Showing posts from October, 2012

Trout at the Cafe

Yet more evidence today of my grumpy-old-man syndrome on its relentless march. Berko is well endowed with independent coffee shops (just about holding back the tide of identikit Starbucks and CafĂ© Neros, despite a sprawling Costa across two sites) some of which I assume pay UK tax. I had a cappuccino-sized gap in my morning and intended to fill it with a stroll down to Bel Caffe to mope over losing bets (of which more in another post) and write a gig review. I got as far as pushing the door a fraction when I noticed through the glass that the room was swarming with pre-schoolers and their well-heeled mums. I immediately released the handle and turned on my own trainer-shod heel. But not before my involuntary grimace and deep frowning was met by one of the mothers and returned with interest. I fled, frozen-blooded, and found respite amongst the crumby tables of the baker’s. Settling down to write the review, I noticed the establishment now offered two varieties o

Cockles and mussels

East of London and north of Canterbury, this town is built around fishing, tourism and tarmacadum. It is famous for oysters, sunsets and real ale. Where on earth?   Actually, no prizes. The only mystery is why, with a CV like that, it took us so long to get there. But eventually, we did. We do like our seaside pleasantries in Family Atkinson and Whitstable proved to be an enormously diverting pleasure the other weekend. Diverting. Partly in the sense that I was deflected away from Team Europe’s foursomes and fourballs struggles; from Team England’s T20 World Cup shambles; and from Team Davoski’s unsighted racing selections. But more so because after an inexplicable gap of 15 years – a best estimate – we were meeting up again with our good friends Jan & Ian. The intervening period had seen them retire, become grandparents and relocate to this gem of a town in north Kent. Needless to say we had plenty to talk about. unicorn hat front and centre The har


The closest I’ve come to the The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a squinted view of the track where it is run from the top of La Tour Eiffel. “Look girls, that’s Longchamp! Where they run the Arc!” They were unimpressed. “Can we have another waffle, Daddy?” Mrs A mustered a little enthusiasm. Peering in the vague direction of the track and the vast wooded area in which it sat, she noted that “The Bois de Boulogne is lovely”. She’s good like that. Following her gaze I was surprised to see another track nestling in the shadow of the main Longchamp Grandstand. I found an information board. It was ‘Hippodrome d’Auteil. “Ah, France’s premier jumps track!” I had no idea it was so close by and as momentarily lost in a swirling memory of Guillame Macaire plotting up Chelteham raiders from here, circa 2002. Back to the present and another Arc swings into view. I still I haven’t made it to (either) track. The 2012 renewal has had a rocky week. Carelessly, the race has lost thr