All this talk of only shopping for essentials has got me thinking. After all, what is essential?
The shelves in the supermarket suggest that my needs are quite different from others. I don’t think I can remember the last time I ate dried pasta and I probably don’t open more than two tins in a month. But flour is essential for me to be able to follow my usual lifestyle, and so are milk, eggs and cheese. Continue reading “needs and wants”
Daffodils in a pretty vase, a piping-hot cup of coffee, brown-shelled soft-boiled eggs, and buttered toast soldiers made from the best home-made bread stuffed full of seeds and nuts… Were I from a different generation, I would have had to stop to take a photo of breakfast this morning.
Today I bought nectarines in the market. Five big, dark fruits that will need several days before they’re anywhere near ready for eating. Five fruits that cost me £2.50.
As I walked home, I was thinking that if they ripen properly, they will be well worth it, but if, like so much produce these days, they ripen unevenly, or rot before they are truly ripe, I won’t be very happy: after all, they cost ten shillings a piece, and that is a lot of money.
I’m not sure what triggered that reversion to old money, nor quite what path it was that my thoughts followed past the old-fashioned rambling rose draped over the wall to the fruit-filled memories of childhood. Continue reading “assorted fruit”
Apparently Monday was Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, when the weather is lousy, the days are still too short and we are all despairing over having failed to keep our New Year resolutions.
I don’t make resolutions – which is probably the best way not to break them – but I do recognise that for me this last week has little to do with healthy eating, exercise, diets or other good habits that people tend to adopt at this time of year. Continue reading “binge”
It’s that time of year: we’ve had the solstice and we’ve had Midsummer; at Glastonbury the festival continues until Sunday; there are concerts of music and “performance” in the nearby city and, in the town, four generations of women have silk flowers threaded through their hair… Continue reading “summer”
The days after Christmas are always a good time for clearing up and throwing things out, ready to welcome the New Year into a clean and tidy house. In a fit of such domestic enthusiasm last week, I was checking sell-by dates and clearing out dangerous and suspect items from the kitchen when I came across this:The chillies were clearly past their best, but as I went to toss them aside, I noticed the date: September 9th – with no year specified. Continue reading “discoveries”
The Ham Museum is a shrine
to swine: crimson haunches hang
in the swelter of strip lights; fat leaks
dripping into plastic cones while
an unobtrusive bustle of barstaff
serve the gathered worshippers.
With ritual gesturing, slim-bladed
knives skim iridescent curves.
Glasses are raised in veneration
of marbled flesh, and wafers
of translucent succulence dissolve
as devotees discuss the mysteries
of the world.
The (draft) poem is loosely based on a chain of bars in Spain, while the pig in the picture was photographed some time last year sitting on a table outside an English restaurant/wine bar/pub… Actually, I’m not sure what the Almanack should be classed as, but it’s worth a visit if you are in the area. It caters for a rather wider range of tastes than does the Museo del Jamón.