• neil

Day 25 (11 April) : Green finger

I’m suffering from pistachio finger. This occurs when you shell a kilo of nuts and the salt gets between nail and flesh. It stings like buggery. So writing to you today is a testament to my love and my manly nature.

It has, however, had is benefits as it occasioned me to ponder the risks we run practicing our new confinement skills.

The first among them is gardening; it’s so natural and the produce is so good for you….

Tell that to Socrates! Well, obviously you can’t. But hemlock is perfectly natural and so are a host of other innocent looking plants which thrive all over the show. Apart from the socratic tipple I can think of Deadly Nightshade, Castor Beans, Rosary Peas, Oleander and Tobacco. Tobacco I hear you exclaim? Well yes. If you want to stop smoking definitively all you have to do is eat your cigarettes. Dunhill? Done for.

That is without any mention of a host of fungi which can also seriously alter your prospects.

And it’s not just the produce itself. It’s what can happen to the produce.

Are you aware of the risks posed by fox urine? While true that you are more likely to contract Weil’s disease through rat urine contamination it should be remembered that rats are much smaller than foxes. Consequently, unless you have followed the same evil-bitch yoga courses I’m taking , you are unlikely to pick fruits low enough to be coated with natural rat additive.

Foxes are an altogether different kettle of Canadae. They are the athletes of pee projection.

According to eminent zoologist Professor Yuri Nates ( I just made him up. I needed an expert) foxes pee about 2.5 times the height of their inside back leg measurement.

Which brings us to the next item on our threat list; if a fox bites you while you are taking this measurement you can catch rabies. And if you catch rabies you won’t live to harvest your hemlock.

You could always try a bit of pruning and fall out of a tree. It doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, rich or poor, falling three meters out of a tree is the great equaliser. If I were Scandinavian this is the one I would go for.

There are of course other, more mundane risks. You could contract lock jaw from a scratch or cut. Or you could have a heart attack.

The good news here is that this normally happens only after you have been digging for a while, so your partner simply has to rake a little he earth over you. If, like myself, you have no partner you are called upon to make one final heroic effort. The upside is that veggie production doubles in that spot next year and there is one less mouth to feed.

So, next time, weigh up the risks and then let somebody else do the gardening.

And when you have come back from the garden

A very dear friend texted me about a series of interesting confinement activities being offered by Airbnb. Temporarily hampered in their efforts to render inner city rents unaffordable to locals they have turned to pastimes which can be shared online. For various reasons the following offers caught my eye:

  • Cooking with a Moroccan Family - not very politically correct. I’ll stick with the beans and lentils.

  • Remote rescue goats - This is not reassuring. If I’m in trouble somewhere remote and l call for help on my satellite phone I’m thinking more helicopters and mountain rescue teams than goats. I’d be better off with yesterday’s unicorn. At least I could run full tilt onto its horn and end it all like an aged kebab.

  • Write Inspired by Intuition - “Because writing is a mysterious process, let’s take a mystical approach!” The BFA qualified mentor is a member of WGAw and SAG•AFTRA. I was wrong about the rescue goat - I could have looked into its entrails and found out what that means.

There are some activities in there which look like gems. Two which appeal to me are :

A Cello Meditation with the lovely Janice Wong who bills herself as The Wong Janice. Full marks for that.


A Guided Meditation with Sheep. Something to share with Alfie.

Finally, as you might have noticed, animals are always wandering through this blog. Let’s end with a few more.

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