Friday, December 15, 2006

So today I've discussed humous recipes with Jay Weinstein (he uses Turkish rather than Lebanese tachina, and cooks his chickpeas with salt, and without soaking), seen a wild-rice pancake demonstration, discussed childhood obesity, and heard a number of fascinating, personal stories.

I'm having a good time. I'm having a really good time. But I'm one of a handful of English people here, and quite a few people have come up to me because they like my accent or tea or something, and, it's nice, don't get me wrong, but I feel... odd. Like I'm the odd one out in some way. Which isn't true, there's two other English-born people here, and one of them's even from Cheadle.

I don't know why I'm saying this.

It's dead quiet. Compared to the bustle of the city, it's peaceful and I've talked with people who work on the farm here and medidate over their food before they eat. There's a guy who works in the kitchen who's from Derby. My room-mate is a fabulous woman who told me her life story this morning and I was practically in tears.

There are no locks on the doors here. It's all very open-source share-y (which is good), but by the standards of people here, lots of the people I've met, I'm an amateur.

Like, I'm thoughtful about what I eat and the planet, and I make choices that take account of the implications of my actions. But there are people here in CSAs , who work in food or cooking or writing about food. I feel like something of a fake. I'm here because I'm interested, and I like finding out more.

Also, when I tell people I carbon-neutralised my flight, they have no idea what I'm talking about. That's what comes from living in a country that won't sign up to Kyoto. I explained to someone over lunch that the clock on your microwave uses more energy than the microwave, and they didn't know that.

I have two cell phones, but only one of them works, and even then, flakily.

It's cold. But not that cold. Not snowing. That's global warming for you (I think you should read that to the tune of "that's entertainment.")

There have been some coincidences. Like, while I was typing this, a guy came up to me and said "are you the woman who flew in from London?" and it turned out we met at D's for Friday night a few week's ago, and we talked about this place, and now we're both here.

Or, how about this.

At the opening of the challah baking session, people went round and introduced themselves, and there's a couple here from Tuscon Arizona. So when it came round to me, I said my whole intro, and then mentioned that I once had an amazing Pesach in Tuscon, when I was there for work about five years ago. She asked who I spent seder with, and I said B&B, and she said, hey, he's my friend, I see him walking my dog. In fact, he told me about this conference. He read about it on some blog."

And I said, he reads my blog. We email, sometimes, although we haven't been in touch for a while. Hello, Bert.

Once, someone said to me that I'm a coincidence magnet (hello, X), but I think, if you ahve a larger circle, you're just more likely for more things to happen.

But anyway. I'm rambling. Shabbat Shalom. And it's chanukah, so happy chanukah. Remember, miralces, that's what it's all about.

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