Colds, pigs and committed literature

February 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

I’m sure I’m tempting fate HORRIBLY here, but I normally get a string of epic colds throughout the winter. (I mean epic – it goes straight to my eyes, which start streaming and swelling and I can’t see to concentrate on anything…. I don’t have to be that ill to be incapacitated, and that’s if I’m lucky and don’t lose my voice!) This year – with the cold house, organic veg box, better quality and less quantity of meat, whole milk and being out in the fresh air a lot more – I’ve had one cold. ONE. And I was only really ill for a day.

We ordered half a pig from someone at the farmer’s market and I picked it up on Thursday. Well, when I say ‘picked it up’, I turned up with all my bags, anticipating having to make three trips to get it all home (curse those days when not driving makes it harder to make the environmentally friendly choice!! I feel so conflicted!!) and the butcher wouldn’t hear of it and insisted on us carrying the crate between us back to my house. I’m only about 10 minutes away from the town centre, but still, I was very touched! We got a fair few funny looks carrying it through the streets of Wokingham, too.

Anyway, it was safely installed in our kitchen, and I then promptly ran out of freezer bags. Bearing in mind that our kitchen is fridge-temperature at the best of times and the bf would be back before the heating came on anyway, I put the bags on the cold floor and hoped for the best. I had the deadline from hell and now think I’m developing RSI in my wrists. So, yes, he came home with some freezer bags, made dinner, placated my deadline-induced-wrath with a lovely Merlot, listened to me rant extensively about how the ‘we need cheap food for poor people’* argument is a load of old codswallop, and then helped me bag up the rest of the pig.

Tomorrow, we will have been going out for three whole years.

I asked him, when he crawled into bed on Thursday night if, had he known back then that he would have come to bed at 1 a.m. after having mopped the floor and put half a pig in the freezer, he would still have asked me out.

Probably just as well I fell asleep before he replied.

Anyway, I met my deadline, spent the rest of yesterday wandering around in the sort of haze you wander around in after having had about 5 hours’ sleep, wrote a big long pretentious post giving some kind of context to the Auden poem yesterday (other than that it’s just FAB) and then realised it was Beckett not Sartre who’d said ‘bon qu’a ca’ (it’s all I’m good for) when asked why he wrote, which totally ruined the whole thing.

The long and the short of it is: I am going to ask my local paper if I can write a green column for them. Now, I know, this isn’t the most useful thing I can do to help the environment, but given my recent revelation that we also need community action and political action and I can’t just sit here knitting dishcloths and growing parsley (or at least I can so long as I stop moaning about other people – if I want to moan about other people not being green I have to do everything to help them be green 😉 ) I felt it was my duty to help ‘spread the word’ in whatever way I could, and seeing as I am not really good enough at knitting and gardening to teach other people, don’t really know anything about cloth nappies and only marginally more about compost to be one of the people who goes around promoting either of these on behalf of the council, don’t have children so can’t run anything at their school, and am neither a climate scientist or a petroleum geologist and so have nothing to contribute to the scientific debate on climate change and peak oil (there’s still a debate???), it seemed like a small way in which I could possibly, possibly have some influence, and if nothing else, when I want to start pursuing a writing career with more vigour (bring on the RSI!!!) it’ll be something on my CV that makes me look proactive and compassionate.

Almost finished my second dishcloth, but ran out of cotton, so had to unravel it and make it smaller. Glad I did it on the bias now. There’s something so satisfying about unravelling knitting, it almost makes it worthwhile when it all goes wrong.

Right, dinner, methinks, then an evening of sporadic work and forum browsing. I was distressed to think that in an effort to avoid getting full-blown, career-threatening RSI I might have to cut down on forum time and blogging. Noooooooo!!!! I did spend all of today until about 4 pm with the computer resolutely off, but I knitted instead, so I don’t know if that counts. Hmm.

* Apparently someone in his office who claims she can’t afford to buy organic or free range spends £60 a week on food, just for her! We spend between £20 and £25 for the two of us, we reckon.

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Entry filed under: health, knitting, meat, newspaper column, poetry, writing.

A poetic interlude Crossing over to the dark side….

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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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