“Oh, Lardy, Lardy” – in praise of fat

It’s cold. It may not have snowed here in London but when the sun disappears in the late afternoon, the chill ices into your bones. Middle daughter and I suffer from bad circulation that materialises in white fingertips when the temperature drops below 10C, and white toes when it hits minus figures. Thawing is mildly painful as the extremities turn bruising blue before returning to pink. Middle daughter doesn’t do hot either. She is a temperate child. The family GP, a pragmatist at the best of times, diagnosed a possible mild form of Raynaud’s syndrome where the arteries spasm and blood flow is reduced. His recommendation was that if I didn’t want surgery to cut the nerves in the back of my neck, then I should wear gloves, which I do – regularly. Continue reading ““Oh, Lardy, Lardy” – in praise of fat”

My First Joint

Roast Breast of Lamb

No, not that one. That was decades later.

The Sixties were definitely swinging, or so they said, when I moved to London at seventeen. I was accompanied by two large suitcases, a map of how to get to Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, and a fiver in my pocket. Progress was slow as I made my way, burdened down, along the Cromwell Road. The grey buildings towered above me, a small cog hoping to join the wheel of metropolitan life. Continue reading “My First Joint”

Why Is French Food So Brown?


It was an early April morning, light cloud sitting over the Seine masked the attempt of the sun to break through. A winter’s chill still lingered in the depths of the side streets as we headed towards the light of the river. We were in need of caffeine. Continue reading “Why Is French Food So Brown?”

Strawberries With A French Twist – and vice versa

Jean-Pierre and his strawberries
Jean-Pierre and his strawberries

Yesterday was one of those perfect sunny spring days, and at the Saturday morning market I was too tempted by the strawberries on Jean-Pierre’s stall.  Continue reading “Strawberries With A French Twist – and vice versa”

Let Them Eat Cake – fast food from the days of the train

family-fruit-cake2I can’t be the only one to remember when British Rail used to sell rectangles of fruit cake wrapped in cellophane off the trolley to be accompanied by a stiff cup of builder’s tea? Continue reading “Let Them Eat Cake – fast food from the days of the train”