Archive for April 29, 2008

Bikes, socks and the promise of nettles

I have just taken delivery of a swanky, curvy, RSI-vanquishing ergonomic keyboard courtesy of the folks at the day-job, so please excuse any typos. It’s taking a while to get used to and is a bit like typing with one finger.

Seedlings continue to take over my living room. I’m kind of bored of talking about it now, but the peas are hardening off well and I let them stay out in the rain this afternoon for a while. I don’t know if this was good or not, but I thought they might want to get used to it before living outside. I wanted to plant them out this weekend, but we have to go and help the bf’s mum sort her house out before she moves (read: shift all the cr*p he refuses to throw away from her loft into our loft) and I don’t know if I want to be away for two nights while they’re all on their own in the big wide world… Gawd, I’m so pathetic. And demonstrably not bored of talking about it, clearly.

I’ve ordered loads of compost too, and this is a turn-up for the books: not only is Wiggly Wigglers’ organic, peat-free compost cheaper (including delivery) than the bog-standard stuff from the hardware shop at the end of the road (which is exceptionally useful in a crisis, so I’m happy to pay a bit more to support them and cover the running costs of an actual physical shop in an area of extortionately high property prices) but also cheaper than the bog-standard stuff at Wyevale. In fact, Wyevale is more expensive than the hardware shop. Economies of scale my *rse.

I have also acquired a bike on freecycle. Hurrah. It needs a clean and a new saddle, but it might have gears that work, which is a massive advantage over my current old banger.

Last night was the first meeting of Reading’s first ever sock club. Well, I assume it’s the first, anyway. ‘Sock club?’ I hear you ask. Yep, four of us from the knitting group have decided we want to learn to make socks, so I now have some scary dpns (why does the wool not fall off them??) and the world’s most gorgeous wool. Mmmmm…. Wool…….

Which, given that Sharon says that learning to knit socks is the single most useful thing you can do against the apocalypse, is very appropriate, I feel. I’m not normally one for taking part in challenges that people put on their blogs, largely because I have several ongoing challenges of my own, in addition to the general hassle of living and trying not to centre all of that around the internet, but this one is largely food related and is flexible enough so that it’s likely to fit around what I’m doing anyway. So I’m in. I have pledged that I am going to do two of the following things every week (thus by definition including a mandatory non-cooking one):

  1. Plant something
  2. Harvest something
  3. Preserve something
  4. Prep something
  5. Cook something
  6. Manage your reserves
  7. Work on local food systems

Hmmm… This week, therefore, I am going to plant some more herb seeds (I can’t face peak oil without four varieties of basil, y’know) and pick some nettles and have them for lunch.


April 29, 2008 at 3:36 pm 2 comments

Most recent ramblings

April 2008
« Mar   May »
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."