Mr. SaclĂ , watch your back

I have one olive tree in my garden, planted near to the rose pergola. It has been pruned by me on advice and multiple photos to a friend in Sardinia, into an open vase shape. So I was extremely proud of it when in its first year it bore a couple of olives, yes two, a few more the next but this year quite a lot. I enjoyed harvesting them and got several, enough to fill 8/9 jars. I found some information on the net and religiously changed the water I had soaked them in for twentyone days. After that journeys up and down to my cellar to bring them into the light and prepare a solution of brine. In the meantime they afforded a hugely enjoyable lesson when my students joked that they would help me; one fed up with her job, would like to help harvest, another said she’d like to do the marketing, still another thought she could design the label. Wow, all for one little tree! Then of, course I forgot about them. I left the olives in the cellar for too long in the first strong brine solution. When I tasted them, they were awful. But wait, maybe it’s just me, I had to stay in the pronto soccorso for 24 hours once owing to lack of salt because I don’t like it and rarely eat it, so maybe it’s just my natural aversion to salt. I waited for my kids to come and they said it wasn’t dramatic but yes, maybe it’d be better to wash them.

So mad searches on internet, frantic phone calls to anyone who knew anything about olives. By now it’s high drama. Then I remembered a dear friend, ex-student and chemist in the food industry. Several telephone calls and text messages later, the olives have been washed and soaked in oligomineral water with a slice of lemon for a couple of days (The lemon to protect from mould), tasted, and when found edible (not just edible actually, but pretty good) they have been put back in their jars in a new less salty brine solution, and will remain in it for the next 20 days when they will be tasted again. Fingers crossed. So now it’s very likely that there will be a new brand of lovingly hand-picked Lesmo olives which will cost the earth. That’s why I think Mr. SaclĂ  needs to look out!


Wicca’s Diary 3

My human is a bit slow. It has taken me nearly 2 whole months to teach her that I would like her to come when I call. In the morning I’d quite like to share her cereal but she only leaves me the tiniest portion in her bowl. Never mind. She understands about feeding me in general, but we’ve had a long tug o’ war about meal times and I have had to let her win. So now we stick to something she calls breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. I have mananaged ,at last, to get her to come and stroke me while I eat, I thought she’d never learn. She also seems to like to play so I humour her. She’s made a big red ball out of string and tissue paper which she throws at me.(Actually it’s quite a good game but I try not to be too enthusiastic because as you know we cats have a reputattion for standoffishness and dignified disdain.)

However even I can’t manage dignified disdain all the time. I like to sit on her window sill and look at the birds. Damned birds: SHE GIVES THEM FOOD! Just let them wait til I get out there. We’ve had blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows, a robin (too cheeky by far) and lately some capuccino-coloured doves. She was pleased, said they “bode good luck and inner peace.” I’ve told you this before, humans can’t ever just enjoy their moments! Always searching for “meaning.”

However let’s get back to talking about play. The red tissue paper which she made the ball from was previously wrapped round her flower pot. Clare, the lady who came to fetch me from the hell of the animal refuge place, came and wrapped the pot in red paper saying it was more Christmassy. But I managed little by little to tear it off and we had tiny bits of red tissue paper all over the house. I think that’s where she got the idea from so I’m thinking up some more games for her. I do feel sorry for her because she sits in front of her machine (computer?) a lot and plays with the keys, so do I at times but it’s honestly not much fun. So now I’m on the look out to try and keep her busy. Last night I broke the water fountain thingie and she seemed to think that was both naughty and clever! Who can understand these humans! But I know she tries hard.