I wasn’t originally going to publish this today, but I received a few comments on yesterday’s entry about the use of tallow in soap making. I’ve also had a quite a few questions over the years about the use of lard and tallow in my soaps, so I thought I’d finally bite the bullet, as it were, and write a full entry on why I use it, and what the alternatives are if you are morally opposed to using animal products.
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London is extraordinary. It’s almost incomprehensibly big, busier than seems possible, and so loaded with history and life that it is astonishing. And intimidating. To arrive in London with no plans other than a place to stay is to open up a set of encyclopedias and start reading at random—you know there’s lots to see and do, but where is it? And what is it?
After our journey southward from Alnwick, Whitney met Kara and I at Oxford station. How exciting! Whitney! In another country! And Oxford, a place that’s so steeped in history and beauty that it makes you mourn the state of Calgary much more acutely than before. Everywhere you turn in Oxford you find something that once inspired CS Lewis, somewhere that JRR Tolkien sat, or some deer that belong to the Queen and are officially classed as people.
Ah, Scotland, my ancestral home (or one of them—the most major one, at least). Where men wear kilts, plaid is hip, haggis is readily available, bagpipes are always playing in the distance, and the name Doig doesn’t get you quite so many strange looks.
I haven’t seen much of Scotland, but from what I have seen, Edinburgh is easily my favourite city. It’s wonderfully medieval, full of cobblestone, and buildings older than Canada. Its wonderful Royal Mile starts and ends with beautiful palaces, and there are tourists everywhere. I guess you can’t have everything.
I love to read, but rarely have time for it. Cliché, I know, but there you have it. This entry started out as a Spring 2012 reading list, but as spring trotted along I realized I hadn’t read nearly enough to make an entry out of it unless I wanted to include a selection of Reddit threads and Cracked articles to round it out. When I visited our family cottage in Manitoba I devoured six books—enough to write this entry and present you with some books I think you should read. And here they are.