Sunday, 30 November 2008

Trials & Tribulations

Sadly this TY (my son's bike) was stolen a few months ago, demonstrating that motorcycle ownership has it's bad moments. I started riding bikes when I was about 11 - my first expedition being a helmet-less trip on a step-thru C90 along the Fosse in the Cotswolds, brought to a swift end by the intervention of the law ( Morris Minor panda I recall). My own son started at the age of four with a QR 50 and then progressed onto the TY above. I'm sure the TY must have been a killer for Yamaha because it was so beautifully made, and although it sold in huge quantities from '74 to '84 can't have made them a lot of money. Since my introduction to the joys of two wheeled motorised transport I have ridden, owned, borrowed, crashed, been frightened by and enjoyed a vast range of machines (more to appear on these pages). I have, for many years, been under the mistaken impression that, for motorcycling heaven to be complete, one would need at-least three machines: 1. For crashing about in the fields, woods, quarries and occasional blats on the tarmac ( this bike to remain covered in mud and to be, cosmetically, a disaster but kept in tip-top mechanical fettle. ) 2. An excessively powerful, exquisitely handling, massively braked, howlingly exhausted all-out sports bike for pure adrenalin filled, knife-edge weekend riding and track days (probably Italian). 3. Big fat comfy, torquey, lazy slob machine for taking in the scenery, long jaunts around Europe and short trips to the news agents to pick up motorcycle comics. Well then - imagine my shock when I suddenly realised that all this was complete bollox. I've been without a bike for over three years now and suffer badly as a result. I've come to the conclusion that the thing holding me back has been the search for the ideal compromise machine ! Disaster, what folly - fortunately I hang out with some people who make sense and I have had it spelled out to me quite clearly that "any bike is better than none " - well of course it is - and how the bloody hell did I miss that one ? By lowering my sights, expectations, vanity threshold, bike snobbery visor and budget I have settled on the perfect solution - a hundred quid's worth of bits that may even yield two complete bikes at a push, conveniently located at the far end of the country in a shed. I'll let you know how it all goes on these pages. MORE PROBLEMS !

Friday, 28 November 2008

Real Food

This has been a long time coming - apologies for the delay. I'm very blessed in that my local happens to provide good beer and real food. The Queen's Head at Bulwick, Northants has been mentioned in these pages before but I'm beginning to feel guilty about not sharing it widely enough. Run by the enthusiastic Geoff and Angela, this pub keeps coming up trumps and has the Diplo seal of approval after many years sampling.
The beer is taken very seriously and it is such a pleasure to be able to enjoy a village pub that is happy to present a fantastic pint without making you feel you ought to be ordering a la carte for a dozen. So many of our pubs have gone foody and really don't understand the point of beer. Somehow this place manages both in real style. A little sample menu is attached - these two on separate occasions, but the offal dish a few weeks ago was absolutely out of this world, Geoff kills and butchers his own game which has to be a good thing. The pig's ear dish I had as a starter tonight, and was brilliant. I'm not a food writer but am happy to say I don't need to be - where on earth can you find such serious goodness AND with a pint of Brewsters Decadence to wash it all down ? - (that and a good Chilean Syrah/Cabernet).

Sunday, 16 November 2008

.....And Don't Come Back !

"Welcome" indeed ! This picture is offered as a marvelous example of our country's attitude to life. I was rather struck by the fact that the car park, for around forty or fifty vehicles, had no less than four of these "Bugger Off" notices. Not strictly a road sign, and therefore in danger of surviving my campaign to be rid of them, I offer this beauty to my unmitigated colleague to deal with - it bears a striking resemblance to one he posted earlier at a construction site in Rutland.
In the extremely unlikely event of any body outstaying their welcome in the car park, the local authority have despoiled the rather fine lamp standard with a personal message for Ron !

