Tag Archives: breakfast

Great Expectations, or A Disappointing Breakfast and a Damp Day

Sorry, due to a lethargic few days I missed posting on Sunday after we got back and fell asleep in my chair last night, waking after midnight – too cold, too stiff and too late to post.

When I say “yesterday” I mean Sunday.

Yesterday we went to Lakeland. It sounds good. It sounds like it should be a National Park full of lakes and trees and thoughts of Wordsworth. In fact Lakeland, formerly Lakeland Plastics, is Britain’s biggest seller of kitchen accessories, as generations of long-suffering husbands have found to their cost.

We actually went to the HQ, the flagship store, or the Mother Lode, call it what you will. Julia set me down in the cafe with a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake and told me to stop whimpering.

Fortunately the Lakeland shop is based in Windermere, which is in the Lake District, so it could have been a lot worse. If it had been the one in Nottingham the views would have been terrible and there would have been no cake.

We started the day by waking up in Skipton, having dropped Number One son off in Leeds on the way through. We didn’t really need to drop him off but Julia hadn’t seen his new flat so there was a certain amount of nosiness involved.

To get me to agree to the trip she had promised me a night in a Travelodge followed by breakfast at the farm shop next door.

I am easily bought, but having visited the farm shop to buy pies and veg before I had high hopes for the breakfast.

I’d still recommend it for pies and veg, but can only say that my high hopes were not entirely justified. For one thing, we arrived at the front door to find it closed. There is a much smaller entrance at the other end of the building and no sign that we could see. If it hadn’t been for someone walking past and telling us we would probably have driven away and eaten somewhere else. With hindsight…

The cafe is new since we last stayed in Skipton. It’s nicely set up in the modern fashion (ie tables made from planks with paint on and that sort of gubbins) and was bustling. There were plenty of staff about, we were shown to a table fairly quickly and although I was sort of sitting in a gangway it wasn’t too bad.

I think they had to fit the table in that way. Seeing as they took twenty quid off us, and presumably off several other people during the course of the day you can see why they succumbed to the temptation to crowd an extra table in. It did cause a bit of a hold-up several times but that wasn’t my problem.

We ordered tea. We waited. We eventually ordered breakfast. We waited some more. The waitress who had taken the tea order noticed we hadn’t had the tea and chased it up for us with profuse apologies. The tea arrived. So did the breakfast.

We’d been there about twenty five minutes, which is a bit too long for breakfast. I want to feed and get back on the road.

It was busy, to be fair, but they had plenty of staff. The problem was that it all seemed a little chaotic and disorganised. Several couples who came in after us had their drinks before we did, and one even had their food order.

This gave me time to inspect our table properly – there were three uncleaned grease spots on on it and a big blob of something foodlike adhering to the salt cellar.

The good bits were – nice bustling atmosphere, lovely friendly staff (though the supervisor seemed a bit frazzled), excellent black pudding, fried eggs done exactly as I like them (turned over, set all the way through), great hash browns, tasty mushrooms, good portion size.

Average or  a bit above – Sausages were above OK but not as good as expected from the write-up. Bacon tasted good but had been cooked until leathery, massive cups which I always feel let the tea get cold (and are tricky for arthritic fingers).

The not so good bits – long wait, served out of turn, cold baked beans, poor signage, toilets upstairs, table hygiene (not just our table, they were a bit perfunctory with their wiping down – I was watching).

Then three women with pushchairs decided that they really had to make me move so they could get past. I’m sure that they could have got through without all the fuss and pulled faces, but some people just love to make a drama out of nothing. It’s not like they are the first people to push a kid in a pushchair…

Anyway, enough for now. I may well go to Greggs next time we stay at Skipton. It’s not a great breakfast experience but it is value for money, quick and never disappointing. I don’t expect much from them and I don’t provide much so our expectations meet perfectly.

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My Stalker

Did I mention it rained? If you know the Lakes you probably already knew this. It rained the first time I went there, around 1964, and it’s been raining ever since. To be fair, it only rained for about thirty minutes. Judging from the puddles I think they had more rain in Nottingham than we did.

One More Quick Post

I had a day off today and spent much of it trying to write. It didn’t go too well, though it could have been worse. That, could well be the motto for my life – good, but could have been better.

I also checked on the internet to see what sold in the shop, and found that one of the coins I’d listed yesterday had sold. It often seems to be the way. In fact most of today’s orders were for the cheap and cheerful end of our stock. That’s the end at which I operate.

Now, having watched the day slip away, I find it is time to take Number Two Son to work. I will return with only 40 minutes to post, so am getting it done now.  And that, I’m afraid, is why it was hardly worth your while clicking the button to visit. Sorry about that.

