To follow him, go to his new website
Ben is in the last steps of preparation for his great trek- or bike ride. Yesterday he told his soon-to-be-ex bosses. They wanted him to stay, offered him inducements, but he's going.
To follow him, go to his new website
Piers was older on Friday- but he hasn't yet reached 40. Cara and Reuben came for the weekend, and of course Ben was here already so we had a fairly full house. We had a now traditional Take Out Chinese/Indian meal together. We gave Piers (at Sarah's suggestion) a flag pole . Now you can all give him flags to raise for every day and every occasion:-- he will install it at the entrance to his Nursery.
Hannah is less old (than Piers) today
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANNAH
we hope you have a lovely day and only wish there was a magic tram line between New York and Brookend so you and Dan and Gabe (and Erez when he's back) could be instantly transported to join us. We miss you.
This was us in 1980...together with my dad and Katherine and Crispin- who didn't win an Oscar yesterday but must have had an amazing night.
Yesterday we were looking out of our window at the green field on the other side of the river and noticed that a woman was sitting beside a lying horse and a land rover was driving across the field towards them.
A couple of men, including our neighbour, got out and walked towards them. The woman put her arms around the horse and then, as the man stood in front of it, it struggled to its feet. The man stood in front of the horse, took out a gun, pointed it at the centre of the horse's forehead and killed it.
The sound of the shot thudded over the field and we felt it inside our house.
The horse tumbled, instantly dead. The woman sat down with it and cradled its head in her arms for a few minutes.
It was a huge shock.
It's not part of our daily lives, violent death. I thought of taking a photograph of the horse which was then dragged across the field to a waiting trailer. But it seemed intrusive so I didn't.
But it dovetails with all the discussion about horsemeat which we have on the news all the time. First of all I don't understand why people are so exercised about eating horse- if they eat beef and lamb why not horse? (That horse , I assume, will go to the Hunt kennels where fallen animals are boiled up and fed to the hounds)
The scandal is not horsemeat but the way meat is super processed in an unaccountable, untraceable way. We have for a long time refused to eat ham which looks innocuous but is, when you read the label "formed ham" which means it is scoured from pickings at the slaughterhouse and the scrapings at food processing places. It is a horrid mixture cemented with gel and dyed to look ham-pink. And mostly it tastes horrible and synthetic.
No the problem is really should we be eating meat at all. I don't think we should. I like cows, enjoy lambs and sheep and watched with pleasure a herd of goats which spent last summer in the same field over the river but which disappeared one morning to be turned into Halal meat, each one to be strung up with a cut throat dying slowly as it blood drained.
I want to be a vegetarian but I still can blank off my mind about the connection between meat and creatures. Yesterday we had roast beef. It smelled and tasted wonderful. Somewhere, last month, someone killed that bullock like someone killed the horse yesterday but no one cuddled it before or after death. How do we llive with that?
btw the horse was 38 years old and had been "retired" for the last 10 years. I talked to its owner, it had evidenlty been in great pain and she had to make the hard decision to have it shot it or to kill it by injection, She was of course grief stricken.
Unremitting horrible dull weather. Unremitting dull horrible life. It was great when we had weddings and Christmas and Egypt to plan for but nothing is immediate now. There are two weddings coming up- Zoe and Ben and Toby and Samantha. And we are going away for a weekend to Devon in April. Ben will be back this week but he is bound to be glum about leaving Brazil and coming back to dull, grey, damp, cold, England. Maybe it is time to move , our house is too big for just the two of us and we crouch in 16 layers of clothes with a blanket rather than use oil to heat the whole house during the day time.
We have too much stuff...my mother's Limoges doorplates are on ebay. Oxfam receives daily visits from us with excess clothes, things, books. Do we really need books? records? photographs? Everything can be digitalised. I have finally offered my two last pcs on freecycle and am stripping off all the files-- all the things you forget! all the business you have done which passes on to historical oblivion but which seemed so critical at the time. References for people who have moved away, complaints about items long forgotten. Agendas for meetings and more meetings and more meetings. What is it all about? I think, after all, it is actually all about the people you know and love and your interaction with them, whether over a bottle of wine, a pack of cards, a good meal or a shared experience.
this sounds very serious but it's not really. We know life is good, it's just winter and bloody awful weather.