A Few Photos I Didn’t Use

I thought I’d cut down on Christmas effort by shoving in a few photos I haven’t used before. I may use them in the future, because I still have a few things to write up, but for the moment I will use them to save effort on a day when I need my energy for bickering with family members, over-cooking food and complaining about the poor quality of TV.

Some Christmas traditions are just too important to ignore.

The main photograph shows Julia walking across the bridge at Bakewell. It has an amazing number of locks attached to it, despite the article I read some months ago which said they were going to take some off. They are now so thickly clustered it’s starting to look a bit like Paris.

You may notice that Julia is carrying a basket.

It’s a sort of tradition with us – we go to Bakewell and Julia buys another basket. Like all the best traditions, the origins of this strange nehaviour are hidden in the mists of time. If there is ever a world shortage of baskets it is unlikely to have much impact on our family.

These areΒ  afew shots of Bakewell. I have more, as you will find out later.


Cottage Pie with a sweet potato topping, carrots and samphire. We know how to live.

The strange quality to the photograph is caused by steam rising from the meal. Most food in cookery books, I believe is cold to prevent this. However, considering what else they do to it, cold is the least of your worries. The carrots, for instance,would be coated with glycerine to make them attractively shiny. Samphire is getting quite fashionable and is actually being imported.

I first ate samphire when I foraged it on a camping trip in Norfolk. That would be around 1976. I enjoyed it so much that I had it again in 2016. I had it twice in 2017. It’s bitter, it’s salty and the last lot had some very fibrous stalks, but it’s crunchy after steaming and tastes like it must be doing you good. According to this article it’s also known as Mermaid’s Kiss and is loved by fashionable cooks.


A brick from Watnall Colliery, Nottingham

This is a brick from a local brickyard – marked up as NCB Watnall (National Coal Board for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term). A lot of collieries also made bricks. There were 82 operating after the war and this example is from Watnall near Nottingham. The NCB indicates it was made after 1947. It’s a bit of local history we found when going through a pile of bricks at the Mencap garden.



20 thoughts on “A Few Photos I Didn’t Use

  1. Pingback: Books, Blue John and Bakewell Pudding | quercuscommunity

  2. Clare Pooley

    Those locks on Bakewell bridge annoy me every time I see them! I can see the appeal of baskets but ultimately, no matter how attractive, they still have to be carried by someone and they are difficult to store in a house like ours with very little cupboard space.
    Happy Christmas, Simon! πŸ˜€

    1. quercuscommunity

      πŸ™‚ I’ve only ever seen it in articles on food and foraging – having read and seen King Lear I have managed to forget the reference until looking for a samphire link on Wiki.

  3. Helen

    I hope you managed a Christmas Day without bickering and overcooked food! As I didn’t watch any TV I can only assume there were lots of riveting programmes I sadly missed.

    1. quercuscommunity

      The food went according to plan, and we mainly avoided the bickering. I attribute this to me planning the cooking times in a notebook and then hiding in the kitchen for most of the day. πŸ™‚

  4. The Belmont Rooster

    Great post! It is strange, but there used to be many companies that made bricks, and some in unlikely places. I visited an elderly gentleman many years ago that had a vast collection of bricks. I often wonder what happened to all thiose bricks… He and his wife were delightful to talk with. They had a Bronze Turkey farm many years ago and he had a 1957 Ford Thunderbird parked in his hatchery… One day I was in their nearby city and saw him and his wife in the car. He reminded me of Colonial Sanders because he had white hair and a goatee. Funny how the brick in your post brought back pleasant memories. Thanks!!!


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