I doubt if you'll ever meet the modest woman with sparkling eyes who cooked this meal for me. For sure, this is not a recipe you'd find in any cookbook, even an Egyptian one. She conjured the meal up seemingly in minutes and out of nowhere for a surprise guest who had audaciously invited himself to lunch
It was a time before tattoo parlours. It was a time before navel rings. If you wanted to reincarnate yourself, you grew hair, usually on your face. The Beatles showed us how when they abandoned their clean-shaven crew-cut looks to become Sgt Pepper's scruffy, trippy band. Frank was not Zappa without his beard, and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull had to be hirsute to look like Aqualung. Beards redefined your personality and moustaches were like signatures.
Today I became aware of a country I'd never heard of before: Sint Maarten, somewhere in the islands of the Caribbean. It's only 34 sq kms in size and has a mere 42,844 people, but it's a full fledged parliamentary representative democracy. Its prime minister is a 51-year-old teacher called Silveria Jacobs.
One day, one of these lockdown days, you’ll come back to your hostel room in downtown Montreal, switch on the lights, and look down upon the evening lights of Sherbrooke Avenue far below — and you’ll suddenly feel utter loneliness.