03 July 2016

Winter days

Text: winter days. Image: pancake stack with poached pear, ricotta and purple flowers.

Gosh I love winter. Snuggly parkas, woolly hats, being a homebody and making comfort foods. As I write this, Adam's at a party and I'm under my new thick doona - a night of writing and podcasts are ahead of me.

It's been cold, though. The other day, I was so cold I wore a hat in the office. Frozen. My body does not regulate its temperature properly so I often feel colder than everyone around me.

Carly Findlay wearing a brown hat

Adam and I and some friends from Quippings were lucky enough to receive complimentary tickets to Circus Oz this weekend. It was an accessible show - including Auslan interpreted and audio captioned. And it was so amazing. Full of acrobats, music, whimsy and colour. Loved it.

Circus Oz

When not at work or socialising, I’ve been cooking and reading and generally keeping cosy. It's nice.

What I've cooked

A few weeks ago I was given a beautiful bounty of organic fruit and vegetables from The Organic Place. It was perfect for a warming winter menu.

The Organic Place vegetables

The main thing I cooked was a delicious beef and vegetable pie. It had parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, turnips and onions among the roast beef, and an unctuous gravy with red wine, sour cream and vanilla. I splashed out on fancy pastry. So good.

The Organic Place vegetables and pie

I stewed the pears with some apple and leftover fig paste for a porridge topping. I also used the rosemary for mid-week roast chicken, and the rest of the veggies were roasted, steamed and stewed.

You can get free shipping on your first order if you enter 'CarlyFindlay' at the checkout. The Organic place delivers fresh, certified organic fruit, vegetables and groceries straight to people's doors all over Melbourne on a weekly basis. Orders can be placed by 5pm Tuesday for delivery on Thursday. Fruit and vegetables are purchased fresh from the farmers market every Thursday morning, which means it is only several hours between when the produce is picked from the farm and it arrives at your door. The Organic place also offers office boxes for business, mixed bags of different sizes as well as individual items.

What I’ve read

I had to read Me Before You so I could make an informed comment about the book and movie. What a yawnfest.

I’ve also read Anna Spargo Ryan’s The Paper House which was all kinds of wonderful. So poetic. I loved every page. It's one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've ever read. Buy The Paper House here.

Anna Spargo Ryan The Paper House book

Finally, I'm flicking through a great entrepreneur development book by The Remarkables' founder Lorraine Murphy - it's given me renewed focus and energy. Buy Remarkability here.

Lorraine Murphy Remarabillity book

What I've worn

Aside from wearing my new down parka (so cosy! I've been living in merino, boots and scarves.

A few weeks ago, I stained one of my favourite dresses with cherry juice. In trying to remove the stains, I accidentally bleached it. Luckily, a colleague's daughter came to the rescue - she dyed it purple. And I love it. It goes well with this quilted jacket and hat.

Carly findlay wearing purple dress, Aqua quilted jacket, purple hat, black boots

I'm also rocking some new woollen jester slippers indoors - they're from Tara Treasures via the Queen Victoria Night Market. I need to work out my left and right, clearly.

Pink wool jester slippers

What I've written

I've been lucky to be commissioned to write two articles for SBS - career goal unlocked. I wrote the Me Before You piece and then one on growth attenuation treatment following an episode of Dateline.

The article on growth attenuation treatment for children with severe disabilities was one of the most difficult topics to research and write. I had so much to say, but refrained because I was genuinely scared of the reaction I might receive. I watched the program four times, and read the commentary on it too. Still, in 2016, many believe disabled people have less rights than non disabled people, and that it's not for anyone to comment on unless they've "walked in a parent's shoes". Thank you for all your comments and perspectives and thanks for keeping it respectful. Writing this article wasn't easy. When I was commissioned, I wondered if I was the right person to write it. I'm not a parent, not a parent of a child with a disability and my disability is a lot different to these children's. I spoke to so many people about my feelings about the topic and my fear writing it. And I'm damned with whatever angle I took - if I was in support of growth attenuation treatment or not.

But I wanted to do it justice and read up a lot about it - perspectives from parents, ethicists and disabled people.I really didn't want to put any opinion in it - because of the complex topic. I was fearful for the reaction. Overall people have been thankful for me writing it, but I've receive some angry correspondence.

I do empathise with the parents- it's a tough job and they clearly love their children. However I think better support systems rather than the drastic measure of growth attenuation treatment is needed. I also think a higher expectation of people with disabilities is needed. In my first draft (there were three) I covered a lot more of the Dateline episode, writing about how growth attenuation has helped the families.

And I've actually seen more outrage over parents piercing their children's ears than approving this treatment for a child - which to me shows just how othered disabled people are.

In my research, I came across Anne McDonald's book - click that link for a free download. It was such a wonderful discovery.

From a professional perspective - I'm glad to have written it - it certainly stretched me.

What I've been watching

Because I’ve been so sore lately, I’ve been resting, guilt-free. I’ve been watching a few Netflix series and movies – Orange is the New Black (gosh, my heart!), Chasing Life (I loved this and need to see the second series!), the Iris Apfel documentary (I adore her!) and The Fundamentals of Caring (not as bad as I thought, though I wish a disabled actor played…)

How are you? How are your winter days?












  1. I freakin love orange is the new black. Such an awesome show.

  2. Thanks Carly! i'm so, so pleased you loved the book :) xx

  3. Hello Carly!!!

    Sorry it has been so very long since my last comment.

    Congrats on the SBS pieces. Looking forward to reading them. I'm always challenged by the new (to me) concepts you discuss in what you write about chronic illness and disability.

    With regards to winter, I've crossed to the dark side and hooked up an electric blanket. Best decision ever.

    Love your winter menu!

    SSG xxx


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