Friday, 16 September 2016

Special Colour Supplement



NEWS EGGSTRA!
A Special Blog Post facilitated by being  up and about at some ungodly hour thanks to a cough and a mega storm at Cowroast

The Great Egg debate rages on! The more attentive of you will recall the following from my last posting.


To finish I'd be grateful for any advice on the correct way to handle the following situation so as not to break any social conventions and find I am no longer welcome in the great houses of Berkhamsted.
Being of a gluttonous disposition I oft have two boiled eggs for breakfast hoping that both will arrive at table equally soft of yoke and firm of white, toasted soldiers already buttered, in a straight line and ready for dipping. NOW what is acceptable. May I dip both eggs dispatching the yokes before attacking the white of both or does polite society expect a chap to deal with each egg in order. Yoke -White- Yolk- White? 
It's a toughie isn't it?  
Obviously what one does in the privacy of ones humble boat is between one and the Great Poulterer in the Sky but should happenstance I find oneself looking at two eggs in the second breakfast room of some mansion up Great Gaddesden way one doesn't want to be regarded as lowborn, unmarriageble and beyond the pale** because of a sodding  egg.
Your advice dear reader............it's not a yoking matter.

Well, opinions are flooding in on this sensitive issue. So many that space allows me only to give you a specimen. Oooooh Matron!

Vladimir from Tomsk write " Vot zis fuss on eggs? Ve have no egs in Tomsk. Ve af fuckski all of anything in Tomsk. Is zis to do viv your Breggsit. You vont picture of my sister?"

Lee Kin Bum of S Korea texted

우리는 우리가 하지 자주 할 우리의 목표를 ​​공격 하면 타이어 에 맞는 선 에서 작동 법률에 내 동생이 게으른 지방 놈 이 에 대한 좋은 없기 때문에 여기에 기아 자동차 공장에서 우리는 한 달에 한 일에 한 계란 을 얻을 내 보너스 계란 기회 또는 내 동생 . 당신은 내 동생 의 사진을 하시겠습니까?-I translate:-
"Here at the Kia Car factory we only get one egg on one day a month if we hit our targets which we don't very often because my brother in law who works on the line that fits the tyres is a lazy fat bastard no good for my bonus egg chances or my sister. Would you like a picture of my sister?"

David from Witney sent a postcard
" The fact that you needed to raise the question in the first place would indicate that you are low born and of no breeding whatsoever.  We covered egg etiquette in our first week at Eton and I remember Matron tucking me in with Osborne Junior that night and reminding us "Always eat the yokes first boys to avoid the possibility of some oik from a secondary modern trying to stick his soldiers in it" 
I remember Osborne Jr cried himself to sleep that night. I wonder what became of him? Would you like a picture of Matron?"

Lady Ariadne Halfarse of Bayswater left a message on the Answerphone
"Hello. Hello?-Oh I hate these machines-why don't you get a butler? God I'd hate to be poor. Anyway one should instruct Cook to bring the eggs one at a time with a three minute gap so as to ensure a soft yoke alternating with the white of the eggs.  
This advice was first opined in Wing Commander Sir  R Suppard's worthy tome-"The Etiquette of Egg Consumption and the Uprising of the wily Pathan in the Hindu Kush" published in 1877. It is the definitive guide and is taught in all Public Schools except Eton who  preferred to follow the obviously erroneous dictum in Boris (if it moves shag it) Johnson's autobiography  "Cripes! Only Two Eggs, Nanny!?" 

I hope this clarifies the matter. Must rush-my plumber is fitting a new toilet this morning.

Would you like a picture of my plumber's cistern?"

Sister Janice of the Whispering Sisters of Murphy Convent in Berkhamsted shouted through my letterbox 
" When Reverend Mother found the convent loo seat raised we were given the penance of eating only the whites of our eggs whilst leaving the yoke intact to be shared amongst the poor at the Lamb Soup Kitchen. Anyone failing in performing this penance must forego eggs for ten years or be given a Fulham Season ticket for one season. We all really miss eggs.
Would you like a picture of Johnny Haynes?"

