27 December 2010


May I introduce Yorick? Everyone, Yorick; Yorick, Everyone. My youngest son gave him to me for my birthday, and my oldest son, when contemplating the naming of this new addition to my menagerie, said "You should call him Yorick!" Of course, he was absolutely correct. So now that you've been introduced, when someone mentions the name Yorick, you can say: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio." But that's only if you have a friend named Horatio, and he happens to be around at that moment.

It's the third Day of Christmas as I write this, and I can't remember what my true love is meant to have given me to go with the partridge in the pear tree and whatever-it-is that comes on Day Two, neither of which I received in my stocking. But that's okay. He probably wouldn't like roast partridge, anyway, and while a pear tree would be really neat to have, around here, we'd have to spray it for codling moth, which is inconvenient. (I just found out that where I live, if you have fruit trees and you're not certified as an organic grower, you're legally obligated to spray your trees. If you don't, the fruit tree police can come and chop them down and send you the bill. Ugh. I guess it makes sense, in a way- but it still rather destroys the illusion of the healthy and natural country life.) Oh, and no, I wouldn't keep the partridge as a pet, either; I believe they're about as intelligent as quail. And I have a hard enough time keeping the cats under control in the house as is; one is trying to climb on my keyboard as I type - a partridge added to the mix doesn't bear thinking of.

So now that the Christmas festivities are past, and we're all laying about, groaning from having overeaten turkey, and still overeating chocolate and brownies and cookies and pie, it's time to start thinking of the new year. I have this fantasy that I'm going to do all kinds of fascinating and productive activities in 2011 - more gardening, say. I long ago learned that most of the green-thumb genes that came from my grandmothers went to my sister, with not much left for me (another illusion down the drains). But I still enjoy grubbing around in the dirt, even if the resulting harvest is less than spectacular. And my favourites are my herbs. There is something incredibly satisfying in running out the back door while the spaghetti sauce bubbles on the stove and quickly grabbing a few sprigs of oregano, thyme, parsley and chives to add to the blend; the flavour of fresh herbs is incomparable. The turkey stuffing this year contained fresh-picked sage, and the parsley I had to dig out from under the snow where it was nicely pre-frozen.

Life, the Universe, Yorick and Parsley. Enjoy the twelve days of Christmas!