Tag Archives: parking

Fish and Chips in Felixstowe

When we arrived in Felixstowe we found the sea front and threw the car into the first parking space we found.

Fortunately the space was just across the road from the Regal Fish bar, which looks like a poky fish and chip shop from the outside, and a hollowed out hotel from the inside. There’s a choice of large or medium fish. I had a medium haddock (with chips and peas) and Julia had a large plaice with chips and salad. She fancied plaice and they only do large plaice, so she opted for salad to make it a bit healthier. She says…


Large plaice on a large plate

The medium haddock was quite large too.


Medium haddock – it was good despite looking like it had died writhing in agony

I really don’t know what to say now. It was excellent fish with good chips and good peas. I’d be happy to eat it every day.

So, excellent food, bright, clean surroundings and friendly staff. Beef dripping again. I forgot to check on gluten-free alternatives again. I must start checking that so I can look like a concerned and touchy-feely member of the 21st Century.

Don’t worry, I’m not softening, I’m just pretending to be concerned.

Meanwhile I saw this notice in the toilets – it seems that modern life is a lot more complicated than I thought. If Julia ever gets rid of me I’m going to become a monk. The vows won’t be much of a problem – after 30 years of marriage and 25 years with kids I’ve got the obedience and poverty cracked.

I can’t see the tonsure being much of a problem either.


The complexity of modern life



Full Speed Ahead, and Damn the Cholesterol!

The first life-threatening dietary experience of the holiday was fish and chips in Sheringham. We started the day with bran flakes in the hotel room and, after a long, hot walk round Strumpshaw Fen decided it was time to head off in search of a pier.

I think it’s time to reveal that we have set ourselves the target of visiting every pleasure pier on mainland Britain. This may expand to encompass Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight, but then again, it may not. There are about 65 of them and based on the events of this week I may run out of cash and stamina before I see them all.

We tried Cromer pier, but couldn’t find anywhere to park. They seem to have obtained a large supply of No Entry signs since last time we visited, about 15 years ago. What with the one way system and the road works we tried three different ways to get round and failed each time. Eventually, after a seven point turn in a narrow street, I broke the cycle and parked behind the church, only to find out that all the space was reserved for disabled drivers and taxis. One of the reasons I hadn’t noticed this before parking was that the painted signs were faded. The other was that there were no disabled drivers or taxis using the spaces. This was to become a familiar pattern of the holiday.

That effectively broke my spirit and I decided to call it a day and head for Sheringham. You can park in Sheringham, next to the station with a preserved steam railway and a Victorian Penfold letter box (originally in use 1866-79). They seem rather more welcoming in Sheringham.

We eventually ended up in the Sheringham Trawler, a bright and cheery fish and chip restaurant. I was going to link to an information site – visitsheringham.co.uk – but they have a notice on the page telling me not to link to them without permission. While I can understand them having a problem with me stealing content I’m not sure why it’s a problem for me to link to them. They are, after all, a site that you would think would want exposure for Sheringham.

The establishment was, as I said, bright and cheery. They have pictures of local scenes on the walls and a programme of local events in the menu. The staff were great and the menu was good, though as long as they have haddock and chips with mushy peas all menus are good for me.

When the meal arrived it lived up to our hopes, being very tasty, generous in the portion department ans accompanied by a good-sized lemon wedge and a plastic container of tartare sauce. I suppose we shouldn’t be using so much plastic but that and the fact that they don’t tell you where the fish comes from, were the only two negative points that I can think of.

The batter was light and crisp too, which I forgot to mention earlier.

Another nice touch was the use of beef dripping for frying. It’s supposed to be healthier than more fashionable fats and why just upset vegetarians when you can also offend pescatarians and Hindus too.

I have a low opinion of pescatarians, so this is a plus point.



Lost in Leeds

It’s been a depressing few days. I’ve had a cold, and chest infection and sinus trouble. I’ve also been taking the problems of the world too seriously (let’s face it, I’m not going to change anything), feeling guilty about bringing children into this world, dwelling on past failures and thinking about how I’ve wasted my life.

It’s possible that a late Spring has had something to do with this lack of cheerfulness. There’s something rather forlorn about barbecue supplies replacing Easter eggs in the shops while freezing rain falls outside.

The fact I’m less than a month away from turning 60 may also have something to do with it. I know it’s only a number…

In fact it’s probably a good thing to turn 60, as one school of thought claims that ages ending in 9 aren’t good for you. You’re more likely to have an affair at one of those ages and more likely to commit suicide.

I am also, it seems, more likely to post a fast time in a marathon.

I allowed myself a slight smile at that thought.

Julia, on the other hand, had a good laugh.

Too lazy to kill myself, too ugly for an affair and too fat to run. Is this what my future holds?

Last night, whilst feeling ill, I drove to Leeds to pick up Number One son. I am such a good father. He’s lived in a number of places in Leeds and the last one was easy to find and convenient for parking.


Leeds – convenient parking

It’s a shame that he moved away from there and took up residence in a glitzy block of flats in the centre of town. They have many good features, but being easy to find and in possession of convenient parking aren’t amongst them.

That was how I came to be parked between the flats and a shopping centre loading bay, and how I was able to experiment with low light photography.


Leeds – low light photography





We were selling some coins to a customer this morning when someone entered the shop demanding that we move a car to let him out.