So there you have it. The question remains unanswered.
 Yoke Yoke White White
  Yoke White Yoke White
or the new penitential
No Yoke White No Yoke White

The Nation must decide. A referendum must be organised. Keep your views coming

Back to bed now.
Bye bye.







.

Monday, 12 September 2016

August company




So what's been happening since I last posted? It seems a long time. Been busy enough though,  Unfortunately of little interest to you and certainly not to my readers in Russia, Ukraine or South Korea. So if I were you  I'd stop now and deworm the cat or something more productive. Like walking. I read that a brisk 45 minute walk offsets the damage done by the 14 glasses of wine you're allowed per week. Sounds like a recipe for a lot of Merlot stained shirts to me. Better stand still till you've finished.


The weather has been grand-just like a proper Summer.


I went to the races with the Lamb PH on a beautiful sunny Monday evening at Windsor


The day started with brunch at the pub. A larger breakfast than normal theses days-I tend to avoid naughty boys' breakfasts favouring cereal or eggs and the occasional mackerel-all part of the fitter not fatter regime.

The breakfast  seemed to stay with me all day and almost certainly affected my judgement of horse flesh. 
After breakfast by minibus full of ne'redowells, inebriates and music hall singers to Windsor town or rather Eton over the Thames and the excellent Waterman's Arms . A pleasant tincture or two away from the throbbing Chinese/Japanese melee that is the touristy bit


An old waterman
Thence by boat to Windsor racecourse always a pleasure though as usual an element of overpaid ponces who have drunk well but not wisely were on board.







and the Ace Tipster Adrian places his first bet.

After that it was downhill all the way-six races without yours truly troubling the bookmakers. Ady found a bar (Quelle Surprise!) that did Windsor and Eton  yeast products all accompanied by the splendid weather and the racecourse looking very fine in the sunshine with beautiful flowers, beautiful people  and the occasional overpaid tosser.



I was , not for the first time , disappointed with the catering. In common with most race courses they charge big money (£25 in Windsor's case ) to get in for the pleasure of  giving money to the bookies,  queueing for  expensive drink (alcoholic and non) in a plastic glass-and overpriced food of poor quality and dismal presentation. 

Four quid for a pastie for God's sake. That aint catering-it's usury.

That apart a pleasant evening in good company....a winner would have been nice though.
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Joseph will turn 15 whilst we're away in Kent and France so we went to Bill's in Berko. Not bad at all. For the price of two and a half Windsor pasties (Windies? )  I had two beautifully cooked sea bass with  yummy veg and Diaphanous* potatoes. 
Joe was in good form and wants a Blue Ray for his birthday. I didn't even know he had a fish tank.
*Actually it was Dauphinois potatoes but I prefer the spell-checker's idea

Happy Birthday Joseph

(Remember the exchange rate of £4 to a Windy-it comes in useful later)
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The long awaited judgement day arrived when those that had entered the Heritage Veg Competition would present their efforts at John and Anna's for the finals.



I had abandoned entries in the categories for chillies, radishes and tomatoes as all attempts had failed but persevered with carrots pulling my final efforts from my smallholding the day before the judging.  I was quite pleased with the produce and figured they warranted a full effort at display




Da Dah!!!! Please note the tasteful carrot patterned paper. V Artistic.


and the result.,,,,two certificates....Best Artistic display!.....and Most Colourful Fruit and Veg!!! Me! Artistic? Wow! 










I can't remember why Mikaela was swinging her hand bag around ....a little flatulence perhaps










The outright winners John and Lucy


Karl and John-a budding romance?











Our thanks to John and Anna for a lovely evening and a fine spread and congratulations to all participants
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The following day we headed off to Kent. We had one night booked at Hernhill in a converted oasthouse. A beautiful b and b with everything you could want. We found a pub in the next village for Sunday Roast (and realised we'd previously stayed there as well ). 


An excellent breakfast in the conservatory....scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Just perfect. Mind you Pam advised me against  looking at the Full English. Proper job. All for the price of 12 Windies 

www.churchoast.co.uk

A narrowboat up Faversham Creek
The following day was glorious and the plan was to look after Florence but she was suffering with a cold so we wandered into Faversham and then on to Whitstable one of our favourite haunts. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling too good myself with a chesty cough and a lack of sleep caused thereby. Being a man I tried to laugh it off but I did feel crappy. The sun and the sea and of course Pam helped ease the situation and we had a good day



A taste of Whitstable
In the evening a drive to Harty Ferry and the health giving artesian well. It didn't work. Then a stroll along the side of Oare Creek




Is it a seal or a shark? Another lump of wood.


