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Beetroot

10 March 2005

This is turning into quite a fun week. On Monday I wrote a brief essay on Fu Manchu, for a list-book of a hundred significant horror novels, and then went out in the evening to hear Barrie Rutter lecture - well, talk, really - about contemporary classical theatre and his part(s) in it; Tuesday I just worked, and did actually get a few pages written; today I went to see Constantine, the movie from Hellblazer, and was pleasantly and thoroughly surprised to find it sensible, stylish and enjoyable pretty much from first to last. This afternoon, inter alia, I did a French boy's homework for him. He'd sent me this list of deep and philosophical questions about the meanings and symbolism of my story I am Death's Brother. Neil Gaiman says the only way to deal with these requests is to tell 'em - nicely - to write their own damn essays; but then Neil probably gets them by the sackload. This was my first; and heís French, and Iím romantic. So I told him all that, and then I answered his questions. At least, I gave him answers; they convinced me, and so should probably do for his teacher too.

And this evening, I collected my first vegetable bag. Iíve joined this scheme, where for a set weekly (or in my case fortnightly - I really donít eat that many vegetables) payment, you get a bagful of seasonal organic veg from a local farm. Why am I doing this, when I really donít eat that many vegetables? Partly to encourage me to eat more, I am a slave to propaganda; partly to support the whole organic thing, which I do believe in; partly to encourage me to have more friends round for dinner, to help me eat all this vegetation; partly to extend my range, as I do so tend to fall into ruts and patterns of familiarity. Todayís selection was the standard trio of potatoes, carrots and onions, and then a head of celery, half a red cabbage, some tomatoes (did I say 'seasonal'? Tut - but then, if youíve got a greenhouse, I guess almost anything is seasonal) and some beetroot. I have spent years saying I donít like beetroot, itís almost the last thing I say that about; but in fact Iíve already cooked it once, two Christmases back, roasted with chestnuts and smoky bacon, and that was really nice. So now Iíll find something else to do with it, and see how that goes. Not perhaps the beetroot-and-chocolate cake recipe that came with, but Iíll think of something.


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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.