EDitorial ± 26-Feb-2017

130Story: Lift / Important / Jump / Placed / Prosecutor

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 24-Feb-2017

Light Lunches: Jan's Baps, A12

T'ain't raining, Zoe's curiously clean and there's only me and the boy Andy. Just the two of us, we can make it if we try. Loose dart is pointed to Darsham destinations, though neither of us is sufficiently minted today for the infamous still-to-do Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Bracket, not really a cafe, bracket.

Straight thirty through Farnham -- note, not driving at 90 down country lanes, Ed -- and over yonder is the day-of-the-week turning for Friday Street and Snape. Our driver spots something else of interest, however: there's a burger van of sorts parked in the lay-by. There's limited signage today but, unmistakably, in a tribute to my mother-in-law, that must be Jan's Baps. Narf.

With a coupla lorries already there, Andy's all-electric city car fits in nicely. You must be Jan, I say, The same, she says. What can I get you lads? Baguette, burger, bap? Well, has to be the bacon and egg bap, ta very much. Butter for me, please, but none for slimfast Andy. Ooh, and a Dr Pepper, please. Facing Jan's open-sided van are some plastic tables and chairs within a three-sided shed, somehow still standing (like Elton) after yesterday's Storm Doris. Come in, it says, I'll give you shelter.

Top bap, needless to say. Doesn't food always taste better outside? Previously the Pit Stop, Jan bought this business as a break from caring and loves the change. Busier in winter, oddly. Proper mug of instant coffee before we head off with some solid stodge in the form of prepack Bakewell and treacle tarts, split messily down the middle-ish. Sets us up pretty well for a Friday pm dozing at the desk. If you're in the vicinity, Jan's your man.

If it was a car -- Hyundai Tucson.
If they were passing by -- Jan Harvey.

EDitorial ± 21-Feb-2017

TT1617, Defiants v. Rosary Green

Nearing the end of February 2017, less than half a dozen games to go, and Defiants limp awkwardly towards the sunset end of the season. Yang's departed, Natalie can't play on home nights and now Steve's come off his bike. Ouch all round.

Battling on, still trying to catch up with postponed matches, there's only me and Helen for tonight's rematch against Rosary Green (see last time), a team notable for being the only one beneath us in the league. In other words, they're bottom. Here's spinny Nick, who beat both Yang and Natalie (and me) last time, plus Santa Danny and Sidegate Lane Richard, still going strong. In brief:

  • customary zero for Helen, alas, outfoxed by spin and speed
  • OK 2/3 for me, losing an epic 18-16 game to Nick before eventually getting past Danny and edging out Richard in a fifth end

Over to me and Helen, then, for the doubles, where we did alright. Sure, we lost, but not too disgracefully. Defiants are down and out, I fear.

EDitorial ± 19-Feb-2017

130Story: Nightmare / Yield / Useful / Agreeing / Vertical

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 13-Feb-2017

TT1617, Defiants v. Thunderbirds

Five days back we came away with three valuable points from the Manor Club, no thanks to me. Third match in ten days tonight with a return match against our stablemates, the Thunderbirds.

Four points would be an improvement on our November meeting when, somehow, I ended up top-scorer with two points. Wasn't Natalie's night and certainly wasn't Yang's.

Three ends whizz by and I've already lost to ringer Conrad, far too good for me. Steve comes oh-so-close to pipping Andy over five really tight games, each player scoring at least nine points per end, and Natalie also comes unstuck in the fifth pleading crowd pressure. Two quality notches to the boy Cassy.

Two points is all we've gained over the first six matches. Thankfully Steve joins me and Natalie in beating Alison before Natalie loses to Conrad.

One singles match, the big showdown between me and Andy. Went entirely my way last time. Less so this time, losing the first badly but scraping the second on a deuce. All square and into the final end and Andy's ahead at the changeover. Not sure how but I triumphed 11-9. Good game. With Natalie gone, over to me and Steve to get roundly bashed in the doubles.

