Tag Archives: fish and chips

A Much Better Day

Got up. Breakfast. Wrote a bit. Two cups of tea and a bit of exercise. Drove down to surgery.

The nurse, after much prodding and considering her options, hit blood on the second attempt and filled the necessary three tubes. I gave her a urine sample, which she had texted me about yesterday afternoon (my texts to and from the nursing profession, if that mythical future PhD student ever finds them, will appear slightly strange).

Did I ever tell you about the photo of my leg which I sent to the doctor. During the phone consultation surrounding my cellulitis (which I had a month before my first Covid) I was asked to provide a picture of my leg, which I did. It was not pleasant. A few minutes later I got a call.

“Mr Wilson,” she said, ” It’s X here from the surgery. Can you tell me why you sent this picture of your leg?” (She wasn’t really called X, I just forgot her name).

“The doctor asked me to send it.”

“Oh, that’s alright then.”

“Did you think I’d just sent you a picture of my festering leg.”

“You’s be surprised,” she said, with the air of one who has suffered, “if you saw some of the pictures people sent me.”

Got a parking space at work. Had a call from the man who sent Julia’s birthday present. It seems Parcelforce tried to deliver it three times – all at 9 o’clock and all to a shop that has it’s opening hours displayed as starting at 10am. Three times, no success. Why? And why no cards through the door? Normally would be there at 9.00 but because Julia has been off it’s been more like 9.15, or I would have seen them.

To try the exact same time twice is hopeful, to do it three times is jsut plain stupidity.

The rest of the day was quite good and my sister, having been round town with Julia all day, saw me for tea and chocolate biscuits before her return home.

Fish and chips for tea.

The pictures are some Julia took when they had a tour of some of the Mediaeval caves under the centre of town. This set used to be a tannery. The stench must have been dreadful.

All in all, a good day.


Chips, Kites and Memories

Today we drove down to Peterborough and met my sister in Dobbie’s Garden Centre. It’s one of those big modern centres, which is more groceries and giftware than actual gardening stuff, but they do a great fish & chips.

The actual ordering system is a little chaotic and features those buzzing things that are very popular these days. Not as popular with me as actually having a member of staff bring to food to the table, but still popular. The chips are large and well cooked with great tartare sauce. The first was succulent and the mushy peas were good. The bread was a nice seeded variety, though the presentation – two slices thrown on a plate with two butter pats, was not quite as well served as the elegant triangular slices shown on the picture.

All in all it was a very good meal and one that reveals how times have changed. A couple of years ago this was the garden centre we stopped at to have tea and cake on our way back from Suffolk in the week lock-down was announced. There ere only a handful of people there that day and we were unable to see my father as the nursing home had already gone into lockdown. Things did not work out too well.

I really must start taking the camera around with me.

After we finished, we saw a red kite over the car park, a really good sighting at low altitude. Mt sister tells me that as the population increases they are taking more live food as their is not enough carrion around, a problem increased by the spread of buzzards into the area. On the way home via the scenic route, we saw another dozen buzzards, one of which was even closer than the car park bird.

On returning home, I found I had an email accepting more poems and we had beans on toast to make up for the calories ingested at lunch.

In summary,

Red Kites

it was an excellent day and a joy to be out, despite the sad memories.

The Red Kites are from our visit to Wales in 2017. 2017? Time flies.

The Ideas Factory

In past times when I had an idea I would keep it and wait for the right time to use it. I didn’t have many, and there never seemed to be a good time to use them.

Then I made a discovery, there is no limit on ideas, I noticed this years ago, when I sat down and listed ideas of subjects for poetry. I had a list of over 90 ideas. Some worked, some didn’t. But the important thing was that I never managed to work my way through the list, demonstrating that I was capable of generating more ideas than I could handle.

It’s always tempting to mention a meeting I was once in when someone

Ideas, the more you have, the more you get. made the statement “I always see my main strength as having ideas, rather than carrying them out, so if you need ideas feel free to ask.”

Those of you who have been on organising committees will have met the sort. Long on ideas, short on industry. To be fair, she was being modest – self-publicity was her main talent, having ideas was a secondary. We never, of course, needed to ask her for a single idea, as we always had too many.

Oh, I seem to have written two paragraphs about the meeting. It must still be annoying me.

