A beautiful cupcake in a world full of muffins

Move over cronuts. Witness the birth of the Lemon Curd Cupcake at the Bake & Brew café.

lemon curd cupcake

This luscious hybrid is indeed a cupcake but it is the size of a muffin! Experience delicious, tangy lemon curd embedded in a light, fluffy sponge base, topped with fresh cream and a cake hat. This beautiful creation is baked in-house. It is the ideal accompaniment to your favourite beverage. Bake & Brew café is situated next to the Tea Tree Gully Library in the Civic Centre. You can enjoy the lemon curd cupcake for $5.00.  The Bake & Brew café is open from 8.45am to 4.00pm from Monday to Friday.  Telephone:  (08) 8397 7383.

 

 

Double dog-eared. We’re not talking books…

Work experience student Tayla has just finished a week with us at the Library. Although she may have a passion for books and libraries, it is dogs that are her true passion.  She tells us the story of finding her current fur-baby.

 

Isn’t it incredible how much a dog means to a person, they truly are man’s best companion. Funny thing is, I never owned a dog but always had wanted too. I never thought that I would get the chance to until my thought suddenly changed. When I was a child, I would non-stop complain about how badly I wanted a cute little puppy. It didn’t matter what I was talking about or discussing with my parents, the fact of owning a dog always came into the talk, at one point I even considered wanting a dingo (being a child, they were the closest look alike to a dog, yet I had little knowledge of what a dingo actually was).

My grandparents had previously owned a Tenterfield Terrier named Kandi.  Kandi was a very rare dog, the runt of the litter. Complexion was completely white like soft fluffy snow, except for her little black head, as dark as charcoal & not any bigger than a tennis ball. Kandi lived for a great amount of time a month under 16 years to be exact, a brilliant life & was just an all-round amazing little rascal. I had been brought up with her for my whole life & when she passed away on the operating table (she had very bad arthritis, went deaf & blind) a large chunk of me went missing. This year, of 2012 was also the year my cat Tabby passed away, also very shattering.

Time had passed since beautiful Kandi had passed away & my grandparents were beginning to get lonely again, so was my sister & I. My grandparents were considering obtaining a new companion. Their decision was made & it was a yes, a yes! A new little dog running around their back yard, a new pet to own but most importantly a new best friend for us. My grandparents went to get the puppy, my mum, dad, sister & I as well (this was a pretty big deal for us as my sister & I got to choose the puppy). We went back to the same breeder to pick the puppy up. There was a picket fence full of dogs, not any bigger than my foot. It was a marvellous sight, if I recall correctly I even shed a tear of joy. You see, my grandma did have a preference, she wanted a little girl & there were only 3 girls to pick from. My sister & I after a long think came to a decision on getting the 1 puppy (yes I did want to keep them all, but sadly couldn’t no matter how hard I persuaded). The young, energetic but also highly timid doggy we chose was later named Ko-Ko (Taking after Kandi, with the K’s). As soon as we brought her home to grandmas, Ko-ko had a bit of a sniff around & then scrambled into hiding behind the barbeque. She was petrified of all the people around her & also being in a new environment. Ko-ko later got used to her new home.

It was Mid 2015, when a few of my pets were no longer with us. My grandma started to notice how down & sad I was looking since they had left. A couple of weeks before Christmas & everyone in my house was starting to get excited about the festival season. AS every year, my parents asked me what my present preferences were & also like every other year ever, I said I wanted a puppy. I ALWAYS got the answer of “Maybe if you keep being good Santa will bring you one” which raised my hopes.

 

When Christmas morning came, I was so excited I tripped through the lounge room door & stubbed my toe, skin in shreds, blood stained carpets, you name it (gross, I know) but I still carried on my adventure to await my gifts. Shortly after I had some time to wake up properly & fix my badly band aided toe, my grandparents arrived which meant PRESENT TIME! I started to unwrap a few things, getting the usual new socks & a few jumpers with some large gifts (Xbox games, iTunes cards, board games) but I still didn’t receive what I had always wanted… My puppy! It got to the last present which had mine & my sisters name, cursively written with gel pen on a silver envelope. A photo with a teeny tiny dog was inside. I then walked up to my mum & grandma sitting together.  I shrieked “awwwwh look at Ko-ko”. My grandma looked at me with a smile, my mum with a smiley smirk, then softly spoke “Tayla, that’s not Ko-ko, that’s your dog” I was practically speechless then what my grandma & mum had said finally settled into my head. Did they really just say MY DOG!? I Then burst into tears of joy… literally. I had got what I had wanted forever & nothing could bring me down.

