Art, paella and havoc

Friends, stalkers, I’d like to extend an apology for the tiny glitch in proceedings recently. I note that only one louche fellow – who shall remain anonymous, Andy – commented on the event, apart, of course, from my mother, who has taken to Facebook like a Labrador to Petbarn’s snack aisle. What was posted for a nanosecond and/or got dropped in your inbox was not, while it’s tempting to pretend otherwise, an installation destined for Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Neither was the dummy copy an obscure foreign language that Mr Facebook could translate by the click of a button somewhere on your home page, Mum.

A young person did it. She pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘preview’ on the Holy WordPress Dashboard. Allegedly, she’s helping me solve the mysteries of the WordPress universe. And I have to admit to feeling a brief surge of triumph at having known better than her about that particular little minefield. My, how my fingers still tremble when they’re hovering over those two ‘p’ words.

That art installation idea is still bouncing gently around the vacuum of my mind… It’s Ben Quilty’s fault. I was watching him on Australian Story. What a guy. What a painter. What a shame he’s happily married.

Despite that, my first posting glitch (consigned, hopefully forever, to the dank WordPress dungeon), I battle on with just one goal in my sights: to add an image to my next post. I will not rest, nor publish another word, until I am able to illustrate it with a thoughtfully chosen image.

So if you’re reading this, I will have triumphed, and you have already been distracted momentarily by my perfectly placed visual mille-feuille of meaning. And I promise the post will be in English, Mum, more or less. I also promise that the image will have been tampered with so as not to be recognisable as a photograph – such is the seductive power of Adobe’s ‘artistic’ drop-down palette, another new acquaintance, and the fact that I’m a crap photographer.

My mother’s been given the all-clear for the time being. When her oncologist told us, after we’d sat for a millennium in the waiting room at HOAC in St Vincents (or HAVOC as my mother not-so-affectionately calls it), we decided to celebrate with a smoked salmon sandwich in my courtyard in the sunshine. Hell, we know how to live…

She says she’s not sure what she’s going to do with herself – the past 18 weeks have been such a social whirl of blood tests, chemo sessions and visits to the chemist. I don’t think she’s joking.

Apropos of nothing apart from a trip to my local fish shop, last night I made paella, something of a culinary breakthrough. Unfortunately, my other half (or two-thirds, I suppose, considering his awesome height and power of newspaper dissemination) was not awake to appreciate it. So I picked out all the best bits in front of the telly, with a nice glass of red, watching our Nicole, Jude Law and Ray Winstone strangling the deep-south American accent among a lot of snow in Cold Mountain.

The image that may have diverted you at the top of this post, dear reader, is, of course, said dish, rendered all the more palatable by my cunning digital manipulation. The recipe is credited to one of the freakishly food-mad children who appeared in Junior MasterChef last year. They really should be out climbing trees or something. But it tasted quite good, so I’ll let the precocious little bugger off for now. The slumbering silver fox, maybe not.