Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The big bad Internet....or not.

So often we malign things without learning ways to make them work for us.

It is not possible with all things.

But sometimes there is good to be found in the most unexpected places.

The internet is often seen as negative thing for children.

And yes, sometimes it is.

It is the openness, the vast never-ending unrestrained nature of it that can leave us feeling frightened of it as parents.

In our house it is managed by only having computers in common areas, easily visible to all- but especially ME.
Can you see the computer under the vintage Coke sign? That is where this all happens! Right in amongst it all- the heart of the home. In my kitchen/dining/family room. 

No electronic devices are in any of the bedrooms in our house.

Phones placed on the kitchen bench before bedtime...that kind of thing.

I have talked about having balance with old & new before - my most recent post about that was here.

We are a technology rich house.

I am an early adopter.

Mr Girlfriend and I had email in 1995- way back when it was first invented....only none of our friends had it so we could only email each other- in the same house.  Hilarious.

But seriously I love technology and the big bad internet.

I love the freedom it gives me.

I love the way I have created this space with it.

I love the people I have met because of it.

I love how I can have my fave people in my home with me- even though some of them are across the other side of the world.

I want my kids to be able to use it & understand it too.

I am not keen on gaming and we have super strict limits on content & time.

We normally do watch TV - but as with gaming we are strict with content & viewing time with this too.

But for the last two weeks we have not turned on the TV once.

I know right?!

B I G.

It wasn't really even a conscious thing.

We don't have the TV on during the day at all during the school week anyway but after the 3 little kids were in bed Mr Girlfriend and I would often kick back with the big 2 and a few eps of Modern Family or some cooking shows.

But the other week Mr Girlfriend was away and the big 2 (12 & 14) and I just ended up chatting on the couch- about music- what we were listening to and loving, or about school stuff or other 'big' life stuff.

Then one tonight I was reading on the couch and the other two were on my computer that is smack bang in the middle of the heart of our home.

They had invented a new game to play.

So very cool.

Kids are awesome like that.

They just invent stuff out of nothing.


On that night they invented this game.

And I wanted to share it with you as I think it is super ace & I love to share super ace things with you!

See the big bad internet really can be super dooper ace for our kids!

The challenge is to go from one thing to another seemingly COMPLETELY unrelated thing only using the hyperlinks in Wikipedia.
You have to choose things that you think have no relationship to each other at all.

No-one is a winner of this game- it is not about winning.
It creates really interesting discussion and some really amazing learning.
My kids spent about an hour or so on it that night & have revisited it since a few times.
It is probably for older kids but it is SOOOO interesting to find out the ways that things that seem to have no connection to each other, really do.
It's kind of like a 'six degrees of separation game'.

Give it a whirl & let me know how you find it?

PS. It has now been TWO full weeks with ZERO TV & I  am LOVING IT SICK.
Let it be known there will not be a TV in the reno at all.  
No siree.  Music speakers YES but TV no way. And don't you hate the way living area designs are determine by the TV? Pet hate of mine..........

I LOVE watching cooking shows- as I mentioned above- but one of my all time faves is The Two Greedy italians.
For so many reasons......I have always seen Antonio Carluccio as a kind of hero. Doesn't everyone want him in their life? His joie de vivre is infectious and inspiring.  His cooking is amazing. His broken English just perfect in it's uniqueness & charm.  His love of the simple is so refined. 
A beautiful human being.
But this programme was so real in the way it portrayed their gorgeous and ever playful friendship & their love of real food.  Honest simple and totally achievable in any kitchen.
It is their absolute passion for produce that I love.
We have a LOT to learn in Australia about the way we see vegetables and use them in our cooking.
In MANY other cultures they are the treated with the reverence they deserve. 
Whole meals are served as vegetarian feast-not because the people eating are vegetarian or because it is 'Meat Free Monday' but because the produce deserves to stand alone.
We eat way too much meat to be sustainable and I for one would be super happy to see us eating less meat and more veg in our day to day lives.
I served this dish for dinner after seeing Antonio Carluccio cook it- and I had just bought 3 kilos of Red Caps at the market at closing time for $1 (!!!!!!!!) so I needed to use them up.
I served with with a simple green salad- and we were all very very happy. so so tasty.
SO few ingredients. 
Food can be so very simple and so very amazing. 
I hope you make it over & over again and love it as much as we did. x

  • 5 large RED capsicums, cut into long strips
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin Olive oil)
  • fresh oregano (not in Antonio's recipe but my garden is full of it and it was a delicious addition)
  • S & P
 Heat oil in a non- stick fry pan to a medium heat.
Add the capsicum and fry until starting to brown- about 5 minutes or so. 
Turn over and caramelise the other side too.
Now add the garlic (and oregano if you wish) and gently fry for a minute so the garlic is cooked but not brown.

