Notes from the Green Party MEP for East of England. Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Thursday, 8 November 2007

How to make your own semi-skimmed milk 3

Method 3

  1. Don't shake your milk bottle. Carefully remove the foil top.
  2. Stand the milk bottle on the kitchen surface.
  3. Place a stool next to the surface and stand a jug on the stool. The top of the jug should be lower than the bottom of the milk bottle.
  4. Take a length of flexible thin plastic tubing and plunge one end of it down to the bottom of the milk bottle.
  5. Suck on the other end of the tubing until the milk is drawn up into the tube. Cover the end of the tube and lower it into the jug.
  6. Milk will flow through the siphon from the bottom of the milk bottle into the jug.
  7. Stop the siphon before it starts trying to take the cream (it'll probably get bunged up then anyway).
This way you get skimmed milk in the jug and a small quantity of top-of-the-milk cream in the bottle...

Friday, 2 November 2007

English Apples

Conversation with boy (apparently white, native) at the Liverpool Street Station greengrocers' stall on Tuesday:

I to boy: "Have you any English apples?"

Boy to me: "English apples? There's no such thing."

I to boy (puzzled): "No, I mean have you any ENGLISH apples?"

Boy to me: "There's various kinds of apples: Golden delicious, Braeburn, [something]-Reds. We don't have 'english apples'".

I to boy, in some desperation: "No I don't want any of those, I wanted some English ones."

Boy (puzzled) to man who runs stall: "What are English apples?"

Man to boy: "Means coxes. There's none left."

I to boy and man: "Oh". Walks away, wondering whether he means that England has run out of coxes, or that the stall had temporarily sold out for the day.

This stall was about an hour's distance from Kent, which was once an orchard as I recall, the "garden of England". The Golden Delicious were probably from France. The Braeburns probably six months old and from New Zealand. The Granny Smiths probably six months old and from S. Africa.

But this conversation is so sad, in so many ways, that you wonder whether there's any hope left. There was, in fact, no British produce on the stall at all, as far as I could see.