I think that tonight is the night when I should answer some of the questions you must have been asking yourselves in response to earlier posts here at Meanwhile, at the Manse.
What’s that? You haven’t been tormented with unanswered questions about the life and times and adventures of Raymond and Katherine here at the Manse? Oh. Well. Really. Hmmm.
Well then, I’m going to answer those questions anyway, even if they’re my own darn questions. I hate loose ends!
Question 1: Who finally won the battle, Raymond or the chipmunk?
You might recall that in this post from late August, I told you all about Raymond trying to outsmart a wily chipmunk who was digging holes and tunnels in the Manse’s yard and finding his way into the birdseed stash in our back porch. Raymond was quite determined that he was going to gain the upper hand, and I am pleased to report that, after some initial setbacks, it appears that he has. It took a lot of mothballs down the various chipmunk holes (not to mention covering over those holes once the mothballs were down them), and of course the birdseed had to be put far out of reach, but Mr. Chipmunk has not made an appearance for a couple of months. Chalk one up for Raymond!
Question 2: Why was the Union Jack flying at the Manse this past Oct. 25?
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day and comes safe home
Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live old age
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words –
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester –
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by
From this day to the ending of the world
But we in it shall be remembered –
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” – that is some seriously good stuff, is it not? Thanks, Mr. Shakespeare.
Question 3: Did I ever find a source of slab bacon?
Perhaps you will recall a culinary lament I shared with the world in this post, about not being able to find slab bacon locally to use in one of my favourite things to eat, corn chowder. Subsequent to that, with some help from a reader and friend, I was able to find not one but two possible sources! The reader and friend suggested a butcher shop at the southern end of the Municipality of Centre Hastings (which I have yet to check out, but will); and meantime, at a late-summer event celebrating local food producers that I wrote about here, I had a chance to ask the good folks from Palmateer’s Abattoir outside Tweed – a long-established and well-regarded slaughterhouse and butcher shop – whether they perchance carry slab bacon. And they do! Which means many batches of fine corn chowder, with all local ingredients, await us.
And finally, Question 4: Is Raymond better than I am at finding photos on the internet?
Apparently the answer to that is yes. I did a post this past week (it’s here) about two midcentury Canadian whiskies from Seagram’s that were called Jack Baker’s Secret and Jack Baker’s Top Secret – Jack Baker himself having been from nearby Madoc, which is why I was writing about the whisky in the first place. Despite a considerable search, I was unable to come up with a single image of a bottle of this fine but now near-forgotten beverage. Lo and behold, shortly afterward Raymond did come up with one, as you can see in the accompanying photo.
Really, what with outwitting the chipmunk, thinking to celebrate a battle that took place 599 years ago, and finding possibly the only extant photo of a bottle of Jack Baker’s Secret, I think we can say that Raymond is the inadvertent hero of this post. All he needed for a perfect run was to be the one who found me that slab bacon.