The post can now go one of two ways. It could become a rant about committees. idleness, etc. Or it could remain on course as a discussion on generating ideas.  It’s supposed to be about ideas, so despite the fun element of vituperation, I will stick to the original intention.

Ideas – the more you have, the more you get. I’m just noticing, 12 months after my original (non-COVID) illness, that I am getting back to normal as writing and ideas are starting to take shape once more. It’s been a long time. I actually had to write a lot of notes this morning, as ideas started as soon as I woke up.

I see from the news that fish and chips are under threat – prices are up due to the war and disposable income is down. It’s like the Butterfly in the Amazon effect isn’t it – a dictator flexes his muscles in the East and the UK’s national dish is threatened.

Haddock Special at the Fishpan, Scarborough

Day 116

Time, I think, to set some ambitious targets. Also, I think, time to keep quiet about it so that it doesn’t come back to bite me.

One target I can reveal is my plan to submit more. I’ve been getting slack and let a few chances slide by. You can call it resting, or preparation  (which I do) but after a while it becomes the norm, and that isn’t what I want.

What I want to do is get back to the old system,  where I had work waiting for the submission window to open. I always feel it is easier to be accepted if you submit early. My theory is that the later you submit the better you have to be to displace the work already submitted. I suppose it depends how editors work, but it seems logical.

It also seems logical that if you submit earlier you don’t have to worry so much about people submitting work with similar themes. Better, at the moment, to be the first poem submitted on the subject of war rather than the tenth or twentieth. Not that I’m thinking of submitting one anyway, as it’s likely to be a crowded field.

The shop owner went to a popular local fish and chip shop to eat last night. He hasn’t had fish and chips for a while and was surprised by the price. They haven’t been a cheap meal for years now, really, and prices of pub meals have come down considerably.

As I pointed out, at least they are relatively unprocessed and cooked fresh, whereas cheap pub food is likely to be full of additives and come out of a frozen packet. Another case of how things have changed over the years.

A Mixed Day Trip

Sorry, I’ve had a distinct lack of application over the last week. A lot of it is probably due to lack of sleep, followed by lack of focus. This leads to a lack of writing, and that will never do. I have written some bits but on a couple of occasions I have then fallen asleep at the computer and woken after midnight with 150 words done and nothing actually finished.

We went to the Yorkshire coast, finishing at Scarborough yesterday. Although it was open, and even crowded in places, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm as couples with white knees exposed themselves to the weak Yorkshire sun and looked glum. I expect many of them wanted to be abroad.

Saltburn was pretty as ever, but full, as was Sandsend. We went round Whitby and called at the Botham bakery on the edge of town (the main tearoom only being open to people who book, and we hadn’t been organised enough. We had a pork pie to tide us over (it was getting a bit late by then) and bought pies and cake to eat during the week when we got home. We then drove down through then moors and had fish and chips on the front at Scarborough. They aren’t the best fish and chips, as I may have mentioned before, but it is probably one of the best sites for a chip shop I’ve ever eaten in – nestled under the cliffs and castle, and just yards from the sea.

A Botham Pork Pie – one of the best

Chips. A bit greasy, but generally OK

As I have probably said before, one of the main casualties of the virus is going to be spontaneity, as there’s a lot more booking to be done when visiting. I don’t know about you but when I’m away from work I like to relax. That means having a broad plan like “afternoon tea at Botham’s or “visit X”. It’s not about booking afternoon tea for 3.30 or visiting X by timed ticket ay 10.45.

If it had have been we would have been in trouble, because one of the engine management lights came on as we left home. The garage had a look at it for me and sorted within 20 minutes, but it was all time lost when we should have been travelling to the coast. It would not have been half as relaxing if I had had a timetable to keep to.It’s going to be  along time before I get the hang of relaxing again, as I found myself getting annoyed by the alck of distancing whilst queuing for the chips. Some people just ignored the flow system and the six foot rule, even though there are a lot of signs about. Yorkshire seems a lot more concerned about this than Nottingham for instance. A lot of the people who ignored the signs had kids with them – I can only assume they are happy to bring their kids up as selfish louts.

