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Mushy peas shock discovery

July 22, 2011

That nice lady decorator set off just before play started in the first cricket Test Match between India and England at Lords to get a bottle of water as she was thirsty. Just how thirsty she was I discovered about ten minutes later when she came back with four pints of Marston’s Pedigree. Not proper “from the wood” real ale but the gassed version, but acceptable in any event.

We had earlier made a pact not to allow alcohol to pass our lips before the sun was over the yard-arm, but with the sun nowhere in sight, which is to be expected in England in summer, I admit it was hard to tell, and when I checked the time, it said 12.10 and we had supped before it dawned on us that our phones were all still on French time.

So with the first pints on board by 11 30, there was no way back to sobriety until this morning. In between we saw some cricket, had lunch on the lawn at Lords, missed the England captain’s wicket by being too late back from lunch and generally had a very nice day until the heavens opened again just before tea, which my picture today captures.

A typical English summer day at lords, home of cricket

Our host for the day was one Nigel Rowley. He is an utter madcap, always doing something stupid. Last summer when he visited us in Valbonne he was photographed sitting on sail less windsurfer on a precariously balanced chair with a sun umbrella, trying to sail across my pool. That was stupid in itself, but I never did find out why he was naked.

He was a little better behaved yesterday, at least until the evening when he took us the The Sea Shell Restaurant near Marylebone station for the best fish and chips in the world. In deference to my hosts next week when we venture up north for a “northern experience”, I thought I should start to acclimatise myself to the type of food we shall no doubt be offered when we arrive, so I asked for a side order of mushy peas. I think the restaurant were trying to break me in gently because the bright green mess arrived on a plate, rather than in the old newspaper favoured by those curious folk born north of Watford. However the effect was at variance with my expectations because I had never realised what a disgusting colour they were, having never before seem them served on such a bland receptacle. Normally, when faced with this hideous concoction, one may be distracted by the headlines on the newspaper; things like “ferret found up trouser leg”, or “local pigeon fancier wins third prize at pigeon show”, or focus on the nasty damp stain on the newspaper where the grease from the peas start spreading through the fibres, but to see it in all its glory on a stark white plate was shocking. How many “e” numbers must a portion of mushy peas contain in order to reach that luminosity? I reckon we could have turned all the lights out and dined quite well by the radiation being emitted. Perhaps I have discovered why all those northerners often exclaim “e by gum”?

So after mushy peas and fish and chips, we retired to our hotel for a nightcap in their rose garden, which was covered to keep out the still spitting rain, sheltered from the wind by a trellis, and heated with an outdoor heater. Such are the glories of sitting outside in London in July.

Finally, I just want to mention that once again there has been no mention of Currencies Direct.

Chris France

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