EDitorial ± 30-Nov-2014

130Story: Cream / View / Nerve / Goal / Sauce

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 28-Nov-2014

Felixstowe Light Lunches: Ruby's

Good old Kev. Old, old Kev. Yes, it's true that he somewhat dropped the ball in relation to Jack's. That's no more than water under the pier, dear boy. In a flagrant attempt to redeem himself, he's alerted us to a former Felixstowe favourite rising like the Phoenix game into which I plugged a hatful of 10p pieces. That was on the pier: you remember?

Scenic Picasa route takes us past the newly demolished Ordnance hotel, about to be reconstructed as a Premier Inn. Nifty spot outside the ever-reliable Alex and up paved Bent Hill. Inhaler, please. Here at the pinnacle is Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby's, back after a spell, says Kev, as a Polish place. Can it really be six years since our previous visit? The heck, it does flip. Sadly, no Grenvyle to join us this time but he's on our thoughts with a smile as we Sopot the prawns on the menu. Balcony off limits today, thankfully: we'll join the others in the well-windowed and festively adorned conservatory bit.

Boards offer Lodz of options such as lamb shank, BBQ ribs and roast of the day. Andy goes out a limb and orders the "zurek", a sour rye soup with bacon and hard-boiled egg, thereby impressing the chatty waitress who says he'll either Lublin or hate it. Me and Kev hunter's chicken out and go with the cheese & chutney sandwich, the biggest Desperate Dan doorsteps you ever Warsaw, and the brunch, i.e. a generous "small" breakfast and chips. All freshly cooked to order, and proper HP sachet: tick-tick. Eco-Andy slurps and sups his salty soup and survives. Ingenious move, I think, to offer your traditional light lunch choices alongside lower Silesian specialities. Seems to work for the punters sharing the room with us.

Somehow, Andy's saved space for an entire sticky toffee pudding in custard. That looks good, as does the entire selection of Katowice cakes on the counter. Smiling lady serves me a slab of cherry and choc, and we then discover that for some reason -- Black Friday? -- all drinks are on the house, ensuring that our lattes are all the sweeter. Still gleams, does Ruby's: be sure to take your Poznan.

If it was a car -- Smyk.
If they were passing by -- Ricky Wilson.

EDitorial ± 23-Nov-2014

130Story: Maze / Flares / Derail / Beef / Benefit

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 20-Nov-2014

Light Lunches: Old Stores, Tuddenham

Incoming message arrives via that Twitter thang and, gratifyingly, it contains news of import. New cafe. Stop. Out of town. Stop. You ain't seen me, right? Stop. Then they hit the 140 character limit. I'm not revealing his (or her) identity for his (or her) own good. Cheers, Martin (or Martina).

Glorious solar-powered autumnal day of the eleventh month as we pootle past pricey Milsoms and possibly pushing-up-the-daisies Admiral's Head. More twisty turns takes us to Tuddenham, famous for The Fountain pub, then ta-da, there's The Old Stores. Situated on a nasty junction, there's good-sized parking round the back, which is nice. Follow the SHOP signs by the soggy outdoor seating but pay your respects to whoever organised that hyper-efficient log pile, a wintry wooden wonder. Through the door and you're in Narnia.

Overdoing it, you think? Warmth from a log burner (naturally), twinkly lights, fabulous foodie smells and a jolly Scottish greeting from the lady behind the counter. Gents, she says, we don't do much savoury but we can offer you carrot and coriander soup, homemade pork pie or Scotch egg. What'll it be? Choices made, we go to find about the only free seating in the house, some high chairs at the far wall. It would seem there are many ladies lunching on this particular Friday lunchtime. As ever, we endeavour to blend in.

So much to see -- glasses, mirrors, frames, jewellery -- that we're still playing mental I-Spy when the lady presents our blue china plates with dressed leaves, egg for me, pie for him, plus petite portion of chutney. Like this whole room, thought has been applied. Nice 'n' light 'n' yummy. Chatting to Mrs Mac, she informs us that this building was a former chapel and that certain bits remain, such as flooring now converted to a wall covering. Dead atmospheric like the much-missed Cook's Shed.

House special would appear to be cake in its many incarnations. Sweet items cover the counter top from brownies to mince pies and scones to carrot cake with pistachio. Andy goes for the unusual Guinness cake. I opt for the sticky toffee sponge. Both are spot-on, especially since they know what they're doing with their flat white too. One of those venues where I'm a little bit reluctant to write about it and share the secret. Excellent stuff.

