Metamorphosis, again: more morph, less…..milk???

Well, time goes by, and before you know it, it’s more than a week since you last wrote a post on your blog. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday I  was reminiscing about how I read Metamorphosis in one sitting, while I sat on the floor of an empty house.  Let’s see…..thinking back over the past week I have blurry memories of being at work… the local swimming pool…at the airport waving goodbye to my sister… a yoga class…. at home trying to write an essay….assisting my daughter make white chocolate brownies (“blondies”), (my god, they were good!)…….and ending the week at a friend’s house playing table tennis after a few glasses of wine!

But through it all, there was a tiny voice nagging at me, saying “surely you could have written more about Metamorphosis? That post you wrote about sitting on the floor with boxes and books around you as twilight descended on a suburb you’d never spent time in before……what did that have to do with Metamorphosis? It was nothing like Metamorphosis! No-one woke up and found they had changed into a large insect overnight! No-one found they could no longer bear the taste of milk but now enjoyed crawling on the walls of their bedroom! No-one morphed into anything different! Your post was a travesty, that shouldn’t be linked to Kafka’s book!”

Oh alright,  I haven’t heard any voice, but hey, writing a post means successfully procrastinating on writing a 4000 word essay on community arts management, so there’s motivation for you! Anyway, just for the record, I’ve always been repulsed by the taste of milk. If that signals metamorphosis into a cockroach, it’s taking a long time, since I was first repulsed by it at the age of about 5, which was quite some time ago now, and so far I don’t see any other signs of becoming a cockroach. I still only have 2 arms and 2 legs, for example, I’m no good at crawling up walls, and humans usually seem to understand what I’m saying to them.

Of course, the reason I was repulsed by milk as a kid was probably because my dad used to get the milk straight from the cow on his brother’s farm (bleh! warm, frothy, unpasteurised milk!) and then funnel it into great big old sherry bottles (retch! sherry-tainted, warm, frothy, unpasteurized milk! Why not just stick a finger down your throat instead and save time?) and then bring it home, in a nice warm car with no airconditioning – this was the seventies! –  for us to pour on our cornflakes the next morning. We may as well have vomited onto them, as far as I was concerned. It would have been just as pungent. At the very least, pouring sherry straight onto them would probably have been more appetising to my 6 year old tummy than that putrid milk was!

Sherry on cornflakes for breakfast

Sherry-flavoured milk on cornflakes for breakfast. Why not have a glass of it as well?

But wait a moment….I’m getting off the topic again. It’s so easy to do. My posts seem to accidentally illustrate the idea of metamorphosis, by starting off as one topic, and then gradually morphing into some other totally unrelated topic! Perhaps a blog is an example of metamorphosis in the written form, since one post sort of leads into another….so a post about cockroaches slowly morphs, through a few other posts, into a post purporting to be about Metamorphosis, but really turning out to be about drinking sherry-tainted milk.

So there you go. Sorry, Kafka. For the second time I meant to write a post about the book, Metamorphosis, but here it is instead – a post about drinking sherry-tainted milk.


Sean Penn in Milk

Sean Penn - he loves milk! Clearly NOT a cockroach!

Leave a comment


  1. Dori

     /  May 17, 2011

    That was the Perfect length to read on the bus home from work! And now I can metamorph into a sleeping creature!


    • Glad it was the perfect bus-trip length! Sometimes it’s hard for me to shut myself up, but in this case I knew I really should be writing an essay, so that was as many words as I felt I could waste on my blog!

      Ah, yes…sleep…it IS like morphing into someone else overnight….the other night I dreamed I was in Japan, looking for a public toilet. Think I needed to pee but was too cozy to wake up!


  2. Here is another strange parallel with our lives: I too am somewhat lactophobic. Yet, I will quite happily eat yogurt and cream in cakes, perhaps because these forms, being modified, do not resemble liquid milk.

    My aversion, like yours, stems from childhood. In those days, we did not have a fridge and in summer the milk therefore tended to ‘go off’. I would be presented with a cup of tea on which floated yellowy-white bobbles and whose contents tasted less than pleasant. My mother tried to pass this off with the myth that in summer, the cows were moved to summer pastures where the food was different and this made the milk taste different. I eventually saw through this subterfuge, of course, but knowledge did nothing to improve the taste of the milk or the tea.

    I thereafter vowed to eschew milk for the rest of my life but, of course, I didn’t. Putting milk in tea and coffee was too well established a ritual for me to break the habit. Until…

    …I became a vegetarian. Newly self-declared vegetarians tend to be (mutatis mutandis) more catholic than the pope and I therefore sought to give up milk. I had the brilliant idea of substituting the milk of poor bullied and degraded cows with soya milk. Alas, it turns out that soya milk precipitates in hot liquids, sinking to the bottom where it forms a rather unappealing sludge. Back to the drawing board.

    The shade of William of Occam came to my rescue: if he could throw away his razor why could I not dispense with milk? So obvious a solution needed no further thought and I have since then drunk my tea and coffee without admixture.

    The moral of my story and yours is perhaps that, considered dispassionately, much of the solid and liquid matter that we humans swallow is pretty disgusting and that we tolerate it only because we have been conditioned by our upbringing to accept it. Becoming a vegetarian has brought this home to me and these days, I have to hold my breath when passing fishmongers’ and butchers’ shops as I find their odours loathsome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your description of the lumps of yellow milk floating in your tea caused me to groan out loud on the train. As you say, yet another similarity in our lives, causing us to both hate milk. I have it only in tea or coffee but must not be able to taste the milk – if I can detect the taste of milk, it’s a mediocre coffee. On cereal I use soy milk, but don’t have it in beverages for the reason you describe, although again I must say, Melbourne is so coffee-crazy that plenty of people I know do drink soy lattes and generally at good cafes now, they can make them with the right type of soy & at the right temperature so the soy milk doesn’t separate. I don’t dare try it myself though, and I’m sure that you can understand why: my lifelong fear of curdled milk.


      • Maybe they have improved soya milk since I last tried it so that it doesn’t turn to sludge in tea and coffee. Good, if so, but I will not be trying it out.

        I have heard many people say that milk is fine as long as it doesn’t taste of milk!

        Liked by 1 person

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