'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Raspberries Upon St Thomas' Day

Being the shortest day of the year . . .
I walked up the hill towards Rottington this afternoon and saw raspberries growing in the hedgerow below my partner's sister's house. They looked ripe and pendant fruit, and fell easily into my hands. The slight surprise of finding them mildly sour to the taste was far outweighed by the sheer astonishment of being able to pick them at all on mid-winter's day.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Radioactive Spy: The Cumbrian Connection

Cumbrian newspapers are flogging more dead trees with the news that local firms have been called in to analyse the polonium-210 at the centre of the Litvinenko case. Presumably because when it comes to illegal contamination of the environment with fatal doses of radioactivity, Cumbria has decades of world-leading experience . . .

Les Delices De Cumbria - Part XV

To The Queen's Hotel in the village for a night of hot marimba rhythms and Latin beats, one of the younger members of the household being retained to shake the maraccas and make with the cowhorns for the occasion. Tapas were advertised as adding an atmosphere of sophisticated authenticity. Unfortunately the establishment, once the fabled location of youthful bad behaviour in schooldays, now has a sadly down-at-heel appearance. The clientele couldn't decide whether they were ZZ Top's road crew or hangers-on at the execution of Charles I. But it was the tapas that we keenly awaited. As the piano-player thrashed his way through a vigorous improvisation on The Girl From Ipanema, they emerged. Cumbrian tapas are, erm, different. Satay sticks and fishcakes were a respectable, if not particularly Spanish, beginning. Onion bhajis and sausage rolls leant a note of cultural inclusiveness. But it was the miniature pork pies that truly pushed out the envelope of uncompromisingly authentic tapas cuisine. We await Sushi night with interest.