Lovely Sarah from Bray’s Cottage sent me a pie. Not any pie, a really big, pork pie of the onion marmalade kind, personalised with my name. There was huge excitement, not least from the delivery man when it arrived, as he breathlessly said, “It’s from the Perfect Pie Company” and handed over an enormous box. The pie was my prize for coming up with the pieku idea and I was thrilled to receive its scrummy meatiness. Indeed I think a large pie like that would form a great centrepiece for a jubilee picnic, it looked like a huge gold crown.
Now Sarah has a new challenge for you, could you be a Dandy Piewayman? For the price of a password or song you could get a reduction on the cost of your pie during this week. If you are prepared to dress up and sing you could get a free pie; it would be hilarious if a flash mob of Dandy Piewaymen attempted to intercept Sarah and her pies at Norwich Farmer’s Market next weekend!
This is one of those longer posts, so – feel free to skip to the bit you came looking for:
Pieku – Haiku on Pies, 0r Janathon 2012 – Thanks Kathy and Janathoners, or ‘Dispersal’ – a short story
Pieku – Haiku on Pies
You will find elsewhere in this blog reference to Brays Cottage, the Perfect Pie Company. One of my first ever ‘Pop-up’ assignments was helping Sarah on her stall, I’ve written a silly screenplay in the past too. This weekend has seen a little activity that has taken over twitter in a big way and I love the way that Sarah can take a batty idea and run with it – introducing the Pieku. It started when she asked me for the origins of the nursery rhyme Georgie, Porgie Pudding and Pie; I pulled out my copy of the Opie’s book on nursery rhymes and quoted back a few lines. Then overnight my brain was clearly working away on the idea of rhymes and pies I woke up with Pieku forming; Pie based Haiku. I tweeted one to Sarah and she started a competition (it ends tonight – Sunday so get in quick for a personalised pie to the winner), they seem to be coming in at one every 10 minutes at the moment!
Here are some of the ones I have written – I try to stick with the 5,7,5 – cutting word and seasonal reference.
Knife through golden crust
Reveal inner soul, hearty
Blanket spread on ground
Wanton luscious pie
Mustard bit on side devour
Jelly optional consume
Hot crust raised up high
Chorizo filling warming
Not all pies are cold
If you have Pieku forming tweet them to Sarah @Brays_Cottage
Janathon 2012 – Thanks Kathy and Janathoners
Janathon 2012 has been a wonderful stimulus to get me moving again this year, but I failed miserably in the blogging and logging. Finally I think I’ve reached the stage where for me, as long as I do the exercise, I’m happy and don’t feel the need to log it all the time. This is progress. I am really thankful to Kathy for starting the ball rolling and I have taken up running which is another new activity and paying dividends. Although, you’ll understand by the picture above why I haven’t run or swum today. I am also really grateful to the fellow Janathoners who encourage and support and dare I say it the PlankPolice who riddle me with guilt!
Dispersal – a short story
This is my latest piece of homework for the writing workshop I attend. The task again was to allow the dialogue to do some of the narration, it is also designed to be read out loud for a ‘performance’ later in the year; let me know what you think…
The day I first visited here, a hoar frost was still hanging in the trees at mid-morning, thick fog had dogged us for days. Cloud Farm was boarded up and virtually derelict. When I opened the oak door I was disappointed that as it swung back it was silent, not the heart stopping creak I was expecting. It should not have been possible, but the air inside the tiled hall was even colder than outside. The door to the right led me into a large sitting room. As I entered the room the only light was forcing itself through tiny holes in dark sheeting tacked up to the windows. I struggled to find my way to one of them, and tore at the corner of the fabric; it made an echoing, ripping sound as it split.
“Stupid girl,” I turned at the sound of the quiet voice, “put that back, there’s no light allowed in here.” I attempted to hook the fabric back into position but there was no way it would stay put.
“Sorry?” I said tentatively, “I didn’t mean to cause offence; I wasn’t expecting anyone to be here.”
“There isn’t,” said the voice.
The solicitor had warned me that that in addition to dereliction, the house was reputed to be haunted. He probably thought I was joking when I told him that was fine because I grew up with them.
I moved towards the voice, “You’re the colour of amber,” I said, she had the sheen and consistency of manuka honey, fresh from the fridge.
“You’re not frightened of me then?” she said.
I moved towards her, a small table at her side held a deeply grooved board with what looked like a single large marble balanced towards the end. Suddenly my foot landed on another marble and I started to slide inexorably towards her.
“Don’t knock the table,” she called out weakly. I resisted the temptation to put a hand out and instead drifted into her, landing on my backside with my eyes at her knee level.
“Oh my god, what happened to your legs? They are so tattered, they look chewed, are they sore?”
“Stupid girl; I can’t feel anything anymore. The damage was done after I collapsed; I was unconscious for two days before I died. The rats got me.” She seemed calmly philosophical about it.
As I attempted to get up, my fingers touched another marble. I lifted it as I rose and turned it in my hand.
“An eye,” I said, “Are they all eyes?”
“Yes would you mind picking them up and putting them in the rack?” she asked.
“Of course; such a variety, I like this one, a beautiful sapphire blue, how unusual.”
“It’s the only one that matches my natural eye colour” As I looked at her now though, she had no colour other than amber.
“Could you help me fit it?” she asked. I lifted the eye-ball up to her face; she had no temperature, as I felt for the outline of the eye socket.
“You don’t feel of anything, I can just sense differences of resistance, is this a bony ridge?” I asked.
“Yes just press the ball in and it should sit there.” For a moment, with her sapphire eye, she was complete.
Then she sighed, “Stupid girl.” The fog was clearing outside, more light streamed into the room and as the temperature lifted I looked at her.
“Your eye; it’s slipping.” It slid down inside her face and fell out of the bottom of her jaw, hitting the ground with a dull thud and rolling to the skirting board.
“Dispersal,” she said “When I warm up I start to melt away, it takes so much energy to rebuild myself when it’s cool enough…” and with that she seemed to dissolve in front of my eyes, and hers; trickling through the cracks in the floorboards. Just an eccentric collection of glass eyes on a side table remained.
I moved back to the window and let in more light, then saw the note pinned to the wall.
If you are reading this, Cloud Farm is about to become yours. Charlotte and I have lived peacefully together for nearly thirty years. She lives in the walk-in fridge mostly. Each time she retires there we agree when she will next emerge. We have had some successes. So far we have found the final resting place of four of the rats who chewed at her limbs and have garnered quite a bit of her form. We have learnt that two degrees Celsius is the critical temperature, any higher than that and she starts to disperse, any lower and she is too stiff to move. You must turn the air conditioning to its lowest setting and raise the fridge to two degrees for twenty-four hours before she is due to come out; check the whiteboard on the wall for the next date. On no account attempt to bring her out if the air temperature is above two degrees. There are still more rat bodies to find, or potentially the rats that ate those rats. Also her original eye; she lost it cutting wood, but taking her outside is so risky and the emotions so painful, we have agreed to leave that until last. You see, like all spirits she cannot pass over and finally release her particles until she is complete. At least her imperfections are physical, it is so much harder for those whose damage is emotional, they may never recover and remain here forever.
Look after Charlotte; she is essentially good, just damaged.
That which dies does not drop out of the world. Here it remains; and here too, therefore it changes and is resolved into its several particles; that is into the elements which go to form the universe and yourself. They themselves likewise undergo change, and yet from them comes no complaint. – Marcus Aurelis
For #12DCP folks this is my belated Ghost Story
I have had great fun with the North Folk today. Sarah @Brays_Cottage Pettegree pushed out a tweet a few days ago asking for help on the Bray’s Cottage Pie Stall in Norwich today. It may have been a damp and blustery city centre, requiring massive amounts of tea and coffee to be consumed, but it was a great way to spend the morning.
The smell of the pies was gorgeous, Sarah claims she is immune to the aroma but by the time the shift was over there was only one thing to do…… chase a la Pietalian Job back own the A140 and tuck into the salary. The pies were of the Onion Marmalade persuasion; other pies on offer today included naked, chilli and lemon with garlic. Despite the suggestions of @deanrnch the urge to eat was great, no heating or mashed potatoes took part in the meal; just pork pie, mustard with lamb’s lettuce and rocket from the greenhouse. The pies are dark, dense, rich, with no extraneous jelly and the pastry had taken on the flavour of the onion marmalade. The meat has a good level of herb and spice seasoning without being over powered. It was great to meet Twitterers face-to-face and to gain some new friends among the North Folk. Thank you Sarah for a memorable morning out; I will think of you on sunny days, with the chat and comradeship of the others in the market and on cold days I will think of you standing on layers of cardboard wrapped up against the elements – true dedication to your pies. If ever you are stuck again you know where to find your pop up pie seller; somewhere over the rainbow.
The Spotify playlist for this post is here
p.s. also picked up asparagus on one of the other stalls, so that’s supper sorted.
*actually you don’t have to weigh the pies on the stall but it is my second favourite joke after the one about the duck.