EDitorial ± 26-Nov-2012

TT1213, Week 10

First of what will be three trips out to Capel. Tonight we're driving at 15mph and peering out the windscreen for signs of a church hall. Not the Methodist church hall, of course -- that's where Capel B play -- but another one, a bit further on, possibly near a dead pub. Ed eventually finds it but My God, It's Full Of Brownies. Ping-pong's upstairs, love. Ah.

They still have Richard and Mark, dating back to the glory days of Burstall village hall with its fabulous wiring, and new-boy old-boy Dave, second in the averages despite being 72 years old. We have our work cut out upstairs with the rain falling outside. In brief:

  • 1/3 for Kennedy with three five-enders, beating Richard, losing to Dave in a tough game, and going down 11-9 to Mark in the 5th end (weirdly symmetrical scoring of 3-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-4, and 9-11)
  • 1/3 for Ed, also beating Richard but getting nowhere against Mark and losing 3-1 to Dave despite being 10-1 up in the first end
  • 0/3 for Steve, left kicking himself (as per usual) by not converting two or three matchpoints and losing 15-13 in the 5th end to Richard

Doubles not played until about 10:45pm, Mark/Richard proving way better than Kennedy/Ed. So that'll be an awful lot of sweat for a measly 8-2 defeat. They're a good side.

EDitorial ± 22-Nov-2012

Light Lunches: Harvest Moon Cafe, Capel St Mary

With that Andy out for a meeting in Landmark House -- invisible from Asda, unignorable from Bramford -- 'twas time to track down a venue west of Ipswich. Look west, as they don't say round here. Nearest we've been is most likely Al's Cafe, still serving towers of toast in Whitton. Somewhere out of town? Somersham? Sproughton?

Ten minutes in the BlueMotion blurs us past the Toys 'R' Us roundabout and up the A12 to Coggeshall. Not really, that's miles away. Capel's far enough, though not the village but the Bypass Nurseries which sit alongside the A12. On the tip of the promontory sits the Harvest Moon Cafe, "a friendly, family-run restaurant"... which just so happens to occupy a defunct Little Chef building. They've done their best, however, to de-Chef the place, and it is kind of homely inside with watercolours and framed photos for sale, a tiny kids' corner, and lots of books. We'll return to the books.

Thursday, as becomes apparent from the piled Howgills of Yorkshires, is roast day (me and Andy, mid 40s, ahem, are kids in this room, and there are packets of Werthers for sale next to the till: unlike the Orwell Crossing, say, there ain't too many truckers here). Lightweight youngsters that we are, neither of us can do justice to the meat and two veg. So, for me, the jacket with coronation chicken -- very good, coleslaw included -- and for him, a humble sausage bap -- sadly those bangers aren't from Revetts in Wickham Market, as served in the Holeshot Bus Cafe. Local touch came in the form of a glass of James White bramley: ah.

One table at the rear is covered with second-hand books. Evidently, they raise £1000s each year for the Macmillan charity, which is great. Disregarding the educational (All About Your Gerbil), the trashy (multiple copies of the Da Vinci Code), and the factual (autobiographies of Jason Donovan, Frank Skinner and, er, Tony Cascarino), I picked up a 1975 copy of Eddie Braben's "The Best Of Morecambe And Wise", to whit:

[Vanessa] Have you got the scrolls?
[Eric] No, I always walk like this.

For pudds, there's a blackboard range of traditional favourites. What does the rice pudding come with? Can't read it. "1 left", said Andy. Instead, bring us cake. Mine's the luscious slab of lemon cake with some so-so coffee. Andy's choosing chocolate when he has an abrupt change of mind and spies something else: he'll have the flapjack in custard, if you please. That's a good idea, says the guy who brings it out. Apparently the custard was top notch.

If it was a car -- Caparo T1.
If they were passing by -- Mel Giedroyc.

EDitorial ± 14-Nov-2012

Light Lunches: Martlesham Leisure

By rights, we really should be running out of places to eat that are within easy reach of Adastral Park, home to the stars. Barely a five minute walk takes you left to the Holeshot Bus Cafe, or right (past Kingpin) to the Martlesham Cafe and beyond to Langers Snack Bar, KFC and Next Costa. Alternatively go up and over the A12 pedestrian bridge and there's Admirals Fish And Chips. Like a desecrated ballot paper, you're spoiled for choice.

Sitting, troll-like, practically underneath that same footbridge, sits the squash club, more properly known as Martlesham Leisure. Waddya know, their in-house eatery is open to the public, non-members and all. Which is handy, since Andy, poor fella, has come off his bike this very morning -- wrist whiplash -- and would prefer not to go too far for lunch.

