“Cinnamon: Rich in taste and time”

            Cinnamon has such an incredibly rich and interesting history that I never knew. I have always known cinnamon as something that makes certain foods taste extra delicious and combines with sugar to make awesome desserts, but I never imagined that it was once valued higher than even gold. There are so many other things that I also wasn’t aware of, such as that it has many health benefits. Not only is it yummy, but it’s healthy as well. What more could you ask for? It took me a while to think of whether I had a story to share with cinnamon, but when I finally remembered my mom’s famous cinnamon pull-apart I knew I had to talk about it.

            My Christmas morning routine used to start with being woken up by my sister, sneaking a peek at my present from Santa, jump on my parents’ bed to wake them up and then go back downstairs to wait for my grandparents to open stockings and presents. This routine has now changed from when I was younger, but what hasn’t changed is the food, specifically the cinnamon pull-apart.

            Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a genus of trees from the family lauraceae. There are many different varieties of these cinnamon trees, including cinnamomum verum, true cinnamon, and cinnamomum aromaticum, cassia. True cinnamon is native to the island of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) off the coast of India while cassia is native to China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

            The cinnamon pull-apart is what my whole family looks forward to most on Christmas morning. It is essentially made up of little balls of dough that have been rolled in a sugar and cinnamon mixture and then baked together in a bunt cake pan with caramel syrup over the top. The smell of it baking the night before gets us all excited for digging in the next day. My dad has even been known to sneak a piece fresh out of the pan, but regrets it when my mom catches him. I can remember helping my mom every year with baking and when I was little I wanted to help as much as I could. As I got older I had to be told and sometimes guilt-tripped to get me to help out. This past Christmas though I’ve found that I am back to wanting to help my mom out and I essentially took over the whole baking process minus the bread maker’s part of the job.

            The evolution of my involvement in the making of the pull-apart is similar to the evolution of the cinnamon monopoly. Control of Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) changed hands many times just as I changed my opinion on whether I would help out that year. The spice traders would purposely keep the location of the sources of cinnamon a secret so that they would have a monopoly. This is what allowed them to continually demand a high price for the spice and consequently make an extremely good living. Even when the prices would start to decrease, those that controlled the monopoly would burn the spices to keep the price high. When the establishment of the Ottoman Empire interrupted the spice trade, access to the spice centers from Western Europe was cut off. During this time, the price of cinnamon, along with other spices, became so incredibly expensive that even kings and queens were finding it difficult to afford them. Because of this, leaders of Western European countries started to send explorers to search for a new route to access the spices. When Ceylon and other spice rich areas were found via these new routes, the ‘conquering’ nations would colonize the area and take over the monopoly. The Dutch were especially good at this and took over control of Ceylon and the trade of cinnamon in the 1600’s. They almost exclusively controlled the spice trade for a while until the French managed to steal enough cinnamon and other spices to plant and start growing them on French-controlled islands in the Indian Ocean.

            My favourite way to eat the pull-apart is to grab a chunk and spread some cheez-whiz on top. It is the most delicious way to eat it and according to my mom, it is the only way. It took her years to finally dissuade me of my illusion that it would be disgusting and convince me to try it, but I’ve never looked back.

            Similar to the strange combination of cheez-whiz and pull-apart is the combination of cinnamon as both delicious to eat and good for you. There have been studies done that have determined that true cinnamon, not to be confused with cassia, can help to maintain blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. It has been found to do this by slowing the emptying rate of the stomach and by potentially increasing cell sensitivity to insulin. The latter possible mechanism would be very helpful for diabetics since they tend to develop insensitivity to insulin over time and have a difficult time regulating their blood glucose levels on their own, hence the diabetes.

            Cinnamon has also been shown to have some antiviral properties. Eugenol oil, extracted from the leaves of cinnamon trees, has been found in some studies to be effective against the herpes simplex virus. This is the virus that is responsible for causing genital and oral herpes. Strangely enough these same extracts were also found to be effective at killing mosquito larvae. The study I found that looked at this lethality found the eugenol to be effective against the strain of mosquito that is responsible for Yellow Fever. There hasn’t been much further research into this aspect of cinnamon’s properties, but it could be possible that we may use cinnamon extracts as bug repellant in the future.

            True cinnamon, or cinnamomum verum, has all of these wonderful properties, but the type of cinnamon most consumed in North America, cassia or cinnamomum aromaticum doesn’t. There is a toxic compound that is found in all cinnamon called coumarin, which can cause liver and kidney damage in humans if enough is consumed. You don’t need to worry about coumarin with true cinnamon because there are negligible amounts present in the bark, but there are relatively high amounts found in cassia.

            Cinnamon is a very rich spice in so many different ways. It made traders and nations rich in the past, it’s rich in potential health benefits and it makes our bellies rich in deliciousness when we eat it. Wars were fought over this spice that we consume with almost unnatural regularity and we take it for granted. Research is being done to look at the potential health benefits of this spice for diabetics, those affected by herpes simplex virus and as a bug repellant. I personally don’t need all these health benefits to eat cinnamon so long as it’s in my mom’s Christmas cinnamon pull-apart.

 

Bibliography

Bourne K.Z., Bourne N., Reising S.F., Stanberry L.R. 1999. Plant products as topical microbicide candidates: assessment of in vitro and in vivo against herpes simplex virus type 2. Antiviral Research 42: 219-226.

Cheng S., Chang H., Chang S. 2003. Bioactivity of selected plant essential oils against the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti larvae. Bioresource Technology 89: 99-102.

Herbal Remedies.com [Internet]. 2011. Cinnamomum verum information. A Vitamin Network Company; [cited 2012 Mar 20]. Available from: http://www.herbalremedies.com/cinnamon-information.html

Sproll C., Ruge W., Andlauer C., Godelmann R., Lachenmeier D. W. 2007. HPLC analysis and safety assessment of coumarin in foods. Food Chemistry 109: 462-469.

Wikipedia [Internet]. 2012. Cinnamon. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; [updated 2012 Mar 22, cited 2012 Mar 19]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamon

Whipps H. [Internet]. 2008. How the spice trade changed the world. Live Science; [updated 2008 May 12, cited 2012 Mar 19]. Available from: http://www.livescience.com/7495-spice-trade-changed-world.html

Comments (1) »

“The 100-Mile Diet”

Smith, A. and J.B. MacKinnon. 2007. The 100-mile diet. Vintage Canada, Toronto.

I’m not sure whether I had been looking forward to this reading all semester or dreading it. Maybe both. I’m no stranger to plowing through a book in a day or two, but generally these are books of my choosing and not assigned to me in a class. In most cases having a book assigned to me is almost like a death sentence for that book since I tend to be really picky about what I read and being told what I not only should read, but what I have to read puts me in a bad mind set for starting to read. This book I found to have a very interesting concept with eating only locally for a full year. After having been in this plants and people class for the past four months I’ve been more conscious about what I’m eating and have been attempting to eat a slightly more varied diet. I’m not all that successful most of the time, but I’m at least trying.

I found it interesting to read the 100-mile diet and find out that they were able to eat a surprisingly varied diet. At one point in the book they mention that they were eating much more varied food than they had been before they started. I, probably like most people, assumed that they would have been stuck eating the same foods over and over and would have a much less varied diet than the typical person. Especially when it came to winter time I was surprised by how much they had to eat.

One thing that I quite liked about this book was that it was set in a place that I knew, BC. The authors live in Vancouver and travel all over the lower mainland to different farms and such to find food. I found it to be really cool that I could picture most of the places they were traveling to as I grew up in Surrey and know a lot of these places. Another thing that I found interesting is that one of the author’s was from Kamloops and as people who are reading this know, I live in Kamloops now. I don’t know if that is really all that interesting, but I always think it’s cool when I can identify a place in a movie or TV show that I’ve been too and it was just as cool to see that in a book.

A lot of the book I really didn’t find all that interesting. The recipes were nice to see and I may even try a few myself, but overall I found that the story wasn’t very captivating. It felt a little monotonous, but wasn’t so boring that I fell asleep which was good in my books. I did find it amazing that they didn’t go crazy without wheat. I think that would have been my downfall since I eat bread like there is no tomorrow. I don’t know if I could handle eating all those potatoes. I might go a little crazy.

