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Showing posts from March, 2012

A baguette with Hannibal (that's Lecter not H of the elephants)

Probably the best baguette in the world.


And that comes from someone who lived in France for 4 years. And yes, I had some of the best bread ever during that time but I would have never been offered a hot demi-baguette packed with shredded roast pork and sage and onion stuffing. I know, even the thought of it makes you go weak at the knees doesn’t it? Sunday lunch in a sandwich.

Repeating the baguette experience is a short hop for me right now as I’m home in Port Talbot, Wales. 'Baguettes To Go' is in Taibach, home of Anthony Hopkins. This baguette would convert Hannibal Lecter.

The best baguette in the world (probably) needs to be accompanied by the best coffee in the world. And Tambini’s near the Tollgate Park in Margam presses the probably button too, even in a polystyrene cup. Milky, sweet, hot and no foam.



The take-away approach is essential in the heat-wave that’s cosseting the whole country this week. It’s weather that makes us want to hold up our pasty winter skin to the…

Good reads and cake

Those of you who are linked to me via Facebook will know of my conversion to Kindle. Not just any old conversion, but a real evangelical clapping in the aisles Hallelujah! conversion. I’m not going to try and persuade any hardline ‘I’m sticking to books’ people among you about the delights of being a Kindle owner. I will only say: I once was like you are now : )
Every day there’s a Kindle deal, usually a 99p download for a novel, or reference book or autobiography/biography. I've bought about one a week so far and  I've recently stockpiled three for my month long beach and bookshop retreat in South Florida in May:
Now All Roads Lead to France, The Last Years of Edward Thomas, Matthew Hollis The Sacrifical Man, Ruth Dugdall Cham, Jonathon Trigell
I nice cross-section of theme and tone there, I think.
I also bought Aric Davis’s Nickel Platedbut after reading the first chapter I just had to carry on reading to the end. It’s supposed to be a teen novel – the main protagonist is only t…

What blokes say, dodgy chicken, and a shotgun

As if we didn’t have enough of DIY and house renovation during 4 years in France, Tony has recently changed a couple of cupboards in the kitchen here to two large pan drawers. We had these deep wide drawers in the French kitchen and they remove that ‘kneeling down and clattering around in the back of the cupboard for a saucepan lid’ activity. I’m not saying I couldn’t have lived without them but Tony was up for doing it. It wasn’t quite as straightforward as you might imagine because our yellow kitchen has been discontinued by B&Q so while he could buy the drawer units it was a case of having to make the drawer fronts out of MDF then matching the colour with matt paint and varnish.

Job done : )

‘I can’t fit all the same stuff back in,’ I said aloud, more to myself than anything else. The drawers aren’t as deep as the cupboard shelves and I was left with a couple of baking trays and a saucepan after I’d put in as much as I could. Tony looked over my shoulder. ‘Do you need all that stuf…

When the world moved at 33 and 45 rpm

I bought my first ‘music centre’ in 1980. Those of you old enough will remember that music centres were large, rectangular constructions incorporating the turntable, a tape deck and radio. Bang & Olufsen was the dream brand – I remember the glossy magazine shots of those streamlined beasts that took up the same amount of space as a small dining room table.
My music centre was the first ‘upright’ one on the market, produced by National Panasonic. It had its own wood effect and glass door cabinet: the music centre sat on top and I kept my LP’s in the cabinet below. I brought it with me to Kent in 1985 and it's been with me ever since. The cabinet has long gone, I don’t have tapes anymore and I hadn’t bothered replacing the batteries for the radio station memory in years but every now and then I’d pull out an LP from its cardboard sleeve, cue the arm of the record deck and listen to Carole King’s 'Tapestry', or Fleetwood Mac’s 'Rumours', or Meatloaf’s 'Bat Out …