Enjoying a Whale of A Summer



Here at Starfish HQ, we’ve been relishing our lazy, hazy summery January. The town is always rather nice through the festive weeks, when everyone is away on hols and the old ciudad free of madding crowds and frenzied traffic. It’s a short, sweet time or urban repose, a tad like the days of yore when a cannon ball fired down Stirling Highway would hit pretty much nothing.
We have however spent a couple of weeks down in a favourite place, Walpole, relishing long walks through the magnificent tall trees and paddling around the inlets. We even spotted one of the state’s rarest plants, a matchstick banksia, growing in the wild (pictured here).
The plight of this beautiful WA plant is a reminder of how heavily we have impacted our unique natural environment. There are only an estimated 500 of them left in the wild. The species is threatened by land clearing for agriculture, Phytophthora dieback, habitat fragmentation, invasive weeds and changed fire regimes. Let’s look after the precious few we still have…which also applies to plenty of other endangered native flora and fauna in the West!
Back in Perth, lately we’ve enjoyed some excellent movies. The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, was a stand-out. We didn’t think anything could rival that just now. But then along came The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser and Sadie Sink. Wow. Margot reviews the film in this issue, and she gave it four and a half stars. (Not sure what a film would have to do for her to give it five!)
 Of course, another plus about summer movies is the ability to shuffle in out of the heat. In the Northern Hem they’re rushing the cinemas to escape the blizzards!
Thanks to our friends at Madman Entertainment, we have five double passes to give away to readers in yet another easy-peasy contest. Just drop us a line, (info@thestarfish.com.au) telling us in one sentence why you like reading The Starfish. Be sure to include your postal address, in case you win.
Also this week, we bring you a delectable eggplant dish from New York based, Beijing-raised foodie, Maggie Zhu, from her latest cookbook Chinese Homestyle Cooking. You either like eggplant or you don’t, no middle ground, but we think this spicy number will win everyone over.
Guest contributor Leanne Casselas enthuses about why art lovers should join a group called the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS), Margot reviews Festival film The Broker and Ros reviews the polarising Babylon, starring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt.
Peter and Jacqui