The Red Grouse is apparently the fastest bird on earth 0 – 80mph in a matter of wing-beats! I would guess that makes it hard to shoot not that I have ever shot anything. Of course shooting it on the opening day of the season costs thousands of pounds — and you have to be in the in crowd, I suspect if you want grouse on your glorious table.

Red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus(royalty free images)

Well, I can’t eat game — any game. It doesn’t settle well — nuff said! Grouse is a bird I have never eaten. I have tried a few game birds with varying degrees of illness — pheasant, partridge, goose, wild duck; pigeon being the worst of all. Even turkey is off the menu for me! And I really wouldn’t want to eat a moorhen or a woodcock — or shoot such beautiful birds but then I score fairly high on  cognitive dissonnance when it comes to meat. (I confess I killed and ate a rabbit once in France but I wouldn’t like to do that again — I suppose if I was starving… maybe… but it’s messy and unpleasant and anyway it caused Jeannette Winterson all manner of problems recently so…)

I am not a vegetarian but these days I do lean more towards vegetarian food as it just agrees with me better and I think it’s mostly healthier — if I can avoid the cheese. Eggs is eggs. Goose are a bit strong but good for baking. Duck are bitter 😦 Quail are a bit wee but make a lovely salad. Free range banty are best.

Yes, it is Open Season today and it always feels like a time shift in the year — one of those little landmarks on the way back down the other side of summer. But as I say — I am not grousing — I have some poems and stories coming out yhis Autumn in Bewildering Stories and I am editing poetry for The Linnet’s Wings this season too — another bird of fine feather! And Open Mouse will be publishing a wild bird poem of mine on Epiphany next year. In the meantime I have plenty of writing to do and who knows…

And who knows what’s for dinner? Not grouse for sure. I was thinking of lentil cottage pie and green beans — something humble, something plain and wholesome in sympathy for the poor grouse — to who I dedicate the moorland colours of this page.

MOTTO: Life is good whether you fly as high and fast as you can or prefer to stay low on the moors. Keep away from guns and you’ll be fine!