Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shirebrook with Rob and Bob - b. cold 36F

The 'meet' at Shirebrook with AnonymousRob and Bungus was a success.

Bitterly cold, plus wind-chill and other niggles failed to spoil it. Rob and I bumped into each other quite effortlessly and adjourned to the Taste-Buds Cafe on Market Street but Bungus couldn't find us.

To be fair, Market Street continued past the bottom of The Market and the Cafe was a little obscure.

Perhaps a good thing we left it to go and find him because the coffee was atrocious. It looked promising in small individual cafetieres but each used around 6 grains of coarsely ground coffee with a tasteless tepid result. The idea of a meal there became less than attractive due to an elderly woman at the next table clicking her dentures loudly and relentlessly.

We moved to a more promising cafe but it was freezing due to the door being wedged open. The fish and chips, and in Bungus's case mushy peas, looked around four days old. Mugs of tea were better, but not much. As Rob said, we shan't be writing to Egon Ronay recommending Shirebrook as the place to eat in Derbyshire.

A good chat was had though, and we must do it again, but perhaps not in Shirebrook.

When we left Cafe 2 and walked towards our parked cars I noticed a tree festooned with clothing and an old curtain. I pointed it out to Rob and he told me it probably meant that a fresh supply of drugs had arrived in town.

Well ! - you live and learn something every day. Perhaps Shirebrook people need some sort of emotional shield against the cold and foul coffee.


Jill ....... The blue/green tardis looking structures in yesterday's blog-post are Virgin Media junction boxes and they are, as you surmised, on the opposite side of the road.

Tesco are very cheap for electrical goods and they seem reliable enough. The electric kettle/jug in my bedroom cost me some ridiculously low figure like £3.99p and has worked without the slightest glitch for over 2 years.

The large store nearest to us, is two-levels and it's OK but not a favourite.

I think another bowl of blue hyacinths to carry us over to Xmas is called for because the existing ones are so gorgeous.

This evening the sky at the rear of the house was striking. On my Nokia again and I've discovered I can turn the 'flash' off and 'reduce the exposure' and there are other DSLR-type refinements I'm still learning about.

"Red at night, shepherds delight" bodes well for WoW tomorrow.

Shirebrook didn't tire me out and I'm looking forward to WoW-ing as I've missed a couple of weeks. I've already rung Reg, and I shall ring Helen after 'Strictly'.

Bungus ..... Interesting to hear about your boxing. Did you mean 'feinting' or 'fainting' ? Either would do I suppose.

I'm sure David will get it just right with JD. But I think you underate the level of your 'artistic judgement'. As an art-historian I've never known your opinions be other than 'sound' and 'fairly-reasoned ' from a substantial data-base.

Re our Derby Road neighbours (your cousin). Yes, I knew them, but I didn't know you at that time.

Like you, I would be pleased to acquire an ashmere pullover. I must look in our esco and see if there's a man's ersion ?

I am definitely in your gang over the question of towels. It seems a lady-thing to want nearly new towels that fail miserably in their intended role. Worn-out towels are infinitely superior if you actually want to dry yourself.

anonymousrob ....... You are quite right ! We must not embarrass Bungus. On reflection, I can't think why he didn't simply ask someone where the Taste-Buds Cafe, on Market Street was ? The chances are the person would be a local. I don't think that tourism is a strong feature of Shirebrook.

Anyway we met up eventually which was the main thing. And we had a laugh. Plus understanding your job better now. Maybe it is boring and poorly administered but nevertheless important to disabled people who don't want just to sit back and vegetate. It goes without saying that I will keep my ears and eyes open for possibilities - and will definitely mention it to Steve.

Quotation time ......

"Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder"

Y will certainly watching Survivors please click and also the Football if she can find it.

There must be PC and non PC jokes about the Police. I shall give it thought.



bungus said...

SHIREBROOK: The Bungus Version

As arranged I was on Market Street at 11.30.
Do not let enyone persuade you that standing abour for over 20 minutes in a biting wind and an exposed location is anything less than tremendous fun.
At the end of that time I received a text to say that G and R were in the Shite Bite café on the Market Place *. It was market day. I walked all four sides of the square twice without being able to see it. I then had another text to say that it was at the 'far end' of the Market Place. That would have been useful had I known which expletive end was the 'near end'.
Needless to say, when Rob found me, I had managed to retain my renowned sense of humour and laughed it off lightly.
Also needless to say, my carefully crafted fashionable look (tee shirt, shirt, sweater, denim weskit and showerproof padded jacket, all worn outside corduroy trousers – I considered jeans but thought it woas too chilly – went unnoticed. I sometimes wonder why I bother.
G needed lunch so we then made our way to the far end (!).
Fish and chips can be very nice. But not in Shirebrook. Unless you are a fan of indigestion.
The fish itself was OK but how could it be slightly overdone when the ½” thick batter was undercooked, and, although a good portion and tasty, the rather pale mushy peas had been dumped over the chips which had been fried on Monday.
Nevertheless, it was good to play ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ together, and we had a few laughs at each other’s expense (although we each paid for our own lunch –“Order it ovver at t’thingy theer an’ ah’ll bring it ovver t’yer.”.

