EDitorial ± 22-Dec-2011

Grimble, Clement Freud

Been too long since I used to read bedtime stories to The Boy. Decided that Something Had To Be Done. But what to read? He loves all of the Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton and is anxiously waiting for the latest. What else would appeal?

Sorting through piles of books from the front room -- recently redecorated, was in quite a state and Something Had To Be Done -- I came across the answer. My old Puffin edition of Grimble by one Clement Freud, price 40p, reprinted 1976 (twice).

Ah, Grimble, a childhood hero like Peter Lorimer. I was most likely about the same age as The Boy when I first read it. I still have fond memories of Grimble's attempts at a Home Toast Delivery Service and his friend, David Sebastian Waghorn, "a very funny boy".

We started at the very beginning, as you do, with Chapter 1, Monday. We were already giggling by the time we got to the second page, talking about school dinners and "chocolate spodge, a mixture between chocolate sponge and chocolate sludge". When we reached the bit where Grimble tries to kick a left-footed penalty with a coconut, I was having to pause to catch my breath.

Didn't take long to zip through all five chapters from Monday to Friday, then straight on to Grimble At Christmas where the poor lad has to organise his entire family's celebrations. We nearly managed to time it such that it really was Four Shopping Days To Christmas, like Chapter 3. Anyway, highly recommended for the small boy in your life.

EDitorial ± 16-Dec-2011

Ipswich Lunches: Cafe Siena

I can dimly remember waiting for a bus while standing outside Tower Ramparts school. Mighty long time ago, since the similarly named shopping centre (which took its place) has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Headline on today's Evening Star proclaimed:

Joy Over Multi-Million Pound Boost For Tower Ramparts

Report says that "the tired complex" has just been sold and is to be revamped in a big way. For now, like many other places up and down the land, a number of units remain vacant. And yet, among the empty shopfronts at the foot of the escalators, there's a new-ish eatery named Cafe Siena.

Given its downbeat surroundings, hopes were not high. Won't be as good as either Cafe Giardino or Cafe Moda in the Buttermarket, and they were no more than ordinary. Harking back to a much-loved Heinz favourite, Andy went for the homemade tomato & red pepper soup. It being nearly Christmas -- there's a depressing £4.99 grotto touting for business -- I chose the turkey baguette, expecting a chilly bundle of sellophane.

Would you believe it, the food is far better than it has any right to be: freshly prepared, generous fillings and served with half a smile. No wonder there's so many other punters here today. Though the free newspapers (EADT, The i, etc) and WiFi must help. Since there are cranberries in my roll and I'm sipping a Frobisher's cranberry drink, I have to go for the cranberry and white chocolate flapjack. A bit different and a bit good. Darn good coffee too, plus a free Lotus biscuit. Can't quite believe I'm saying this, but I'd definitely go back there again. Oh, Siena.

If it was a car -- Fiat Siena.
If they were passing by -- Siena Miller.

EDitorial ± 15-Dec-2011

TT1112, Week 12

Best part of a month since we last played: these blank weeks are a pain. Moving on, it's out to the wilds of Baylham we go on a chill December night. That's what a winter league is all about. In brief:

  • maximum for Kennedy, bamboozling Alan and labouring to beat Mike over the full five ends
  • maximum for Ed, bamboozling Mike and labouring to beat Alan over the full five ends
  • single point for Steve despite a tenacious game against Alan

Thanks to Mark -- Mr Pickwick himself -- for providing sandwiches and mince pies. Was it wrong of me to point out that a cuppa would have been nice too?

EDitorial ± 2-Dec-2011

Ipswich Lunches: T Junction

Thought I could take the car, go pick up dead computer from repair shop A, drive across town to repair shop B, then park near town centre, all within 20 mins. Took 20 mins -- to fetch from shop A -- then another 20 mins to do the rest. Meaning I arrived around 1:25pm for a 1:05pm rendezvous. Oh well.

What more apt place for a meet-up than T Junction, promising "traditional English roast dinners". Opposite the dead Co-op department store and nestled in the sweet spot between Argos and QD, it's been around for yonks. My word, it's popular. They're not blessed with space in there and Andy's sharing a table, not with strangers but with friends he's not yet met. Not up to the full roast experience, I order a hot pork roll. He's halfway through his "unremarkable" vanilla cheese cake.

And still the punters roll in for their £6.50 roasts with "potatoes, carrot, swede, cabbage, peas, Yorkshire Pudding and gravy". My selection is far more modest: pork in a couple of soft white baps. Not the best combo, as previously shown in Something Yummy, though there's some bonus salady bits on the side. You need some man-bread, maybe granary or wholemeal or even a pitta. Should have gone for the burger or wrap.

One selling point for the TJ is their offer of free home delivery. Goodness knows how your beef dinner is presented. Anyways, only time for an Americano, and it's good. Very good.

If it was a car -- Model T.
If they were passing by -- Daniel Casey.