Tag Archives: samphire

A Few Photos I Didn’t Use

I thought I’d cut down on Christmas effort by shoving in a few photos I haven’t used before. I may use them in the future, because I still have a few things to write up, but for the moment I will use them to save effort on a day when I need my energy for bickering with family members, over-cooking food and complaining about the poor quality of TV.

Some Christmas traditions are just too important to ignore.

The main photograph shows Julia walking across the bridge at Bakewell. It has an amazing number of locks attached to it, despite the article I read some months ago which said they were going to take some off. They are now so thickly clustered it’s starting to look a bit like Paris.

You may notice that Julia is carrying a basket.

It’s a sort of tradition with us – we go to Bakewell and Julia buys another basket. Like all the best traditions, the origins of this strange nehaviour are hidden in the mists of time. If there is ever a world shortage of baskets it is unlikely to have much impact on our family.

These are  afew shots of Bakewell. I have more, as you will find out later.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cottage Pie with a sweet potato topping, carrots and samphire. We know how to live.

The strange quality to the photograph is caused by steam rising from the meal. Most food in cookery books, I believe is cold to prevent this. However, considering what else they do to it, cold is the least of your worries. The carrots, for instance,would be coated with glycerine to make them attractively shiny. Samphire is getting quite fashionable and is actually being imported.

I first ate samphire when I foraged it on a camping trip in Norfolk. That would be around 1976. I enjoyed it so much that I had it again in 2016. I had it twice in 2017. It’s bitter, it’s salty and the last lot had some very fibrous stalks, but it’s crunchy after steaming and tastes like it must be doing you good. According to this article it’s also known as Mermaid’s Kiss and is loved by fashionable cooks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A brick from Watnall Colliery, Nottingham

This is a brick from a local brickyard – marked up as NCB Watnall (National Coal Board for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term). A lot of collieries also made bricks. There were 82 operating after the war and this example is from Watnall near Nottingham. The NCB indicates it was made after 1947. It’s a bit of local history we found when going through a pile of bricks at the Mencap garden.

 

 

Friday. Guess where I am?

OK, so I’m actually writing it on Sunday, but cast your mind back – where have I been on the last dozen Fridays?

Yes, in the Mencap garden again, drinking tea. It was nice and warm in the sun, though chilly in the shade.

There were Great Tits on the newly erected feeder, though not after I raised the camera. Same goes for the Robins singing in the trees, the Magpies perching in high places. A flock of about 60 birds kept flying  round the main building – Julia has a theory they are after the warmth.

I had a typo in there for a moment – Magpires. They are post-apocalyptic blood-sucking crows.

So, in the garden, drinking tea, trying to photograph birds and spelling badly. It’s not how I imagined my life developing, but there are worse places to be.

Julia has given me instructions and I am now gathering my equipment as next week we will be assembling the example nest box and marking them up for the group to build.

Saturday started earlier than usual, as Julia was filling in for someone. I then went to visit a jeweller and bought ingredients for the evening meal. These are two different activities, and an example of sloppy writing.  I visited the jeweller and then went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for our evening meal.

It will be Julia’s birthday soon and I need to find a present. So far I’m not having much success.

In the afternoon I went to visit my Dad with Number One son. We did a jigsaw, played Beetle and lost to my sister at Snakes and Ladders.

Does Number One son realise this will be his destiny, I wonder?

On Friday (moving back in time again) I watched Dr Phil on Countdown. He was talking about measures we should take to ensure continuing good health. The mnemonic to remember is clangers.  This year has shown I can easily slip into bad habits so I’m going to ensure that I don’t do the same again. If it means I have to be nice to people I suppose it’s a  sacrifice worth making.

It’s very much along the lines of Green Care, Green Gym, Blue Sky Hospital or whatever else you want to call it. You get out, meet people, exercise, learn and end up better for it.

Back at home (Saturday evening) we reheated the casserole and ate it with samphire.  This was, as they warn, salty, but also crispy and fresh. It reminded me of a time when I was young and broke. I picked samphire when camping, boiled it and ate an entire mess tin of it to save money.  Today that would be a disaster, but my youthful digestion had no problem.

It was a bit too salty for my taste at the time and it has taken me 40 years to eat it again. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it this time. round.

I went to Leeds today. It rained. And to make things more depressing I trusted the satnav, which never ends well. If I ever enter Mastermind my specialist subject could well be “Being lost on the Ring Road in Leeds”.

I’m home now and watching The Apprentice. It gives me no hope for the future. If I was the producer I would rewrite it as a horror movie and  kill one every week in a horrible, ironic manner. The one selected from tonight’s show, to make and sell burgers, would be in serious trouble if I had access to an industrial-sized mincer.

To be honest, if I was in charge I’d feed the lot of them through it, including Lord Sugar and Baroness Brady. I give them their full titles because I know, from reading his book, that he considers it important, even if most of us find the current honours system a bit of an embarrassment.

Fair play to him though, if you excel in your field you deserve an honour. Not quite sure what field the Amstrad email phone was a leader in, but the principle is sound.

I like Claude Littner, I’d let him have his own series. Well, with my plan for the rest of the cast you’d have quite a few weeks to fill in.

After leaving Leeds we went to Skipton and visited a farm shop. We bought rhubarb coulis, samphire, marmalade with orange and chilli and a big steak pie. I will try to take pictures tomorrow if I have time after eating. It’s a big pie and will take some shifting.

Today’s photos were snatched during a dry few minutes. Sorry there are no better ones.