Food, Nature, Sculpture



Having been in isolation with Covid, (most likely caught  at the cinema where the folk behind us were sneezing and spluttering like Sir Les Patterson),  we’re relishing being back out again at long last.
Made us appreciate Sculpture By The Sea at Cottesloe Beach even more! What’s finer than having a late afternoon dip and seeing a massive chandelier and giant crab, surrounded by enthusiastic beach combers, as you frog-kick back to shore? There are 71 sculptures  on show this year. The winner of the Sculpture By The Sea Acquisitive Award is New South Welshman James Rogers  for his work, Sandbar.
At this year’s exhibition, there’s the three km high light artwork by Takeshi Tanabe (Japan) that beams into the night off the Cottesloe beach groyne, plus works from the likes of Jenifer Cochrane, Sharyn Egan and Tony Jones (WA)  Ron Robertson-Swann, Richard Goodwin and Stephen King (NSW) , Kristof Kintera and Milan Kuzica (Czech Republic) and  Bruno Catalano (France). For more info, visit
It was disturbing to learn recently that US mining giant Alcoa which has made such a mess of Perth’s hinterland over decades (go online and look at satellite pics of our Darling Scarp to see Alcoa’s extensive, ugly impact ) – now risks toxifying our water supply.
As WA Today reports, Alcoa brazenly built a 10 kilometre pipe, to remove PFAS (highly toxic per and poly-fluroalkyl substances)  before even seeking permission to do so! Perhaps this company thinks it has our government “by the balls”, to put it somewhat crudely?  What do you think, Mark McGowan?
The WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has said there is a “real and not remote possibility” the PFAS could leak into the Samson Dam, supplying drinking water to the nearby town of Waroona.
This news comes soon after we learn that our drinking water supply at Serpentine Dam could be could risk being contaminated, thanks to Alcoa’s bauxite mine in Jarrahdale! Our drinking water? How could this ever have become under threat?
High time the WA government curbs this company’s apparent stranglehold over our beautiful environs – and increases the punitive fines, currently tiny. (We note today that Alcoa is advertising for a new communications advisor. Good luck to whoever wants to take on that role. Perhaps keep a satellite photo of our scarred WA landscape on the wall as you work to spruik the pluses of the US behemoth.)  The harm to our local biodiversity caused by Alcoa’s removal of our pristine Jarrah forests, home to our  endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoos and many other threatened native species, is cause for great concern.
Many ordinary West Australians are focused on trying to protect our native creatures, under increasing threat from land clearing – and we can all help in some small way. In this issue of The Starfish, journalist, bird lover and self-described “suburban boy” Brendon Cant canvases how we can help our local feathered friends and other creatures. He recently attended a one day symposium held by Birdlife Australia reminding us that every suburban garden matters, in the quest to help protect our wildlife.
A veggo eatery we’d been looking forward to lunching at, now we’re virus-free, was that cheap, cheerful and delicious Freo haunt, Juicy Beetroot. But sadly, it’s had to close its doors. The Fremantle Herald  reports that owner Shantanu, recently suffered a severe stroke early one morning while at the cafe. The former Buddhist monk was found by a co-worker on the morning of February 6 and rushed to hospital.
Juicy Beetroot fans and friends of Shantanu are now rallying to support him in his time of need.
If you would like to help , and can spare a dollar or two, here’s the link to the Go Fund Me page:
While on the topic of delicious food, this week in The Starfish we bring you a savoury recipe for Tarte Al Jdjote from acclaimed food writer and historian Regula Ysewijn. Her new cookbook Dark Rye and Honey Cake, focusing on recipes from her Belgian homeland, is gorgeous.
Margot reviews a new documentary on that great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton  and the movie Living, starring Bill Nighy who’s up for an Oscar for his role. Ros critiques the latest Festival film, Close.
Something here for everyone!
Jacqui and Pete