Friday 15 June 2012

Still working on it... the meantime Rog suggests I take a dose of my own medicine

Oh bugger

Oops, so I changed the blog template and now can't see where or how you comment.  I've checked the dashboard and comments are enabled and I've ticked the embedded box....any ideas on a postcard to  Bugger, bugger, bugger....

What's in a name?

Whilst our trip to Mark Hix was a foodies delight, the rest of the weekend food experience was less convincing.  We rolled down to breakfast at 9.45 to find that they stopped serving at 9.30.  This was somewhat less than pleasing, and made me reflect on the rules laid down in traditional English seaside B&Bs by their fearsome landladies. Our search for food afterwards was no more vision of village of village llined with tea shops selling delightful pots of the finest English brew alongside cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberries and cream proved to be somewhat wide of the mark - especially the closer we got to Portland and Weymouth.  It turns out that even the crab shack at the rough end of Chesil Beach remains closed at the beginning on Mondays and Tuesdays.  We ended up with a sandwich from a Shell garage, which did at least have a Costa Coffee machine.  We supped and dined in the car park.

However do not let it be said that our disappointment overshadowed the reason for our trip through the Dorset countryside.  The happy coincidence of a trip to Lyme Regis had afforded us the opportunity of visiting the village of Burton Bradstock.  The sharp-eyed will spot an uncanny resemblance between the name of the village and the url of my blog.  Bradstock is indeed our family name...on my mother's, mother's side.  So it has long been an ambition of mine to visit the place from which it is believed our name comes. The village is a pretty a place as you can imagine - the ideal English village.  And it has a very long history indeed.   "In Saxon days, the village was called Brideton or Bridetone meaning the village of the river Bride which evolved to Bridetona as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Bradstock came from Bradenstoke named after Bradenstoke Priory in Wiltshire to which the village once belonged. The present name appears to be a corruption of the two names."  If you would like to know more about the Priory, click here.  There were even some thatchers up on the roof of one of the cottages - not a sight you see often...and a fantastic skill that is at the heart of the English village .

I was curiously over-excited by the prospect of a village which at best I have only a very loose link with, and The Cat's Mother and I thoroughly enjoyed our short visit.  I even signed the visitors book in the church - something I would never normally do.  I took some pictures.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Picture Daily

I so hope this is called a bumble bee flower...


We have been encouraged, cajoled and even lightly threatened not to reveal a thing about the opening ceremony to even our nearest and dearest, so it was somewhat galling to see yesterday on the front pages of everything the staging for it.  So this is indeed it, as described in detail on every news station across the country.  This is not very motivating.

In case you're wondering, I'll be in that field with the cricketers - top right.  No live sheep, cows, pigs or hens for me to worry about.

I mentioned on KellogsVille's blog about the lack of self-control when people comment on the internet, so it was hardly surprising to see the comments on the BBC about the opening ceremony.  Spiteful, hurtful and hateful almost without exception.  Whilst it's water off my duck's back, I'm sure some of the people who are taking part will be hurt by the unnecessary and vicious commentary that people feel free to make on the internet.  When the whole show is revealed I'm sure some of the nay sayers will change their minds, equally I'm sure some will still think it a poor use of taxpayers money.  It won't be Beijing, but then it's not trying to be...and I think most people will enjoy the show.

There have been rumblings in the last couple of weeks, although we are a little way away from outright rebellion or revolution.  It's not the done thing old boy, you know?  We were told to turn up on Jubilee weekend for 'the most important rehearsals' in the schedule of 188 hours.  In fact we all arrived and spent a lot of the time just waiting around, when we could have been celebrating.  This is not very motivating.

Most people have had to miss a rehearsal for various reasons, and I did on Sunday.  I received a stroppy e-mail demanding to know why I wasn't there.  In fact I had told our team leader and when I replied I had, I simply got another.  This is not very motivating.

We also learned that for the final rehearsals, sponsors families and friends will be able to come along to get an advanced preview.  Not one word has been said to the volunteers about their friends and family being allowed to come along and see us in action.  This is not very motivating.

Let's hope this weekend is a bit more positive.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Picture Daily

yummy, Greek salad

A dish served hot

I'm not quite sure when it was, but at some stage during my late teens or early twenties I acquired a mild phobia of spaghetti....whenever I looked at it all I could see was a bowl full of squirming worms. 

Last week we went to see Prometheus, Ridley Scott's new masterpiece, or not, depending on your own likes and dislikes. Full of wriggling-worm like creatures, it's stomach-churning. 

We used to live in Borough High Street and took to going to the now world famous Borough Market. The Boy and I loved the smells, the colours, the of course the flavours as market holders thrust samples of their wares for us to try.  The best stall was the fishmonger's which had every fish you could imagine on display.  Not all of them were dead.  The molluscs were kept alive, but chilled on a bed of ice.  Amongst them were the Razor Clams, and not surprisingly they took the opportunity to stick their fat white heads out to sense what was going on around them.  I saw them, and like fat pieces of spaghetti, they turned my stomach.

This weekend, we had been treated by Queen Anne to a special event.  A meal cooked in front of us, masterclass-style by Mark of London's top chefs.  He hails from Dorset, and the meal was cooked in his kitchen at his home in Charmouth near Lyme Regis.  Nine of us sat round the bench table whilst he talked us through what he was cooking and how he was doing it.  He's a most amiable fellow, and it turns out that he only became a chef because at school he was given a choice of metal work or domestic science.  He couldn't bare the thought of turning out another key ring so unknowingly took his first steps to fame and fortune.  How strange is lady luck?

First course?  Razor clams.  I nearly threw up.  And whilst everyone looked on intently, he blathered on in detail about what he was doing and I de-focused my eyes, looked up at the ceiling, started thinking about life, the universe and everything.  I couldn't avoid the smell, it was hard to stay in my seat.

But the meal was prepared.  It was all (including the clams) absolutely delicious.  Of course it was. The other people there were lovely, even the lady who'd badly poisoned her (now ex) husband by picking mushrooms from under the yew tree and seemed to spend summer evenings drinking strawberry daiquiris in the graveyard next to her house.  It was wildly extravagant, and the one thing we never forget is just how lucky and privileged we are to be able to do these things.

P.S.  It's been a week since I did a proper has been that busy I've been barely able to think.  Worse still, I've not really had the chance to read everyone else's writings...and I know that once I've fallen behind it's almost impossible to catch I feel I've missed out.  I'm desperately trying to catch up, as it is always a joy and a pleasure to read everyone's jottings

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Picture daily

This is the crowd at a Foo Fighters concert...everyone an individual, all united by one thing

Monday 11 June 2012