EDitorial ± 30-Jan-2014

Ipswich Lunches: O Portugues

Landmarks on Norwich Road, Ipswich. Wonderful West End Music. Two Indians, the Taj Mahal and the Maharani, nearly side by side. Coes, of course, which bought up the dodgy old Hare & Hounds, gave it a good scrub, then let it out as a bridal shop. That chippy, popular with the football crowd. Plus, these days, the United Nations of corner shops: Polish, Hal-Al, Jamaican, etc.

One establishment that's slowly but surely, er, establishing itself is O Portugues, our local Iberian (yes!) cafe. To be honest, I've always been wary of going in: today, me and the boy Andy are doing it. He's seated in a comfortably padded diner-type booth beneath a wall-mounted telly showing a generic foreign TV game show. That finishes and is followed by ads for cough medicine, nasty Nestle and Lidl. Small world, ain't it.

Up to the counter and there's no obvious menu. Nothing on the tables, nothing chalked up for us to read. Guy standing behind doesn't seem to speak too much English so we both end up with the same lunch. Roll? Please. Chicken? Please. Salad? Please. S'alright, though I'm more sold on the splendid selection of soft drinks. Brazilian Guarana (remember the didn't-last-long Brasilia Cafe?) for Andy, passion fruit Sumol for me. Now there's a refreshing change.

While we're lunching, numerous others come and go, some just for an espresso, some just for a bottle of beer. Apart from us, everyone seems to know everyone else, giving it a real community feel. Meanwhile, a bloke sits at the next table and is served a warming bowl of soup. Once that's supped, he's then presented with a big plate of meat, fries and salad. Didn't see that on the menu. Didn't actually see a menu.

Counterstrike for dessert, a top custard tart (of the type that lamented Snobs used to do) and slice of almondy goodness, all with a fine cup of coffee. Excellent value, too. Go if you dare.

If it was a car -- Bravia Chaimite.
If they were passing by -- Luis Figo.

EDitorial ± 28-Jan-2014

TT1314, Week 15

Current standings in division 3 of the Ipswich & District table tennis league make for interesting reading, if you've got too much time on your hands. Battling for that crucial third spot are ISC D, Bright Stars and our humble selves. Top of the heap are the mighty Manor Club and righteous Rosary Yellow, tonight's opponents. Another crunch match, then.

Down at the Con Club back in October, we settled for a draw, neither side perhaps too happy with that result. Same line-ups tonight: for us, Ed, Yang and (if he turns up) Andy, and for them, tiring Bob, tableslapping Dave and tenacious Tony. In brief:

  • pleasing 2/3 for Ed, recovering from an opening five-ender defeat to Tony
  • pleasing 2/3 for Yang, edging past Dave before also losing to Tony
  • OK 1/3 for Andy, launching into his games without a warm-up and doing well to beat Bob

So far, so similar to last time: 5-4 up with the doubles to play. Ed and Yang were never really in it, truth be told. That'll be another equitable draw.

EDitorial ± 26-Jan-2014

130Story: Wheel / Load / Best / Knife / Worm

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 21-Jan-2014

TT1314, Week 14

(presenting yet another guest review by Kevin Cockerill: thanks, Kev!)

After 6 weeks of not playing ping pong I knew this was gonna be tough, so I brought my old pal Neil aka 'Mad Dog', along for moral support. We were playing host to the only team in the league that haven't yet won a game, the Hadleigh Owls, so was this going to change tonight? Not on your nelly!

The fact that they only had two players (Chris and Denise) turn up probably helped, as Rupert had hurt his back and therefore couldn't play. So a 3v0 head start it is then and with all three of us, that being Yang, Steve and I, all bagging a point each it was fast becoming what is known in the business as a 'walk over'.

I have to mention that I won my first game with a 5th end edge which I was slightly embarrassed about, as that’s no way to win after a battle of cunning and wits. So at 6v0, 7v0, 8v0, the points were coming thick and fast. My first win being an epic battle five ender, I was rather hoping my final match wouldn't be another battle, as I was still feeling the effects of the first one, with my legs shaking more than Steven and his green door but .. Yep, you guessed it another five ender down to the wire, which I lost (shaking of the head and tuts commence).

Now Steve asks the question: who's in the doubles?, which I of course always want to be, but given my fitness level and lost point I reluctantly don't pursue this and walk away. "Do you want to play"? Comes the question from Yang. So I find myself in the doubles with Steve. We start off rather shaky but with an epic come back, twice, coming back to win a game whilst being 9v5 & 9v6 down we win the doubles and claim a rare 9v1 victory. Verdict of the evening? Wot a hoot!

