frost at sustainable living projectWe had our first proper frost this weekend.  I like frost.  According to allotment lore it will make my parsnips really sweet and tasty.  Actually I dug one up about two weeks ago because I couldn’t wait any longer for the frost.  I was dying to find out what was underneath the soil and leafy top growth.  Unsurprisingly, what was underneath was a parsnip.  I served it up for lunch that day.  The Man from Salford, who is quite partial to roasted parsnips, complained that there wasn’t much.  I explained that I was just digging one up to see what it was like.  ‘It’s like a parsnip,’ he helpfully told me.

The cold weather always turns our attention to our less than efficient and somewhat crude plumbing and heating.  We would like to have a water heating solar panel (we would like to have PV panels too) but we are not allowed.  We live in a listed building on a conservation site and even something as inoffensive as a slimline panel on the roof is a no-no apparently.  I’m all for preserving our heritage but I would like it to be presupposed by a need to preserve the planet first.  I think a planet would make heritage sites so much more accessible.  If only there was some way we could bypass all the red tape at the local planning department.  Perhaps we could put in for a nuclear reactor?   

The Gates of Hell are About to Open:

(Mind the gap) is a fabulous book by John Connelly.  We are reading it together aloud as part of our ongoing efforts to find cheap and low-impact family entertainment. It is cheap, it is definitely harmless and generally more funny than it is frightening.  And it is hugely entertaining.  Connelly’s hell is populated by weak, flawed and vulnerable demons.  Their desires and actions are governed, in turn, by avarice and a need to be loved.  They fear their superiors and loathe their inferiors, and some of them are a little power crazy.  Not a whole lot different from us then?  Oh, for something simple, pure and uncomplicated – like a parsnip. 

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