Thursday, 30 January 2014

Three unrelated health thoughts

Yesterday I saw some apples in a store marked “for juicing” because they were old and wrinkly.  Apples keep through the winter of course and retain many excellent nutrients; but, just a word about Vitamin C – something I learned someplace along the journey and stashed away in my mental archive.  The Vitamin C in fruit does us good, but originally the plant had it in mind for its own consumption.  While the fruit looks plump and juicy, it still has lots of Vit C in it (well, levels vary I guess, but even so).  You can tell when the stores of Vit C are running low because the fruit starts to fade and get wrinkly.  Even writing this I wonder – is that true?  Isn’t it just the water levels diminishing?  But then again, Vit C is water soluble, so . . .  But I pass that on for your consideration.

For those of you who like herbal teas, there’s a star among teas from Organic India.  Their enterprise is wonderful anyway.  The couple who started/run it went to India to study under a spiritual teacher and stayed on.  They live in an area affected by the Green Revolution – Monsanto et al – where many of the farmers had committed suicide by drinking the pesticides that were part of the destructive package that had ruined them.  Organic India was started to bring new hope and revivify the land.  At first the farmers felt suspicious of Westerners with bright ideas, especially after their experiences hitherto, but eventually a man with just three acres was willing to give it a go – and his little farm thrived.  From that small beginning, Organic India has grown into a business bringing hope to thousands of Indian farmers and restoring health to their land.  The particular tea I love is this one.  I cannot adequately describe how light, subtle, fragrant and delicious it is.  A heavenly tea.  They sell it on Amazon.

Sometimes I like to follow the old Book of Common Prayer for my quiet time.  It starts with a confession that includes these words: “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done and done those things we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us.”  And it made me think about the connections between health and responsibility.  I mean, obviously if a landmine blows off your leg that’s not your fault; but in the daily choices we make each little thing can be a step towards health, peace and shining light.  May God bless your way today.  May you walk in the light.  xxx

Friday, 24 January 2014

Supper party

Komorebi’s first supper party.  

Afternoon peace . . .

. . . while  the kettle heats over the bioethanol flame and a pot of what we call “stuff” (!) cooks on the little stove.  

“Stuff” is a casserole of whatever vegetables we have to hand, with herbs, sometimes grains or noodles – whatever there is, but mostly vegetables.

Then friends by the fire . . . 

in the lamplit evening.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Weather and such

 Our Hebe made this very handy toasting fork.  Perfect.

Brrr!  The wind has changed direction!

In the autumn the trees and hedges loaded themselves with nuts and berries in readiness for a cold winter, and we waited to see if the wind would swing round east from its prevailing south-westerly direction to bring frost and snow – but that never happened; until today (well, maybe “yesterday” or even longer ago when you read this), January 21st.

That’s not without significance because in every case the 21st is the prediction day for the month ahead, the wind direction on the 21st being the likely prevailing wind for the next few weeks. 

So it seems our awaited winter has finally settled in, and bitter cold it’s been too.  Such a shame because, in the prematurely mild weather, the spring flowers have begun to develop – we have daffodils in bud in our garden, and ours is often late because we live at the top of the hill where the wind blows cold every year.

How glad I am of our great guardian ash trees just over the wall in the adjoining ground.  They are old, with much dead wood, and chuck down sizeable limbs that break up easily and make great kindling.

The woodstove keeps Komorebi warm and snug, but I can hear the great trawling sigh of the air breathing over the land in that particular way it always does in the deep cold, restless and foreboding.  A vast, wild, hungry, prowling sound.

But I have a tin mug of hot chocolate, a ginger biscuit, a new detective story (Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder), and a soft fluffy luxurious extra blanket on my bed, that Buzzfloyd brought me at the weekend.  Perfect.

It ought to be nice to listen to the radio too, but I find it disappointing that almost every single programme – whether drama or documentary/news – bears a tedious resemblance to eavesdropping on a row.  The favourite phrase of all the interviewers seems to be: “Ah, but . . .”


Goodnight, cold world.  May God be good to the creatures starving and shivering as frost creeps over the land.  May kindly hands leave bread and seeds for the sparrows, scraps of meat for the fox, the gull, the crow.  And a little plate of something for the badger.

P.S. I wrote this on Tuesday night; then yesterday – Wednesday – was wet but not so cold.  I was glad to light my stove at the end of the day, but no hard frost.  This morning (Thursday), I boiled the water in my tsetsubin for my early tea, and said my prayers peacefully with a hot cup of Early Grey in my hands, feeling no need to light the stove until later when the morning chores are done.  It was cold, but in a glad, bracing, welcome kind of way.  I wonder if we shall have a stretch of hard weather at all this year?