Thevisit allowed me to pay a visit to Aldi for a few bits and bobs. I was tempted by marlin (excellent), lobster and shredded duck pancakes, but resisted. They had no goose crowns.

On the way to Shirebrook I had called at Asda in hope of changing to their mobile phone system which sounds very good. I was told, quite pleasantly that I had the choice of buying a new phone or paying to have mine retuned by ‘somebody’. I decided to stick with Tesco; it’s a bit expensive but I don’t use it much and only for texting.
On the way home I called at Tesco to put some credit on my phone (down to 30p) and buy some spiced vinegar for red cabbaging.

· Mea culpa. I had misread the text which said Market Steet, not Market Place. The café is on Market Street, just OFF the Market Place.

Your photo flatters the meal (but illustrates my point about the mushy peas!)

Perhaps ‘the elderly woman at the next table clicking her dentures loudly and relentlessly’ was also signalling the arrival of drugs?
But I suspect the informal flags flying on the tree were merely warning of strangers in town. It is surprising that we didn't hear Morricone music.

Shirebrook folk are no more in need of protection from the cold than are Geordies. The chip shop owner is obviously an émigré from Warsop where they traditionally always leave their doors open – some say as an invitation to strangers to take tea others say to lure in the unwary traveller to steal their cattle.)

There have been some good sunsets recently. I think that I just missed one by 30 seconds the other night.

’Feinting’ I meant, but I obviously let my guard drop.
I did manage to get in one hugely satisfying body blow but to a different sparring partner who was about twice my weight but very slow. The one who knocked me out was perhaps the same weight as myself but half a foot taller, and fit.

Your kind comment on my artistic judgment is appreciated.

Ashmere, ohair, icuna, ngora, or something of that ilk. Tesco av ersion?

Yes, we gained an understanding of Rob’s job. He sounds like the Yossarian of North Notts.

I make no secret of my aversion to the mobile phone, even though I do find texting useful. It annoys me to hear other people speaking on them and I refuse to learn how to do it. In another day I would undoubtedly have been a Luddite even though nobody really knows why they were called that.
But over the years I have found that the most memorable events tend to have been those which went awry.
I am unshaken in my belief that ‘at the far end of the market’ is meaningless unless one is told what is the ‘near end’. The 'eastern end' would have made it quite clear.
I did consider enquiring as to the whereabouts of the Taste-Bud Café but the name sounds so effete that I thought you might be having me on. In Shirebrook, I didn’t particularly want any locals thinking that I was looking for a gay milk bar.

I like the story of the refusal to give out phone numbers. Of such concepts is drama made. It sounds sort of Russian or Brechtian or Pinterish. I think we should have more of it if it thwarts busy-bodies asking questions. No offence intended of course, as you patently do not enjoy doing it.

I thought the first hour of the first episode of ‘Survivors’ was excellent and gripping but had to switch channels for the last half hour for something even more compelling.
Obviously I didn’t see tonight’s episode because I was switching between Channels ITV1 & ITV4 (?) without seeing a single goal (or missing any).

What a splendid idea. I shall look out for PC jokes that are non-PC.

Jill said...

Lovely sunset, G. Our elec. kettle/jug was £4.99..... I use an iron from Tescos that cost £3.99 at least two years ago, that's going fine. (possibly because I do as little ironing as possible!).

Pleased to hear that you did finally catch up with each other - your descriptions made me laugh out loud, Bungus - even if the food/coffee wasn't up to much. G, when you fry fish do you add beer to the batter? It isn't something we keep in the house, I would have to buy a single can (if that is possible) - what sort should I buy?

We couldn't get out of the house this morning, the electric gate wouldn't open. Finally we had to switch off the electrics to it - the gateman finally came, and what do you know, it needs a new unit and sensors and wiring etc.etc. at vast cost. We don't really have any option - we have had this chap service it for some years, better the devil you know than start all over again with someone else. He mended something last year, but said it wouldn't last for ever.

I was sad to hear about the demise of Woolworths, but it hasn't been what it was for some time. What next, one wonders....