The final picture is my breakfast from Tuesday – overnight oats. You put oats, milk, yoghurt and fruit into a tupperware and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s just a posh name for cold porridge. However, it does save time in the morning as I take it to work, and as I always arrive at work early I use some of that time for eating breakfast instead of starting work. On Fridays I will eat cold porridge in the garden with Julia.

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Overnight Oats

Note how I’ve included the keyboard in the picture to indicate that I’m a high-powered, high-fibre thrusting executive.

Photography can be so deceptive…

The Scone Chronicles – XV

Another one with no scones.

We’ve not been out much recently, partly because Julia has been making me give books away (or “declutter” as she likes to call it) and partly because we are trying to economise. Despite my lottery win we are still adjusting to Julia only having one job.

On Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to a McDonald’s breakfast. It’s not something to boast about, but as they serve 3.5 million customers a day in the UK it’s not like I’m alone in my poor diet choice. The problem, of course, was that I’d already had one on Monday. One a month is acceptable, one a week is borderline. Two a week is a source of shame.

Anyway, as we haven’t had scones recently, I decided that this would have to do.

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

It’s difficult, when looking at a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, to work out where the sausage element is.

British sausage (bangers) recipe.

These are sausages. Proper British breakfast sausages.

It’s also difficult, having read that it was inspired by Eggs Benedict, to actually see the similarity, apart from the egg and muffin.  That’s a bit like calling a bicycle a horse and cart just because it has wheels and a saddle.

Despite this, the sausage and egg McMuffin, particularly with the addition of BBQ Sauce and black pepper is a good start to the day.

The best bit is probably the chance to sit and talk for a while. Too many of our mornings are spent rushing about, and it worries me that Julia doesn’t see enough of me. That’s why I took the final photograph – I thought you’d like to see a picture of a woman spending quality time with her loved one. Note that I got us the best table, just by the toilet door.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

A Packed Monday

This morning I dragged myself from bed reluctantly and groaned as I felt the arthritis in my finger. I had, just days before, been wondering if I’d get to spring without more trouble. It seems not. I went down for my blood test. For the second time in three visits I had a learner. She was heavy-handed but accurate and relatively painless.

Because I was late Julia took the bus to work and left me to fill in an hour before going to work. A full breakfast at Sainsbury’s filled the gap.

I then started on parcels. There were fifteen, several of which we had packed on Saturday afternoon and two of which were for collection. Then we had two people in to sell things and things to put on the eBay shop. We also had a lost parcel to deal with. It had been posted by ordinary post and had disappeared. The way eBay works means we have to send the money back and pay 80 pence to PayPal. In the old days we’d have shown the reciept from the post office to prove we’d posted it and told the customer he should have paid the extra for insurance. Experience suggests we’ve been had over, but who can tell?

Finally the lady who wanted two coin sets came in. She was buying them for presents as they represent birth dates. Seeing that we had more, she bought three others and left the shop after we planted the idea of coin collecting in her head.

It was then time for sandwiches, packed by Number Two Son the night before, and a trip to Newark. I caught up with an old friend, which is always good, and treated myself to a Fry’s Peppermint Cream. It’s a long-established chocolate bar – I remember my great-grandmother eating Fry’s.

On the way back I saw a few good sunset pictures, but couldn’t find anywhere safe to park and photograph, so I’ve used adawn shot from last week for this post.

The rooks seem to be gathering at their nest sites, I’ve seen two largish gatherings this week. Looks like spring is coming, though all the weather reports are forecasting cold weather and snow this week.

We had stew for tea. I’d made it last night using up a lot of slightly wrinkled vegetables so we reheated it, Julia made dumplings and I managed to eat my five a day out of the same bowl.

Then Julia produced a bar of Thornton’s dark chocolate with chilli. She didn’t know I’d already had chocolate and I seem to have forgotten to tell her.

That’s about it. On balance it was a good day.

 

 

Another Day of Mixed Fortunes

The good news is that I had a slightly better day domestically. I’ve nearly been forgiven for the laundry debacle (despite my protestations that, being poorer by two pens, I’m actually the victim here) and after a liberal helping of  bleach we’ve nearly restored the white blouses.

Breakfast demonstrated the folly of buying cheap cereal. It was my own fault for shopping whilst in the grip of an economy drive. However, as I’m keener on saving money than I am on eating expensive hamster food the cheerless breakfast may be a fixture for some time to come. Or I may eat more eggs. Eggs, as I often remarked during my time in the poultry industry are both economical and nutritious.

If I save money on food I can spend more on visiting piers. And replacing Julia’s linen tops.

