By melmoth23, Jan 19 2018 12:17AM

I have, in ten days, been to three funerals, two in crematoria and one in a church.. The crematoria ones were very different, one was religous, Church of Scotland, the other secular, the family vehemently non-religous. The other was in a Catholic church, very traditional, a partly sung liturgy, responses from the congregation (with lots of signs of the cross). It was by far the best one. Beautiful, moving and comforting. It's easy to mock the church, paedo priests, hypocrisy etc. but they are bloody good at weddings, christenings and death.

By melmoth23, Nov 2 2017 11:18PM

I am giving a talk at Wendover Library on November 14, so if you're free, do come along...

By melmoth23, Sep 11 2017 09:20PM

Back from Dumbarton after transferring my mother (91 with dementia) from a home up there to one down the road from me. So I got up to Dumbarton on the Friday and stayed overnight and came back down south with her in an ambulance.

It was a long day.

Eight hours from start to finish but the paramedics were great although I did have to answer, 'Where are we going ?' innumerable times. That and, 'Are we nearly there ?'

The Abbotsford, the hotel where I stayed on the A82, was great value for money with nice staff and I had a good pub dinner. Nothing fancy, prawn cocktail, steak and ale pie, chocolate fudge cake which came to about twenty pounds and sizeable portions. It was good to see a menu devoid of pretensions. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Dumbarton is dominated by a huge rock with an ancient castle. You get a great view from the top and it's only £5 to get in, altho in fairness there is not a great deal to see.

By melmoth23, Jul 29 2017 10:47PM

I am just back after a week in Ancona with my wife. We had been to Le Marche before and liked it. It gets quite a lot of rain so it's green and hilly with rocky outcrops and little towns, often walled on top. A bit like a quattrocento painting.

Ancona is a bit of a dump, but in a charming sort of way, ramshackle. The sequel to 'A Taste of Death' has some scenes set there and it was a kind of happy coincidence to remind myself of what it looked like and what the regional food was like.

By melmoth23, Jul 6 2017 10:59PM

One of the pleasures of eating out is to have food that you can't cook yourself because of the skill factor, or because it's too time consuming and/or fiddly. Artichoke ticks both of those boxes. The standard of cooking is exemplary and if you have a look at the Instagram link there's a menu from Artichoke. You can see just how complex it is.

The other great thing about fine dining isunusual food pairings. Duck and cherries, well, that's kind of classic, but pork belly and octopus ! Wow.

The only problem is, I don't like pork belly. But if I did, I'd have been enormously excited.

Food like this is tremendous & I shall be making a Bavarois myself soon ( but I shan't be making my own crispbread as pictured with the trout tartare starter !)