A very cold Friday in the Lower North Shore

July 19, 2015

A man got off the train at North Sydney.  I went to take his seat, bracing myself for the sensation of the unwanted warmth. But when I sat, it wasn’t there!  Had he been a Young Liberal?  Or was it just a very cold Friday on the L. N. S.?


March 23, 2015

Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures.

(Susan Sontag, On Photography, p. 15)


March 11, 2015

Elle aimerait mieux mourir que de retourner se fixer là-bas, « maintenant qu’elle avait goûté à la vie de Paris », et Françoise, traditionaliste, souriait pourtant avec complaisance à l’esprit d’innovation qu’incarnait la nouvelle « Parisienne » quand elle disait : « Eh bien, mère, si tu n’as pas ton jour de sortie, tu n’as qu’à m’envoyer un pneu. »

(Le côté de Guermantes, première partie)

Brussels sprout soup

February 10, 2015

Quarter two dozen Brussels sprouts, chop an onion, slice a leek, and soften them in a pot with butter. Add a litre of stock, season with nutmeg, and simmer.
Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and grated parmesan.

Baked basa

January 5, 2015

For each diner:

Line a piece of baking paper with ghee, a sliced and parboiled potato, half a thinly sliced tomato, a fillet of basa, salt, pepper, half a thinly sliced onion, and some garlic.  Fold closed and bake for an hour.  Garnish with parsley.

Melody proof

January 31, 2014

. Impervious to tunes

. Resistant to a girl called Melody

. A demonstration in the form of an air

. A level of alcoholic content expressed musically

The Kents’ favourite indoor plant

August 18, 2013

By the 1880s, the island was a key production site for the global supply of Kentia palms, which are endemic to the location.

(Elaine Stratford 2012 ‘“Ah! could I tell the wonders of an isle”…contemplating island futures’, Southerly, 72:3, pp. 12–27)


May 15, 2013

Ces perles, c’est le phosphate de chaux que l’huître suinte dans sa coquille.

(Sand, La Fée poussière)

de la bouillie pour les chats

May 15, 2013

Que peut donc devenir cette catégorie [l’éthique de Lévinas] si on prétend supprimer, ou masquer, sa valeur religieuse, tout en conservant le dispositif abstrait de sa constitution apparente (<>, etc.)?  La réponse est claire : de la bouillie pour les chats.

(Badiou, L’Éthique, II.4)

de bons sentiments mal dirigés

May 15, 2013

Ce sont presque toujours de bons sentiments mal dirigés qui font faire aux enfants le premier pas vers le mal.

(J.-J. Rousseau, Les Confessions I)

But yet the light that led astray
Was light from Heaven.

(Burns, 1786, ‘The Vision’)