The artesian well at Harty Ferry. Said to be the freshest in Kent

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/faversham/news/discover-the-freshest-water-in-35519/
Kent Harvest



The following day Florence was feeling better so we went off to Herne Bay. We'd been before-during the Winter-and wondered if we'd still like it on a hot August day. It was lovely. Proper seaside with loads to see and do and Florence had a great time too. Plus Kent hit 100 degrees!











 I love a ukulele orchestra so a real treat appeared on the bandstand whilst we were having our lunch. I joined in enthusiastically with "You Are My Sunshine" and enjoyed it so much I didn't notice that Pam and Florence were no longer at the same table but had moved far away "for the shade" they said but I think some people just don't appreciate good music. Anyway from then on whenever Florence failed to obey her elders and betters the mere threat of a chorus of "You Are My Sunshine" was enough.





All together now................

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I'll always love you and make you happy
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me to love another,
You'll regret it all one day

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Please don't take my sunshine away



One must look ones best


Back to the farm to get ready for the evening





To dinner at Posillipo's  in Faversham where we were joined by Brian and Gill (Philips' parents) for a most convivial evening though I have to admit I've felt better. 
I had taken my chest to Caz's GP Practice in Faversham that afternoon and as predicted by Pam they said it was chest infection and issued antibiotics and an inhaler. She also advised me to inform my insurers which alarmed me at first but quite wisely she warned that if things got worse in France the insurers would seize on my visit to a Faversham GP as an excuse not to pay out.
It's the first time I've ever had to see a doctor away from home and I was mightily impressed with the NHS, The Faversham Practice and the GP. and, of course, Caz, for getting it organised and Pam for making me go. Not so impressed with the Insurers  who after my call to them wangled another 9 Windies out of my situation. Bastards
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A rather wobbly picture of Brian, Gill and Pam
my apologies-it must be the antibiotics.
Caz Florence and Philip get in the holiday mood




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Bye Bye Polly
The following day, Friday, and it's off to France. After barking Au Revoir to Polly Patch we set off for Dover. As is my habit we arrived early enough to get on the ferry before the one we had booked and had a beautiful crossing and sped off 
south from Calais. The plan was to stop after an hour and give anyone that wanted a break. However every time I looked in my mirror they all seemed asleep (or had shut their eyes because of my driving) so I kept going reaching Cayeux Sur Mer late afternoon.


All aboard




Sunset at Cayeux sur Mer





Drinks on the Verandah
Nun on the Beach-just liked the shot


Apart from the sun, sunsets, sea and odd stroll we dined very well eating out mostly  with Philip cooking an excellent coq au vin one night  before we adjourned to a nearby beach bar till nearly 2 a m. A dance or two suggested the antibiotics might be working........




A splendid evening in the La Petit Baigneur (translates as "the little bathers but I suspect "Water Babies" is what they intend)-I had six oysters followed by Moules Provencal. Marvellous.


The following day Caz, Philip and Florence had to return home as Caz had a business commitment on Tuesday. We dropped them at Boulogne station and they caught the train back to Calais. We returned to Cayeux by the coastal country route avoiding the toll on the N16.
Pam has the "Going Home Blues"
You are my sunshine............





The last night and Pam and I revisited the Au Mytilus (Latin for Mussel apparently) Restaurant where two  years ago I enjoyed a superb Fruits de Mer. It was as good this time ( 6 Windies) and I hope to return many times before the Great Fishmonger calls me to the Poissonerie in the Sky.












