Tag Archives: family

More on Scones

This is Number Two in the series about Scone Consumption.

Julia’s brother and sister-in-law were up visiting their grandson. That’s my great-nephew. Obviously it’s a bit too soon to make a judgement but he’s shaping up nicely – decent chunky build and a tendency to eat anything left in range. I’m sixty years older than he is but we clearly share the same attitude to food.

I limited myself to a scone and jam, as we met in John Lewis. It’s convenient, but

there is a tendency to need a mortgage if you get too adventurous with the menu. Plus I really don’t need the fat or the calories.

I used to shop there regularly but they aren’t really my sort of shop these days. Too old-fashioned, too drab, wrong size profile and, let’s face it, too expensive. I once asked a question about the lack of large sizes via one of their employees and the General Manager’s (uncensored) reply  was that they didn’t cater for freaks.

What with that and the store detective following me round one day and muttering “watch this one” to a member of the management team, I decided not to bother shopping there again. I’ve not missed it.

However, back to scones and jam. The scones were OK, though nothing special. The jam was OK too, made in Tiptree in Essex – well known for its jam, though still mass produced. Ditto for the coffee. I had an Americano, which is what used to be called “a coffee” in the days before coffee became pretentious. I checked it up on Wiki and they, being Wiki, have quite a bit on the subject. I’d have been happy with a nice instant coffee.

I’ve provided a link to Tiptree as I like Tiptree. I haven’t provided links to John Lewis or Americano as I don’t want to encourage them.

That’s about it – not much about scones but some days are like that.

Scones and Jam - John Lewis

Scones and Jam – John Lewis

Christmas is Over

The day is drawing to a close. Number One Son has texted to say he has landed and is now in a taxi heading “home”. Julia has trouble accepting this as a description, as she still thinks his home is Nottingham rather than Valetta. If someone offered me a job in Malta I know what I’d very quickly be calling “home”.

We had a meal on the way to the airport, which will form the first part of my 100 Food Reviews in 365 days. Tootlepedal suggested visiting cafes in order to indulge my talents for sarcasm and vitriol over the next year, and apart from being a family meal it will double up as the first review in the series. The company was fine, the server was excellent but the food is going to provide me with plenty of material for indulging my grumpy old man persona.

Between the meal and the text I finished Library Lost. It’s the second book in the Great Library Series by Laurie Graves, better known to us as the writer of Notes from the Hinterland.

I’ll be reviewing it soon. But if you want to buy it and read it before reading the review you’ll be safe in doing that, though I will warn you that it it finishes too soon as I would have been happy with reading it for another two or three days.

That, I think, is it for today. Back to work tomorrow.

 

 

All Saints, Panxworth

We were pottering along through the Norfolk countryside when we found this tower.

Fortunately there was a notice to give us a clue.

All Saints Church Tower, Panxworth, Norfolk

All Saints Church Tower, Panxworth, Norfolk

It seems that it fell into disrepair, was rebuilt in the 19th Century and again fell into disrepair, being pulled down in 1969. It was reputedly used by Satanists, struck by lightening (which may or may not be connected) and restored again.

It’s an interesting place, and well-looked after, but there isn’t much to keep you, not even an information board. Fortunately there is plenty about it on the internet.

Interestingly, some of the gravestones show the same names as the war memorial. The continuity of the countryside is an amazing thing.

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War Memorial, Panxworth.

The Best Laid Plans…

Last night I asked Julia what time her brother was arriving.

“Oh, it won’t be too early.”

That alerted me to the fact that she hadn’t actually fixed a time, but, confident that she knew what she was doing I slept the sleep of a man with a clear conscience. I even managed to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep…

You’ve guessed the rest haven’t you?

Fortunately we were planning an informal day, as you don’t get much more informal than meeting your guests whilst wearing a nightshirt.

It’s been a good day, featuring wide-ranging conversations on a number of subjects that indicate we’re getting older, and we’ve found time to fit in a certain amount of cold meat, cheese, snacks, nuts and dates.

My waistband is no longer as slack as it once was.

 

A Hundred Years Ago…

Sorry, this is a bit of a downbeat post, but it relates to events 100 years ago today, and it seems appropriate. This is from the Clitheroe Advertiser on 21st December 1917.

Obituary notice - Wm H Wilson

Obituary notice – W H Wilson

It’s not quite accurate, as he’d originally volunteered in 1914 but been turned down (my grandfather went with him to volunteer that day but claimed to be less than nine months younger than him – this was hailed as a medical miracle by the recruiting sergeant, who also rejected my grandfather.) The fact that he wasn’t called up until  a year after conscription could indicate that he was needed on the farm as part of the war effort, but there is no indication on his card.

