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Showing posts from July, 2010


And here we are in the depths of winter - and the coldest snap for fourteen years - and immersing ourselves in stews and soups; and toasted sandwiches the size of doorstops, with cheese melting out onto the plate; and porridge with honey in the morning and raisin toast with honey at night; and red wine and black beer and mashed potato and well-roasted pumpkin and caramelised onions cooked in ghee piled up on mountains of rice and red lentil cooked with cardamom and nutmeg and cinnamon and black pepper. All well and good. But not if you can't taste it. I had a slight winter chill last week and thought nothing of it. On Saturday morning I got out and set myself the task of removing a section of invading agapanthus. I took a splitter out of the shed. It was like digging up a rainforest. The further you go in, the more there is. I turned the radio on and listened to Off the Record and that kept me going. They played more of The Dingoes' new release and a bunch of other great mus

Afternoon tea.

It was the nicest cup of tea I'd ever drunk. Perhaps it was where I was, or who had made it. I was standing in the enormous reception room of an old Anglican rectory at three o’clock on a cold Thursday afternoon. Gas heaters flickered high up on the walls. It would have been a very cold room when not in use, which seemed to be most of the time. Several large trestle tables, laden with food, ran almost the length of the room to the western wall, where a large stained glass window with a dove and a cross in it stretched up about twenty feet. Behind tables, ladies were wielding giant teapots and the tea was flowing, like the Diamantina in flood, into a regiment of cups and saucers all lined up in perfect formation. There must have been forty people in the room, queuing for tea and eyeing off the spread, which consisted of rolled-up asparagus sandwiches, tiny pastries, scones topped with jam and cream, strawberry and lemon lamingtons, butterfly cakes, rum balls and more of the kinds o