Friday, April 26, 2013

Where have you been?

I suppose that we're fortunate but in all his nine plus years we have never 'lost' Max. Of our two dogs he tends to 'shepherd' us and stays fairly close by and usually in line of sight. They are, after all, sheep dogs, Berger de Beauce.
Anyway, we had a bit of a scare recently. For their walks we take them into the 'woods' next door and let them loose to exercise  It's not unusual for them to shoot off when they scent or see a rabbit. This is what Max did the other day so we weren't too worried. Min came to join us after a short time so we expected Max to join us quite quickly. Not so. We waited and waited and then hatched a search plan to go find him.
His disappearance was so unusual that we feared that something had happened to him. To cut a long story short our next door neighbours came to find us as we searched in the woods to say that they'd found him wandering outside the front of the house. How we'd passed each other is anyone's guess but we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Nice neighbours, naughty dog.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Whilst Craig offers you highbrow, cultural video, I offer you something a little more down to earth.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wing Yip

I know it's sad, but I have a mild fascination with Chinese supermarkets. We had a good one in France, Mont Asie in NĂ®mes, where Jan could get all the oriental stuff that was difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere. As it happens I'm into dim sum at the moment so with that in mind we headed off to Manchester (yeah this is serious) to visit Wing Yip and have a spot of lunch in the intimate 'Glamorous Restaurant', that only seats 400 people. The plan was to eat early with friends and as we approached the resto at 11.45 you could see that it was already very busy. Traditionally they serve dim sum at lunch time and this was right up my street. As the trolleys, laden with steam baskets, come around you chose what you think you might like with the aid of descriptive little menus for non chinese speakers. Generally we did well.

Downstairs is a huge supermarket, well laid out, clean and well lit, where you can get a vast variety of oriental stuff. Excellent. Central Manchester is not as far as you might think from us, taking just 1 hour 35 minutes because it's motorway all the way.
It is, after all, the year of the snake and as this is Jan's favourite description of me it all seemed quite appropriate.
When we got home, whilst reading the Sunday Times Rich List, I noted that Wing Yip is a multi millionaire. It's no wonder, he's done well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Photo courtesy of Fr Lawrence Lew OP

I have this vague recollection, of when I was a lad, of my mother taking me to Ampleforth College with a view to me schooling there. I was raised a Catholic and no doubt my mother had ecclesiastical hopes for me and Ampleforth was the nearest school of its type. Little did I know that when she realised how much it was going to cost (my impoverished parents) that I wasn't going to go there. Probably no bad thing. We were there looking around for two hours so we probably left owing a couple of hundred quid.
Anyway, with a trip down memory lane in mind and because Jan wanted to see what all the fuss was about we set off. The abbey is set in a wonderful location with beautiful views but as it was built in the 1800s the architecture  didn't quite do it for us.

With the odd benedictine monk gliding about it had atmosphere but the best bit was an inexpensive lunch in their tearoom. Such heathens.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Memory lane

No trip to Pateley Bridge is complete without a visit to the oldest sweet shop in England (aren't they all) to stock up on Tiger Nuts (me) and Sherbert Lemons and Flying Saucers (Jan). It wasn't until we'd seen the shop, on a Nigel Slater programme some time ago, that we fully appreciated this retro sweet shop. Tiger Nuts are a delicacy that I used to buy some 50 years ago on my way to or from St Michaels College in Leeds.
Anyway, the sweet shop is directly opposite Kendall's Farm Butchers where they sell, amongst other things, award winning pies (don't they all) and where I get my once in every six months beef and onion pies. Scrummy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Think of something else

I suspect that the feminists in these groups haven't actually seen many willies. I've never been able to get mine to light up at night.