Tuesday, 30 November 2021

A Load of Rubbish.


For decades I've used plain black rubbish bags; nothing wrong with them, but they were very dull. Those have now been replaced by a totally better class of bag; M & S's 'citrus grove' perfumed white bags. I feel 'classier' already. I may even be offered a knighthood for 'services to pong reduction'.


Back in France rubbish had become politicised. In our 'Department' (County) we now have to pay to put rubbish into a large 'receptacle'; we pay an annual fee, then even have to use a card to open the wretched thing so that they can charge per visit. It's a huge 'con'. We refuse to play ball.

With this in mind, and being something of a spendthrift, I have been taking what small amounts of rubbish we had across the border to the adjoining Department where such things are still free. It's on my weekly shopping route, so very convenient. Lady Magnon continued to use our own local service for recycling, which for some reason remained free.  

Here in Brighton we have several large rubbish containers, and recycling containers, on most streets, ours is only a few metres away (well hidden), and they are emptied daily. A very good service. The recent strike is now over, and all is back to normal.

Rubbish is a problem in towns. We still recycle as much as possible, we visit the municipal dump every so often with lumpier objects, and we try to take home as few plastics as possible. In France we burn most of the paper, all vegetable peeling, etc, goes to the compost, and whatever can be recycled; is. It's not easy being green in town.

My new M & S 'Citrus grove' bags are very pleasant, but may I suggest 'Gardenia' or 'Patchouli' for the future. One might as well be choosy. 

Monday, 29 November 2021

What's in The Sunday Times?


What do you get for your money, when you buy your weekly Sunday Times?


Pages 2 and 3: Two full page adverts for Rolex watches.

Page 8: Full page advert for Chaumet, Paris.

Page 10 Full page advert for P & O Cruises.

Page 14: Full page advert for Tesco.

Page 16; Full page advert for Facebook.

Page 26: Full page advert for 'The Times and Sunday Times'.

Page 40: Full back-page advert for Dior Sauvage.

Plus; 11 half page adverts for a variety of things; and various other quarter page ad's. The magazine's are at least 75% adverts, and the Sport and Travel and Home sections probably contain even more.

Still, Sunday wouldn't be Sunday without all that advertising all over the sitting room floor!

I love it.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

The Life of Boo Boo.


I had literally just returned from evening Dog-Walking when this photo arrived on my WhatsApp page with a 'ping'. It was blowing a strong wind here, and was very cold. I really needed my silly Russian hat, thermal vest, scarf and gloves. 

I am not na├»ve enough not to know that parts of the world are always bathed in perfect weather, as we here in the UK are battling against the cold, wind, and rain, but I didn't really need this reminder. 


Boo Boo looks very tall and tanned, and Kellogg is obviously enjoying the sunshine. I don't know what's going on in the photo; maybe a lost ball!

I don't like Winter. I want to be like Boo Boo, wearing shorts, and not much else. I would love to join them on The Seven Mile Beach, and swim in that crystal clear water, or maybe even take a boat out and fish for Barracuda.

Winter has just begun here in the UK. For us it's simply a sudden drop in temperature and strong wind, but in the North they've had serious gales, snow, and even a few deaths.

Christmas is a month away, Spring is sometime next year, and hot sunshine is just a memory. I do hope we don't have snow!

 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Japan Packaging


About 20 years ago, just before Christmas, I bought a large round box of Belgian Chocolates from Thornton's (a reasonably up-market UK Chocolate shop).

I was asked if I'd like it wrapped. Of course I replied 'yes please'.

Wrapping a round box isn't easy, so you can imagine my admiration as I watched the young lady making fold after fold as she worked her way around the box; leaving perfectly spaced gaps between each fold, and finishing with a Chrysanthemum pattern on the top.

I remarked to her how impressed I was with her skill, and she seemed genuinely flattered. As I left the shop I wondered if anyone else had admired her skill, and had said the same as me. Maybe not.

Here is a young Japanese girl showing similar, but much simpler, skills.


Friday, 26 November 2021

Growing old.


