Life in the heart of France
17th September 2012
A Taste of England
My Mum's health took a turn for the worse (she was right not to make the trip to us in France) and she was taken into hospital. So instead of seeing her over here, I went over there. At the age of 91 she's facing two major surgeries, to remove & replace the artificial hip she had put in 14 years ago. Not a nice prospect, but I hope I presented a familiar face and a sympathetic ear for the five days I was there.
With visits to the hospital in Poole taking up only a couple of hours a day, I took the chance to wander around the town and harbour.
Feeling like a tourist, I walked along the harbour side, a pleasant stroll watching people mooching about in boats.
The manager was called, and when I asked if they could give me a pie cooked in the oven, he told me they don't have any ovens. What? In a gastropub serving 70 covers they have no OVEN?? No - they receive vacuum-packed pre-prepared meals with instructions on how long to stick them in the microwave. I was shocked. He did admit that, because of many customers' comments like mine, they are having a big makeover in November, taking out most of the microwaves and installing ovens for proper cooking. Meanwhile, he did offer me a different meal, Vegetable Jalfrezi, a curry with rice that's much more suitable for reviving in the microwave.
I decided to treat myself to a pub meal at the Tap and Railway at the end of the road. From just 3 vegetarian choices, I ordered leek, potato and cheese pie. The chunky potato fries were nice, the salad was good, but the pastry on the pie was tough, inedible, dry... it had obviously been microwaved. Now I'm not a fan of microwaves (since someone described it as 'nuking' the food) and I believe although it does some foods well, it does no favours to pastry. So when the waitress came and asked 'is everything alright?' I had to say 'no, not really'.
I did miss the potato fries though!
I always think it's such a waste, seeing all these expensive watercraft floating unused, taking up mooring space and costing big fees. Even if I won the lottery, I wouldn't buy a boat. Might rent one for a party or a cruise around the bay, though.
Who really, really NEEDS a pleasure boat like these?
My Mum's patio has regular grey squirrel visitors.