Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I don't know whether it's just me, but it seems like a lot of people I know have Spring birthdays. Several of my best friends. 3 of 5 family members. Half my graduate lab. I don't know if anyone's looked into this. Is it a holdover from evolution, like all the rest of the critters having their babies in the Spring? A side effect of June weddings and Summer romances and getaways?

Be that as it may, we combined three birthdays with Easter this weekend at my parents', as my sister's boyfriend, my father and I all had birthdays within the month. Lots of food. Homegrown duck. My cousin's ham. Scalloped potatoes and veg, and the berries and apples for pies all from homegrown stuff. Easter chocolates, and homemade hot cross buns. Thankfully we all have good metabolisms.

Mom always encouraged me to keep at my studies. Yet I note that she is the worst one for feeding the hobbies that I would love to make a full-time job someday. This birthday was no exception, as she found me a digital yarn scale, a portable burner for dyeing outdoors in the summer (although this may be just because she doesn't want me steaming up the newly-painted kitchen cabinets above the stove) and a reprint of Culpeper's Herbal. Originally published in the 17th century, it comes up all the time in references to herbal remedies. Culpeper's book has the descriptions and uses of a large number of herbs, and instructions for various preparations of them. I wouldn't use the recipes now without some further research, of course, but it's a fascinating read.

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