Monday, August 26, 2013


An old Hobart pub, similar in appearance, if not in colour to the one described in my story 

A Spencer similar to the one I purchased, but mine was white.

I had a hankering for beef rissoles a few weeks ago. Once the seed has been planted in my mind for a certain food, whether it is rissoles, seafood or whatever else, if I don’t satisfy that yearning, the seed will grow into an oak tree; and that can become very uncomfortable!  My mind is capable of expanding from all the ideas and thoughts I lumber it with, but an oak tree?  Come on!  That’s asking a bit too much of it…

After the rissole seed had sprouted, but before it had a chance to grow into a fully-fledged oak tree, I made myself a batch of beef rissoles, with enough mixture to also make a meatloaf. After cooking the loaf, I froze it for later ingestion. 

While preparing, and then devouring the rissoles with relish (over a two day period), I was reminded of the time I visited Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. My Tasmanian sojourn was in July, 1987, the year Aussie Pat Cash won Wimbledon. 

Coming from the tropics - I was managing the resort on Hinchinbrook Island at the time - a rude awakening lay in store for me.  A vast change in temperature to what I was accustomed from living in North Queensland was just around the corner and across the Strait waiting for me.

I was born and bred in Queensland, so the colder climes are not what I’m used to; however, in saying that, I wasn’t totally unprepared. 

When in Melbourne the day before I was due to board my flight across the Bass Strait to the nether regions of this country, I bought myself a pair of soft, black leather gloves; a black woollen cape (making me an ideal wingman/woman to Batman when Robin was off-duty) and my first ever spencer.

For those of you shaking your heads over the word “spencer”; a spencer is otherwise known as thermal underwear.  Never before in my life had I owned or worn a spencer. 

When I rang the resort on Hinchinbrook to speak with Johnno, my barman, I told him about my unusual, unique purchase. Johnno was a loyal, honest staff member. I could always trust him to tell me the truth; straight up; no embellishment; no covering up or lies. Every day when I was away from the resort handling the sales/marketing side of the business, I’d check in with John to find out how things were going in my absence. On the day of my spencer purchase, I told him upon my return to the island my intention was to have the garment framed, to be then hung on full display on the back wall of the cocktail bar!  I never did do that; and I never wore the spencer again once I returned to the warmth of North Queensland. 

To refresh your geographical memory/knowledge, Hinchinbrook Island sits in the waters of the Coral Sea, fringed to the east by the Great Barrier Reef - in tropical north Queensland - halfway between Townsville and Cairns.

Tasmania is an island state of Australia; the furthermost southern state of Australia.

  “Tassie”, as the little island is affectionately known, is moored 240 kilometres (150 miles) to the south of the southern mainland state of Victoria; across the Bass Strait.  The population of Tasmania at time of writing is somewhere around 600,000, at a guess; almost half of that number reside in Hobart.  Hobart is situated at the south end of the island, which makes it, in the whole scheme of worldly things and locations, pretty close to the Great Southern Ocean aka Antarctic Ocean; South Polar Ocean and the Southern Ocean; an ocean that surrounds and laps the shores of Antarctica!

These pertinent details are being explained because being in Tasmania in the month of July can be a shock to one’s system; particularly if that “one” comes from Queensland; and more particularly, Tropical North Queensland!

I’d been doing a Willie Nelson – having been “on the road” for about three weeks by the time I arrived in Hobart; and I was still looking down the barrel of another week or so of being “on the road”. I’d been attending travel/tourism expos/conferences/seminars in Sydney and Melbourne before renewing my visa; stamping my passport to enable me to enter Tasmania in a continuation of my job at hand.

(To those of you reading this in the North Hemisphere…the visa/passport comments are a joke…in case you are wondering otherwise)! 

After my departure from Tasmania, I still had another show to attend back in Queensland, in Brisbane; and then one in Biloela before I could swim back to Hinchinbrook Island to rejoin my cast and crew! 

Having to attend all the various tourism shows etc., I was like a travelling circus when I was on the move. I had to take so much promotional gear along with me. My baggage included display posters; pamphlets; booklets; videos and all other types of advertising data necessary for whatever event I had to attend in representation of the resort. 

As well as all the promotional paraphernalia, my own personal luggage needed a camel train to get it from one place to another.  I had to cover all types of events, from the day-to-day dealing with tourism/travel operators at the seminars/conferences; and, also, at the travel expos, catering to the public who were keen to plan their future holidays. 