I suppose I must now accept that I'm growing 'old'; I'm even beginning to resemble photographs of my Great Grandfather.

I have a bad back, a dodgy right knee, and hips that are beginning to complain about Arthritis. I am Type 2 diabetic, and I unashamedly enjoy good food and wine; which probably doesn't help.

So, what can I do to return myself to days gone by, when I could still run uphill, party all night long, and play serious Rugby.

Well, the obvious answer is that nothing can reverse the ageing process, regardless of a million adverts that tell us otherwise (mostly aimed at women). All we can do is to preserve what flexibility, brain-power, and general health, that we now possess; and pray that it doesn't all go downhill too quickly.

I'm not one for doctors (or surgeons), and I refuse to eat Tofu or 3D printed Meat-ex. I'm too far gone for Yoga, my skateboard has been put away, and even gentle jogging is now beyond the capability of my knees.

So, what to do? Well, I enjoy life too much to let any of my minor 'ailments' hold me back. I shall drink plenty of Beer and Wine (they kill microbes), I shall Dad-Dance to raucous Ska music, and I shall allow some of the finest chefs in England to sculpt my svelte-like figure. I ain't giving up just yet!

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Moussaka.


Elizabeth David tells me that Patrick Leigh Fermor's version of Moussaka was/is the world's best. I have seen film of his Greek cook preparing the infamous dish, but would never attempt to replicate her attention to detail.


However, my amateur status did not repel me from attempting something similar. I consulted no book or expert, bought what I considered the best ingredients, and threw caution to the winds.

I quite imagine that Fermor would have found my example lacking in most departments, but for me it was a pretty good first attempt.

I used Beef instead of Lamb, but it tasted just as I remember. My main fault was that it was not 'solid' enough; too much wine with my 'bolognaise' perhaps. 

Lady Magnon made no complaints, and there is a small amount left over for my breakfast.

Practice makes perfect, but I'm not really aiming for perfection.
 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Thinking Laterally.


My son, Kimbo, is not known for 'cake making', but armed with his Mary Berry cake-making bible, he threw himself into the mixing bowl and created this masterpiece, below, for his son's birthday.


Unfortunately he only had enough materials for one layer, so it needed to be cut in half in order to make the traditional cream and jam filled two-layer cake he had set his heart upon.

Initially I'd thought that they'd already eaten half of it; but no, that's the finished job.

Apparently this did not affect it's wonderful flavour, and it was given 10/10. Well done!
 

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Gravestones.


I'm an avid reader of gravestones. If I see an ancient one that is still legible, I'll read it. It seems only decent to do so; it is for that reason that the words were put there in the first place. 


However, it's not only the inscription that is of interest, it's also the adjoining Coats of Arms, Crests, etc.

Yesterday I found this rather nice Coat of Arms on an impressive tomb. It involves Three Dogs (I think), Three Lions rampant, and a naked person underneath.

The inscription was illegible, so I can't trace the Arms, but I may do some further research. It's the naked man that is baffling. Why anyone would want such a figure beneath their Arms is a total mystery.

Suggestions on a postcard please to.....

Monday, 22 November 2021

Billy's Nose.


This was Billy's, mostly pink, nose in April of 2019. I prayed (on his behalf) to the god of black noses that his would in time turn black, like all self-respecting Border Collies. It didn't look right.


Well, this, below, is his nose today. His prayers were answered, and I'm pretty sure that by Christmas it'll be entirely black. There are just a couple of tiny patches to fill-in; I could almost do it myself with an indelible marker pen.


You'd hardly know it was the same dog!

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Sunday Special: Cute polar bear cubs


The West's love of Teddy Bears has not happened by chance; we all know the origin of the name, but Bear Cubs must be amongst the cutest and most attractive animals on earth; especially Polar Bear Cubs.

If you love wildlife as much as I do, you'll love this. It's unashamedly sentimental; but I really don't care. I just hope that Polar Bears will still be around for future generations to witness.

If this doesn't lift your spirits, I don't know what would.


Saturday, 20 November 2021

Shock Horror!!!


