Sunday, January 16, 2011

16th January warm and windy

The weather has changed these last few days to warm but very windy. Temerature around 50 but wild winds. The snow has all gone. Lots of rain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clark Brothers Musselburgh

The best Fish merchants we have found anywhere in the Borders area. A huge range of fresh fish and shellfish, live lobsters, superb (in fact the best I have ever eaten) home smoked kippers, in a class by themselves, pink luscious flesh...hmmmm. This is a remarkable store as most Borders fish merchants sell a limited number of fish and mostly haddock. They also sell good soy sauce and japanese condiments for those who wish to eat their fish raw.

Barter bookstore Alnwick

This is worth a trip "south o' the Border". Its the largest bookstore in the North I think and has a huge range of first editions ranging up to the hundreds of pounds. The sort of place with a roaring fire to spend a whole day browsing and reading. Nice tea shop too, so one does not need to leave at all. The sort of shop Dickens would have appreciated, set in an old railway station. Take a child as there is a O gauge railway running along the tops of the book shelves which gives a nice feel to the place, although the noise made me think it was raining. Maybe this is deliberate to keep you indoors. They have a big range of paperbacks and hardbacks but they are pricey. I am an avid buyer and reader and didn't buy anything as everything I picked up was more than I expected. Still a great visit. Has a lot of lovely old childrens books, perhaps their best collection. But they cover a wide brief, very good on the North and Scotland history as well.
Link to their website

Carlo's Fish and Chips Alnwick

This excellent fish and chip shop is out of the Borders, but really only a short ride away and if the '45 had succeeded would be in Scotland anyway. Very good fish nice crisp batter. Chips good but not the best by far. Mushy peas were very good indeed. Steak Pie very unusual in that the pastry is suet based, but I enjoyed it although nothing to match Jedburgh butcher. They have a nice cosy restaurant as well.

Education and Knox

I am not sure if the Borders education department has supporters of the SNP or John Knox or maybe thats the same thing? But I do know that they seem to delight in doing things a) different from England and b) almost anti religious. As an example is the vacations schedule for 2011 where children have their "Easter" holiday on March 4th to 15th when Easter is actually the weekend of the 20th. The result is that parents who work will be at home on their holiday when their children are back at school. So any idea of planning an Easter vacation is out of the window. Unless its a cunning plan as Baldrick would say in that a wily Scot said "yu see how the English raise prices at school holidays....well we'll fool them by having our different and getting cheaper holidays..d'ye ken". As far as Knox who is most famous for destroying almost as many lovely churches as Henry v111 and creating a religious environment in Scotland where proctors would actually go out on Sunday and fine you for not attending Kirk, he might appreciate making a mandatory holiday on a different day to Rome for Easter!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Remedy for chest colds

In our house as a child there were two regular recipes for fixing problems of health. One was lemon and barley and the other was linseed, licorice. Linseed and licorice was the solution to any chest colds, catarrh etc. Take 3 tablespoons of linseed and boil in two quarts of water with two licorice roots for 30 minutes. The result will be a bit slippy like okra. Strain and add lemon juice and honey to taste and drink a cup at night.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 arrives

More with a whimper than a bang. The snow is slowly melting, the temperature is above freezing but its still bitterly cold. Went down to Scremerston Beach on New years day for a walk to blow the cobwebs away and the wind was cutting. Many people out though, I guess walking off the drink. As it was a quiet day drove around Berwick Upon Tweed, a place usually snarled with traffic. It has some lovely old regency buildings and quiet streets, its actually a gem of a small town and I like it more each time I visit.