Thursday, 24 December 2009

2 Pounder

This is the famous and much sought after Culpin's Christmas Pie. Similar to their regular pie which itself is brilliant and featured previously on these pages (pic below). The main difference is this is the hand raised version using a VERY strong pastry. You could certainly kick this pie along the street without damaging it. I am a fan of both versions but Mr Culpin's reluctance to make the hand raised example through the year, because of time constraints, makes it all the more special when it does appear just before Christmas. I placed my order for a pair of these beauties a while ago and made a special trip to Uppingham this morning to collect them.


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Winter Tips 3

After a week of hefty breakfasts we at Diplo Hall find ourselves looking forward to a lighter meal on a Sunday morning. Pancakes with a slab of butter, a bottle of maple syrup and a rasher or two of streaky are a regular accompaniment to The Morning Service on the wireless. Today this little snack fills the gap nicely between the squirrel culling in the garden (from the warmth of the kitchen) and subsequent skinning and pinning out of pelts - perfect weather with a dry chill in the air.
We should of course take a lesson from our tree climbing friends and lay on a bit of fat for winter - this thick sub-cutaneous layer is built up around the vital organs above the hips and is just not present at other times of the year. Squirrel burgers for tea today then. MORE VARIETY !

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Winter Tips 2

If you're a twelve year old boy and you prefer sleeping outdoors, rejecting the relative comfort of a bed, duvet and a roof over your head - this time of year you need one of these. The igloo itself will keep out the chillest of winds. A hole pushed through the roof is a good idea for ventilation. You may also need a current army issue Arctic sleeping bag (superior to the Pattern 58), these are not only warm but pretty tough. When you do make it back to civilisation I thoroughly recommend some of Mr Culpin's plain middle bacon, a batch of scrambled same-day eggs and a jug of hot chocolate. MORE IMPROVISATION !

Friday, 18 December 2009

Winter Tips 1

Top tip from an experienced open car campaigner. Blow the snow off the seats etc before it has a chance to melt, a casual flick with a rag is all it takes and you're sure of a snug drive to work. LESS IS MORE !

Friday, 4 December 2009

Sat Nav 3

No 3 in the Sat Nav series has been prompted by the previous post and subsequent beer lubricated conversations on the subject of people who either can't or won't think for themselves. I was actually obliged last week to nudge a rep-driven Vectra into commitment at a local roundabout as the driver seemed frozen in some incapacitating trance by the electronic gadget stuck to his windscreen. I'm a map man myself and given half a chance I'll sort out where I'm going beforehand. One of the key principles to successful navigation is the need to know where you are at any given time, lose that thread and you make work for yourself. I was trying to render assistance to a startled delivery driver recently who's SatNav had let him down. Within 30 seconds it became apparent that he had no idea what county he was in, he would have had more luck locating himself on my road map if he'd been blindfolded and given a pin to stick in the page. I couldn't get any sense out of him as he stared in disbelief at the blank screen on his dashboard. His blind faith in the electronic gadget was so strong that he had let it take him on a 4 or 5 hour delivery run to God-knows-where, the minute it expired he was lost, not just unsure but utterly without any concept of where he was ! Amazing. A recent trip to Ireland prompted a trawl of the Diplo map library, armed with a 1900 Bartholomew's Road Atlas and a 1:500,000 J&B Touring map from 1963 smooth navigation was assured, a more up to date sheet from the car hire company filled in the missing gaps and I was able to decline the offer of a rental SatNav from Mr Hertz. If I really needed open-heart surgery or a limb amputaion I might consider handing responsibility to another, (I'd need to see references, would want to verify the quality of his shoes and maybe check on his tailor) but for anything else I'll be in control thank you, and that certainly includes getting where I want to go. MORE SENSE !