I sometimes think I'm having an original thought and then I Google it and realise it's already been taken. Having an original thought these days in our regimented, cottonwool world of the 9 to 5 and social media and Netflix has got to be the exception rather than the rule I suppose. Even the elaborations on the original thoughts seem to have all been taken.
You have to hand it to the people who actually did come up with ideas that have changed the course of history. It's like those people that came up with things like 'time' and 'places and countries' and 'manners' and 'dairy' very forward thinking and possibly over-confident individuals they must have been. 'Time' for instance, it's just someones idea that's caught on isn't it? Like the sundial would have been an original thought by someone who had a penchant for measuring their life by units and then everything after that was just an iteration. Someone probably said one day 'going by the shadow is a bit hit and miss, let's put numbers on it and call it a clock' And it stuck!
And when you think about it, the humans that came up with the ideas that stuck must have been pretty convincing and unwavering too. Like countries for instance, Able Tasman probably said 'right I've travelled ages to get here, I'm calling it Staten land - no conferring, that is its name' but then Captain Cook came along when Able was dead and said
'I'm a great explorer so I'm renaming it to New Zealand'
And then other people may have said 'how about we call it....'
but Captain Cook was like 'NOPE....that's what it is' and it stuck.
Manners are all made up. Like 'please' and 'thank you' and placing knives and forks together on the plate to show you've finished. In historical times people would place their knife and fork in a cross on their plate to show they've finished their meal but were ready for more. Don't try it in flash restaurants. Nobody gets it these days.
But how about the person that came up with drinking cows milk. Who would have thought that humans idea would be so popular....
'good morning Nancy'
'good morning Joe'
'Yup, I'm a bit parched though Nancy'
'Right there Joe, I'll fetch you some water from the well'
'Don't bother Nancy, Daisy's just had a baby, I'll just suckle some of her milk'
'But isn't that meant for her calf Joe?'
Probably in years to come they'll say
'..and did you know that for centuries they used to drink milk from cows',
'Yup, it's true. And then they'd let it go off and then they'd eat it. They called it cheese'
And people will be all squeamish about it like we would be now if someone served us a Live Pie which they used to eat in medieval times and which consisted of pastry stuffed with live frogs, served to keep dinner guests delighted and entertained all night long.
It probably sounds absurd to contemplate it now because we're all accustomed to drinking milk and eating cheese so our palates have been conditioned to expect a certain taste and texture - but it's possibly more to do with what we're used to than anything else. And when you think about it, we've had thousands of years to perfect it so dairy products should be flawless in spite of being a weird thing to ingest - the milk meant for a baby cow.
And because we know that the thousands of years perfecting the art of making cheese and accustoming our tastebuds to certain flavours is well entrenched, we are moving slowly to change our menu to a predominantly plant based one. Yes, it's a narrow little tightrope we're walking between the activist vegan world and the firmly established meat and dairy one, but we're going to walk it anyway and find some balance as we navigate it safely to our final destination.
So yes, no shocks to the system, and how we replace items on our menu is important because the iteration has to be as good, if not better, than the predecessor. So this week, it's our cherry tomato, avocado, pesto, cream cheese and basil bagel that we call Chimney Sweep after the local MTB trail.
This was an easy swap because removing the cream cheese makes for a fresher, less heavy snack and the parmesan free pesto is honestly delicious. So yup, not really an original thought but rather a very easy swap and a logical next generation plant based bagel option.
Speaking of original thoughts though, what would be great is if someone could come up with one that meant we didn’t have to buy non-recyclable tetra-pacs for alternative milks. But that's another blog post all together.