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Banking Suspended

Central Bank of Ireland, Dame Street, Dublin. By Sam Stephenson 1975. Controversial even after being reduced in height for contravening planning restrictions, this building is much un-loved but I've not come across this brave approach before.
A central column supports massive, balanced beams from which the floors are suspended, as can be clearly seen in this rather splendid shot. An habitual supporter of the under-dog, I have taken this fantastic piece of engineering under my wing and propose to defend it. If they really want to get rid of it, I'd gladly have it re-assembled in the grounds at Diplo Hall. MORE SUSPENSE !

Monday, 10 November 2008

.. the darkness He called Night.

At last - street light's packed up again. Celebration in Diploville as my one man campaign to rid us of the street light gets under way. I noticed, as I pulled into the Diplo driveway tonight, that darkness has returned, a short stroll up and down the road to get my eyes settled and already some sense of nature has returned. Quite apart from anything else the birds know it's gone bed time, the cats have all scarpered, little glimmers of domestic warmth appear through chinked curtains and a general feeling of peace accompanies the smell of wood-smoke from my chimney. Onward - the next light is some 274 yds to the East. Up two clicks, one click right for wind drift. MORE DARK !

Sunday, 9 November 2008

......... All Gone

Charming little straight Tempranillo Rioja helps cut the fat. That's all I have to say about that.

MORE .............!

This Little Piggy ..........

The Tamworth is generally recognised to be the purest of British breeds and less contact with Asian breeds over the last two or three hundred years makes it the most closely related to our native wild forest pig. Known for their spirited and perky attitude to life when given the freedom to express themselves, they are great foragers. This particular chap spent his time rooting out acorns and scratching his back on some of the most impressive oak trees in County Diplo.

This joint is the traditional shoulder cut, not so popular these days but offering a great mix of muscle groups, plenty of mid fat and a substantial sub-cutaneous layer making for a delightful crackling. Best cooked slow to get the most out of the long muscles, the hefty bone content ensures even cooking and stacks of flavour. I'll try and get a shot of it post fire. MORE FLAVOUR !

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Gas Works Outing

Some 12 or 15 years ago I recall taking a stroll in the early morning to get a closer look at this spectacular gasometer - in fact I seem to remember there being more than one then. This beauty at Barrow St in Ringsend, a short walk from Balls Bridge, was protected by a preservation order ( quite right too ). It was converted into a nine story apartment block called The Alliance (of what ?) and remained empty for many years. I gather it is now a hotel. Bloody shame it's not a gasometer really, it has all the potential.
I do think we need to get our unmitigated author on the case of architectural transvestism. Gasometer Hotel, Bank Wine Bar, Power Station Gallery and the like. I worry that many of our great industrial achievements have been lost forever, concreted over or just plain smashed beyond repair, in so many cases replaced with very unworthy structures. Having had a good look at this piece I should think it could just about be restored to its former use when the hotel's expired. This can't be said for the miles of railway track bed that has been grubbed out and built over, viaducts demolished, station yards now covered in ghastly over-priced, ill-conceived, appallingly designed, shockingly constructed, copy-cat, bijou "executive homes". MORE REVERSIBLE PROGRESS !

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A Different Class of Glass

Apologies for the shocking photograph - I may have been a little unsteady. Any how -there's been a lot of talk about the waining, or not, of the class system in these Islands. We had Prescott being very eloquent on the subject, R4's Today Programme coming in for some stick, and I heard yesterday that the shadow cabinet now has the highest number of Old Etonians on show in the history of the Tory party. Marvelous. I just thought this attempt to cross class boundaries by the Miller Corporation, calling their watery produce The Champagne of Bottle Beer was a good example of a failed attempt to dilute the extremes that this world has to offer. Personally I need the contrast offered by the seasons, the difference between The Avett Brothers and Beethoven, my caviar served chilled and my truffle omelet piping hot - please let's not make the mistake of blending the extremes out of our experiences. Delighted to report that all's well in Ambridge - Nigel's surprise that Alice's relationship with Christopher Carter is going strong - " thought she'd be aiming for brains and tweed etc..." - "Oh no" pips up Shula (Hebden-Lloyd) " seems like rough and windswept is her thing." MORE ICE !