The last time I drank Coca Cola was in 1971, in Tangiers (below). Beer or wine wasn't then available in Morocco, so Coke had to suffice. Luckily Lady Magnon was there to record the event, which took place on the rooftop of our 'hotel'.


Recently, after arriving back in Blighty, my oldest son (Kimbo) forced me to try some Coca Cola Zero; zero sugar, zero caffeine, zero calories, zero cocaine. I must say I rather liked it.

Since then I occasionally have a can with my lunch. Back in France I always drank diluted Lemon Juice at lunch, but, other than PLJ, I'm finding good quality natural Lemon Juice hard to find.


I'm becoming a convert. I really enjoy the cold 'bite' that the Coke offers. 

Watch this space; I might soon even be seen at McThingies. No; surely not!

Friday, 19 November 2021

Shepherd & Dog. Fulking.


Some time ago I wrote about two of England's finest Pubs; The Hatch Inn at Coleman's Hatch, and The Boars Head at Crowborough. I was not wrong in my assessments.

However, I did omit to mention yet another of England's finest; The Shepherd and Dog at Fulking.

If you drive North from Brighton (as we did two days ago), cross The Downs at The Devil's Dyke, then down into the little village of Fulking; you will find one of the world's most delightful watering holes.


English Pubs are very special places; they really don't have a comparison elsewhere in the world. This building's use as a Pub' dates back to around 1800, but the house itself is much earlier; and is thought to have previously been three cottages. It's history is firmly linked to smuggling.

The interior is just as you'd expect; warm, welcoming, and with a log fire burning in the small brick fireplace in Winter.

It has everything you want from a country Pub'. Atmosphere, good local beers, and a fabulous menu if you're hungry.

I've often said to Lady Magnon; if the right cottage came up for sale in Fulking, I'd have my cheque book out in a flash.

 

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Walkies, Downs, and the Sea.




This is where I take Billy every morning at about 7.30 am. It's where he meets his friends, and I meet mine. He often goes several times a day. It's on the other side of a road from the church, and contains a few rather nice old tombs, etc. The falling leaves make the park look quite magical.

Yesterday morning we took Billy for a run on The South Downs (below). This beautiful open countryside is just a few minutes drive outside of Central Brighton. Lots of fresh air, and plenty of space for us all to stretch our legs. 


It was such a beautiful day that in the afternoon we also took him down to the beach. He seems to enjoy the movement of the waves, and even bites at the foaming water as it crashes onto the pebble beach. Yesterday he almost swam!

He had a busy day; and so did we. 


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Mrs Pins.


This portrait of my daughter, Tenpin, was painted when she was about 5; it shows her sitting with her Bear Mrs Pins, and the two baby Bears. (I have shown the painting here before)

Amongst all the children's bears (and my Alphonse) which we discovered in a big bag, was Mrs Pins. I had imagined that my daughter had taken her to Australia, so was surprised to find her here. 


So, here they are again, sitting beneath the painting, in roughly the same position as when I painted them. I think my mother made the Bears from a kit. If she did, she'd be very pleased that they're still with us, and in pretty good nick.

Mrs Pins has been very much a part of our lives, as was Alphonse. There were several other Bears in the big bag, amongst which was Wills's Bear called Harry. This (below) is the excellent replica Passport that Wills made for him.


Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Urban Foxes.

 

If one lives in an urban UK location, Foxes are bound to be a familiar sight. They wander around taking very little notice of humans, as they scavenge for their daily meals.

Living in both urban and rural locations, I must say that the difference is staggering. Where once Foxes lived out in the woods and fields, they are now no longer to be seen. They have all moved into towns.


When we recently returned to the UK, the very first thing we saw when we arrived at our house was a Fox wandering about, and even inspecting the inside of our garage before heading off. He, or she, was blissfully unaware of anything unusual in its behaviour.

Since then I have seen them almost daily, and suspect that they are living under some dense bushes in front of the house. They have adapted very well to city/town life.

