space provides me with a forum for writing about whatever I feel like!
You'll find here a serendipitous collection of essays on a variety of
topics, those day-to-day subjects (or sometimes more serious and profound
musings) that concern me. I have chosen to present these essays utilising
the Adobe Acrobat PDF format primarily because I consider that long
blocks of text are tedious to read on-line and so are better downloaded
to be printed and read at leisure.
Reader is ever increasingly included with system and other bundled software
as it has become an industry standard for the cross-platform exchange
of documents and information. If you don't already have Acrobat (check
your hard disk to see if it is hiding there somewhere), then you will
need to download and configure the latest version as a helper application
in your web browser. To download the free Acrobat Reader, Bookmark this
site (in order to return to it easily), then click
here to go to Adobe's Web site.
life and death drama of nature is taking place literally outside
our kitchen window before our very eyes. Some two and a half weeks
ago, a pair of mute swans nested in the marsh grass of the Exe
estuary, just two or three metres from our house wall between
us and Topsham town quay. The female has laid seven enormous eggs,
and not surprisingly, she and her consort are very proud of them.
But the struggle to survive the high spring tides is a very real
and ongoing one. By sheer coincidence, during this same time,
the Guild of Food Writers e-mail discussion list has initiated
an exchange of correspondence on eggs, which has left me feeling
rather ambivalent if not a little queasy...
39 KB / 4 pages) 17/5/99
What a glorious September it is turning out to be. This is definitely
my favourite time of the year: the morning rains we've had in
the past few days have given way to warm, lingering autumn sunshine
and the sort of weather that, elsewhere, ripens grapes and adds
an intoxicating anticipation to the harvest time to come. We visit
to Highfield Farm Shop just down the road and discover that we're
in the midst of a most fortunate glut of red peppers, sun-ripened,
sweet and densely flavoured, not insipidly crunchy like the picture-perfect
Dutch red peppers found in most supermarkets, but more like the
knobbly red peppers you get at this time of year in the South
of France, Italy or Spain. It gives me an idea...
39 KB / 4 pages)
The Place Where Flowers Grow on Water
In August 1996, we travelled to the isolated volcanic island of
Alicudi, off the north coast of Sicily, to meet my sister Michele,
her husband George and our dear Italian friends Elda, Elia, Alder
and Beppino, and to scatter in those wine-dark waters the ashes
of my mother Lori.
116 KB / 18 pages) 9/96
of the World
Our food-and-wine perambulations have taken us all over the Europe,
travelling for the last decade with our young family, Guy and
Bella, who have really had no choice in the matter. We maintain
wholeheartedly that this has been a positive and formative part
of their development and education and that the chance to taste
new cultures, sample new foods and flavours has helped to make
them what they are. Nonetheless, four-year olds don't always see
things from the same perspective as in this essay from the collection
Chico y Yo.
39 KB / 2 pages) 6/92
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