Monday, 31 March 2014


I am often tempted to buy a whole Octopus when I see them on my fish merchant's slab, but the 3 hour cooking time is slightly off-putting.

The easiest way for me to obtain my occasional 8-legged (armed?) treat is to buy them canned. There are plenty of different makes available, and, up until now, they have all been very good.

My preference is to eat the pieces with a small salad, and buttered wholemeal bread, as a lunchtime titbit.

And being reasonably weight conscious, the garlic flavoured oil in which they're packed is (reluctantly) given to the dogs. Woe is me!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Imitation is the.....

It is often claimed that owners become like their dogs, or even that owners choose dogs that resemble them.

Personally I think this is complete rubbish.

The day that Bok and me begin to resemble one-another; I'll eat my bloody beret (as Bok already has!). 


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Wet suit.

The last wet suit I bought (back in about 1985) was a two piece suit, with short trousers. Not unlike the above.

I purchased the suit via mail order, and when it finally arrived I was very eager to see if it fitted.

I checked it over, imagined myself under water, and it all looked fine. The Neoprene shorts fitted perfectly, as did the jacket which had a back flap that passed between my legs and fastened with two studs at the front, not unlike the one in the picture.

I looked myself over in the mirror to make sure there were no dodgy seams, then returned to my bedroom to take the thing off, but the two front studs that secured the flap just would not budge; I was trapped.

There was no instruction leaflet, no Neoprene jemmy, and no laughing idiot jumped out to say I was on Candid Camera. I was well and truly imprisoned in a rubber suit, and anyone could have called at the house at any moment. God only knows what they would have imagined was going on!!!

Eventually, after about an hour or so, I decided to call the manufacturers to ask for assistance, and a giggling employee explained the escape method (which was relatively simple).

Oh the relief!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Happy Accident.

Most of what I find particularly attractive in my garden has happened purely by accident.

This is a classic example. Our flowering evergreen Clematis armandii has crept down in amongst the leaves of what I now think could be an Euonymus (thank you Molly), and looks stunning.

As you can see (below), all this happens around the pump house door, where I visit fairly regularly at the moment to check on the mouse situation. A couple of years back I found that, over winter, bloody mice had chewed all the electrical wires in the control box, and (when it was opened-up in June) the pool's circulatory system refused to operate.

This year I'm keeping the little blighters in check, with mousetrap and cheese, whilst enjoying these fabulous flowers. Evergreen, creeper, and fabulous flowers; can't be bad, can it!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Veggie Wednesday 4: Pizza.

Well, it had to be on the list; didn't it. Pizza, pizza, pizza.

I'm not sure how certain veggies would feel about the addition of anchovies on this offering; but for me a pizza is not a pizza without them!

Otherwise it's pretty basic; green pesto for the base, then tomatoes, then mozzarella, then anchovies.

I bought a ready-made base (I'm no fool), and also added a couple of black olives.

N.B. May I add that (in my opinion) putting pineapple chunks, chocolate, or Spam on a pizza should be a serious offence. I'm sure that in Sharia Law they already have the appropriate punishment.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wills by Kimbo.

My oldest son, Kimbo, has an interesting sense of humour.

Many years back, he asked his younger brother, Wills, to sit for a portrait. Wills was too busy, and said 'NO'.

Kimbo (who must have been about 15 at the time) began to draw him anyway, and in an attempt to frustrate his attempts Wills sat shaking his head from side to side, saying 'don't draw me, don't draw me!'.

Above is the result. 

The tiny 2 by 3 inch drawing hangs just beside where I'm now writing, and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Inovative Cro.


I've only 'invented' two things of any note.

My first was black Band Aids, Elastoplasts, or whatever they're called where you live. Back in the 60's it seemed strange to me that these plasters should all be 'caucasian' pink colour, I believe that darker ones are now widely available. I should have copyrighted my brilliant idea.

My other genius invention is the '3 Temperature Electric Cro Kettle'. This would have 3 buttons, 1; boiling, 2: late for train, and 3: student.

People with average time on their hands would make their coffee/tea with button No 1's 'boiling' water. Those with a train to catch (or had overslept) might choose hottish No 2's 'late for train'. And those students for whom everything has to be instant, would choose No 3's tepid 'student' button (pour-stir-drink-n-rush).

The No 3 button would also come in useful for the student stand-by (and probably stand-up) meal of extremely instant Pot Noodles (ramen).

I think it's a winner; although I haven't copyrighted this one either!

p.s. I should add that Lady Magnon likes her water 'twice-boiled'. During and after the initial boiling she usually goes off somewhere to look for her glasses/shoes/phone/handbag/the dogs/etc. Then after a delay of about 15 minutes, the water is given a second (and more thorough) boiling, before being used.

Maybe the Cro Kettle should have a fourth 'repeat' button.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Missing Couscous.

Cro: 'Right, who ate the left-over Couscous?'

Monty: 'Not me, boss; honest!'

Cro: 'Bok; do you know anything about it?'.

Bok; 'Tee hee hee....... no....... chuckle chuckle!'.

(Regular readers may remember that I've had similar problems with a tub of cream, and my every-day ratting beret)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

French 'girlie' Singers; a Sunday Special.

Have you ever wondered why French (female) pop songs/singers never make it beyond the French borders (other than in one or two very rare exceptions) ?

There are only two requirements to become a French female singer. You must be able to breathe/whisper/hiss (roughly in tune, but not essential), and you must try to look as if you're about 13 years old.

This business of breathing words into a microphone is unbelievably annoying. I imagine the French find it 'sexy', but personally I find it pathetic. And as for looking as if they're still wearing Pampers, I can't imagine anything less attractive.

French pop music lost the plot back in the 70's. Personally I blame Serge Gainsbourg and Lady Magnon's old school chum Jane Birkin.

They made singing amateurish and sloppy; and the French have never looked back; even claiming this unattractive pair as national icons.

Gainsbourg did write one or two reasonable songs, but his legacy is one of drunkenness, naughtiness, and of 'speaking and slurring' his lyrics. La Birkin's legacy is simply of having been his muse!

What more perfect example of this 'musical genre', than their own product; the lovely 'whispering' Charlotte.

Saturday, 22 March 2014


This is the Peach tree that I presented to Lady Magnon on February 14th this year. All our other Peach trees are also in flower, but far less extravagantly so.

As you can see, it promises a wonderful crop; providing that we have no late frosts.

Unfortunately, frosts can arrive here right up until the Ice Saints of mid-May, and the trees most at risk, obviously, are the early flowering ones.

All we can do (as we do every year) is cross our fingers and hope!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Alan Whicker 1925-2013.


Those of us 'of a certain age' will remember Alan Whicker with huge respect.

In pre cheap-foreign-holiday times, it was he who took us around the world, and introduced us to strange and wonderful places; often with great humour.

His TV documentary series 'Whicker's World' showed us the bizarre, the eccentric, and the downright ludicrous. His travelogue programmes were never dull.

One of the greatest tributes to his extraordinary life must have been 'The Alan Whicker Appreciation Society' (above, with hero), who always met wearing his distinctive glasses and moustache. Their Cricket team even sported a Whicker-Keeper.

I'm not sure why, but I've only just heard that Whicker died last summer. I'm belatedly saddened.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Veggie Wednesday 3. Chana Masala.

Elaine over at Bramble Rambles reminded me recently about Chickpea Curry; I've been meaning to try this for ages.

The version I've followed is from 'Rick Stein's INDIA' (above), and is simplicity itself. Unfortunately I can't put up a link to Rick's own recipe (there isn't one), but here is Manju Malhi's recipe which is almost identical.

If you don't have the long list of individual spices, you could always use a good quality curry paste like Patak's 'Rogan Josh'; it combines all of them anyway.

When I started my Veggie Wednesdays, I wrote down a short list of all my favourite dishes that I thought would adapt to being meatless. Looking at the list, I've noticed that they are all either North African, Indian, or Italian. Not one English dish is amongst them.

It's normal that veggie dishes should originate from poorer countries, where meat would be beyond the financial limits of many, but it's strange that there are no 'classic' English veggie recipes..... unless, of course, you know differently.

Above was my yesterday's version of Rick's 'chana masala', and it was very good (stupid me, I forgot to add the lemon juice).

Rick suggests, in his book, that it is the most common 'curry' eaten in India. I thought that honour would have gone to rice-n-dahl, but I'll believe him.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Freddie has recently started 'standing-up' on his hind legs like a human.

In the early evenings he has taken to sunning himself on the roof. En route, he stops a while by some vines, and stands-up; surveying the landscape. 

Cats are strange creatures, I don't think we'll ever really understand what's going on in their minds; nor, frankly, do I think we would want to.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lez Miz.


I mentioned some time back that my daughter, Tenpin, failed to be selected for the role of young Cosette in the 1978 TV version of Les Miserables, with Anthony Perkins. When it came to her audition, for some bizarre reason, she refused to speak; which was so out-of-character that it also rendered us totally dumbstruck!

This last weekend I saw the film for the very first time, and frankly I'm pleased she didn't get the part.

What a dreadful film it was, with some of the most pathetic 'crowd scenes', costumes, and make-up that I've ever seen. Some of the early prisoner scenes had men with wigs and faux-beards that were worthy of Monty Python, and much of the acting was just plain 'Village Hall'.

Amazingly some of the 'also-rans' were top quality actors. Amongst others were Cyril Cusack, John Gielgud, Celia Johnson, Flora Robson, and Angela Pleasence. Although I don't think any of them would have been too pleased to be reminded of their participation.

I very rarely criticise a film to this extent, but here I have to make an exception..... Dire!

I'll give it 1/10 (the 1 being for Flora Robson, who used to live just down the road from us in Brighton).

Monday, 17 March 2014

Under Foot.

In the Chestnut plantations, the leaves are now all dried-up and crisp. The trees are relaxing and enjoying the Spring sunshine; it won't be long before the buds start to appear.

In the hay fields the grass is growing well, this above was already about a foot tall.

In what small pockets of water are still around, there are long lines of Toad spawn. Already one can see the tiny wriggling tadpoles just waiting to emerge.

And, thank goodness, the quagmire of last month has all gone, and walking is again a pleasure; even the dogs seem to appreciate having dry feet.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Sunday Recipe (gourmet special).

Take two hens both called Richard; pamper, and wait until eggs appear amongst the sweet smelling hay of their nesting boxes.

Crack shells very carefully, and gently drop contents into a small amount of hot olive oil. Fry until of desired consistency.

Say 'Oooh' and 'Aaah' whilst enthusing over the freshness and quality of Richard and Richard's gourmet eggs, before transferring to a well-loved plate, and anointing liberally with Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce. Consume accompanied by good quality buttered bread or toast.

There's nothing to compare to a fresh, home grown, simply fried, hen's egg (or two); my occasional Sunday breakfast treat. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Email or maybe Email.

The French have always tried to find their own French-sounding names for every new hi-tech invention; ignoring accepted world-wide norms.

Being French, they are also obliged to decide what gender an object will be; for example, not so long ago it was decided that a computer (ordinateur) should be masculine.

Occasionally they seem to get it a tad wrong. Who, I wonder, amongst the learned members of the Académie française, made the decision that a gentleman's beard should be feminine (la barbe), and a ladies handbag should be masculine (le sac à main).  

In the case of Email (electronic mail), the word was already in use; email meaning enamel in French, as in teeth (hence my toothpaste above) or decorated porcelain, so the word was simply shortened to mail.

Mail, as in letters inside envelopes, is designated as being 'male', and is generally called le courrier.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Veggie Wednesday 2.

I can hardly describe how much I adore rice and dahl.

There is something so simple and refreshing about it. I always feel as if my entire inner workings are being cleansed. And, as if that isn't enough, it costs just peanuts.

My own method of preparing the dahl (there are thousands) is as follows. After washing the tiny pink lentils in about 3 changes of very hot water (to release most of the starch), the lentils are boiled for about 15 mins until soft. Do not add salt at this stage, or they won't break down properly. I then leave the lentils in their water until I require them.

After draining, I add plenty of plain yoghurt, curry paste, a shredded spinach leaf or two, maybe half a veggie stock cube, some lemon juice, and garam masala; combine ingredients whilst reheating, and that's about it.

Serve with basmati rice, and plenty of your favourite Indian pickles, etc.

It's not easy to make a photo of rice and dahl look appetising, but I've done my best.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Haddock's DUG!

There is no worse a feeling than that of being 'useless'.

And that is exactly how I felt a couple of weeks ago, thinking that I would be unable to dig Haddock's; due to my bad back.

It's a depressing thought that 'dodgy hips' and 'sciatica' could bring an end to an activity that I hold essential to my life-style and philosophy.

However, Saint Fiacre has looked kindly on me once again, and with Lady Magnon's help we have prepared the ground for this year's crops; without too much serious pain (I'm pleased to add).

Haddock's will now lay fallow for a while, until some rain and further sun weaves it's magic and leaves the soil pliable enough to be rotovated to a fine tilth. Plenty of time for me to spread the compost and some horse manure.

There's a little more digging to do, but only where our few winter 'greens' are still just about hanging on.

I'm now suddenly more confident about the future, I reckon I've still got a few more Haddocking years ahead of me.

I can feel my winter depression lifting!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Growing up.


I'm heartened to see that there seems to be a world-wide movement afoot for children to be allowed to grow-up without the interference of the bloody mamby-pamby elf-n-safety brigade.

Playing outside, getting knees dirty, climbing trees, fishing for tidlers in a nearby pond, running with dogs, building a secret cabin, making dams in streams, going for a bike-ride with friends, tying an old tyre to a rope from a tree, choosing between being cowboys or Indians, having a 'spud gun' in your pocket; these were all healthy every day activities not so long ago. Now the interfering busy-bodies have outlawed 'normal' children's games; they aren't even allowed to play 'conkers' any more.

My move to France in 1972, was heavily influenced by wanting my own children (just 2 of them at the time) to grow up with open countryside as their playground. We had a huge stone hay-and-chicken-filled barn for them to have adventures in, woodland all around that seemed to go on for ever, and plenty of wild or domestic animals to fool around with.

Just yesterday Lady Magnon came across a young German family. In a mad frenzy, the mother had grabbed her two screaming small girls, as they'd totally PANICKED on seeing Monty and Bok calmly walking towards them, in the distance, ON THEIR LEADS. Two of the friendliest dogs you could imagine.

We discussed the incident over lunch, and thought how very sad it was that the two little girls didn't run over to greet the dogs, as most would. OK, had they been a couple of loose 'pit-bulls' we could have understood, but Monty is a LABRADOR for god's sake; a living Teddy Bear. It was as if these poor girls had been cocooned in some evil urban fantasy world, where everything spelt DANGER.

My own children always had bandages on their knees, scuffed elbows, and the occasional bruise somewhere or other; but that, to me, demonstrated that they were doing things, pushing themselves, and experiencing new activities (not permanently indoors in front of an iPad). They also had a dog who followed them everywhere; they were simply growing up, and were encouraged to BE CHILDREN.

N.B. Above photo is of my grandson Finn playing with Teddy Bear 'Monty'.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

What NOT to do, with a BAD BACK.

Every year it's the same; I promise myself in Autumn that I'll keep Haddock's weed-free over Winter, so that it's so much easier to rotovate the following Spring.

Do I do it? Of course I don't!

So, each Spring I have to do all this bloody back-breaking digging to bring it back to a usable state again. Luckily we've been promised a few weeks of fine weather, so I'm taking it easy. I'm also showing Lady Magnon how it's done, but she doesn't seem too adept so far! I even explained how good garden soil is for her finger nails, but......

I shan't start any sowing or planting until late April, even into May, so I have plenty of time. But I need to see it all clean, tidy, and composted, well in advance; my brain insists on as much.

At the moment I just pop up occasionally and dig a couple of rows; my back doesn't allow much more.

N.B. For the new garden up at the séchoir (barn), I've already designed a plot with an open-able end that would allow a tractor to enter. A reasonable sized veg-patch could be ploughed in about 10 minutes; to turn mine 'brown side up' will take me more than a back-breaking week.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The bad old days.


I'm not a big 'lunchtime' eater, I much prefer to 'dine'.

My parents, however, were more traditional, and Sunday Lunch was sacrosanct.

So, there was I yesterday evening, enjoying some simple roast Lamb, thinking back to when I was just a wee sprog, and how Sundays were so very different.

Of course, in those primitive days, all shops were closed on Sundays, and almost the only entertainment on offer was some silly old buffer's demonic, primitive, sermoning in church. Sundays were tedious; that is, apart from lunchtime.

My mother (like everyone's mother) was a wonderful cook. Those huge joints of roast beef, legs of lamb, or roasted chickens (usually our own) were sumptuous.

TV was not yet invented, or if it was it hadn't arrived chez nous. We had a big 'Odeon style' wooden-bodied RADIO (with a 'magic eye') that could pick-up broadcasts from Hilversum (why was it that all old fashioned radios could be tuned in to Hilversum?). It wasn't exactly like the one above, but similar.

We'd listen to Archie Andrews, Have a Go (with Wilfred Pickles), The Billy Cotton Band Show, and Two-Way Family Favourites. Listening time was limited; turning on the radio was a 'privilege'. Maybe later in the day we would also listen to a evening play.

Life was so simple. The kettle was heated with flames, Wilfred Pickles handed out £1 notes on the radio, the telephone was only used in emergencies, and the sun shone 365 days a year.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


The Art College where I took my degree course had three main departments; Painting and Sculpture (mine), Weaving, and Pottery.  The Pottery department had an excellent national reputation.

In the years when I was a student, there was a fashion amongst the potters for building experimental outdoor kilns, and for firing Raku pots.

Raku (as I understand it) is a risky Japanese method of firing and glazing all in one go, by heating-up the kiln to very high temperatures, firing for a very short while, then removing the pot whilst still 'red hot'. Many pots don't survive this extreme treatment, but those that do are often crackled, pitted, and very beautiful.

One of the advantages of hanging around the college's Pottery dep't (apart from the fact that it was awash with beautiful girls), was the possibility of being given their casts-off.

These two Raku pots, above, are a good example of their rejects. OK, they're not the world's finest, but they are practical, attractive, and were free. The fact that I still have them, and that they are still in constant use, means that for me (at least) it was right to save them from the wrecker's hammer.

I wish I could remember who made them!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Great Expectations.

"Would you like me to bring back anything from Blighty for you?"

I prepared a short list and she placed it in her handbag. I waited patiently for the two weeks that she was away, then when she returned I said nothing.

"I've got those fruit flavoured indigestion tablets you wanted" she said, as she slowly unpacked her suitcase "And the packet of Cavolo Nero seeds".

Still I said nothing, as I crossed my fingers even tighter.

"Oh, and there's this" she said nonchalantly, as she passed me a lumpy blue paper wrapper. 

"Ah, thank you darling; that's wonderful".

Friday, 7 March 2014


For those of us who 'grow our own', the arrival of what all veg' gardeners refer to as 'PSB' is a definite marker of Spring.

Purple sprouting broccoli is one of those crops that HAS to be 'home grown'; the shop bought equivalent bears no comparison.

Your children/grandchildren would probably turn their noses up at it, but who cares; these first few flowering shoots, to me, are pure nectar!  

They were consumed last night, with a side-serving of pork chop. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Veggie Wednesday.

We have decided to become 'one-day-a-week veggies'; and that day will be Wednesdays.

I'm kicking off with a veggie Couscous. Normally I would include either chicken or lamb into a tagine, but today NO MEAT.

To one of my last year's jars of courgettes in tomato sauce, I add a tin of chick peas, a chunky cut potato, a quartered preserved lemon, raz al hanout, cinnamon, harissa, a few herbs, garlic, and some veggie stock. 

After I have prepared the couscous I add olive oil, dried mint, and cumin seeds.

Couldn't be much simpler, and one can make it as piquante as one likes. We like ours quite spicy.

We both said the same thing; it was totally delicious, and we didn't miss the meat one bit!

Viva Veggie Wednesday!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

New Toy.

It's arrived.

Lady Magnon returned from Blighty with my new laptop; I had imagined having to wait until summer for my son Kimbo to bring it over by car, but Lady M managed to find a vacant corner in her suitcase.

It's an Acer E1-572P. It has a touch screen, is much faster, and rides on Carlos Fandango wheels. It's taken me a couple of head-scratching hours to set up, and I'll still probably be looking under its bonnet for a few days yet.

My previous Acer Travel Mate 5720 had become totally clogged. Too many words, too much chatter, and far to many snaps.

So, why did I spend my money in England, rather than here in France? Simple; because French laptops don't use the QWERTY keyboard, and my two-finger typing cannot be re-educated to adapt to their ridiculous alternative layout

Previously, all my early morning computer work took from 5.30am to about 7.30am (breakfast time); now I am done by about 6.30am.

You see before you (well, behind your screen somewhere) a very happy Cro.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Oldies Lunch 2014.

On her first day back from London Lady Magnon (with friend Saint Theresa of the Floral Tribute) attended this year's Old Folks Lunch up at the Mayor's Parlour. They gorged themselves on soup, paté au foie gras, crudités, poule au pot, salad, cheese, ice cream with apricots, and champagne. Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch; there is here, and apparently it was delicious.

As it was also 'Grandmother's Day' here in France, she came away with this delightfully colourful gift.

I didn't go to this year's bash (I'm too young anyway). It's held in a room where the acoustics are just dreadful. Sound bounces around as if one's in a specially designed echo chamber, and I can't hear a word anyone says. You can just imagine what it's like after they've all had their first few glasses of wine!

I stayed at home and partook of ye olde thinne gruelle.

It has been suggested that because of 'administrative changes' this could be our village's very last 'Repas des Ainés'. I do hope not, but I wish in future they'd hold it in summer, and preferably OUTDOORS.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Death Penalty.


I am well aware that amongst my occasional readers there are some who are 100% against the death penalty. Normally speaking I am too, but in certain cases I feel obliged to make an exception

There are certain people whose acts are so evil that they are sentenced to their WHOLE LIFE in prison; they will NEVER be released.

These people can be counted on one hand (or maybe two), and I cannot see any reason whatsoever why judges shouldn't be offered the option of sentencing them to 'a painless lethal injection'.

It upsets me to think of all the people who will be involved with looking after this young woman (above), as she starts her WHOLE LIFE sentence. What on earth is the purpose of keeping her alive?

There are certain crimes, so unimaginable and unforgivable, for which the perpetrator should understand that they are obliged to surrender his (or her) right to life.  Personally I would include little Miss Star Face; she's done enough damage in her short life as it is!

N.B. I can't even bring myself to mention this nasty girl's name!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Chop, Sprout, Strangle, and Cut.

Most modern varieties of Chestnut, just like most fruit trees, need to be grafted onto a vigorous root stock. A few very productive old fashioned varieties, however, can be cultivated from young shoots (I'm afraid I don't know the names of these).

This is how the clever little devils go about the process over here, which, in all, has taken 3 years (so far).

Having chopped down a dying tree, it will sprout small branches from around the base of the severed trunk, when these are large enough (i.e. the following year), a solid piece of wire is twisted very tightly just above where it joins the trunk; in effect strangling it, and forcing it to grow it's own roots just beyond the wire noose, underneath a good deep covering of soil. 

The following year (i.e. year 3), the soil is removed revealing each small branch complete with its own bunch of healthy roots. The branches are then cut, the wire removed, and they are planted out. 

I like this process. Time seems irrelevant, and you end-up with free Chestnut trees; whilst (more importantly) saving ancient varieties.

As with the planting of most trees, one plants for one's grandchildren. The only question nowadays being 'will those grandchildren have stayed on the farm, in order to appreciate the expediency of their forebears?'

I do hope so.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

I Hate Waste.


I've just heard on the radio that the world wastes between a third and a quarter of it's annual food production.

Frankly, I find this outrageous.

Let me assure you that in the Magnon household NOTHING is wasted. Occasionally we do have a glut of Quinces or Bramleys, but they all end up on the compost heap and the following year are re-cycled into the ground.

Any stale bread is given to the hens (very rare), any fruit or vegetable peelings also go to the compost, and if by miscalculation I cook a little too much pasta or rice the dogs are always happy to join us at table.

I'm constantly hearing tales of people who roast a chicken, eat half of it, then dump the rest. I even heard advice last Christmas about what people should do with the remains of their lunchtime Turkey (rather than chucking it). Who are these people who throw away all this good food?

I've just been to have a look in my fridge; there's nothing in there that will not be eaten. I buy what I need for several days in advance, and nothing is surplus to requirements.

When at the supermarket check-out, I often see young women (yes, I'm afraid it's always young women) buying piles of pre-made pizzas, quiches, and other 'ready-meals'. I presume it's these people (who probably have the most to lose financially), and the supermarkets themselves, who are responsible.

Some natural (and non-natural) wastage en route between grower, wholesaler, and retailer, is also partly responsible, and I hope they're all ashamed of themselves.

Thank goodness I was brought-up to appreciate 'my daily bread'. As a post-war baby, we were taught that wasting food was a SIN. I still believe that.

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