Guess what folks….

Bear with me on this one. A few days ago Carol and I had to pop out for an early lunch to our local restaurant. I was doing quite a bit of work for them before lock-down but haven’t heard a squeak from them since they re-opened. Hey ho. But let’s not bear grudges eh. We each chose to have their fishfinger/goujon sandwich. They have a new chef so we were interested to know whether they’d be as good as previously. Well when they arrived we were gob-smacked. The fish bit was generous but that was accompanied by a helping of salad bedded between two slabs of crusty granary bread at least an inch thick per slice. Then the two halves were placed on top of each other and skewered with a long cocktail stick. We’d ordered one apiece and each stood over 6” high. It was pretty spectacular and a bit more than we were expecting to be honest. So we decided to just share the two halves of one of the sandwiches and asked them to doggy bag the other. I wished I’d taken a picture to show you. The image below is from the internet – imagine the bread about twice as thick and it’d be close…

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Trepidation

So hello again dear readers. It’s been a while since I last posted. I’m not sure why really. I like to write about stuff that interests or amuses me (even if the laugh is on myself) or stuff that really pisses me off and I feel the need to vent about it. I guess I just got fed up writing about the terrible covid situation and this Government’s hapless handling of the pandemic. Well 6 months or so later and, sadly, not a lot has changed has it?  It remains a very difficult scene but I felt the need to hit the keyboard again because I’m not looking forward to what further restrictions the PM may be announcing later this afternoon. You could say I’m writing this with some trepidation.

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Noticing

I mentioned in my last post that I’m a noticer of things. I just can’t help it. So whilst doing our local walks around Brackley I thought I’d share some of the features I’ve spotted or come across which have intrigued me a little. And a bit of the history behind them might help – given that my recent posting on Brackley architecture seemed to attract some nice comments. So off we go on a little Brackleycal history tour …

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Message to oneself

There have been lots of tv ads which have capitalised on the covid crisis to position companies as the most caring of brands. You’ve seen them – that Co-op one with Marcus Rashford aimed at driving donations to food redistribution charity FareShare is a classic. It’s not his woodenness that jars so much as the creative thinking behind the need to create empathy with the viewer. The charitable purpose is absolutely fantastic but that over-familiarity bit where the bloke goes ‘You’re on mute Rashy’ makes me squirm. Check it out…

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Covid – up close

Regular readers might remember that on a trip down to Italy a few years ago I somehow managed to get pleurisy on the drive down and spent a coupled days in Como hospital getting it under control. The doctors reckoned that spending 8 hours cooped up in an air-conditioned car might have been the cause. It turned out to be a traumatic trip which you can read here if you’re interested but it’s a sad story. I got over the pleurisy but I remember the painful discomfort all too well. So what? you ask. Well a week or so ago after our first long drive in months to go and see daughter Becksy in London I started to get this hurting feeling in my chest and back which slowly got more uncomfortable as the week wore on, not helped by a second longish drive to visit Becksy on Sunday, lovey as it was to see her. I woke up yesterday morning and after a really troublesome night’s sleep I thought I’d better get it checked out. I called my GP and she advised me to go to Horton hospital A&E straight away as it could be covid-related or a heart issue or a return of something more sinister. Oh lord.

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Planning…schmanning

So here’s a picture our little hometown of Brackley taken by a funky company called Access All Aerials, Bicester who use the latest drone technology to deliver high-quality aerial photography/videography, surveying and 3-D mapping. Their cool owner lets me use the image if I reciprocate with accreditation. It’s a happy arrangement and I was able to share it with one of my local clients who was building a local town-based information platform. Anyway here’s the image taken just as dusk is falling and I really like it…

You can see how the town is bounded like a red wine glass by the A422 heading west towards Banbury and the M40, and by the A43 to Northampton and the M1 on the east side. At the bottom of the town you can see the Tesco complex to the left and all that to the right of the little black mini roundabout is the home of the mighty Mercedes F1 team. Our lovely local lake which we walk around a lot is to the left hand side and you can just about make out the 1000 or so new houses which have been added at the top end of the town extending into the distance.  There’s a discernible business district on the eastern boundary. It’s a neatly-balanced little town I think. The old bit, where we live, is naturally the bit at the heart of the picture with the illuminated market square area.  And it’s there that this posting is focused.

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Reminiscing

I seem to be in a reflective mood at the moment. Now I think about it, it may not be such a bad idea actually to log some memories down before I lose many more marbles. Certain things I see on tv are triggering memories from when I was young, especially about my mum and dad. I’ve done postings about each of them recently and here’s another about my mum which I’m certain you’ll find slightly intriguing…

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More surprises

Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest  I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later.  But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little  intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.

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