Sunday, August 21, 2005

Vacation update 1: veg and walks

I'm sitting in my lovely garden, which needs some tidying, enjoying a brief glimmer of English sunshine. I spent a lot of time yesterday tidying my blog site too so do take a look.

Me and the Vol in Law also spent some time walking in Richmond Deer Park yesterday. The park is huge and if you wander around a bit you can get quite a decent walk in. We saw lots of deer (they don't call it the deer park for nothin') and we also saw some magpies on the deer grazing for insects.

I'd never heard of this kind of behaviour and I'd never seen it either. Magpies are beautiful black and white birds with blue dashes on their wings but they're seen here as some kind of suburban rubbish bird that are large and brash and will hog the bird feeder frightening off more desirable birds. Many British people find it hard to believe that I like magpies, but they also can't credit that mockingbirds can be a real pain if they take to dive bombing you. They only know that Gregory Peck and Harper Lee say that it's a sin to kill one.

We had planned to finish our walk in time to get to the swanky butchers in Wimbledon, but we discovered at 4:15 that they close at 4 on Saturday not 5. So no meat for us.

That's ok, we said. We'll have a vegetarian dinner. We had plenty of vegetables because we received on Friday the first of a weekly delivery of organic fruit and vegetables. Organic vegetable box schemes are all the rage here. Basically some company (staffed entirely, I imagine, by grungy, weedy Green Party voters) picks out a selection of vegetables for you and delivers them to your door. The idea is that it will force you to eat more vegetables because you have so many to hand and that you'll try new and different stuff.. Of course the other idea is that it's all organic and tastier and healthier, an idea I don't totally buy into, but there don't seem to be any non organic schemes.

We've already cancelled our order after one week. I suppose I imagined heaps of home grown vegetables fresh from the garden, sort of like the sackloads of yellow squash, corn and tomatoes shoved at you by overenthusiastic gardeners in the church parking lot after services on any given Sunday in the summer in Tennessee. But instead it was a paltry collection of limp broccoli withered green beans and peaches that went to rot in less than 24 hours. What we ate quickly was good and I'm still planning to make some coleslaw out of the cabbage and carrots we got, but I just didn't think it was good value for money.

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