Archive for March 23, 2008


Just got back from a lovely week in Devon. The whole county seems to be full of farm shops, small towns with thriving local shops, farmer’s markets, pubs serving local food and friendly people in aforementioned shops and pubs who actually have time to talk to you! Oh brave new world, that has such vegetables in it!!

We did lots of walking towards the beginning of the week when the weather was nice, skulked around in tearooms towards the end when the weather was rubbish, the boy drank lots of local beer and I developed a profound taste for elderflower wine, we played a game of Scrabble and got rid of all our letters three times in total, went to the Eden Project where the bf refused to buy me a lemon tree for my birthday (although my birthday is in August, so he may have had a point there….) and had a big Talk about where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do there. (I mean, we’ve already had the Talks about wanting to stay together barring unforeseen circumstances and possibly, at some point in the distant future, have a sustainable number of children and bring them up to tread lightly on the planet; and I’ve had the Rant about my soul shrivelling up and dying if I don’t live nearer some mountains and much further away from so many motorways and shopping centres; but I fear thrashing out an agreement on a ballpark area of the country might be a lengthy process. I want to be nearer my parents, he wants a greater variety of fish than you can find in the North Sea, apparently. Hmm.) We have returned home with enormous quantities of cheese and cider.

We made pizza from scratch tonight. I collected the veg box from the lady down the road (I went and introduced myself to my neighbours and tried to rekindle some community spirit) and we discussed what we wanted to have for supper. The bf suggested being really lazy and having pizza, to which I replied, only semi-seriously, ‘What, take-away or making one?’ And then he found himself kneading dough, and I found myself reducing a tomato sauce, and now pizza has been added to the list of foodstuffs, along with hummus, beer, bread and jam, that we’re now condemned to making (or paying through the nose for) if we want the ‘real’ version, which is all we’re willing to settle for. Oops. I really mustn’t start making pasta or mayonnaise till I’ve quite the day-job.

Off to visit his parents for the next couple of days, but will write something about ‘Sewing for Dummies’ later in the week. Dressmaking course finishes on Tuesday, so I’ll have to actually fix my sewing machine belt (again – I fixed it once already) and develop some degree of autonomy. A couple of people have been asking me for advice about it all (me?! advice?!) so I’ll try to oblige. 😉

And now I’m going to go to bed and read ‘The Transition Handbook’ and think further on what
the bf and I were talking about earlier – investing for the future. He works in pensions, but I was trying to convince him of the merits of my scheme: buying hand tools and donating to the Working Horse Trust or something similar! Having read too much John Seymour, I’ve come to think how lovely it would be to have a pony and trap that could bring you home from the pub at closing time…. I know nothing about horses, however. This is one of my more far-fetched schemes.


March 23, 2008 at 12:02 am 3 comments

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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."