Overall I found the book to be alright and a good guide for what to expect if you were to try this yourself. You can learn from them and search out a wheat farmer before you start for instance. I probably won’t be reading this book again other than for the recipes, but it didn’t waste my time either. I much preferred other readings from this semester, but it was a pretty good way to wrap up the semester.

Comments (1) »

“Marijuana”

Pollan, M. 2002. Marijuana.113-179 in The Botany of Desire. Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

I found this reading to be both very interesting and yet very boring at the same time. I’m not really sure how this is possible, but the proof is in the nap I took half way through this reading. Maybe it was just the gorgeous sunshine outside or just a late night last night. I still quite enjoy Pollan’s writing and I’m wondering whether we’re going to be required to read the final chapter of his book about the tulips because I’m pretty sure that after reading about marijuana all day, tulips would not be that interesting.

I feel like I learned some really fascinating things from this reading. The one that most sticks out in my mind was Pollan’s description of witches on page 119. I’m not entirely comfortable with repeating what he wrote in such a public place (assuming people actually read my blog), but the jist of it is that I will never allow my future children to dress up as a witch for Halloween. While this little section disturbed me a little I also found it kind of fascinating because it makes so much more sense than little old ladies with giant warts on their noses flying on a broomstick. What I’m left wondering though is how they ever came up with what they did. I don’t know how that would enter anyone’s mind. Trial and error I guess, but there are just some things that shouldn’t be tried.

Another very interesting thing that Pollan brought up was the war against marijuana use in the states. Having lived in Canada my whole life I have always kind of known about marijuana, but have somehow managed to avoid being around it. To read that growing just a “kilogram of marijuana… [is] a mandatory five-year jail sentence” was incredible (page 125). In Canada pot is everywhere and people that are found with it are only given a slap on the wrist, but in the states they sure take it seriously. After reading this section I had a discussion with a friend about the disconnect between marijuana use being illegal in Canada and yet not really punished and we came up with 2 solutions. Either make it legal since after that happens the demand for it will decrease, the government can tax it and make a lot of money and it won’t be cut with dangerous stuff (since we assumed the government or businesses would grow it) or make punishments more harsh so that people will actually be afraid to break the law. I personally feel that states have the right idea, but reading about the medicinal uses of marijuana opened my eyes a bit more (previously I had really thought that medical marijuana was a bit of a joke).

I found Pollan’s talk about how closely tied religion and psychoactive plants are to be very interesting. It reminds me a lot of a series of books that I’ve read called the ‘Clan of the Cave Bear’ where the main character helps with a shamanistic ritual. I believe that in the book they used datura to be closer to the spirits and yet later in another book of the series, a different group of people used very different drugs for essentially the same purpose. Since the books were well researched and have a lot of historical accuracy (not the story itself of course) I felt that they are like a personalized version of what Pollan was saying and helped me to understand where he was coming from with this. I do wonder whether this is still the case and if people still use drugs to be closer with their God or spirits or if this is a thing of the past.

The final thing that I found interesting was the discussion of forgetting on page 160. I had never before thought of forgetting as being something active that the brain does, but it makes sense. I hadn’t thought of how much we see everyday and not only just see, but hear and feel and touch. No wonder we have a brain that functions to forget as well as remember.

Overall there were a lot of bits and pieces that I found very interesting and that I feel taught me something new. I still very much enjoy Pollan’s view on things and look forward to potentially finishing of this book.

Leave a comment »

“Gathering the Desert”

Nabhan, G.P. 1990. Desert plants and Winter. pg. 2-19 in Gathering the Desert. Univ. of Arizona Press.

I’m not really sure whether I liked this week’s reading or not. I liked that it was nice and short, but the content didn’t grab me quite like some of the other readings have in the past. To me it seemed like Nabhan offered up a lot of really interesting ideas and thoughts, but didn’t follow through with them. I don’t know if he would have gone into these concepts in more detail later in his book since I was only reading an excerpt, but I found it frustrating when my attention was grabbed by something he was bringing up and then he’d switch to another topic.

One of the things that really grabbed my attention was when he mentioned that “they’d rather waste their time driving to the costly stores in the cities to buy tasteless food than use what is right here around them…” (pg 4). I think that this is extremely true in essentially all cultures, but I don’t think all people have the same proximity to wild foods. For example, people that live in the city buy foods from the store because the stores are what is right around them, not wild foods. It makes me a little sad that people that have foods around them aren’t using them as much as they could.

