EDitorial ± 29-Mar-2015

130Story: Flash / Blister / Chase / Belief / Dust

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 26-Mar-2015

Ipswich Lunches: T&D Flavours Of Portugal

Say what you like about Ipswich -- and people do -- but while there's no cathedral and no city, there's always been diversity. Take this week's destination, number 4 St Helens Street. Forty years ago it was the Venetian Blind Centre. You know, Italy's sinking city. Go back fifty years and this was a grocer run by one T.Pozyczka. Polski sklep? It was still a grocer sixty years back, at that time owned by Mrs J.Michalska. I dunno, these people, coming over here, running our shops.

Currently 4SHS is home to evidently foreign Flavours Of Portugal. Unlike its ever-expanding Iberian cousin O Portugues on the other side of town, FOP's a minnow, yet manages to cram in seats for perhaps ten sardines. Half of those are occupied when we get there, always a good omen. Once more, there's no obvious menu so we rely on the nice lady to talk us through the ready-made sandwich stroke panini savouries, apparently filled with cheese/ham/chorizo. Once heated, they're filling, certainly, and the bread has traces of sweetness. An acquired taste, perhaps, and helped by (a) um saco grande of ketchup flavour Ruffles crisps, yum, and (b) cans of refreshing Guarana and Sumol, recalling the bizarre boutique that was the Brasilia Cafe.

Window seat here offers a terrifc place to watch the world go by, especially when there's a matinee performance of The Full Monty about to start. Coachloads of folk are trooping into the Regent as we go in search of sugar. A friendly chap runs us through the fabulous array of cakes in the window. Most, he says, include custard. We point and pick two yellow giants, a large tart and a terrific cinnamon cake, both with their share of that sweet confectioner's sauce. They're a real treat, esp. with a strong cup of coffee from the fancy machine. Not to mention the free WiFi, the Star to flick through, local leaflets, and a wide variety of grocery goods in the great tradition of this store's long history.

If it was a car -- UMM Alter 2000.
If they were passing by -- Ricardo Rocha.

EDitorial ± 22-Mar-2015

130Story: Stem / Style / Duck / Bright / Worn

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 20-Mar-2015

Inefficiencies In The Spice Rack

(75 word short story published on Paragraph Planet on Friday 20-Mar-2015)

Inefficiencies in the spice rack, said Dad, are now all but eliminated.

One refill pack, perhaps paprika, best before we last won Eurovision. Not two but three vintage pots of garam masala. A very sorry for itself vanilla pod, possibly pre-dating Madagascan independence.

Gone, the lot. Much better now, you agree?

Sure, Dad, thanks for house-sitting.

Once he'd toddled off, I stared into the bin, trying and failing not to think about the street value.

EDitorial ± 16-Mar-2015

TT1415, Week 22

Two games left and, in order to remain in the thin air of Division 2, we need to finish above three other teams. We look to be well clear of bottom club Buzzards and with enough of an advantage over Rosary Yellow. However, Manor D are a single point behind us having played the same number of games.

While Manor D still have to play going-down Buzzards, we're up at the Dome tonight to meet the high-flying no-nonsense table-topping Eagles (previously). No sign of wonder-boy Daniel, phew, but there's still lefty Paul and pimply Rob, he who won the Division 2 title at the Corn Exchange a few weeks back. Just when it looks like their third player hasn't turned up, up pops ex-Division 1 Kevan. Oh dear. In brief:

  • rusty 0/3 for Natalie, playing some great rallies but not winning an end
  • fab 2/3 for Ed, squeezing past Paul and edging out Kevan in a hyper-tense encounter before being obliterated by Rob
  • unlucky 0/2 for Yang, losing out to Paul in five ends and only playing two games, Kevan dropping out due to his persistent tennis elbow

Ed picked Yang for the doubles -- sorry, Natalie -- but they proved too strong with Rob's weird bat and Paul's spinny angles. No matter, that'll be three highly valuable team points. It'll go the distance and be decided in our final match.

EDitorial ± 15-Mar-2015

130Story: Clue / Skate / Cake / Cruise / Mend

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 12-Mar-2015

Ipswich Lunches: The Buttery Bar

With that producer-punching perma-permed pillar plastered all over the papers, there's a T*p G**r challenge of sorts underway. Given that neither of us is a stickler for punctuality, we'll depart from Adastral at more or less the same time in a wheeled race to Ippo town centre. I'm en velo, Andy's en voiture, both with minimal emissions. Making it a tad fairer is the fact that I can lock up outside our destination while Andy has to park & walk. Approaching 1pm and Ipswich central, the winner is...

...Andy, but by no more than a couple of minutes. As I'm twizzling my combination lock out the front of Moss Bros, he's already ordering the "safari special". Care to stick your neck out and guess? That's right, it's an ostrich bap, fully in keeping with a man who had the zurek and lived. I'm also a special -- aren't we all? -- though mine's the far more Cameronesque tuna melt. Oh, this is the Buttery Bar on High Street, formerly Appetisers (mentioned in passing), up the road from the estimable Museum Street Cafe. If you're still hazy, we're opposite Ann Summers. There, now you know.

