EDitorial ± 28-Jun-2015

130Story: River / Brick / Save / Apple / Plank

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 26-Jun-2015

Light Lunches: Louie Lou's, Yoxford

Siri, drive us Darsham-wards. Maybe in a few years, p'raps. Meantime, EcoAndy's at the wheel of his GeeWhizz on a white-hot day. We're following the road into Yoxford past that go-ahead pub on the right, you know, the one that banned smoking back when smoking was a thing? Anyway, there on the left stands a sign calling our names, if one of us answered to "Tea" and the other to "Room". Darsham can wait as we lurch left.

Not sure where they went, but we were aware that the nice ex-pub couple who used to run the Post Office stroke cafe had moved on. Well, Mrs Goggins has had a fancy Farrow & Ball respray and emerged as Louie Lou's, bunting and all, with just an old-fashioned postbox remaining outside. Blackboards boast of Paddy & Scott's coffee, Butterworth tea, locally sourced food products and fresh bread, all of which are on offer from the counter in the corner. Everything's freshly made, says the beaming busy-busy lady, so please excuse the wait.

That turns out to be a fair warning. Then again, we're lucky to get a table since this room is rammed, hence the perfectly understandable delay. Friday's obviously the day to lunch out with the ladies. We've opted for humble tuna mayo and bacon/brie sandwiches, both good 'n' tasty when they eventually arrive, though there's also caesar salad, scampi, posh sausage rolls, etc. There's ample time to sip some "deliciously tart" Midsomer rhubarb juice, as favoured by John Nettles, ogle the "sleek and chic" gifties, and for Andy of Assisi to rescue a trapped bumble bee with a laminated menu card. That lad's a saint, I tell ya.

Also to be noted is that they're open Sundays, a smart move, and they serve breakfast too. There's no loo yet -- use the church! -- though no doubt that'll be rectified before you visit. As per the Pear Tree, we can't do dessert (our mins are up) but we can take away a decent P&S latte alongside an outstanding mocha cupcake. Lots of luck and a long life to Louie Lou's.

If it was a car -- Lagonda Taraf.
If they were passing by -- Lulu.

EDitorial ± 22-Jun-2015

Miss Otis Has No Regrets

(my winning entry in the Micro Bookends 1.36 weekly competition having the first word "URBAN", the last word "LEGEND" and based on that lift photo, and as published on the Micro Bookends website)

"Urban Design" reads the self-adhesive sign on the closing door. Beryl wonders what became of that polished brass “Planning” plaque which greeted her for 35 years. Jim probably pocketed it when he retired. He got golf clubs. She has Amazon vouchers.

"Don’t forget us, Beryl!"

"I won’t!"

I already have, she thinks, glancing down at the 5pm gridlock. Jim’s idea, that one-way system.

As usual, one lift is dead. Such a shame they removed the paternoster. "On you hop, it doesn’t stop!" was Jim’s catchphrase.

In the lift door, Beryl catches herself blushing. Those up-and-over journeys passed into legend.

EDitorial ± 21-Jun-2015

130Story: Beard / Toast / Bore / Grin / Trial

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 14-Jun-2015

130Story: Snail / Breeze / Cheer / Ogre / Cost

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 12-Jun-2015

Felixstowe Light Lunches: The Dip

Absolutely fabuloso day in IP5 as the troops gather in that car park closest to the bike sheds. Kev's in the back, Andy's at the wheel and I'm riding shotgun as the trio con brio set sail seawards. Lo, here's the 'Stowe and we go down Ferry Road to gawp at the Big Houses with their bonzer view. Struth. Putt-putting past the golf club, it's a left to the old Ferry Cafe and newboy Winkles but a right for us into IP11. All that coastal cloud means that Cliff Road is in the shadows.

Felixstowe factoid: that designer (octagonal?) house by The Pines was once a swinging restaurant. Heck, if his memory can be trusted, it even survived playing host to young Kev's 18th birthday celebrations. Opposite that now private residence can be found a nifty lay-by, dead convenient for The Dip. High time to hit the hut with their painted promise of:

Latte, Cappuccino, Panini, Sandwiches, Dairy Ice Cream, Homemade Cakes, All Things Beachy

Unlike whence we came, Old Felix is windblown and chilly, so that'll be hot paninis all round, please. As helpful as he can be, the nice one-man-band bossman can't offer us any indoor seating, obvs, but the wooden chairs to the side are miraculously out of the breeze. Handy hedge, that. Good selection of soft drinks to be had: for the benefit of our health, we're all on the Purdey's grape and apple elixir. There's the odd patch of Dutchman's trousers overhead as the fella limbos under the side door with our freshly made ham 'n' cheese 'n' pickle combos on jolly plastic plates. This, as my FiL would say, beats working.

Cue the opening track on side two of Abbey Road as Andy makes the short walk back to the Tardis, returning with lemon drizzle, apple cake and a brownie to share on our tiny fold-up tables. Not half bad latte, too, as more walkers stop for a snack. Our tip for The Dip sprung from our trip to the Walton Coffee House. Same folks in charge and serving up good grub at both establishments. This one has the better aspect, unquestionably. Sadly, we must be off. With nobody around for a couple of minutes, I catch a glimpse of the chap taking a seat with his ukulele. All together now: with my little stick of Felixstowe rock.

If it was a car -- Bond Bug.
If they were passing by -- Holly Bradshaw.

EDitorial ± 7-Jun-2015

130Story: Distance / Hoof / Crash / Read / Crawl

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 4-Jun-2015

Ipswich Lunches: Stable Block, Holywells Park

From Alexandra through Bourne to Chantry, Ipswich possesses a panoply of parks. King of the heap, not least due to that killer central position, has to be Christchurch Park, playing host to music and literature and cars and sculpture et cetera. There's been a kiosk since Wolsey's time and, for the last few years, a tolerable tea room in the mansion. As for the other green spaces? You're lucky if you find a passing Peter's ice-cream van.

All change with a swag bag of lottery loot "to conserve and enhance the unique heritage" of Holywells Park, the one alongside Bishop's Hill. Off the Cliff Lane entrance -- note to self that the Princess Bakery is currently being renamed and repainted -- sits the impressive orangery. Before that, though, there's the brand new cafe within the NT-style stable block.

Actually, let's do this in a manner befitting Benjamin Button. Myself and Andy did a late afternoon trip here in mid May on a dreich and dismal day, soggy parasols slumped in the courtyard. Inside, however, was fab: stone tiles, fine wooden tables and a classy counter. Place had only been open for six weeks at that time. We took advantage of the strong free WiFi while noshing on vg icing-filled carrot cake and sipping hot tea, throwing the odd glance at the wall-mounted telly showing local live blue tits. Slinkywatch! Interesting Gainsborough pastiche painting hung on the wall, too. Ace refreshments at 4:45pm in an Ippo park. All very much in order, in other words.

Returning today for Shuttleworth savouries, the sun and the parasols are out in force. Occupying other ray-drenched tables are a healthy selection of LTLs, oldies and pre-schoolers: big tick for every age range. Ordering inside from the daintily restrained selection of sarnies, jackets and paninis, the ladies offer to bring out our grub. We've hardly taken the weight off when lunch is presented, a generously filled tuna mayo for me and bacon sarnies for Andy, both accompanied with a ramekin of doritos. Faultless food.

What with the sound of little kids in the playground, people on bikes and folk out for a stroll, it's idyllic and like a model park. You can even do like me and donate an old set of two-wheels to the Green Bike Project which lives next to the cafe. Thumbs-up for everyone!

If it was a car -- Lanchester Ten.
If they were passing by -- Philip Hope-Cobbold.