Why the rush?

On the weekend, I was talking to Nicktor about making tea. We both make tea for our wives; real tea with leaves in a teapot. We both agreed that it tastes better. I then suggested that it doesn’t take a lot longer than using a teabag. You pour water on it and leave it for about four minutes, then it’s ready.

Later, it occurred to me that we’ve all been fooled. In the name of capitalism, we have been convinced to forego taste for expediency. Except it isn’t really expedient; not when it comes to making tea. It was simply someone’s idea about how to sell something unnecessary to people who didn’t need it. And I guess it worked a treat; which says more about the susceptibility of the buyer than the morals of the seller.

Brainwashing aside, if you really think about it, teabags are not as environmentally friendly as tea leaves. The leaves you can just pour onto the garden; teabags depend on too many factors. There’s the actual tea, the bag, the bit of string and the little tag.

But even more so than the bag versus the leaves is the fact that making a pot of tea is more enjoyable. There’s more care, it’s more an act of pleasure. These things the tea bag manufacturers have convinced us to give up. We need to make tea as fast as possible, with no care or thoughts of joy.

It’s a sad fact of life that we have to do things quicker because we feel they are a chore. Even when they’re not. Making tea is not a chore.

When we were in Beijing, we went to a tea ceremony and were treated to a wonderful experience where the woman making the tea showed us what really making tea was about. There was a lot of traditional stuff, but there was also a love of the tea. Of the actual liquid we were about to consume. It was almost religious. And it was definitely pleasurable.

And I feel that about lots of things. We have lost the joy of making, of doing, of going. People catch planes on short haul trips and moan and complain about how awful it all is when they could catch a ferry or a train or a bus and have a much more pleasant journey. But, no, people believe that they have to get there as soon as possible. The journey is no longer important.

(I realise that people take the plane because it’s invariably cheaper. The fact is, it’s only cheaper because everyone does it. The airlines know people will put up with it if the price is right. Supermarkets do the same thing. If consumers stopped doing it, the prices of the alternatives would reduce. But, of course, people don’t work that way, something that capitalism exploits beautifully.)

There’s also food.

The pleasure in making a meal from scratch is vetoed because “…it takes too long and I don’t have time. ” So goes the common refrain. And yet, the making can be almost as fulfilling as the eating. Most people these days just want to get to the eating and, in order to achieve this, eat all manner of artificiality.

Some people don’t care what they put inside their bodies. Which is very weird. People wear masks in order to keep a virus out but are more than happy to devour food colouring, stabilisers, carcinogens, etc, because they can make a meal in five minutes rather than half an hour.

I love food. The taste, the smell, the creation; it’s one of lifes greatest pleasures and I don’t understand people who waste their senses.

I also don’t understand people who are intent on running towards death rather than strolling through the amusement arcade that could be their life. If only they’d stop and enjoy it with a real cup of tea.

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Too old for the splits

It was all a bit slippy this morning, walking into town. On the way in, I walked on the grass and, on the way back, I took the back streets. Oddly enough, down the back streets, one side was slippy while the other was not. It was as if the snow had only fallen on one side of the road. And not always the same side either.

In Starbucks, Sandra told me how, as a child in Lithuania, she would walk to primary school through snow drifts taller than her. She would get to school and her eyelashes and eyebrows would be frosty and frozen. She couldn’t lick her lips because her tongue would stick to them. I decided not to complain about the weather.

Instead, I discussed the joys of brewery tours with the woman on the check out at Waitrose. She said that she and her husband had enjoyed one in the Cotswolds, on the weekend. She said at the end they were very generous with the free beers. Not that she likes beer, but her husband was very pleased.

It reminded me of the episode of Still Game when Jack and Victor go on a brewery tour in order to get the free beer at the end, only to get one small glass each. They wind up going on the tour over and over again.

In the meanwhilst, Mirinda spent the day in Winchester, strolling around the Christmas market and generally enjoying a day off. She had a lovely lunch at The Ivy and returned home suitably rested.

By the end of the day, most of the snow had gone but, in the afternoon, the back of the garden still looked quite pretty.

I did suffer what could have been an embarrassing accident at one stage. The leaves on the terrace were mixing with the melting snow, causing a rather slippery surface. I slipped and went into a full leg stretch, straining the muscle in my right inner thigh. It’s going to ache tomorrow but at least no-one saw it.