EDitorial ± 12-Feb-2017

130Story: Detention / Tales / Congress / Papers / Employee

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 8-Feb-2017

TT1617, Capel C v. St Margarets Manor B

After Monday's match against capable Capel, I tried to gee up poor Helen who'd taken a bit of a beating, losing in straight games to all three opponents. Didn't even go to deuce. She was, understandably, down. Little did I imagine that I, me, 50-per-cent Ed, would be in exactly that boat 48 hours later. For I, too, lost in straight games this evening against all three opponents. Didn't even go to deuce. I am, understandably, down.

I dunno, maybe it's not too bad. After all, we got whitewashed on our last visit to the downtown Manor Club. They're a top side with three TopQual players. Credit then, to the other members of the team.

First to Steve who, after having grabbed one end from Michael, showed great patience to overcome codger Des in five tough games. Some scalp for Steve. Then to our Natalie, down in the dumps after being out-walloped by tenacious Rosemary but who then bounced back bigtime to out-hit Michael and, as a bonus, out-fox Des. Two much-needed and hard-earned points for the Defiants.

Unusual experience for me to score the doubles. I clearly didn't deserve to play. That was never going our way. Still, 7-3 defeat ain't bad.

EDitorial ± 6-Feb-2017

TT1617, Capel C v. Defiants

For future reference, the church of St Mary in that there Capel St Mary can be found at postcode IP9 2EL opposite Pound Lane. Despite knowing that and despite having visited that church hall a handful of times, it still took me a couple of passes to find it tonight. It's a hoooge church on a hill!

Keen-as-mustard Helen's back with us this evening after a few weeks in the Far East. She's joining me and Steve, both veterans of this upstairs square room where the table is oriented corner-to-corner. Mind your head when picking up the ball. Oh, and the ball doesn't bounce on the floor, either. That aside, turning out for Capel are Peter and Richard (from last time) and new penhold Charlie from the Colchester league. In brief:

  • OK 1/3 for Steve, beating Richard, putting up a decent fight against Peter and finishing a close second to Charlie (with a mid-game change of ball)
  • good 2/3 for Ed, awful against Peter but bouncing back to outspin Charlie and outlast Richard
  • expected 0/3 for Helen, coming a cropper to some tricky serves and nearly taking an end off Richard

Over to Steve and Ed for the doubles. Never gonna be easy with Peter and Charlie on the other side, and yet, we won! Epic 20-18 victory in the fourth end after endless game points to both sides. Final 6-4 defeat not too bad.

EDitorial ± 5-Feb-2017

130Story: Vehicle / Deployed / Respect / Strikes / Accident

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






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 3-Feb-2017

Light Lunches: The Bean House, Kesgrave

Flicking through a copy of the Evening Ipswich Star, trying to figure out why my mum had left a copy in the porch, I chanced across mention of a new eatery "to open in February". How terribly serendipitous, and I'm not even going to spell check that word.

Most days I cycle past the medium-sized Tesco in the beating heart of Grange Farm in deepest darkest Kesgrave. Yonks back, it had its own caff, that area long since given over to DVDs, fags and mags. Now, along from the beauty salon and the dry-cleaners in the romantically named Unit 1 is The Bean House. Oddly, Andy talked of establishing such an establishment around these parts way back when since, as it true today, there's precious little competition and plenty of people with a quid or two.

Spartan decor at present and no pics, just coconut halves on the wall. Seriously. We hit it at peaky blinders time and struggle for a seat. Where were all these folk previously getting their jolts? Refrigerated unit has Coffeelink style pre-wrapped sarnies, wraps and paninis. Most satisfactory honey 'n' chilli for me, ditto Kev's piri-piri, while trad Andy, man of the people, opts for the straight-up fresh bacon bap. In a nod to Parks & Recreation, I choose the threateningly titled "kale kick" smoothie with pineapple and spinach. Much better than you'd think, as something should be when it accounts for about seven of your five-a-day.

Let's pass over the questionable newspapers on offer and instead take note of the smiling staff and the free WiFi, nearly but not quite standard these days. Tables freeing up as we share a decent tiramisu slice and cappuccino cake with an equally fine flat white. Ten minutes bike ride from work, I'll be back here in the summer.

If it was a car -- BMC Mini.
If they were passing by -- Mick Stockwell.