THEFT

For many years, I have leaned toward literature where food is the supporting act. Not cookery books per se; but novels with an underlying thread of the everyday preparation of meals and larder stockers. Books like Zuretha Roos’s The Saffron Pear Tree and Marcel Proust’s Remembrance Of Things Past; which I first read as a…

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SUBURBIA, REFRAIN

There is a man on the other side of the white wall; clipclipclip of shears and the scrittling swoosh of falling leaves, he hums the hymn of yesterday and thinks of scything sheaves of wheat and woodfires where women stir pots of meat and gravy. On a sunlit carpet floor, where the smell of furniture…

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THE HOUSE AT MORGAN BAY

A memory, circa 1977 The original rondavel* was probably more than a hundred years old. Generations, one after the other, had tacked on rooms; higgledy-piggledy, with crooked passages and ceilings sloped so low in places that they left spaces that served only to house a stack of books, or storage space for a basket of…

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WORST FOOD MEMORY?

“The home cooking I had been so looking forward to was in the end, spaghetti of the most watered down WASP style of cooking I had ever eaten, pale lumps of tomatoes floating glumly, large pinkish meatballs like testicles lying unstrung and heavy on the plate of thick pasta.” From American Dad by Tama Janowitz…

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ANSWERING ABOUT APARTHEID

My daughter asks a lot of awkward questions, the precocious brat feels that she can single-handedly compensate for all the sins of humanity. This is – very probably – punishment to my husband for being the rabid advocate of justice and honour that he is. I have been asked about Apartheid and why her Grandfather…

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PEARS AND ALMONDS

My friend Tandy issues a challenge periodically to all the foodie bloggers. Last week I studiously ignored her, the challenge was to bake a soufflé; something I have an unaccountable fear of doing. This week she’s asked us to use pears and almonds. I expect there will be many tarts and cakes in response. Surfing…

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RITUAL

It’s the same almost every single weekday morning; at exactly 6am I get a peck on the cheek and a see you later as he leaves for work. I pour my second cup of coffee and cut cheese for a sandwich, select a piece of fruit and take a bottle of water from the fridge….

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THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

The vehicle is not destroyed, sweet child, your view has simply been distorted; it is a small crack, like a hairline in the windshield glass. Drive slowly, stop often to rest and look around you. Breathe, refuel. The journey will take its own twists, make yourself supple for the winding road. If you get lost…

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RUNNING RELIGIOUSLY

He runs; early enough to hear the imam’s call high in the mosque’s minaret. Feet pounding tar, he passes catholic schoolgirls getting off a bus outside the convent. His breath steaming, he trots by pious men with earlocks walking slowly, in pairs to the Chester road synagogue. He thinks of tolerance, then gives it up…

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ORANGE

The estate agent led us through a lovely garden, up a short flight of steps and into the entrance hall. The orange will have to go, I said to Waldo. Oh, I don’t know, he said, I rather like it. Hmph, we’d see about that. I walked down the passage and glanced into the bedrooms….

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IN THE EARLY HOURS

A car thumps by, outside on the rain spattered road; youngsters, I think and smile. My dog, snoring in ecstatic little grunts, makes this room smell of biscuits, I don’t mind, it’s rather nice. Beneath my fingers a conversation almost happens, with a clever boy in London. As you age, it is said, you need…

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SET IN MY WAYS

I’ve wasted seven bags of salt; a handful flung for each small spill, supposedly keeping the devil at bay. My granny said I should! I’ve lost the chance to meet my fortune, all because of old wive’s tales: I’ll never venture past the garden gate if the thirteenth falls on Friday in the month. I’ve…

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