Monthly Archives: March 2010

Quatermass Breakfast

An American friend of mine (yes, I’m talking about you, Viv Hargrave) has introduced me to this…. I’m trying to think of an appropriate word here… Godzilla of a breakfast. Look at it – its humungous. It looks like something from Quatermass (Google it, you youngsters). Eat this for breakfast, and you wouldn’t be able to move for half a day. Only in America.breakfast-casserole-asp-mush-goat-cheese120blob

 Quatermass monster                          Breakfast casserole

I’m sure you’re dying to try it, so here’s the recipe. Oh, and if have any digestive problems later, don’t come running to me. Actually, after eating this, I think running to me would be physically impossible.

CHEESE AND SAUSAGE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
8 slices white bread, cut in cubes
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, crumbled & cooked
1 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
10 lg. eggs
2 c. milk
2 tsp. dry mustard
Salt & pepper

  • Grease 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan.
  • Place bread in prepared dish. Top with sausage and cheese.
  • Beat together eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over sausage mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and centre is set. About 50 minutes. Cut into squares.

Can be prepared 1 day ahead and place in refrigerator. Cover until ready to bake.

A wander

Twitter chum @thom_white recently started going for an occasional  wander in his native Nottingham, taking photographs of whatever took his fancy as he meandered, and inventing the #wander hashtag in the process. Here’s MY latest #wander.

01 market That’s the market sign. The second item is a black pudding, which should give you a clue as to where I was wandering. Or you could just look at the tags for this post.

02 Respect the past and look to the future The motto here translates roughly to “Respect the past and look to the future”, which is the motto of the Royal Grammar School in Worcester. Oddly, this is on a bank.

03 1874 “1874” proclaims this rather nice window on what used to be the Co-op bank building, and now houses Swinton Insurance. Not sure of the meaning of “Union Club”, and a quick Google search has discovered nothing.

04 Church

The church looking impressively solid. I waited ages for the wind to take the flag out enough to see the cross of St. George, and took about a dozen photographs in the process, but this was the best one of the lot. Sometimes you just have to bow your head to fate and give in.

 

 

05 commerceThis proud young lady wearing what looks like a designer scarf apparently represents Commerce, and can be found on the plinth of a statue of Robert Peel near the church. Not that I often consider the gender of abstract nouns, but I never thought of Commerce as being female.

 

 

 

06 tiles Some interesting tiles on an otherwise completely ordinary red-brick building. Odd decision to place them there.

07 escape

I call this piece “Escape”, although I haven’t the faintest idea what’s meant to be going on. Twitter opinion was that this was a creepy demon child and I should leg it forthwith out of what wa obviously Satan’s Garden. There then followed some amusing by-play about Satan gardening in his spare time, but I’ll not bore you with it here.

 

 

08 memorial

The memorial by the Royal Fusiliers Museum, which I didn’t bother to go in because they charge a fair whack for entry. Museums, like Art Galleries, should be free and ask for contributions to provide funds. Speaking of Art Galleries, the next photograph is of a window in the gallery across the road from the Fusiliers Museum. I can identify the anvil and the weaving shuttles, but why are they torturing the poor ram?

09a window Not sure what’s growing in the bottom right hand corner, either.

09 the cruel sister I adore this painting – The Cruel Sister by John Faed. Which of the ladies do you think is the Cruel Sister of the title? As I write this, there’s a better image here.

Lunchtime – I seem to have quite the choice here –

10 menu Tony and Tony use different fonts for their signs, and given how particular food outlets are about their font-usage, Twitter opinion was that they were not related. However, they probably unite to make Mr. Second Base’s life a misery. There was also some gossip about whether Second Base, given the suggestive name, might be an establishment of quite a different nature altogether. The chippy, though, was closed 😦

11 piesBut luckily here’s Mrs. Ogden to the rescue, with her butifull meat & tater pies.

12 saint This is St. Wilfride, and he can be found outside the Catholic Church. Thanks to the delightful @rosamundi (follow her on Twitter for laughs and thrills and spills), I can point you to this page of information, where St. Wilfrid appears to have a weirdly-shaped head.

13 bank Extreme flower-pressing, again found on a bank. What is it with banks and unusual decorations on their buildings? 13 market squareAnd finally, here’s the memorial in the triangle on Market Street, atop which an angel is waving I-have-no-idea-what.

This #wander malarkey is great fun, and the feedback has been dead encouraging, so I’ll definitely be doing it again. Meanwhile, the next time you go into town try looking up instead of straight ahead, and you might see something interesting. Maybe you’ll even have a #wander, eh?

Ben likes his ball

No time to write; just wanted to whack this video up here….

A few more Loughborough pics

Thought I might as well whack up a few more photos I took in Loughborough, but didn’t use in the last post. These are the fairly crappy ones, so you’ll miss nothing by skipping this particular blog entry.

First, just below, is Cat with the Town Hall waaaayyy up the end there behind her.Dscf0245

Dscf0256Next we have a shot of the Age Concern bookshop, which I took mostly just as a reminder that there are a lot of charity shops in Loughborough.

And here’s one of a number of shopping arcades that are to be found around the town. Up those stairs at the far end is a rather nice-looking coffee bar (or pizza place, or something).Dscf0259

Dscf0261 Next (over on the right there) is an example of the traffic that winds through this pleasant town, surprisingly little of which actually gets in the way of the meandering pedestrian – and yes, the tractor did drive through the red light which appeared as I took the photograph.

