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Author Archives: Terry Andrew Craven

Lending library:

I’ll start with something practical and move onto the theory:


Having studied English literature and working at a book store, I have amassed a fair number of books in the recent decade.  Clearly, I have a (commodity) fetish – I accept this and the negative implications.  I love books and how they’re bound, I love having them on my shelves and knowing I have access to the knowledge and joys they contain.  I accept that, further to fetishism, this entertains the truly late-capitalist desire to have everything immediately available.  Such desires are, in my opinion, a direct result of the our current cultural understanding of time (and the impatience we often show about ‘taking it’).  Anyway, what to do about it?  Well, one of the things I said I would do was, when I finally got around to compiling everything, creating a lending library for the locals of whatever (small town) I lived in.  I’d catalogue my books and then note who’s borrowed what.

So, with roughly half my books already catalogued (those in England and unfortunately not up for lending), I intend to do the rest and to start the (informal) lending library from today forth.

The library info/rules are:

  • I’ll lend for a few months at a time, give or take a bit.
  • We can make cards, if you want
  • If you want them sent by post, give me address and cover postage.
  • When the catalogue is finished I will try put it online, but for now, you have to come to my house or ask me.
  • If I’m reading something, you might have to wait (similarly if I’m using it for a project etc)
  • I have a large amount of poetry, philosophy (though there are large gaps I intend to fill) and novels.
  • Certain (‘rare’ or valuable) books will be consultation ‘sur place’ only.


I am happy to integrate the books from other readers into one large (and still informal) lending system, in which we move books between friends/colleagues/acquaintances rather than having to buy them fresh everytime.  This would require that others catalogue their books and send me the list.  There are surely a number of you (Joe, John) that have great quantaties of books I don’t have access to – namely in the fields of science and mathematics.

I am fully aware that this could fail (or that I’m doing it 20/30 years too early), but with this blog as a central point perhaps we could create it as a page –  ‘The Night Shift
Library’, or something equally original.


This is part of a general project to invest less in my belongings as fetishistic items.  Belongings are not manifestations of my self in an integral way, but are like fleeting moods that may come and go – always held not in the vice-like grip of a maniacal ego but by a general gravity.


Bookseller and librarian,

Terry Craven.


What’s in season: end of Jan/ Feb (and a recipe for emancipatory apple and pear pie)



This is a link I found for England, but I think most of central Europe will be similar.


beetroot*, brussels sprouts*, carrots, cauliflower*, celeriac*, celery, chicory*, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke*, kale*, kohlrabi, leeks*, onions, parsnips*, potatoes (maincrop)*, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rhubarb*, rocket, salsify*, shallots*, spinach, swede*, turnips


apples, blood oranges*[i], clementines*[i], kiwi fruit*[i], lemons*[i], oranges*[i], passion fruit*[i], pears, pineapple*[i], pomegranate*[i], satsumas*[i], tangerines[i]


chives, coriander, mushrooms (cultivated), parsley (curly), truffles (black)*[i], walnuts*[i]


Recipe for Pear and Apple pie:
Melt 250g of butter in a fryingpan.

Add sugar to taste (but quite a bit)

Cut all fruit into a large chunks.

Add to to mixture and leave for a while (40m maybe), stirring in between the chapters of whatever book you’re reading.

Add cinnamon, muscadet and a touch of lemon juice.

You can add more butter/sugar if you want and if it gets too thin then add flour to thicken it back up.

Take mixture of heat and leave to cool a little, during which time you can preheat over to gas mark 5 or 6.

Grease pan, add pastry base (for how to make pastry I’ll comment on this later).

I made a lattice for the top (pictures to follow).
Oven it until the top is brown then cover with tinfoil and leave for  40m.  Leave to cool and serve.

I’m eating a slice now and it’s like sugary heaven (which for me is a bit like hell as I’m quite sensitive to sugar, but sod it).

Metal water bottle: if you haven’t got one, it is now time.

Only the coolest way to drink water around.  Seriously, stops you having to ‘buy another bottle of water’ because your current one is too beat-up.  Tap water it up…

Food: bread

(My first loaf)

Food: bread:

I thought I’d start with a staple – Bread. I live in France, so I have good bread on every corner and it comes from the locals, but for all of you in England (and I guess elsewhere), this is a luxury you don’t have access to.  A big part of cooking and baking, besides an oven, is taking time. Hammam was discussing this in his comments, and I feel that taking time to bake (like taking time to read a poem), is a nugget of ‘action’/’praxis’.

Bread recipes are super easy to come by and I’ve inculded a recipe at the bottom for good measure.

Anyway, I won’t rant – it’s just bread.


RECIPE FOR – “Dee’s Health Bread”



  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup cracked wheat
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. In a large bowl, mix remaining 3 1/2 cups warm water, honey, molasses, oil, eggs and lemon juice. Mix well. Add yeast mixture and stir.
  2. Gradually add 5 cups whole wheat flour beating well after each addition. Add the flax, cracked wheat and sunflower seeds, stir well.
  3. Let stand for 20 minutes, until mixture is very light. Stir in salt and the rest of the flours until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead 10 to 15 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Put into a greased bowl and cover, let rise in the oven with light on until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch down and shape into 6 round balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Form into loaves and let rise covered in oven until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) 25-35 minutes.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 97 | Total Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 6mg

Nutritional Information
Dee’s Health Bread

Servings Per Recipe: 72

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 97

  • Total Fat: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Sodium: 133mg
  • Total Carbs: 16.7g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3.1g

Powered by: ESHA Nutrient Database


This is an introductory blog concerning the consumables in our life.


I intend this to be the start of a discussion on our many daily consumables, both of the edible and non-edible variety. There’s lots of things to be included here – the article from a local farmer outside Paris should be one.  This needs to have a place for recipes, the veggie/vegan/bio discussion, buying high-street/buying second hand ad infinitum.  I (we) want to appeal to a range of people, not to exclude.  To do this, we have to be wary of the pitfalls inherent in many of these issues (nobody likes a ‘hippie’, it seems), and yet articulate the problems of the current structure of consumer capitalism with both aggresive critical accuracy and grace.  Recipe for cheesecake?  Where to buy decent, cheap and second hand clothing?  What things to avoid if turning Veggie?…etc.

As for my (personal) ‘manifesto’, it is simple and obvious: buy as much as you can from local, independent producers and distributors.  Buy second hand.  Reduce, Re-use, Repair, Recycle.   Be aware that almost all meat/eggs/dairy you can purchase comes from factory farming, unless stated otherwise.  (I will include a few links at the bottom to various articles on these issues).  I appreciate that consuming fair-trade is only akin to a ‘band-aid’ on standard (implicitly ‘un-fair’) trade and that consuming in this manner should not allow me to become comfortable or lax in my critical faculties (the very critical faculties that stopped me drinking at Starbucks when I was younger – though now they have gone fairtrade perhaps someone wants to defend them – though it won’t be me).

If it is all so obvious, then, why bother mentioning it? For I’m sure lots of people have similar manifestos, but the point being that it is not in any way easy.  It’s very hard, and my family and acquaintances often jibe at me even when I try to stick by my rules (and often fail).  I count myself pretty good on most accounts, and can become quite militant too (as a humorous aside: an ex and I broke up when, as the culmination of various issues, she didn’t like my cynicism regarding her recent job proposal – from the Disney channel Spain), but if we share and learn from one another then this is an area in which theory can very easily be made practice.  Perhaps – for those of us who, occasionally or often, bow under the pressure of social injunctions to consume in a certain manner – the ‘consumables’ category, can help us stick to our own rules and come up with more.

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“By the Beard of Marx!”