EDitorial ± 25-Jun-2008

Light Lunches: farmcafe, Marlesford

Ooh, this is a bit nice for a Wednesday. Sun's out, windows wound down (more of that later) and we're faced with a nicely embossed menu that whispers "design" in your ear, with its grey/black lettering and not an upper case letter in site. This, my friends, is the nationally acclaimed (a) hip and (b) happening farmcafe & foodmarket, sitting fair square on the A12 at Marlesford. Dig those omitted spaces.

Within these coolly painted walls you'll find:

  • an array of newspapers, mags and local leaflets
  • an embarrassment of condiments from HP to Heinz to Stokes
  • an overstatement of goodies from pasta through pies to brunches and salads

Deliberation done, mine's the hot baguette with "hot roast free range chicken breast" and stuffing. Mighty fine and top time to try out a dash of French dressing, then a splash of spicy ketchup. There's veggy crisps and leafy stuff on the side, though the stuffing sausagettes carried my scatological mind to The Story Of The Little Mole. Plop, plop. Talking of which, it's a fine thing to sit and watch the cows through the non-existent glass windows. Moo. I was going to say that.

All through savouries, Andy's cream tea has been sitting there, teasingly. That's a Giant Haystacks of a scone, enough to provide summat sweet for all three of us. Service is ever so slightly haughty, IMHO, but my excellent Americano somewhat diminished that opinion. Highly (re)commended.

Website: farmcafe & foodmarket

If it was a car -- Jaguar XK.
If they were passing by -- Ruthie Henshall.

EDitorial ± 18-Jun-2008

Euro 2008: And Then There Were Eight

Euro2008: And Then There Were Eight

We won't be needin' Sweden.

EDitorial ± 16-Jun-2008

Upper Limb Disorder

Captain Cliche is a-calling -- he say: This Is Hurting Me A Lot More Than It's Hurting You. As of June 2007, this is officially the case. Turns out that Michael Stipe was right:

Everybody hurts
Don't throw your hand
Oh no
— R.E.M., Everybody Hurts

Disregarding Mike's lyrical advice, I threw my hand and now it megahertz. I'd been having the odd shooting pain in my lower right arm for a week or so. Like any male of the species, I told nobody and hoped it would go away. Which it duly didn't. Also, it seemed worse when using a mouse or keyboard. Given my line of "work", this was .. what's the word: inconvenient? unfortunate? inopportune?

In the office, you'd find me pausing between killer Unix commands to place my right elbow behind my head, fingers dangling by my left ear, reminiscent of Robert Lindsay's character in GBH. Not an attractive pose but one that provided some brief respite. Ultimately, you can't go through life with the posture of a trainee Romero zombie. Took advantage of a mid-afternoon Thursday network failure to take my dead arm to the local health centre.

[me] Er, I'd like to see a doctor, please.
[receptionist] OK: do you have an appointment?
[me] Er, no. But I'd like to see a doctor soon, please.
[receptionist] Well, the earliest I can fit you in is Monday.

Patchy pathetic pleading ensued -- receptionist said she wanted to see me hobble across the waiting room floor -- it's not my leg! Eventually I won my prize of an emergency appt later that day. Too much Hugh Laurie in House and I'm picturing a glass-roomed diagnosis room with whiteboard stage centre, team of bright & eager consultants at the ready. Isn't quite like that. What's up, Doc?

He asks penetrating questions and prods and pulls my neck and arm. Ouch. If it didn't hurt much before; actually, it did. Says he: "Do you use a laptop?" Ding! Afraid I do, with evening callout every other week, trackpad and all. What you've got, he continues, is an work related upper limb disorder. Not to be confused with RSI, apparently, which is much more to do with extreme repeated movements: classic case is chicken evisceration. Yum. Note this is different again from RSJ, which affects your joints.

We're seeing this a lot recently, he goes on, esp. with commuters using laptops on trains, arms scrunched up and with their neck at the wrong angle. You'll need to:

  • take these three-times-a-day anti inflammatories,
  • and find a better working posture


If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. red pill: don't confuse your mouse finger with Fingermouse, "a kind of wondermouse"
  2. blue pill: when it even hurts to read on the loo, seek help

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 12-Jun-2008

Light Lunches: Martlesham Red Lion

My fault. Mea culpa. My idea to head out on a Thursday. My insistence that we couldn't go too far 'cos I had to get back to bounce a database, boing. My proposal that we try out an inshore inn, a handy hostelry, a proximate pub.

Green travel co-ordinator tagging along, we drove (though could have cycled or maybe even walked) to one of our nearest destinations yet, the Martlesham Red Lion. Gave the briefest consideration to sitting outside before heading inside. More natural light would have been welcome while perusing the long menu. Ordered drinks -- thumbs aloft for stocking Fentimans dandelion & burdock, while our designated driver hit the G&T -- then located the coincidentally titled Light Lunches section.

Have to say that my "Farm Assured Chicken & Bacon Club" was far better than it had any right to be. Really good bread, meaty filling, with dressed salad AND chips. Hats off to Mr Chef and Mr Brewer, chain gang that they be.

Isn't often that I refuse a pudd while on light lunch duty, esp. when the other two (whose plates were less filled than mine) weren't holding back; their pudds looked good. I settled for a not-bad cuppa coffee. Keen service, food none too shabby: you could do worse.

If it was a car -- Avis Ford Fusion 2.
If they were passing by -- Tommy Walsh.

