EDitorial ± 18-Apr-2011

Light Lunches: Barnes Catering, Martlesham Heath

Even though everybody's jumping, sometimes the Vengabus ain't coming. Can't get past the rolled artic near Foxhall Road roundabout, comes word. No trip into The Swich for us, this pre-Easter Monday. Bikes it is. Dual decision to trawl the adjacent Martlesham business park for a burger or bap.

Right into Betts Avenue, left into Hawker Drive, and look/see these units over there: Chinese, Indian, pizza places, all closed. Ahoy, what's this on the end? None other than Barnes Catering offering "sandwiches, salads and snacks". That's OK, we're all sorted out for eats and crisps.

Drinks (inc. Ben Shaw) to the left of 'em, Walkers to the right, here we are, stuck in the middle with fillings straight ahead. Will it be the (1) sandwich, (2) bap, (3) French stick, (4) cheese topped bap, (5) long roll or (6) wrap? This is trickier than Danger UXB. Pick one and stick with it: tuna mayo and sweetcorn, ta, in baguette. Which turns out to be tiger bread, which I love. CTB for that there Andy.

Says the serving bloke, "We have some seats outside when the weather's good." It's good now, I observe. "Good point," he says, "I'll bring 'em out." And he does, magically producing a silver table and two chairs from round the back. Bingo: instant prime spot in the noonday sun. We've sat in worse places and had worse food than this, let me tell you. Conditions are optimal for a frank discussion of families and how not to handle them.

I pop back in for a takeaway dessert, then it's a leisurely freewheel back to Ritazza in the BT hub for coffee and to share my monster almond flapjack. Plus a bit more sitting around in the sun. That was a quality lunchtime.

If it was a car -- Caterham Superlight.
If they were passing by -- Peter Barnes.

EDitorial ± 13-Apr-2011

TT1011, Week 16

Final (rearranged) game of the 2010/11 season up against the joint-top team, a team that we beat back in September. We -- Ed and Andy C -- were dead pleased at the time to escape with maximums. Those Chris-chaps are tough bunnies to beat and a bit serious to boot. Tonight they're joined by new/old boy Brian, yet to lose.

  • Brian proves he's a cut above by walloping both of us
  • wins for both of us against spinny Chris RC
  • mixed fortunes v. Chris A: straight defeat for Andy but a tough five-end victory for Ed, yay

All games played, no chance of legit promotion, alas, despite Ed's 90% and Andy's 80% averages. No matter.

EDitorial ± 8-Apr-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Brasilia Cafe

South American weather conditions out there today so I think we'll travel to Rio, if you catch my Mike Nesmith drift. Andy lands a prime spot to park his Kaka outside the Evening Star. We're pursuing a tip from sister paper the EADT. New cafe in town demands our attention spit spot.

Past busy and soon-to-close Pals and we're standing in front of the black and red 80s-styled home of Brasilia Cafe (briefly the Mar Azul tapas bar). More like a restaurant inside, fairly formal with tablecloths and napkins. To drink? Authentic soft drink, please: that'd be a green can of Guarana Antarctica, fruitily distinctive. To eat? Er, is there a menu? In a Gilliam-esque moment, waitress gestures for me to look at the pictures on the window outside. Choice would seem to be:

  • picanha -- beef steak
  • feijoada -- pork and black bean stew
  • moqueca de peixe -- fish stew

Pork for me, beef for Andy, then we'll share. There's already baguette and butter and olives to pick at, plus, if you're brave, some fish pate. Although they've been open fully five weeks, there's obviously work still going on, including preparations to make the upstairs bar area (we were given a quick tour) suitable for live music.

Food's here: rice, bit of cabbage, sprinkly cassava topping, and a monster bowl of black beans and pork. Similar quantities of grub weigh down on Andy's side of the table. That "light lunch" label isn't overly accurate sometimes. It's good tasty stuff, not too spicy, and half a bowl would have been plenty. Of course, I finished the lot, and still wasn't hungry six hours later. Brazil: great film, mostly a great team, and good luck with the cafe.