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Wake Me Up !

I have just returned from a very rainy fireworks session. Great spectacle, huge effort, donated weapons and brilliant bonfire - BUT - who's had the bang out of the fireworks ? I've long been an enthusiastic fan of explosions and have developed a fine sense of what works - BIGGER BANGS. It seems that the Eurobureau have pulled even harder on the restrictions lever in an attempt to take the bang out of your firework. I've struggled in vain to get hold of the good old 75mm titanium maroon that was for years the mainstay of any Diplo display - in fact mortar style charges have been taken from us entirely. A shortened launch tube of around 14 inches would restrict the flight to some 100 feet or so ensuring that the blast's primary shock wave could render a devastating blow at ground level, the sharp slap to the top of the head and the visceral shudder in the diaphragm can catch out the unwary and I have seen people fall to the floor, rendered breathless for a few seconds. When you've acclimatised yourself it is possible to fight reflexes and keep the eyes open, you will be rewarded with the whitest, sharpest, purest light imaginable, quiet rural night is briefly turned to day and every shape, profile, branch and tree is seared onto your retina to be enjoyed for several minutes after the event. On a dampish but clear night it is possible to see the shock wave in the form of an expanding ring of compressed, condensing vapour. A volley of 12 maroons or more can leave one feeling quite exhausted and I would recommend a break of a few minutes. The largest mortar we have enjoyed was of 7 inch diameter, the launch charge alone was enough to sink the 200mm o/d gas pipe launching tube a foot into the ground and knock glasses off the table 50 yards away, standing next to it was thrilling and surprisingly warm - the following report at about 200 feet was followed by the most spectacular, ever expanding, circle of gold fire. This glow filled the sky to the horizon and fell like a blanket to cover the whole assembly of open mouthed, bleeding eared, and shocked spectators. I fear that such evenings are going to be thin on the ground under new regulations. MORE BLAST !

Sign Me Up !

Right then - while we're in rant mode,the heating oil tank's getting low and it's chucking it down - this is perhaps the moment to launch the anti road sign push. I appreciate this is very closely associated to the street lighting issue and quite rightly too. I think I have been even more clever than usual with the title of this post as it proposes a campaign style, a lobby or petition. That's all very well but I'm actually going to run this campaign as a one man show for a bit so don't feel pressurised. I had rather hoped that the price of scrap metal, particularly the very high quality dur-al type alloys used in road signs would result in them falling prey to the gas axe and disc cutter, squirreled into transit pick-ups and eventually make their way to China to emerge as counterfeit Honda engines. I drove a section of the 508 a few weeks ago and realised that there was NO point in the journey when less than 4 signs were visible, the heaviest count was 19 in 150 metres. In a village near Diploville a highway re-route became necessary to prevent a mouse getting run over and the resulting works at ONE junction have left us with 11 new aluminium blots. Scrap the signs - let 'em work it out for themselves. They may actually become illegal on the grounds that we are all driving without due whats'name because of the masses of tosh we are forced to digest on the approach to a roundabout or junction. I may well have to expand on the subject in these pages over the next few weeks. Ooh, by the way, I include the above pic to demonstrate what good signage is all about and to annoy the unmitigated author. MORE COMMON SENSE !

Friday, 31 October 2008

Light Me Up !

