Vodka Drinks: Simple, Clean, and Clear

Spring is moving quickly toward summer at the Villa, and a preference is seen in the Garden for drinks that are as clean and refreshing as the breeze. This is no time for cloyingly sweet mixes or anything that will give you a headache the next day!

That isn’t to say that care shouldn’t be taken, or consideration not given, to how these things are made. And that isn’t to say that it’s a difficult thing, just that some simple guidelines can make a simple pleasure even better.

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Sonnets From the Portuguese XIV

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile–her look–her way
Of speaking gently,–for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’–
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,–and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,–
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby !
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.


(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Body, Remember

Let’s have some more Cavafy, shall we? His words come across so excellently in English, one must wonder how beautiful they must be in their native Greek! It’s enough to make a gardener want to learn another language.

You’ll often find this as “Body, Remember” or “Remember, Body” depending on the translation, but I’m pretty sure the correct title is this one:

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Sex Break in Sweden

Sweden is home to many lovely people and many deranged ideas. The Swedish town of Övertorneå, located near the Finnish border and meaning “Upper Torneå” rather than referring to an eye injury as your host still strongly suspects, includes less than 5000 people, one of whom brought attention to his home with an odd proposal.

Or proposition, perhaps.

Councilman Per-Erik Muskos introduced an idea to the town council for a new perk for all 550 city employees: they would be allowed 1 hour per week to go home and have sex. Naturally it got a lot of attention all over the country, and generated all sorts of commentary – for, against, and straight-up humorous. 

The first thing to occur to your humble host, after easily predicting the various reactions, was that Sweden already has a startlingly large collection of time-not-working benefits, and this is another. Also that the number of people working for the town is about 1/8 of the people actually in the town.

The links above are to Swedish-language newspapers, so for the benefit of all here (one hopes for Swedish readership but does not necessarily have it yet), here is the New York Times article on the subject. I tried mightily to excerpt properly the most entertaining bits of the thing, but it’s too scattered. You’ll need to go read it yourself.

Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.