Home via the Humber Bridge

Fish and Chip Review – The Dolphin, Sutton on Sea

It’s been so long since I last had fish and chips at the seaside (13 months?) that I’ve forgotten how I used to do the titles and whether they were part of the Scone Chronicles or not. I have forgotten so much in the last year…

We had Fish and Chips from the Dolphin in Sutton on Sea yesterday, They aren’t always as good as they could be and we keep saying that we will try a different chippy, but we’ve been going there for thirty plus years and it seemed wrong to desert them after lockdown. We had to queue outside and use the takeaway side, but they were very good. Possibly better than eating in. W had cod, because there was no haddock and it was very enjoyable. I may go back to cod for a while. The word succulent comes to mind.

Succulent Fisha nd Chips

It is only frozen Icelandic cod, which is the same as we would have in Nottingham, but eating it where you hear the sea and the gulls seems to make it taste better. Talking of which, we didn’t see many gulls around. I wonder if a year of no easy pickings has persuaded them not to hang round in seaside resorts.

Though the fish was excellent to the point of succulence, the chips didn’t quite measure up. They were a bit thin and floppy. That was how people used to describe me when I was in my teens. Sadly, the chips will be unable to grow out of their thin and floppy stage as they didn’t survive being my lunch. Despite my comments, I ate every one and left nothing but a greasy stain…

A better photographer would have photographed his wife next to the chips and titled the photo “Two of my favourite Things” . Unfortunately the photo did not work out. And I totally forgot to take a picture of the succulent flakes of cod as I was too busy stuffing them into my face.

A Day at the Seaside with Fish and Chips

We went to the seaside today. So did a few other people, but we had chosen our day well and there were no crowds. We went to Sutton on Sea for lunch (yes – fish and chips) and Skegness in the afternoon where we had sugared ring doughnuts. After that we went to Gibraltar Point and saw a few birds.

Cod and Chips – slightly strange perspective

After twelve months of staying inside my legs are not as good as they could be and my enjoyment at being outside was slightly constrained by the persistent idea that I should avoid people. I have also developed a habit of looking at the fuel gauge with sorrow as we seem to have used a month’s fuel in just one tip. All in all, it was not a trip of unalloyed joy and it may be a while before I really start to enjoy myself again.

I took the small camera today and missed the reach of the longer lens on the big camera (look at me being all technical) but didn’t miss the effort of charging up all the batteries. I really must start using the “new” camera as I’ve had it for over 12 months and haven’t yet used it. The rechargeable batteries for the big Olympus are all unreliable these days, which is why I use the small one for work and decided to take it today. That one isn’t holding a charge particularly well, but it’s better than the other one. Twelve months of lockdown seems to have finished off all my rechargeable AA cells.

Starling Sutton on Sea – ruching about.I managed to take several shots of the back ends of quickly moving starlings

High points were the delicious cod and chips from the Dolphin, still open as a takeaway, and a couple of birds – a dabchick at Gibraltar Point and a curlew which Julia spotted on the golf course. We went back to look at it, and it obliged by flying a in a few circles before leaving to get some privacy.

Julia taking photo at Gibraltar Point – with my knees I have to do that sort of thin using the zoom lens. I’d never get up.

Dabchick and its lunch

It’s going to take a bit of getting used to, but I am sure I’ll start enjoying days out again. It’s worth it for a dabchick.

Not the Worst of Days

Last night I checked out all the references to me on Google. There aren’t many but I thought if I looked them up once a week and maybe listed them on the blog I may drive myself up the ratings.

At work, I did a lot of photography. The owner has been sorting out loads of coins for eBay but he doesn’t do photography. That’s my job. It’s kept me busy for a few days so I mustn’t grumble, but today I messed up slightly. When photographing runs of virtually identical objects I normally photograph a few markers or notes amongst them so I know what things are as I load them. I forgot today.

As a result I ended up struggling to sort photos of pennies with wide dates and narrow dates. Yes, collectors do differentiate between such things.

Wartime Lincoln Cents

Wartime Lincoln Cents

As a result of that and an influx of customers (with no appointments) I was late picking Julia up.

We arrived home to find my sister had sent us another selection of masks. She has selected a more masculine design this time and uprated the nose clip by replacing the bendy metal strip with an iron bar. I discovered this the hard way when I put it on and tried to bend it round my nose. It was touch and go whether the iron bar or my nose bent first. She claims it’s only a stout piece of wire, but I’m not convinced.

We had fish and chips for tea. I had some of Julia’s chips instead of having a portion myself so I’m feeling virtuous.

I haven’t done much tonight and am currently watching Love Actually. I do like a good romcom.