That's quite enough nostalgia. Couldn't help myself though, spotted the unmitigated pub-side gas pump on the other channel and thought of this. My Americana catalogue is very broad and may well support its own pages soon. Until then ........
I'm afraid its back to street lighting worries. This last few weeks have involved a lot of driving in the early hours - where have gone the pleasures of driving in the dark ( much appreciated '43 Jeep "night view") ? Fortunately there are plenty of unlit routes in County Diplo, but travel any distance and the night is washed away by that nauseous yellow glow of the sodium lights sliced up like some vivisectionist's whale by the long stitched gashes of trunk-road and motorway lights. I was briefly enthused by plans in Powys to turn these awful decorations off after midnight to save power - badly received by residents frightened of the dark !!! Lord save us (again) just switch the bloody things off altogether, perhaps give us all a few quid off our rates as a pleaser. Having never really lived in town it does seem so sad that the State has seen fit to deprive those that do of darkness. The natural way of things ( dark/light, night/day, hot/cold, noisy/quiet) does provide us and the rest of the planet with a frame work, a pendulum of emotions, moods, temperatures, light levels etc all of these rocking us gently within the extremities, enabling us to enjoy being tired or bright-eyed, cold on a clear autumn morning or struggling with the searing provencal heat as we tease our pallet with a little nicoise and a crisp cold Semilion. Can we please have some bloody contrast and stop trying to smooth out the experience into some ghastly mediocre, mean, average, bland, featureless pureed vegetable. MORE DARKNESS !

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Street Art

Spire of Dublin, affectionately known as The Spike, presumably a monument to Mr Milligan. Almost breathtaking and VERY brave, this needle in stainless steel by Ian Ritchie soars some 400ft into the grey sky. I spent a few moments lying on the pavement photographing this glorious piece of modern art, I realised that all the other people lying around were the worse for drink and not taking in the same view. I include a picture of one I made earlier ( a few years ago ) designed by John Murdoch in flint and stainless - this only a tenth of the height at 40ft and somewhat less dramatic. I have encountered some truly pointless pieces of street art in my time but these are decidedly not so - perhaps their very shape is intended to floor such criticism before it starts.

Oh Molly !

Just a quick up-date - been off air for a while. Four day trip to Dublin has left me a little exhausted followed by a week on the Dorset coast (more later). Much Guinness was taken in Ireland and I just managed to catch this glimpse of our morning delivery. Haven't been to Dublin since a very heavy cricket tour some 12 years ago and things seem to have changed a bit (not the Guinness). Down in Balls Bridge I found a very notable French eatery in proper relaxed form, set around a wine merchant's dealings. Pierre of "The French Paradox" has sought to make his clientele even more happy by feeding them over a zinc top bar with a menu of confit, casoulet and good agricultural terrines etc - spectacular wine list with techno-nitrogen delivery system allowing some VERY posh juice to be made available by the glass if necessary. I managed to visit three times in four days and fail to get any pictures - you'll just have to take my word for it - the casoulet was bloody brilliant.
On the Friday I made a trip to the Croke Park Stadium, headquarters of the Gaelic Athletics Association. Two note-worthy points: spectacular engineering and quite the best tour guide I have ever met - if every tourist attraction had a guide as keen, knowledgeable and enthusiastic as the man showing us around Croke, they'd be chocker every day. MORE GUINNESS !

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Fish & Chips

Caught on the August trip to The North, this 4 pounder was delicious. That's all I have to say about that. MORE SUMMER !

Pomme Delight

We've yet to produce any serious ballistics calculations - suffice to say this is a CONSIDERABLE improvement on Spud 1. Projectiles of choice today were apples, very seasonal, home grown, environmentally sound and in plentiful supply. Still using the John Freida hairspray for fuel as it has consistently come top in all our performance tests - reliability is a key issue here. In the Spud 2 the ignition is provided by a Bosch Super4 R6-771 spark plug from the Merc, excited by the good old piezo unit from a gas boiler.
Bore is up to 2.25 inches, the muzzle length 5'6" and the combustion chamber is 3' of 4" land drain c/w fittings. The pic of the two weapons leaning on the back of the truck clearly demonstrates the increase in size. Obviously report is up massively and we've had to cut short trials to avoid trouble in Diploville. We need to find a reliable method of measuring the velocity - at the moment, in a steep launch, the projectile is out of site in a fraction of a second and I reckon we're dropping rounds at about 600yds. We haven't been able to conduct horizontal tests as this afternoon's session was cut short, but I reckon we'll be getting a minimum of 100 yards flat trajectory. I can't emphasise enough how good this is. MORE BANG !

