20.10.38

The two turtle doves after about 2 days plucked up the courage to leave their house, flew off & presently disappeared. The Arabs said that they would not return. However, they come every day for corn, & sleep in the pepper tree behind the house.

M. Simont’s sheep are allowed to browse among the orange trees. Apparently the idea is that they will not eat the leaves of the trees (presumably bitter) but will keep the weeds down. Actually they do nibble at a leaf occasionally.

Cooler. Nice autumnal feeling in the early mornings.

Goats giving distinctly more milk. More than 1/2 pint, though am only milking the brown one once daily.
Hens all well, but no eggs. These hens, even allowing for size, have extraordinarily small appetites.
Arabs round here growing practically all English vegetables (carrots, radishes, cabbages, tomatoes, runner beans, crown artichokes, marrows) besides large green chilis° which are extremely hot. Most of the vegetables rather poor quality. Dates very dry & poor. Sheep here eat half-ripe dates.

The charcoal braziers generally used here are quite satisfactory for cooking. They are generally about 1’ across by 8” deep & either have very many holes in sides or a double bottom with holes in the top one. The charcoal can be started with very little paper & wood & smoulders for hours. A few strokes with the bellows gets it into a fierce heat. A small tin oven is placed on top & bakes fairly satisfactorily.

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11 Responses to 20.10.38

  1. Jeremy says:

    Interesting that Orwell considers those vegetables “English”. What was he expecting, I wonder? And what is a pepper tree?

  2. John says:

    Is he living on a farm at the moment or in a city? I thought it the latter, however its surprising how much growing is going on by his neighbours.

  3. ladyrohan says:

    I love this sharing. Did he ever realize how interesting his life was? haha.

  4. I still await an update on his partridge in a pear tree.

  5. Dominic says:

    Next: Grillin’ With George?

  6. Celsius1414 says:

    @Jeremy

    We have them in California, if they’re the same genus:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schinus

  7. dave says:

    “hens all well” (today……only 3-4 died yesterday)

    “no eggs yet”….

    Great Expectations…

  8. The Pepper Tree I see there, following the hyperlink, would look Absolutely Stupendous in the middle of my front yard.

    It pleases me to imagine this Schinus molle in contrast with the surrounding Orange et al Groves—Villa Simont (with several freshly-hewn headstones for various deceased fowl barely visible in its shadow) in the near background—a la Van Gogh with some Tchaikovsky wafting as the puny chickens cluck and the miserable goats bleat feebly. In the foreground: The Road to Casablanca.

  9. James Corpora says:

    Pepper trees are quite common in Southern California. I grew up with a couple. Wood weak however and not much good for anything, not even to burn. Amazing that Orwell can take such mundane things and make them interesting.

  10. I wonder how well a pepper tree would grow in my climate.

  11. Oh yeah, I’m surprised he didn’t recognize that as a BBQ grill. Perhaps good BBQ hadn’t made its way to his plate yet.

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