I looked at the sleety rain falling first thing this morning and decided to forego my morning run and do some yoga indoors instead. Later Facebook reminded me that several years ago on this date I had posted something about going out into the wind and wet. So my younger self was obviously braver and more determined or more stupid and foolhardy, depending on your point of view, than the current me.
Still waiting for the forecast snowmageddon to arrive, I realised late in the morning that I was going to have to go out and into the town centre for a couple of things. Fortunately just as I was about to set off for the bus my daughter rang to say she was on her way back from some kind of baby class (baby massage, baby sensory development or something of that kind - she is thoroughly enjoying her maternity leave and taking part in all sorts of stuff of this nature) and asked if it was all right to pop in for a cuppa. So I persuaded her to pick me up at the bus stop and accompany me to town. Inevitably this involved my paying for a couple of items for her but, hey, isn't that what retired parents with a reasonable pension are for? At some point in the future she can pay for stuff for me. What goes around comes around!
Going around was what we did. As the weather is decidedly inclement we opted for the shopping centre carpark rather than one which would involve our walking through the wet and windy stuff. It's a while since we have been to that carpark, probably a few years in fact, and in the interim the tram system has come through the town centre, causing havoc with the one-way system. Two grown-up people ended up driving round the whole of the centre at least one and a half times before we found the carpark entrance. So it goes!
Having returned with my purchases, I took a look at the papers online and found celebrity chef Jay Rayner, possibly one of the most down to earth of his type, having a little rant about food fads. This is what he had to say about gluten-related stuff: "People claiming to be gluten intolerant still make me want to hit things. You’re not gluten intolerant. That bloated feeling you have when you eat too much bread is because you’ve eaten too much bread. Stop it. You’re just a picky eater trying to control the world around you through food and, in the process, making life harder for people who are genuinely coeliac." Quite so!
How refreshing to have someone pointing out that pasteurised milk is really a good thing and that it is pretty silly to talk about transporting seawater to pizza-making places, a practice that is supposed to make pizza taste better! Who knew that? He went on a bit about different types of sugar as well: the bottom line is that too much sugar of any kind is going to be bad for you.
I would consider adding to his list of things to get annoyed about health-food shops selling in their range of "healthy" snacks chocolate covered nuts and raisins, something I saw recently. Nuts and raisins, yes, ok, but why do they need to be chocolate covered. You might as well just buy a fruit and nut chocolate bar!
And then I came across a story about a rabbit enthusiast, Dorota Trec, accused of animal cruelty for "hoarding" 176 rabbits on a vacant lot in Brooklyn. It all began with one pet rabbit, Snowflake. “By having this one rabbit for 10 years, I noticed how special rabbits are,” she says. “They are really outstanding and cannot even compare to dogs and cats. The day he died [in 2010], I realized that not only did I miss him as a friend, but something clicked in me: I’m a rabbit girl and that I will have rabbits forever.” Ms Trec had found her destiny and she started rescuing rabbits from butchers and slaughterhouses. She tried to keep male and female rabbits separate. Really!? How optimistic was she? Inevitably they bred like, well, like rabbits.
The local community took an interest and people used to go and visit her "sanctuary".
When a local paper ran a story about her rabbits, it drew the attention of Natalie Reeves, an attorney and founder of the Big Apple Bunnies rabbit advocacy Facebook group. (Is there really such a thing as Big Apple Bunnies rabbit advocacy?) And that was that. Investigation followed and Dorota Trec faces the possibility of two years in prison.
Now, I would never hurt an animal but really, I ask you, are there not more important things to get worked up about? Some would say that both Dorota Trec and Natalie Reeves should get out more.
And snowmageddon has still not arrived!