Foxes are very beautiful animals, but I have crossed swords with them. I once lost a whole run-full of hens (about 12) to one; in the morning I'd found every single one of my Chickens either dead or dying. The Fox had found his way in, but they couldn't find any way out; and had paid the price. Had I left them free-range in the barn, maybe I would only have lost one!

People do feed Foxes, but they aren't domestic animals. They may resemble a medium sized Dog, but that's where any similarity ends. Best to leave them be wild.

I don't dislike seeing them around, although I would prefer them to live out in the countryside. However, with Fast-Food outlets on every street corner, they know that there is an easy meal waiting for them in the form of left-overs, or spillage. And who could blame them. 

Monday, 15 November 2021

DANGER!


Blogging can be a dangerous pastime. Imagine (if you can), Cro sitting in front of his simple laptop when suddenly his chair collapses beneath him.

Well, this did happen yesterday, and I was left sitting on the floor amongst a pile of chair legs, intermingled with my own. 


It's not the world's most beautiful chair, but my choice here is limited. It's probably worth saving, and a few squirts of PVA will have it back to purpose again in no time.

No harm done; only to pride!

 

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Spot the Difference


From this: A bijou 300 year old country cottage, uninterrupted views, pool, plenty of land, fruit trees, veg' garden, etc.


To this: A bijou 1960's terraced city Pied a Terre, tiny patio, shared garden, view of the sea, all major shops nearby, with garage.



I have always said that if I live in the countryside, I want total peace and quiet, a simple bucolic atmosphere, and open countryside all around. We had that for many years until a few newcomers arrived who didn't understand what all that meant. I can't be bothered to go into details. 

In town I want to be at the very centre of things, but also quiet. I want easy access to good shops, theatres, a dog-walking park, music venues, libraries, restaurants, and even the sea. I also want to be within a few minutes drive from the 'open countryside' that I adore.

So, which is preferable? 

Frankly neither; I love both, and shall try to enjoy both for as long as possible.

I shall be going to the Pub' for a pint this lunchtime. Another advantage of city life.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Whatever happened to Boo Boo?


Since leaving France, Boo Boo has lived in Cancun, Miami, Cancun again, somewhere in Hawaii, and presently on some beautiful small island in the Caribbean.

He has attended some very good schools, and shows signs of an intelligence not unlike his father's. He's doing OK.


Here he is, above, attempting to recreate a photo he took of a nearby beach scene. Using my well-honed artist's eye, I think I can spot some sky, a palm tree, and some sand. The boy obviously has talent.

School is always important to a child's development, especially when it comes to interaction with others of the same age, but travel and an understanding of the world is also important. To witness and experience different cultures and ways of life is an education in itself. Exams and degrees will follow naturally in time.

I've just looked, and it is 26 C and sunny on his island. Can't be bad!

I miss you Boo Boo. Grumpy xxx

 

Friday, 12 November 2021

21st Century Weddings.


Katie Price (a.k.a. Jordan) has just flown off to Las Vegas, allegedly to get married for the fourth time. The bankrupt, car-crashing, ex glamour model seems to like married life, and is having yet another go at it.

Meanwhile, I hear that Paris Hilton has also just got married, but for her it's the first time. Her new hubby is Carter Reum, a wealthy 40 year old heir to a fortune.

Hilton had decided that her wedding would be 'classic, tasteful, and beautiful' (I believe that Kim Kardashian was a guest). She was said to be wearing ten different dresses over the 3 days of festivities. The ceremony took place at her late grandfather's Bel Air home, and, of course; was filmed for a TV Special. We are still anxiously waiting to hear a public announcement (from The White House) of how many tens of millions it will all have cost, and how it might affect the US Public Purse.

Her beau, Mr Reum, proposed to her on the beach of a private island (above), giving her a £1.5 Million diamond ring. The happy couple dressed specially in matching white outfits for the 'surprise event', and even had time to pose for a professional photographer (probably watched by a few journalists, lawyers, armed guards, etc).

We also hear that Ms Hilton has allegedly had IVF treatment to ensure the immaculate conception, and birth, of twins in the near future (is Reum firing blanks?). This 'biblical style' event will no doubt be the subject of Part 2 of the TV Special.

