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Showing posts from November, 2021

Small Faces meet Oasis in swirling guitar-drenched choral masterpiece.

No, not a mid-seventies psychedelic swirlfest, or a 1990s retro tribute to that era. This seven-minute sparse-lyriced, choral-backed musical rollercoaster ride was released last month. Don't believe anyone who says there's no good music any more. 'Miracle Drum' by Even from El Reno Music, Melbourne 2021.

Baked vegetable ‘pasticcio’.

Inverted commas? Yes: the definition is unclear. Pasticcio literally translated is a mess, although the Italians use it as the name of a dish in which ingredients are combined and baked. A combination of vegetables - as the following recipe is - separated by pasta sheets would be what we call a lasagne. But because the word lasagne refers specifically to the pasta sheets, the dish is a mess, just like this paragraph. Starting from the bottom I placed onion rings in the base of the casserole with a scored clove of garlic and a splash of olive oil. (Some recipes fry the onions first but this worked fine.) Then I added layers of very finely sliced potato; not so finely sliced pumpkin; pre-salted, rinsed and grilled sliced eggplant; sliced red capsicum; and sliced zucchini. I interspersed each of these with enough basil-infused tomato purée to coat the layers. When three-quarters up to the top of the dish, I tipped in half a cup of chicken stock to keep it all moist and flavoursome, and a

Five-vowel horses first and second.

Of course, the horse had never raced over that distance. But things were going well. Incentivise had moved effortlessly from third to second to leader at one thousand out. The race was there to be won.  But that morning, James McDonald who was to ride Verry Elleegant in the Cup wrote in the Herald Sun: 'Incentivise still has to run two miles ... until they do it, you just never know. ... knowing Verry Elleegant will run (the distance) is huge. ... The first 200m to 400m is ... important for Verry Elleegant. I'm going to want to find a spot and switch her off. Also, from the 1000m to the home turn. That's where I need to find the right horse or horses to tow me into the race.' After lumbering out of barrier eighteen, Verry Elleegant switched off three back, rode a few horses around a few turns, rode a few more along the straights, and then sat on Spanish Mission to the home turn. Then McDonald switched her on again. As astounding as that turn of speed seemed, equally bre

Race that starts a nation.

Today's Melbourne Cup will see Incentivise start as the shortest-priced favourite since Phar Lap: in 1930.  Ben Dorries in the Herald Sun writes: 'During the Great Depression, Phar Lap raised the spirits of a nation ... helped uplift many Australians in dire financial straits, some struggling to put food on the table.' Coming out of lockdown (in name only; a raft of restrictions apply, vaccination apartheid has created the New Untouchables, and the Victorian government has crowned itself with vast new powers of arrest and detention ad infinitum, North Korea-style), Dorries suggests Incentivise is channelling Phar Lap (or more correctly the punters are) and that '(while) there will never be another Phar Lap ... Incentivise is hauling the nation along with him on a similar magical mystery journey ...'. Incentivise hasn't won yet. The race is still two hours away. 10,000 people were 'allowed' to attend Flemington today. Some bureaucrat pulled the figure out