Hunting, shooting and fishing

Yesterday was World Vegan Day. Not that I knew about it until I read about it on someone else’s blog who has vegan aspirations, eats no dairy but does eat fish.

A vegan pescatarian perhaps? Years ago, we went on a holiday from hell (top tip: avoid Ramblers’ Association cross-country skiiing holidays) and were the only vegetarians on the trip. Yes, we could be catered for. But this was France, where the odd bit of ham in the peas isn’t considered an issue. The chef would pick them out for us.

One pescy (pesky?) couple described themselves as ‘food reformists’ rather than pescatarian. Not sure whether the reformation referred to them or their food. They ate the peas with ham as I recall.

Meanwhile, I had a sudden distaste for beans while in Spain. This was not good. Six days out of seven in Spain, we live on infinite varieties of bean slop, the seventh day is veg paella.

Sunday: I cooked chick peas. As I was struggling to force it down, Partner took the bowl away from me saying, ‘You’ll be sick’.

Monday: I cooked pinto beans. I forced them down. Later … I was sick.

I clearly have Unaccounted for Sudden Onset Bean Allergy.

No more beans that week.

But on a cheerier note, there is more choice of food in Gib. Yesterday, without knowing it was WVD, I cooked pasta with a tomato, olive, onion, chilli and red pepper sauce. Supper was vegan slices (sage and onion, Vegideli) sandwiches with lots of salad. So I did enter into the spirit.

Unlike the hunting, shooting and fishing lobby. In my carnivorous days, I enjoyed grouse. Each to our own. But I’m not sure the rich should be funded for shooting grouse?

And speaking of money, influence power and shooting …

Corporate Citizen by Gabriel Valjan

This is the fifth book in the Roma series about forensic account Bianca Nerini/Alabaster Black and her pals.

Somewhat uninspiring cover
Somewhat uninspiring cover
I’d totally forgotten there was another one due, so was surprised and pleased when the Italy Book Tours co-ordinator sent me a copy, before I’d had chance to sign up, because Laura knew I’d enjoyed the other books in the series. Always nice to avoid paperwork, virtual or otherwise.

The books in the Roma series flit between Italy (Rome, Milan, Naples) and Boston in America. In Corporate Citizen, Bianca et al are back in Boston helping old friends. Except for her boyfriend Dante, as the two appear to be in temporary separation mode, so he’s stuck back in Italy.

Valjan manages to maintain most of the core characters, introduces new ones, and swaps them around as the series progresses, as he does the locations. It’s a neat trick to avoid boredom. In this book, Bianca becomes closely involved with a man who is a suspect, and has a dubious/mysterious past.

Add to that addictive mind-altering aggressive drugs, the usual quota of murders, and attempted murders, plus the links with Bianca’s former dodgy covert government organisation, Rendition, all makes for an interesting, if complex mix.

Not forgetting Russian and Ukrainian groups fighting for power and the distribution of a new designer drug. Oh and prostitution. There really isn’t much missing in this book.

It has some vivid action scenes, some empathic moments, and lots of detailed food scenes. As ever Bianca is the star of the book, with some sound supporting characters. The new one, Nick Adams, runs her a close second in this book.

Gabriel Valjan
Gabriel Valjan
Although it’s an action book, it’s also a thinking book as everyone tries to work out what’s going on, and who is on whose side, and there are references to previous books, but it’s basically standalone in terms of plot/story. Luckily Valjan has a character list at the beginning to aid any confusion.

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. I wonder if they do box sets. Would seem like a good idea for a series.

On a lighter note, I finally received my copy of The Tiger Fierce by Timmy.

This had only taken a mere two months to arrive from Canada. Many thanks to Timmy and Chris for posting it to me.

Timmy guest posts on the first Tuesday of every month at kardzbykris, which is a photoblog that uses clever thoughtful words as well. I’ve always enjoyed her blog, so it was no surprise to find that The Tiger Fierce is full of gorgeous photos and is a top quality production. It’s a short, but a delightful read and visual treat. Recommended for cat/animal photography people in particular.