How people spend their (or their father's) money is entirely up to them; I am in no position to comment or criticise!

Personally, I was married in Gibraltar. It cost about £10, and Lady Magnon and I are still talking to each other after more than 50 years.

Will either Katie Price or Paris Hilton be able to say the same? I'll bet another £10 that they won't. 

Malena - Ennio Morricone


Beautiful music, beautiful location, beautiful woman. 

As young men (and no doubt young women too) I'm sure we all fell for someone who was unobtainable. So very Italiano.


Thursday, 11 November 2021

Daily Diet for a healthy Life.


As we all know, what we eat has a great influence on our health. Follow this diet and your life will improve, both physically and mentally.

BREAKFAST: Grass Smoothie (above). A small bowl of Oats. Grapes or Kiwi fruit (optional).

LUNCH: A bowl of Vegetable (or Grass) Soup. ½ slice Wholemeal Bread with reduced-fat vegan Cheese. Half an Apple or Banana (optional).

DINNER: Large Steak. Extra large serving of Chips. Left-over Pizza. A small amount of something green. A bottle of Red Wine (maybe 2). Cognac. A large whole Cheesecake. Chocolates in front of TV. 2 slices of Peanut Butter on Toast before bed. And, if you should feel hungry during the night, make sure you have plenty of Cake, Tart, Pizza, or Pork Pie in the Fridge.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Doctor by Phone.




This was a new experience for me; a visit to the Doc' by telephone.

I needed a repeat prescription for my 'borderline' diabetes, so there was really no reason to waste a Doctor's precious time by having a face to face meeting.

The Doctor seemed very nice. She asked me if everything was OK; I tried to be honest, but being male I probably wasn't. I was left with the impression that she was very young and probably inexperienced.

My new Doctor's surgery is based at Boots (a major UK-wide pharmacy). A few hours later I went to pick-up my prescription as instructed, but it wasn't there. I went back the following day, and all was ready. No charge. No fuss. Back in France it would have cost me about £60, so having everything FREE was pleasant.

I quite like this new style of medical attention. The Doc' didn't give me the 3 month's worth of pills I was after, and also insisted that I go to see her in person in a month's time, which is a pain, but otherwise all was OK. I shall be having my Covid booster jab quite soon, so that, presumably, will also need some physical presence; unless I'm instructed to just put my arm into a machine!

I should add that the receptionist at the surgery is absolutely delightful. She is young, very attractive, and cannot do enough for us. What a difference from those surly, arrogant, and inefficient girls we've had to suffer 'elsewhere'; you'd hardly believe it!

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Things from Home.


I'm sure all ex-Pats have cravings for things from 'back home'. My list wasn't too long. 

Classics such as Marmite, Worcestershire Sauce, and even PG Tips Tea bags were all available at my local Leclerc supermarket; however, certain foods weren't, and I'd been having nostalgic yearnings.

English Sausages: Awful. Why I ever missed them I have no idea!

Battenberg Cake: Nice, but far too sweet for me.

Bread: I used to be a great exponent of artisan French Sourdough; but M & S thick sliced Farmhouse is wonderful, especially for my morning toast, or a Bacon sarnie.

Scotch Eggs: A really good quality Scotch Egg is a delight (just ask John).

McVities Biscuits: We could buy the milk chocolate biscuits in France, but not the dark chocolate ones. That has now been rectified.

Pork Pies: One of the real treats of being in England. Mine come hand-made from a small nearby shop, but I'm not against the better commercial ones.

Vacuum packed Kippers, with the little butter pat: I had difficulty finding these, but I now have, and I can hardly wait to broach them. Today maybe?

Gammon Joints: Gammon is unheard of in France, so I bought a big lump for this last weekend. It was gently simmered (in the old-fashioned way) with carrots, spuds, butter beans, and small onions. Lovely. The remaining soup will last for a few days.

Ready Meals from M & S: Their curries are very good; they need a little 'titivating', but excellent. Also their Lasagne is as good as home-made. Viva M & S Food dep't.

