EDitorial ± 26-Aug-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Rendezvous Cafe

Vaguest of plans, what with Andy away, had been to hitch a lift with Rene to a Palinesque place East of Ipswich. Then Rene couldn't make it. No matter, I'll fly solo. Pop the DellAir into the pannier for a bit of weight training, jaggedy six mile journey and some pell-mell pedalling along King's Way. Rounded the regal roundabout into Queen's Way. Not got the best reputation, this part of town. I should know since the paternal line was brought up around here. Now where's a secure spot for the bike?

Guess I'll have to take the only free table in the Rendezvous Cafe, all others being occupied by salt of the earth types named Ray or Terry or Jack or Barry. Everyone knows everyone else (and their kids), seemingly. Proper community. A world away from the black and white icons on the wall: Clint, Frank, Elvis. Not quite up to one of the breakfasts -- choose from set or full or new or all-in -- but a ham, egg and chips will more than do. My order number is 51, though they're sure they'll find me.

Sipping my original Lucozade, I spy a sign on the far wall that smokers have an "undercover facility" out back. That's considerate. Unbranded condiments: check. Fruit machine: check. Perfectly good food: check. Heck, there's even a children's menu. I'd call it a draw between the Rendezvous and near neighbour Kenny's. And my bike was still there.

If it was a car -- Suzuki Supercarry.
If they were passing by -- Brian Jacks.

EDitorial ± 22-Aug-2011

I, An Artist

Fill Old Bottles With Banknotes Because there was no Ip-art short story competition this year, I thought I'd enter a similar comp in a local magazine. Closing date whooshed past without me bothering to write my story: v. poor on my part. Then I saw that UCS were calling for entries for a up and coming exhibition called Waterline:

Submissions are invited in all media which depict or incorporate some aspect of water.

Now I can't draw for ToffyPops. Wasn't going to let that stop me. I spent an idle lunchtime scrawling on a piece of discarded A4 printer paper, messing about with words. After a bit, I had a minor eureka moment. Now, which particular media am I most comfortable with?

With completed entries due in to UCS by Wednesday, I gathered together all the blue and white bricks and knocked up a single sample letter late on Monday night. Satisfied enough that it might work, I enlisted the help of Eldest the next evening, Tuesday, and explained my plan. Thankfully she agreed to help. Gotta get this done tonight. And we did, eventually. Couldn't have done it without her.

Took a while next morning (entries due in today) to complete the formalities. Taking some photos of the finished item was straightforward, as was burning them to CD and printing them on a glossy sheet. Much harder was assembling an artist's CV and filling out an "image summary sheet". Medium: Lego. Dimensions: get out tape measure. Description of work and title? That's a challenge. Mid-morning, dropped off envelope to UCS and felt great. Yes, done it. Won't be long before that stamped-addressed envelope comes back with a standard rejection note, but that ain't the point.

Week or so later, had a call on the mobile. Is that Ed? I'm pleased to tell you that your piece has been selected for our exhibition. When can you bring it in?

(Waterline exhibition is currently on at the UCS Waterfront Gallery from 2nd August to 3rd September, free entry, from Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm)

EDitorial ± 12-Aug-2011

Light Lunches: Post Office Stores, Martlesham

Pedalling away from The Park, it began to spit, summing up a torrid UK week. Reasonably long and extensively pre-mapped ride ahead. Need to stop at Post Office, said Andy. Not a problem, though pre-lunchtime queue (see trip to Duncans Bakery) can be testing. Seconds became minutes. Folk flocking to Admirals for fish-on-a-Friday. He's still not out. Now down a quarter of an hour. Time to regroup, rethink and recalculate.

Took winding route past the Control Tower Museum and the cop shop to emerge opposite that BT, the Black Tiles. Left a bit and this'll more than do, the eBay-friendly Martlesham Post Office Stores. Handy bike parking, useful community notice board and some convenient dwarf lavender 'cos you never know.

Inside I wondered if we might be in savoury-free Moon & Sixpence territory. Everything's on the shelves from jam pot covers to ITFC fixture lists to firelighters. Hold it, here's a fridge with a brace of sandwiches and a wall-to-Walls UCSque array of cold slices. Handpicked lunch on the slightly damp bench comprised:

  • Walls "full of filling" Cornish pasty for £1.99 -- man food
  • Bobby's BBQ Sauce Potato Snax for 29p -- a taste sensation
  • Fizzy Cherry Vimto for 39p -- lipsmackin'

Local produce never tasted this good. Ending the week on a high, gotta love those huge flower pots. Not only do they guard against ram-raiders but they're an absolute riot of colour.

If it was a car -- Bedford HA.
If they were passing by -- Dominic Jephcott.

EDitorial ± 5-Aug-2011

Felixstowe Light Lunches: Cafe Kitsch

Pitch up at Felixstowe since there's a new cafe in town, OMG! Glitch as we contrive to miss the bright yellow sign sitting outside OMG Clothing. Rich fashion brands from Liz Hurley and Phil Oakey to left and right, LOL! Switch track to head upstairs. Which brings us to Cafe Kitsch.

Three years since we sang the praises of Sangha. Now Mrs Sangha has decamped to the high street to start a new effervescent enterprise packed with pinks and reds. Yellow menu kicks off with pancakes and maple syrup: stop right there, that'll more than do. Chunky sandwiches tempt Andy -- he loves a club -- while Rene tests the in-house enunciation skills by ordering focaccia. Big salute for my Canadian style breakfast generously festooned with bacon.

Jolly up here with the light and the window seat, and there's sofas round the back too, somewhat unlike Hamiltons, say. Rene's pleased with the friendly service and getting his green tea in a green teapot. Ample time for a good-sized piece of chocolate cake, c/w a couple of Smarties and a lump of Dairy Milk on top. Very pleased to see that the top quality coffee has made it over from Sangha: my macchiato is one of the best and puts hairs on my chest.

If it was a car -- Caterham CSR.
If they were passing by -- Ed Stewpot Stewart.