Tradition has gone out the window

I saw a fox in the garden this morning. I was sitting at the dining table, typing my blog post when, suddenly, I spotted a flash of red. At first I thought it was Emma but quickly realised it was bigger and redder. I quietly headed for the doors and found her in the Wildflower Patch. She leisurely moved down Carmen’s Sweet Escape, so I carefully followed her.

Obviously, as soon as I rounded the side of the office, she spotted me and was off like a shot. But she wasn’t quick enough to prevent me seeing how beautiful she was. A big bushy tail, pretty face, everything you’d expect in a healthy well fed fox.

It reminded me of a conversation we had in the car coming back from the football on Sunday. Nicktor said that Dawn was boycotting the Hogs Back Brewery because they support fox hunting. I have long been a fan of their beer but the fact that they support such an awful thing as fox hunting has made me reassess my loyalty.

To that end, tonight saw me drink, what could easily be, my last Hogs Back Brewery beer. Their excellent IPA.

Such a shame but, in all conscience, I can’t condone the cruel tearing apart of a frightened animal by a pack of country toffs with nothing better to do than show how big and clever they are by killing a defenceless animal in the harshest way possible.

I’d be in favour of a Fox Hunt Hunt though, where workers on quad bikes, with a pack of baying hounds, chase down toffs and rip them apart in a hedgerow. It seems only fair.

The ‘tradition’ of fox hunting in this country is abhorrent. Unlike other traditions, I’m surprised it hasn’t been removed.

I was reminded of Christmas traditions this morning, when I left the house to go shopping. The house across the road, the newest residents of our street, has had all of its Christmas decorations removed. I assume it was done because of the weekend. I guess expediency is more important than tradition.

As most people (should) know, the lights and decorations should be kept in place until Epiphany, more popularly known as 12th night, or January 6. It’s the day that the three kings were supposed to have arrived with gifts for the baby Jesus.

Anyway, I wonder why the lights came down a week early. Why not wait for the next weekend? I’m never going to find out, I know, but it does remind me of the wonderful Christmas lights we experienced in Sweden, where they came out in November and lasted into February. It really brightens up those long, cold Winter afternoons.

I guess another Christmas tradition is the making of my mince pies. And, in order to finish off my fruit mince, I made my final batch today. And, in Mirinda’s opinion, they were the best EVAH! We plan to eat the last ones on 12th Night.

I have to agree with my wife’s judgment. They were seriously good. I think it’s one of my best pastry results.

Speaking of cooking, tonight was also our first vegetarian dinner. As I wrote on New Year’s Day, we are trying to have two vegetarian meals a week. The first one came from Sabrina Ghayour’s Bazaar. It was her very Persian flavoured, tray baked vegetables, to which I added watercress and feta as accompaniment. I thought it was delicious.

And weather wise, while it rained for most of the morning, early afternoon saw a return of blue sky and sunshine. The day was also nice and cold with the thermometer outside my office never rising above 8°.

Bliss.

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