EDitorial ± 10-Jun-2008

Mishoard: Ipswich Crab Tide Error


There was chaos and confusion at the Ipswich waterfront early this morning when large waves washed up hundreds of live crustaceans in to boats and on to jetties & walkways. None of the usual defences were in place since the so-called "crab tide" was not expected to occur for another five months.

As of lunchtime today, the Borough Council website still gives a date of 6th November for this irregular event. Milton Cowper, a council spokesman, said: "Investigations are ongoing but we suspect a typographic date error by an American temporary employee." With the great shellfish clear-up continuing, both the Bistro On The Quay and Il Punto are offering to pay cash for good quality crabs.

(original Evening Star hoarding: IPSWICH CAB RIDE TERROR)

EDitorial ± 6-Jun-2008

Felixstowe Light Lunches: Bloomers

Sixth day of the sixth month and the rain it raineth on the just. Drizzly drive stopping short of The Dip on High Road East. Six months back, our last visit to this neck of the Felixwoods took us into the strange and frightening world of Tea & Antiques. Right next door, there's a new cakeshop on the block, named Bloomers. Better hope my Mum doesn't notice that rogue apostrophe on their sign else she'll be out with the Tippex and stepladder.

Run by the couple who had the old Shore Break Cafe on the beach, Bloomers is really a bakery with a knock-through tea room. There's a handful of unpretentious tables; we sequestered a squishy sofa and watched the raindrops race down the window. Time for an eye-opening flick through a well thumbed copy of Glamour, the handbag-sized mag. Quick squint at the menu, then baps all round.

Like a fish tank in a Japanese restaurant, you just point at the bread product that you'd like to house your filling. Last week's Waldringfield giant bap would run screaming from this week's granary giant. Ham / fried egg / HP: ideal in the current climate, esp. when accompanied by some tasty West Country Cheddar and onion Piper crisps and some Ben Shaws cloudy lemonade.

Friendly service, freshly prepared grub and Italian pictures on the wall. And Audrey Hepburn, mysteriously. Still time for a pretty good Americano (can't beat Sangha) and a slice of moist and more-ish carrot cake (couldn't top Wild Strawberry). Nonetheless, most pleasant. If you're out that way, pop in.

If it was a car -- Honda FR-V.
If they were passing by -- Sue Perkins.

EDitorial ± 1-Jun-2008

Sunday Sight And Sound

With our own latest filming completed earlier that afternoon -- thanks, guys, it's a wrap -- off to the flicks to see how the pros do it. Plenty of parking by Virgin; oops, UGC; sorry, Cineworld. Never quite sure when to pay. Sign says it's free from 6pm. Time now 3:50pm. Two hours is two quid, three hours is three quid: I've got precisely £2.95. You are the responsible adult. Do you:

  1. blag 5p from a stranger and pay for the full three hours?
  2. pay for two hours now and possibly get stung £40 for 10 uncovered minutes?
  3. hang around in the cold with disgruntled children for ten minutes, then pay?

Option 4 was correct: into cinema to wait in queue, choose showing, buy tickets (£16.60! Don't kids get reduced entry? They do? £4.80 for them plus £7 for me -- thank goodness Middler and G. stayed at home), leave kids in foyer to pelt back to car park for 4pm on the dot, pop in two pound coins, take half of stub back to cinema, queue again, claim full refund, then blow this on large white Americano from upstairs at Coffee Republic. All good news for the local economy.

Turn left for screen 5, double checking we're in the right place, else it's SJP in S&TC. Did this myself once: settled down to enjoy hard-hitting Buffalo Soldiers; opening credits finally revealed Legally Blonde 2. Reader, I stayed.

Busy in screen 5. We're sitting smugly on three comfy seats in a row tutting at latecomers. As the ads start to roll, I decide it's a good idea to take The Boy, aka squirrel bladder, to the gents, aka "Leading Men" (copyright Cineworld). That done, out come my pre-packed sandwich bags of Mentos and Starburst. Pay cinema confectionery prices? Not me, no sirree. My little way of sticking it to The Man.

There's a funny short entitled Park Foot Ball, a mildly disappointing Orange mobile ad with Rob "West Wing" Lowe, and some age-inappropriate trailers for Hancock (sleazy Will Smith) and Wanted (gun-totin' James McAvoy). Kung Fu Panda gets some deserved laughs. The Boys leans over to me: when does the film start? Good question.

Whatever happened to no-budget ads for the local Indian or tile shop? Friend of mine told me that when his mates used to go to the pictures, they'd ready themselves for the Pearl and Dean music (ba-ba, ba-ba, ba-ba, ba-ba, da-da-da), wait for the climax, then all hurl a handful of peanuts at the screen. Ah, simpler times.

Oh yeah, the film itself. It's rumoured that the British Board of Film Censors had to go down a couple of point sizes in order to fit on all nine words and fourteen syllables of the clunking title: Indiana Jones blah blah Mythical Sulk. My mistake, that was the most recent Chuckle Brothers tour. Feels good when That Hat first appears and Indy lurches into action. Nevada desert bomb countdown scene is scary. Red ants are nasty.

Good news for me was that I got to see almost all of the action -- The Boy needed just two more (count 'em) toilet trips.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. lights: for our own humble YouTube efforts, we adhere to the Dogme 95 school
  2. camera: our lowly camcorder ran out of battery juice during on-set filming
  3. action: ensure your leading man doesn't need a wee, then press record

Be seeing you!