A slice of life

ILTV tagged me weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy to finish. Sorry, darling. I couldn’t leave it another ten days until I come home again, so here we are…

“players – you must list one fact, word or titbit which is somehow relevant
to your life for each letter of your name”

She kindly gave me the option of my long or short name, but one letter would give a Z-fact too much
significance, so I’ve gone for the full razorblade. I thought of using my own name, but O and E are quite stinky
letters too, so I needed a few more to flesh it out a bit.

Right. Razorblade

Rivers. I love being by or on the water. On the bank or in a dinghy, watching the wildlife and enjoying the air. I grew up messing about in boats but was never drawn to sailing or to motors. I don’t particularly need to get anywhere and I don’t want to make a noise and scare away the creatures.

Artichokes. Globe artichokes, that is, because I love messy vegetables that have to be eaten with the fingers, such as asparagus, corn on the cob, samphire … I’m probably better not watched as it may be quite yukky to look at. I pick the artichoke and tap it on a post to shake out earwigs. Then rinse thoroughly, gather up the rest of the earwigs and let them go and boil until the scales can be pulled out. A happy ten minutes ensues as I pull out each scale, dip it in butter and scrape the flesh off with my teeth. Then scrape away the choke to leave the gorgeous treat of the heart.

Zorro. When I grew up there was much derring do in children’s television programmes. William Tell, Robin Hood and Zorro. He left his mark at the scene of his deeds, by slashing three marks with his sword to make a Z. Sadly, I identified with this no end. I still like having a name which starts with a Z.

Ox-eye daisy, because I like wild flowers best.

R – the Sage’s name starts with the letter R. I’ve known him for more than two-thirds of my life. I’ve been married to him for more than three decades. He’s lovely.

Books, because they have been, at some times, vital to me. I lived through books at one time, and thought that any time spent not reading was wasted. I’d keep, as a child, a book at the foot of the stairs so that I would have something to do on the way up. One in the upstairs loo and one downstairs, one by my bed, a couple more on the go about the house. I read at least one book every day. Except the downstairs lavatory one, because it was a bit cold and dark there. Plato’s Republic lasted me a good couple of years there, as I only read a page or two at a time.

Laziness. The ability to relax without guilt is a vital part of me. I’ll work hard if there’s work to be done, but I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing nothing at all. Some years ago, in the Yuppy era, people used to boast about how they were so busy that they never had time for themselves. I need time for myself, and to myself as well.

Antiques. I’ve hardly ever bought any new furniture. Beds are new, although we used to have a splendid old half-tester bed which I liked very much as it was high and you had to climb up to bed. It was too tall for our bedroom here and we sold it. Our dining table is one we had made from some rather wonderful oak planks, with legs from an oak tree which fell down in 1988 (all the trees around it had gone in the 1987 gale and it must have felt exposed) Otherwise, all old. And mostly a bit scruffy. Like me and the Sage.

Dogs. I’m more of a dog than a person at heart.

Englishness. Oh, I’m so English. I couldn’t live anywhere else.

21 comments on “A slice of life

  1. Dave

    ‘gather up the rest of the earwigs and let them go and boil until the scales can be pulled out’.

    I wasn’t aware until I read this post that earwigs had scales. How educational this blogging thing is.

  2. Z

    Dave, you have got in there nicely before Dandelion. Well done. Fortunately I’m going away in an hour and your eye will no longer be assailed by my appalling lack of command of the language.

    I let the earwigs go, which removes the ambiguity, although the sentence could have been better phrased.

  3. dharmabum

    hey z, this was so much fun to read. thanks for sharing.

    artichokes – whatever they are, simply loved your description. and no, being indian, i didn’t find it a wee bit yukky. we eat with our fingers, and i don’t think indian food tastes half as good when eaten with spoons or forks 🙂

    we don’t have too many rivers down south – with scanty rain, and encroachments, rivers would soon become a rarity here. sad, but true.

  4. A wildlife gardener

    Great post, z, loved reading it. Each letter presented a vivid picture, though I have to imagine Sage. I was salivating thinking of those artichokes…only two of mine came to a decent size for boiling this year. Enjoyed the end as well when you said you couldn’t live anywhere else. I feel that way about Scotland. We’re just back from three weeks in China, but, east, west, home’s best!

  5. I, like the view

    what a wonderful wonderful piece of writing!!

    mouthwatering and relaxing and enjoyable and stimulating with a little bot of derrying-do thrown in for good measure

    hope you had fab hols


  6. Z

    Kim, I remember being really quite irritated by the book, which must show there is nothing of the philosopher in me. Nitpicking arguments and pointscoring is all that I remember after all this time – maybe it’s time to revisit.

    Boy, not you too! Have I ever said one word about your charmingly idiosyncratic spelling?

    Thank you all for your comments. And yes, I had a lovely holiday. Dharma, I agree with you about eating Indian food with your fingers, it tastes far better that way and blends right too.

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