25 June 2007

Strawberries, ice cream and a fire

Fresh strawberries and ice cream. Heat on high. We happily ate our rare treat and remembered Florida, where we turned on the air conditioner to use the fireplace. Ridiculous, I know.

We still wonder why they build fireplaces in Florida. For years we mocked the whole idea. One day we decided to try it for a laugh, turned on the air, struck the match and lit the log. Gadoo, our elderly cat, sprawled inches from the flames, soaked up the heat and nearly singed her soft belly fur. We cuddled (farther back) in a comfy chair and fell asleep to Carlos Nakai playing Native American flute.

Surprisingly we don’t have a fireplace in cold, Northern UK. It’s June, and we still wear coats and gloves to go out. As I type, the wind is howling a chilly rain across our windows and the heat is on.

Once again we choose to deceive ourselves. Reminiscent of those glorious nights in front of our Florida fireplace, today we indulge—strawberries and ice cream with the heat on high.

I shan’t discuss what our punnet, in season, cost, which yielded a serving each, compared to an entire flat of strawberries bought fresh from the pickers by the roadside in Plant City, Florida. It is not a fair comparison. I won't go there.
(As Lauren on Catherine Tate famously says, “I’m above it. I’m not bovvered.”)

For those keenly interested in British strawberries, these came from Newby Farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

19 June 2007

As in the days of Noah

After a very dry Spring, the past ten days of Summer have seen nonstop rain. During that thirsty season, just before the rains came down and the floods came up, we bought a bird bath to entice more fowl into the back yard where both our office windows face. But none seem interested in a clean bath when muddy puddles abound.

A week goes by. Not a single bird. Finally, an English sparrow shows up, stands on the edge and stares, like, “What are you people thinking? I could have told you no one would come.”

But today, with only a drizzle in the air, a giant pigeon lands and nearly topples the structure over (we were expecting smaller birds, finches and such). Like the sparrow, the pigeon sits for a span, stares into the house, and says, “This is a nice perch, and after I get through you’ll have to rinse it all out for the others.”

The fake bird on the edge is apparently intended to provide the power of suggestion to the feathered community that this bath is theirs, that this yard is indeed a bird sanctuary. So far, no good. And today we noticed it’s beginning to rust. I wonder if Noah had rust issues. His troughs had to endure 40 days and 40 nights of rain. Ours has only been out two weeks.