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Who stole the letter box?

Yesterday, sitting in Marriott’s Warehouse having lunch, Bill from the Midlands showed us a couple of photos from Sheffield taken that morning. His son-in-law had sent them. There was a lot of snow. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was because of Storm Arwen.

It would seem that Nicktor and I were walking around King’s Lynn in it last night. A few deaths have been reported, so I’m rather glad we were given a lift back to the hotel rather than walk.

Anyway, our drive home today featured nothing but blue sky and sunshine. The route was full of storm warnings, but of Arwen we saw nothing.

Our drive home also featured numerous post boxes. Sadly, not the one we were looking for.

Nicktor has a book which lists post boxes and, it includes an Edward 8 in North Street, Hertford. Given Hertford was sort of on the way, we drove the length of North Street looking for it. We saw a few post boxes but none of them, an Eddy.

There’s a three way junction in the middle of Hertford which, along with the cars, is responsible for the appalling traffic jam through the centre of town. Calling it gridlock would not be exaggerating. It was not that appealing which is sad because the town looked very interesting.

There was also a bit of traffic on the M25 but over all, the trip home was nicely smooth and uneventful.

At home, making Persian roast chicken, I happened to look out the back. I guess Storm Arwen visited us quietly and without any fuss.

However, all that aside, the biggest thing I heard about today was the death of the genius who was Stephen Sondheim. The man responsible for some of the most brilliant musical theatre that this world has ever heard. Okay, he was over 90 and had a wonderful life, but that doesn’t stop me mourning the loss of an amazing man.

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The barmaid is lying on the floor

King’s Lynn, in Norfolk, was once called Bishop’s Lynn. Then Henry 8 came along with his forced possession notices and the town thought it wise to change its name. That was in 1537. It didn’t work for long. Good King Hal caught wind of the wealth to be had and the rich pickings that could go to his mates, and the best bits of the town were given away like everywhere else.

Before that happened, back in the 14th century, Bishop’s Lynn was a Hanseatic League port. The Hanseatic League owned and ran the warehouses and docks of the Bryggen in Bergen. It was also very important for trade in and around the Baltic. The Lynn was the first English port to be part of the League.

And there’s two buildings in King’s Lynn which date back to the days of the League. One of them is Hanse House built in 1475 and Marriott’s Warehouse, in use between the 15th and 17th centuries. And, more recently, the place where we had lunch today.

And, I have to say, the grilled sardines at Marriott’s are superb.

When I say ‘we had lunch’, I mean a lot of Aldershot Town Football Club supporters who had travelled to Norfolk to watch the almost mighty shots play the Linnets in their delightfully Swedish style blue and yellow strip.

Nicktor drove, picking me up early, and we arrived outside Marriott’s Warehouse in enough time for him to show me a surprise he’d been saving. He walked me to the end of the road and there, before me, was the quay at the end of what used to be Purfleet, a stretch of navigable water that once went through the town.

And, best surprise of all (he really knows how to please me, does Nicktor) was the statue on the quay. The man who discovered something that was never lost but wasn’t known about by Europeans. British Columbia. The man whose name was used for an island and major city. A man called Captain George Vancouver RN.

George was born in King’s Lynn in 1757 and was a bit of an explorer. He ran into Vancouver Island and decided it would be nice if it had his name. I imagine the natives had an original name for it but, in all these things, the white invaders always get naming rights.

George entered the Royal Navy aged 13 and sailed with Cook on his second and third voyages. He learned a lot and was soon in charge of his own ships. He set off in 1791 and charted a lot of coastline. He named lots of places after people in his crew as well as good friends back home. He was a bit mad for the naming of places.

Mind you, he wasn’t the first person to find it. Numerous native people had been living there for thousands of years before 1791. I can’t find out what they called it, but I feel certain it wasn’t Vancouver Island. Still, he did what he did, and he drew lots of maps of it. And he named the island after himself.

As Nicktor said, he was quite short but, as I said, the ships were pretty small so the smaller the captain the more successful he was likely to be. We agreed but then the wind started blowing very icy and we thought we heard the shrieks of the beer calling us inside. Of course it could have been seagulls but I’m not certain.

After a marvellous lunch and many beers, we headed off for the football ground. It was a long walk, memorable for the statue of King John standing in the centre of town. King’s Lynn, which was Bishop’s Lynn then, was one of the last places he visited just before he died in 1216. Here he is with his very own Aldershot supporter.