I also found it very interesting that just because some people have adapted to modern conveniences and such doesn’t mean that they have given up all of their traditional practices (pg 4). I personally don’t have any traditional practices that I can think of, but I hope that more people are similar to the lady that Nabhan met, where they can live in the 21st century, but still respect tradition and keep it alive.

The section of this reading that frustrated me the most was also probably the most interesting. I found it fascinating that “the demise of native plants in [Native American’s] diets has been tentatively related to the upswing of the incidence of certain diseases” (pg 7). The part that frustrated me is that Nabhan pretty much left it at that. I don’t like that he fed me this intriguing tidbit and then failed to delve deeper and teach me anything else. Are there specific native plants that have led to the upswing, or is it all native plants? Does this apply to all Native American’s, or only certain tribes/cultures?

I liked that Nabhan went into such great detail for the Creosote bush. I didn’t know much about this plant other than that California has a lot of them (I think). It was very cool to learn how ancient this plant is. It’s crazy that it can be dated back to “more than seventeen thousand years ago” (pg 12). I also really liked the tidbit he through in about King Clone and how it is at least 9400 years old (pg 13).

I wish that Nabhan had gone into a bit more detail about how the chemical properties of the Creosote bush have been used for medicinal purposes by Native peoples. It was interesting to learn that there are “more than 360 constituents [of] the oil components” (pg 14), but I felt that he left me wanting to know more.

Probably the most fascinating thing that Nabhan mentioned in this reading came at the very end on page 19 where he said that an atomic blast appeared to obliterate all creosote bushes in the area, but ten years later “twenty of the original twenty-one creosote shrubs had resprouted” (pg 19). I mean come on, how cool is that? No wonder this plant is so ancient… it’s indestructible!

Leave a comment »

“The Apple”

Pollan, M. 2002. The apple. pg. 1-58 in The Botany of Desire. Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

I really enjoyed this reading from The Botany of Desire although I was quite surprised how little a chapter titled “The Apple” actually talked about the apple. I honestly don’t think that I had ever known the story of Johnny Appleseed. I recognized the name and can picture the Disney image of him with a tin pot on his head, but I don’t think I ever knew the story that went along with him. Because of this, I found Pollan’s description of the history behind this man very intriguing.

I liked the way Pollan described his journey of discovering the ‘true’ story of John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed). Since I hadn’t known the back story it was nice that he included this as well as other, lesser known stories. I liked how he described the way people view Appleseed as a sort of frontier hero and how the real story has been twisted. It was hilarious to me to find out that the apples he was selling were used to make hard cider and applejack and not to be eaten. Pollan describes alcohol (specifically hard cider) on the frontier as being extremely popular and “in many places… consumed more freely than water” (pg.22). This paints a very different picture than the stories usually told about Appleseed. To me, I’m now visualizing the frontier as a place were most people were almost perpetually drunk (although I’m sure this wasn’t entirely the case). It doesn’t exactly show America in a very favourable light.

Considering that I have been told that the apple was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, the picture of the apple being used to produce alcohol (and a lot of it) is kind of strange. Pollan addresses this and reveals that the “bible never names ‘the fruit of the which is in the midst of the garden’ and that part of the world is generally too hot for apples” (pg. 20). This almost made me laugh simply because so many people are convinced that the fruit is the apple. How can people potentially get it so wrong?

It absolutely fascinated me to learn about the history of the apple in America and how it was rarely ever eaten to begin with. To learn that “hard cider was the fate of most apples grown in America up until Prohibition” (pg.9) was quite astonishing to me. I naively thought that apples were nutritious and had always been grown to eat and ‘keep the doctor away’. Therefore it surprised me to find out that the slogan “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was just that, a slogan, “dreamed up by the apple industry in the early 1900s” (pg. 9). I like to eat apples as a great snack and to be a little healthier with my eating habits. I find snacks best when they’re easy to grab and just stuff into my backpack for lunch at school and the apple fits this position very well. Learning that they may not be as healthy and good for me as I thought has made me a little upset. I thought I was doing good since I almost literally eat an apple a day. There was a part near the end of this chapter that talked about the amount of pesticides used on apples nowadays and that they are some of the most sprayed crops because they are clones and don’t have much resistance to pests anymore. This is making me think that apples are even less healthy than I thought (even after reading the beginning of the chapter) and makes me want to eat organic apples. In fact, I was going to try going organic with more of my foods and took a trip to Nature’s Fair Market the other day, but I found organic apples to be ridiculously expensive. They were more than a dollar more per pound (or kilogram or whatever the measurement is) than non-organic apples. I tend to be a bit cheap and go for the cheapest yet delicious apples at the market (the small spartans) and I just can’t justify to myself spending almost $2 per apple. It’s just too much which is making me quite sad after learning how much pesticide is used.