If it was a car -- Volkswagen Brasilia.
If they were passing by -- Alan Brazil.

EDitorial ± 5-Apr-2011

TT1011, Week 26

When you're getting picked up by Andy C, you can start getting ready about the time he's due to arrive, finish your tea and then receive a text saying he's on his way. When you're getting picked up by Rene, you receive a call at the exact time he's due to arrive saying Where Are You? Compare and, if you will, contrast.

Located Holton St Mary village hall easily enough thanks to (a) the daylight and (b) Rene's satnav. Ed's the only survivor from the pre-Christmas encounter when he and Andy C beat 'em 7-3. Tonight, though, there are three.

  • tough start for PC Andy v. quick-hitting Denise and tougher still v. Ken, Andy saving his best for a creditable deuce game v. Rupert
  • better night for Rene, beating Denise in straight games and taking part in two five-end scraps v. Rupert (won!) and Ken (lost) while eating an infeasible number of Jaffa Cakes
  • three to Ed, as per the norm

Singles played, 5-4 to Defiants and a chance for Ed and Rene to seal a victory. Lost first two, won second two, and came second in the fifth. Draw's a fair result.

EDitorial ± 2-Apr-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Something Yummy

Once in a while the Intel duo core members of The Trip just want to let down their remaining hair and hit the open road, like something out of Two Lane Blacktop but keeping strictly to the limit. Heck, we hook up, strap up and put the pedal to the metal, being sure to indicate at all times. Vroom goes that Chevy 150, albeit substituted by a far more eco-friendly VW. Who knows where we'll end up and why?

Impromptu destination is Bella Napoli, slightly inland of Coffeelink. Trying and mostly failing to find somewhere to park, plans change: new eatery spotted named Something Yummy. OPEN, yells the sign. Combination of sun and outdoor seating is defeated by the unfortunate shade. Like Woody Allen, we go for Interiors.

Too late for breakfast, you can fill your boots with the available fillings. There's only one for us: Hot Roast Pork. Eating in? Baguette plonked on a bare plate brings Seasons to mind. Spare a green leaf or a handful of crisps to go with our apple sauce-dampened bread? Wot no WiFi, chips in Andy.

View from the window is like that from a cheaper seaside apartment, i.e. not on the front but on the next row back. Over the road is yet another place being fitted out, Cafe Marina, continuing the trend for naming after 1970s saloons. No time for a sit-down coffee, so takeaway it is -- ouch, that's hot -- with what turns out to be the best part of the excursion, a really good cupcake. There, a happy ending. Fin.

If it was a car -- Talbot Alpine.
If they were passing by -- Jake Wood.

EDitorial ± 1-Apr-2011

Andrea Hill "Dark Mark" Appears

Andrea Hill -- Outsource IPSWICH, April 1st, 2011: A ghostly image of Suffolk County Council's Chief Executive, Andrea Hill, is manifesting on particular buildings around the town. So far the picture has been spotted on local libraries at Rosehill and Westbourne (see image gallery for more). Unconfirmed sightings have also been reported outside the Connexions youth service on Fore Street and at various care homes.

Above the capitalised red word "outsource", the eerie black and white image appears to show a smiling Andrea Hill, recent star of both the Mail and Telegraph as well as Private Eye favourite.

Jackie Little, 36, who works at Rosehill library, said: "We've already had the Borough's Graffiti Squad round several times. Last Friday morning they came up and painted over it. Then, by teatime, it was clear as day again, stronger than before.

"The staff here call it the 'dark mark'. I'm beginning to wonder if it can ever be removed."

However, not everyone is convinced by the "apparition".

Roy Bailey, 56, from the Brain, Head & Spine Unit at Ipswich Hospital, commented: "I've not seen the thing myself but I would have to question its authenticity. It may well be some kind of visual fallacy, a rare example of NSD -- Neuro Synaptic Delusion."

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council said: "While we endeavour to engage with all stakeholders via a place-based approach, I can confirm that the image in question bears no resemblance to any photographs within our current portfolio. Andrea Hill remains a visionary figure."