Often, in the evenings formal and semi-formal social gatherings were on the agenda, too. It was advantageous to one’s individual commercial enterprises to attend such affairs, and, of course, to dress accordingly to suit the occasions.  Often, along with the professional engagements, some of us as a group would go out for an evening, free from business matters. 

The Kardashian sisters would have had nothing on me as I was back then!  Hitting the cities en route was a temptation impossible to ignore for one like me; one who loved shoes of all colours and styles; along with, of course, the clothes and accessories to accompany them!  I admit my weaknesses…I crumbled and fell into many traps along the way – having to, at times, purchase an extra suitcase to be filled with my new clothing purchases!  It was a never-ending cycle!

It was a Friday when I reached Hobart.  By that time, I was already sick and tired of restaurant food.  Throughout my trip I stayed at the best hotels and dining in the best eateries, but after a while of doing similar day after day; night after night, the glamour and gloss rubs off.  In fact, it doesn’t take long at all to become tarnished.  Continuously living out of suitcases isn’t a lot of fun, either. I was not only craving my own bed, but I was also craving a home-cooked meal; maybe three or more home-cooked meals – ten even!

The Holiday-Travel Show in Hobart was held in a vast, sturdy, old brick building with high, high ceilings down near the waterfront where the marina is; and where the finish line is for the yachts that participate in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.  

In its day the building probably would have been a government building of some sort.

The tourism/travel show was due to commence the following day, Saturday; opening to the public at 9 am; and to close again at 6 pm. The same basically applied to Sunday; except the doors would open at 10 am, and close again at 4 pm.   

I’d been allocated my area in the huge, lower level room amongst all the other operators, but I couldn’t set-up my stand because all my gear had been delayed at the airport for whatever reason. I was advised it wouldn’t be delivered to the venue until after 2 pm.  The room where the event was being held was spread over the whole length and breadth of the building.  Standing around twiddling my fingers in the cold expanse of the large room, I watched the other people run around like busy bees as they set up their own display stands etc.  The standing; the waiting and the watching drove me insane; and I grew colder and colder. 

Through a window I spotted a pub on a corner across the way.

The fellow setting up his booth next to mine represented the Gold Coast Tourism Bureau.  Graham was his name.  In the past we’d met quite a few times at various events. Attending show after show; conference after conference on behalf of our respective companies, resorts etc., all of us attendees soon got to know each other, if not by name, by face, at least.

In need of some hot food and a couple of warming beverages of the alcoholic persuasion, I decided rather than standing around being useless waiting for my display material to arrive I would be better off using my time having lunch to while away the time. 

I beckoned to Graham.  He didn’t take long to drop tools when I explained my desperate predicament and my plan to him.  Without hesitation, he accepted my invitation for him to join me for lunch at the pub across the way.  

In tandem, off we trotted to the pub.  As we boundered along, I vividly described, in minute detail, my urgent need for some “good old home-style, home-cooked tucker”. I told Graham I’d soon expire if I didn’t find some to feast upon. He readily agreed he felt similarly.

The pub was an old stone building. It harboured a long track record of memories within its sturdy walls, no doubt.  The building, painted purple, embraced the corner where three streets merged.  The pub’s interior didn’t disappoint.  Wood-panelled walls and high ceilings already exuded an atmosphere of homely warmth the moment we set foot inside.  With the central heating, the old stone working fireplace at the end of the dining area in the main lounge bar and being greeted with the most enticing aromas wafting throughout the pub, the scene was set as if put together by the best mood-sensitive movie director.

I was in urgent need of a warming rum and coke, but more urgent was my need for a hot lunch that tasted like food from home. 

To my delight on the “Specials of the Day” blackboard was “Beef Rissoles in Brown Onion Gravy served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Peas”! I could have leapt for joy! All my Christmases and lunches had come at once!  I started to salivate just at the thought!  I pointed to the blackboard menu, drawing Graham’s attention to what was on offer.  His eyes lit up, too. 

Orders were being taken at a little window that looked out upon the main lounge with the kitchen at its rear.  Food, being our utmost, immediate priority, we went straight to the window to place our orders for two servings of rissoles before ordering our drinks.  The fellow who greeted us with an order book in hand was, in fact, none other than the chef himself.

I couldn’t hide my clearly visible dismay and disappointment when he said to me: “I’m very sorry, but I’ve sold out of rissoles!”