Bacon: Proper English smoked bacon is the best there is. I'm never without some in the fridge.

Black Pudding: France does produce some excellent Boudin, but I love the English version too.


And finally an unusual one. Tins of Thai Pickled Mustard Green half in Soy Sauce might sound like a strange desire, but I love them. They are crisp, sweetish, and preserved in a light soy flavoured pickle. I either serve them combined with a standard salad, or just as they are; direct from the tin. I can't tell you how much I've missed them; I bought loads!

Monday, 8 November 2021

Restoration of Carry On Camping


Gone for a Pee indeed! There's nothing better than a 'Carry On' film for lower IVth form innuendos.

The 'Carry on' films were, and are, a British Institution. Here are a few of the regulars, doing what they did best.


Sunday, 7 November 2021

Things to do in Brighton. Day Trip from London


I love my UK city. For those who may not know Brighton, it is situated on the South coast of England, 60 miles due South of London. It has two major universities, and therefore has a very 'young' population; as you might see by the video. It is often referred to as 'London by the Sea'.

Brighton has the reputation of being very welcoming to the rich-n-famous, eccentrics, the gay community, and artists. It's as liberal a city as anywhere on earth.

Here is a small taster, filmed in 2016.


Saturday, 6 November 2021

November 5th


Last night was Bonfire Night; also known as Guy Fawkes Night.

Traditionally, in this part of England, bonfires are lit and huge firework displays light the night sky. November 5th has always been a VERY BIG affair.


When I was a child, in my native Surrey village of Lingfield, it was the biggest event of the year; even eclipsing Christmas. At night the whole village came out, dressed in peculiar costumes, and paraded around the village with blazing torches, accompanied by groups from surrounding villages. The whole caboodle would end around a huge bonfire, burning a traditional 'Guy', that was always made by our gardener, Fuller. 

On November 6th, preparations would begin for the following year's parade.


In these days of Political Correctness and elf-n-safety, fires are frowned upon, and fireworks are almost non-existent. Looking out from our front bedroom window last night I didn't see a single firework, or even hear the sound of speeding fire engines. I did hear a very feint distant sound of 'bangs' (Lewes maybe?), but nothing from Brighton. What a change from a couple of decades ago.

However, Cro is not to be thwarted. In a great rush I made a small bonfire, topped it with an unrecognisable image of Angela Rayner (a Socialist politician), and along with a couple of guests, we Oooohed and Aaaahed as it was consumed by flame.

Tradition was upheld, another of my miniature bonfires was burned, and in the ways of Sussex an unpopular figure was 'burned at the stake'.

Size isn't everything!

Friday, 5 November 2021

Billy.


There is no question that our greatest concern before heading back to the UK was for Billy.

We worried about the journey (he'd never been in a car for more than 15 mins before), about how he would integrate, and even about how he would take to living in a new home. He had only previously known one way of life, one environment, one house. 

His playground had been one huge open area of fields and woodland, he'd had just one 'best friend' with whom he played almost every day, and (sadly) it was also where he'd encountered a few nasty dog-haters. 


Now all that has changed. I'm pleased to say that his journey up through France, and across the Channel, went very smoothly. He was sick just once in the car, but that was nothing to what we'd expected.

We weren't there to see, but I think he slept through the entire 4 hour sea crossing. When, at last, we descended to the car deck at Newhaven, he looked bright and happy. No havoc, or chewed shoes, just a happy boy who was pleased to see us again.

Since being in his new home, he's tasted seawater, met a thousand new dogs, and experienced a totally new way of life. I think he's enjoying himself.

People keep asking me if he's a puppy; I like the fact that he looks young. I've noticed that he makes people smile, maybe Border Collies have that affect on people, or maybe they imagine he should be on a Welsh mountain herding Sheep. He also makes people want to stroke him, you wouldn't believe how many people ask if they might.

What a life!

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Meet Alphonse.


Alphonse is my doll; I've had him since I was born. I think of him as the original 'Action Man'; a forerunner of the badly coiffed plastic toys of the late 1960's.


