TO ALL MY LOVELY BLOGGERS Any comment that includes a LINK will go to junk. I have been getting so many cheap advertisers from China etc. using my website, its been a nightmare. My lovely web-man has worked his magic hopefully he has put a stop to it.. So please feel free to blog, as … Read more


The mackerel sky was low, almost touching the tops of the trees. Two leaves narrowly missed my hand, catch one and make a wish.
The Beech leaves are turning a crispy brown, the Oak’s a mustardy yellow. The Rowan trees are stacked with berries and the avenue is ankle high in wet leaves.
The woodland near my cottage is typically English. The wind was up today, shiny brown conkers blown to the ground, the Horse Chestnuts flapping their big, crispy hands together.
Two families of ducks cackled and squawked their way back to the pond.
I’m off on November 4th to San Francisco, although Oregon is still lingering in my mind.
We visited a little town call McMINNVILLE, all the foodies know about Mcminnville, the largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon.
Third street has more restaurants, on five blocks, than the whole of my Twillage. I met with ERIC and CARMEN who run ‘NICKS’. It’s been there since 1977. For years Carmen’s dad, Nick, ran the joint; a simple place with a big back kitchen and a head waiter with more hair than Harry Styles and more style than Hairy Redknapp.
He made me the first good cawfee of the trip and supplied me with a big white linen napkin should I need it.
Eric makes hand chopped Pork salami – to rhyme with whammy – in their salami making factory three blocks away.
Eric and Carmen, between them, keep Nick’s name, restaurant and reputation alive.
Carmen has a Japanese mother and an Italian father so what’s not to know about a noodle of two. Using a cheap little chopper she cuts the sheets of fine pasta, that she’s rolled through her big pasta rolling machine. She’s a neat machine herself, looks like she’s been doing it all her life. Which she nearly has.
She’s young and beautiful, with two kids under five, a complexion to die for and the demeanour of woman who has been modelling since 16.
After cooly cutting A4 size pieces of pasta dough, she lays them on top of each other leaving a little gap at the top of each new sheet. Carmen then calmly rolls them up, chops the ends off and rolls them into perfect, well rolls… Grabbing the end of each little roll she whisks them up into the air, and flaps around the tagliatellie like fronds of yellow seaweed. Brilliant. She works wearing a sweater and a pair of jeans, carrying them off with the panache of the model she was. Knowing that modelling had a limited life span she learnt what she learnt, and along with Eric, her handsome husband took to the boars and boards instead. Thats chopping boards and piggy boars I hasten to add.
The restaruant was full of a party of carousers who glugged down crates of wine and laughed loudly .
Eric made the sauce for Carmen’s pasta.
Gently cooking down the home cured salami, in a battered pan on a six burner stove, he added onions, garlic, oregeno
(Say it the American way O-Regggggin-Oh! Not orry-garknow.)
Tomatoes, plopped in the pasta and some pasta water.
We ate outside the restaurant at a little table opposite an old Art Deco cinema.
It was good to sit down as I had been out with Chris and Kate taking GV’s ( general views ). To make it more interesting I sent Kate off to an ice-cream emporium which sold rivetting flavours. She turned up with a crunchy cornet filled with lavender ice-cream. Unfortunately we had taken all the shots we needed so I licked for myself not for the camera.
The food movement in America is interesting, all the small producers help each other, and the public enjoy helping them. Long may it last and grow.
San Fran – as the producer calls it -will use more green, fresh veg, which is terrific as I practically live the life o a Gorilla.

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Jeni and Olly get J’olly in Oregon.

The clock is ticking it’s 01.18
That and the cats purring is the only sound in the cottage.
My body seems to have dealt with the jet-lag remarkably well.
I didn’t take my lap-top with me and writing on my smart phone is nightmare. I did, however, take a monumental suitcase that if it weren’t for three American boys, the BA crew and the delicious Olly Smith, I would be broke of back and weak of arm.
The journey started with a surreal twist.
Terminal 5.
I had been picked up by a taxi, a man who smoked and talked. I learnt all about his marriage break up – after 48 years – I took him the back way since he liked LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. We got onto the M25 via Godstone. He must have been thinking about his estranged wife because he slammed the breaks on and I whacked my knee on the seat in front of me.
‘If you want to report me,’ he said ‘Go ahead.’
I didn’t report him. Went to baggage drop, since my boarding pass had been printed up for me, I stood quietly as my heavy bag passed the test.
‘Are you the mother of BB.James?’ asked the nice lady.
‘Yeah.’ I was nonplussed.
‘She’s got big hair and an amazing voice?’
‘Yeah ‘ I said again nonplussedx2.
The nice lady told me how she had worked with dawter at Choice Radio and blah blah.
I went through security delighted that BB.James had made an impression.
I bought some nuts, went through to the boarding Gate and met up with Ollie.
‘Who do I have to sleep with here to get an upgrade.’ I quipped.
And bugger me if the two men at the checkout didn’t upgrade us to Club Class. Surprised both Olly and myself. The journey to LAX had started, we were treated to linen napkins, constant attention and a chair that turned into a bed.
I watched the Tina Fey film – Admissions – and cried like a baby, took my homeopathic jet-lag remedy, slept a bit and before you could say ‘No More Champagne thanks.’ we were through security.
Given that I was born in the last century I got preferential treatment, although I still had to take off my boots, belt and and bangles.

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Rolling in The Deep.

Before I begin I must say thank you for your kind end-of-the-run-comments.
All duly noted.
All duly wept over.
Oh come on, you should know by now that anything nice that is ever said to me turns me into the The Fontana del Nettuno. Were I to stand at the north end of the Piazza Navona I could easily compete with those chubby cherubs and their outpourings.
So here I sit, cuppa Rooibosh half drunk, in my room, with only a sweater between me and the elements.
I have been to the gym and done 30 minutes on those wretched machines.
Elaine induced me on Monday.
It’s the time-honoured, dreaded circuit of treadmill, cross trainer, bike and rowing machine.
I didn’t have time to do me weights or stretching as I had an appointment with 25 over sized ladies in the pool.

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