It hasn’t been an exciting day but I’ve had worse. And at least we didn’t have moqueca.


Just Another Friday

I dropped Julia off at work. Town was almost empty and it didn’t take long. I returned via the ring road because there are no roadworks on the inbound side, and that was almost empty too.

I soon had the four parcels done and set about entering more Edward VIII medallions into the system. I have put one lot on and have two other selections ready to go tomorrow. In between times I packed another couple of parcels as orders came in, attended to some customers and ate my sandwiches and a Scotch egg. It was that sort of day.

We bought silver from one customer – some pre-1920 (when it was still .925 sterling silver) and some pre-1947 (when it was .500 silver). In both cases, as the observant readers will have spotted, the debasement of our coinage was preceded by, and caused by, the need to pay for a World War.

We bought two lots of modern junk from people. One of the owners had put the coins in pouches, then sellotaped them into plastic bags with cards to identify them. It took me ten minutes to get the sellotape off the bags before we could check the coins and value them. Several of the coins were worth a£1 and we will struggle to make enough profit to pay for my time getting them out of the bags,

The only customer who bought anything was a collector of gold coins, so that was a handy sale.

The coin is a one third Guinea, or seven shilling coin. Minted in the reign of George III in 1809 this is the second design. It is slightly smaller than a cent in size.

Apart from that we had one browser who spent nothing and a woman who wanted to sell two Krugerrands but didn’t like our offer. She can, it seems, get more if she sells them in Birmingham. We often hear this. It’s true, if you want to drive down to Birmingham, park up and sell your gold in Birmingham you can get a better price. Whether it justifies the expenditure in car running costs, time and parking fees is another matter.

We agreed that she could get a better price by driving down to Birmingham and wished her well.

The road works outside the shop continue. From what we have been told they should be gone in another week, but I’m not sure. They don’t seem to be moving very fast. At the moment we can’t even turn onto the forecourt without taking a detour. This is a little annoying, but I’m not going to bother worrying about it. There are worse things happening in the world.

We had chips from the chip shop tonight as we are still supporting local business, and because it’s nice to have a night where we don’t cook. The fish were big enough to hang over the edges of the plate. I had peas but just a few chips off Julia. I’m fed up with (a) eating too many chips and (b) re-heating chips next day. They give you too many chips to make it look better value. I know this because my dad always used to say the same thing. Before you say it – yes, I’ve been turning into my dad for the last 30 years.


Envelope for eBay

Out and About

We went to the gardens today to do some watering and check that everything was secured against the wind. It was 2.40 when we turned onto the Ring Road, We noted a short queue at Sainsbury’s (four people) but the Ring Road seemed to have plenty of traffic on it. As we passed the local McDonald’s we noted that the Drive Through was crowded, having now been open for two days. Forty-eight hours and the rush for junk food is already gripping the nation.

The verges and central reservations on the Ring Road are now being left longer as part of the new city bee initiative. having read it I see a lot of words, a lot of signs and a lot of onus being shifted to other people. What I don’t see is much action – unless you count saving money by mowing less. Pardon my cynicism, but I’ve seen this sort of thing before, and though I welcome it, I’m not sure how committed they really are. However, I’m glad to see them making the effort.


We saw two different sorts of sin and there is, I see from the website, for parks. Councils love signs.

We went past the roadworks near the shop and saw nobody working, before crossing the bridge and seeing nobody working there either. To be fair they may be underground, or under the bridge. Or they may not.

The Co-op on Wilford Lane had a queue of two. At the school they are putting signs up for the return next week. The yellow lines are for social distancing as they queue to get into school. The nation really loves a queue. If we defeat corona virus it will be because of queues and fines for petty offences.



Social Distancing


Return to School

We left at 4pm and noticed the queue at the Co-op had grown to 12 while we’d been away.

The queue at Sainsbury’s now stretched the length of the shop front.

I managed a shot of an unkempt central reservation on the way back, and the queue at McDonald’s. Unfortunately we didn’t stop in the right place to photograph the signs.

Bee Friendly Central Reservation

Bee Friendly Central Reservation


Stampede for Junk Food

Stampede for Junk Food

After fish and chips from Captain Cod (support your local shop) we went to TESCO to pick up this week’s order. Apart from the large white cobs I’d ordered. There will be no classic bacon cobs for breakfast tomorrow. There were no substitutes. I am not happy.