My world crumbled around me. My mouth fell open in disbelief.  My mind went blank!  All my dreams had been shattered by those few words uttered by the chef! 

Life can be so unfair at times….

The blameless chef couldn’t help but notice my spontaneous reaction; Blind Freddy would have noticed it.

Looking at me with undisguised pity in his eyes, the guileless chef said: “Look, I’ll tell you what…if you don’t mind waiting a little while, I’ll put together a new batch of rissoles for you.  I promise you…it won’t take me long.  How about that?  Would you mind waiting?”

“Really!” I gasped in surprise, after finally retrieving my voice.

 “No! No…it’s okay. Thanks very much, but no.   It’s just that I’d worked myself into a frenzy thinking how delicious they’d be.  I’ve been on the road, living in hotels for weeks…years, it seems…and when I saw rissoles on the blackboard menu, I thought I’d landed in Heaven!”  I laughed; and he joined in with my laughter.

The friendly, obliging chef was more insistent than I was.  He told us to go to the bar to order a drink or two; find ourselves a table by the wood-burning fire while he prepared our much-desired rissoles. True to his words, a while later - not long in the overall picture, Graham and I were each presented with a plateful of steaming hot, freshly-prepared and cooked rissoles; served with lashings of brown onion gravy, accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes and green peas. 

Talk about Heaven!

I will never forget that chilly July day, nor will I ever forget my hot meal of delicious rissoles; and my memory of one kind-hearted, empathetic chef, a total stranger, at the purple-painted pub in Hobart shall remain forever.

The rissoles had started something flowing within me.  It was like a tsunami on the rise.

My yearnings for similar foods; food that reminded me of home; meals my grandmother used to make; not fancy or “in vogue” fine dining – just good, old-fashioned fare; my cravings ate at me even more voraciously after our trip to the pub for lunch. 

All I could think about was tucking into a roast dinner; but it had to be a special roast; one special kind of roast meat.  I wanted nothing more than to sit down to a meal of roast leg of lamb. Roast lamb leg served with all the obligatory roasted vegetables and green peas, and, perhaps accompanied by a hot side dish a cauliflower or broccoli au gratin with loads of cheese melted in the topping, if I was lucky. Of course, a sauce boat generously filled with freshly-made mint sauce to pour over the lamb goes without saying.  Roast lamb is not roast lamb without mint sauce…not in my opinion, anyway!  And my opinion was all I cared about at that stage!  And furthermore and further to, just to tease my own taste buds, if not yours, too, perhaps…a tasty, rich gravy is a must, as well as the mint sauce!

I’d reached the stage of desperation!  If the men in white jackets had found me they would have swiftly carted me away. 

Everyone I came across I asked the question of them – were they aware of any place in Hobart that had roast leg of lamb on their menu.  I asked all my fellow participants in the travel show if they’d stumbled across any eateries…anywhere…that had roast lamb on the menu.  No one had! 

However, I did succeed in starting an avalanche!  All my tourism buddies manning their stands at the travel show had looks of hunger and desire on their faces.  They, too, by that point in the proceedings after listening to my desperate pleadings craved a roast lamb meal! 

I’d almost started a mutiny.  No sheep or lamb in Tasmania was safe!

Come the Saturday night, I was invited to go out with some of my fellow travellers, but I opted to stay in my hotel room, alone, preferring to be away from the madding crowd for a change.  I needed a break from talking and from people. The Wimbledon finals were on; and I thought a night of tennis watching and room service was what I needed.

Settling in for the evening, I opened up the room service menu.  Perusing it, to my delight, I discovered a roast turkey dinner was on offer.  It wasn’t the roast lamb I’d been hankering for, but it was a roast meal!  Without delay, I reached for the phone to place my dinner order.  I’d made the right decision to stay in for the night!  I felt very self-satisfied.

I leapt off the bed when I heard the knock on my hotel room door.  It had been a long, long wait from when I’d placed my order until the knock came; but I wasn’t concerned.  The tennis had not only held my attention; but also had held my appetite at bay,  I was content in the knowledge that a roast meal was on its way, even if it was taking ages to come. But, once I knew that only a closed door separated me and my much yearned for roast dinner, tennis was suddenly the last thing on my mind!  Tennis was put on the back burner!

Thanking the room service waiter, I took the tray of hot food from him.  My mind was whirling in sheer joy; and my stomach was tumbling in anticipation!

I’d never cried over a meal before, nor have I since; but I did cry over my meal that night.

