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Fish and grips shock

April 12, 2013

It was when we discovered that the fridge door could not be opened, due to the efforts of the heating engineers to magic up some hot water, that the days plans began to unravel. With no access due to a cupboard needing to be moved, whilst the very expensive new boiler was being installed, and with a pub serving wonderful food next door, I am afraid that we succumbed to the inevitable and backslid to the pub for a pint and a bite to eat.

Fantastic Boco Nuevo spare ribs and a couple of pints of Harvey’s was enough for me to think that our plans to go to the Red Lion for their Thai night last night seemed in ruins. Distressed by this ruination, and clearly weakened by the dietary onslaught that has epitomised my being over the last few days, I took to my bed in the afternoon to consider the benefits of Currencies Direct after being overcome by a bout of extreme tiredness.

snow in south of France

The Cote d’Azur in the snow

When we are going away for a few days hopefully not to see weather such as confronted us last March at our house in the south of France (see picture above ), that Nice Lady Decorator usually insists that we “eat the fridge”. You will know that I do not mean that literally, but the there are inevitably some items that will not last over a long weekend. With it now accessible, it fell to me to eat these items to the exclusion of real food. Thus dinner, rather than a beef satay, was a kind of bubble and squeak which was not very squeaky, some left over cheese and some stale Jacobs Cream Crackers. That is was cheaper than a nice Thai meal is undeniable, but better? The jury is out. If they decided on the latter then as far as I am concerned it should be a hung jury.

The jury was even further out when, deciding that a pint of beer would be necessary to line one’s stomach before the culinary delight ahead of us, we bumped into a crowd of Aruldites, as I am sure people refer to the inhabitants if Arundel, (because they like to stick together – please try to keep up) who insisted we join them for a drink at La Campagnia, an Italian restaurant in the town. Amongst the reprobates that were in this motley crew was White Hart pub manager Terribly Tall Timothy Taylor.

He was in top form as usual and offered me several gems for today’s column. The first of these was when he told me that he had been drinking since 1pm but was still thirsty. It was close to 8pm when we had this conversation. but when I reached for my phone to make a note of this titbit, he rightly accused me of exposing him in this column. When I suggested that I would not reveal his identity he suddenly realised that coverage in this column is his only claim to fame and relented.

Over drinks before the Aruldites got down to some serious eating, there was some discussion about the fish and chip shop opposite the White Hart. I like it, but would only ever contemplate eating it after a skinful when the desire for quality is replaced by desire for quantity. The lovely Laura, the co-owner of Boco Nuevo suggested that she would cook proper fish and chips one night at the pub but that it had to be accompanied by shandy. It was here that Terrible Tall Timothy Taylor made some tasteless but very funny remarks about what he called a “hand shandy” and fish and grips.

Chris France

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