||[Mar. 7th, 2018|04:32 pm]
- 1. Coughing
- I thought I was over this wretched cold, but since we went swimming yesterday, I have been coughing again. It seems unfair that organising ourselves to take some healthy exercise - first time swimming in a couple of weeks, what with one thing and another - should result in my feeling less well. (I exaggerate, of course. The cough is only intermittent, and it isn't painful - but it is irritating).
- 2. Thawing
- We parked, as is our habit, just across the river from the pool. The water is high and fast moving: still within its banks, though we wondered how long that would last. The geese who live on a grassy hummock at the water's edge had taken refuge at the top of the bank, just below the patio of the Passport Office. Returning after our swim we thought that if anything the water level had fallen slightly, and were surprised - but the heaps of snow are smaller today than they were yesterday, and the real test is what happens when it thaws up the dale...
- 3. Cooking
- I bought two bergamots from Waitrose, last time I ordered online - I've never been offered bergamots before, so how could I resist? Two citrus fruits, about the size of a medium orange, greenish yellow, what do do with them? In the end I made a version of Josceline Dimbleby's 'Canary cake' (a flourless almond sponge soaked in an orange syrup): adding the zest to the cake mixture and making the syrup from the juice and a little honey. The two fruits in their packaging were completely inert, but as soon as the zester bit into the skin there was the unmistakable spritz of Earl Grey tea. The juice was sharper than orange, but again, that distinctive flavour. I'd buy more of those...
Meanwhile, I have some pink onions: not the genuine Roscoff variety, these were grown in Essex, but a chance to try out the recipe leaflet I picked up at the 'Maison des Johnnies'.
- 4. Remembering
- The Guardian's 'How we Made' feature talks to the artist and designer behind the poppy installation at the Tower of London. I wish I had seen that: I love the idea of it, and the details in the article are very moving, but you can't really talk about art without actually seeing it (well, I can't, and I don't think you should). So I was pleased to see, at the foot of the article, that there will be a national tour of the Weeping Window section of the work (I'd have loved to see that in Kirkwall during the Battle of Jutland commemorations, but we were committed elsewhere). The nearest it will come is Carlisle, which is not impossible, despite the less than ideal dates.
- 5. A message in a bottle
- The world's oldest message in a bottle has been found on a beach in Western Australia by a couple who thought it might "look good on a bookshelf".
Alternative title: "quibbling". This is not the story of a bottle employed to carry a message, it's the story of a message added to make it possible to track a bottle - not communication, but mapping. The bottle was thrown overboard in 1886 as part of a German experiment to track ocean currents; hundreds of bottles from this experiment have already been found, but none since 1934. I think this means that this latest find is the oldest message in a bottle by a margin of a quarter of a century, not because its older but because it took longer to find it. It's still a very cool thing to find.
This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.