He came from London's prestigious 'Red Cross Ball' in around 1944-ish. My mother won him in a raffle, and I'm very pleased that she kept him (no doubt in case she later had a son).

Alphonse represented a Prisoner of War under the Japanese, and no doubt the money he raised was sent out in the form of aid. He wears a raffia hat, and raffia shoes. His clothing is that of an army Private. Other than that, I know nothing about him. Originally he walked with the aid of a stick which was attached to a metal band around his waist; but that wasn't my scene, and I soon abandoned it.


Being a typical boy, I drew all over his face; some of which won't now come off. However, he's lasted well considering how old he is, although his clothes could probably use a good washing.

Dear Alphonse is a one-off; his uniform was hand made, as were the hat and shoes. There is no other Alphonse. At present he is wearing a Poppy, and is sitting in our bay window until Remembrance Day. I think he'd approve.

We've been together for 75 years, and he hasn't changed one bit. I love him.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Public Painting.

 

There are two distinct types of 'Graffiti'. One might be better described as 'Street Art', and the other as 'Scrawl'. I am a big fan of good examples of the former, but I cannot stand the pointless 'tags' that now sully walls almost everywhere the world over.

There are some very good public paintings around us here; including Banksy's famous kissing policemen. This one below is very nearby, and is beautifully painted. 

                              

Also nearby is this perfect example of 'scrawl' (below) which is found in a back ally behind a row of shops. I presume it is designed to make an area look run-down and derelict. As soon as they are painted over, they reappear.

I do remember being in Aix en Provence back in the late 70's when graffiti was still in its infancy; we had gone to collect some rather special stone from a nearby quarry, and passed an hour or two walking around the town and having something to eat. Aix is a beautiful town (one of the most beautiful in Southern France) and is built from a pale honey coloured, hard, stone. I was horrified to see that some idiots had begun spraying their 'tags' over the facades of very chic shops, restaurants, etc. It was a shock, and had already begun to make the place look shabby. It was a terrible shame.

There are some superb examples of 'Street Art' around Brighton, some quite exceptional. I may show a few other at a later date; but for the moment enjoy the doggy!

p.s. The first graffiti I remember seeing was in London's Underground (The Tube) in the mid 60's. The single word 'Toots' appeared on walls all over the place. I soon learnt that this referred to 'Toots and the Maytals'; a Reggae band. Some serious fan had been at work!

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

The Weekend.


Some days feel totally different to others. It amazing how often we say "It feels just like a Sunday", simply because Sundays feel special.

In our house 'Sunday' means relaxation. The Sunday paper gets spread all over the floor, we occasionally watch Andrew Marr on TV, and we tend to stay indoors (other than dog-walking), doing as little as possible. 


This last Sunday we went out for lunch (as I mentioned yesterday), otherwise a roast would come from the oven; the only occasion of the week on which the oven gets used. Usually a Chicken or some Lamb.

We have also decided that our afternoon cup of Lapsang will be served in a pretty old-fashioned Tea Service that hasn't seen the light of day for decades. There is little point owning such things unless they're used. This one below is a particular favourite; very 'refined', and definitely requiring the use of one's pinky pointing outwards.  A slice of Battenberg completed the picture.


Sundays should be special. In previous times it would have meant a tedious hour or so dressed-up and spent in Church, but these days such practices have given way to a comfortable sofa, and conversation about what's in the paper.

Long Live Sundays.

 

Monday, 1 November 2021

Sunday Lunch


It's such a pleasure popping down to my 'local' again, The Caxton. It's a tradition that has been sorely missing for some while.

Reputation had it that they now do a stonking good Sunday Roast. There were three Sunday Specials on offer, Beef, Pork, or Lamb; we of course had some of each.


I plumped for the roast Beef. Perfectly cooked beef and plenty of it, a good variety of veg', and a Yorkshire Pud'. 

All washed down with a couple of bottles of Merlot, and finished with some sticky, peanut buttery, cheesecake.

Not cheap, but we'll be going again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...