Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Yorkshireman

What qualifies you as a Yorkshireman? Whilst I am proud to mention that Yorkshire, if considered as a country, came 12th at the last Olympics and 5th at the recent commonwealth games, I have always questioned whether I can consider myself as a Tyke.
I believe that I was conceived in Yorkshire (sorry if that's a tad too much information) but born in Bristol from an Italian mother and a Liverpudlian father. I was raised in Yorkshire from about age 3 and spent all of my formative years here but I'm still not sure. I'm stateless, a man with tomato stains down his shirt front and hub caps under his arm.
Just in case you need a bit more information about what constitutes a Yorkshireman this sums it up. Translations are available.

'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -
Allus do it fer thissen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Taste of things to come

I saw a robin on the lawn yesterday. What's going on? Confused of Yorkshire.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Growing old

There was a time, when I'm ashamed to admit, that I looked down on folks who were drinking tea when I felt that they should be drinking something else. Who would drink tea when they could be quaffing a nice wine or something similar?
I'm now that tea drinker. For the last few years I've pretty much stopped drinking wine or at least drinking in the way that I used to. That's not to say that I don't drink at all, I still enjoy a nice wine with friends over dinner, but just not drinking for the sake of it.
It's much more the quality rather than the quantity type of drinking. The other night, with friends staying for the weekend, I went in search of a nice red and found a bottle of 2006 El Sequé that I didn't know I had. I remember the first time we ever tried it sitting in the kitchen in France and Jan said, 'that's the nicest red I have ever drunk.' A statement that took me somewhat by surprise but I agreed. It's a red from Alicante in Spain, a region that you associate more with holidays than wine production.
Anyway, my friend and I finished the bottle before dinner and jolly nice it was too.
They've gone now so it's back to drinking tea.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Carluccio's Harrogate

From time to time I fancy Eggs Benedict for breakfast and, whilst I can modestly claim to make a pretty good one myself (as long as Jan makes the foaming hollandaise), it's nice to have it made for you. I first came across the notion of going out to eat breakfast in the States and thought it was a great idea. It's less normal here in the UK and don't even think about it in France unless all you want is a coffee and croissant. So, when I saw that Carluccio's in Harrogate is open for breakfast and, better still, they will cook EB for you, we had to try it.
After suffering a very poor hollandaise sauce in another café in town I didn't have high expectations but this was surprisingly good. Not as good as Jan's but perfectly acceptable. Not only was my EB good but Jan had the works, Colazione Magnifica, and very good it was too.
'It's better than I could make at home,' she said, 'excellent.'
My breakfast came quite quickly which made me a tad suspicious so I asked the waiter (they are all very pleasant and polite) whether the hollandaise is bought or made fresh.
'I don't know,' he said, 'I'll check with the kitchen.'
After a few minutes he came back, 'we buy it in,' he said. You know what, it was what I expected, because having to listen to Jan whinge when she makes it I suspected that it hadn't just been made. This admission meant they went up in my estimation. An inferior run place would have lied and it felt good that they weren't trying to pull the wool. Top marks all round.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

At long last, a ferret

We were in the pet shop buying supplies of wild bird food and dog treats and the assistant asked us what breed of dogs we had.
He hadn't heard of Beaucerons and jokingly Jan said, 'they're big' a lot bigger than a ferret. 'Oh I love ferrets he said, I've got three. One of which is an albino. All my friends have ferrets.'
'Do they bite,' Jan asked?
'One does,' he said, but the others are fine. You have to get one, they're great pets.'
'You're the first person I've ever met who owns a ferret,' said Jan, and, before she could buy one, I got her out of the shop.
'Never joke about ferrets in Yorkshire,' I said, 'they won't understand and you might get hurt.'

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A mystery solved

While out and about recently I'd noticed that certain folks were under dressed. Under dressed as in, 'it ain't that warm why are you wearing so little?' Then, after a while, it dawned on me. The under dressed were almost all heavily tattooed. What was more important to them, was showing the world their tattoos and not how cold they were.
Personally I'm not keen on tats and my dislike started when David Beckham started several years ago. I can understand the odd, out of the way tattoo, administered when you are young and foolish and probably pissed, but not the heavy all over 'body art' that you'd wish you had never had done when you get to old age.
Spare me all the socio mumbo jumbo about body art over the ages and freedom of expression, it just doesn't look too good. I can only assume that the man above is self employed. YMMV.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Doctor bloody Who

A long time ago, when I was young, I watched and enjoyed Dr Who. It was, and still is, a sci-fi children's programme with lots of goodies and baddies, implausible plots, a stupid 'time machine the tardis,' and just a hint of sex.
50 years later it is still going strong and it is still a children's programme. Why do the BBC trail this bloody programme as if it's some great meaningful blockbuster. We have been reminded time after time that the next series starts on August 26th with the latest incarnation of 'The Doctor' and his sidekick. They will no doubt face the latest new evil characters as they travel through time and space and will of course exit victorious. I'm sure that children will enjoy it but surely it gets puffed out of all proportion? 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A visitor from the far east

Josh, one of Jan's sons, visited briefly over the weekend. He came over from Hong Kong with his girlfriend Elisha and treated us to an outstanding meal at The Yorke Arms. Excellent.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

50 Shades

To see what this book would look like if written by a man, copy and paste this link: