Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Archive for December, 2009

From the Kitchen

December 30, 2009

From the Kitchen #32

The other night a group of us played strip dinner in Box Hill.  It’s like strip poker with the cards replaced by very spicy Szechuan (Chinese) food.  For each course, the first person to call barley has to take an item of clothing off.  As it was already a hot night, no-one had much on to start with, so each of us was determined to persevere for as long as possible.

I need to explain, perhaps, that Szechuan food can be impossibly spicy.  When the first dish arrived (a huge bowl of pieces of white fish floating in yellow oil) the smell alone seared the nose.  Ah, I thought, those green beans will help me cope with this.  How innocent I was.  Those red speckles should have warned me.  The others mopped their brows as I removed one of my shoes.

One down, five to go. (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 23, 2009

From the Kitchen #31

I’ve never understood the ability of some people to see the likeness of Jesus or the Virgin Mary in a piece of burnt toast or in a banana peel, especially as no two-thousand-year-old likenesses exist of either of them.  I’ve not heard of a Muslim discovering images of Mohammed in a falafel or of a Jew seeing Abraham on a matzo (although, on their fiftieth birthday, some Jews declare that they have finally seen Abraham).

I’d actually like to see Lao-tse in a lychee. (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 16, 2009

From the Kitchen #30


Enough of the opinions – mine anyway.  Time for someone else to have a go …


“Stupid, bloody man!”

“What do you mean?”   I knew I was being stupid, but I was hanging out for an argument.

“It’d be obvious to you, if you weren’t so dense.” (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 9, 2009

From the Kithcen #29


Who are you when it matters?

Who are you when there is a need for each of us to come down off the mountain to where the work gets done?  Which side do you come down on – where what you say and do makes a difference or the side where you can pretend it’s not important and nothing can be done and it doesn’t matter anyway? (more…)

Book Reviews

December 7, 2009

In Conversation

in_conversation-cover-120pxIn Conversation

Ben Naparstek

Scribe, Melbourne, 2009

SC, 254 pp, $32.95

ISBN: 978-1-921640-11-7

My expectations of this book were set by the title – I was expecting transcripts of interviews with famous writers.  By the third ‘conversation’ I was disabused of this notion. (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 2, 2009

From the Kitchen #28

sludge-bannerKevin was concerned.  No, he was more than concerned – he was panicking.  He was the school captain but he didn’t feel he was really in charge.  It was unfair, he thought, that everyone expected him and the Student Representative Council to fix all the problems.

The schoolyard was smelly.  The stink had been around for a while, but it was getting steadily worse.  It was starting to become unbearable. (more…)