Here’s a shot of Churchgate (apparently the oldest part of the town), which did have some interesting little shops, not least the one called Mary Mary, which sold somewhat distinctive women’s clothing. Dscf0269Since my own Mary Mary is also somewhat distinctive, that’s hardly surprising.

Dscf0265 There was a beautiful old tree in the churchyard of the 14th century parish church, which I attempted to capture through the panorama feature of my camera. This failed, due entirely to the fact that I stood way too close and confused the function with bendy perspective.

I have therefore attempted to join the three parts of the tree manually, using good old Paintshop Pro. You can still see the lines where I couldn’t be arsed to meld the lighting and little offsets, but I reckon you still get the overall effect.

From where she is standing beneath the tree, Cat took the photograph below gazing up through the branches at the pretty blue sky.

 

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Now, what’s left? Oh yes, a combination teddy bear / guitar shopDscf0272

 

 

 

 

in THIS arcade,Dscf0274

 

 

 

 

which sold these –Dscf0273

 

 

 

Yes, I know, ladies – Awwwww!!

 

 

 

And finally, a typical pub (all together, men – Awwwww!!)Dscf0260

Cheesecake Shop!

Dscf0277 The drive down to Loughborough for Cat’s latest University  interview was much more pleasant than the Derby trip, although they are pretty close to each other, presumably because we weren’t trying to force our way through rush hour traffic.

And here I’ll make a quick ‘by the way’ for my American readers (Hi, Viv!) – Loughborough is pronounced “Luff-burrer”, not “Lowg Bo Ro”.

On registration, Cat was given an interview time two hours later, which gave her enough time to come and check out the town with me. Yay for me, since she’s marvellous company. Plus – hey, sunny day! Win all round.

Dscf0243 One of the first things we spotted was that there seems to be a large (or at least ‘noticeable’) Chinese community in Loughborough, as evidenced by, well, the large number of Chinese people we passed, as well as various establishments like the Yi Ming chinese supermarket here. Dscf0244 The town centre is but a ten minute walk from the campus, maybe even five if you’re not stopping all the time to go “Oo, look at the interestingly shaped and coloured buildings yonder, behind Sainsbury’s!”

As we approached the town centre, we found a healthy number of fascinating independent small shops, such as this second-hand bookshop – Dscf0247

Dscf0249 – in amongst the usual chain stores, like this big Costa on the corner just opposite the town hall. The interesting mix of shops continued throughout our exploration, and was a big factor in our enjoyment of the place.

 The Sock

Dscf0251This odd statue, over on the right there, graced the Market Place nearby, and appears to be a bloke sitting on a bollard, wearing nothing but a strategic leaf (a sycamore, I believe, for you tree fans out there) and a sock, which he seems to be extremely impressed by. Later Googling found that this is indeed “The Sock”, created by the sculptress Shona Kinloch, having been commissioned by Charnwood Borough Council “to provide an attractive feature and focus of public interest”.

His sock is symbolic of Loughborough’s hosiery industry, and the rest of the sculpture contains images from the town’s history. Apparently, The Sock was far from universally admired when unveiled but “hearts have warmed to it and it is now a well loved feature of the Loughborough scene”. We loved it. And now here’s a big old shot of the Market Place, looking lovely in the Spring sunshine…Dscf0250

Dscf0252… and a closer look at the Town Hall.

Further up a little way past the flags and the naked chappie with one sock, we came across The Reel Cinema (see what they did there?), which impressed Cat because (a) it looked like a cinema from fifty years ago, and (b) the names of the films currently showing had obviously been put up there by the highly technical method of someone climbing a ladder with some adhesive lettering. In light of (a), lets try looking at the cinema in sepia, shall we?

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Dscf0254Yes, that works! JUST like the Fifties!

Just above this time warp, we found Cat’s favourite shop of all. I don’t think I need to tell you anything other than the name of this shop for you to be able to judge its attractiveness and wow factor – yes, its…

 The Cheesecake Shop!

 

Dscf0262Meanwhile, down at the other end of town, this corner seemed to encompass the place – the white building being a combination of a Chinese Medicine Centre and, of all things, a stationers. Next door sits “The Cheese Cottage”, and emporium of a wide variety of said comestible. Past the cheesy vendors and we’re into Church Gate, which leads unsurprisingly to the parish church. But more of that anon, for what is this delightful establishment?Dscf0271 Oh yes indeed! Handmade chocolates, and a chocolate café, where you can  sit and enjoy all sorts of hot drinks accompanied by chocolates made to order. Mmmmm. But on to the church, which sat very prettily amongst budding trees.Dscf0263 In a month or so, when the trees are in leaf, and the cherry and apples amongst them are full of blossom, I’ll bet it will be a lovely sight. As it was, we found a large number of these harbingers of Spring:Dscf0268I’m sure if I tried I could come up with a snappy title all about birth and death, but to be honest with you I just can’t be arsed tonight. Dscf0248Now, although we took many more photographs (oh so many), I think I’ll limit myself to just this one before Cat and I walk back up to the University for her actual interview –  yes, its Cat’s favourite source of lunch again. This time however, they had sold out of her favourite sandwich! Oh noes! But wait, the young whippersnapper behind the counter (whom Cat described as “a puppy!”) offered to make her one from scratch, so hurrays all round.

The interview itself, Cat reports, was her hardest yet, given that they asked her many questions for which she had to think on her feet. She reckons it went quite well, though. The town itself was a big hit with Cat, who said it was the sort of place she’d be really happy living in. Here’s a summing up: