Sunday 20 July 2008

One Local Summer week 7, a couple of whinges and a bandwagon


I haven't had a lazy Saturday morning for what feels like ages (in reality, it appears to be a mere fortnight - time moves more slowly at the end of term, I'm convinced of it) so I stopped at Whiterow to buy the fixings for a good Saturday brunch. Bacon, sausages, eggs and bread all came from there.

The meat products Whiterow sell are made by Jon Thorner's, a farm empire based in Shepton Mallet, which also supplies them with cheese. I was most disappointed, as I unwrapped the pecorino romano I am so fond of, to discover that I'd been so focused on the "Head Office: Shepton Mallet" label that I'd completely missed the "Country of Origin: Italy" label. BOOOO. I feel swindled. I have had a good browse around their website and under the Local: Fish tab, they mention Scottish salmon and potted shrimp from Morecambe Bay. These places are not local to Shepton Mallet!

I intend to go down there in the holidays and have a good look at what they've got in their home shop. It is easily within 20 miles of here, so at least the bacon and sausages are local. It's frustrating, though, when companies say they're one thing and then are quite obviously another.

It seems there are two competing bandwagons here - local, and organic. Springleaze, another farm shop I drive past, used to do all local stuff, laid out in a barn, not particularly fancy, but it did the job. Then they went upmarket, organic and got a cafe. Now, in spite of claiming the majority of their produce is locally sourced, they've got tomatoes flown in from Holland and Scandinavian cheese. I can see them doing very well, since their entire range - down to the tinned pulses - seems to be organic, and that's a good niche to hold, I suppose. But it's not so good if you don't really care about organic, just about keeping food miles down. It's a shame the two seem to be largely mutually exclusive.

I am currently hating my neighbours and their screaming children. There must be half a dozen squalling brats between the two houses that back onto our lane and they were up, screaming, until nearly 11pm last night. And they're young kids, not teens. Then they get up at about 10am and start screaming again, and this lasts all day. It's getting impossible to sit with the window or the back door open. I have a strong desire to play some very loud and very rude gangsta rap with all the windows open, but fear it would bring me down to their level.


In knitting news, I've really got to stop starting new things before I finish the old ones. I got the bug for new projects, thanks to the scrubby, and so I ended up casting on for a clapotis on Tuesday. It's seriously addictive, I am four repeats through the straight section already. I love dropping the stitches! Plus, the Lion and Lamb may be my favourite yarn of all time. In an attempt to squirrel a ball from the four I purchased for a pair of handwarmers or something, I read up on the knitting of the clapotis, and skipped an increase row. I also binned the stitch markers and did the drop rows in purl on the knit side etc, which makes it go pretty fast. I started trying to twist the stitches either side on the wrong side as well as the right, but either I'm not doing ptbl right, or I need to practise more, because my stitches ended up looking pretty wobbly, so I stopped.

I am surprised by how motivated I am to finish the project, considering I hate knitting scarves. Perhaps I am just eager to join the other bajillion people in the world who have knitted this. Next: that Drops jacket which has also been knitted a bajillion times. Yay for bandwagons!

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