Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Time Lords

This morning I wanted to make cheese, and tested the rennet we bought far too long ago; rennet loses its curdling abilities over time, and I wanted to see if it could still do the job. I discovered that it was useless at the recommended amounts, but worked if you used it at ten or twenty times the concentration.

So here’s my question for any cheese-makers out there: can you simply increase the dose tenfold or so? Would there be any ill effects?

We also meant to whitewash the chicken coop, but we had to spend all day in the bog, footing our turf to dry it over the summer months and burn in our stove for heat over the next three winters – more on that soon. By the time we returned, our stretch of great weather had broken, and we had to run back over the squishy bogfields in the rain.

When we got home I wrapped The Girl in blankets, put on Going My Way with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, made soup and noodles and we curled up together.

“We got a lot done today,” she said. Yes, we did, I said.


“Daddy, why did Judas give Jesus a kiss when the soldiers were coming?”

That was an interesting detail, wasn’t it? I said. I suppose to single him out to the soldiers while not making it look obvious that he was betraying him.

“Why did he betray him?” The story goes that it was for money, I said.

“But that’s terrible! Money’s not worth that!” she said, genuinely indignant.

Well, in fairness to him, maybe the soldiers threatened to kill him if he didn’t co-operate, I said. That would still be wrong, but more understandable.

“If we had Doctor Who’s time machine, we could go back and ask him,” she said. As with Facebook the other day,

I didn’t ask how she knew about Doctor Who – it’s a cult show in the USA, but a major cultural institution over here. I suspect there’s a reason why that story -- the story of a pacifist who saves people, who is killed and returns in a new form -- has acquired such religious devotion in an increasingly irreligious land.

What would you do with a time machine? I asked.

“I’d like to do what Doctor Who does,” she said. “See different parts of history, and I’d like to save the world.”

You know, I said, you’re in a time machine right now.


Well, you’re time-travelling into the future right now, and you’ll see a lot of history – more than I will, I expect. And you can change a lot of things in the world.

She sighed. “I know what you mean – but I’m going through time really slowly.”

That's the blessing, I said. You want to hear a secret? When you’re your age, time moves in slow motion, but soon it will begin moving very quickly indeed.

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