First of all in the 'real' sense. Spurred on by Cro Magnon's similar recipe on his site the other day, I decided to make a really healthy pot-au-feu of my own invention for lunch today. It elicited a "very nice" from the farmer, which is praise indeed - so try it sometime.
I cubed in fairly large chunks - 2 large carrots, 1 large parsnip, 1 large potato, 1 large onion, 1 large turnip (white). I added vegetable stock (made with a cube) to cover and cooked it in the oven for three quarters of an hour until the vegetables were cooked. Then I took it out of the oven and added - 1 chorizo cut into chunks, half a savoy cabbage shredded, a handful of runner beans topped, tailed and cut into pieces, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of cannelini beans, and cooked it for another half an hour. We ate it in large soup bowls and it was delicious.
Now for two other 'pot au feu' type stories.
There is a large field opposite our house, to the South West(that means we are North East of the field). Today there is a fairly sharp wind blowing from the South West and today also the farmer of that land has decided it is a good day to spread the slurry as he has finished his silaging for this year. All our doors and windows are tight shut, but nothing can keep out the strong smell of slurry. It's bad enough when it is our own farm slurry but somehow when it belongs to another farm, it is worse!
Now for a story about my morning's mail. Three letters - all for me - all marked Private and Confidential and very important looking.
The first one was to tell me about the knitting and stitching show in Harrogate in November and to ask whether I would like advance tickets - surely hardly private or confidential (and I don't intend going anyway). The second - in a very smart cream vellum envelope - was from some private finance firm to see if I would like them to manage my finances. (no thanks). The third, and most annoying, was from my bank outlining my affairs for the year in my Current Account. I have been in the same bank since I was about twenty years old and have had good service from them. I have had loans for a couple of cars over the years. They tell me the average amount I have had in my current account over the last year (not far short of a thousand) and the average debit balance over the last year (nil). So far so good, but I read the small print and it says:
Current overdraft interest rates - (I have never overdrawn in my entire life) 19.9%. Current credit interest rates - no credit interest is payable.
Could someone please explain to me why the banks can get away with charging this high interest on anyone who overdraws and yet someone like me who always keeps well in credit, gets absolutely no interest on their money at all. It does lead me to ask whether this is in any way connected with the large bonuses which seem to be paid to Bank folk with increasing regularity.
The whole mail this morning leads me also to ask - isn't this paper, which comes through my door every morning, just a terrible waste of trees?