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I wonder sometimes how many of us forget how transient the various stages of life actually are. The scriptural book of Ecclesiastises has a recurring theme: “all is vanity”. I’ve often reflected on that translation and my investigations led me to The New Jerome Biblical Commentary in which I discovered that the original hebrew word was in fact hebel which, literally translated, means breath or vapor. It has occurred to me that replacing the word vanity with transience brings new meaning to the wisdom words contained in that book. I drew my inspiration from that book to create this poem:”life in a nutshell transitions seven stages infancy complete” It also links into Erikson’s theory relating to the stages of psychosocial development, although Erikson identified 8 stages not seven. In my poem I am referring to infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adult, middle adult, late adult and finally old age. Every age brings new perspectives on life and on living. Inevitably however life involves living through those stages, experiencing the transience of each, from birth to death. There is no escaping the inevitability of today’s realities becoming tomorrow’s memories.

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Guava recipes


 Guava Chutney

Guava ChutneyApril is now just turning into May and with that my guava fruits have begun to ripen. My fears that the fruits might be spoilt were for nothing and I have a wonderful crop of yellowing fruit giving me the pleasure of not only a delicately delicious flavor but also filling my kitchen with a fresh fruity aroma. But what to do with all that fruit. I came up with this recipe for a chutney.


900 grams ripe guavas
900 grams ripe tomatoes
2 red onions (sliced)
White grape vinegar (to measure)
225 grams brown sugar
5 ml peppercorns
5 ml pickling spices (whole)
5 ml ground ginger
5 ml salt (optional)


Scald, peel and quarter the tomatoes and guavas. Remove the seeds and strain these into a measuring jug. Add vinegar so that the combined liquid measures 600 ml. Thinly slice the remaining tomato and guava flesh.Combine all ingredients in a preserving pan, bring to the boil then simmer until really thick and rich.(Approximate time for simmering: between 1 – 2 hours – keep checking, especially towards the end of the cooking period, to ensure that the mixture does not burn. Turn into preserving jars. This amount will fill 2 x 500ml jars.

Calory count: Approximately 40 cals. per 25ml serving



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