More details on kardzbykris

Two other authors to mention. Both of whom have similarities in style. Great characters and lots of action. Plus, quieter moments too. And this is where the genre thing gets up my nose. Sci-fi, spec-fic, dystopian? All these apply. YA, NA, Early Adult, Baby Adult, and a woman in her fifties (me) enjoys them? Totally silly arbitrary descriptions.

But still, two good series for whatever type/age of adult requiring a good read.

M T McGuire’s K’Barthan Series will be available as a box set on 18 Nov.

Pre-order price is $7.99 and £6.99. I read it pretty much straight through and it works well.

Lyz Russo’s latest, Nix Romipen, in the Solar Wind Series was released yesterday, and for the next couple of days, there is a discount on the previous four books, the first one is free anyway.

I planned to add some photos of my Gib evening walks but Halphone is a total disaster. Won’t speak to Halpad and refuses to connect to wifi to send photos to Halpad. Bloody Apple!

So here are a few old pix.

77 comments on “Hunting, shooting and fishing

  1. Well, the bean dish at the top looks yum!

    When I read your title, I automatically translated it to, “Huntin’, Shootin’, and Fishin'” :) (you British and your clipped accents!)

    Don’t know if you’ve read any Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games trilogy) but she’s considered YA – easy reading and I loved ’em!


    • It wasn’t one of the dire ones. My coriander had died apart from anything else :(
      Yeah, we do say it like that :D
      I haven’t but I should. Maybe the library will have them. Doesn’t attract me, but that means nothing.


    • Eaten beans for a zillion years in lots of variations but, this one time, I just flipped. Back to fresh veg and seitan/tempeh/tofu and the occasional supermarket pre-made dish. Without too much junk.

      North America does have a lot of vegan/vegetarian options.


  2. I generally only eat green beans(Or beans on toast when I want to get mugged down memory lane!). Haven’t had any issues that I can recall since becoming vegetarian. And I don’t eat fish either.
    Of course, having a well’stocked freezer of Fry’s makes things easier all round.


    • Dried beans are a real staple in our part of Spain, much cheaper than meat, and our immediate neighbours ate them virtually every day, sometimes with a bit of chopped chorizo, with the odd day off for a fish meal. So, the turnover at the supermarket is pretty rapido which makes a difference. I did take to making my own baked beans which were pretty good but I haven’t felt like those either.
      Don’t mention Fry’s. Flipping Morrisons got that one lot of pies in and hasn’t restocked since :(


      • Maybe you should email Fry’s direct? Perhaps they will be able to sort out the problem?
        Worth a shot, you never know, and I’m sure they would be pleased as punch knowing there were vegesaurs in Gibs!


        • Morrison’s stock control here is useless. If they held the proverbial in a brewery they’s be supplying lemonade. Virtually everything comes from the UK, apart from a few local veg, so I suspect their hands are somewhat tied. When Morrison’s took over Safeway they were going to get rid of the Gib one until they discovered what a moneyspinner it was. It’s not just Gib. It has the Andalucian catchment area, Brit ex-pats and Spaniards who like the British choices.

          It’s not just the vegesaurs. There are people who just want to eat less meat so go for the meat-free option, as it’s labelled, because vegetarian/vegan is so eccentric. So these people are also taking MY food. I tell you those pies left the freezer shelf in no time. I think we only had them once and then they were gone. So why don’t they buy more? Profit margin?

          But yeah. Worth a punt, if only to give them positive feedback on a good product.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I doubt they would be able to ship directly though. Gib import and custom laws are complex. People aren’t even meant to go shopping for food in Spain and bringing it in, although everyone does it. Less now as the pound has dropped and many Gibraltarians are sick of Spain’s aggressive rhetoric. We knew one woman who had her food shopping impounded. Farcical, yet, if you live in Gibraltar with all its pros and cons, why not support the local economy?
            Must dash and get on with some wifely domestic tareas. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. France has so few vegetarian options. Our eldest daughter is vegetarian and when she is home from University (in the UK) whenever we eat in a restaurant she struggles to find anything to eat and we have found French chefs are not particularly happy being asked to adapt their dishes and leave out this and that!!!


