You are what you eat & drink


Argentum Vulgaris is, of course, a pseudonym, but it is and has been what I am know as across the internet, I see no reason to change that. Besides, I do tend to play rough sometimes. I have said that I am not here to be nice and so I don’t pull any punches whether they are aimed at governments or companies, or indeed, people. A degree of anonymity is necessary for self preservation.

Argentum Vulgaris is Latin, it literally means ‘common silver’ and is used to refer to small change. Small change is not important, neither am I.

The real me, well I am old; sixty last birthday (2011). In Portuguese I am a velho caduco, a grouchy old man; every neighbourhood has one. My avatar represents me, far more flattering than my real self.

I have, by virtue of my age, seen and done a lot in my lifetime; more than most. I didn’t complete secondary school (Americans would call me a high school drop-out). I failed in English, I failed in maths, I excelled in sciences and the things I wanted to do. Of course, I realise the folly of that pig-headedness now, but as a teenager I was pretty much normal.

At the age of forty I decided New Zealand was too small. I don’t mean in size rather, I refer to attitudes and I decided to travel, Europe was my destination; I never got there. A ten day stopover in Brazil and I never left. I have since traveled over much of the South American continent and learned far more about life than I ever dreamed possible.

I have in recent years, with the advent of the internet, become more than politically aware. In the same way as I have become more aware of the fact that our tenure on this planet is increasingly fragile; and that is what brings me to this point.

The Chef in me

My first attempt at cooking, or rather baking was a chocolate cake. I was eight years old at the time, it was a Sunday morning, early, our parents were sleeping.

On their waking, I proudly presented them with my fruit of my labours.

My fathers comment, “If we had more of these we could build a new house!” tells the sad outcome, yes, my cake was more like a brick. I was deflated.

Over my teenage years, away from home, I was presented with other than Mum’s home cooking. I began to experiment with food. Such things as black pudding which my mother would never have let in the house. I also inherited some food preferences from my father, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, oysters and pigs trotters.

I cooked professionally in Bolivia and then Peru. It was in the latter that my boss once introduced me to a client as ‘his chef.’ I corrected him, “I am a cook, I learned to cook honestly.” I had never had any formal training. Later he said to me, “The way you put a plate together, you are a chef, and make no mistake.” My boss, incidentally, was a highly qualified chef having cooked for royalty, governments and all over Europe.

So there you have it.


16 responses

  1. Pingback: Crusty Old Wine Bottles « Life is but a Labyrinth

  2. LOL!
    Dear Argentum Vulgaris!
    We seem to share quite a few points up to a merry point!
    Your avatar reminded me that I wrote some kind of fantasy at http::// where i wrote about a different concept of life…
    I didn’t finish high school in France, but that did not prevent me to become a lecturer at university in Japan…. I’m quitting that as I’m sick of zombies!
    I’m just a little older than you, so I suppose we might even share some interests apart of music and beer (we have 9 micro-breweries here in Shizuoka!)! At least we are of the same generation and I also tend to outspoken!
    Looking forward to visiting you again and share a craic as they say in Ireland!
    Best reagrds and all that!


    February 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    • @Robert, I thought I was the only one that read ‘Abouts’. I visited Dragonlife, not often you see the mention of wyverns, it is a term that seems to have gone the way of a lot of the English language. Incidently, a Vauxhall Wyvern was one of the two cars in which I learned to drive. Micro-brewing has always fascinated me, although I have never attempted to make my own beer. My boss in Peru was Irish, so I am quite familiar with sharing the craic.
      Thanks for the visit and time taken to comment, always appreciated.



      February 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

  3. AV!
    The pleasure was all mine, I can assure you!
    Thanks for your comments on wyverns! Nice little critters!LOL
    I don’t know how to translate it in my native language French, though….


    February 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    • @Robert, wyvern is the 17th century corruption of the 13th century wyvere and comes from the Old French wivre. Possible French translations; guivre and vouivre. I love etymology. and a quick check of Wikipedia produced this info. I always felt the dragons in Harry Potter were really wyverns.



      February 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

  4. Pingback: I am humbled « Life is but a Labyrinth

  5. Well mate… I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award! Keep up the good work!


    April 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    • >lord, looks like I got lumbered, ah honoured.Thank you very muchly. I have stopped participating in these awards, mainly because most of my blogs have them, or versions of them. It’s not that I am being churlish, but the last one I participated fully in, got not a single acknowledgement from my nominees. not even a ‘thank you.’

      However, your one is different, original, a little cynical even, and that appeals to me. Check my blog later today.


      April 29, 2013 at 1:53 am

      • ah yeah that sucks! well it was my first time too and probably it was a 1 time thing haha…


        April 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

  6. Our Adventure in Croatia

    wow AV, I like the story above. From baking bricks to proper chef! so you are not just a coffee drinking, beer sipping, travel-loving, Monday-hating kind of professor for your student! there is more to AV than that! 🙂


    June 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    • >OAiC, yes, and there is still more… you have to do a lot of reading to find out. 🙂



      June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

  7. Pingback: 25 candidates for the LOTD Award | Lords of the Drinks

  8. Got any suggestions mate?


    May 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm

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