.’

© silkannthreades

ps The cherry clafouti seems to have a certain liquefacted appearance, don’t you think? It was oozing cherry juice 🙂

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69 thoughts on “Amazing words

  1. violetski

    I really enjoyed to read this post! Lovely as always and that Cherry clafouti , shoul say , awwwwww, I want some!
    I’ve never make it before and should search for recip in internet I think! ❤️😁

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      There are lots of clafouti recipes on the internet. When your summer fruit comes again, I am sure you would enjoy making clafouti. And then you could make a lovely sketch of it 🙂

      Reply
  2. Just Add Attitude

    ‘Let’s remember it is often the simple things that bring the most joy’ – so very, very true and something I often forget so I am pleased to have a timely reminder. Your cherry clafoutis looks lovely I hope you enjoyed it.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s the simple things that bring joy but aren’t we such experts at making things complicated? Speaking of simplicity, how is your storage solution project coming along?

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It’s always a good idea to take one’s time in these matters, although you may not want to take as much time as I have…I have been in my ‘new’ home for nearly 14 years now and I am only just starting to feel that I ‘know’ it and where things should go. 😀

  3. Sheryl

    The clafouti looks delicious. Until I read this post, I’d never heard of this dessert. We have several cherry trees and I’m always looking for interesting cherry recipes–and, I’m definitely going to try making a clafouti next summer.

    Reply
  4. realruth

    It’s great to reclaim the word liquefaction for some wider uses. And the ‘All right’ campaign has cheering messages wherever you go in Christchurch. I’m also enjoying the seasonal bunting with pohutukawa which the Council has distributed far and wide.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I think so too. 🙂 You will see more of the All Right messages than I do but I have seen a few on their Facebook page and the messages appear in some intriguing places (like public toilets!). Have you any photos of the pohutukawa bunting to share on your blog? Would love to see them as I am not likely to be out and about much over the next few days.

      Reply
  5. womanseyeview

    The liquefaction effect from the earthquake is new to me and quite terrifying. Your authorities must be responding to an increase in anxiety (post traumatic stress disorder?)…lets be safe and enjoy ‘clafouti’ whatever form it comes in!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, stress levels are high. My daughter is just one of many who suffers from ptsd related to the earthquakes. She has had to leave us and move to Australia, it was that bad. So,yes, let us eat clafouti and treasure what we have at this moment 🙂

      Reply
  6. KerryCan

    As the saying goes, “A choice of words is a choice of worlds.” Your health officials are doing a very cool thing! I can’t believe that video–I’ve never seen anything like that before! But cherry clafouti–that I’ve seen before and loved–YUM!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Love that saying but it is my first time to hear it. It would make a great title for this blog post. Glad you also appreciate cherry clafouti. Cherries, especially the dried sour cherries, feature in your blog, if I remember correctly. Take heart; none of us had seen liquefaction before either ;); it was a rarely used word that belonged in a dictionary till Sept 2010!

      Reply
      1. KerryCan

        Maybe the saying “A choice of words is a choice of worlds” is specific to my little academic world. My doctorate is in rhetoric and public address–basically the ways we use words to influence. And, re: liquefaction–we learned a new word during our big flood. The word is “seiche”–it basically means that the water at one end of a large lake can be significantly deeper than at the other end because wind (or an earthquake!) kind of sloshes all the water one direction. During our flood, it sloshed north, toward our end of the lake.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          That’s exciting, your doctorate subject and the new word seiche. You will appreciate greatly then what our health authorities are trying to do with their All Right? campaign; trying to give us a new language, in a way, to cope with our situation. Hmmm….I am guessing we had quite a lot of seiche here too, since water levels sloshed all over the place . The word seems to match well with ‘sashay’ though I am not finding any etymological connection. Fascinating. Let’s hope we don’t meet liquefaction and seiche too often.

      1. mmmarzipan

        No, not gluten-free, I am afraid. I did use almond flour and I suppose it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to sub out regular flour for a mix of a gluten-free flour and a little extra almond flour. Might have to give that a go next time. How did you make yours?

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I used a gluten free flour mix and a little rice flour I think. I may have used almond milk too. I am no longer exactly sure because it was some years ago that I made them gluten free.