The forecourt of the shop allows you to back a couple of cars upto the shopfront and then park one across. Normally it works well when we confine the parking to shop staff, customers and residents of the flats above the shops. Because we’re all in the same boat we tend to get on together and there’s no problem.

However, when someone across the road parks on our private forecourt, then comes in throwing his weight about when a customer is in the middle of a purchase, it doesn’t quite work.

We explained that the parking was for the shop during business hours, and he just kept repeating that he had two cars and only enough space to park one of them on his drive.

I’m not quite sure why he thinks he’s entitled to use our parking spaces but if it happens again I may have to suggest he buys a bigger house or sells a car.

Apart from that, I have a cold. It started yesterday in the car, abated overnight then gradually crept back as I spluttered and sneezed and coughed my way through the afternoon.

It’s just a cold and should go in a day or two, but if the man from across the road comes back I will do my best to infect him.

I arrive home at 4.20pm and went straight to bed. So far, six hours of lying in bed shivering and looking pathetic have produced very little in the way of tea and sympathy.

Quite clearly I need to work on my whimpering.


Blood Test Thursday

It’s light this morning, and I’ve breakfasted on overnight oats with blueberries so I’m all set up for the day.

I’ve answered last night’s comments on the blog, come up blank for an idea for a post, and made a mental note that I need another night of reading posts to catch up with people.

That reminds me that I also have a report to write tonight. Sigh.

I’m 12 days behind with some blogs, as I found last night, so I do apologise if you are feeling neglected. That gives me an idea for a post – Blogging and a Lack of Time.  I will develop that later, as I don’t have time now. (Sorry – predictable but true).

My leg just started ringing, which means it’s time to get down to City Hospital, moan about parking and let someone stab me in the arm.

Nobody told me life would be like this.

Cotswolds or Notswolds?

You can’t take it away from the Cotswolds – the villages are beautiful and the village names are just what you’d expect from Olde England – Chipping Norton, Upper Slaughter and Stow-on-the-Wold.

Unfortunately, because they are so popular, you are rarely more than twenty minutes away from a twee delicatessen or Jeremy Clarkson.

However, how about an alternative – the villages of Northamptonshire. I took an hour on my way back from visiting my Dad yesterday and popped by Fotheringhay and Apethorpe because I wanted some pictures. I don’t want to decry the Cotswolds, or to encourage a deluge of delicatessens and celebrities, but if you’re passing they are worth a look.

There is a vast choice of stone in the county and colours change as you travel through the county – from grey to gold to brown. I just looked up a reference to the stone types of the county, hoping to sound intelligent. Currently I feel like I’ve been beaten round the head with information so ” grey to gold to brown” is as good as it gets. Try here if you are prepared to risk a similar fate.

Much of the roofing is Collyweston tiling, which has been used since Roman times.

The Featured Image and second trio of photographs are Apethorpe, and the top trio are Fotheringhay, both in Northamptonshire.

The third selection of photos is also from Apethorpe – the church, the date stone from the church tower, the old village water tower and the stocks and whipping post.

There’s a Palace in Apethorpe. I know this because they recently put a brown sign up, so I thought I’d have a look.

There’s nothing to see, as the grounds were locked and have high walls. It seems it was a favourite hunting lodge of the Tudors and Stuarts (well, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I all visited – 13 times in the 70 years between 1566 and 1636). Once every five years doesn’t seem a lot, but this was, they say, more than any other house they owned.

A few years ago it was at risk of serious damage from the elements so English Heritage persuaded the government to buy it by compulsory purchase for  £3.5 million. They then spent £8 million on urgent repairs. I’m pretty sure they could have built a new one for that.

Then they sold it for £2.5 million to a French aristocrat who is going to finish the repairs and live there. Meanwhile it will be open to the public for the next 80 years. Well, fifty days a year. Between 9.30 and 1.00 in most of July and August.

That’s a loss of £9 million.

Members of our forces have been killed and injured due to a lack of flak jackets and armoured vehicles. We  have a social care crisis. Even the Labour Party wants more police. Much as I love history and I detest politics, we need to look at our priorities.

I could have taken some better photos of the cottages, but parking is tight and it was the end of the day so time was limited and my feet were sore. In other words I was too lazy to walk for the shots. Believe me, these villages are lovely.


Welcome to Fotheringhay!

Here’s a notice from the window of one of the cottages in Fotheringhay. I didn’t actually see it until I’d parked and got out of the car, and as I only wanted to park for two or three minutes I ignored it. By the time I walked ten yards along the road and taken three shots somebody was already bobbing about at one of the windows.

Now, I don’t want to upset anyone, and usually don’t park where I see signs like that. However, I do think that if you want guaranteed parking outside your house you really should buy one with a drive.


Down at the Doctors

Yes, I was down at the Doctors today.

8.30: Arrived at City Hospital – damp Victorian red brick and escaping steam  being the  motif of the morning

8.45: Found parking space and stood in queue behind lady who couldn’t work the ticket machine

8.50: Walked into automatic door, which turned out to be broken and thus not automatic

8.55: Booked in

8.57: Seen by Anaesthetist, who provided clear and practical information

9.15: Back at the car, feeling reassured, but also £4 poorer for car parking (I’d allowed for up to 2 hours) and wondering why the Anaesthetist I saw five days ago couldn’t have given me the information

9.25: Back home eating healthy cereal (see, I have been listening to the doctor) and  croissants. OK, so I’m leading into this health stuff gradually.