    • We managed all right last time (ie years ago) we were in Paris, ie eating mostly pizza/pasta/salads. Very French! Similarly when we drove down the west coast fifteen years ago. But since then, I’ve been back to Paris a few times and wasn’t impressed with the choice at an average cafe/bar/restaurant. I do feel for your daughter. The UK does seem to have improved on the veg front, moved up from the ubiquitous omelette to the ubiquitous goats cheese …


  4. I tend to eat beans like a kind of pasta substitute because they can be a bit bland. I hope the allergy goes away soon, I confess I have a terrible weakness for lentils (no laughing at the back) I mean that I love them.

    Thanks for the book mention, and I’m with you about the labels. I wrote the books I wanted to read that didn’t exist. And I keep on writing the books I want to read that don’t exist. I don’t really know how else to write, or at least, I can’t make it come from the heart any other way.




    • I wouldn’t describe them as bland, more of a certain taste/consistency. Depends what you do with them I suppose. I like lentil soup, and dal, which is like a thick soup anyway really, but Partner got fed up with dal a while back! I think old age just brings pickiness.

      You’re welcome. The labels drive me nuts. When I was a kid there were maybe half a dozen labels that anybody really knew about if they even bothered thinking about it. Mostly I would say it boiled down to classics, historical fiction, and everything else, but the author tended to be referred to first as everyone knew what they wrote. I suppose the obsession with genre/labels is internet drive. As is most of life. Lyz’s books did remind me of yours, in that they don’t fit one category, and they are imaginitive and adventurous, so it was neat that you are both publishing this month.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t had peas for ages. Normally we get the British summer crop here in Gib but they never turned up at the supermarket. Maybe a poor year for peas? Who knows. So now we await the Spanish autumn/winter harvest.


  5. I’m glad that you are now feelin better. I can only eat green beans now. When I was vegan for many year I ate all manner of dried beans that I cooked myself. Then the allergy to gluten kicked in and beans began making me feel ill as well. MD told me I must have meat protein and I ate lots of salmon until I read how they are farm raised and I could not afford the wild fish. Now I can’t stand to look at fish and eat organic chicken that I cook myself. I hate the idea but I am stronger and don’t have all the aches and body pains that I had before. I prefer not to eat meat but it is a must in my case.

    The cat book looks cute and I’ll have to see if I can get a used one. I don’t buy new books since most are too expensive for my meager life style.


    • Thanks Y. I don’t think it’s an allergy to gluten as I’m still ok with bread. Well, so far, touch wood. Maybe I wasn’t in a good cooking mood. IDK. Salmon farming. Not good is it? The last time I ate fish was 20(?) years ago when we were kidnapped on a Greek island and taken to the big family lunch. It started off all right with feta and salad and we breathed a sigh of relief. And then the fish and lamb turned up. I’d never missed meat but I did occasionally think about fish, so I took the fish and Partner took the lamb. Ugh. It was a bit like coffee never actually tastes quite as good as it smells. My memories of fish and the reality weren’t the same.

      Books are expensive when we live on a limited budget. Any I have now are given to me by a neighbour or as review copies.


  6. so sorry to hear about the beans – hopefully that’s just a temporary phase. the ingredients in the pot do look quite yummy!
    and thanks for the mention of Timmy’s book, and all your kind words. glad it finally reached you. Timmy is snoring at my feet, and he sends sleepy purrs.


    • Who knows? Not me. The pot of pinto beans was taken some time ago when I had loads of cilantro in the garden. It’s actually a good way to cook them. Instead of pressure cooking them plain, you add onion, garlic, chillies, olive oil and cilantro the beans and water. Then mash them up and refry them to serve with tortillas, guacamole etc. Ah, just remembered, you’re not a keen cook are you?

