Tuesday, 28 July 2020

A Way of Life

I meant to write a long and luxurious post on the above topic, but all I have time to do is catch up.

On Saturday Benedict Ambrose and I went on a splendid walk from East Linton to Dunbar. This represented the last leg of the John Muir Way. Apparently some Americans are trying to cancel our Johnnie for saying rude things, but he'll never be cancelled in Dunbar. He was born there, his birthplace is now a museum, his statue in in the middle of town, and he was voted their "Man of the Millennium." I wouldn't suggest anyone go to Dunbar to fiddle with his legacy, for Dunbar is what B.A. calls "rather rough."

On Sunday B.A. and I went to Mass and did not pass out and die when the congregation of 40 absentmindedly sang their usual half of the Credo. Afterwards we enjoyed a Gin and Tonic of Togetherness and then went with a London-based pal (Andrew Cusack) to Bar Napoli to relive his student days and eat lunch. After Andrew ran for his train home, B.A. and I sauntered to our own bus stop, untempted by the luxuries of George Street.

On Monday after work B.A. and I went to the Historical House, secure in the permission of the Head Gardener, to harvest blackcurrants for next year's blackcurrant vodka. Someone had done a number on the rhubarb, so I picked the last forlorn pink stalks and took them home for crumble. I washed and dried the black currants and today, during my lunch hour, I bought a bottle of Absolut (on sale at £16) to pour over them.

Now we have three bottles of blackcurrant vodka in various stages: a bottle of creme de cassis, a bottle of straight czarna porzeczka for Christmas 2020, and today's mixture, to be left until  Christmas 2021. I am drinking creme de cassis with soda at this very moment.

Today is July 28, exactly a year after my last tincture-making. As B.A. and I went off berrying yesterday, it occurred to me that this has become a tradition in our Way of Life. Our Way of Life is not the ideal for married Catholics--the absence of children still rankles my soul--but harvesting fruit for cordials and puddings is very pleasant.

Our Way of Life clearly involves long walks in the countryside, the Traditional Latin Mass, meals with friends (whenever possible), the making of alcoholic drinks from flowers and fruit, the reading of books and The Spectator,  the study of Polish and Italian (me), and the study of 18th century Scotland (B.A.).


  1. I enjoy reading about your way of life very much:)

  2. Thank you! Weirdly, I cannot get into Blogger to write a new post today. Hmm.