Tag Archives: chips

Southend or Saxmundham?

After a breakfast of porridge and croissants in our room (the porridge was the sort where you pour boiling water into a plastic pot) we didn’t feel the need for food for most of the day.

We did indulge in a snack when we arrrived in Southend-on-Sea but the four miserly doughnuts and two cups of tea merely showed us how good we’d had it on Monday. They certainly didn’t fill much of a gap. The cost of today’s snack was £7.40, with the miserable skinny doughnuts being £1 each. The tea wasn’t even full!

According to Wikipedia Southend is the 11th most expensive place to live in Britain. With doughnuts at £1 each you can see why.

What a contrast to Saxmundham when we visited later that day.

Before that we had failed to get fish & chips in Aldeburgh (having been told several times how good they were). The queue was just too long and there were only two people serving. We tried several times but the queue never seemed to get shorter.

A disaster was averted when Saxmundham came to mind. It had seemed a decent place when we stayed near there at Christmas so why not try there, I reasoned. If there were no chips there were two supermarkets so we could at least buy something. (Julia was ravenous by this time and she’s not at her most cheery when unfed).

We had cod and sausage and chips and ate them in the car. That’s not some fiendish combination of flavours – Julia had the fish and I had the sausage (and some fish as there was a lot of it). We didn’t bother with peas as they can be tricky, even with the liitle wooden fork traditionally supplied by chip shops.

They came from “The Trawler’s Catch”, which we selected simply by driving past and finding it had car parking nearby.

The shop was chaotic as one man tried to cope with walk-in trade and telephone orders. Julia ordered a large haddock and a large battered sausage, both with chips. We ended up with two medium cod a small battered sausage, a small plain sausage and a discount.

You have to admire a man who can put together a deal like that.

So, the service was great, and distinctive.

The chips were very good.

The sausages were good.

And the fish was the best I’ve had in years with big, fresh, tasty flakes. I think I’ll polish up the word “superb” for this review – I don’t often use it but it seems appropriate today.

So remember – The Trawler’s Catch, Saxmundham for superb cod and chips.

 

 

 

Sun, Sea and Sand. And Sunburn.

I’m sitting here with several hundred photographs and experiencing that warm glow well known to bald men who forget their sun hats in the middle of a heatwave. It’s quite sore at the moment, though it’s nothing like it has been for the last few days. I never knew that my scalp flexed so much until it became painful to move.

In just a few hours I returned to a simpler time, to an era when sun wasn’t linked to skin cancer, and I was a carefree youth. I spent a week walking around Norfolk in 1976 and lost the skin off my back and shoulders. Since then I have been more careful – until I hit my second childhood this week. Anyone who is familiar with Swan Vestas will be able to imagine what I look like. (If you aren’t familiar, they are matches with pale stems and bright red heads).

We just had a few days in East Anglia. I’ve been taking more exercise than usual and getting more sleep so despite having plenty of material to write about I’ve not done much. Sorry about. When I eventually change the name of the blog I’m considering The Lazy Blogger as a title. It’s not only an accurate title but it’s pretty close to what Julia calls me all the time.

I’m just getting back into my stride – it was the sort of holiday you need a holiday to recover from. Seven piers, two forts and a nature reserve don’t see themselves. I also had to consume two lots of haddock and chips and a cream tea for the purposes of research. Lesser men would have wilted under the pressure. I merely whined a little.

All will be revealed in due course.

For now I offer a selection of photographs of Julia in holiday mood.

 

 

Bempton Part III – or Scarborough as it is better known…

Well, you can’t go to Bempton without having fish and chips can you?

We did have an Eccles cake with a cup of tea before leaving Bempton though, that walking stuff can be quite demanding when you don’t have all the right gear. It also gave us time to look at the Tree Sparrows. House Sparrows are in decline, but the Tree Sparrow is doing even worse – you rarely see them these days unless you are at an RSPB feeding station.

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Tree Sparrows at Bempton

Once in Scarborough I took some pictures of the castle. That reminded me of the last time it saw action – 16th December 1914. Not bad for a place that was originally built as a signal station by the Romans in the fourth or fifth century.  It was, according the write-up, a favourite place for King John to stay. Richard III was the last King to stay there and it held out for Henry VIII during the Pilgrimage of Grace. Finally, it was reduced to wreckage by a Parliamentary siege in 1645. The Royalists produced siege coins.

I didn’t need to mention siege coins, but I find them quite interesting, and if I can’t ramble in my own blog where can I ramble?

I expereimented with the camera settings. Some are quite subtle. One isn’t.

After that it sort of pottered around crumbling and, by 1914, hosting a Coastguard Station.

That day in 1914 two German Battleships emerged from the early morning mist and opened fire. Five hundred shells were fired, eighteen people killed. It could have been a lot worse, though not for the eighteen and their families.

There is a list here, if you are interested.

A U-Boat shelled the town in September 1917, but that is hardly ever mentioned. Three people were killed and five injured. Compared to some of the air raids happening at the time, killing 836 and wounding 1,982 in a 12 month period, the submarine raid was almost inconsequential. These were aeroplane raids, the Zeppelins having sustained too many losses to continue, but not before killing 557 and injuring another 1,358.

Sorry about all the stats and death, but after reading John Knifton’s posts on aircraft crashes and Clare Pooley’s mention of wartime damage to Bungay church, I’ve started thinking how violent history has been in some parts of the country.

Here are a few other photographs – a police box, a sea mine and a ship that went to Dunkirk. Violence, always violence…

(Near the lighthouse there’s a Vickers 13 pounder Naval Gun, the Naval version of the field gun the Royal Horse Artillery uses for firing salutes at state occassions. This one was raised from the wreck of the Hornsund in 1982, 65 years after it was torpedoed. I admit, I didn’t want to walk the extra distance to the far end of the harbour.)

It was a hard life in the Merchant Navy.

And that, apart from buying some cheap reading glasses and photographing a gull, was the end of the day.

Nouvelle Cuisine and the NHS

Yes, I was admitted, I was (finally) operated on and the food was good.

You can’t tell from the picture, but the chips were nice, the peas were tasty and the fish was excellent in its crispy coat.

However, it wasn’t large. There’s a lot of space on that small plate. Look at the fork for scale. When they uncovered it I didn’t know whether it was a starter or a cruel hoax.

Remember that I’m using my phone for taking this picture and the perspective is distorted. The chips were just average size, and there were only five of them.