Tag Archives: George Orwell

Southwold Pier (Part 3)

There’s not much more to tell, but I do have more photographs to use, so you’re getting part three whether you like it or not.

The miniature bandstand in the header picture is part of the pier furniture. There’s quite a lot of it about – chairs, tables, booths and the previously mentioned waste bins. It all adds up to quite a stylish place with some serious attention to eating. I didn’t make notes of all the eating establishments – I really must get more professional about these things.


The end of the pier is formed by a group of concrete-filled posts that have been used as unconvincing wishing wells. It’s amazing what people will do if they have some change and a target. If I was in charge I’d rig up some buckets and collect my winnings regularly.


And at that point it’s time for a look back…


It’s a fine view but, as you can see from the walking stick picture, not a view achieved without a certain amount of personal danger. You need to be careful with the stick, though the spacing on Southwold isn’t too bad. It still feels a tad perilous, despite knowing it can’t actually go through. That’s a new ferrule by the way – I wore the last one out and bought some new grey ones from Amazon. I may buy a new, wider, stick to make sure our future pier trips pass safely.

Finally, on the return trip, you get a good view of the George Orwell mural.


George Orwell with quotes – he spent quite a lot of time in Southwold, as this article shows

The Artist - Charlie Uzzel-Edwards

The Artist – Charlie Uzzel-Edwards – aka known as Pure Evil

There are about 60 piers in Britain, so there only 59 more to go. The problem is that I’m worried we’ve done the best one first and the rest are going to be a let down.

Next post – we visit Pier 2, which leaves just 58 to go.

Southwold Pier (Part 2)

After the cream tea we went to…

I’ve just realised I didn’t give you a proper report of the cream tea. I don’t seem to have photographed the fully assembled tea either. Sorry about that. The scones were nice and light, the cream unbranded (but none the worse for that, and it used less packaging) and the jam was the equal of any we’ve had recently. Having said that, most jam is just fruit and sugar so it’s hard to get it wrong. What made it better than most, was the view of Southwold in the sparkling summer sun.

I’ve been reading about how things like description and presentation can make food taste better. It seems wrong, and suggests humans are weak-minded, but it does seem to be true. It also seems to suggest that an average cream tea in a cafe with a great view can become a great cream tea.

I also forgot to tell you about the grandmother/mother conversation about beach huts. You can get one for about £10,000, which is small change for a millionaire, but a lot of money for a £500 garden shed built where gales tend to blow. They agreed that some beach huts were ridiculously expensive, which is true – some of them are. They also agreed that beach huts would be better with showers and toilets. This is probably true too, but really misses the point of the beach hut, which is really a throw-back to the 1950s.

From there we moved on to the Under the Pier Show, an arcade featuring the work of mad inventor Tim Hunkin.


The Under the Pier Show

You may remember him from various TV programmes and Sunday magazines. He’s clearly unhinged but very funny.

In many ways it sums up the pier – inventive, funny and original.

The theming of waste bins, food carts and cafe lamp shades is another nice touch.


Looks like this is going to run to three parts. Here’s a taster of what comes next.


Eric Blair lived in Southwold – he liked Suffolk so much he took the name of the River Orwell as his pen name. As a Socialist he probably looked into the future and decided being called Blair was just too embarrassing.

New tricks

I’ve always wanted to write a food blog. This blog was supposed to be about food and farming, as well as the group, but it sort of wandered away and became a ramble through life with digressions into birds, butterflies, the evils of modern life and anything else that came to mind once my fingers hit the keys.

This is probably not the way to become rich and famous from blogging, though with the exception of Jack Monroe I can’t actually name anyone else who has become rich and famous from blogging. There will be some, I’m sure, but I just don’t know them.

A friend of mine, who is neither rich nor famous despite being a top notch food blogger, once told me he didn’t have a clue what my blog was about. I was glad to hear it, because until then I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what I was doing. Incidentally, I’ve never read the article in the link before, and was surprised, when reading it, to find I was mentioned at the end. So maybe I am a little famous. Catch his blog here.

Over the weekend I have been reading a book about how to write a food blog, and as always, when faced with advice on writing I become scared. I’m not the world’s greatest writer, but I get by. I have always tried to stick to George Orwell’s advice after reading it as an earnest 16-year-old. The six rules are at the bottom of the page to save you reading through the whole essay.

I’ve drifted over the years, but I like to think I’m still writing passable English. However, after reading the new book I’m starting to worry about tinkering with my writing style. Once you start to think about the nuts and bolts you aren’t far from breaking it.

Writing is a bit like a kitten – it’s cute, magical and alive. But if you attempt to take it apart to improve individual parts I’m worried I’ll end up with a mess and have to play with my own wool.

Moving quickly on from that image, I’m also having to learn not to eat food when I see it. That’s always been a problem. I buy food, I think “photo” and I find myself looking at a pile of crumbs.

That’s why I had a special session today practising food photography. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of it yet, but it’s a start. One pie is from Pork Farms, and that’s going to be my “control pie”: the other is from Hampson’s Garden Centre in Wakefield. (I was in Leeds yesterday dropping Number One son off – he starts his new job today).  I thought I’d drop by and pick some pies up, buying a big meat and potato pie for tea and three pork pies. After eating one in the car park I kept the other two for photography and testing. As luck would have it the luscious, savoury, jelly-filled piece of pork pie perfection turned out to be the best of the bunch. The other two, reserved for the photographs, were just not as good.

There is more to this food blogging than meets the eye.


George Orwell’s Rules

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are
used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you
can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.