Finally, one of the most interesting things that Pollan taught me in this reading was how vastly different apples can be. I had no idea that there were literally thousands of different kinds of apples and that there is the potential for thousands more. I have always only seen the main varieties of apples (Gala, Delicious, Spartan, Granny Smith, etc.) and never imagined that there could be such diversity. When Lyn talked about the fact that apples don’t breed true from seed I was very confused as to how that worked and how that was even possible, but Pollan has made me understand. Apples reproduce like us, with the ability to produce innumerable varieties of offspring by reshuffling its genes during reproduction. The possibilities seem endless and makes me wonder how we came to rely on only a select few. It reminds me of the potato and how the Inca had thousands of varieties and yet I have only seen maybe 5 different kinds in my life. I know that it’s a business strategy to only sell a few varieties, but with the endless selection it seems a little wasteful to let all the others slip away.

Overall I really enjoyed this weeks reading and I feel like I learned a lot. I’m really liking the way that Pollan writes where he feeds you a lot of information in a way where you don’t really realize it because you are so caught up in the story aspect of it.

Leave a comment »

“Industrial Corn”

Pollan, M. 2006. Industrial corn. pg. 15-119 in The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin Books Ltd, London, England.

This was a rather large chunk of the book that I was assigned to read and frankly it felt like a lot to read. This section of Pollan’s book talked all about corn and how we humans have become completely reliant on it and practically eat nothing but corn. I felt like reading this section was similar to driving past a car crash. It’s so terrible, but yet you can’t seem to stop looking anyways. Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t like Pollan’s writing because that isn’t the case at all. In fact I rather liked the way Pollan writes, but it was the content that kind of bothered me. It was information that I could have gone my whole life in peaceful oblivion, but no, I had to read this.

It was chapter four that really bothered me because the information contained within it was so disturbing. While I knew that the animals (specifically cattle) that become the meat that we eat weren’t treated particularly kindly, it really disturbed me to read the details of what they go through. It absolutely horrified me to learn that we are forcing cattle to eat corn, but that they aren’t supposed to be able to eat it at all. The description of the rumen was interesting since I had no prior knowledge of this organ and it fascinated me to learn how well adapted cows are to eating grass. We are trying to find ways to get rid of all the excess corn that we grow and apparently the best way we have found to do this is to force animals who can’t properly digest it to eat it for us. The worst part of this particular chapter was when Pollan tells us that essentially all of the cattle are sick by the time they move to the slaughterhouse and that to keep them from getting ‘too sick’ before this time, they are fed antibiotics. Aren’t we continually being told “Not all bugs need drugs”? If that’s true then how can we justify eating antibiotics through eating the meat of the cattle that are fed them? Thanks to this chapter I’m going to be looking into whether I can find any grass fed beef who will be more likely to be healthier (before they’re slaughtered I mean). Or maybe I’ll start eating a little less beef. Hmmm… I’ll have to think about this.

The whole reading didn’t disturb me as much as chapter four thank goodness and I really felt like I learned a lot. I’m still amazed to think of how much corn we eat. This definitely made me feel better that I don’t really eat fast food and I don’t plan on deviating from that ever. This reading also made me feel sad about the farmers and how the government seems to be completely against them. They are definitely up a stream without a paddle. I’m really surprised about how many are still around, since it seems like they should pretty much all be bankrupt by now (corn farmers that is).

Well I guess that’s all I really want to say right now. My rant has run out of steam. Hopefully next weeks reading will be a little nicer and will make me hungry instead of making me feel sick.

