Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: Dead land

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dead land

It is DRY here now. Almost the only plants left in the fields apart from some low-lying ones - marrows probably or pumpkins - are the maize plants all of them drying out - they're like country full of hollow men rattling and clacking in the wind. The local veg producers are about to take their summer break; 'nothing is growing now they say; we've nothing to sell.' Except for stuff grown hydroponically on the neighbouring dry island the green stuff has to come from the wet islands; or Spain. Here just grows agaves; you can't eat their yellow heads. In earlier times it must have been the equivalent of winter in Northern Europe; meagre pickings; root vegetables stored from the wet seasons, plus dried mais - maize - and not a whole lot else. There's the grapes of course- but they'll be picked in a week or two, and anyway they are for wine not eating. And there's the figs of course; the bloody figs. But you can get tired of figs. The locals dry theirs mostly. The fig trees have more green leaves on them this year because of the rain earlier; which makes them still more tiresome to pick.

So far Granny has made a fig and orange compote, fig preserve with star anis, fig jam with cardomum and rose water - odd but interesting. She has also made passion fruit ice cream, fig icecream, and ironed linen for up to five beds, on behalf of the scientists coming in September - she never irons them for herself and Beloved. She hopes the scientists will appreciate the extent to which the latter at least is against her principles. She hopes they will also appreciate the figs. The passion fruit icecream she will not be modest about. It is delectable.

And then there's the ongoing chicken watch. Each morning, each evening, the procession goes down. Beautiful Wimp, Tiresome Terrier, Granny, Beloved, both bearing bowls with the remains of lettuces, water melon and so forth, all of which they devour eagerly. (They are jungle fowl and like green shoots. There are no green shoots here. Beloved has to provide them.) Feline Houdini also skulks along as above, unless prevented on behalf of trapped birds; 3 turtle doves this morning. Fortunately FH for once was too interested in his breakfast to follow.

Another chicken has started laying. White eggs this time.

You can see this is not a literary week. But all of it stops Granny brooding on London, to which she is bound next week; various London friends have said 'Stay out.' But she won't.

She'll try and write about all that tomorrow. Figs, hollow men and chickens will do for now.

But you could try Tariq Ramadan's site if you you want some qood sense in the meantime

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