The Great Banana Riot; Ballet; Flooding

Thursday 13th February 2014

First up, bananas. If you are ‘friends’ with me on Facebook, you will know that a storm of controversy broke out last weekend when I posted about bananas. Basically, this is what happened.  Mark kindly offered to make me a cup of tea.  I said please could I also have a banana.  He brought me the tea and along with it, the banana, which he had started to peel.  From the wrong end.   Mark is one of the many people who peel bananas from the handle or stalk end.  This is the wrong end.  Whereas they ought to be peeled from the blunt, seed-concealing end.  Obvs. Anyway, I was aghast.  We’ve been married for over 25 years and together for 28 years.  Suddenly out of the blue, something like this happens and it’s like, oh, I don’t know, it’s like you don’t even know the person anymore.  And you wonder, frankly, if you ever did… wrong end banana   As you can plainly see, Mark started peeling it from the stalk end.  Wrong. So, I slowly ate the banana. It tasted OK, but somehow – different. The reasons you should peel your banana from the stalk end are:
  • the stalk acts as a banana-handle
  • the seed (the black lumpy thing at the blunt end) is gross and by starting there, with a sharp thumb-nail incision at the top, you can decapitate the seed-bearing section from the get-go.  This is also the way monkeys tackle it, though they bite it off and spit it out (because, like I said, it’s gross) and that, my friends, is how you get new banana trees.
So, anyway, a riot of protest versus agreement (largely the former) broke out.  I say riot.  It was a riot if a riot is about 20 comments.  But I am proud to be able to report that five ‘friends’ who saw that post and who are, or were, in the ‘wrong end of the banana’ camp, have had the courage to try it my way.  This control group has sub-divided thus:  two are converted, two are all meh, whatever and one is not converted but hats off to her, at least she gave it a go. Here are the comments I have had via text, email & Facebook (I am seriously not making any of this up): 1)  I’ve just had a banana

For the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I’ve just peeled it from the bottom up (ie the wrong way round) I didn’t even think it would be possible

But it is

And you’re so right – it tastes different

But hey … I tried it

When someone says you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone, I now know what they’re talking about

I’m off for a lie down now

2)  omg this is soooo science!

you should be nominated for the fyffes award to humanity or something

 your study has got it all …

you’ve got a benchmark

you’ve done the research

you’ve collated the results

you’ve compared it to other species (i particularly liked the references to “only monkeys eat a banana your way”) so basically this is now crossing over into anthropology

 you my friend are breaking down the barriers …

I might even tweet fyffes and let them know of all your good work

they’re sure to find your study very appeeling ….

3)   Ok. I’m a convert to peeling from the ‘wrong’ end. It is actually a good idea! 4)  OMG, you are a genius! eating my banana the C-S way! 5)  Only monkeys peel the banana from the black knobbly end.  And you, obvs. 6) Never have I started a banana at the bottom, the top is made that way for leverage to peel. I have a feeling you are alone on this one. 7) Well, I tied it and I am not convinced. 8) It’s fresh!  It’s different!  I LOVE it, thank you Ali XXX (I only made one of these up.  it’s number 8.  The rest are all genuine.  I am so proud). The questions now are:  will you give it a go?  And, do you think there is any chance Fyffe’s might sponsor a wider study?  I have deliberately not consulted the great god, Google because if someone is really conducting a study already, I don’t want to know. Next, the ballet.  I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake in Birmingham this week.  I love MB as you might know, and I have now seen four of his ballets live and others on DVD.  I thought nothing could be better than his Cinderella – but Swan Lake was even better.  You probably know the premise of his version of Swan Lake is that the swans are all male, so the love story is between a Prince and a male swan.  It was so beautiful.  There *may* have been tears. It’s touring now.  If you get a chance, please go. Finally, flooding.  We are not flooded in Puriton, but a lot of Somerset and Devon is, and now this misery is spreading, sadly, to areas such as the Thames Valley, Gloucestershire and so on.  Over 65 square kilometers of Somerset is flooded.  It is not new.  It’s worse now, but this started in December.  Now it’s in the news – but it’s February now! Some of this water is over 2 meters deep.  Having lived here for 23 years and spending a lot of time walking and cycling in the levels and the hills of Somerset, I have noticed, as have so many others, that our environment is changing. Yes, the weather is wetter, windier and milder.  The differences between the seasons are less sharply focused.  But that aside, the behaviour of the people controlling the managed environment has changed too.  Somerset may once have been marsh land, often flooded, but for centuries now, man has managed this environment for the benefit of us all.  The drains and rhynes (pronounced reens) are man-made.  One of the biggest, is called the Kings Sedgemoor Drain.  It looks like a river but it’s not. Basically, over the last few years, the powers that be have stopped dredging adequately – or at all. I do think that climate change is deeply in this mix too, it’s not fair to lay the ‘blame’ in any one place or with any one person or organisation – but this is worth a read, if you’re interested in what many of us, here in the midst of the mayhem think has made a bad situation much worse.

4 responses to “The Great Banana Riot; Ballet; Flooding”

  1. Mr M says:

    Ballet: *May* have been tears? *May*?? Really?? There WERE tears, I know, I was there. It was a “get a grip, woman” moment. At least you refrained from a good nose-blowing …

  2. Alison says:

    Sorry… *sniff*

  3. Claire Ward says: I saw this article and thought of you 😉 Best Wishes, Claire

  4. Alison says:

    thank you Claire! I knew I was right 🙂

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