Friday, 26 September 2008

Awesome Rack

A little rummage in the freezer turned up a rack of hogget for supper ! Marvelous - home grown spuds and garlic for accompaniment. This fire was cooking very well on a blend of some Cupressocyparis leylandii, Acer pseudoplatanus and Faxinus excelsior. The Diplo veg patch has been particularly productive this season thanks to a truck load of manure dug in earlier in the year. The purple sprouting, however, liked it a little too much and grew enormous, triffid like, leaves and no sprouting - caterpillars loved it. MORE GREENS !

Monday, 22 September 2008

Turned to Stone

I have long credited the Marilyn picture to Norman Parkinson but I'm not so sure - no doubt somebody will be able to put me right. Anyhow, I photographed this sample piece of column in Ancaster stone made for a client and the resemblance was quite striking and, I thought, worthy of sharing with you. MORE CURVES !

Sunday, 21 September 2008

On Any Sunday .........

Sideways, upside down and down right bonkers really. BMF Tail End Show provided this Sunday's entertainment - Short Track racing was furious and action packed as always.
I thought I should include this pic of an upside down 'crosser in case you thought things were a bit normal. This mo-ped endurance racing is possibly the most aggressive form of motor sport, despite the fancy dress this is all taken very seriously and looks a bit rough. It requires a field of about 45 mo-peds with compulsory rider changes, pit stops and crashes. Run on the 440yd speedway track, the race is spiced up with the inclusion of three chicanes made up of tractor tyres. MORE MAYHEM !

Friday, 19 September 2008


In honour of Richard Wright (1943 - 2008) I thought I should post a picture of the axe I purchased from Eugene's shop in the Gers. This shopping trip was follwed by a massive lunch of foie gras, casoulet and a conversation with a local woman who informed me that the village war memorial listed 14 direct family members killed in The Great War and a further dozen at "the hands of the Nazis" - as she put it. It seems that this remote, poor and recently annexed part of France proved a rich source of cannon fodder for the French military - leaving it rather empty and bleak nowadays - sad really. Top grub though. MORE CARE !

In Mitigation

Apologies for treading heftily on my colleague's toes - however, in mitigation, I did make these images available to him years ago in the hope that he might have something useful to say. What has prompted this cross-blogging is a need to top up the nostalgia trough. Mention elsewhere of old milk bottles drove me to rummage in the archive for this building - I just know that in the Frigidaire are at least a couple of the little foil capped beauties. Lurking on the shelf above is a piece of boiled ham or pressed tongue on a chipped plate under an up-turned pudding basin. God alone knows what's in the loft - but somewhere is a lovingly maintained Hornby OO layout - in fact as I took this shot I could pick out the distinctive sound of the Hoover Model 750 being put to use in the parlour after emptying the grate from last night's fire.
My spirits are always lifted by the site of any period-perfect property, very rare now, many having been spoilt with later additions or thoughtless fenestration replacements. This particular example comes complete with correctly proportioned and decorated garden shed and greenhouse, accessed via the raised-aggregate concrete path with cast in washing line poles. MORE DETAIL !

Monday, 8 September 2008

LLama Drama

Slightest glimmer of sunlight, the smallest hint of summer and we fire up the barbie. Inaugural firing of the new Diplo cooker required plenty of scrap timber to warm the flue and cure all the important bits. Whilst waiting for the fire to reach optimum cooking performance we need to replenish the larder - fate is kind to the hunter-gatherer in our neck of the woods and a 120 metre lung/heart shot (150 grain soft nosed High-Shock Win 30-30) should suffice here.
A week to cure and a delicate 24 hour marinade, (pinot, rosemary, olive oil,garlic and a liberal dollop of smoked paprika, I fancy) should do the trick. Fried garlic-potatoes, a spicy water cress salad and a heavy Chilean Malbec will be required, llama can be a little chewy. I'm particularly looking forward to fashioning a jalfrezi, rich in saag, out of the neck fillet. MORE PROTEIN !

