Monday, 19 December 2011

Improved Creativity

One of the many reasons we moved here was to spend more time creating things. Too many evenings spent watching TV in the UK had left us feeling as though life was passing us by.

In Galicia we still have the TV but only for playing DVDs. We spend much more time playing cards and chatting together. Tim plays his guitar whilst I wail along, frightening the dogs. We have resurrected board games which get very competitive and staring at the wood fire whilst sipping wine in silence is a very nice way of passing the time.

Now Tim has a few weeks off he has decided to put one of his novels on Amazon for the kindle. Shortly to be followed by the rest as he transcribes them from scanned paper copies (The Mac died with all of his work on it). In his heart he is a writer and poet, and always has been. Its strange how people get identified by the jobs they do (Computer Programmer in Tims case) and yet so often there are secret urges buried within. Since coming out here Tim has started on his 4th novel, the first book he has written since we met. He may never be famous or rich but the act of creation is the most fulfilling. Else why are we here at all?

For those that are interested, you can find it here:

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Friends or Lunch?

Can you be friends with your Lunch?

As soon as you start to kill and eat your own meat some soul searching is bound to be involved. Before we came here we had never deliberately killed anything (except for the frog which I mercy killed with a brick as a child, my cat had eaten both of its legs -  the experience still haunts me).

Tim and I are very fond of our livestock but we try not to name those that are destined for the pot. Because we care we try to make the death process as quick and painless as we can. We also give them the best life we can offer. They are all free range, given the company of their own kind and fed well. We also give them the longest lifespan we can without making them inedible (Beta Drake was 9 months old before slaughter).

When I killed my first chicken earlier this year I really considered vegetarianism as an option, slaughter is not a 'nice' thing to do. After some thought I have decided that I am happy to eat meat as long as the animal has not suffered unduly. Our animals certainly live a better life than animals in the factory systems so beloved of the western style supermarkets.

So to answer my own question, yes, I am friends with the animals that I intend to eat for lunch. This allows me to meet their needs in the best way possible and I can show them respect both in life and death.

Friday, 2 December 2011

A Homemade Yule

It occurred to me today that this coming Yule will hopefully be more home made than previous celebrations. We have our own goose in the freezer (thank you Daisy), chipolatas from my pigs, vegetables and herbs in the garden and I hope to make my own cake and pudding. Custard will be made using my own eggs and the mincemeat, and stuffing will have local ingredients including dried mushrooms from our fields.

There is something rather special about home made goods, time and effort goes into them which adds to the tastiness and the sense of a special day. Somehow supermarket mass produced goods miss the whole point of a celebration. The variables produced by human intervention are to be cherished. I hope that Tim will bear that in mind as he samples my variables. Next year who knows what we will have produced.... our own goats cream with the pudding perhaps, or a home cured jamon.

There will of course be the most important home made ingredient, plenty of love and good wishes all round,I can hardly wait...............