EDitorial ± 24-Feb-2015

TT1415, Week 19

That winning streak is back-Back-BACK with last week's unreported narrow win over Manor D: congrats to the other three, aka Yang and Steve and Natalie. Still going to be aw'fly close at the business end of the season but those six points are most welcome.

Steve and Ed on duty tonight; neither Yang nor Natalie could make it. A call went out to Alison, our supersub, who sadly declined due to theatrical demands. Didn't somebody else turn out for us earlier this season? Oh yes, it's none other than former Defiant stalwart Andy Cassy, now a Thunderbird, ready for another outing in the rarefied air of division 2.

Visiting tonight are our ex-Norbridge pals, the mighty Sparrows. Back in November, they were generous enough to gift us three valuable points. Not tonight, for here's eponymous John, crusher Colin and, gulp, fat controller Mark. In brief:

  • OK 1/3 for Ed, taking Mark the distance before losing out, fading against Colin but grabbing a win over John
  • unfortunate 0/3 for Steve, taking Colin the distance before losing out and playing second best to John
  • good 1/3 for Andy, taking John the distance and winning!

Rolling back the years to last season, Ed and Andy paired up for a tough doubles encounter against Mark and Colin. Bang, goes Andy's forehand! Biff, goes Andy's backhand! First game to us, looking rather good, before the better team won out. Plenty of effort for a paltry couple of points.

EDitorial ± 22-Feb-2015

130Story: Glass / Treat / Flask / Flip / Haircut

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 19-Feb-2015

Light Lunches: Smile Cafe, Saxmundham

That Andy's been Googling again, thankfully not for his own name, and found an unvisited eatery within EVR (electrical vehicular range) of MH. It's one of them thar pop-up caffs and is only open in a Brigadoon stylee on Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. Hey, today's Thursday and it's already 12:30pm. Pedal to the metal, driver!

Northbound, I see from their website that the Smile cafe offers respite -- much needed -- mainly for carers and vulnerable adults. There's one of each of those in the car. Adopting my Mike Yarwood serious face, this is a volunteer-run place providing somewhere to meet for those involved with dementia, learning problems, etc. This all happens in Saxmundham, home to the rather good Trinity's and The Bistro, but this'll be a somewhat different experience.

In the shadow of the water tower (and opposite the controversial "free" school) sits the community hub known as the Fromus Centre. Towards your right is the cafe itself, winding down by the time us light lunchers fetch up. Warm welcomes all round as we're offered rolls, quiche, burgers, etc. Here's a first: there's a selection of cup-a-soups on offer if that's your just-add-hot-water bag. Waiting for our grub and sipping a can of ginger beer, Andy tries his luck at the Xbox Kinect ten-pin bowling... and promptly scores a strike on his very first attempt. Before he can show off further, here's his well done bacon butty and my baked tatty, good and hot and filling.

Must mention Les who mans the till, steers our food towards us, checks we're OK, opens the doors and so on. What a star. Not often a cafe is playing synthesized versions of the Godfather theme but this one is. Aided by Les, it's back to the counter to try a not-half-bad scone 'n' jam 'n' butter with a half-decent cuppa coffee. Prices are ridiculously reasonable and the folks could not be more attentive, plus they're always looking for more helpers. Need some respite?

If it was a car -- SmILE Greenpeace car.
If they were passing by -- Lily Allen.

EDitorial ± 15-Feb-2015

130Story: Smell / Shoes / Cup / Fate / Dream

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 10-Feb-2015

Light Lunches: Sweet P's Soul Food, Ipswich

Over 100 places now visited and reviewed on the Ipswich coffee shops page including cafes Giardino, Marina, Moda, Siena, Tempo and Basso, each and every one with a final vowel, note. That last one, strictly speaking, being a "caffe" with the distinctive Nero-esque double-F.

Lord keep us and preserve us, where on that list of cafes called cafe-something is Cafe Jam, formerly Manna's, ex Corner Cafe? Shed its skin, is what it has. We'd seen that Sweet P's name and assumed the lengthy lardy lineage of breakfast bacon baps would continue. Not so, as is clear from the moment you step over the threshold, smell the BBQ and see the pic of Haile Selassie. This shop, dear readers, sells soul food to the citizens of the 'Swich.

