11 March 2011


Difficult to really think about anything else today other than the Tsunami which affected the entire Pacific :-(. D and I sat stunned and horrified by the footage of the water effortlessly sweeping away homes, cars, boats, with the inevitable and sickening knowledge that there are people and animals caught up in it.

How does one convey the shock and grief one feels without being derided for the safety that distance imbues in a situation like this, and without words somehow diminishing the magnitude of the disaster? You can't. I won't.

In much, much less important matters, snow is forecast (heavy at that) so gardening is of the indoor variety. Inspired by Nigel Slater in his Tender Vol 1, I am experimenting with starting rainbow chard indoors, and planting a plant or two in the garden as a perennial, rather than as per packet instrucions, which are to sow directly into the soil, and treat as an annual. Watching Masterchef last night, D was intrigued by the chard used by the guest Michelin starred chef (neither of us have tried chard before), so between that, and Nigel, I feel quite excited at the thought of growing it.

There's a sunflower seed sprouted already, it always amazes me how quickly these plants pop up. The variety is "Velvet Queen": deep crimson petals, and not a particularly tall variety, which are better suited to withstand the exposed conditions at the allotment.

Eggs today: 2. Difficult to tell which was Donalda's and which was Grizel's - surprisingly for hens of the same breed (Black Rock) and the same diet, their eggs are quite different. Donalda's are of a more round cool-beige, Grizel's a huge warm-brown and Murdina's an elongated pale, almost cream offering with distinctive rough ends. Very strange.

Today, PVFS-wise, not so good. A day on the sofa, then a nap in the afternoon, where a particularly vivid (and un-remembered) dream was interrupted by Poppy, cat, clambering all over me and waaahing to tell me it was time for her dinner! Strange thing about the fatigue stuff: I look fine (well, tired and peely-wally), so people speaking to me think I am just grand (and by default, hamming it up). And I can understand that. The reality is that I find prolonged conversations exhausting, my concentration is just woeful, and I am just unable to do anything remotely physical for any duration, to the point that I only manage to leave the house a couple of times a week for an hour at a time. It's frustrating on so many levels - I feel bad for being so self-absorbed and self-concerning when I have friends who have lives going on with stuff I should be more actively contributing to.

Anyway. Tomorrow IS a "let's go out" day. To Stirling and the Farmers' Market. It's a fantastic market, second Saturday of every month. Seafood, cheeses, various meat suppliers, veg stands, bakers, toiletries: all good local producers, and unlike some I've been to, no tat: just local farms producing good stuff. I'm looking forward to it, I do love stocking up on food - it satisfies some primal need to be secure and able to feed those I love. So we've an order in with Puddledub for pigs cheeks, and will stock up on their bacon (mmmm), and pork mince for some Nigel Slater recipes. And we'll buy oxtails for D to make the Hairy Bikers' oxtail stew, and a (free-range of course) chicken for me to make chicken pie fillings. I'm also thinking that I might make some of the lentil and butternut squash fillings for River Cottage Everyday pasties. Stuff for me to make in bursts next week and freeze for whenever. Yum :-)

"After desolation, grief brings back our humanity" (Mason Cooley)

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