People sometimes ask me: Chris, why did you move to Bordon? What attracted you to this small ex-army town in Hampshire? Was it the abundant woodland? Its proximity to the South Downs National Park? Being in easy reach of the picturesque and charming market towns of Farnham and Petersfield? Being within commuting distance of London while also being less than an hour from the coast?
It was none of these. What brought me to Bordon was enviable hilltop location on the borders of Aragón and Valencia in south eastern Spain, and its delicious red wines, a blend of 75% Tempranillo and 25% Garnacha grapes.
The last two years have meant that most people haven’t been away on a proper holiday, myself included. Not that I really wanted to go anywhere. Can you see me in a pair of shorts sat on the Bermuda Triangle trying to buy a croissant? No, exactly, it’s not my style. Even so, it would be nice for a change of scenery.
So what do you do when things aren’t going right? Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got and taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name to Delicious City.
Situated in close proximity to my office, many a time have I walked past and pondered the delights of Delicious City. I’ve been to cities before but never anywhere delicious. I expect I’d walk in and there would be people taking huge chunks out of a skyscraper made of ham, punters stood waiting for a bus and then when it arrives they punch out the windows and suck them like lollipops, and drunken bystanders hanging around in parks for the champagne fountains.
Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory has got nothing over Delicious City.
So why haven’t I been already? I’m worried that I would never escape. You know me and food; once I’m in, I’m gone. Surrounded by an entire city made of food would only compound matters even further and you’d never hear from me again. I’d be riding a cloud made of candy floss and chasing cats made of Oreos (because the animals, for some reason, are also delicious).
Now I’m falsifying a form so I can get into the RSPCA and eat all the animals in there. I’m also drop-kicking a watermelon into a taxi’s windshield so I can steal the marzipan from it’s back wheels. Now I’m scooping the bacon from the washing lines of my neighbour’s gardens, pushing them into a sandwich that’s thicker than my neck and breaking into the museum on the corner in the hope that they’ve got some brown sauce for this bad boy.
Oh dear Lord, what is wrong with me? I punched an old lady in the face so I could use her mobility scooter to get into the gym and taste the swimming towels (they have the best and keep them for themselves like a bunch of grumbo grumps). I ordered pancakes at the café then refused to eat them because I filled up on bread napkins before they arrived. I think I ate my boss’ shoes due to them smelling like fresh pizza.
As you can see, I can’t have anything nice and my excursion to Delicious City, or any city in fact, has been delayed indefinitely.
I’ve got all my posts for August still to go if I want to earn a bean. I’m going to do them all this week while I’m on nights. Four nights. Four posts. Let’s go.
Here we see a seagull enjoying some lunch. On our right, we can see a falafel wrap with extra garlic sauce. On the left is a pot of hummus. Note how the seagull is having some of the wrap, and then dipping in to the hummus as an accompaniment. The seagull is a sophisticated diner who understands Middle Eastern cuisine.
The seagull finds the wrap delightful, with a crispy bite to the freshly made falafel and a good crunchy salad that adds texture and freshness. The pickles are sharp and bring out the other flavours, but never overpower them. The wrap comes with chilli sauce and garlic sauce, but for him an extra shake of garlic is what’s needed to round out the flavours.
The seagull is also enjoying the hummus, but was slightly let down when he found that this side dish was literally just a bowl of hummus without crudités or bread for dipping. The dip itself is enjoyable but is very heavy on the tahini and would benefit from stronger seasoning. He can tell it was made with a quality olive oil.
Overall the seagull is pleased with his lunch, and at £7.50 plus drinks he finds it hard to complain about either the food or the service in this fast-moving street eatery. He awards it four stars. He then flies away to see if he can crap on some tourists.
It’s been doing its best to match the appalling failure that was 2020, but we’re not letting it. No, 2021 will be the year things got better, not the year things got worse.
Still – it’s been a bit of a slog so far. Now, to celebrate the fact that half of it has gone and the other half is probably going to be a bit more enjoyable than the first one was, let’s all sit down and have a slice of cake.
It started with a casual remark in a conversation and, as always, it leads to stuff you didn’t know you wanted arriving in the post.
I’m talking of course about sugar cubes. Who knew they were still a thing?
I for one thought that they had been relegated to the winds of time by things like good hygiene practices and little paper packets, but how wrong I was. Imagine my ‘delight’ as two whole boxes of the things arrived at my door, accompanied by the now customary ring of the doorbell by the postman too lazy to actually push things through the previously acceptable flap.
I believe Chris’ package arrived first, in what can only be described as ‘inadequate’ packaging, (a plastic postage bag) looking mostly like a box of sugar, with some cubes left in it. Ian’s exotic brown sugar came next wrapped nicely in bubble wrap and in a box. (I’m assuming it was Ian as it was addressed to Kevin ‘Sweet San Hose’ Hill).
When I explained the arrival of these to Sarah, she declared that Ian was the winner as she used to sneak eat the brown sugar cubes at ‘Auntie’ Betty’s house when she was little.
following on from this, anyone who ‘pops round for a cuppa’ should now expect to find tea served on an overly flowery tray, with a little bowl of mixed sugar cubes ready and waiting.
I recently learned that I have been inadvertently spoiling all Kev’s plans to post things to the Beans because every time he has an idea he logs on to the website and finds that I’ve already done it.
It started not so long ago with the slippers, and then I hit him with a double whammy of tyre trouble that took the wind right out of his tyres.
I’ve decided that the best thing to do is to try and expand on this promising new hobby, so in this blog post I am going to try and anticipate some of the things Kev might want to write blog posts about in the near future and get there before him.
Very large worktops
There. I think those three things pretty much cover all bases.