Now add the vinegar and fry gently until evaporated. 

Take off the heat.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with S & P.

Return the pan to the heat & add the eggs.  Stir in & leave to sit for about 5 minutes or until there is a crust on the underside.

Now place a large plate over the top of the frypan (it must go over the edges) and flip the frittat onto the plate.

Turn over and slide back into pan to cook the other side.

Cook for another  5 minutes or so.

Turn onto plate, cut into wedges and serve either hot or cold.

Another reason to love the internet is good ol' YouTube and all the music love it has on it.
Like wikipedia, lots of the stuff on it is thanks to people sharing. 
I LOVE that someone shares this.......... le sigh.


  1. Great article...as always!

    So true about technology...embrace it but make it work for you. Love your
    take on it...and the strategies you've put into place.

    My tricky thing is as I only have one child (5 year old) and I do all my admin work
    from home (I run social skills groups for kids with emotional/behavioural/social problems), I struggle in how to keep him busy whilst I work. I do try and
    minimise tv time and we write out lists of all the things he can do, apart
    from tv...there are times when I HAVE to work and tv is on. I constantly feel
    guilty about it (alongside feeling a little guilty that we can't give him a sibling,
    despite trying our best)...anyway, I'm rambling a bit now...

    I guess you can only do the best you can do. Would love to hear if you
    have any suggestions?

    1. my advice is STOP FEELING GUILTY.
      we all have to do things to help us through the day-and you are trying to work from home AND be a mum that is just so so hard.
      my kids have watched PLENTY of tv, don't get me wrong.I am not trying to say TV is bad & we never watch it. Its just that I am loving NOT having it as our default night time activity.

  2. Great stuff Ruth. We have not had tv AT ALL for almost 3 years. We don't even think about it. When we go 'away' it is a real treat to relax and watch it for a change. We do of course have internet, iPhones etc. Your kitchen looks like a lovely place :)

  3. Cheers, GG!

    Yes...love the idea of 'changing the default'...

    Love your work!

  4. I love how we think about the same things all the time. We recently adopted two chicks from kinder and had them in a makeshift incubator box in front of our TV in the living room for the last 3 weeks. This incubator needed a lamp plugged in, and so happened that we had to pull out TV plug out in order to get this lamp plugged in. So my girls couldn't switch on the TV for 3 weeks!!! I wasn't expecting it. I was in the kitchen and I could just see... they just made do. They played all sorts of imaginary games and they played WITH each other. It was wonderful. They did this before the TV got unplugged but they did it even more after this happened. I am really happy!!!

    I confess. I used to love TV. But even since having the kids, I just don't seem to watch TV anymore and I really don't miss it. The ad breaks...episode repeats...trashy programs... not my thang. (I do like to sit in bed with hubby and watch some shows on my laptop like Anh Do and Two Greedy Italians!)

    I am very uncomfortable with how BIG TVs are getting and how cheap they are getting.
    WHO on earth needs a 60 inch TV in the living room! It's ridiculous. You won't have any wall to hang anything decent like a painting anymore. Love to you this week Ruth X

  5. Oh yes yes yes! I can relate totally to what you say - TV? pfft. I could go months without watching it. Music? It is lifeblood in my house. And technology as well. All my kids have an ipad, and their own email account. My son asked tonight for his own blog. He is 9.... :/ Anyway, baby steps into the big world wide web I think - with thought & limits too of course. No point in running for cover - this is the world we live in, and I think as parents, it's our job to teach them the way with it all!!

    PS Loving your blog!

  6. Email in 1995? Johnny-come-lately ... you should have seen the convoluted form of email addresses in the 80s: a 'From' address looked something like this: CBS%UK.AC.NSFNET-RELAY::AU.GOV.AAO.AAOEPPS::ASC (the @ device obviously wasn't in use then). The net was really a set of separate networks that you had to link together when communicating. Sending and replying to email in the early days was a black art!

    As for the game, it reminded me of this: http://ausalba.blogspot.com.au/2009/02/sinful-modern-music.html


Thankyou SO VERY much for making time to comment.

I LOVE to read your comments.

Just know that it totally made my day that you made a comment on my blog :)