Monday 23 May 2016

A garden in pictures

When I say my mom’s a gardener what I mean is that we eat late in the summer months. It means there's a good chance my hand luggage has a plant or two stuffed down the side wrapped in damp newspaper and that I get seed heads sent to me in the mail. It means I don't cut flowers probably because my mom doesn't cut flowers, and that I like making sticks into infrastructure most certainly because mom makes stick infrastructure.

When I planted my first garden I was a little nervous and spaced everything out like the mysterious runes and diagrams on the seed packets said to. Mom’s advice: ‘Everything just wants to live’.

When I say ‘my first garden’ what I mean is that time, three years ago, when I grew mainly greens and 3.5 sunflowers in a 1x1 box in a field that, for the longest time, was looked over by city planners and left to a group of alcoholics that would (mostly) leave you alone as well as a modern day mystic and follower of the ayahuasca church (possibly — no, probably — also an alcoholic) who once accused me of stealing his watering can (I didn’t). This field is now a construction site like it’s been for the last two years, destined for a new try at life as a carpark. 

My next garden isn't so much mine as it's ours and this isn't just because it's squatted, which it is. These pictures are of her garden, not of ours.

Sunflowers, incidentally, seem to do very well in Amsterdam.


Monday 2 May 2016

Movia Wines + Restaurant De Jong + Lux = magic * natural wine

It started at 6 so we figured we’d probably be out early. And anyway, or so I thought, it was a wine tasting (small sips, spit spit) and it would all be natural (wine that has been farmed according to organic or biodynamic principles plus minimum intervention thereafter… including, according to some diehards, no sulphite at bottling; a practice that has the effect of stabilising the otherwise very much still alive wine by stunning microbial reproduction, fermentation and all-round interaction as well as sanitising bottling equipment: sulphite’s antioxidant properties shield the wine from oxygen.) — so we’d be fine

— or at least, more fine than how we might feel after drinking, sorry tasting, the equivalent amount of conventional wine; wine that will almost invariably have had chemicals and sulphites added, noxious nasties that would have to be processed by our livers the next day as well as the alcohol. The lack of crap* in natural wine should make it, both theoretically and in many of my own experiences though certainly not all, less likely to leave you feeling bad the next day, precisely because there’s less crap to have to filter out. Obviously alcohol percentage, sugars, dehydration, levels of histamine (high in red wine), how much and how fast you drink are also influencing factors; and there are a lot of offhand soundbites being thrown around about the evils of sulphites as the major causer of hangovers, but for now, that’s what they are: unscientific soundbites

And that’s where we’ll leave them. Hangover prevention is a bad reason to start drinking natural wine and if it’s yours, please don’t. Better reasons are: caring about the environment, supporting the farmers that care, additives in your food and if you think you’d be interested in trying something that’s alive, tastes it, and is therefore unlike anything else, certainly anything we label ‘wine’. 

But the night itself? 
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