Alex James: Laughing cow, pouncing tiger

Rural notebook

Share
Related Topics

In a foul mood anyway, probably because of my diet. I'm doing a "Super-Cheese Me"-type experiment for the BBC. It's a worthwhile cause: we're hoping to demonstrate that eating cheese can help you lose weight. The downside is that, as the guinea pig, I don't get to eat any dairy products apart from one small cheese triangle (a Vache Qui Rit light) and a saucer of skimmed milk per day all week. In principle it was a great idea, but giving up smoking would have been easier. And I've only just realised that my time wandering in the cheeseless wilderness will collide with the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff this weekend. The Festival kicks off on Friday with the big cheese trade event of the year, the gala dinner for the announcement of the winners of the British Cheese Awards. I will be there, naturally, to see how my cheese has fared in the hands of the judges, but I won't be able to have any cheese – which is going to make me look a bit of a 'nana in front of the country's great cheesemakers.

So I was in an absolutely foul mood on Sunday, a caged tiger waiting to pounce, when I finally got round to looking at the pieces of paper stuck to the telegraph pole at the end of the drive. It's surprising that the council still prefers this means of communication.

I was puce by the time I'd got to the end of the firstsentence as the thing flapped in the breeze. Someone's trying to move another footpath. My footpath! These country footpath wrangles are about the most tedious thing I've ever encountered. When we moved here five years ago the footpath through the campsite next door wasn't clearly defined. Apart from for a brief period when Fred dumped a year's supply of sheep manure at the campsite boundary, which was taken as a hostile gesture but was actually just Fred being Fred, the whole thing was settled amicably – but only the week before last. It took five years. Here we go again.

Rennet off the net

I was giving a talk at the food festival in Abergavenny on Saturday. I thought I'd make some mozzarella for the crowd as I saw someone do it in Italy last week and it looked easy. I ordered some rennet, that's the magicmilk-curdling ingredient, from the internet thinking it probably wouldn't work but that it would be quite funny all the same. It was absolutely delicious! Milk tomozzarella in 20 minutes.

Back to basics

To coincide with British Cheese Week, which follows the cheese festival, my business partner Juliet and I are doing a (very) brief jaunt around the country to celebrate my return to eating cheese. It's called "Cheesey Rider" and starts in Wensleydale on 2 October. I will be demonstrating how to make mozzarella – Mark Hix is already after the recipe.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teaching Assistant required in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Residents of the Gravesham constituency are 10 times closer to what Peter Hain scorns as the “Westminster elite” than are those of Linlithgow and East Falkirk  

Will no one stop the march of localism?

Jonathan Meades
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam