Ten a Day? No Problem!

On this side of the pond a week or so ago there was a fair amount in the news about something other than Brexit or Donald Trump. Wow what a relief. Let’s forget for a moment that Article 50, something of which I was blissfully ignorant this tinme twelve months ago, could be triggered this week, with David Davies, a politician I trust marginally more than Donald Trump, though it’s a fine line, arguing that MPs should put their trust in Mrs May and let her negotiate without caveat, let, or hindrance from Parliament.

Let’s forget that this country’s (by which I mean the UK, the whole damn fine divided lot of it) finest achievement, the National Health Service, is being brought to its tender knees by cynical bastards who make its work impossible and then denounce it as failing. Let’s forget that this monumental, pioneering institution that has radically improved the health of people lucky enough to live in the UK was created at a time that made our current period of austerity seem laughably luxurious and tell people we, one of the richest countries on planet earth, cannot afford to uphold and defend the NHS’ principles, but we can afford to pay millions to leave the EU, our most important trading partner.

Governments, at least those here in the UK, speak with forked tongues. They don’t want us to smoke, but raise huge revenues on taxes on tobacco. A packet of twenty cigarettes here costs a staggering £10. They want us to be frugal, to be financially responsible, but the economy is driven by consumer spending. They want us to be healthy, to make sensible decisions about our food, yet encourage farmers to cut corners in animal husbandry, be market led, use pesticides and goodness only knows what.

Previously we were encouraged to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. That’s now been doubled. From the reaction in even serious papers like The Guardian, you’d think this was a totally outrageous, ridiculous idea. This is a fairly typical example. OMG, do I have to deny myself Diet Coke, crap food that makes me fat and is full of additives, chips, sugary cereals, and eat green vegetables? Nobody wants to do that.

Well, actually, yes, some of us do. That article left me feeling alienated; adrift even. I grew up in the UK and I love vegetables. I have always loved vegetables. I did not have to be force fed spinach/cabbage/cauliflower, they are delicious. My sister and I used to fight over the cauliflower stalk – sweet and satisfyingly crunchy, we would hover by my mother as she prepared meals waiting for the moment to pounce. My cucumber habit as a child was so strong I had to buy my own so that family would not have a cucumberless salad. I spent pocket money on mushrooms, on lettuce plants, on strawberries, peaches and apricots. Continue reading

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Pomegranate Perfection

It’s pomegranate and fig season. Oh yum. I love pomegranates. I am eating one or two every day at the moment.

Some people don’t like pomegranates. They say eating them is too fiddly. Then it turns out they are removing each seed singly with the aid of a pin. You could die of starvation before you ate the whole fruit.

The pin thing was presumably invented by someone for whom gracious table manners were more important than enjoying food.

Pomegranates are made to be enjoyed. They are not fruits to eat in company.

They are certainly not fruits to be eaten with the aid of a pin.

Preciousness and pomegranates do not mix. Consider the name, well consider it in French: grenade, as in hand grenade. Certainly not delicate; definitely not polite.

Pomegranate on a plate

Pomegranate on a plate

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In Answer to Your Comments

My apologies for not replying to your comments. Believe me I have tried. The rationing continues. If I wake in the middle of the night, as I tend to do, I shall post this then.

In the meantime; my thanks to Jan. We have supplementary questions which may earn you even more admirers: to wit, are these fungi poisonous, and how likely are we to see them in the UK? I now have a reputation to keep up. Members of the group zealously pointed out fungi to me to photograph today. I haven’t looked at the results, so they may be an out of focus blur. I don’t think I managed to catch a pic of the adder we disturbed I a sunny path. It shot away from us, and must have thought the paparazzi had turned up. It may well still be recovering. Continue reading

Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

It seems no time at all since i noticed the days were get longer, but each day it is clearer and clearer  that summer is giving way to autumn. There’s a nip in the early morning air, before the sun has got into its stride. Night descends with a thump when I’m still expecting it to be light. I know a lot of people love autumn, and I agree the colours are wonderful, but for me, spring is the best season. Continue reading