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View from the end of Southwold Pier

My main project for the day on eBay was to split the English coin section of the on-line shop between decimal and pre-decimal sections. There’s no real instruction book for eBay and it took a couple of tries to find the right method, not helped by a set of instructions that left several things out.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it took four hours in the back of a stuffy shop to get it nearly done. Actually that isn’t quite true – the first two hours were stuffy, but the final two hours, after we opened the back doors, were like working in a wind tunnel. A very boring wind tunnel.

Apart from that I packed parcels, put three Edwardian Love Tokens up for auction and put eight railway medallions up for sale.

The sixpence (above) is actually 20mm in diameter and the threepences are 16mm. I managed to lose the scale when I took the photos. I missed out the obverses from the bottom two as they are the same head as the top one. Once you’ve seen one bald king you’ve seen them all.

It doesn’t sound much of a day but I think it’s seen off a fair number of brain cells as I decline.

 

 

Breakfast

As promised earlier, I’m going to move on to describe breakfast on Sunday morning, even though it is currently Tuesday. Such is the magic of blogging.

It was a budget hotel, and one of the ways they appear to keep costs under control is by economising on bricks and mortar. As I walked along the corridor I mused on this as my shoulders appeared to brush the walls. Admittedly, I’ve expanded a bit over the years, but they do seem to have skimped  on width.

The breakfast room was similarly snug and called for some creative slalom movements to make my way between tables. I didn’t hit anything on the way to the table, though I did notice several people blanching as I insinuated myself through a number of unfeasibly small gaps.

Now I know what the elephant in the room feels like.

A few minutes with the menu resulted in an order for sausage, bacon, black pudding, eggs, bubble and squeak, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans. Note that we emphasised the healthy vegetable aspects of the meal. Generally the quality was good, though the bubble and squeak did taste more like herby potatoes than proper bubble and squeak.

All was good until the neighbours arrived. The thin edge of the wedge arrived in the form of two small squeaky girls. I’m not in favour of small children at breakfast because (a) they are too enthusiastic and (b) it’s easy to offend with jokes about cannibalism.

They acted as pathfinders  mess for a miserable old crone who arrived moments later and immediately began ordering them around, sending them for fruit juice and toast and various other things. She did all this in a loud voice and without the use of the word “please”. She did say “thank you” a couple of times, but not often.

Then the parents arrived. They didn’t make much of an impression, being mere conversational targets for the garrulous harridan. I’m being very unpleasant here, but if you mess with my planned relaxing Sunday breakfast you can’t expect me to shower you with compliments.

She wanted vinegar with her breakfast. I’m not sure why, unless she wanted to top up her personality. She then told the unfortunate server that she hadn’t brought any mustard. Well, she wouldn’t, seeing as she hadn’t been asked for any. I’ve noticed this before – people not bringing things you haven’t asked for. It’s one of those facets of modern life that sometimes puzzle me. Surely if your server was able to read minds they would be serving at the top level with Reginald Jeeves and Sebastian Beach. Either that or winning prizes for their mind-reading act on Britain’s Got Talent.

I’ll not labour the point, as I’m coming perilously close to using the words virago and termagant and exploring a whole new world of misogyny, which will never do. I will, however, mention that they demanded to have their pain-au-chocolat warmed.

There is a whole new rant waiting on the subject of pain-au-chocolat, the warming thereof and the modern fashion for foreign patisserie.

The world, I feel, was a better place when toast was the only baked product available for breakfast.

This opinion will not be a surprise to regular readers.

 

A New Week, But Old Weather

After a night of strong wind the low temperature and the cold weather are back. It’s hard to remember such a depressing Spring. In fact I’m not sure there has ever been such a depressing Spring.

This week I’m going to try for daily posting again. I’m going to make a start by posting this simple complaint about the weather.

The year is now one third of the way through and we’ve had about a week of decent weather.

I’ve made very little progress on decluttering and the well-regarded decluttering book I bought has been absorbed into a pile of books and can no longer be seen. It lacked pace and plot and was generally a bit dull, to be honest, which is why I’d rather read detective fiction and let the house fill with clutter.

I may start decluttering again if I can find a book about a woman who kills her husband because of his untidy habits. Or vice versa.

Breakfast was two sausages that I cooked last night and put to one side. The paprika was an unexpected extra. I was too lazy to fry eggs and mushrooms.

After breakfast, washing up and answering overnight comments on the blog it is now time to set off for the shop.

We have 15 items to pack and send off, including three which were only put up for sale on Saturday. The Budgerigar society badge sold for £6.50. This gives me an excuse to use the photograph again.