EDitorial ± 21-Dec-2007

Felixstowe Light Lunches: The Alex

Final festive Friday @ Felixstowe fieldtrip of 2007 with only four days to go until the David & Kylie Dr Who Christmas Special. Leisurely lollop down Bent Hill, into the warmth and there's some bloke beckoning to us. More than a bit dodgy looking with his indoor shades but lo, it's only Kev with a table for us. Nice one.

Welcome to The Alex -- you probably don't need the map -- p'raps better known to locals as Cordys. Been here since 1927, you know. While we're down memory lane, have a glimpse at this retro photo. Gotta love those cakes in the window.

Agreeably feelgood buzz to the place, quite possibly due to the presence of all four remaining Defiants TT players: played 11, won 11, top of the league, natch. Styles itself as a "cafe bar", which seems apposite. Make your choice from the tempting menu and place your orders for drinks and food at the bar. None of that hanging around to catch someone's eye palaver. And there's newspapers. And a number of kids, who have their own menu. Ticks all the boxes.

Me and Slim Shady shared a large plate of meze, including prosciutto, chorizo, olives and hummus. How cosmopolitan is that for Felixstowe? Very tasty it was too, and at a reasonable price. Plus there's cakes and coffee. Hope it's clear that I like this location. Long live The Alexandra.

If it was a car -- Citroen C4.
If they were passing by -- Mark Owen.

Update: 05-Feb-2010

Sheesh: fully 25 months since our official stop at the Alex. Shame that Andy couldn't make it -- it's not easy being green -- but he was good enough to contribute his EADT-clipped vouchers offering a "full English breakfast for just £5". Only available before noon: don't spare the horses, chauffeur! It gets busy down there and, as last time, Kev nabbed us a good spot. Ordered, sat back, and here's our three plates of grub with Dingley Dell sausage, back bacon, scrambled egg, tomato. Plus several rounds of (get this) pre-buttered toast, like something out of Grimble. Oh my word, that's a quality breakfast. Price also included a pot of tea. Absolute bargain for a fiver, and still pretty good at the £7.95 RRP.

EDitorial ± 17-Dec-2007

TT0708, KO Cup, Round 1

So as well as the regular weekly-ish league TT games, there's an annual competition called the Knock Out Cup. Which, fact fans, we, the mighty BT Defiants, won way back in the 1996-1997 season. Of course, that was before the Sky silly money came in. Ha.

Twist is that any side in any of the four leagues (from Premier down to Div 3, our current hang-out) can enter. To make things fair, each side is then allocated a handicap, e.g. they must hop during rallies or shout out ascending numbers in the Fibbonacci sequence every other shot. Or, for this season, the points are adjusted after every game.

After we triumphed in '97 -- have I mentioned that already? -- we could never capture the same form and crashed out in early rounds. Eventually we stopped going in for it. Until this year.

As it happens, first round sees us drawn against another team from the depths of the league, i.e. in the same bottom division as us. They've got two slight advantages:

  1. effectively a five point start per game
  2. no Kev tonight so Grenvyle's kindly stepped in

Nonetheless we beat 'em. Eventually. But not without a few scares. Round 2, here we come.

EDitorial ± 13-Dec-2007

Dolmio, November 2007

There's Stowmarket, there's Stowupland, there's Stowlangtoft. Near one of the latter is a strange barn of a place selling furniture. Headed here in a leisurely fashion with zero children in tow -- thanks to Nana & Grandad Onehouse -- and picked out a dresser / shelfy / cabinet item. Available to order in several weeks now, or take the showroom item now? There's a challenge: open the back, remove the seats and slide it in. Bit scary pootling back down the A14 with the boot open while pondering last month's Dolmio (Doings Of Last Month Innoparticular Order).

