ta­ble talk

Penrith Press - - LIFESTYLE - ed hal­magyi fast-ed.com.au

That it’s un­re­al­is­tic doesn’t make my dream any poorer

FROM time to time, we all want to es­cape. It can be as sim­ple as clos­ing your eyes and dream­ing your­self free. Most of us, how­ever, have a spe­cific sense of place or time to which we are drawn, one that prom­ises hope, calm and rest.

My place is in the hills. While I’m one of the salt­wa­ter peo­ple, beach­bound and with sand per­ma­nently be­tween my toes, my myth puts me slightly in­land. Among the tall sweep of trees and the bird­song, there’s a small­ish kind of town – no more than a few thou­sand peo­ple, and pretty, with un­du­lat­ing hills. Think of some­thing like Bellin­gen on the NSW mid-north coast, or per­haps you know some­where else that fits this bill.

In this dream, I would own a small bak­ery and bistro (be­cause in these dreams, is­sues like mov­ing the kids’ school or man­ag­ing a mort­gage sim­ply don’t mat­ter).

I can see the counter now. Old World treats with their rus­tic charm and deep­golden crusts. Fresh lo­cal cream whipped to the gen­tlest of soft peaks and ripe fruit, plucked just that morn­ing from a neigh­bour’s gar­den adorn­ing the ar­ray of de­li­cious of­fer­ings. The cus­tomers beam as they sip and sam­ple, it’s a place of gen­uine and un­fil­tered joy. The pure dis­til­la­tion of ev­ery­thing I ever set out to do as a chef. In these mo­ments, I can’t see the power bill or the un­solved ros­ter­ing prob­lems, nor the is­sues posed by staffing a re­gional busi­ness with an in­ter­mit­tent cus­tomer base and sea­son­al­ity prob­lems. That it’s un­re­al­is­tic doesn’t make my dream any poorer. Quite the con­trary, I love it more be­cause it’s un­scuffed.

For it is these dreams that drive us to wan­der, con­quer and live. And since we only get one shot at this lit­tle life of ours, shouldn’t you dream just a lit­tle too?

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