EDitorial ± 19-Jan-2014

130Story: Sting / Spin / Wire / Air / Move

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 15-Jan-2014

TT1314, Week 13

All stars are distant. Some can barely be seen, while others gleam and sparkle: those are the Bright Stars. See, how they shine for you?

Back, back, back to our opening match of the season in a galaxy far, far away. Defiants took the honours that night having blown up the opponent's Death Star. Well, having won more games than lost. Since then the dark forces have regrouped and they've flown their starfighters over to Adastral to seek revenge. There's Vader (dad Nigel), Leia (daughter Hannah) and Maul (Warren). In brief:

  • nebulous 1/3 for Yoda (Yang), on the wrong end of light sabre duels against Vader and Maul
  • cloudy 1/3 for Chewbacca (Andy), defeated in multiple pod races
  • galactic 2/3 for Luke (Ed), once he'd finally beamed aboard, defeated by Maul's double ended sabre but returning to outwit Darth in some epic encounters

There can only be one winner -- the power of good -- when Yoda and Luke fight side by side, using the force to overthrow the Darth duo. These were the doubles players you were looking for.

EDitorial ± 9-Jan-2014

Ipswich Lunches: The Mermaid

Ipswich meet agreed. Destination unspecified since, no matter how many places we tick off, always a handful remain. That, right there, is the Limitless Law of Light Lunches. On the TDL is a sandwich shop -- with seating, of course, a basic requirement -- near the Ramada Hotel. My two wheels beat his four wheels. Sign on the door reads "closed for good". It's the Bubble Tea Lounge all over again.

Recalculating light lunch route... Ranelagh Road, right at the lights and here, where those odd demo conservatories once stood, is a Brand New Pub. And you thought those things were all closing down? Judging by all those cars parked round the side, it's making quite a splash. Meet you at The Mermaid.

Top velo marks immediately for the covered cycle shed. Warm and welcoming and well spacious inside: this is far from a little Mermaid. Guy gives us the lowdown. Find a seat with a menu, note your table number then order at the bar. Simples. Despite the couples, ladies that lunch and oldies, tables are plentiful. Ditto the choice on the laminated Travelodgeseque menu, with grills, fish, main meals, whatever you want. Carvery closes shortly -- over there is Mr Carver, aka Mac The Knife -- which tempts Andy to go for the bap with choice of meats. His is served, rather weirdly, with a handful of roast potatoes plus a small gravy boat. Something to write home about if you have a pen handy. BBQ melt for me with chicken & bacon: no better than so-so though comes with a mug (?) of chunky chips.

Among the normal J2Os and fizzypop is a selection of non-alco cocktails. My virgin sunrise, steady, was a refreshing mix of orange, cranberry and grenadine. Slurpy goodness while surveying the mystery objects adorning ledges and walls and getting some free WiFi.

Andy, I know they sound highly tempting but you don't need those toffee waffles. Instead, let's share one of those desserts under the glass. Our monster slab of red velvet cake, complete with micro-pot of cream, does the job very nicely indeed. And the coffee's good too. Yep, maybe it's not the most authentic eatery, but prices, food and service are all more than reasonable.

If it was a car -- Chrysler LeBaron.
If they were passing by -- Tom Daley.

EDitorial ± 7-Jan-2014

TT1314, Week 12

(guest review by Andy Cassy: thanks, Andy!)

Always a bit nervy start to the evening when the opponents arrive before the home team and I am still at home finishing my tea before leaving...

But fear not. Look quickly at the league table, yes right NOW, whilst Defiants are riding high at the top of Div 3 as we enter the second round with fresh legs for a fresh new year.

Especially well done to Yang for taking another game off the Div 3 top individual player - poor Daniel was not at all pleased after a gruelling 5 ender in which he had game points to play with and lost on deuce.

With Ed resting, Andy stepped in to have an equally tough fight to take a point off James too, after finally wearing James down and coming back to snatch victory in the fourth end deuce and fifth end finale.

Steve fought hard against both opponents, taking Daniel to five ends, but just couldn’t finish ‘em off.

So that left Andy and Yang to take the doubles for another 7-3 win.

Good start to the new year after all. Keep it up lads.

Capt’n Cassy

PS – hope James fall as he left the venue has not affected his game