Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


He lives.

I was walking the children home from school on Tuesday.

It was a sunny afternoon, and we had crossed the Upfield railway line and were passing the old TAFE building where the pathway is overgrown by ancient oleanders.

A figure approached from the other direction and disappeared behind us. I caught a glimpse of him. He had some kind of a hat or cap, a grey straggly beard, a hook nose, and a haunted look. It's amazing what you can catch at one glance.

"Hey," said Thomas. "Wasn't that the old guy in the paper?"

"What old guy?" I asked.

"The one with the cap and the grey beard."

That didn't tell me anything more than I had seen, but I knew staright away who he meant.

"I know who you mean," I said. "Now let me see." We turned the corner heading north. A plane came low overhead, heading for Essendon airport.

"Didn't they cremate him straight away? I believe they did. They used to let people see them afterwards."

"That's horrible," one of them said. I forget which.

"They'd lie in state," I said, "So you could pay your respects."

"So if that was him ... " Tom said.

"He would have had to have been smuggled out several days ago."

"And flown here in a disguise."

"And released in an obscure area where there are not many houses but lots of old factories and warehouses that are no longer used."

"And then his death would have been announced."


He told everyone at school on Wednesday that Fidel Castro is alive and well. He'll probably fit in quite well in the City of Moreland.

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