To paraphrase Morrissey; spicy is nice and spicy can stop you, from doing all the things in life you’d like to.
Like getting through the first session of a Test Match.
Or a long tuk-tuk journey.
Or coughing.

So while I enjoyed the food side of the Indian leg of my trip, variations on a theme of veg curry all day everyday were starting to become a tad repetitive (in more ways than one). Thank heavens for Aussie foodie heaven then and Melbourne.

Gooders’ weekly trip to the Veg Out Farmer’s Market, St.Kilda yields the welcome conclusion to my spice odyssey. A cheerful, chubby chap in his mid-twenties greets us in an accent that is half Sydney, half Skelmersdale. He looks like the sort of bloke who’d be at home among my kid brother’s Young Farmers friendship circle (Hello Ed, Rex, Kenners, Henry, Goodge, Terry, Rustler et al) and has the happy demeanour to support my notion. One of the three protagonists of Pacdon Park, selling meat to the Aussies the British way, he and his chums set up in business four years ago in New South Wales and are very good at what they do.
Offering Great British specialities to a receptive, knowledgeable customer-base, Pacdon do traditional, they do it by hand, and, my goodness, they do it well.

In fact Gooders -possibly one of the kindest people on God’s Earth and my minder in Melbourne- fills her cooler bag with Boxing Day breakfast goodies. It’s all going in.
Lancashire sausages, Cumberland sausages. Hang on, surely not?
Yep, it’s there too.

Pudding Noir.

The linchpin of any breakfast worthy of the name. They do haggis too, though I won’t need the “Great Chieftain o’ the Pudding Race” (Hello Kevin!) for just over a month. Then there’s my lunch.

Pork Pie.

Melton Mowbray in Melbourne. The pastry is the hues Mr Cornwell deliriously sung about, lacking the darker finish you usually associate with the Pork Farm version. In fact the pie lacks in a lot of things in direct contrast to the ones you buy back home.

There’s less salt. Less pepper. And there’s no jelly.

It’s an Aussie Nanny State thing but the lads aren’t allowed to produce their pies with jelly due to food safety laws. But to be honest, you don’t buy the pork pie for the jelly, do you? Do you?
Oh, you do. Right.
But buying a pork pie for the jelly is a bit liking buying a car for the sun roof. You certainly expect it, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t come with it. Anyway, the quality of the pie isn’t compromised by the lack of the three above ingredients. That the pork itself tastes so delicious is as a result of this too. Maybe it’s my meat-free last month or so, but this is one of the best pork pies I’ve ever tasted.

Not for the first time this Festive period I find myself looking forward more to Boxing Day than Christmas Day.
And to Burns’ Night beyond that.