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Sick from work today, I rallied to make a roast pork dinner for eight and was quite gratified by the results. Quite aside from the failsafe strategy for compliments of making guests wait three hours (and numerous bottles of wine) before they see their dinner, there are few foods more immediately satistfying as sizzling, salty pork crackling.

But this post isn’t about pork. What is it about? I was going to recount some of the night’s more amusing double entendres and malapropisms (and “that’s what she said”s), but I fear they were moments you had to be there for. Oh yes – that’s it.

At dinner last week with David Finkel he mentioned that at the Perth Writers’ Festival someone had described him as “a dag”, and asked what it meant. Unbidden, my mother’s words surfaced in my mind, but I bit my tongue until I heard my boss, an educated and erudite dude, spout them verbatim. “A dag,” he opined, “is the fly-attracting shit clustered around a sheep’s arse.”

“In America, we call that a ‘dingleberry’,” said David’s daughter Lauren.

Which, we scrambled to say, wasn’t the spirit in which the remark was intended. To call someone a dag is to compliment them for the Australian-loved values of simplicity, a lack of pretension and laconic good spirits. Yet another case of lost-in-translation, I guess.

Spent this morning watching the Oscars in my illness. Listening to Martha Wainwright now is making me realise how I conflate her and Maggie Gyllenhaal in my mind. Two beautiful, saucy ladies. But of course – how great is it that Jeff Bridges finally got his Oscar?!

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.”

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