That is to say, an attempt to capture past(a) events before they slip... my... mind. November 2007 was spent:

  • welcoming back Adam & Joe to live radio on Saturday mornings on BBC6: it's what Listen Again was made for
  • paying an evening visit to Ikea for meatballs and miscellaneous items
  • trying to keep the November fireworks in line with health & safety
  • watching the troubles of Grand Central in their attempts to start a railway service between London and Sunderland
  • starting to love the downloaded In Rainbows by the mighty Radiohead
  • filling the hall with a big ol' glazed cabinet
  • coffee-supping in Costa then wandering in Waterstones without the kids
  • going far too fast through Douglas Coupland's Gum Thief

And that was November 2007.

EDitorial ± 10-Dec-2007

Bring The House Down

5:15pm-ish Saturday and I'm upstairs rejigging some shelves. Then it happens: rumble rumble bang! What the heck?

  • I thought -- p'raps I've dislodged summat with my low-powered cordless screwdriver
  • G thought -- he's fainted again and tumbled over under a pile of books
  • I then thought -- that boy's fallen off his bed and is lying inert on his bedroom floor
  • people over the road thought -- car crash

None of which was true. A chunk of pebbledash (about the size of Wales) had reached some kind of existential crisis, couldn't see the point of clinging on anymore, and come crashing to the ground.

Things fall into place
You get the joke
Fall into place
— Blancmange, Living On The Ceiling

Not often you need a hard hat in the front garden of Broom Acres. Did what any man would do and left it to G to beg help from friend over the road, him what's got a big ladder and Would Know What To Do. Up he went in the dark, glad he'd not had a second glass of wine, and wedged a large Toys R Us among the debris. Tile damage not unlike the Space Shuttle.

Helpful pair of contractor chaps turned up Tuesday to drink coffee and weatherproof the 'ole. Still, as next door neighbour said, "Could have been worse -- could have been my house."

EDitorial ± 7-Dec-2007

Felixstowe Light Lunches: Tea & Antiques

Coffee and books, yes. Check out the mighty Boulder Bookstore or the ever so slightly closer to home Browsers in Woodbridge. Far as I know, no equivalent places in Felixstowe. What they do have, however, is Tea & Antiques -- see map.

Deal is that you wind your way between the gew-gaws and knick-knacks, pausing only to wonder about the ebay price of an 1970s Eagle annual, through a kind of hallway and emerge into a conservatory. It's got underfloor heating, you know. And they're licensed, hence the lady customer polishing off her (green) eggs and ham, washed down with a bottle of Stella. As you do. Then she left and we were alone.

Ever had an entire cafe or restaurant to yourself? Even though there were three of us, you wished for piped music, maybe some lounge music or Mantovani. No papers to peruse but feel free to examine the for-sale greetings cards or horoscope placemats, as did Gemini "flighty" Grenvyle, Aries "common good" Andy and Taurus "stubborn" Yours Truly.

Quite a choice on the erratically spelt menu, perhaps too much since some items turned out not to be available. Bits of our order didn't quite make it either, including Andy's bap ("defrosting problems") and the sweetcorn on my tuna spud. Jolly Green Giant, he not home. We didn't hang around for pudding.

If it was a car -- Austin Ambassador.
If they were passing by -- George Cole.

EDitorial ± 4-Dec-2007

TT0708, Week 12

Turns out that Capel St Mary Methodist Church isn't in Roundridge Road, as certain people might lead you to believe. It's on The Street, as one glance at their site would tell you. Must sack that research assistant.

We were facing identical twins, with similar averages, and Will, with 100%, like me. Gulp. Like Frank said, Something's Gotta Give. I was hoping that Arvind might spoil that perfect record before I came to play him, but not so. Instead our man (on his last Defiants appearance) lost only his third game of the season.

Between you and me, that not-lost-a-game thing can play on your mind, esp. when up against a half-decent opponent. And having watched Will whacking that 40mm ball L, R & C, I seriously thought my time was up. Not so. Maybe he lost concentration or got drawn into my spinny floaty game: three straight ends to me. Wipes lips, puts trumpet down.

Apart from that ... Kev rallied from 2-0 down in his final end to scrape a point with a fine net winner, while Arvind secured two twin wins. And that's that for our Indian friend. He's heading back home at the weekend with his ping pong bat held high, returning to his expectant wife and a plate of samba. Thanks, Arvind: it's been fun.

Exit the Viper.