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.