Easter in September

I was up bright and early today. That’s not unusual. I’m up bright and early every day. I don’t always need or want to be but there you go. This morning, however I had to be in order to be ready for Vinnie.

Vinnie was coming to service the boiler following last week’s fix by Tom. And, true to Tom’s word, he turned up exactly at 8am. He gave the boiler a damn good servicing and was gone before 9am. A thoroughly efficient and pleasant fellow. He then walked across the road for his next job.

My morning was spent sorting out yesterday’s issue with the cottage. Which I did. I have to say, I reckon I’d have been a brilliant lawyer. Better than some, anyway.

The afternoon was spent in building a website for Mirinda using Wix. An excellent bit of software, I have to say. When I think back to the days of hard coding and how much better Dreamweaver made it all, Wix is something else again. I was so enthralled, the afternoon just slipped away.

Then it was Date Night. And this week we were back at Pulpo Negro and its tapas delights.

This marked my second trip to Alresford this week and, while the first was fun, the second was totally delicious. Of course, not everyone was happy that it was Date Night.

While we headed off to Spanish Hampshire, she made do with a Twistie stick, something which took her mind off our departure. Well, for 30 seconds at least. Freya, on the other paw, made her Twistie treat last twice as long.

In keeping with their usual practice, there were some new tapas to be had at our favourite restaurant. Sadly, the smashed egg had gone but, in its place, there was an amazing, burnt salad which really defies description. Well, apart from the fact that it was delicious.

The combination of flavours was superb but the addition of charcoal just made it exceptional.

There were a few other new plates (Mirinda had a tempura oyster and slider or tiny burger) and a few oldies that are definitely still goodies. However, everything paled into almost insignificance when we were presented with dessert. Which, incidentally, was brilliantly sold by our waitress. She used to sell houses, now it’s desserts. She’s very good at dessert selling so a loss to real estate is a major gain to dining.

I didn’t really need the hard sell as I had seen the dessert on Instagram and my mouth was already watering.

Presenting, the Pulpo Negro torrijas:

Traditionally served at Easter in Spain, it is just amazing. What a perfect end to Date Night.

Today, this happened

In Farnham in 1896, Charles Sturt wrote:

The hop-picking has been in full swing for over a week, – a week of the miserablest weather. It has rained in all possible ways, from the insidious drizzle to the roaring impatient thundershower, but always it has rained, and for the most part a steady business-like downpour has prevailed. In this, sheltered or not according as they can contrive it with an old umbrella or so, the wretched pickers have stood by their baskets, ten or twelve hours a day…

The Journals of Charles Sturt (1890-1927) Volume 1

My dad often told me about his awful Christmas holidays spent in the hop fields of Kent. His ‘holiday’ was all about picking the horrid, sticky stuff with any little wages going to his father. He was eight at the time.

The other thing is that while the weather was clearly rubbish in 1896, we are now enjoying a wonderful period of September summer. No umbrella required.

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