If it was a car -- Lexus RX.
If they were passing by -- James Norton.

EDitorial ± 16-Nov-2014

130Story: Pepper / Wasp / Frail / Beauty / Gold

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 14-Nov-2014

Felixstowe Light Lunches: Jack's

Kev's the man. Well, Kev's a man. Specifically, he's our man in the 'Stowe. It was Kev who tipped us the wink about Cafe On The Corner. It was Kev who happened to mention Winnies. It was Kev who slipped us a note about Crafty Coffee. And yet we have to learn about a not-even-new place from the Visit Felixstowe website? Poor. We will have words.

Completely unrelated to the above, Kev won't be joining us today in his very own backyard. Me and Andy nip out in the 'leccy car (clap clap) for a planet-saving yet remarkably nippy trip down past the Peewit, near McDonald's, and across the crossing to a prime parking spot on Beach Station Road. To our right and apparently still proud purveyors of pies and potatoes is Cafe 7. To our left is Jack's -- not that one -- which, unknown to the K-man, has been here or hereabouts for a few years. Blackboard promises "oven baked jacket potatoes, freshly filled hot paninis and hot or cold fresh baguettes." Quality bunting spells out their name, a jolly touch of the seaside.

That beach-hutty theme continues inside with dressers offering mugs, napkins and model yachts. From the handwritten menu, Andy goes for the big breakfast and is presented with a generously portioned stylish black plate, easily dominating my comparatively weedy bacon baguette. A lesser man may have come unstuck with a tricky ketchup sachet: not I. All very friendly in here and the people serving seem to know everyone coming in through the door. They pretty much predict what the trio of young ladies will be ordering, and Jack's apparently does lots of mobile business on the docks. Busy today, they say.

Best moment comes when I stride up to the counter and, quoting from the drinks menu, order a cafe au lait. Says the lady, what's that? Oh, Felixstowe, you're the greatest. Says I, white coffee. Thought as much, she says, and does me a not-half-bad cup of frothiness. Tea bread on the side is a tad unusual and darn good. Local fliers abound, regulars enter and exit, gossip is exchanged. Salt of the earth, caffs like Jack's.

If it was a car -- Commer Cob.
If they were passing by -- Jack Whitehall.

EDitorial ± 11-Nov-2014

TT1415, Week 8

Phone call from The Mighty John Sparrow the day before the game. Sorry, Ed, we've only got two players but we'd still like to play the game: I don't believe in cancelling matches. Okey-doke. All very sporting since that's three points to us without lifting a bat. Nice chap, the birdman.

Up at the otherwise deserted dome, we find the aforementioned John and big-hitting Colin (previously). Alas for them, no Mark (Casey Jones) nor killshot Bill. At least we'll get home a hour or two earlier than last week's marathon. In brief:

  • OK 1/3 for Ed, going down in straight ends to Colin but winning in straight ends against John
  • OK 1/3 for Yang, outlasting John in a five-ender and losing three tight games to Colin
  • good 1/3 for Steve, the only one of us to take an end off Colin and pipping John 11-9 in a nailbiting five-ender

Not great doubles play by Ed and Yang to lose to John and Colin, a surprisingly tough pairing. Net result, a 6-4 win 'cos of those three gratis points, and away by 10pm for a far more sensible night out.

EDitorial ± 9-Nov-2014

130Story: Mark / Sorry / Ham / Stretch / Goon

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 4-Nov-2014

TT1415, Week 7

What's that, I hear you say: whatever happened to week 6? That was a bad week. Actually not so much a bad week as a blank week. A tabula rasa, if you will. No game, no shame. On with the seasonings.

All-male turnout once more for Defiants, that Natalie making herself unavailable and thus protecting her awesome average. She'll be back. Facing us tonight are our old buddies from Manor Club (previously) who, along with us, got promoted last year. Not sure we've ever done that well against them. That's what known as foreshadowing. Turning up are dad Winsley, son Martin and lefty Kevin. In brief:

  • poor 1/3 for Ed, wearing down Winsley over five ends and being worn down by Martin as revenge
  • OK 1/3 for Yang, winning a butt-clenchingly tight and tetchy game against Kevin by 15-13 in the gone-11pm final game
  • very good 2/3 for Steve, notching impressive wins over Winsley and Kevin

Doubles still to play and time now 11:15pm, somehow. Dunno how since we started more or less on time. Probably due to most singles games going the distance. Anyway, little to report, Steve and Ed going down leaving Defiants with a 4-6 defeat. Could have been worse.