Lifting up the silver cloche, I found on the white dinner plate before me an insipid wafer-thin slice of white, pressed turkey roll “meat” (that imitation “plastic” garbage you find in the deli sections of supermarkets).  The meager portion of gravy covering the scant slice of imitation turkey was a pale imitation of the colour beige.  Accompanying this pallid disaster was half a steamed, peeled white potato and four overcooked French beans tied together with a green shallot!  On a side plate was a doughy white roll and an individual, foil-wrapped butter portion.  No salt or pepper had been supplied; and I can tell you, even the most powerful advocate against the use of salt would have been on my side that night if presented with a meal like that!  Salt and pepper was needed in an effort to add some flavour, no matter how minute to the meal in front of me.  There was no point ringing room service…I’d already experienced a lengthy delay in receiving the mess before me; and by then, I was in no mood to face any member of the human race.

So, yes…I cried when I discovered what was on the plate under the cloche.  The meal I’d been presented with was a disaster. I’d never been so disappointed with a meal.  Not only that, I felt insulted.   I began mumbling away out loud to myself! 

If I could have opened the windows in my room, I would have tossed the so-called "meal" out to the street below!  However, I doubt even an alley cat would have shown interest in it!

I couldn’t believe a commercial establishment could “cook” a meal such as what I was presented with that Saturday night, let alone allow it to leave their kitchen.  I wouldn’t prepare a meal like that at home; and most definitely I would never do so professionally.

There is such a thing as having pride in what one does!

I buttered and ate the bread roll.  Watched some more of the tennis and then pulled the bed covers over my head and went to sleep!  Tomorrow was tomorrow and tomorrow would be another day!

There is a happier ending to my tale about my visit to Hobart and Tasmania…but I’ll tell the tail end of my tale on another day!

My wish is not to give you indigestion!

Rissoles with Onion Gravy: Mix together in a large bowl - 500g beef mince, 250g pork mince, ¾ -1 cup soft breadcrumbs, 1 egg, pepper, 1 minced garlic clove, 2tbs Worcestershire sauce, 2tbs tomato sauce/ketchup, 1 packet mushroom or French onion powdered soup mix, add some mixed dried herbs/Italian herbs, finely-chopped parsley. Combine all ingredients very well. Shape into round patties about 2-inches thick. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Sear rissoles about 6 minutes per side, or until a brown crust forms. When rissoles are cooked, make gravy.  Remove rissoles from pan; drain off any excess fat/oil.  Add 2-3 large onions red or brown, thinly-sliced. Cook onions over medium-high heat until onions begin to brown; then add 2tbs plain flour; stir until flour begins to brown and is cooking; add 1/4c beef stock.  Reduce heat; cook, adding more stock as needed; add ½ dry red wine if you like; cook, allowing the grave to reduce and thicken.  If you like you can even add 1tbs tomato paste.  Make your gravy to suit your own tastes. Add the rissoles to the gravy; cook for an additional 10mins over low heat. Serve with mashed spuds and green peas or beans.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce and Gravy: Grab a 2.5kg lamb leg (smaller if you like…whichever, whatever). Make quite a few incisions into the top of the lamb with a small sharp, narrow-bladed knife. Stuff the incisions with slices of raw garlic and sprigs of fresh rosemary; season with salt and pepper.  Do the underside as well; and the lamb hock.  Pour some water into a roasting pan.  Place a rack into the pan; put the lamb leg on the rack; roast in preheated 180C (355F) oven, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours for medium; or to your desired doneness.  Don’t overcook the lamb, though. Remove the lamb from the oven; allow it to rest, loosely-covered with foil, for 30 minutes.

A rule of thumb for lamb is cook 15 minutes; and then calculate 15 minutes of cooking for every 500g of lamb. Drain some, but not all of the fat from the roasting pan after the lamb is cooked; use the pan juices to make the gravy.

Lamb Roast Gravy: Stir ¼ cup plain flour into roasting juices left in the roasting pan; stir over low heat until there are no lumps. Increase heat to medium; slowly add up to 2 cups beef stock, a little at a time; stirring continuously; add a little vinegar, if you like, and perhaps even some of the mint sauce; the vinegar, if find, enhances the flavour of the lamb gravy. Bring gravy to the boil; cook a few minutes until thickened; adjust seasoning; serve with the roast leg of lamb and roast vegetables etc. Mint Sauce: Combine ¾-1 cup finely-chopped fresh mint leaves and 2tsp raw sugar in jug or bowl. Add ¼ cup boiling water; stir until sugar dissolves.  Add ½ cup cider vinegar or white wine vinegar; mix well. Let the sauce stand for 15 minutes or longer for the flavour to develop.  I usually leave it on top of the oven…the warmth coming from the oven helps enhance the flavour; and the mint sauce is always warm or lukewarm when I bring it to the table.


