Lunch over, now let's walk. We're invigorated. Lunch does that to you. Either that or you want to go to sleep. Today we wanted to walk.
We walked across the threadbare lawn and out of the gardens and across the road and up the hill. We turned right into the main street and on the corner was an old Wesley Church that wasn't a Wesley Church any more, but a second-hand bookshop.
We went in through the arched doorway, which was big enough to get the twin pram through even though only one half of the arch was open. It was still like a church inside; only there were more books, quieter music and fewer customers. Fortuitously, the babies had just fallen asleep - both! together! - so we parked their pram on an old persian rug on what would have been part of the nave, right in between Crime and Biographies.
You always see the same books in new bookshops, but a good second-hand bookshop takes you back to the past. The Cooking shelves had an extraordinary range of books in excellent condition, including:
The Enlightened Cuisine, by Renée Verdon.
Cuisine of the Sun, by Roger Vergé.
The Hundred Glories of French Cooking, by Robert Courtine.
The Classic Book of Pasta, by Vincenzo Buonassisi, 1973. (Including 41 varieties of pasticcio - layered pasta. And you thought lasagne was lasagne.)
La Cuisine Réussie, by Alan Senderens.
Greek Cooking, by Robin Howe, 1960.
Boozing Out in Melbourne Pubs: an Occasional History and Sociological Study of Melbourne As Seen Through the Bottom of a Glass, by John Hindle and John Hepworth, 1979. (The sub-title is satirical. A ribald and entertaining look at some of Melbourne's most famous old pubs before many were destroyed by the wrecker's ball, the one-armed bandit or the renovator.)
American Regional Cooking for 8 to 50.
Cake Decorating, by Jean Bowring, 1969. (Full colour plates - this book would have threatened the world's coloured ink stockpile.)
Jean Jacques Seafood, by Jean Jacques Lalé-Demoz, 1986.
101 Australian Ways to Cook a Sheep, by J. & B. Hay, Sunbooks, 1969.
Continental Cooking in the Australian Kitchen, by Maria Kozslik Donovan, 1955. (First edition, black and white and two-colour illustrations. Chicken Kiev, anyone?)
The Graham Kerr Cookbook. (Full of those overhead step-by-step photos that were so popular in the sixties.)
La Méthode, by Jacques Pepin, 1979.
The Pedant in the Kitchen, by Julian Barnes, 1988.
Convicted Tastes: A History of Food in Australia, by Richard Beckett (who, as his alter ego Sam Orr was once one of my favourite food writers).
Remember the books that everyone seemed to have in the 1970s and then disappeared? They were here: Craig Claiborne's A Kitchen Primer, with its yellow cover art of eggs, bowl and beater (Penguin edition); and the all-brown Whole Earth Cookbook, by Cadwallader and Ohr. I picked up the latter and suddenly it was 1972 again and I was sitting on a brown corduroy beanbag eating a salad with mung beans and lentils and shaved carrot and sultanas in it, while the Edgar Winter Group thumped out of a Thorn stereogram and a summer breeze ruffled the bead curtains in the doorway. Then someone poked me in the ribs and I woke up.
Bookshops do it to me all the time. Sometimes Tracy makes me cross the road when she sees a bookshop ahead.