      Thank you for the book. It’s within arm’s reach so I can pick it up for a little relaxation whenever I want. The sleepy pods are curled up next to me on the sofa so they send their 💤


    • That’s interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of SA as veg paradise. I do like looking at menus, I’m incapable of walking past one.
      I can take cheese or leave it. A change in diet leaves you disinterested in things you previously loved. I find it very rich these days, and I could def not a cheese avocado sandwich. Avocado salad sandwich however is brill. I got a sandwich vegetal in Spain this year while we were waiting for new tyres to be put on and it had avocado, asparagus, tomato, lettuce, onion, and egg, (toasted) with sweetcorn and carrot garnish. It was excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A bean allergy? That’s awful. We eat lots of beans in our household since the only thing I can cook are soups. Do you think it’s permanent? One of my friends loved carrots and ate so many and she developed an allergy. At least, that’s what she said.

    Didn’t know it was World Vegan day. Learn something every day, even if I am a day late.


    • We did too. Casseroles rather than soups, but most of our meals were beans. I don’t know. We hadn’t eaten them all summer because it was too hot for hot meals, a strange summer. So either we’d both just gone off them, or the beans had gone off. Just don’t know.
      Doubt I’ll get a carrot allergy. We only use about two a week.


  8. I lust love these national food days – these are my favourites – International Bacon Day September 3rd (USA)
    July 13th National French Fries Day (USA)
    October 17th National Pasta Day (Also USA)
    March 1st Iceland beer Day


    • I’ve heard that US bacon is terrible! Mind you we got some new dog treats called Sizzlers which look and smell exactly like bacon. If I ate it I’d be tempted to try them. Isn’t there a British Fish and Chips Day? Or a curry day, or a Yorkshire pudding day? They would be good ones to have. Maybe I should start some new food days.


      • I believe you are correct. There is a fish and chips day in June and a Yorkshire pudding day in February. I adore Yorkshire pudding. My mum is from south London and still insists on calling it batter pudding. She is 83 and I have long given up trying to correct her!
        Americans don’t like our bacon, they consider it too fatty and prefer their own sizzled up burnt version.


        • Of course August 1 as Yorks Day could be a second pudding day by default. I’ve never had it since I left home. Never liked it out as naturally, it was never as good as mum’s. Plus, everywhere else it came in those silly little portions sitting on the main course plate instead of served as a starter.

          I suppose it depends what cut of bacon they think of. We used to sell rolled middle, so that was a mix of back and streaky. Then there was ham corner which was inbetween the ham and the middle so was similar in size to bacon but was totally lean. Very popular. And there wasn’t much of it either so it went fast. I wouldn’t have called our bacon fatty. Americans do seem oddly fond of bacon, yet they seem more interested in eating sweet things covered in syrup or treacle for breakfast. I grew up with two rashers of bacon every day for breakfast :)


          • For a veggie you know a lot more about bacon than I ever will! Ham Corner sounds good.
            I have never had YP as a starter mostly those individual little portions that Tykes would poke fun at!


          • As I spent 20+ years living with it/selling it/eating it, it’s hardly surprising. You can imagine how impressed my parents were when we came out. I feel for homosexuals because it was bad enough announcing we didn’t eat meat.
            I wasn’t really bothered about the corner. Or ham that much. It was ok for an occasional supper or lunch. If you have bacon for breakfast every day you don’t really want the same thing again for lunch/supper!
            Our pudding tins were big. Sometimes I’d get my own smaller tin just for me :) because I preferred it with currants in. And then there was the gravy to consider. Favourites were beef tea and rabbit gravy (not together). On the days we didn’t have pud we had pancakes and gravy.


    • If you aren’t an Apple person you won’t know that they can be like Hal out of 2001 ;)
      You should see my levels of irritation at using Windows. I swear it approaches myocardium infarctum levels.
      Obviously not. Hence lack of brain :)🐟

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I remembering it taking about the same length of time for my book to reach Canada and it was rather expensive to send… Never again. Glad you finally got Timmy’s book… How would you rate it?


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