Day 115. 143 pages, 64,886 words.
Have I mentioned I’m building a boat?
It’s not much, just a little one-man fishing boat. I’m not much with the designing and the fibreglass and stuff (makes me super itchy), so I’m just making it out of wood using a How To video I found on YouTube. Once it’s finished, I’m going to haul it to Norway and do me a bit of rainbow trout fishing. There’s nothing quite like fish you’ve caught yourself, am I right? And I’m pretty sure what I’ll lose on the trip I’ll make up for in not paying €18 a kilo for kirjolohi in the supermarket. Suckers!
Before it started getting too cold, I dug up a patch in the back garden that I’m going to convert into a rice paddy. Obviously this isn’t going to take off during the winter but at least I got the base dug before the ground freezes. Next summer it should come up a treat – especially with the wet, warm, extended summers we’ve been having. Move with the climate, I say. Should be perfect for a crop of temperate japonica.
We’ve also got quite the little greenhouse happening already, so we’re a step ahead of the game there. Cucumbers, paprikas, you name it. Mrs. Hatboy has all those things in her conservatory and they grow really well. Ginger, and Japanese horseradish (or just plain horseradish in a pinch, but I’d hate to not do this exactly right), will probably grow in there too and then it’s just a matter of pickling the ginger and grinding the horseradish into paste.
The next challenge, of course, is nori. Now, I looked this up and was interested to discover that it’s not exactly seaweed (not sure how I could have grown seaweed anyway!), but a kind of pressed algae. Did you know that a British woman, phycologist Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker to be precise, pioneered a method of harvesting Porphyria umbilicalis from the sea around Wales, and her methods were adopted by Japanese scientists in the hard times after World War II? And that there is a statue to her and she is revered as the “Mother of the Sea” in Japan?
Still, it’s difficult but not impossible. I might be able to get one or two tropical fish tanks from the local kierrätyskeskus, and use some netting to grow the algae. Pressing and drying it should be doable either in the drying cupboard or the sauna, so a good savings there even though they both eat a bit of power, I’d only need to do it every so often. Ultimately a bit of work but it will pay off in the end.
I’m sure there’s a few things I’ve forgotten. Like, for example, if I want to make the occasional roll of sushi with crab sticks in, I might want to breed crabs in the same tanks I’m growing the nori in? Or would it be worth throwing a crab pot or two into my boat when it’s done? I think I can make a crab pot out of juniper branches.
It’s going to take a while and be a little bit of effort, but ultimately will definitely save me time and money. The important thing, of course, is that I’ll get to be a poopy little judgemental snob about people who buy sushi in the supermarket like goddamn plebs.
– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on my lunch break. I’m thinking of some way I can build my own smartphone and mobile network too, by the way. Possibly using coconuts like on Gilligan’s motherfucking Island.