Sunday, 27 March 2016

Odds and ends.

Crazy modern "professions": vlogger. You post your ramblings on YouTube. If it takes off and you have enough followers, then you receive payments because of the advertising that is attached to your stuff. One young man I read about had some difficulty convincing passport control at the Canadian border that vlogging was a legitimate profession. He googled himself to convince them and they let him in. He reckons he has a level of fame similar to the Beatles or One Direction and can no longer go out in his hometown without being recognised. Almost everyone in his immediate circle seems to make a living in the same way: his girlfriend, his sisters, his twin brother. I wonder what his parents do

I have often gone on about the difficulty of obtaining blackcurrant jam in Spain and having to make do with blueberry jam, in my opinion a much inferior product. Somebody writing a gardening column in the newspaper (I wonder if he vlogs as well) has been praising blackcurrants as having "a whopping 38 times more vitamin C than blueberries". He wonders of they might be the "new blueberries". I always thought that blackcurrants were here first and that blueberries were a sort of trendy but inferior replacement for them, brought in from the USA or somewhere. Vindicated!!! 

Of course, some people might prefer blueberries. I don't object to them per se. In fact, I quite like eating them fresh and I often add dried blueberries to scones and cakes. For jam, however, you really need the tang of blackcurrants. It's all a matter of taste. 

On the subject of taste, I was reading about anosmia, the technical term for having no sense of smell. People who have lost their sense of smell through some accident, usually involving a blow to the head, often feel that their whole personality has changed. A food writer, author of about twenty cookery books suffered a real feeling of lost identity. One woman watched her husband go through a bout of increasing depression until his sense of smell returned. Lose your sense of smell and you lose awareness of a lot of the world around you and, what's more, you also lose most of your sense of taste. And without that good old Proust would never have written his nostalgic memoir. 

 Apparently doctors don't take it very seriously, or at least they haven't up to now. I suppose the are worse disabilities but think of the joy that goes our of your life if you can't smell things. Think of all the occasions when food is the centre of a celebration. However, there is a help group called Fifth Sense, established by an anosmia sufferer. 

Meanwhile, Easter in the Northwest of England is proving to be a mixed bag weatherwise. Some time ago the weather gurus promised us really nice weather over Easter. They quickly changed their minds and now it seems that another named storm, Katie this time, is on its way. So my plan is to cheer everyone up with food. that usually works. provided they can taste it.

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