        2. mmmarzipan

          Sounds good. Almond milk would be perfect too! I think clafoutis would be fairly adaptable as it’s quite a moist dessert… I mean, one of the biggest issues people have with gf baking is that gf flours are “thirsty” and cakes with a light spongey texture can become a little dry. All my gf bakes for things that are supposed to be on the moist side have worked well.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is amazing. I think it is also the first time that a social media campaign like this has been used in a post disaster situation (anywhere??) so the campaign has a research component as well. I like the campaign’s Facebook page too. It’s very cheerful.

      Reply
  7. Forest So Green

    What a great time of year to just say thank you to people, such as thank you for your lovely blog and delicious photos 🙂

    Reply
  8. YellowCable

    Once in a while it is good to have someone patches you in the back 🙂

    I am still trying to have good picture of liquefaction in my mind. I do not think it is a good effect. Your clafouti looks too good 🙂

    Reply
  9. teamgloria

    living, as we do, in a part of the world that “waits for the big one” as you wonderful and brave people experienced so very far away down there (but not so far at all, via the interweb, of course), we understand the nature of fragility and wariness at the earth and the scary prospect of the world literally turning to liquid under your feet as the fissures scar.

    so, yes, some lovely phrases from the “top” to acknowledge that they know – because they’re scared and felt the earth shatter too – are actually really, really lovely.

    and most needed.

    a thoughtful lovely post.

    slipping watered silk over the head and a cashmere wrap around the shoulders are physical reminders of the subtle and beautiful that soothe – be well – lovely post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, those who run the campaign do know; they were here with us when it all happened. We have shared something life changing. The messages come from the heart 🙂

      Reply
  10. vsperry

    I have the images of liquefaction running through my head (along with the song) and I am just now understanding the extent to how much the earthquake affected your lives. Oh, and I am grooving on the colors and textures of the clafouti…it would make a great abstract picture!!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A great abstract picture; that makes me smile. 😀 The liquefaction tune ( a parody of a popular NZ song) gave us all a chuckle at the time because in the face of such a mess what can one do; cry? laugh? . The awful thing is that with every big shake it happened again!!!! It wasn’t like that in my street but our land does have the potential to do something similar given the right circumstances 😦

      Reply
  11. Mike Howe

    I think you are absolutely right, the little (hopefully nice) simple things are very important and too often overlooked as a source of happiness and fulfilment. There’s too much emphasis these days on “pursuing your dreams” and “aiming high”, and not enough recognition of the value of simplicity and enjoying what’s in front of you, much like your blog 🙂 Still I hope the government pats on the back are working to help people recover from the disaster of the earthquakes 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      To their credit the authorities are researching the results of their campaign as it progresses. They are hoping it will be helpful but it is a whole new area, this post disaster experience/existence, and to a certain extent, we are all unsure of our footing. Christchurch is a living laboratory of post disaster recovery experiments . You made me laugh when you wrote ” the little (hopefully nice) …..things”….there are a few nasty little things, aren’t there? Like fleas and bedbugs 😀 😀

      Reply
  12. utesmile

    I love that sign, how wonderful to be told you are amazing by the town, that is the way to go, make the citizens happy and smile with that. Your baking made me smile and drool too… 🙂 Looks delicious!

    Reply
  13. Juliet

    What a positive and encouraging campaign. I love your discovery of ‘liquefaction’ in Herrick’s poem – which I know, but I’d never noticed that word before. He uses it so evocatively. Your cherry Clafouti looks delicious – now that’s another new word for me. I would have just called it a pie. What makes a dish a Clafouti?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Juliet, I laughed out loud when I read liquefaction in that poem. It was so incongruous but so right. Our experience of liquefaction is horrible and yet here it was expressed as the epitome of beauty and loveliness. Mmmmm…..I am not sure why it is a clafouti and not a pie. Perhaps because it is a batter filled with fruit rather than fruit under a batter topping.

      Reply
  14. Clanmother

    You have me scurrying again! Never heard of Cherry Clafouti so I “googled” to find out that, once again, this delectable cake has its origins in France – the Limousin Region to be exact. The idea seems to have spread through France in the 19th Century. Did you know that there are several iterations: Julie Child’s, Stefano Faita’s, Bon Appetit – even the Guardian has their own rendition. Yours, my dear friend, looks the best of all!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My clafouti recipe comes from a book of international recipes given to me by an American friend! My one regret is that I haven’t yet tasted a clafouti(s) made in France. Also I don’t leave the cherry pits in mine, which is probably heresy, but I value my teeth too much to chance biting down on a pit. I must check Julia’s recipe. It is bound to be superb.

      Reply

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