EDitorial ± 28-Feb-2012

TT1112, Week 22

Avast, 'tis the Avocets again. No James with his awkward bat -- phew -- but here's nice guy Kevin (and spectating female friend!) accompanied by getting-on Don and Lydia. In brief:

  • 10-0 win

Not quite so brief:

  • impressive 3-0 win for Andy v. Kevin
  • good 3-1 win for Ed v. Kevin, and won 26 straight points v. Lydia
  • dig deep 3-2 win for Kennedy v. Kevin who was 2-1 up

Simple doubles win for Ed and Kennedy. Not sure if we'll see Don and/or Lydia next year since they're both struggling to win games in an ever tougher lowest division. Shame.

EDitorial ± 27-Feb-2012

Stack Area

Location: kitchen. Time: 6:47pm. Difficulty: medium. Key steps:

  • vessels & spoons:
    • rinse milk bottle and place to left of taps
    • assemble Froot Shoot bottles along rear wall
    • clear area near taps for mugs
    • place small spoons in single small mug
    • place larger spoons in single larger mug
    • assemble other mugs in rows of three
    • form tower of Ikea plastic cups to rear of spoon-holding mugs
    • line up low-rise glasses in rows of three in front of mugs
    • line up high-rise glasses along wall by teapots
  • crockery & cutlery:
    • identify neutral receptacle, eg bowl, to hold cutlery
    • gather forks into receptacle
    • align knives along rim of receptacle
    • assemble sharp knives by sink in front of low-rise glasses
    • form stack of Ikea plastic oval plates near mugs
    • form stack of coloured circular plates near glasses
    • form stack of rinsed smaller white plates to left of sink
    • form stack of rinsed larger blue-rimmed plates on top of white plates
  • misc:
    • rinse teapots and remove used teabags
    • deposit used teabags in bin
    • deposit foil in bin
    • collect loose cutlery near cooker and group accordingly
    • half-fill pans on cooker with water
    • place any cooking utensils, eg masher, ladle, in suitably sized pan

Congratulation: you're ready to load the dishwasher with optimum efficiency.

EDitorial ± 24-Feb-2012

Ipswich Lunches: No.16 Bar and Kitchen

We're not unlike Mustang Sally. But whereas all she wanted to do, reputedly, was ride around, we'd quite like to park too, if that's OK. Which we did, near Tastyfill, before taking Kraftwerk-like to our bicycles and head along Stoke Quay into the 'Swich. Park, Sally, ride.

Over a bridge and to our destination on Tacket Street. Highly commended Caffe Basso is going great guns at number 18. NKOTB next door (in the former Millet's premises) at number 16 is, er, No.16. These multiply Multiyork-ed surroundings are as deep and spacious as deep space, though much lighter. Waitress service too, the lady leaving the well-stocked bar to take our drinks orders. Sensing our levels of sophistication, she suggests lime and soda. Well, alrighty.

Menu leads with tapas, which is tempting but we suspect may leave us growing lads wanting for more. Any hungrier and I'd go for the chilli or the torn roast chicken salad. As it is, the chicken and bacon club is the slightly lighter lunch, poshly presented on a wooden board with super fresh salad and a sizeable tower of tortillas. That's me sorted.

Do people still use the word "vibe"? The all-day-opening vibe is reminiscent of The Alex, quite a compliment, helped by the service with a smile and those fine furnishings. Cake is good, too -- cake is always good -- ditto the coffee, a foamy macchiato. After all that goodness, the price is good too. Sweet 16, to be sure.

If it was a car -- Jaguar C-X16.
If they were passing by -- Jenny Agutter.

EDitorial ± 22-Feb-2012

The Bricks

Paul Simon's at a show for a promising young painter. He's sipping wine and chatting with friends. Some works he likes, others he's not so sure. All of a sudden the lights go out and the gallery is thrown into darkness. Trying to find the exit, he bumps into a familiar figure. "Hey", says Paul, "is that Art?"

No problem on Saturday with the illumination at Colchester's fantabulous Golden Banana, aka firstsite, the place for "contemporary visual arts". Years back -- then and again -- we'd make for The Minories. Bit of art, bit of cake. Don't need much more than that. There was talk of an amazing new building. Time passed, difficulties were overcome, and now Essex has a venue worthy of a visit from Andrew Graham-Dixon.

Before the art, the cake. That Minories cafe, now named Love Bistro, is still open and still charming, and is an Ai Weiwei pebble's throw away from the culture. Suffused with chocolate biscuit cake and a flat white, let's go stare at the walls and stroke our chins. Full size replica digits of the Statue of Liberty (by Dahn Vo) remain in the atrium from our previous visit.

Gone, though, are Ai Weiwei's pots on poles in the posh room. Instead, there's a handful of pleasing Constables on the wall and, er, some bricks on the floor. You'd think that health and safety rules would have required signage of some sort. Hang on, Hockney: those aren't just any old firebricks. 'Tis none other than Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre, one of the most controversial pieces of recent time. Cool. An arrangement of 6 x 10 x 2 bricks, is all. Do they have numbered positions? Do they each have a particular orientation? How are they shipped from Tate to Essex? In a velvet lined hod?

That, my dear Mr Simon, is Art.