The day after which was boxing day we went back to the same breeder, to get our new dog, a Tenterfield terrier to carry on the tradition. When we arrived there I showed the lady the photo of the dog. I saw her & picked her up & yet again was in tears of joy from this cute little girl. We took her home, trying to think of a name the whole way back, but just couldn’t quiet think of one that fitted perfectly. When we got through the gate, I was hungry from our long trip so I went inside to eat some food. I got a choc chip muffin. My sister then screamed “MUFFIN” It fitted perfectly for her with her face looking like a chocolate chip muffin itself!  She was then named Muffin. Muffin wasn’t timid like Ko-ko was; she just settled in nicely & started to play with me.

I have now had muffin for 1 ½ years & I can gladly say she has made a huge impact in my life. I take muffin for hour weekly walks in winter & in the summer when the suns beaming bright as laser beams; I try to walk her every day. I feed muffin her morning kibble & smacko making sure she sits & shakes (I taught her these commands), I feed her dinner every night,  wash her bowl giving her nice, ice cold water but I most importantly look after her like she is a child (she’s so spoilt).

I am so grateful to have such a well behaved, playful puppy companion to call my own & would highly recommend the Tenterfield terrier to anyone who is looking into buying a dog as of their placid nature, well being with children, time management (being able to leave them at home alone) & they aren’t much work as of their size. What’s not to love about our licking lovable pets.

Did you know….about Harry Potter

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverWell…who doesn’t know about Harry Potter, right?

Seriously though, did you know that Monday June 26th 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? That’s right, the series about the boy wizard is turning 20!

The book was author JK Rowling’s debut novel and was far from an overnight success. Indeed, Rowling began writing the novel in 1990 while riding on a train. According to an interview the author gave in 2009, the idea just hit her of a boy riding a train to wizard school. The death of her mother influenced much of the writing process.

The book was not well received by publishers and agents who felt that it was too long for a children’s book. That is, until Barry Cunningham of Bloomsbury recommended the publishers accept the book based on the recommendation of his eight-year-old daughter.

With seven books, eight films, a stage play and now a spin-off series of films, the rest, as they say, is history.

The library will be holding events from 10:00-1:00 this Saturday to celebrate the occasion so why not come along or maybe re-read the books, play or films.

BTW – Did you know that the books are actually set in the early-to-mid 1990s? You can work this out from information provided by Gryffindor ghost Nearly Headless Nick. In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of  Secrets, he celebrates his 500th ‘Death Day’ which occurred on October 31st, 1492, meaning that book takes place during 1992-1993!

Way back when, Wednesdays

Waste to wattage

Imagine if you didn’t cringe every time your power bill arrived. And if the contents of your bin was the solution to cheap and affordable electricity! Is this science fiction? One far sighted resident of Ridgehaven wrote to the Tea Tree Gully and Campbelltown councils because he believed that converting rubbish into electricity was not only possible but cost effective.  Mr. J. Sagen’s futuristic plan to burn general refuse in specially designed furnaces at Torrens Island power station, made front page news in the the Leader Messenger on 23 January, 1974.

waste power

Forty-three years later, on 1 March 2017 the Eastern Courier Messenger http://www.adelaidenow.com.au reported on the proposed construction of a $300 million plant in South Australia, where household rubbish would be converted to electricity. Recycling company Integrated Waste Service approached six of Adelaide’s councils, including Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, Unley and Burnside with a view to  purchasing their rubbish. This new incentive could lead to an alternative, reliable energy option for our state.

Peter Dyson, the managing director of the Kwinana Waste to Energy plant, which will begin operating in Perth in 2020, stated that one wheelie bin of rubbish could produce up to 20 per cent of a household’s weekly power needs.

480 plants across Europe generate electricity by burning combustible, non-recyclable residential and industrial waste. The most common way of generating electricity from rubbish is by burning solid waste, which would normally go to landfill. Garbage is incinerated, transforming chemical energy into thermal energy at temperatures of up to 1093 Celsius. The heat then makes steam, which drives a turbine and produces electricity that feeds into the grid. Waste conversion facilities must meet strict guidelines, in order to filter emissions and capture pollutants such as dioxin, from being released into the air. Harmful methane gas is produced when waste decays which contributes to global warming. It can also be used as fuel.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

Way back when, Wednesdays

The naming of cats is a difficult matter

Before the inception of the Facebook lost pets page, many people would take out a classified advertisement in a newspaper. Devoted cat owner Mrs Penning did more than that.  Mrs Penning contacted the Leader Messenger who ran a short article on page 4 of the edition dated 5 March, 1969.  This was probably so her appeal to find her missing cat Pookie-Pookie would be clearly visible to the majority of readers.  Let’s hope that Mrs Penning and her little cat man were reunited.

Pet cat missing Pookie

Babies’ names change with the times and apparently so do the names we give our pets. ‘Bow Wow Meow Pet Names’, which is an online supplier of personalised identification tags, lists the following as being the most frequently ordered names for cats during 2016:   Charlie, Oscar, Leo, Max, Ollie, Milo, Toby, Jasper, Shadow, Simba, Coco, Bella, Luna, Molly, Coco, Lily, Daisy, Lucy, Lulu and Millie, http://www.bowwow.com.au

When naming pets, owners can be influenced by popular culture. For example, lion cub Simba from the Lion King, Milo the kitten from Milo and Otis, Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter or Luna the black cat from the Japanese Manga series Sailor Moon.  People also choose names which are based on a cat’s appearance, their colour and markings, such as Tiger or Leo. For those who want something a little different, you could name your cat Mr Darcy, Pumpkin, Kanye, Laksa, Lord Darth Vader, Marakesh, Burger, Mr Schnitzel, or Qantas!

Evidently Pookie-Pookie has not retained its popularity.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

Twenty years of Harry Potter

Work experience student Tiah is a Potterhead. She has seen all of the Harry Potter movies and continues to work her way through the books. Tiah has definite opinions on her favourite and least favourite characters – read on to see who they are. 

This year marks 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published, so I thought ‘why not blog about it?’ My name is Tiah and I came to Tea Tree Gully Library for my Year 10 work experience for school. 

I am going to tell you about my favourite character Draco Malfoy. Now you may hate me for this, but I am also going to talk about my least favourite character Dolores Umbridge. I think most of us will definitely agree that she is one of the least favourite characters.

Draco Last Year

Draco Malfoy: my favourite character Image: Wikia

Yes in the first five movies and books, Draco is really mean to pretty much everyone at Hogwarts, but in the last three movies and two books you start to discover why he is that way. He doesn’t really have a choice on being nice to Harry and his friends, seeing as his parents are Death Eaters who serve Lord Voldemort. They killed his parents and are trying to kill Harry.

Honestly, I have not read all of the books yet, so I don’t know all that much (the books have more details than the movies) but Draco has always been one of my favourite characters. He is a siriusly misunderstood character (pun intended).

After realising he has been a jerk to everyone, Draco decides he does not want to raise his son, Scorpius, the way his parents raised him. He didn’t marry a Death Eater and he didn’t make his son believe everything his parents made him believe about muggle-borns and half-bloods.

Draco Year 1

Draco in his first year at Hogwarts – evil from an early age – yet still my favourite character Image: myharrypotterlovestory.wordpress.com

Even J.K. Rowling has a soft spot for Draco. She has said: “I do not discount the appeal of Tom Felton, who plays Draco brilliantly in the films and, ironically, is about the nicest person you could meet.” 

However Dolores Umbridge did have a choice on the way she behaved.
She is not a Death Eater, nor was anyone else in her family, with her father being her only other magic relation. She is just really rude to anyone who is not a pure blood. She didn’t let her students use spells for learning how to defend themselves during her class Defense Against The Dark Arts (aka DADA). Eventually in the end, after The Dark Lord’s final battle, Dolores was arrested, tried and sent to Azkaban for crimes against humanity.

Umbridge

Dolores was just plain rude. Image: thisgeekymommy.com

Stephen King told J.K Rowling, that he described Dolores Umbridge as  ‘the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.’

