December sniffles, obscure cuts of lamb and bio-"diversity" in my back garden

December 14, 2007 at 4:22 pm 1 comment

Succumbed to the lurgy this week, shame on me! I felt myself coming down with it last week and thought I had successfully fought it off, and so I went around smugly evangelising about the healing properties of echinacea, zinc, onion soup and sheer bloody-mindedness. Unfortunately, I felt sniffly at the weekend and had to rally myself to meet a huge deadline on Monday, to which my immune system said, ‘don’t push it, mate, I’m not invincible’ and I woke up on Tuesday feeling disgusting.

I get absolutely epic colds – not in the sense that I am ever particularly ill, but for some reason, they always go straight to my eyes, which get all swollen and streaming and painful, so I can’t been able to focus on anything like knitting, reading, the computer, cross stitch etc. But enough of me moaning!

Being now less busy and germ-ridden, I have been able to get on with the mundane tasks associated with this time of year, and have placed a final Amazon order, written all but 5 of my cards this afternoon, while listening to the Messiah (this being the only Christmassy music I have aside from the Britten ‘Ceremony of Carols’ which doesn’t last very long) and given my Christmas cakes a final feed of brandy before icing them this weekend.

Last night, I had my first encounter with lap of lamb (other than selling it), or, as it’s known down south, breast of lamb. With help from the wonderful Old Scrote I managed to bone it out and make a sage and onion stuffing and roast it so slowly that by the end, the bf was kneeling by the oven, inhaling deeply and begging to be allowed to eat it now. I even managed to make him eat sprouts, though only by the inclusion of bacon…

The kitchen is still full of washing up, however.

Casual observation out of my window has shown that my garden is full of wildlife which, for a suburban wasteland whose surface is almost entirely gravel and patio, is rather impressive. Admittedly, much of the aforementioned biodiversity is actually pigeons and a grey squirrel that spends all day running back and forth along the fence at the end of the garden (don’t really count greys as real squirrels, spoilt Northumbrian that I am!). I have seen a couple of robins and smaller birds, though. I wonder if there is any way I can encourage more wildlife while discouraging, or at least not further encouraging the pigeons and bushy-tailed vermin!! Or if, indeed, this is at all an ethical position to hold! Better some wildlife than none…. The greys have long since driven out the reds round here, so I needn’t worry if they pinch some of the food I put out. I suppose I just wish some of the less pushy species would benefit from my generosity.

I got a form from some nosey agency the other day asking what I’d been doing since graduating. I filled it out saying I was a care worker and looking to become a freelance translator and report-writer, because I liked the control this gives me over my work and being able to work flexibly. I also said I was planning doing a dressmaking course next term because I wanted to ‘learn new skills for a post-oil world’. Wonder what their statistics will make of that!


Entry filed under: Christmas, cookery, wildlife.

Carbon footprint "Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux"

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mara Luna  |  January 9, 2008 at 1:46 am

    I grew up in a place with no squirrels…so any squirrel to me is something a bit special. Not having a go, just interested in different perspectives. 🙂 I don’t think I even saw a squirrel till I was about twenty or something silly like that.


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Most recent ramblings

December 2007
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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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