My seedlings are coming up, all looking indiscriminate and weed-like, but we shall see. Since reading the brilliant Richard Mabey’s tribute Weeds, I am deeply sympathetic to weeds and try to find places where they can grow happily and where they will not be mistaken for something edible or become rampantly invasive. An hour or so ago I moved the pots out of a fierce wind and watered everything, hoping the seedlings, weeds and all, survive.
Finishing off a chapter and fact-checking with some trepidation, peering at scribbled interview notes. Tomorrow a garden worker is coming around to clear a drainage ditch for weekly irrigation water and I shall give him a sturdy and hopefully delicious meatloaf for lunch. I’ve always wanted to experiment with a vegetarian lentil meatloaf, but this may not be the occasion, since stewed lentils are not the happiest of discoveries for those expecting the taste of red meat. So lean beef or lamb mince it will be, and an Italian-style meatloaf with a good tomato passata. crumbled sourdough bread, handfuls of chopped parsley, onion, garlic, fresh Portabello mushrooms, Bacon or pancetta? Grated Parmesan? At what point does meatloaf stop being meatloaf and become an elaborate terrine?
A forum poster mentioned the American writer and daredevil Jack London, who may or may not have been alcoholic (the difficulty of projecting contemporary social labels onto historical contexts), and I came across a startling quotation from him, the nature of alcoholism from the inside
“I was carrying a beautiful alcoholic conflagration around with me. The thing fed on its own heat and flamed the fiercer. There was no time, in all my waking time, that I didn’t want a drink. I began to anticipate the completion of my daily thousand words by taking a drink when only five hundred words were written. It was not long until I prefaced the beginning of the thousand words with a drink.”