I’m not certain what John is going to do with the cosh, but it doesn’t look pleasant. Actually, as much as a lot people don’t like John (the Shakespeare play was hardly complimentary) he did give the Lynn the right to be self governing and hold a weekly market.

As much as he liked the place, I don’t think he supported the local football team. Almost everyone we spoke to today had no idea there even was a football team, let alone support it. In fact, the total attendance at the game today was a bit sad. It felt there were more of us.

Mind you, the game was pretty dull with maybe two moments of excitement (Nicktor reckons just the one), one of them, in the 81st minute, giving us the winning goal. Yes, we won. The first time I’ve seen them win this season. And the third win on the trot. Maybe it’s a change of fortune time.

The team seemed very happy after the full time whistle blew and they all came over for some happy cheering from us. Given the awful, non-stop rain and chill wind, they did rather well to play at all.

And the weather didn’t improve as we headed back into town. We’d said goodbye to everyone else we knew because they were all heading back home. Nicktor and I needed a pub. As we walked, we realised we also needed somewhere warm to sit down.

The first pub we came to was the bright and welcoming White Hart where we sat and drank gluten free beer on tap for a long, warming while.

As we sat, sipping, Mr Pink turned up. There was to be a gig on at 9pm and he was part of the group who was hauling in instruments and other assorted bits of kit. At one point, Nicktor did a straw poll among the people in the bar. He wanted to know who liked truffles. For a while it looked like it was only me but then, the reliable Mr Pink chimed in on my side.

The thought of truffle must have affected the barmaid more than we thought because shortly afterwards she was lying on the floor near the pool table for reasons never made clear. Things were getting a bit weird as the pub filled up with more and more people to do with the gig and no audience. We decided it was time to go and find dinner.

A few doors down and beyond the minster which I correctly spotted earlier in the day, we found The Wenn’s Chop and Ale House. When we asked the guy behind the bar why it was called the Wenn’s, he didn’t know because he’d only been working there four nights. Another guy behind the bar, helpfully told us the name came from the fact that it had once been a house which belonged to Mr and Mrs Wenn.

We suffered through hot pork scratchings with apple dipping sauce, followed by a tiny turkey pie in a delicious gravy. All round delicious, washed down with some excellent beer.

As we left, we decided a nightcap was in order before we returned to the hotel. After fruitlessly searching for another pub, we wound up back at the Marriott’s Warehouse. We sat down and ordered whisky and wound up chatting to the staff as they slowly closed up the place.

Eventually, Nicktor announced it was time to go. He tried ringing for a cab. It turned out the next cab wouldn’t be available until 1am. It was 11:30pm. We decided we’d have to walk the mile and a half back, through the wind, rain and darkness.

I went to the loo and, while I was gone, the manager of the place approached Nicktor and offered to drive us back. I returned to this very generous offer.

What a lovely, lovely man. He drove us back, telling us about his life in King’s Lynn (he was originally from Tripoli but loves the Lynn now), his family and how much he loves running the Warehouse. The day could have ended in a decidedly ghastly way but this very generous man rounded off our day perfectly.

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The woman from Piedmont

I was chatting to the woman on the check out in Waitrose this morning. As she scanned a block (or two) of Charmer, she said how much she and her son loved the Charmer. I agreed saying my wife loved it. I asked her if she’d had it on toast but she shook her head saying it never got as far as the bread. They ate it straight.

I then showed her the Kaltbach truffle cheese, suggesting she might try that. She then explained that she was from Piedmont in Italy and grew up eating truffles in everything. I said she must have thought food was pretty dull when she left. She laughed and nodded her head. She still loves the truffle.

But the day wasn’t full of light and delightful chats about cheese. There was also this prick who decided he was more important than virtually everyone who walks down the lane.

And, after all, isn’t it far more important that this guy could get as close as possible to whatever job he was doing? Does it matter that anyone with a stroller or in a wheelchair or struggling with multiple squirming children, would have to walk something like four times as far in order to avoid this lane? Clearly, this guy is way more important than almost everyone who uses this footpath.

But, ignoring the Prick of the Week above, my morning was made extra special by Sandra who prepared a perfect latte for me. Life is good. Life is coffee.

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When boobs go wild

I have decided to relate the story that Natalie told us in the bar yesterday. It’s just too good to not write down. Of course, I will omit anything that could indicate anything about the person involved. Well, apart from the fact that she had at least one breast.

In a previous job, Natalie worked in HR. She was chairing a meeting which included presentations. A 19 year old stood up to give her presentation. So far, so normal.

The young woman started gesticulating and getting a bit more excited than one would expect from an HR presentation.

She was wearing a halter neck top and, it turned out, no bra. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Apart from a certain degree of security, it would seem.

During one of her wild arm movements, her right boob popped out. She was completely unaware of this wardrobe malfunction. I can only assume she was far too wrapped up in her subject to notice something so, dare I say, trivial.

Obviously, everyone else in the room noticed. I defy anyone NOT to notice this sort of thing happening. And they were all a bit embarrassed, as you’d imagine. Natalie was especially concerned, wondering what she could do to help.

Anyway, Natalie was relieved when the woman finally sat down, mainly because the boob, seemingly with a mind of its own, popped back into the halter neck top as if nothing had happened.

Natalie’s question to us all was: “Would you have told her, afterwards?” The answer, from all of us, after our laughter died down, was no, we wouldn’t have. After all, there was nothing that could be done apart from embarrassing her and making her feel uncomfortable around the people she worked with.

I said it was an excellent anecdote and Natalie was very lucky.

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Silly shoes and ball gowns

I was sitting in the Southbank Terrace Café drinking a latte and reading. An eccentric looking woman came in and sat at the next table. She emptied the contents of a tote bag on the table and started arranging various books and piles of paper in an attempt to cover it.

She then went and purchased a drink.

I was at the Southbank Terrace Café at the end of a long, wandering day. Mirinda had to give a couple of speeches at two graduation ceremonies for the college. Given she hadn’t been to London since March 2020, I decided to go with her.

We arrived in London nice and early so the hunt was on for breakfast and coffee. This was hard to find. Eventually we settled into the Pain Quotidien at Southbank. And what an amazing breakfast. It’s called pain perdu, bacon and is sublime.

It’s a piece of eggy brioche with deliciously crispy bacon, maple syrup and a dollop of super creamy yoghurt. Okay, it’s a bit carby but it also unbelievably tasty. What an excellent way to start the day.

Mirinda then went off to perform her ceremonial duties, while I started my day of aimless wandering. Actually, it was only aimless for bits of it. I also went to the exhibition at the Hayward (my favourite London gallery).

The exhibition, called Mixing It Up: Painting Today, to quote the catalogue, “…brings together contemporary painting practices that combine varied traditions, perspectives, image sources and formal approaches in order to fashion fresh and compelling works of art.” And, I have to say, I reckon it delivers.

The exhibition features 31 artists I’ve never heard of showing an extraordinary depth of variety, skill and just plain art.

Obviously, there’s always going to be a favourite, as far as I’m concerned, though it was a difficult choice between at least four. From the haunting Hysteria (2020) by Sophie von Hellermann…

…to the threatening skies of her Perfidious Albion (2021) which depicts a moment she was told about by her German grandmother who, during the Second World War, was chased across a field by a Spitfire. Though, as Will pointed out later in the pub, it could also be a vivid and powerful portrayal of misogyny.

I love the simple lines in Perfidious Albion. The lack of detail gives the painting a feeling of movement. What defence against a world of male weaponry does a naked woman have but to pointlessly run away?

The third piece I loved was not so much the work itself but what the artist used to achieve an extraordinary result. Using household liquids (toilet cleaner, shampoo, vegetable oil) and objects like plastic bags and just things she finds, Samara Scott produces amazing plexiglass encased pictures that work brilliantly as stained glass windows.

Chrysanthemums (2021) was my favourite of hers. It was over a hole in the wall and the light coming through was rich and strong. Odd but brilliant.

But, my favourite of them all, in admittedly, a close run race, was The English Lake (2013) by Caroline Coon. I like her cartoon like characters and foliage. The ethereal feel she brings to the scene. A tangle of plants entwining women under a bright sun. It’s a beautiful painting.

Mind you, I also rather liked her Rugged Defensive Play (2020), mainly because it shows the highest rank of professional football up for what it really is. But, when all is said and done (and looked at for quite some time) The English Lake was it for me.

However, the whole exhibition was excellent. It was thought-provoking and humorous; inventive and relevant. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also realised how much I’ve missed the Hayward.