Comments (1) »

“Apples or Indians”

Diamond, J. 1999. Part 2: The rise and spread of food production. pg. 83-113 and 131-156 in Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, New York.

This weeks assignment required me to read chapters 4, 5, 6 and 8 from Guns, Germs and Steel. At first glance I thought this would be a bit of a drag and would take me a long time to get through, but surprisingly it took me almost no time at all to read through it. I found Diamond’s writing to be just as engaging as it had been in chapter 8 (part of a previous reading assignment a few weeks ago). I found his writing style to intriguing which made me want to keep reading and the content itself was fascinating. These chapters make up most of part 2 of the book and describe why agriculture developed where it did, why other places didn’t develop it at all, and the reasons why it took so much longer to develop in some places when compared to others.

My favourite chapter from this reading was chapter 8, apples or indians, because it talked about why certain peoples didn’t develop agriculture in a very non-racist way (in my opinion). Diamond starts off this chapter saying that “two contrasting explanations suggest themselves: problems with the local people, or problems with the locally available wild plants” (page 131). The second of his explanations wasn’t all that interesting to me, but the first really intrigued me because he could have started to get onto shaky ground by saying that some people weren’t as smart as others. However, Diamond was able to answer this question quite gracefully by telling a story about his experiences with the people of New Guinea. This story made me giggle a little when Diamond was worried about the mushrooms because it was so silly for him to be worried. He seemed to have completely forgotten who it was he was with. I found it very funny when he then said “only Americans could be so stupid as to confuse poisonous mushrooms with safe ones” (page 144) because, to the New Guinea peoples, this would be a very stupid thing to get confused since they have grown up knowing what kind of plants are around them and how they can survive off of them. In contrast, Americans have no clue what kind of plants are around them because realistically they don’t need to know in order to survive. They, and of course I as well, survive by hunting for food in a grocery store where there are nice little labels to tell us what these foods are called and of course they wouldn’t stick some poisonous mushrooms in there to confuse us because that would just plain be bad for business.

This really made me think about how ‘stupid’ those of us who live in the realm of grocery stores really are because we don’t know anything about edible plants. But then again, maybe comparing botanical knowledge between ‘modern’ and ‘third world’ peoples is kind of like comparing computer knowledge between the same. It makes me feel really restricted now because I know that there are so many more edible foods out there that aren’t being utilized by the average person because we just don’t have the right knowledge. We are stuck eating whatever the grocery store decides to sell to us. It’s limiting, but the reliability is nice to have when comparing it to those people who have to find the food themselves even when it might not be there.

The other part of chapter 8 that I found really interesting was about the protein deficiency of the people of New Guinea. Growing up in the day and age of the ‘food pyramid’ where you need to be sure to get all four food groups at each meal makes me think that those are what you need to survive, but reading Diamond’s book I’m finding that early peoples didn’t have even close to the four food groups on their table. It seems like they never ever ate fruit (since only olives and figs were essentially domesticated before modern times). How could they have gotten the nutrients they needed to survive when they only ate grains and potatoes? Through this reading I’ve learned that these food had a lot more nutrition back then than they do now, but it still seems weird that they could have survived off of this. Where are the leafy greens? The first mention that Diamond gave to any nutrient deficiency was when he talked about the lack of protein in the New Guinean diet; “children in the New Guinea highlands have the swollen bellies characteristic of a high-bulk but protein-deficient diet” (page 149). Not that I wanted to hear about starving children, but it was nice to read that you really do need some of the essential nutrients we are told so much about since the rest of the reading didn’t really seem to support much of this.

The last thing that I wanted to mention really intrigued me because I had never thought of it before. Why did people resort to cannibalism? I’m not sure that Diamond really intended to answer this question, but he did in a very non-graphic and blase way. In one sentence he casually mentions that “protein starvation is probably also the ultimate reason why cannibalism was widespread in traditional New Guinea highland societies” (page 149). I am still a little peeved that he left it at that. With one sentence he grabbed my attention, but refused to elaborate. I guess I’ll have to do a little research on my own time if I want to learn more about this fascinating subject. To some it may seem quite gory, but I’ve always been a little interested in the gruesome. After all, for the period of a few years I had decided that I was going to be a coroner. Now how many teenage girls have that dream? Thank goodness I’ve grown out of that phase… or have I?

Comments (1) »