I am the grit in the gears, the missing bolt, I am the poker of sticks into spokes.
I like to know how things work, but sometimes when I take them apart and rebuild them, I have a few pieces left over.
I am a man, so I tend to leave reading the instructions until after it goes wrong.
And like all men I have a comprehensive mental map of the world and never need to ask directions.
I never get lost, only sometimes I'm late, or end up in the wrong place entirely.
It's what we do.
I was happy to see that in Texas I'll be able to get all those green tasty vegetables that I love, all fresh and misted regularly with probably nastily chlorinated water. Mmm, multi coloured cauliflowers!
But then I move along a little:
Holey Moley! Prickly things! I'd be scared even to try pick one up and put it in a bag, let alone eat the nasty vicious thing. Now, when I was a kid, there was a comic with a tough guy cowboy character called Desperate Dan. He was tough. Very tough. He might eat cactus.
But me? Well... I confess, the idea has entered my head, and there's only one outcome. But raw? steamed? fried?
"Edible cactus can be eaten raw or cooked. To cook, steam over boiling
water for just a few minutes (if cooked too long they will lose their
crunchy texture). Then slice and eat! Cactus can also be cut and sautéed
in butter or oil for a few minutes.
Steamed cactus can be added
to scrambled eggs and omelets, or diced fresh and added to tortillas.
They can also be substituted for any cooked green in most dishes.
pads can be served as a side dish or cooled and used in salads. They
taste especially good with Mexican recipes that include tomatoes, hot
peppers and fresh corn."
" be sure to handle them with heavy leather work gloves and scrub them
hard to ensure all the painful little barbs are off. Either way, handle
them carefully or with gloves just in case."
Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried, in my way, to be free.
Like a worm on a hook,
like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee.
If I, if I have been unkind,
I hope that you can just let it go by.
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you.
Like a babe, stillborn,
like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me.
But I swear by this song
and by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee.
I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch,
he said to me, "You must not ask for so much."
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door,
she cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"
Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried, in my way, to be free.
It comes as something of a surprise to find a chimpanzee sanctuary amidst the valleys of south Wales. But why not? I ask.
Perhaps Wales is a place where chimpanzees, maligned, treated as second-class citizens, passed over in the job-market, and the butt of speciesist jokes, particularly long for escape, and safe haven.
Fellow Tsimps! Coelbren offer you a new life!
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
( And this reminds me of another thing. Many non-british people think Welsh is just a dialect of English. It is not, it is a language much older, with different roots. Welsh is completely impenetrable and not in the least understandable to an outsider, really, try to figure it out? guess the meaning.... forget it.
Most roadsigns are bilingual, sometimes Welsh first, sometimes English first. My mother, though her parents were Welsh speakers, was dissuaded from using her native tongue as a child, on the grounds that those who were to succeed in life would do so in English.
So much so that her school handed out punishments if you were heard speaking Welsh.