  1. Oh dear. I felt your disappointment. Keenly. Some times I think that kitchens which produce food (so-called) like that should be subject to a small fire-bombing. A travesty. The rissolle chef on the other hand was deserving of a medal. And it sounds like real food too.
    In my bedroom at home I have a much loved water colour. I too had travelled to Tasmania for work. In summer. I arrived on a Sunday and the temperature plummetted. I went into an art gallery to keep warm - and fell in love. I still smile each and every time I see that painting.

  2. Hiya EC. I couldn't believe that meal that truly did upset me! I couldn't believe my eyes when I lifted that cloche off the plate!! lol

    Whoever that chef was who cooked us the rissoles certainly was a gem.

    Tasmania is a wonderful place; what little I've seen of it, anyway.

    Memories are good to are the smiles they bring. Thanks for coming by, EC.

  3. For an excited minute there, I thought the last photo was dessert.

  4. You.Went.To.Tassie.In.JULY??!! That's more than insanity...more like sadomasochistic! Brrrr...

    The rissoles sound divine...I adore them. But lamb roast does nothing for me (too much of the stuff while living on the farm, neither the girls nor I have eaten it since), but that so-called roast turkey sounded criminal and an insult to turkeys. How disappointing...I would have cried, too.

  5. I don't think I've ever had a good room service experience. I only order if really desperate and even then prefer pizza (hard to screw up). Nothing like a good home cooked meal in a pub though. Brings back some good memories for me too.

  6. I'm so glad you got your rissolles! I have never heard of them before, but they must be delicious.

  7. is whatever you want and wish to make it...the choice is yours to make! ;)

  8. I had no choice, Robyn...about the timing of my trip...that was when the travel show was on and I had to attend if wanted to spread the good word about the resort on Hinchinbrook Island. I didn't feel the cold, actually. What I found hard to get used to was it got dark so early.

  9. Hi Dexter...I was thinking only last night about one particular room service I had when staying in Melbourne once ...and it was great. I'll give details another time.

    Nice to see you. :)

  10. Hey Lynn...I think we adopted rissoles along with our colonial heritage. They (or the recipe) travelled across the wide, blue ocean from Britain to Aussieland on the First Fleet and those thereafter!

    I'm sure you'd like them.

  11. One chef a lovely dream and the last a night mare. Peace

  12. Hey there Lady Di...good to see you; I hope your back with a no longer sore back! :)

  13. Another wonderful story, Lee. You should give some serious thought to putting your stories all together in a book. Seriously.

    I've never had rissoles, never even heard of them, but now I'm suddenly hungry.:)

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  15. I must say that I was rather disappointed with this account. For after you displaying a tendency toward tolerating bandy-legged coots, I thought for sure that there would be some mention of you partying the night away with at least a couple Tasmanian devils!

    By the way, one of the most interesting (at least to me) loads that I ever hauled was boxed beef from New Zealand that I picked up at a warehouse on the Tacoma, Washington docks and delivered to a cold storage facility fairly near downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I mean, come on, just how many huge herds of cattle must I have had passed by along the way, and there someone was paying for beef to not only be shipped from New Zealand, but also almost across the entire continental 48 states?

  16. G'day's always great to see you. I'm glad you enjoy my stories. I've thought about doing what you suggest...but that as far as I ever get...thought.

    Rissoles are delicious, Serena...not unlike burger patties...but thicker with more seasonings and other goodies added to the ingredients , thereby making them more tasty. You can add finely-diced bacon; grated carrot; grated zucchinis; finely-diced mushrooms - whatever takes your fancy at the time of making them. I put the onions, eggs, the dried soup powder, sauces etc., into my processor so they all come out very blended, making the finished product not overly lumpy...with bits of onion etc., interrupting everything! If you know what I mean! :)

  17. know very well that I am one of little tolerance! ;)

    However, as a disclaimer:

    No bandy bandicoots or non-threatening Tassie Devils were harmed in any way during the relating of my story; nor were any harmed or threatened during my actual participation in the events that my post describes.

