Up up and Away.

My birthday included one meeting. A box of Macaroons, a bottle of champagne, candles, soap and a tiny pink pistachio cake with coffee. A walk down Tottenham Court Road, open mouthed at the newness of the tube and the loss of my youth. Lunch in China town, with dumplings and garlic shoots. Another meet in … Read more

Pevensey Bay

Some say its the last of the summer sun, but I have my doubts. There’s pots to plant and lawns to mow and clouds to wonder at. On Monday I went to see Dr. B. The diabetic consultant. He took my blood pressure, declared it normal. Asked me about pains and gripes and remarked that … Read more

JANUARY 10th 2016

8.45 on a Sunday morning. January 10th. There’s a light grey stillness outside, all the decorations have been swept up and the cats are waiting to be fed. Him and her are asleep upstairs. Later on we’re driving into Hackney to collect some things, then drive home again with a boot full of creativity. It … Read more

Green fingers.

After thirty one years living in the heart of the East Sussex countryside, with a view to die for and neighbours who take coffee of a sunny afternoon, after 31 years of keeping my bank details in Fenchurch Street, E1, after one score years and eleven I have finally decided to give in to the … Read more

Difficult Viewing.

Been watching old VHS’s from 1982 to now….. My image changes. Happy, sad, fat, thin, pregnant, ageing. Watching my life flash past on the screen was a painful experience. TVam LWT BBC Thames Independent. All that for what? All that and why? All that and who’d have thought it. Never realising that time passes. When … Read more

Thane, Andy and Reza

I’d packed up my dressing room, everything was ready to roll, two more shows and the I was homeward bound.
Andy Bates a perfectly proportioned blue eyed cook brought us party food. A discussion about the difference between a dip and hummus, took place over Broad Bean dip and Smoked Aubergine hummus.
Thane Prince, the Queen of Jam and Preserves, told us why a dip was a dip and not a hummus. I piled my spoon with broad beans and aubergine not giving a tuppeny as to whether my beans and aubergines were dipped or not. They both tasted stunning.

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Moon Gazing

Three and a half weeks of madness.
From Radio Sussex to house guests from filming promos to voice overs.
I have been staying in the moment so much I can’t remember what has happened before or after.
The ‘oosbind is setting off in a week to go and give of his best in Leeds. In a West Yorkshire Playhouse production of ‘The Crucible’. I’m doing that counting down the days daftness.
I’m dreading him leaving but it only takes a few days and then I’m into the silence of the ‘hams’.
As I write Solly is sniffing round the attic. Trying to get into a closed cupboard. The bed has been made up by the dawter in preparation for the Jew Do next Saturday.

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Birthday Ends

There were different phases to my birthday. The build up with people phoning and arranging. The arrival of guests and gifts. The cock-up with people who’s heads were up their alimentary canals. There was the dinner. The breakfasts The teas. Coffee with scones and nibbling on left over crumbs. There was the trip to the … Read more

Mcminnville……

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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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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