Like a sun tanned Humpty Dumpty, I am cracked and broken. As with H.D, I am basically a good egg but fragile. The last few days have provided me with a cogent and flawless argument against the extension of the retirement age from physical labour. On reflection, maybe the flaw in the argument is that it touches more on the dangers of a late entry into physical labour rather than an early exit. I have done both and, of the two, the leaving was far sweeter.
The last few days have afforded me little time for writing or picture making. Lack of these outlets has allowed my mind, numbed with the repetitive dullness of the tasks in hand, to dwell on words remembered: annoying words remembered such as ” …if you drink milk you should be obliged to eat veal” as written by an established food writer in a Twitter conversation on “head to tail” eating. The main thrust of the argument centred on the premise that unless a person is willing to eat every part of an animal, including the offal, that person should not eat any of it”. The patronising morality that lays behind such didacticism is so ridiculously misplaced as to beggar belief. Aside from the fucking outrageousness of such bollocks (and very tasty tidbits they are too), there appears to be no conception that the milk drinker might well like to eat some veal if only he/she had the wherewithal to buy some of the stuff. I am a committed supporter of Fergus Henderson’s mantra but, if my memory serves me right, I saw no one but the well heeled during my many visits to the St.John in Smithfield some 13 years ago. This is no criticism of that or any other of his excellent restaurants, just a statement from my memory. The prime morsels of offal are not eaten by the short of a few bob. What they eat is “meat”. Very often the provenance and type of “meat” is uncertain and may well contain many of the pieces of offal that, unaware though they are of the obligation, they should indeed be eating. I am no friend of statistics, but I am fairly sure that the majority of people, at least the majority of those who are lucky enough to have the choice, eat meat out of laziness which is why Ronald’s outfits proliferate, why meat pie producers profit and why pubs are placed close to establishments offering the whirling doner dervish option. The amount of people who are considering, at a butcher’s counter this morning in the UK, whether to have lambs’ brains, calf’s head or sweetbreads for dinner tonight could be counted on the beads of food zealot’s rosary. My delicious spleen is now vented and I shall return to sanding and painting shutters ….after a glass of wine and slice of a very good tart. I’m not risking milk…..