Sunday, April 19, 2009

19/04/09 Our friend the pig ...

I note that in previous mails, I've completely forgotten our adventures with a pig. It started back in February, when I arrived home after work to find our kitchen table groaning under the weight of four or five boxes full of bits of the said animal (dead, let me assure you). Shoulder, chops, various unidentified bits, a liver and a whole ham. Much of it is now in the different freezers around the place, I made haste to make an enormous paté campagnarde with the liver, and the ham is now hanging solemnly in one of the cellars: should be ready by June. Unless, of course, I got the salting wrong and bits of it start turning blue and dropping off, which would be a shame - no signs of that yet, luckily.

The paté was an unreserved success, unfortunately the freezers are still full to overflowing so it's rather lucky that BBQ weather has arrived and the pork chops and stuff should get eaten. First BBQ of the season on Monday, good old tandoori chicken - had six legs so did the lot and just as well - Jeremy had a friend, Joyce (male, should you be wondering) around, same scale as he but a few extra centimetres in height, and he managed to eat three. Godnose where it all goes.

Malyon is extremely happy, having found a job and a flat (not necessarily in that order). The flat's just a few minutes walk from the uni, which is a definite advantage on the student residence, and at least she'll no longer be sharing with yoof what think that elementary/alimentary hygiene is something that happens to other people. And it's cheaper too, which has to be good.

The job is apparently as a telephone answering machine: she thinks it's pretty crap but it does pay £50 per day in cash, apparently - not as good as walking the streets but a lot easier on the back.

I have recently discovered that I are eeyore, at least according to little Lucas from next door. He's not yet old enough to comfortably wrap his tongue (and palette, and all the other organs we use for speech production) around too many consonants, and so "Trevor" becomes "eeyore". Cute. I have not yet exterminated him, still pondering the question.

Last weekend, being the 11th or somesuch, and having heard reports of small animals and children going missing in mysterious circumstances, I donned the armour of righteousness (the rather holey cut-down jean shorts that are held together by sweat and faith) and took the flaming sword of whatever-it-is in my hand (cigar actually, sorry to disappoint you but there you are) and went down to mow the lawn. Somewhat to my dismay the lawnmower, which has lived down there under the shade of the tilleul for the last four years with nary a hint of maintenance, started up with the first pull on the cord (OK, I did have to put some gas in, can't expect everything) so I felt rather obliged to continue with the massacre. Took me about 90 minutes, which is rather over par, and I was covered in grass soup when it was all done, but at least we know that Spring is here. By the buzzing of lawnmowers on Saturday afternoons shall ye know them...

Was still feeling a bit stiff after all that effort when, on Tuesday night, I decided in a fit of enthusiasm to rush up the stairs in socks. (Cue a Health & Safety warning video on the dangers of doing this.) Foot at the bottom went too far on the step, foot at the top missed the next step, next thing you know I'm falling a metre flat on my back to land directly with the coccyx on the concrete and, 30ms later, the skull doing the same thing. Mind you, as that's mostly empty, it hurt a lot less. I'm still walking with caution, and paying attention when I bend over, but I don't seem to have actually broken anything. Luckily the boys (see below) were in bed or watching something unmentionable on TV: I'd have felt really guilty had they heard some of the words I used. When I felt in a fit state to use them.

Anyway, being as what we've just ended the Easter holidays, we had three boys for a couple of days: Jeremy (can't seem to get rid of him), the abovementioned Joyce, and a Lucas (one of a number, we really shoud index them or something for easy recognition). I wasn't warned that they'd be staying over for a second night but happily I'd got a reasonably-sized chicken for dinner: it disappeared. I think Joyce actually hoovered the carcasse, to make sure nothing was left.

Unfortunately, although it is the season, there are no morilles. Too dry. You cannot imagine what a bummer this is. No chicken in cream sauce with morilles this year. So any of you who were planning on turning up for a little culinary treat can think again. On the bright side, there should be plenty of wood strawberries, and it did not snow just after the apricot flowered so we might even get a few apricots this year - until they get attacked by blight or mildew before being devoured by hordes of ravenous millipedes. One thing for sure is that we ourselves will not get to eat any of them.

Okay, back to school for Jeremy tomorrow, which means getting up at an unnameable hour to get him down to the train station. Which incidentally means that I'm going to bed.


PS: downloaded and watched the first episode of "Diplomatic Immunity" - personally I thought it was quite funny. Is that bad? And why are there no further episodes up on Rapidshare? Oh, and you probably really should watch "Better Off Ted". And "Krod Mandoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire", while you're at it. You'll thank me for it one day.

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