I do like to be by the seaside

As a Channel Islander, wariness of the sea has been ingrained since childhood. Regular three hour ferry trips from Weymouth to visit my family in Guernsey taught me that the English Channel was not always calm. Neither was the sea passage between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire when we moved to Dublin for a year in the late 50s. Continue reading “I do like to be by the seaside”

Salad Days

My salad days. When I was green in judgment, cold in blood.” Anthony & Cleopatra, William Shakespeare.

Salads in the 50s meant lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers with the occasional spring onion thrown in. Once a week, nursery tea was a salad accompanied by tinned pilchards or tinned pink salmon – red salmon was reserved for special occasions. Sardines, well sardines as Fiona’s post describes, were to be spread on toast. Continue reading “Salad Days”

A Particular Sweet Tooth

Why do some people have a sweet tooth and others don’t? Both my parents were born during the First World War when the Germans U-boats cut off Britain from much of its supplies. Food products included potatoes and sugar were particularly affected.  By the end of 1917, people began to fear that the country was running out of food and started panic buying – and this, in turn, led to shortages. Therefore in January 1918, the Ministry of Food decided to introduce rationing and sugar was first on their list. Continue reading “A Particular Sweet Tooth”

The Sage of a Francophile

Growing up it was hard not to learn to love all things French. My father’s family come from Guernsey, an island that is approximately forty-three miles from the French coast, and double that from the UK mainland. Continue reading “The Sage of a Francophile”

An Italian Con-fusion

I don’t think you ever forget your first trip to Venice. Mine was in March, a melancholy month at the best of times. Dark clouds were blanketing London and the plane trees lining my street dripped water from the tips of their, as yet, sticky buds. At work, I had been assigned to ‘special projects’ whilst seeing out a six month notice period. It was mind numbingly boring and I felt in need of a break if I was to embark on a new career with a spring in my step. Continue reading “An Italian Con-fusion”

A Chilling Teenage Addiction

Like most parents, I can only look on with admiration and pride as I watch my children making their way into the world of work and remember with amusement my own foray into London and that important first job. Continue reading “A Chilling Teenage Addiction”

I’m going on a Food Hunt and I’m going to Catch…

I couldn’t leave New York behind without trying to do it a better service – foodwise, at least. It’s a city that is heavy on shoe leather, being one of the most walkable cities in the world. Once you’re on the grid it’s almost impossible to get lost, almost. Walking through the 843 acres Central Park is a joy, dwarfed as you seem to be on all sides by monumental buildings reaching far up into the sky. After a day’s walking, I was only too happy to rest my exercised feet on the rails of a cocktail bar and sip my way through a few old favourites before attempting the climb to our top floor eerie. Continue reading “I’m going on a Food Hunt and I’m going to Catch…”

Foreign Food and Foreign Kitchens

I’ve been visiting New York since the mid 80s, in the days when you were advised not to wear conspicuous jewellery and to keep your ‘purse’ close to you at all times. There were stories of cab doors being pulled open at stop signs and baubles being ripped off the necks and ears of women. Mayor Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the city in the mid 90s and now it’s a safe, vibrant city, teeming with immigrants from diverse cultures. In a city where the game is hustle, those born here could be considered to be brash and pushy, but it is a city driven by service where twenty percent tips are the norm. Like any European, I sigh at this excess, but it doesn’t stop me at jumping at any chance to visit this shiny Big Apple. Continue reading “Foreign Food and Foreign Kitchens”