Feast of the bean king, by Jakob Jordaens (1593–1678). Wikimedia Commons

Feast of the bean king, by Jakob Jordaens (1593–1678). Wikimedia Commons

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding having people over for dinner for any occasion is getting more and more complicated.

First, there are the scheduling issues. Who is available when, and can we please—please!—manage to get together, all of us, just this once this year? Okay, how about once this decade? This lifetime?

And then there’s the food. With every invitation I send out, I’m tempted to include a dietary-needs declaration form to be filled in and returned with the r.s.v.p. Maybe guests can arrange for their family doctors to sign it, too, or have it notarized. You know, in case they forget something critical.

One friend calls our circle of mutual friends the Picky Eaters’ Club. We include the usual assortment of celiacs, nut and dairy allergies, vegetarians, and blood-sugar problems. We also have some well-meaning foodists—those who choose a particular life or eating style for moral or philosophical reasons, or for just plain personal preference….

Continue reading this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist.

Plant-pollen particle. Pphoto by yellowikis, Creative Commons

I’m allergic to plant sex. Specifically, plant sex of the windblown variety. Even more specifically, grass sex.

Lucky me, the Aerobiology Research Laboratories report high levels of grass pollen in Victoria this week, so I’m keeping eye drops and hankies on hand. The Ottawa-based labs use measurements of plant pollen in cities across Canada to track and predict local week-by-week allergy severity.

With so much of Victoria’s landscape bursting into bloom at this time of year, we could celebrate a Spring Sneeze-Up following April’s Blossom Count.

Flowers are plants’ naughty bits, after all. Because plants suffer from mobility issues, they take advantage of wind, rain and animal pollinators to help them do the deed and make plant  embryos, or seeds.

We who suffer from airborne-pollen misery are merely immunologically protesting the presence of abundant, floating sperm released by plants without regard to Victorian propriety or the neighbours.

Continue reading this post at the Victoria Times Colonist….