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



Six o’clock in the morning. Dark. A cold monochrome fog hung over everything like a wet blanket. I was out in the fog, going for a walk, getting the paper. There’s something nice about a foggy morning. I don’t know what, perhaps the fact that you can’t see anything except the fuzzy orange glow of the still-burning lamp on a telegraph pole down the street.

Back home for breakfast – porridge, fruit, yogurt, toast, vegemite and six gallons of tea. I left the house at eight. The fog was still there but tinged with gold as the sun hauled itself into action. By the time I reached the freeway the car heater was pumping out warm air. Volvos have the best heaters. I crossed the Bolte Bridge and the freeway swung around towards the city and all you could see were the tops of half a dozen of the very tallest buildings poking out of the fog, sitting up there in the sky like knitting needles sticking out the top of a giant ball of golden wool.

Later, the fog burned away and the sun shone and trees shed the last of their leaves and stood there, stark trunks sleeping in the sunshine.

It was dark when I hit the freeway again. Off to the right, the city was a mass of lights. People sure do work late. The elevated part of the freeway made a graceful curve around the city and the perspective made the closer buildings do that funny thing where they appear to move past the ones further back and all the lights intermingle with each other like a thousand people wearing diamond coats at a cocktail party. Melbourne, the jewel of the south. It might just be the most beautiful city in the world, but what would I know? I haven’t seen them all.

I made a slow descent into the suburbs where a million pots on a million stoves were cooking up cheer and comfort on a cold night in June.

Welcome to winter.

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