Umbridge (2)

J.K. Rowling describes Dolores as ‘fat, short, ugly and toad-like’ in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Image: storyofcamelcow.wordpress.com

J.K. Rowling will always be one of my favourite authors and people in this world and if you didn’t know already, there is a website she has made about the wizarding world that is easy to use pottermore.com

You can find out everything about the characters, creatures and professors, discover your patronus, find out what house you’re in, what Ilvermorny house you’re in, find out what wand you would have, locations such as Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village, and there’s even things on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You can also shop for J.K. Rowling’s books, ebooks and audiobooks on the website.

PS I think Tom Felton and Imelda Staunton were perfect for the roles of Draco and Dolores.

Anirban’s work experience at Tea Tree Gully Library

 

Anirban recently completed a two-week work experience placement at Tea Tree Gully Library. Here is his account of his time:

I am a people person. I enjoy talking with patrons and I enjoy dealing with a diverse range of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. I enjoy giving direct support to senior management, colleagues and co-workers in a way that really makes a noticeable difference. I enjoy challenges, responsibilities, methodical as well as precise approach.

My placement at Tea Tree Gully Library has provided me with an excellent opportunity to develop professional networks with colleagues and library staff members. Over the past two weeks, staff have become familiar with my professional ability, punctuality, reliability, team skills and work ethics. I believe these connections will provide strong references in the future when the time comes to gain meaningful and sustainable employment in the library industry.

Working at the Library has given me a chance to observe how other employees operate and behave in various circumstances. For instance, verbal and non-verbal communication, writing clear business correspondence, observing office etiquette and behaviour patterns, answering telephone calls, dealing with difficult and aggressive patrons and resolving conflicts.

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This placement has been an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge I have learned at TAFE in a professional environment. Applying skills practically has helped me to identify my biggest strengths and areas I can improve in the future. My workplace supervisors have given me the necessary training and induction during my placement. Customer service attendants and other specialist library staff have helped me to complete my work placement through various on-the-job training.

For instance, a WHS representative Stephen Radlett gave me the necessary training for manual handling. The Digital Hub coordinator, Julian Smith, explained vividly how to use various electronic devices for placing a hold, searching the library catalogue and how to use social media platforms for collaboration, communication and effective engagement with peers, colleagues and patrons. Overall, the preparation was insightful and equally comprehensive.

My placement has allowed me to work in different areas in the Library to see what environment suits me most. For example, dealing with children, computers and systems, collections, adult programs and community history. It is practically impossible to know where I will best fit without trying a variety of responsibilities. Moreover, the library has a wide range of patrons and staff from different cultures, ethnicities and educational backgrounds. That has made the internship even more vibrant, stimulating and insightful.

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Placements usually award me with some kind of compensation such as course credit or a professional recommendation. With the Tea Tree Gully Library, I have greatly admired their support, constant cooperation and desire for professional growth in their employees. I was privileged to be able to take advantage of in-house training and flexible scheduling to complete my Certificate IV in Library and Information Services.

The entire purpose of a placement is to gain new skills and apply them to real tasks. For example, during the placement I have learnt the different uses and functionalities of the SirsiDynix Library Management system, how to display an educational event and project management techniques. A placement is like a crash course of working in the real world. I am learning from hands-on experience instead of a classroom-based lesson. Whether it learning big things or little things, I have been learning constantly. In the real world of employment, learning never stops, so it has been great to start adding to my skill set while undertaking my placement as a trainee library assistant.

It is difficult to find a placement in the library industry under the current economic and political climate, especially in South Australia. Placements are all about gaining experience, making professional connections and learning new skills. They involve a lot of work, learning, observation, and involvement.  Whether it is the work I am doing or the people that surround me, there are so many different things to love about my placements.

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The successful completion of a college certificate does not necessarily provide direct entry into a career. I think of placements as career experiments to accomplish long-term educational and career objectives. I have enjoyed my placement and wish to work in the Library industry upon graduation.

Doing something I love and thoroughly enjoy is vitally important because it resembles what I want to do in the future. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I got my approval letter to complete a placement at the Tea Tree Gully Library. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

A placement may often be perceived as an audition for a full-time job either with the same organisation or with a different organisation. My advice for future work experience students is to apply yourself to a placement as if it is a permanent engagement, or if it might turn into one. Libraries are always looking for dedicated, passionate, dynamic, and creative individuals. It is worth remembering that hard work always pays off!