Friday, 5 September 2008

September In The Rain

Blog seems to be slipping to a monthly publication - best I can do. Officially the wettest summer on record, this truly is getting boring. Fishing in Scotland in August was actually quite fine and when the skies did open, standing up to one's chest in fresh water whilst the top bit is subjected to a battering from the biggest rain drops I've ever seen, didn't seem too bad. Back home and having to venture out to work rather than play, it all gets very boring. I thought I ought to share with you this picture of the series as I ready myself for a damp drive to the office. Record collection so far is about 20 gallons - I really must get on to e-bay for a set of hoops and tarp. The protection illustrated is a retired cover from an '84 Mazda B2000 pick up which bit the dust a while ago, it doesn't do the job very well. As soon the sun comes out I'm going take some more pictures and post an altogether more uplifting article - something along the lines of hedge-found blackberry crumble and clotted cream. MORE FRUIT !

Monday, 18 August 2008

Shining Hospitality

A recent trip to "The North" has yielded a bountiful harvest of note-worthy scenes for these pages. Alas, I failed to pack the camera so this picture from some fifteen years ago will suffice - nothing has changed in the world of Scottish commercial hospitality. On the family's return trip from Inverness we were treated to a "Shining" experience at a very run down and tired "Country House Hotel". The plastic garden furniture arranged on the worn tarmac driveway at the foot of the grand entrance stairs was an accurate gauge of just how far fallen this establishment was. Thoughtfully placed in such a prominent position, this was obviously the smoking zone for the chef, a liberal sprinkling of Lambert & Butler stubs garnished with squeezed tea bags was all the clue we needed. Upon approaching the reception desk we were greeted by the sole staff member, whilst the desk was graced with a flat screen monitor and 'phone, neither appeared to be plugged in and the lilies in the dirty vase were well past there sell by date. Out of a sense of adventure and with a thought to Stanley Kubrick's feel for what a deserted hotel should offer, we decided to take a room for the night. The enormous, once glamorous, hotel was devoid of life and much stair climbing and marching along endless corridors lead us to a pretty average, though unkempt, room. To conform to expectations the bath tap was dripping profusely producing that distinctive brown streak on the enamel and the lino had retreated from the skirting like mould in a tea cup, revealing that half inch gap of musty, damp, dust gathering matter that is best not investigated too closely. In an attempt to change the stale air I enthusiastically hauled at the sash windows, having cracked away the painted seal the rotted cords let go and with a crash, fresh air rushed in - a nearby '70s hard-wired hair dryer had just enough flex to serve as a sash prop. I'm sure you can imagine the scene. I'm very pleased to have dug out this earlier picture from the previously blogged Beattock House Hotel - the carpet here is a fine example of the sort of thing we're up against. I called at Beattock only to find the BHH now closed.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Cat Trouble

It has come to my attention that there is a cat resident in Diploville. The evidence presents itself in the form of foul-smelling deposits, often secreted, like antipersonnel mines, slightly below the surface. I have indeed been rendered powerless by the dastardly booby traps on more than one occasion. Revenge, it is often said, is a dish best served cold - that'll be the little bowl of milk then, placed strategically in the middle of the lawn 25 metres from the Diplo back door. The chosen killing zone benefits from good morning light, a clear and safe backdrop and is easily hosed down. Much discussion has taken place on the subject of weapon selection, I have been in touch with a retired SAS officer friend of mine and in the true spirit of "who dares wins" we settled on this basic selection from the Diplo armoury. My own personal favourite would be the Marlin 30.30 for it's sheer brute force, the Martini action Greener GP is a handy piece with a very tight choke producing a solid pattern at the range we're interested in, the grenade, frankly, is a distraction and not really appropriate here. In the interest of good neighbourly relations I plan to serve notice on the cat's owner. Ooh, the Expedient 9mm submachine gun isn't ready yet or that would have top slot - obviously. MORE FIREPOWER!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Genesis 1:5

