Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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120

We kept two geese for a while. This was pushing it, even in

a back-garden stretching out for half an acre. But the

neighbours all had projects too. There was no hassle. We

thought our geese would breed but one day we found two

eggs. We phoned a man versed in these matters. When are

you in town, next?

So my uncle’s mate, Angus from Garyvard, officially sexed

our stock and neither was a gander. The geese were very

protective about their fine eggs – it took a single one to

make the richest omelet or scrambled egg you could want.

I’m tasting them now, creamy without the addition of

cream. I felt bad, keeping one goose off with a stick while I

stole the egg they were jointly guarding. I knew I couldn’t

carry on doing this. So the deal was done – two live geese

for two live lobsters. At least I knew how to do them,

courtesy of Mrs Beeton. As per crab. That diagonal thing

with the skewer through the eyes.

The latter days of the barter system in the coastguard

service. I broke the news as gently as I could to Anna who

liked to stroll down the urban allotment to throw grain in

their direction. They were going to a good home.

‘But I wanted to eat the gooses,’ she said.

I don’t think I could have swung the hatchet at one of those

arching necks. And I didn’t know any relative of any Jock

Rose who would do that favour.