EDitorial ± 21-Feb-2012

TT1112, Week 20

Those Cormorants again, aka Barry, Bernie and Brian. Bernie wasn't expecting to play but Paul had to drop out. Paul is 87. In brief:

  • straightforward brace for Steve, going down to Big Bernie
  • only a brace (*) for Ed, also succumbing to Big Bernie over five tight ends
  • deserved maximum for Kennedy, proving the power of the penhold

Over to Steve and Kennedy for the doubles only to see them outgunned by Brian and that Bernie again, though the dodgy overhead lighting may have played a part. We'll settle for the 7-3 win.

(*) Yes, Ed lost one. Only his second loss of the season. There's goes that +95% average down the drain. And to a player that he'd already beaten earlier this year, an unfit guy in his 60s, like that's any indicator of ability. And he was 2-1 up. And he doesn't really want to dwell on it. Only a game, after all. Though not a game for boys.

EDitorial ± 13-Feb-2012

Best Dang Parking Spot In Town

I don't know where you're parked on this godforsaken day, and I don't rightly care, truth be told. Cos I sure as heck know where I'm at: only in the Best Dang Parking Spot In Town.

Bet you was feelin' good down there in Foundation Street, payin' one English pound for your multi storey pitch. Ain't much of a walk from there to the stores. Bet you had the smile of a Cheshire cat out along there in Soane Street, landin' that choice location near the church, free in every sense. Coupla minutes and the centre could be yours. Bet I can do better.

Yep, I'm on Fonnereau Road. No big thing, you say? Usually, friend, that'd be right. Any fool can catch some kerb there, no denyin'. Let me spell it out for you, make it real simple. See, I'm not at the top of the hill, no sirree. Wish I could spare me the time for that perambulation. Not halfway down either, like some bad kid on the stairs. Nope, neither of those. I'm at the end. Not near the end but at the end. The very end. The alpha niche. The omega nook. The plum spot by The Purple Shop.

Is there a car behind? One or two, 'cos they're all behind. That's what happens when you're at the front, fool. Those fellas in my mirror, when they go to leave, they'll be usin' both forwards and reverse gears. Me, I face forward, I go forward, any direction I like as long as it's forward. Like Henry Forward, you might say.

Folks are lookin' at me, 'specially them other automobile drivers. Black vehicle, red vehicle, silver vehicle: inside they're all green. Yep, I'm sittin' here at the wheel. No hurry. Got mints to chew and an owner's manual to flick through.

One minute, I could be sippin' a skinny in Starbucks. Two minutes, I could be cradlin' a cappuccino in Costa. Three minutes, I could be waltzin' through Little Waitrose. You're where in town? Don't matter cos I can be there in five, wherever it is.

Keep dreamin', keep believin', and one day you might find yourself in The Best Dang Parking Spot In Town.

EDitorial ± 7-Feb-2012

TT1112, Week 16

(thanks to Boyton Boy for his write-up below)

Second time round this season for our home match sees Defiants drop a point over the previous match but sufficient to take us back briefly to top of the division.

John was the sore point for Kennedy’s only loss on the night in three very close ends. Steve had a cracking game and thrashed John in submission after a close first deuce, but somehow managed to lose to Les after five long ends. Meanwhile Andy, back from self-imposed exile, had his best night this season and best game for many years against John, with three out of the four ends going to deuce too.

That just left the doubles in the capable hands of Andy and Kennedy for Defiants to walk away with 8 points and so ride above Hadleigh Owls for the top slot.

EDitorial ± 6-Feb-2012

Words With Friends

Curse you, Words With Friends. It's late, stupidly late, the heating went off two hours ago and I need to be up in six hours time. So why am I sitting on the bathroom floor figuring out the optimum way to lay QAT on your brightly coloured board? There's no prize for beating my opponent. Heck, I don't even know who my opponent is beyond their cryptic username. Yes, 23 points is an ok score given the tiles thus far. But I know I can get 30+. I just haven't figured it out yet.

Curse you, Words With Friends. In the mornings there's not a huge amount of spare time between showering, emptying the dishwasher, fixing some porridge and assembling a packed lunch. Yet there you lurk, pulsing away under that leather iPad case inviting me to respond to any overnight moves. I must be strong, I must not yield. One...quick...peek. Won't take long.

Curse you, Words With Friends. Little bit late back from work - your fault for making me late in - family already eaten so only me at the table. Me and my tablet. Reheated meal, glass of fizz and a handful of games to catch up on. Nice. Go easy. No rush. Must be able to stretch over to that DW square. Sending move ... played DAEMON for 33 points. That'll do.

Curse you, Words With Friends. Waiting for moves, you say? That's really not good enough. The evening is young and I'm ready to play, to cast my spells, to show off my comprehensive school vocab, to land that triple letter. Send those wordshy opponents a message: hey, your turn!

Curse you, Words With Friends. I need to help The Boy with his homework. I need to catch up with the post. I need to start that novel. There's no such thing as One Quick Go, and you know that perfectly well. Has Nana O consulted with Grandad O and used that tempting triple word? Has Nana B put down XI again? Is AG a permissible two letter word? So many questions.

Curse you, Words With Friends. My move? I'll drop everything!