Sorry about my absence - couple of weeks at the plantation and a spot of skiing in Chile. Back to the grindstone. I share this picture with my readers out of desperation. I mentioned previously that we are blessed at Diplotown with a very sparse distribution of street lights, unfortunately one of the three is just opposite Diplo Hall - this has not been a problem since it packed up nearly a year ago. Guess what ? I was awakened from a post-prandial snooze with a start, massaging the keyboard imprint from my forehead, I peered out of the window of the front office to see a Lights-4-U wagon pull up and make preparations to fix the street lamp. I tried to point out to the operative that this was entirely unnecessary and that I would be happy to damage the bulb for him before it was installed - "not on your life - more than my ...." .. I ran inside and started sewing up black out curtains. Surely in these days of environmental concern and budgetary constraints we'd be doing the world a favour if we left broken street lights well alone.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Turn Left For Adventure

Last weekend I immersed myself in the awe-inspiring world of flat track racing. Having seen some racing on 1/4 mile speedway tracks it seemed wise to slope off to South Wales and enjoy the spectacle laid out on a full 1/2 mile oval. This facility was purpose built for the equally hairy sport of trotting, is blessed with fancy new floodlighting and enables us to witness full ton-up dirt racing as has been keeping our friends in The States on the edge of their seats for years. Interestingly enough, the track layout used on Saturday left a little to be desired because as darkness fell it became apparent that chucking the bikes sideways at 90-odd miles an hour into turn one would have to be done blind - didn't seem to put anybody off much. Having spent the day in the pits and pointing inquisitively at patches of oil and broken bits of motor cycle I came away with the fuse lit - this has to be what motor sport is about. Quite apart from anything else, flat track bikes really do epitomise bike style, this is what proper motorbikes ought to look like - the Dutch Brothers' Harley XR pictured here says it all really.
I was particularly struck by the way a bunch of the most approachable interesting and friendly people you could wish to meet hurl themselves, at the drop of a flag, into five minutes of the most violent, bone shaking, grit chewing, spleen wrenching and down-right terrifying maelstrom - as would a quiet infantryman going "over the top" at the Somme. This adrenalin fueled frenzy is followed by a few minutes recuperation in the pits, an opportunity to evacuate the mud and grit from mouth, nose, & ears, rip through a Marlboro or two and, in the case of our pit neighbour, bandage a swollen knee and fettle a new footrest from a lump of wood and some gaffer tape.
I include the pic of the blood waggon in honour of poor Johnners who spent most of the night in a Swansea hospital, he's now had steel-work installed in his knee and is off games until further notice. MORE SPEED.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Your Usual, Sir ?

Still in shock from the realisation that I'd missed Ian Fleming's Dr No on the wireless this arvo (David Suchet as the twisted Dr No) I have taken treatment in the form of woodsmoke and wine. A crisp, cold Viognier has taken care of the cooking with a sturdy Chilean Cabernet to cut the fat - marvelous.
Fried garlic and new potatoes on the fire along with cob-corn (cooked wrapped in foil with butter, salt and pepper)and a bit more of Mary's hogget really did the trick, Dr who ? Fresh-cut salad from the garden only helps to complete the heavenly feast. Very hot Provencal garlic rubbed into that toasted ciabatta, soaked in oil and sprinkled with salt keeps the thirst from waining and proves a great accompaniment to the Viognier whilst tending to the fire. Sorry to go on about it - BUT - that meat is something special and deserves attention. MORE FIRE !