A few weeks ago, I took you on an allegorical journey from my gut to the soil. I hoped to make the point that there are many small forces that shape our world and whose impact on our lives is very often overlooked. You are breathing as you read this. We all take our autonomic breathing for granted until we can’t. The breathing happens unnoticed until it’s hard to do. Small forces, likewise, do their thing whether appreciated or not.[Read more…] about Sunflower Ramblings II
I’m not a great fan of the many named Jerusalem Artichoke. I quite like their flavour but I have the digestive challenge for which the sunroot is famed. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve been told to increase my microbiome diversity. One way, suggested in monthly newsletters, would be to add inulin to my diet. Inulin is a dietary fibre that is fermented by bacteria. It is considered a prebiotic. Many believe that prebiotics are good for gastrointestinal diversity and therefore your health. An additional bonus may be that they’d enhance calcium absorption. Inulin might therefore be good for the avoidance of osteoarthritis. It turns out that the little tubers of the sunchoke store their carbohydrate as inulin so our biomed service suggested I include them in my diet.
I was watching a viral video of a 45th President trying to persuade journalist Jonathan Swan of an anti-virus response that was ‘better than the world’. That’s when one-time boss of Salomon Brothers came to mind. He was a securities trader who traded on your mortgage without security.
Michael Lewis wrote of John Gutfreund that it ‘was easy for Gutfreund to say money didn’t matter. He paid himself more than any chief executive on Wall Street … His attitude … towards the firm changed once he had cashed in his chips. He and others ceased to view Salomon Brothers as an instrument of wealth creation and began to treat it as an instrument of power and glory, a vast playground in which they could be the bullies.’ Liar’s Poker (1989) is still worth a read (or re-read) if you want to learn more about leaders who don’t let morals get in the way of anything.
The coffee percolator was on the hob for the second time. We’d watched the morning news on two channels between 8 and 8.30 and I’d moved back to the kitchen to read the yesterday’s Irish Times newspaper. The sun was shining on the back deck, dappled through the trees that line our southern fence. Beams of light brought different items into perspective while pigeons continued their cooing. They added a base note to the unusually loud dawn chorus that started around 5 am today and were still at it. I was reading about nightingales singing in Berlin, the no malice-aforethought surge of Covid-19 in nursing homes and the obvious need to rebase existing national debt and double it. Pigeons and nightingales aside, I needed a diversion.[Read more…] about Exercise Nine
I’ve travelled rather more widely during this curfew than you might expect. It matters not that I only leave the house to walk the dog, replenish the cupboards or sometimes ferry our daughter to her hospital treatments. Even those journeys are more than most may be able to do.
My Fitbit encourages me with milestone reminders that are a disinformation of virtual comparisons. I’ve never walked the length of India or chased Monarch butterflies in migration. I suppose I have ascended to the clouds, not so often on foot as in planes. But I can’t ever wear the ruby slippers earned this time last year on a 50 km hike across the Dublin Mountains Way. That’s a walk memorialised by real effort, actual pain, wonderful exhilaration, some boredom, wind driven chill, magnificent views and the stupidity of postponed toilet breaks. And yet, here I am, writing about ‘badges’ and showing my version of them as a virtual walker’s map depicted in iPhone photo ‘badges’.[Read more…] about Creativity
France decided yesterday to stop export of medicine made in France to the European fraternité. I suppose once liberté had to be temporarily suspended, we were already on the slippery slope to the restoration of firsts among the egalité. Unfortunately Robespierre wasn’t inclined to add securité to protect from terror. And today, what was until recently only a renascent nationalism is finding its legs. I hope European solidarité notices before the Hungarian contagion supplants Covid-19.
I have heard many say the curfew is helping us become more self-sufficient. Here’s a dinner we cooked for ourselves the other night. Romano peppers stuffed with lentils, accompanied with rice and greens. The peppers recipe came from Mildreds. Oh, how we miss Mildreds! It’s not quite the same having their two cookery books but they help.[Read more…] about Chicken Shoes