    But a warning to all roos!

    Roos will rue the day if they dare hop across my path and hinder my way!

  18. Jerry....I meant to add...I agree with you re your beef about beef.

    Similar happens here. When I was at the supermarket last Friday just gone, I filled up a bag with some Kiwifruit...and then I noticed on the sign that they were from Italy!! Immediately, I returned the fruit to the bin from whence they came.

    Just up around the corner a bit from here where I live...not even a kilometer (.6 miles)away is a local farm...a local grower of Kiwifruit!!

  19. Are you still steaming over Matilda winning that dance contest with her racy waltz steps/hops?

  20. Jerry - Matilda had it all wrapped up!!

    Some buck jumped up and ruined it all for her!

  21. I must use the phrase, "Cry me a river, you turkey!" I'm the same way with food cravings. I'm not even a foodie. But once in awhile I Must. Have. Something.

  22. Hi're free to use that term anytime and anywhere you choose...and on anyone you choose! ;)

  23. When we traveled, I was always looking for real mashed potatoes rather than those flakes of white whatever they would mix up at the eateries. Home cooked is best.

  24. I understand the rissoles and the roast dinners, but I canny understand why anyone would head for the cold south in winter! Are you mad? Head for warmth woman and the rissoles will follow!

  25. Oh! Yes! Those mock potato flakes are disgusting. I wonder if anyone does still use them.

    Thanks for popping by, Goatman. :)

  26. I explained, quite succinctly I thought...I was travelling for business purposes, not pleasure. although I certainly had alot of fun during the trips.

    As well as being manager of the resort on Hinchinbrook Island I was also the sales/marketing manager. I had no control over where or when the seminars/conferences and tourism expos were held.

    Nice to see you Adullamite. :)

  27. Back in my schooldays, 'rissoles' were often on the lunchtime menu. The average english school of the time was not five-starred for the quality of its cuisine. These 'rissoles' were better known by we pupils as 'arseholes', we were pretty sure they were bum-sphincters carved out at autopsies, and cooked for three weeks before serving.

    But we had an excellent menu. It was 'whatever comes is lunch'.
    No second choices, no alternatives. Year after year of that stuff wears you down. I think that to qualify to work in the kitchens, you had to be able to answer to "How long should vegetables be cooked?", "not less than four hours". Correct, you've got the job.
    Oh. And always leave the caterpillars in the cabbage.

    During my 16th year upon this planet, I became gravely ill, and was so busy trying to breathe that for about six weeks I ate no solid food whatsoever, then I got a secondary lung infection and for a while left the world altogether. There's a time I have no memories of at all. But someone, my mother, nurses, kept managing to get consomme into me, sip at a time. That and drips, believe me, it was an extreme diet. I'd never carried any fat, so after all that time, I was skeletal. And then, one day,shortly after I died, which is another story, the world came back. I could smell flowers, and the trees outside the hospital, clattering of dropped cutlery, voices. It was amazing, like being reborn, I was alone in a room, with double doors open to a sunlit verandah.
    I couldn't move, and my skin felt clammy, but after a while, the door into the corridor bashed loudly open and a big bulky woman in a blue dress stared at me. "You want chicken?"
    I must have nodded.
    She plonked a steaming plate on my bed table. I could see it. Smell it! Almost taste it. But somehow I couldn't move. No sitting up. No hands or arms. I was as fixed as if I'd been cast in a block of resin.
    Then a nurse came in. She stared at me too. Then at the meal.
    "You're awake?"
    Maybe it was eye-movements, because she nodded. "I'll get the doctor. Who gave you food? You didn't eat any did you?"
    Don't be silly. I was having to order every heartbeat, breathing was still a major and very painful activity, and besides that, I couldn't move.

    So she whisked that plate away, steam and aroma and all. Oh god, that was the finest meal in all the known world, and she took it away!

    Then the doctor came and inspected me, looking a bit surprised that I still existed. And the nurse came back and hooked me up to a drip.
    And I could still smell that meal.

    It was the best meal I never had. And it was, probably, given the quality of hospital catering, just like the thing your hotel served you, that so offended. It smelt heavenly.

  28. Somewhere I once read that life evens out over time, and I suppose your "roast turkey" was the penalty for the good luck of the rissolle earlier. But you survived. :)

    Tasmania... I suppose I am as close to it now as I ever will be. Ah, well.