10 Things I Am Currently Loving

1. Rolf Harris. He’s a legend.

2. Peanut butter on multi-grain toast.

3. Colin Firth’s performance in The King’s Speech. If he doesn’t get a BAFTA, there’s no justice in the world.

4. Seed. By which I mean the clothing shop where I recently purchased 3 dresses to wear for work. On sale at $30 each. In a comfortable and flatteringly drapey jersey fabric that is machine-washable and drip dry without the need for ironing. Sweet.

5. Sketch submissions by new artists (well, they’re new to me, anyway). Its like a quick look into their soul. I usually reciprocate with something of my own so they can ‘know’ me, too. I think of it as being akin to breathing softly into a horse’s face or putting out your hand for a dog to sniff…

6. Losing a further 1.5 kilos over the Christmas holidays. That’s 8 kilos in total I’ve lost. Or 17 pounds. Or just over a stone. And you should see me run. I’m like greased lightning. 😉

7. The ABC’s Rake. Its the best thing on TV to come out of Australia since… well, I can’t think of anything else I’ve really loved from Aussie TV, actually. The blurb on the website doesn’t do it justice – in fact, it makes it sound rather lame – but, believe me, its bloody brilliant. The ABC have sold out of the DVD, though, drat them, which is vastly annoying as I intended to send it as a Christmas present to several family members and friends.

8. My new travel coffee french press.

9. My Amazon Wish List and the darling friend – you know who you are, piereth! – who sent me Christmas presents chosen from it. I had entirely forgotten I’d even made a Wish List, until the presents arrived. The exactly-what-I-wanted presents.

10. Canned sardines in olive oil. Now that I can no longer justify eating tuna (and, my god, that is a real sacrifice on the altar of principle, let me tell you, because I ADORE tuna) since bluefin tuna are now critically endangered and yellowfin, bigeye and albacore stocks are also crashing, I have rediscovered sardines. Which are delicious, as well as reminding me of picnic lunches with my mother when I was little.

Incidentally, I have three things to say to the people who pooh-pooh the current level of threat to tuna stocks and who consider tuna to be the equivalent of ‘chicken in a can’:

i) The closest land-based parallel to tuna would be tiger or wolf, not chicken. Tuna are large animals and a top ocean predator. There are no land-based predator species that we eat in any quantity, which is lucky for them, since predators tend to reproduce far more slowly than prey species, for obvious evolutionary reasons. Similarly we cannot farm tuna any more efficiently than we could farm tigers in order to supply a demand for their flesh. So, we need to stop eating them – at least for a while – not just so we can eat them again at some point in the future, but so that their loss to the ocean ecosystem doesn’t have the kind of unintentional consequences that the removal of large predators on land from a given ecosystem has so often had.

ii) ‘dolphin-friendly’ tuna fishing methods are marketing bunkum. Even where commercial tuna fisheries have ceased to use nets to catch tuna, the use of long-lines instead now results in massive bycatches of sharks, turtles, dolphins, immature tuna and even seabirds such as albatross.

iii) to those who think that the ocean’s vast schools of fish are boundless and infinite I have only this to say: passenger pigeons.

…and don’t even start me on Japan in this context.

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15 Responses to 10 Things I Am Currently Loving

  1. sledpress says:

    Thank you for that rant. I sometimes want to embark on a similar one about one or another form of lousy Earth stewardship and then I just feel… so tired. It’s like yelling at a wall.

    But I’m glad some people are still prepared to do it.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      You know, I think the wanton destruction of our oceans is about the only thing I still feel so passionately about that I can’t help but rant… 🙂

  2. Where does Japan get off on their ocean harvesting policies anyway? Their commitment to whaling is just sick. I knew that tuna were in trouble, I guess I was not aware how close they were to crashing.

    The way we have treated the oceans as a limitless place to dump garbage is shameful, the dead zones at the mouths of major rivers, especially the Mississippi are horrifying and terrifying to me. I don’t understand why more people are not concerned. Look at what happened in the Gulf of Mexico when that oil well blew out. As far as I know there have been no major consequences for BP, I still see people driving into their stations and buying their gas.

    The truth of the matter is that the majority of people are way too concerned with their own comfort and convenience to bother about such things as the disappearing cod fish or the top predator tunas crashing. Shark fin soup? Hey, why not? who cares the majority of the rest of the shark is wasted. The ocean is infinite, right?

    No no, we should just buy another electronic toy and play killing games on the internet and eat whatever our little hearts desire.

    By the way, by what sort of magical miracle did you LOSE weight over the holidays? congratulations. I believe I found what you lost, but it will be gone again soon.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Oh god, don’t start me on shark finning… quite apart from the fact that the fins add no appreciable flavour to the soup, its just a status symbol, the fact that large pelagic sharks have brains of a similar size to dogs should make us pause, wouldn’t you think? I mean, we wouldn’t dream of standing by while nations cut off the legs of dogs and then chucked them away to bleed to death wholesale, would we? And yet we’re turning a blind eye to this being done to hundreds of thousands of sharks every year. It disgusts me, it truly does.

      And oh, the magical miracle of losing weight over the Christmas holidays was due, I think, to the fact that I slept a lot. I’m convinced that my body functions more efficiently, the more sleep I get. And that apparently extends to burning fat 😉

  3. modestypress says:

    Is it a shame that humans are an endangered species?

    Is it a shame that the top predator on humans are…well, look in the mirror.

    • By what standard are humans an endangered species?

      • modestypress says:

        We are probably the only creature with the capability of applying weapons of mass destruction to ourselves. There is the classic standby–nuclear weapons. We have discovered and deconstructed DNA; we can create our own viruses. We have (perhaps) cooked our globe with global warming. We are exceeding the carrying capacity of our ecosystem, used up the fuel which we use to transport ourselves. Shall I go on?

  4. azahar says:

    OMG I want that travel french press!!

    And then I want to travel…

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yes, it was such a lovely, useful gift. I have it on my desk at work and it has drawn many an admiring comment already. Its so easy and efficient.

      I intend to travel more within Australia this year, that’s my aim, to see a bit more of this amazing country. I shall be well-supplied with coffee en route 🙂

  5. Coveting the travel French Press … and you’ve convinced me to try sardines.

    • azahar says:

      Fresh sardines are divine… tinned ones make me go “gack”!

      • Norwichrocks says:

        Ah, Az, there’s a Spanish tapas place down the road from my office (authentically run by recent immigrants from Spain!) where they serve little sardines marinaded in some kind of vinegar which are just HEAVENLY.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      You know, I did think of you and the Amazon and your coffee-troubles on the trip to see your old friend recently when I was given the press. It would be ideal for you both…

      Yes, yes, try sardines. Only, you might want to try them in a room far away from the weasel cat. If she gets a whiff, she may be unable to control herself.

  6. piereth says:

    glad you liked ’em, darlink! I’m loving your book in return, it’s on my nightstand as we speak xxxx

  7. OmbudsBen says:

    I’m so with you about the ocean and it’s health, in general. And good for you about tuna. Although I dislike it myself, the species is amazing. Besides, crackers piled with sardines, tomatoes, and cheese are tasty…

    Re passenger pigeons, it’s interesting to think that native Americans had cultivated the forest, harvesting nuts and grains, and that their demise led to a population explosion for the pigeons moving into the ecological niche in the eastern North American forests.

    Makes me wonder what tuna eat, and if thos stocks might now do well, aiding an expansion of tuna stock some day. Probably a lot to hope for.

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