Friday, January 4, 2019

20+ rolls in the grass.

Everything is back to normal at The Rickety Old Farmhouse. Everyone goes to bed at a sensible hour, meals are quiet affairs, there is no one watching '' Seattle Snowmageddon " on the Horror Channel and the PONs get their regular walks at the appointed time.

Blue skies bring with them a heavy frost. Sophie trots along the lane on the look out for decapitated shrews that the owls might have discarded. Her brother lags behind. He loves to roll on his back on the icy grass. I finally give up trying to hurry him along. This morning is a 20+ rolls in the grass morning.

The village quiet as only a French village can be. Woodpeckers hard at work on the trees behind the village hall, arguing Goldfinches in the hawthorn thicket and pigeons cooing contentedly on the roof of the church. A cat is sunbathing on the still warm bonnet of an old Ford Fiesta van at the horse farm. It looks disinterestedly at the PONs who fail to notice it.

We receive a dinner invitation from a Palo Alto couple in London. It is a bizarre ( could only be Palo Alto ) thing and concludes with the lines :

Please note that anyone wishing to stay and watch the Super Bowl will be more than welcome, even Patriots fans. And yes, we will be watching the American transmission, including the commercials. There will be ten guests for dinner. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free options available on request.

The '' There will be ten guests for dinner " line leaves us bamboozled. Have they opened a restaurant ? Is this a way of signalling that there will be other people there ? What happens if you don't want to watch the Super Bowl ?  Should we start to offer vegan, gluten free or dairy free options to dinner guests ?  '' How extraordinary " says 'The Font' in that tone of voice that lies somewhere between '' What is the world coming to ? " and ' What a peculiar invitation '. 

Sophie segues back into her routine by digging for moles. 


  1. Sophie wonders if shrews are gluten free. She certainly won't choose the vegan option.
    "Seattle Snowmageddon"??

  2. I suppose your Palo Alto couple are just trying to be inclusive, although the very specific "there will be ten guests" seems odd. Will they commit to bringing in a replacement if some one bails out at the last minute?
    The contrary (and carnivorous) side to my character often wonders what the reaction would be if I turned up a gathering of vegetarians/vegans, slapped a large steak on the kitchen counter and announced "I only eat meat"...
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Vegan would, by definition, be dairy free.
    I suspect that they're planning on 10 people for dinner, who may or may not stay for the game, and more people who are coming just for the game and not for dinner. Kind of A-listers and B-listers. Perhaps they'll have wristbands to distinguish?

    1. ...yes... often misunderstood. Vegetarian = eggs, milk, cheese (non-rennet...check back of packet!). Vegan = no dairy therefore opt for soy equivalent.

  4. Hari Om
    Bright, crisp mornings are the best! Clearly, Bob agrees.

    Having been a vegetarian almost my entire adult life (that's several decades now...sigh...) and having spent MANY a visit nibbling on the lettuce and cucumber, or sticking to bread and butter and potato salad in order not to go hungry, the growing awareness of different dietary choices is applauded. Nothing is more welcoming than a host sourcing foods that very often get scoffed by the 'non vegos' as well. It is always a satisfaction when being the host myself, to have guests be surprised at how deeply tasty and satisfying and varied vegetarian eating really is!!!

    The rest of that invitation, though... definitely peculiar! YAM xx

  5. I think the Palo Alto couple are just trying to indicate what to expect, and indicating they are organised and will welcome diversity.

  6. I'm still stuck back at "he loves to roll on his back on the icy grass" quickly imagining you doing the same with him - do I have an odd mind?

  7. Cannot imagine travelling all the way to London just to watch a US transmission of the Super Bowl, with commercials. I would rather experience dental would be more fun. But in fairness and coming from someone who has a few food allergies, I think it's rather considerate of the hostess to offer alternatives. But I guess you could say the invitation certainly leaves no room for surprises!

    Such a beautiful photo of Sophie and the valley beyond.

  8. Sometimes the commercials are the best part of the game. I always watch for the Clydesdale horses.

  9. Bailey Bob Southern DogJanuary 4, 2019 at 5:45 PM

    The second picture is stunning, I can feel the crispness in the air. How can Bob walk straight after 20 rolls? We will begin practicing roads closed, detours, and who knows what else, next week. This is so we have learned new ways to avoid the entire city of Atlanta by the time of the Super Bowl. I also like the commercials!

  10. I am guessing Bob would prefer you and The Font to stay at the ROF, touch rugby ball in your hand while you watch and throw the ball repeatedly just for him at appropriate times during the game commentary and adverts. A video of that, with TV playing in background, would be the best Super Bowl ever for us all to see!