Chapter 2. A Fish Out of Water

Day One of my trip back to the days when shopping was a social activity and food still had its head on. The supermarket is already a distant memory. I’ve left the car in the multi-storey and am strolling through the rain to the market, reusable bag (Soil Association logo facing out) in hand and I can’t remember when I’ve felt so excited about buying fresh fish. The fishmonger, as…

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Chapter 1. Meeting the Meat

I grew up in a little market town in Wales, notable only at that time for a irritating little ditty called “Taking a trip to Abergavenny? recorded by Shannon in the ‘50s and Marty Wilde in the ’60’s. Ok, so it was also home to The Walnut Tree, where even back in the ‘70’s you couldn’t get a table without booking six months in advance. But the idea that Abergavenny…

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How to Sell A Book: Part 2

I’ve been working in a business for the last 15 years without a clue how it works. Like those drones in Marx’s theory of alienation, I’ve no idea what the right hand is doing while my left hand gets on with its commission. I’ve simply written my books , loads of them, without any idea of how they were going to get onto the bookshelves. In the early days, I…

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The Cupboard Was Bare; Recipes for the Tighfisted. 1. The Supermarket Refusenik

It’s not that I’m a miser of a cook. It’s not that I’m even particularly thrifty when I’m shopping – let me loose in Borough Market and watch my purse bleed. It’s just that since I’ve moved to the middle of nowhere, I’ve spent more of my time writing about peak oil and have begun to see supermarkets as the greatest evil of the modern world. So popping out to…

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The Cupboard Was Bare; Recipes for the Tighfisted. 2: My Fried Rice

This is one of my favourite something-from-nothing dishes, a sure fire winner in my college days when I seemed to be among the very few who could cook. You can add anything to a wok full of rice, steamed gently in a chicken stock, poshed up or dumbed down. Kids love it, it’s the perfect accompaniment for a simple dinner, a splendid curry or Chinese feast. And it costs next…

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