Friday, 25 March 2022

Sunshine. Wild garlic. Trends. Language difficulty. Image creation.

Amazingly, the fine weather continues. No doubt there will be complaints about drought before long! We need something to moan about. In the meantime, I have been out and about in the sunshine, I have done a pile of washing, as you do when the weather is good, and now have a line full of stuff drying nicely in the sunshine. 

Along one stretch of my usual running route there is a section which fills up with wild garlic every year at around this time. Last year I came across someone digging some up to put in her garden. She gave me a few plants to take away with me, warning me to put them in a pot as otherwise my garden would be full of wild garlic before you could say “wild garlic pesto”. I followed her advice, the plants grew nicely, I used the odd leaf in various recipes and eventually the plants died off. I thought that was the end of them but this year they appear to be back in the same plant pot. The wonders of nature!

According to this article the town of Lostwithiel in Cornwall is having problems with people coming into the area and picking so much of their wild garlic that the lanes look as though they have been ravaged. Mostly they seem to be connected with restaurants and the like and are collecting the stuff to make large amounts of wild garlic pesto. One young man, when asked where he was from, admitted to coming from nearby Bodmin, where they had already “ruined” their local supply! It’s weird how trends in food come and go, just as in the world of fashion and entertainment.

One such thing is the fuss that was made when Colin Firth played Mr D’Arcy in the BBC production of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. This was back in 1995 and I remember the daughter of a friend of mine asking if I was as dotty about Mr D’Arcy as her mother was. Well, no, actually I wasn’t. It took me a long time to become even a moderate Jane Austen fan and I really wasn’t interested enough to watch the series. Besides, the scene everyone went bonkers about, where Colin Firth emerged from a lake with a soaking wet shirt, didn’t even come from the novel. Mr D’Arcy was much too stiff and conventional to do such things and the scene was invented for the series, presumably to show of Mr Firth’s physique. 

Anyway, it seems that there is to be an exhibition of clothing at Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire, an exhibition that is supposedly focussing on the kind of underwear ladies wore in Jane Austen’s time. But for some reason the famous shirt is to be included in the exhibition. The curator Sophie Reynolds said she was sure Austen fans would be thrilled to see the shirt, which has spent most of the years since in the hands of a professional costume company. “I think people will be excited to see it in the flesh and hopefully no one will go up and hug it,” she said. Okay! Fashion and fans are strange things.

On more serious matters, I read that there is a problem for people in the UK volunteering to host Ukrainian refugees: the website for the resettlement scheme has forms for Ukrainians to complete, forms which appear only in English! So Ukrainian refugees, with limited access to the internet anyway, need to have the forms translated. Now, I know there’s a myth that “everyone” speaks English but it’s really not so. Ukrainian is not a language commonly taught in UK schools but there are old established Ukrainian communities in the UK. Surely they would be able to provide translations! The mind boggles!

Last night BBC’s Newsnight had an interview with Mr. Johnson. I didn’t catch all of it but ai did hear our PM talk about “so fortifying the quills of the Ukrainian porcupine as to make it indigestible to the Russians.” Or words to that effect. I long ago grew weary of government by metaphor and now there is comment by metaphor as well. 

I also grow weary of politicians, especially rhe ones who are personally very wealthy, taking photo opportunites to make themselves look like “ordinary people”. The latest was Rishi Sunak filmed filling up his car at a service station, presumably publicising his cut to fuel duty, which does not in fact help those many people who don’t own a car! I need my politicians to understand ordinary people but no to pretend that they are just like those ordinary people.

Oh boy!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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