2013 is the year of the snake. I quite like snakes. Noel was born in the year of the snake 1953 and so is a Water Snake.
Of course I like Monty Python and Blackadder too. I’ve never watched that film about snakes on a plane though. Flying’s scary enough without adding to the anxiety, however improbable and I like my serpents ‘in oneses’ as they say round here 😉
We used to watch adders in Brynna Wood near where we lived in South Wales. And once we encountered a female with young along the disused railway line. She put her head right up and hissed to tell us to clear off — and we did.
Then at Kielder, we once saw a very large adder on the track above the castle and got out of the car to encourage it to move away.
They are shy creatures for the most part and so it slithered off. It was so big that the wheel base wouldn’t have cleared it. I think that was the largest snake I ever saw in the wild. We still look out for adders when we go for walks.
Last year we met this lovely cotton snake. It decided our friend’s beard was an excellent place to hang out.  Nathan was very zen about it considering he had to allow the snake to work its way all the way through and out.

Comfy nest? The snake went a beard too far!

Comfy nest? The snake went a beard too far!

This year the beginning of Chinese New Year coincides with Mardi Gras and Green Monday, sometimes known as Green Man Day. We were in Cyprus once for that and they have huge parades to mark the festival. So I declared Monday 11th Feb Green Snake Day 🙂 and made HongKong Noodles.

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I quite like pancakes too but not all that much because they are somewhat like an omelette, eggy, so I only make them once a year — on pancake Tuesday and always eat them sweet.
I remember as a child being forced to ‘Listen With Mother’ in school — being made to sit bolt upright to do so, at the age of 5, hands clasped on the desk and one was not allowed to move but forced to sing some silly song that began:
Pancake Tuesday, Mother’s busy baking
We are helping with the pancake making.

Rubbish! Mammy never made pancakes. She bought scotch pancakes – pikelets. Those radio programmes were so far removed from our reality — so middle class and ‘English’. A bit out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know why I didn’t like it at the time — I just thought it was silly. It was condescending — like the Janet and John Readers we had.

Maybe that memory is the very reason I don’t really like pancakes enough to make them beyond once a year. Perhaps this is a year to roll them up with some shredded chicken, bean sprouts, ginger, chilli, garlic and cashew nuts in celebration of the Year of the Snake. Nah! Maple Syrup here I come 🙂

Gong Hey Fat Choy