Having filled my artistic needs, I needed a pub. I headed for the Hole in the Wall only to discover, on my arrival at the door, that it didn’t open for another half an hour. Instead, I decided to head for the White Hart, a particularly lovely pub in Cornwall Road.

However, I was waylaid by the marvellous First Barber.

Having spotted my reflection in a mirror earlier, I realised how much I needed a trim. Bits of errant hair were poking out from under my hat and over the tops of my ears. I looked a right scruff. Obviously, looking scruffy is something I try and achieve however, there is a point when the scruffiness reaches unnecessary lengths and bad hair is definitely one of them.

I went into the barbers and asked for a haircut. The man was more than happy to render me human once more. It was also lovely and warm in the chair and an excellent excuse for a rest. Strangely, when I mentioned, later, that I’d had a haircut, people thought that was a weird thing to do.

Then, of course, it was time for a lovely few pints in the equally lovely White Hart.

Finally, having read while drinking some excellent beer, and eavesdropping the dullest discussion between a couple of long distance walkers, I headed back to the Southbank Centre.

As I sat and watched the final session of graduates emerge from the light into the decidedly cold night, the eccentric woman at the next table had managed to spill a cup of something all over her papers. I’d watched her put the cup on the edge rather than the middle of her table. The cup had no choice. Gravity dictated its actions. The woman was not impressed with her own clumsiness.

She spent an age clearing up the mess, mopping down her papers and books, moving the furniture around, leaving a small lake of liquid on the floor. Finally, she went and bought another drink and settled down to start again. Though, this time, she put the cup on the table rather than on the edge.

As I watched the shivering parade of young woman outside, ridiculously short dresses belying the temperature, I suddenly heard some loud snoring. The eccentric woman had collapsed, a cheek flat on the table, her arms falling from her shoulders towards the floor, happily snoring away into her books and papers as if it was something she did every day.

I decided to go and search for Mirinda given I’d not heard from her though the graduates were all out and milling with friends and family. I walked through the crowds, astounded that young women feel they need to look the way they do (Kim Kardasian was how Natalie described them) while the young men all wore quite dull business suits.

I managed to track my wife down with a bunch of booze hounds (Sarah, Laura, Natalie, Ian, Blane, Trevor and Will) at the bar underneath the BFI. I settled myself onto a bar stool between Sarah and Will and proceeded to annoy them with my chatter.

The graduation had gone off very well and everyone seemed happy.

Mind you, there was a lot of discussion about how feminism seems to have missed most of the graduates. In a similar vein, Natalie told a very funny story about a restless boob which I really don’t think I can relate. Not here on my blog, anyway.

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A question of cost analysis

I was originally going to stand on the Slab tonight, joining Nicktor and the other Old Slabbers, half heartedly cheering on the Shots while Charlie regaled us with some strange programme he’d found in the depths of the Channel 5 schedule. But, having very recently discovered that Mirinda is going to London tomorrow for the graduation ceremony and I said I’d go with her, I figured it would be best if I missed tonight’s game.

I stole the photo above from Nicktor’s Twitter account. That’s Charlie to the right. He looks hopeful to me. Aldershot actually won last weekend so maybe he was expecting a rerun tonight. My phone told me, the game was 0-0 up by the 80th minute.

Anyway, I wasn’t there, so I can’t really comment. Besides, I’m off to King’s Lynn with Nicktor on Saturday and that’ll be more than enough football for this week.

What I was doing today was something I’ve been unable to do for a bit. I managed to clear the terrace of leaves.

Obviously the gout has gone. My knee is still a bit tender but that’s leftover wrong walking. The uric crystals have been dissolved to wherever uric crystals wind up. As for me, I filled barrow after barrow, wheeled them up to the back and filled the leaf trap to overflowing.

I also fixed one of the steps up the back because it was seesawing on a tree root. This was annoying me every time I walked on it. So I fixed it.

The rest of the day was spent doing admin of one sort or another. It was also spent finishing off my One Month Spreadsheet where I’m tracking everything we spend mostly on food. It allows me to work out if it was more expensive in Sweden than here. Turns out, it’s actually cheaper in Sweden.

Mirinda was in big meetings all day but she did manage a healthy slab of time off in the middle of the day so we grabbed the opportunity to take the girls up the Avenue of Trees.

It was such a beautiful day and lots of people had the same idea as us. We saw lots of dogs and many happy, happy people.

