Letter from Home

A letter from home describing a Thanksgiving dinner in Papua New Guinea, and some pondering over the changes in communication over the past 20 years...

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I’m No Patriot

Why feel patriotic when it is corporations who are controlling our world? Don't let your feelings of deep love for your land and communities be used against you. It sucks to despise yourself but that is exactly what they want.

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The Cook by Harry Kressing

This weekend I finally fulfilled a long-time dream and re-read The Cook by Harry Kressing. For anyone who loves cooking or who is interested in psychology and sinister plots, I highly recommend this book. For anyone who has worked in the service industry, catering for the excessively rich and snobby, this book is a delightful fantasy where the clever and hard-working cook turns the tables and soon has the boss for his butler. All the little details about cooking, the kitchen, the cookbooks (even a cookbook for cats!), the hunting and the shopping give a wonderful glimpse into what running an old manor kitchen might have been like. In this age of gluten-free and allergies for every imaginable food, The Cook also offers a parallel with every character’s special needs being catered to with the ease and flourish of a very accomplished chef. It is one of those books you just can’t put down, but with its 244 pages it is a quick read. You can’t truly call yourself a foodie if you haven’t read The Cook.

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My First Mumu

Memories of my first pig kill growing up in Papua New Guinea. Huge feasts are held every so often when pigs, sweet potato and other vegetables and meat are buried in ground oven pits, heated with hot stones and wrapped with banana leaves.

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Papua New Guinea and Tuna Exploitation

Many years ago, when we were growing up in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, we occasionally went on holiday to Madang, an incredibly beautiful coastal resort town in this (at that time) untouched, remote pacific island. It was a long trip on the Highlands Highway, which was a two lane dusty dirt road over steep mountain ranges. Our father would carefully pack up our bus, leaving tiny sitting spaces for each of us amongst the suitcases and boxes (we were quite a big family). We usually took a couple days getting there, stopping overnight in a guest-house with rare Papua New Guinean butterflies and beetles encased in glass on its bamboo walls. Mt Hagen was 6,000 feet above sea level, so despite living a few degrees off of the equator, I always remember how the humidity and heat grew as we finally dropped down out of the extensive mountain ranges and hit the hot muggy plains filled with neat rows of sugar beets or palm plantations. As we got older the road slowly got more and more stretches paved, making the trip much shorter.

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