Ostrich, says the cheerful Baron Buttery, has a very low fat content, and is far easier to obtain than, say, venison. Not as dear, either. Must be that seven mile stretch since I'm famished and mighty glad to tuck in to my tasty toasty. I put it to you that there is no finer accompaniment than an iconic packet of tomato Snaps, which continue to MIYM, and a 500ml bottle of Sunmagic blood orange juice drink from the impressively stocked fridge. While the office crowd queue up for their hot rolls and paninis and sarnies, we're soaking up a squint of sun on our window stools. Door's open and adorned with posters for Three Lions at the New Wolsey and a Dylan Moran tour. Life seems highly satisfactory with a bellyful of competitively priced luncheon.

Sweet stuff ain't their speciality, adds the Baron. Nonetheless, there remains a single last piece of fresh cake -- a man-slab of cherry flapjack -- until Andy stamps his name all over it. I'm not fussed since there's a plethora of perfectly fine prepacked bars (mental image of Garnett's) inc. a really rather good Rocky Road. Coffee? Won't be good. Expect the worst, they say, and the rest of that particular aphorism I completely forget. True to form, it's not half bad at all, courtesy of a quality looking machine round the back. Good solid performance from the Buttery brigade.

If it was a car -- Vauxhall Corsa Sting.
If they were passing by -- Sergeant Danny Butterman.

EDitorial ± 8-Mar-2015

130Story: Talent / Preach / Span / Flight / Thousand

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 5-Mar-2015

Light Lunches: Darsham Hamper

What with having experienced the joy of Sax on recent excursions (Smile, Bistro and Trinity's), it was finally time to push the panini envelope and shatter the sandwich ceiling. Sailing past Saxmundham and yomping through Yoxford (status of the Post Office unconfirmed), our dusty eyes at last beheld Deores Ham, the "home of the deer". Boys, doff your caps 'cos I do believe this is Darsham.

Despite its village status, the team understands there to be as many as IV eateries in the vicinity, those being:

  • the venerable Half Way Cafe opposite the station
  • the venerated and possibly veggie cafe within Darsham Nurseries
  • the van-friendly caff to the side of the Londis garage
  • the vanguard of the Co-op that is the Darsham Hamper

What was once a languishing Little Chef -- and possibly a humdrum Happy Eater back in the day -- has been transmogrified by those divi distributors into its "sourced-locally flagship store". Oh yes. There's sauce by Stokes, juice by James White and multitudes of upmarket meat. Plus, and obviously what's brought us 20+ miles today, a quality cafe run by our Coffeelink buddies, them of the roastery. Let's grab a seat.

You can easily zone out watching the passing A12 from the comfy chairs or, like us, be a tad more formal on the high table, slightly more suitable for the consumption of hot food. Kev and Andy are plenty pleased with their respective bacon and sausage baps -- extra marks for branded Heinz and HP sauce sachets -- and here's my tuna mayo jacket c/w leaves. Nom-nom. Unlike the grub, the TV's a bit disappointing with its slightly creepy fixed shot of the playground outside. Wot no rolling BBC news, say?

Baked goods beckon us as we sample bakewell flapjack and lemon sponge. Kev can keep that suspiciously healthy-looking granola. Can't visit without partaking of a jolt or two: that macchiato fair melts my head and gives me technicolour visions of Batman lettering. Kapow! Zap! Wham! Once my eyes stop spinning, there's the picture postcard canvas wall print of the red Coffeelink van by the ford in Kersey to admire.

So, top-drawer food and drink from both the Co-op and Coffeelink, plus local papers to browse, plus plenty of parking, plus they're open from 7am to 7pm every day. Hoorah for the Hamper!

If it was a car -- Kia Soul EV.
If they were passing by -- Melvin Benn.

EDitorial ± 4-Mar-2015

TT1415, Week 20

Yang kindly offered Ed a lift to Capel and to Capel they went, heading the length of The Street before parking in a handy layby. But where, pray, is the church? Remember that it's dark and cold out. Along the road but no big stone building in site. Back to the car for a scout around when lo, the bell rings out. Not the easiest location to find is the point.

The boys are back in the village tonight: Ed and Yang and Steve, scratching in the divisional dirt for a handy point or two to keep ourselves afloat. Upstairs in the carpeted church hall are the Capel disciples, ever-friendly weirdly-rubbered Peter and two Colchester league chappies, younger man-in-black James and older man-in-hoodie John. In brief:

  • OK 1/3 for Ed, easing past John but coming unstuck 3-1 in both others
  • relieved 1/3 for Yang, finally pushing past John in five close ends
  • good 1/3 for Steve, playing well to beat John in straight ends

What with Yang sweaty and panting after his five-setter, up to Ed and Steve to nick another point in the doubles. Never looked likely after the first game and then got worse, going 10-0 down in the second leg. Still, three gold points are ours with only two games to play.

EDitorial ± 1-Mar-2015

130Story: Close / Feather / Show / Meat / Forgive

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






More to follow.