Friday, July 29

I wore emerald silk

to attend the festival

looking around the market area there was a table piled with old costume jewellery which I picked through and found some earrings to go with my favourite daisy necklace (which I was wearing as you can see from this picture taken near the best food stand)

The jewellery seller sidled up, looked at me and then at the earrings I'd chosen and said approvingly  

Ah yes, I can see that you're a fan of early plastic

Other things

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Thursday, July 28

Vine leaves were the biggest challenge

I live near Turkish supermarkets and various sorts of hippy shops and imagined these to be the least of my problems but it appears that Bristol is experiencing a World Leaf Shortage (and I needneedneed them for WOMAD see my post from two days ago)

I returned home leafless to meet the new electrician who arrived before I'd had time to clean the grease off the broken kitchen light that I hoped he could fix

at peak panic a chum appeared and we both busily phoned potential vine-leaf vendors while watching time running out on shop-opening hours

at the latest moment a leaf supplier was discovered and the person with a bike had to cycle to the other side of the city to buy pickled foliage while I washed my embarrassing light fitting and made tea for the electrician

Tuesday, July 26

A naked man was in the road

two doors down from the friend I was visiting this evening

it was raining so I wondered if he was making the most of the free water but then I saw the mattress wedged half-in-half-out of the open front doorway of the house - maybe it was throwing him out for being unfaithful

he saw me looking at him and said

I forgot to put it out earlier

Monday, July 25

to make Kale crisps

tear up dry raw pieces of kale leaf without any stem, rub them over LIGHTLY with nice oil and lay the pieces out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake in a moderate oven for about 5 minutes.   When you remove them from the oven you must EAT THEM INSTANTLY they are delicious for precisely 30 seconds ... at 31 seconds they are foul

I'm all about food this week

WOMAD starts on Thursday - this is the 10th year that I will be shopping, chopping and hopping around for this musical food event

This year's big challenge has been to find a ewe's cheese like one used in Romania to make a rustic dish called Shut-up-and-swallow. I am also looking for live clams, garden eggs and several shades of yellow/green plantain

three years ago Babylon Circus made this film about their experience of Taste the World

*if you click the 'womad' tag below all previous posts on this annual extravaganza will appear

Saturday, July 23

The Man cycles to the pub on Friday nights

he meets other people there, they drink pints, talk about car engines and catastrophise about Brexit

today he told me about the previous evening and said that he thought that his daughter might eventually want to join in on the Friday night pub merriment

why do you think that?

well I asked her along and she gave an excuse rather than just said no - it'll probably take a couple of years before she does though

Friday, July 22

An abandoned steel chair frame

arrived at our house 5 years ago

I gave it an new coat of red electrical wire  which faded and became saggy and sad 

luckily i was recently given a few miles of knicker elastic by the underwear factory down the road  - chair is refreshed

Thursday, July 21

Doloresand I visited the river today

She produced special oily ham from Spain and I supplied a pair of pears. We ate our picnic listening to a roaring weir and squealing children then I picked my way into the river for my first dip this year.

Wednesday, July 20

from the end of the garden I could smell hot jam

and figured that my neighbours must be processing some of their abundant fruit.

then I remembered that I had put plums on the stove to stew - the burning jam smell was coming from my kitchen ... 

Friday, July 15

Kale Mountain

I'd photograph it but the pile of vegetation arriving from next door has got to the point that I can no longer push my way into the kitchen, there's also lettuces, raspberries and a cabbage the size of a big man's head

In Other News

I've been scraping the rust off my Spanish - listening to Spanish radio through the computer and language exchanging with Dolores - in this dayandage we should be able to meet in a clinic, have wires attached to our heads and download each others language files but unfortunately we are still poor so we meet every day for one hour: Spanish on Monday, English on Tuesday and so on for ever until one of us leaves the country.

Tuesday, July 12

So I made a gooseberry ice-cream

but I can't get it in the freezer because it's full of the wool that I've been hiding from the moths

so I haven't actually made ice cream at this point - just a sort of cold fool!

Monday, July 11


arrived on my doorstep today, plus raspberries so soft that I have already squashed them into some cream and dates for my tea

Saturday, July 9

While I was in Wales

the Man started putting out food for Mrs Bird. 

I was hanging out clothes this afternoon and she came hopping around near my feet - the Man said

she wants blueberries

I put some blueberries out on a plate

no you have to cut them up, she likes them quartered

I did this then turned my back to do some other chores, when I looked back at the plate the berries were so cleanly gone that I was sure that it must've been the Man eating them and pretending - like he used to do the Tooth Fairy. He came out behind me and looked at the clean plate

she likes some cheese after blueberries - shave a little Parmesan for her

It's like Santa Claus all over again

Friday, July 8

I was in Wales

and seeing a tiny charity shop, I went inside, it was crammed full of the sort of items that might be left after a garage sale had finished, all piled in that way that the removal of one thing will bring an avalanche of plastic beakers, blankets and jigsaw boxes down on the large woman on the sofa in the middle of the jumble who was staring at me

then a cross woman came in

My daughter's just bin yer, she bought these curtains off you and she wishes she never 'ad - she wanted plain and these are patterned and they don't suit 'er room at all - will you change 'em?

sofa lady indicated the other two curtains available - a single stained shiny boudoir curtain and a torn stewed-gooseberry throw. Curtain lady and I dos y doed in order that she could get into position, inspect them properly and decide which would look better in her daughter's room.

I'm nuturing a growing obsession

with bacteria - the more I read about them the more I love mine. Ten days ago the dentist made me drink a suicide cocktail of antibiotics and I've spent the intervening days growing a replacement microbe population.

In scientific experiments, lack of gut bacteria makes mice unhappy and listless - they won't bother swimming to safety and that definitely happened to me - I too forgot how to swim to safety without my biome.

This enthusiasm for all things bacterial might not be making me the best company at parties - best avoid me until I'm past the honeymoon phase of this particular relationship.

In Other News

Summer popped briefly in to the UK last month - then we had a referendum - Summer buggered off leaving Squally Showers to punish us for being pillocks.

Our political landscape has become a surreal farce with various overgrown schoolboys running away to hide behind their mother's aprons while peeping out to point and laugh at the Punch and Judy show going on in the Labour party. Our next Prime Minister will be one awful woman or another awful woman, which might be better than a series of awful men - but not much.

A Happy Thing

Mrs Bird still  pops in to nitpick about the state of our kitchen

Saturday, July 2

is there a word for the opposite of talent?

Inabilities doesn't seem right I want to call it 'anti-talents' which might be an infection caught from a year in academia where making up words is de rigueur

Friday, July 1

my gum is stitched up

the wrist magically normal again

I paid my mother-in-law a visit - her back is bad and household chores are accumulating.

The job that most needed tackling turned out to be ironing - it didn't seem fair to mention that I'm the world's worst ironiste so I got started ...  

After a while we decided that I might be more usefully employed in the garden.

So that I wouldn't feel bad about the ironing, mother-in-law listed the two other people (both children) who are worse at ironing than me.

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