Clarke and Dawe


Windfarm Commisioner

And here’s some of the Australian government’s dirty laundry this week:

Why should federal government fund public education?

Guards in detention centres on Nauru bartering for and taping sex with asylum seekers 

Did Australians really use tax payer money to pay people smugglers to sail back to Indonesia?

And some general changes to legislation like:

stripping people of citizenship, reducing the renewable energy targets, copyright amendments and piracy infringements, indexing fuel excise, social services.

When in doubt, call something a death cult and an enemy twice a day. It’s even more effective in shutting down debate than accusing someone of being the PC thought police and un-Australian.


Government is threatened with High Court Case that challenges the legality of imprisonment and processing of asylum seekers offshore and the legality of spending tax payers money to do so. Government rushes through amendments to the new Migration Act to retrospectively create new laws so that offshore processing and spending tax payers money cannot be challenged in the High Court.

Man, I wish I could just change the rules every time someone threatens to challenge me on anything. “Actually, no, sir. You may have written that coffee was $4.30 but see how I’ve just crossed out the price on the menu and replaced it with $1? I’m paying you $1. Pfft, never mind your reasoning behind the $4.30 or the consequences of my actions on your current staff.” Or, “Man, I know that you can probably prove that the ocean has water in it but I totally don’t want to think about how small and inadequate and possible incorrect that makes me and can you imagine all the textbooks we’re going to need to reprint and all the angry people who are going to yell at me, again? Actually, this whole thought process has been really inconvenient and expensive.   Nope, I decree that the ocean is made up predominately of luminescent aardvarks and that you can never bring this up again. Oh and the nature of the ocean is a topic of national security and the space in which we become who we are as a nation so, no, really don’t bring it up again.”

Cooking with Clare!

This post is about to start but I had to pause because just how awesome is my name for an aspiring foodie and blogger? Hence title. Alliteration is the bomb! To be honest, in the first draft I wrote “alliteration is amazing!” (because why waste opportunities for really lame word play) but amazing just didn’t have the explosive power that I was looking for. See what I did there?! And after that splatter of words like awesome, amazing, the bomb and lame let us proceed.

Sometimes I am required to cook dinner. This happened last Friday. Around lunchtime, I removed some beef mince from the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost. When it came time to cook dinner, I ordered take away pizza. It was delicious!

Over the next four days I went to the local shops six times. This is roughly three times my usual grocery shopping trips in six months. I also went on a picnic, went to the doctors, watched some Ryan Gosling move with pine trees in it, had a blood test, wrote a proposal, drafted a quarter of a report, practiced the double bass, had a double bass lesson and went for a run. If there was an imaginary crown for living, I’d be wearing it.


This is me wearing a crown-like hat. I imagine winning looks a bit like this, only less manic. 

And then it was Tuesday. In our fridge was some truly defrosted beef mince to be cooked. “Perfect” I thought. I’ll cook tacos. My go-to signature dish. I’ll call it Clare Mex – the perfect blend of Mexican themed ingredients but available in every Australian supermarket and only taking 30 minutes to prepare. As an example, some prep for the Mexican themed dinner I made for some friends last month…


Look at all those delicious limes and cilantro and tomatoes and avocadoes!!!


To the kitchen, Clare! (I’m imagining the scene transitions in the old Batman and Robin tv show. Feel free to join in). Onions, capsicum, garlic sizzling in the saucepan. In goes the beef, kidney beans, tinned diced tomatoes, splash of tomato sauce, a spoonful of honey, the requisite spices. Basic taco mix complete. Clare: Winning at Life. 

Next the accoutrements of tacos:

  • Tacos. We don’t have any tacos. Not to worry, pack of burritoes acquired from under biscuits;
  • Carrots. Carrots grated;
  • Lettuce. Into a bowl goes all my brother’s carefully harvested, precious home-grown lettuce. 
  • Refried beans. Mouldy. Oh well.
  • Capsicum for salsa. Mouldy. Meh, I can live without.
  • Cheese. There appears to be a bag of cheese in our fridge – brie, sweet chilli and ploughman’s Mercy Valley cheese, fetta, haloumi. Not very Mexican or Tex Mex or even Clare Mex. I liberate a small portion of light, fatless cheese from beneath a mountain of cheese. It may not be enough for everyone.
  • Limes. No limes. No lime juice. This is disappointing. 
  • Corriander / Cilantro. No cilantro. Mouldy basil. 
  • Tomatoes. One half used mouldy tomato. Crap. 

Tomatoes are critical for Clare Mex. Our kitchen had insufficient accoutrements for tacos burritoes. It became clear that to complete my signature go-to dish I was going to have to go up to the shops. Again. I really didn’t want to go up to the shops.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tinned diced tomatoes. Basically the same as fresh diced tomatoes, right? You say tomato, I say tomato (Hilarious! That joke will never get old no matter how many times I use it). Whack a bit of spanish onion in it, some dried corriander leaves. Salsa on a budget, right. 

No. Just no. 

Waste not, want not. I pour Abomination Salsa into the taco burrito mix. Crap. What else can I do so I don’t have to go up to the shops?

Guacamole? The $3.48 price for an avocado has hit our usual stocks of avocado hard. No avocado. Crap.

Pumpkin? Too much chopping. Buckchoy. Hells no. Ah, sweet potato. Pumpkin’s easy chopping pal. To the oven my delightful yam!

I have burrito mix and baked sweet potato. But what is this in the cupboard? Enchilada sauce? 


Dearest Family,

I present you with baked beef enchiladas with a side of baked sweet potato and homegrown organic lettuce sprinkled in carrot. Except you Sibling, I haven’t prepared a gluten free version of this meal for you. I made you beef mince with baked sweet potato. And I gave all the lettuce to our parents. But thankyou for your excellent hard work in the garden!




And that completes Cooking with Clare, Winning at Life!