Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2020

Walk in the country.

Country? This spot is not a million miles from the city. Indeed, it is within walking distance of my inner suburban house. A long walk, but a walk nevertheless. Question: can you name this isolated location? Hint: it is within 16 kilometres of the CBD.

A lawyer and a metallurgist walk into a bar ....

HARRIS (LAWYER): These figures are nonsense. SANDERSON (METALLURGIST): What figures? HARRIS: These numbers in the paper. People who have it. SANDERSON: Have what? HARRIS: Don't be an idiot. You haven't been under a rock for the last month. SANDERSON: I studied archaeology. Never use that analogy with me. HARRIS: It is not an analogy. It is a literalism taken to an absurdly exaggerated degree. You should know that by your very admission of having studied archaeology. You might well have been under a rock at some time. SANDERSON: Get to the point. You were talking about figures. HARRIS: Today's figure: 71,000 tested. SANDERSON: Tested? HARRIS: Tested, for 1291 cases. But the 71,000 tests are carried out only, as we discussed last week, on people who fit one of two categories: they have been overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed case. So why test them? Why test anyone? SANDERSON: To find out who's got it. HARRIS: Why? SANDERSON: Isn

Science Fiction Goes Fishing.

How do you cook that? she asked. In milk, I said, with onions, the resulting sauce thickened and then poured over the fish. She, a Filipino in her forties, was behind the deli counter in Woolworths and I was buying some smoked cod. She looked surprised, as though she had never even sold a piece of smoked cod, let alone cooked one. In doing so she confirmed my theory, developed here some time in the past, that smoked cod is the fish that time forgot. Our great- and standard-grandmothers cooked it and perhaps even our mothers. I have never seen anyone buy it, but it still sits there in the fish section in the supermarket deli. Perhaps being smoke-preserved it needs to be thrown out only once a week, unlike fresh fish, which turns over every day. So the supermarkets continue to stock it for some obscure ever-diminishing clientele, possibly me alone. Let's set up an exclusive organisation and make me the president. The Smoked Cod International Fanciers' Institute: SCI-FI.

The Long Walk.

The following figures are quoted by Dr John Lee, recently retired professor of pathology and former NHS (UK) consultant pathologist, in last week's Spectator : since September 2019, there have been 38 million infections, 390,000 hospitalisations and 23,000 deaths in the US – from flu . On the other side of the world, in a small riverside town which was once Australia's largest trading port and is now a sleepy arcadian village where old paddle boats still steam around the river bends, a grandmother, completely recovered from CV, went shopping and 'received vile abuse', according to a newspaper. She was photographed and her image placed online – wild west 'wanted dead or alive' style – and someone wrote the comment "I hope you die you bitch". Meanwhile, a ban has been placed on solitary – or any other kind, but solitary is the key word here – fishing. Nor can you go camping, away in the high country, far from the madding crowd, far from shrieking, h