Probably as happy as the people on the Slab tonight because they won. The Shots won. Again. They beat Torquay United 1-0. That’s our fourth win this season. Out of 16 games. Go the Mighty Shots.

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Stop eating processed food

I forgot to take my book with me this morning so, rather than read about a train trip in India, I started writing my blog on my phone. I do this sometimes and, though it’s a bit more laborious than writing on a laptop, it gets the job done. It’s also quite pleasant in Starbucks early on, with few distractions.

Anyway, when my brain stops coming up with snappy sentences, I tend to flick around. It was during one of these flicks, that I came across an interesting snippet.

While the rest of the world reels from Covid19, Africa is doing a lot better. The people at WHO are wondering why. It would appear that a combination of being outside more, being less urbanised, exercising more and having been subjected to various other things like ebola, malaria and polio have all contributed to them being pretty much immune to some extent. There’s also the fact that the populations are younger. I reckon less of a reliance on processed foods and more cooking from fresh is also helpful.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there’d been warnings that there’d be bodies in the streets in many of the poorer African countries, but this hasn’t happened. The report states that in Nigeria, for instance, there has only been 3,000 Covid deaths out of a population of 200 million. There’s that many every few days in the US.

The article I read was accompanied by a series of photographs of people in Harare, Zimbabwe. They all looked healthy and happy. There’s also a piece from the BBC, here.

Whatever else can be said about the two pieces, it’s undeniable they are the first positive Covid stories I’ve come across. Among the fear and the catastrophe, the tears and the avoidance, photographs of smiling people are very encouraging.

At the other end of the day, I took the girls up to the park where we watched the sunset. Freya enjoyed it, but Emma was more interested in chasing a tennis ball.

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A disappointing theft

I made an excess of meatballs yesterday. Well, Friday really. Which meant we were having meatballs for dinner tonight. It also meant I needed to buy a swede to have as a potato substitute for them to sit on.

I was prepared to walk up to waitrose but Mirinda thought it best if she drove me. She then said she was going to the Frensham garden centre for some sort of plant. I love the farm shop at Frensham so said I’d go with her and get a swede.

And what a wonderful surprise awaited me.

I used to shop there when we lived in Frensham for that short while during the Year of the Extension. The food always delighted. From fresh fruit and veg to cheese and speciality pies, it was always a joy.

And now, it’s all changed. It’s now far easier to navigate and you no longer have to use the check outs in the garden centre section. This used to be a bit of a pain on weekends when you found yourself queued up behind old couples with overflowing trolleys full of compost and plants. Now you shop then, pay then, walk out. All very easy.

They even have an alcohol section where I bought some of the watermelon gin that Mirinda likes so much. It was this that prompted the story of the hapless gin thief.

Apparently, the gin company gives the shops big bottles of water to advertise their gin. These big clear bottles sit among the display of real bottles, triggering the need for a drink. One day last week an idiot decided to steal one of these big bottles.

The manager of the farm shop said he would have loved to have seen the guy’s face when he unscrewed the top and took a swig. I reckon it would be very disappointing if added straight to ice and tonic water.

Having successfully bought a decent swede, some cheese and gin, I returned to the car to wait for Mirinda to check out the 15 varieties of plants she bought as opposed to the one she’d suggested she was after buying. We then tried the cafe. It was chockas so we decided to head into Farnham instead.

And, rather than walk down the Lion and Lamb along with the usual Sunday hordes, we popped into Roost.

Roost used to be a white goods shop. In fact, we bought a washing machine (or dryer) there many years ago. We also had a guy come out from the shop to fix a belt on something. It was very handy.

I used to walk passed, every time I went to the Talking Newspaper Studio and remember the washing machines leaving and Roost arriving. That was a while ago and I’ve never been in. We rectified that situation.

Inside it’s all very cool-industrial. They have no gluten on the premises and everything is made from fresh. They don’t use refined sugar or seed oils. It’s a very healthy place. I wasn’t that keen on the coffee (it wasn’t very strong) but the eggs I had were lovely.

Back at home, and after Mirinda had walked the dogs and had her Sunday bath, I made dinner. The swede was excellent – mashed with lashings of real Jersey butter, salt & pepper & lingonberry jam – though there were a few too many meatballs. The dogs were not disappointed with the excess, though it took them a while to remove the residual lingonberry off before eating them.

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