He joined the battalion in July 1917 and was wounded in action on 22nd October, a slight gunshot wound to the head according to his medical records. Slight? They were obviously tougher in those days.

He rejoined the battalion on 5th December, and was, as reported in the paper, fatally wounded whilst in trenches in the Ypres salient on 12th December.

He is buried in Lijsssenthoek Militart Cemetery and is unusual amongst the three members of the family killed in the war in having a marked grave.

 

This is the lisy of personal effects sent home to his mother – photos, wallet, cigarette case, cards, 2 cap badges, 2 numerals (probably shoulder titles), 9 carat gold ring (WHW), 1 farthing, bag.. They would later send a tin case containing a safety razor and blades. Shaving was a complicated subject in the trenches.

WHW Effects

He was, according to one of my great-grandmother’s letters, walking out with a local woman, before being sent to France. At that point he had only five months to live and was to be wounded twice and mentioned in despatches in that time.

    

The war memorial in Slaidburn (currently being restored) features his name, as does my great-grandmother’s gravestone (which also mentions my great-grandfather). If you compared the war memorial  figures at Clitheroe and Slaidburn you will see that they are the same, something I learned whilst pteparing the previous post on Clitheroe. She never recovered from Billy’s death (he was Billy to the family – William to record-keepers) and threw out anything that reminded her of the war. That, we are told, is why there is no existing photo of him.

Great-grandmother is buried in Chatburn, the village where my mother was bombed, and where I later went to school less than 100 yards from the gravestone, which I never knew about until a few years ago.

This closes the circle as her son-in-law is commemorated on Chatburn war memorial – something else I never knew when I went to Chatburn school – the school is the building in the background of this photograph.

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Things I Think About in the Car (Part 1)

Just one trip to the other side of town to take Julia to work has given me more than enough subjects to fill a blog for a week.

One is obviously the morality of taking the car to work when we have a good bus service in Nottingham, and trams that run close to where she wants to be.

Two is the fact that she had four bags with her. Two contain things she is removing from the house. One is phone, sandwiches and such. The fourth is stationery and gym gear. Would she take four bags if she had to use the bus? Discuss.

Three – why do women need a bag to carry the things that go in my pockets? Even in summer I can manage, with a jacket in winter I have a pocket surplus.

Four – decluttering.

Five – decluttering, with special reference to the two bags she has removed today. One only arrived yesterday, the other last Saturday, so my view is that they represent clutter rather than declutter, particularly as most of the Saturday stuff is still here.

Six – the theory of two steps forward and one step back,  and how it applies to our decluttering policy.

Seven – differential decluttering. Her stuff is essential (I am told) but mine is fit for the skip.

Eight – do I need treatment for my obsession with clutter?

Nine – design of roads, junctions, traffic lights, bus lanes, cycle lanes and such stuff.

Ten, with reference to Nine, is all this done to make driving so hard we use buses?

Eleven – what is actually in the bus drivers’ test – bullying, cutting corners, pulling off at short notice, providing cyclists with near death experiences? (This question was asked early in the journey, but asked again as I tried to change lanes with a bus bearing down on me.)

Twelve – should I have bought one of those flats by Trent Bridge when I first moved to Nottingham?

Thirteen – would we have had a family if we had a flat there?

Fourteen – if we had a flat, and a family, and had moved, would we have less clutter?

Fifteen – am I obsessed with clutter?

Sixteen – if I had realised that you only had to do five years in the French Foreign Legion would this have altered my attitude towards parenthood?

That covers the journey to work and the first few hundred yards of the journey back. For the second part, which is just as interesting as the first, please call back in a later.

 

 

 

At the Garden Centre

We had some time to kill yesterday in Peterborough so we went to Notcutt’s Garden Centre at Ferry Meadows for an Apple and Cinnamon scone. I took the opportunity for some spring flower photography.

The scone was large and had a good flavour (much of it down to sugar, I think). On the downside, it was a bit dry and crumbly and could have done with more apple. It wasn’t bad but I won’t be rushing in to buy another.

Dad’s brother Tom was down visiting from Lancashire. He’s 86 and much fitter than Dad, who just turned 88. That’s probably due to a lifetime working outdoors, in contrast to Dad who spent most of his time in cars and offices. He travelled with his son and daughter-in-law this time as the drive is getting a bit tiring these days.

After Peterborough they are going to Buckinghamshire to see my Uncle Jim (94). He spent his life using a bicycle and never owned a car. He met my aunt when he was stationed in Lancashire during the war and after he left the army cycled up from London to see her. He’s still 100% mentally, though he recently had a knee replaced.

I’m seeing a pattern here.