Hard to think of anywhere we've previously been with these options, from jerk chicken with dirty rice to West Indian fish cakes with macslaw. A wee bit daunted by both the menu AND THE MUSIC (volume 11), we play it relatively safe with our choices from the finger food part of the menu: pulled pork bap for Andy and a sloppy joe with sweet fries for me. SJ, what's that? Well, like a burger but with free-flowing ground beef. Hope I did right to use the cutlery. Tasty too, though I'd have happily tried the ribs or the roti or the meaty beans or the fried fish.

Pierre Rollins is the eponymous Mr P. Ask nicely and he'll serve you some American cereal for breakfast or deliver to your house within a three mile radius which is, I guess, most of their business. SHOUTING OVER THE OUTKAST we sample a made-for-today sweet treat (coconut? condensed milk? chocolate?) with a mug of instant. Forget their coffee and concentrate on the savoury options. Best of luck to them and All That Good Stuff.

If it was a car -- VW Type 1.
If they were passing by -- Reginald D Hunter.

EDitorial ± 8-Feb-2015

130Story: Thirst / Rocket / Club / Forgotten / Post

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 5-Feb-2015

Light Lunches: Laurel Farm Cafe, Ipswich

As much as I may mock that whole treehugger vibe, it's really rather cool to nip out for a lunchtime lig in Andy's Duracell powered device. Not quite at the driverless stage yet but it'll more than suffice until they build that Martlesham to Ipswich monorail over Kesgrave. We've got to start construction soon to stay ahead of Shelbyville!

Zoe, take us past Lux Farm and the going-going-gone Garland to Westerfield and thence towards the 'Swich. Take that awkward left-turn on to Henley Road and lo, here's Laurel Farm, a garden centre. Word, confirmed by modest signage, is of an eatery within. May have been a wrong turn or two before we emerged like Mr Benn from the rear exit to cross the canyon and face a separate blue-doored outbuilding. Bypass the alfresco seating and ruddy heck, it's another Ruddy Duck as we're ensconced in warmth.

Kitchen and attractive cake-lined counter to the left, seating to the right, a fair few tables already taken. Teapots and Keep Calm paraphernalia brighten up the place and orders are ordered: warming bowl of thick tomato and mushroom and pepper soup for the driver, plus hunk of bread on the side, and it's the "Italian-styled bread" with bacon and brie (and cheeky cranberry jam) for il passeggero. Edibles, freshly prep-ed by the non-stop lady, are presented on classy china with coleslaw and dressed salady bits and include, in a possible light lunch first, crisps in a cup. I wasn't alone in making this observation.

More than satisfied with savouries, those cakes (see above) require closer inspection. Someone's been busy baking given the extensive range on show from cupcakes to Vic sponge to lemon drizzle et cetera. Having consumed man-slabs for each of the two previous weeks, it's time for a sensible portion of cherry cake with a pleasingly strong flat white, though I'd have been equally happy with Andy's Americano and carrot cake combo. Cold outside but toasty and tasty within: green thumbs aloft.

If it was a car -- Nissan Laurel.
If they were passing by -- Charlotte Bellamy.

EDitorial ± 4-Feb-2015

TT1415, Week 16

Should probably have won last week's game. Nonetheless that's two unbeaten games on the trot, not too bad a boast in the thin oxygen of Division 2.

Trying to maximise our points, the A-team are out in force tonight with Ed, Yang and Natalie (in between writing an English essay on An Inspector Calls). Down to the Con Club for our Rosary Yellow pals who are, apparently, propping up the table. No Clive from our previous game but there's numberplate-spotting Tony, table-bothering Dave and cinder-burning Bob. In brief:

  • poor 1/3 for Ed, outclassed by Tony and outlasted by Dave before finally gaining a tough straight ends win over Bob
  • frustrating 0/3 for Natalie, losing two five-enders (inc. a 13-11 deuce) and managing to delay her parents pick-up until nearly 11pm
  • poor 1/3 for Yang, beating Dave to win our first point of the night around the 10:30pm mark

With Natalie whisked away, up to Ed and Yang in the doubles. Wasn't to be: all over in a merciful three games to Tony and Bob. They're nice guys, the Rosary bunch, but even so, an 8-2 defeat? Pants.

EDitorial ± 1-Feb-2015

130Story: Clean / Trust / Notice / Facing / Miserable

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






More to follow.