Onions

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 The onion harvest is over but the onion-picking machine is not perfect. There must be hundreds of thousands of onions still left
lying on this field (and many more fields that we passed by that day). So instead of leaving them to rot, they are absolutely free
for the picking! Onions cost 1£ a kilo in supermarkets so why buy if you can just go scouting for them in the fields.
You must hurry though because anytime now, the tractors will be coming to cultivate the land for another planting season!

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 The same onions from that field now hanging on SIL’s outbuilding. Still many more of them hanging everywhere…enough to last her for a year!
I have some in my cupboard, too!

A beautiful mind


To talk about David, SIL’s best friend, requires a book written separately about him. Kind of Huckleberry Finn playing second fiddle to Tom
Sawyer who is the real star but Huck has as much story to tell as Tom himself.

To cut a long story short, David has walking disability. The nerves on his limbs are deteriorating very rapidly.
The bad news: this illness is progressive. While he is still struggling to walk with a cane, very soon he will be sitting on a
wheelchair. And being progressive, it will eventually affect his arms. A brother already died young because of the same ‘deteriorating-nerve’ syndrome.
Only, instead of the limbs, it struck the heart muscles. Another brother already sits on a wheelchair. The same syndrome again.
Why is that? One day, when they were only little boys playing in the field, some chemical spraying of crops took place. It’s a very
sensitive subject so I will not delve on that story but just to give you a quick background.

David is a real fighter. He has a very adorable personality. Everyone likes him because of his delightful sense of humour.
He is very good with his hands too. A master craftsman, he carves stones and gets commisioned to create commemorative artwork for
parks and museums. He excels in his field that he was taken on to teach the craft at a reputable college in Cambridge. And he is only
too willing to pass on his knowledge.
But here’s the thing, he wouldn’t accept a salary for doing that. He is a very simple person and to have an income recorded in the books
will just complicate his life like filling in tax forms and all those paperwork. His students include farmers, professionals, vineyard
owners who are seriously keen on learning from him but wouldn’t accept free classes from someone as noble as David.
Then one day, gifts started coming. Baskets of vegetables from someone else’s farm (with a note saying he-can-pick-vegetables-anytime)
and boxes of the most expensive red wine from a South African vineyard were arriving at his doorstep.

An ideal set up. Living simply, doing what one enjoys doing and getting the best out of life – with zero stress. Certainly, there’s the
obvious stress of his deteriorating physical condition but David tries to live his life one day at a time. SIL bakes him the most delicious
cakes as he has a sweet tooth and he does some home improvement projects like transforming her rundown fireplace into a
magnificent work of art carved in marble and fitted with ancient trappings giving it the period feel!

SIL and David also love to travel. They have been to Iceland to investigate on some stones which he would be using for his future projects.
They’ve done some hill climbing last Christmas around our home in the mountains. I am simply lost for words about him!
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David’s workshop which he built out of recycled materials: leftovers from construction sites and used doors and windows from second-hand shops
The big plastic bin on the left which he found in the scrapyard now serves as rainwater collector.

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The smoker, so-called because this is where he smokes fish like salmon and trout for picknicking in the garden
(or indoors if the weather is not bright)

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The inside of the smoker…a grill to lay the fish and enough space for the smoldering fire.
He mixes oak shavings into the burning wood to add flavor and color to the fish.

Mollydancing


It’s an English folkdance typical of Suffolk and other East Anglian counties like Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Kent.
The traditional nature of the dance depicts the time of winter when all the fields are too frozen to grow vegetables and the poor farmers
have nothing to eat so they go around the village asking for alms.
Today, they perform the dance probably to celebrate the end of summer which officially ended last week, the 21st of September.How lucky could we get! At exactly the same place where we had our lunch, the molly dancers were also there, eating. so we had a
chance to follow them where they performed their dance – at the village square. They actually went dancing around the pubs in the old town that day by way of tradition.

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Sunday roast

Sunday roast

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The pub where we had our Sunday roast

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This whole plate of roast lamb costs £5.95, cheap in pub standards:  a large piece of meat, yorkshire pudding, chips, boiled potatoes, gravy, vegetables on the side.  Notice the sachets of sauce.

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The counter where they take your order, and sit for a beer if you like
That green man is a member of the Molly-dancing troupe