Barricade: Chapter 056


Morning came after a long, restless night with little relief from the worries that plagued us. Finally we gave up on the attempts to rest and found ourselves sitting in the dining room, waiting for the others.

“I don’t think they’re going to go for it.” Jay murmured, interrupting the silence.

“Would we? They have to protect Toby.”

“We wouldn’t let anything happen to him!”

The tension in the air felt palpable as I withheld my response from Jay. We both knew what I was thinking – we’d never let anything happen to Annie, either, and look how that had ended up.

Read more

The beginning


What if workplaces had a pet?

This might be an awful idea. I’m jotting it down while I think.

Felix Firstly, this is Felix. She’s just received a promotion at work and a shiny new uniform and name badge.

From her Facebook page:

My name is Felix and I am the Senior Pest Controller for First TransPennine Express at Huddersfield Railway Station in West Yorkshire, UK.

She takes care of numerous jobs around the office, and is paid in daily treats and pats.

You’ll often find me in the ticket office helping with customer enquiries or patrolling the platform for pigeons and mice.

Looking at Felix in her adorable uniform, and thinking about how much joy she has brought her human colleagues, I can’t help but wonder if being given a “job” at a human workplace might be a better place for cats than stuck in a shelter long-term?


This obviously wouldn’t work for all cats. I imagine it would be best suited to a cat who hasn’t been abused by some dickhead (and that’s referring to you politely), a cat who doesn’t mind being a little independent but also likes being around people. In fact, maybe it would be ideal for cats who are a little older and ready to settle into a comfortable daily routine of food, naps and lounging?

The workplace hours would have to be suitable – not closed for long periods, or with multiple people available to take the cat home and keep it safe if such closures were to occur.

Workplaces would also have to accept and agree to all the responsibilities of having an animal – keeping dangerous things away, committing to feeding and taking them to the vet, and so on.

Or perhaps the idea of a working cat, on a large scale, is not a permanent one. Maybe it’s more of a foster care system – the cat gets a new home, gets exposed to a lot of new people, gets socialised, etc – and one of the office staff may choose to adopt, or the shelter can use the publicity generated to advertise for a new home for the cat.

Cats are definitely capable of holding down full-time employment: 



Being the boss


Tech support


Taking care of the filing


Inspiring the team


Keto Food Review: Bulletproof Coffee

Coffee One of the struggles we’ve found for keto has been juggling our protein intake. We have our macros, so we know where we should be at, but I find us constantly creeping towards – and over – our protein limit.

We decided to give bulletproof coffee a try for breakfast this morning.

A couple of things – it’s Monday. Ugh.

I don’t really drink coffee. My idea of “going out for coffee” is ordering a chai latte. Hell, sometimes (read: often) I opt for a soda.

Imagine my surprise when not only did I enjoy the coffee, but it’s been over four hours and I’m still feeling satisfied. I was skeptical when I read two bulletproof coffees can see you through to 9PM, but I can believe it now.

I guess that’s a constant with keto, though – you’re just not hungry on a ketogenic diet. You’re satisfied and occasionally, peckish.

The worst part about not being on keto is the hunger. I’d actually kind of forgotten just how damn hungry I get when not on keto. This is complimented by shaking and headaches. Brilliant.

I’m a big fan of bulletproof coffee, immediately, because:

  1. It’s delicious
  2. It’s satisfying
  3. It’s low in protein
  4. It’s quick
  5. I can drink it while commuting

Last but not least, I get to make those comments coffee drinkers have been making around me for years! “Not without my coffee!” “Hand over the coffee and nobody gets hurt!” “Working hard, or hardly working?!” Hurr! 😀


Let Them Stay…


I don’t want this blog to be about politics.

But there are things happening in my home country that make me ashamed. I tried to write this entry earlier, but I was too upset, too angry.

Now I sit here as nighttime has fallen, and I am in my own home. I’m free to come and go, free to live a life without restraints and bars. Apparently I earned that right when my ancestors were sent here, as criminals, for such petty crimes as stealing gloves.

I grew up in this country, with an open mind and heart. I went to school and sang our national anthem and was told that it meant something, that the words were a part of Australian beliefs, a part of our way of life.

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

(By the way, the orchestral version of our national anthem – often played for Australian sporting victories – is by an immigrant from Hungary.)

Why, then, is our government treating the innocent of the refugee crisis like this? Why are reports of child and sexual abuse being ignored? Why is the plight and mental health of hundreds of people dismissed while they spend years locked up in off-shore detention?

Naurua At what point are we going to say, well, okay, seeking asylum is a human right. Kids shouldn’t be spending over 900 days in detention. Maybe we should be listening to the countless medical professionals who have expressed genuine distress at the levels of abuse and the mental well-being of these refugees.

This week, churches around the country have announced that if the refugee families at risk of being returned to detention can make their way to them, they will offer them sanctuary as best they can.

Late last year, Australia’s human rights record came under scrutiny from more than 100 countries at the UN.

“We are not role models on issues of asylum, we are pariahs.” – Prof Sarah Joseph, director of the Castan centre for human rights law

We have sustained failure to meet international standards for protecting asylum seekers.

Why, then, are we allowed to continue to treat refugees this way?

How can I sit comfortably knowing that my country – the country with ‘boundless plains to share’ – is perfectly content to lock people away (children, families, people convicted of no crime) and turn their back on claims of abuse? How can any of us be comfortable with the idea that report after report has been written that says we are doing appalling damage to the refugees, to the children?

Why are we content to let innocent babies – babies who were born in this country – be returned to detention? Are they not Australian? Do they not have a right to be safe and free of detention? To be protected from abuse?

I am not proud of my government. I am not proud of being associated with the way Australia is treating refugees. I hope for something to change, and I look to the future – where we will apologise, where we will claim we didn’t know – but we did know. We have no government to represent us. We have no opposition party worth a damn.


A Feast Fit For Hobbits


The Seven Daily Meals by missqueenmob

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Hobbits from the books, movies and game, it’s that they like to eat. By the way, if you haven’t played Lord of the Rings Online, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Loving to eat often comes hand in hand with loving to cook – and being good at it – and Kate Young has created a recipe based on the last meal the Hobbits enjoyed before embarking on their journey:

One to two other hobbits belonging to the farm-household came in. In a short while fourteen sat down to eat. There was beer in plenty, and a mighty dish of mushrooms and bacon, besides much other solid farmhouse fare. The dogs lay by the fire and gnawed rinds and cracked bones.

The dish Kate Young has come up with is a Mushroom, Bacon and Leek pie, the recipe is listed here. It sounds delicious but is obviously not keto friendly, if only because of the pastry and flour. The good news is this recipe is probably quite adaptable to being keto friendly, and I’m tucking it away on my list of things to try. But not today, because today is a terrible day for cooking on account of being nearly 40 degrees.

I think even Hobbits would find something cool to eat on such a day.

For a start, though, there’s a keto pie crust recipe all ready to go. If care is taken with the leek (which reportedly contains 0.8g carbs per 6g), and other dubious ingredients like the sherry, I think this could become quite a mean – and hearty! – keto recipe.