We're in past the rows of rackets and the glass-backed showcourt and right into the rather nice cafe with comfy sofas, chairs and some soothing music. Not too sure why there are so many copies of Mother & Baby to read, but makes a change from the dull ol' EADT. Bar menu has the usual jackets and baguettes, plus there's a bonus specials board offering prawns in black bean sauce, beef stroganoff, etc. Top of the list, however -- and recommended by Big Al, propping up the bar and downing his lime & water -- is the £3.50 soup of the day and cheese on toast. Yes, please. I grab the last soup, leaving Andy with a children's portion (he's not that hungry) of (Martles)ham, egg and chips.

It's most pleasant at the table. Over my shoulder is a tense squash match. Over his shoulder is the swimming pool. Could like it in here. Friendly lady brings over Andy's HE&C -- that's a generous portion, though he's disappointed not to get a free toy -- and my more-ish pea & mint soup. Most appropriate, given today's foggy conditions. There's cutlery on the table but no spoons, reminding me of this quote:

He's a man with a fork in a world of soup
— Noel Gallagher about his brother Liam

Befitting a healthy environment, desserts are scarce, though we manage to find a pre-packed slab of cherry flapjack to accompany some not bad coffee. All good. There follows a reluctant trudge back to the office.

If it was a car -- Meyers Manx Dune Buggy.
If they were passing by -- Del Harris.

EDitorial ± 13-Nov-2012

TT1213, Week 9

Once more unto the Butterfly for Steve, Kennedy and Ed, once more. Home match against the first of three Capel teams: well done, the village of Capel, for fielding so many teams. Capel D -- not B, not C -- have brought along their strongest three players, those being high-in-the-averages Nick, who's lost only two games this season, plus father and son Keith and Peter. Game on at 19:45. In brief:

  • 2/3 for Kennedy, doing fantastically to beat Nick in five, coasting past Keith but coming unstuck against Peter's pimples
  • 1/3 for Ed, also beating Keith and, despite being 2-1 up against Nick (as per Colin last week), losing in the fifth, and equally powerless v. Peter
  • 0/3 for Steve, playing aggressively to go 2-0 up against Keith before his opponent came back to life, leaving Steve kicking himself

Fun late doubles, Kennedy/Ed against Nick/Peter. Tried our best to lose from 10-6 up in the 4th, then scrambled an edge to win 11-9 in the fifth. Happily take that 4-6 result, though at our best we might just have won.

EDitorial ± 9-Nov-2012

Ipswich Lunches: Princess Bakery

In search of a alternative route back towards Martlesham from the underwhelming Travelodge recently, I'd suggested a load of Cobbolds to EcoAndy. See, those Ipswich brewers of yore hung out in Holywells House, their own mansion, in what is now Holywells Park. That house was demolished in the mid '60s, leaving not much more than a stable block and clock tower. Park is lovely, though, and also welcomes careful cyclists. And Andy.

So, having taken the Myrtle Road entrance in to the park, he emerged on Cliff Lane. Standing among that remarkably well-equipped Wickham Market-esque row of shops — post office, newsagents, hardware, beauty, Chinese, butcher, even a vet's — he eyeballed the Princess Bakery. Yep, a bakery with seats, reminiscent of Bloomers: seems like an obvious idea.

For savoury, there's freshly made rolls or baguettes, or assorted pasties and slices. I'll take a chicken and onion panini, monsieur. For the nice fella running this place has a French accent though is in fact from Algeria. He's his own boss here, and initially had wanted to be producing fine patisserie. Not the demand, however, hence a move to more traditional English cakestuff. Panini is nice 'n' fresh and goes down well with an Irn Bru.

As we're chowing down, there's a healthy supply of passers-by wanting hot drinks or baguettes. He obviously keeps his regulars happy, and does the same for me by fixing me up a cute macchiato. To be accompanied by? Here, I'm like a kid in a cakeshop. Brownie? Bread pudding? White choc caramel slice? That one down the bottom looks good, a gaudy coconut sponge. Yum. It's a find, this place, a little princess.

If it was a car -- Austin Princess.
If they were passing by -- Alain de Botton.

EDitorial ± 6-Nov-2012

TT1213, Week 8

That Dome again to meet more familiar faces in the form of the mighty Sparrows, last seen a couple of seasons back. No John -- he's suffering from pneumonia, the poor guy, so get well soon -- leaving big Colin, wily Bill and Chuggington Mark. In brief:

  • 1/3 for Kennedy, going down 3-1 to both Colin and Mark but doing well to beat Bill in straight ends
  • 0/3 for Steve, v. much not his night
  • 1/3 for Ed, edging past Bill in five and losing to Colin in five (and getting nowhere, as usual, against Mark)

No joy on the doubles either: that Mark and that Colin are a fearsome combination. Overall 8-2 defeat made for a tough if sociable evening.