The last morning brought the usual mix of having to be active and focussed whilst being a tad depressed. I was aware that my chest had somewhat marred Pam's holiday and now I was feeling better , mainly thanks to her, it was time to pack up. We worked round one another as we prepared the car and cleaned the apartment. I nearly even managed to make a balls up of the simple task of getting rid of the empty bottles which were not many but required a walk to the recycling place "near the Post Office" as we'd been instructed on arrival. I wandered off with clinking bag to the Post Office opposite unable to see any repository for glass until at the back I found a brick built column with a lid in the top revealing a hole about  18" square. A very sophisticated bottle bank I thought. Before I could heave the contents of my bag down the chute a chap got out of his car and wandered over with a large parcel which he put down the chute giving me a suspicious look as he returned to his vehicle. "Funny buggers" the French I thought. Who puts a parcel in a bottle bank? Then the penny dropped. Turning round I saw on the other side of the rue an overflowing container packed with bottles. 
Hey ho. I didn't mention it to Pam.

Our ferry was not until late afternoon so we made our way to Le Crotoy which we hadn't visited before. A lovely town on the north of Bay of the Somme-Jules Verne lived there- and we made the best of the sunshine before heading north stopping in Etaples to find a letterbox (as opposed to a bottle bank) which we never did so if you didn't get a postcard it's because I'm still carrying it round in my pocket which is a waste of half a Windy stamp







Le Crotoy Balcon


The impressive Les Tourelles hotel  in Le Crotoy
A shadow of myself


Au revoir La Belle France
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On returning home ones mind strays to to other matters such as where did Norman the Gnome's new girlfriend come from? She has appeared whilst I've been away and her positioning would suggest it was somebody of a crude,  playground mentality who would do such a thing. Mac's away in Leicestershire so that narrows it down to Roy though he protests his innocence. Norman looks happy anyway and it's nice to have a bit of romance on the mooring.....You are my sunshine.....etc















How can a cat (spotted on a window ledge in Tring) get so comfy on a flower pot? No wonder they need deworming. Have you finished that job yet?


Zzzzzzzzzz



If you'd like a copy of the two pictures above then get some glue and cat and paste it-geddit!?


While I was away the Cow Roast Inn held another Dog Show for which I had prepared another quiz. Both went well. The three blondes pictured were not there but they could have been.

If you fancy a go at the quiz then  cut and paste the following- it should, I hope, appear. Let me know if you need the answers.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VFYdkPhVJWHovgn1NLkUA615FvfOf4zlS1pSjX4t6TQ/edit


Adrian's friend Claudia is visiting again from Chicago and despite their busy schedule have managed to fit in a couple of lunches with the Old Sods' Club-this one at the George and Dragon in Northchurch (with Mike P and Geoff J) where Claudia had a chance to look round St Mary's Church and pick up some info on Peter the Wild Boy. See link below

http://www.historytoday.com/roger-moorhouse/peter-wild-boy
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Whilst we've been holidaying Natalie has scored a notable hit by getting her fourth commission  for New Scientist magazine; an article on metaphysics. Pretty deep stuff but Nats' illustrations are so contextually right for such a subject. There's a link to one of them here. Well done Nat. Wot a star!

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23130890-500-metaphysics-special-what-is-the-meaning-of-life/
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Some more good news-the lovely June who with son David lives(d) on June Rose but of late has been unwell and in hospital rang me last week. Very much her old self she and David now have a flat and whilst she still hopes to visit the boat now and then is happy with the current situation



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To finish I'd be grateful for any advice on the correct way to handle the following situation so as not to break any social conventions and find I am no longer welcome in the great houses of Berkhamsted.
Being of a gluttonous disposition I oft have two boiled eggs for breakfast hoping that both will arrive at table equally soft of yoke and firm of white, toasted soldiers already buttered, in a straight line and ready for dipping. NOW what is acceptable. May I dip both eggs dispatching the yokes before attacking the white of both or does polite society expect a chap to deal with each egg in order. Yoke -White- Yolk- White? 
It's a toughie isn't it?  
Obviously what one does in the privacy of ones humble boat is between one and the Great Poulterer in the Sky but should happenstance I find oneself looking at two eggs in the second breakfast room of some mansion up Great Gaddesden way one doesn't want to be regarded as lowborn, unmarriageble and beyond the pale** because of a sodding  egg.
Your advice dear reader............it's not a yoking matter.

**http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beyond-the-pale.html

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Oh You are my sunshine 
My only sunshine you ma..................
.................................where's everybody gone Florence?

Bye Bye