‘What Is Your Tactic?’


As stated yesterday, Jackie drove us late in the afternoon to Steamer Point Nature Reserve where she parked the car and we walked down to Friar’s Cliff beach.

Here is the origin of the name of this area:

The Steamer sign

From the Nature Reserve, we could see

Steamer Point beach

Highcliffe to our left,

Couple on beachIsle of White, The Neeles, and lighthouse

The Isle of Wight and The Needles straight ahead,

Friar's Cliff Beach

and Friar’s Cliff Beach to the right.

Woman and two dogs

WhippetWoman and dogs on beach 1

A number of people were exercising their dogs on the sands

Woman and dogs on beach 2

and in the water.

Women, boys, and dog on beachBoys and dog on beachPewople and dogs on beach, Isle of Wight, The Needles

Two boys joined in.

No dogs on the beach

It was not until I had moved along towards Friar’s Cliff Beach that I saw this notice.

The Beach Hut cafe

It was just as well that I photographed the beach yesterday, because steady rain set in for the day as we entered The Beach Hut Café.

The reason we were here was that Jackie, drinking coffee here yesterday whilst I was photographing, had noticed Olympics breakfast on the menu. This was apparently something of a challenge, and came with a ‘no sharing’ rule. We decided I would try it for brunch. Our initial disappointment at its no longer being on offer was dismissed when we explained that we had only come for this treat and we were told that, in that case, they would produce one. This, of course, meant that I was really on my mettle. No way could I fall down on the challenge. Even though I did not know what this meal would contain. Jackie opted for the Big Breakfast which was, in itself, quite a challenge, but

Olympics breakfast

nothing like this, which was placed in front of me with a certain amount of glee.

I had barely begun when Danny emerged from the kitchen and asked me ‘What is your tactic?’ Seeing that I clearly didn’t have one, our young friend, who had managed the feat on one occasion himself, suggested making sandwiches with the toast. As there were three fried eggs and six half rounds of toast, that is what I did.

In fact, I found myself imagining that I was in a generous Indian restaurant and reaching the painful stage when it was only my determination not to leave anything that kept me going. This helped, as did the periodic visits of the catering staff who informed me that I was ‘the best yet’, when I still had some way to go. Perhaps being a former marathon man trained to run through the pain barrier was of equal assistance.

Olympic breakfast nearly there

When I was on the final lap, Jackie demanded the camera,

Olympic breakfast last mouthful

and stayed poised for the last mouthful,

Olypic breakfast all done

and the empty plate.

I swear My Grandfather’s Shirt was not so tight before I sat down.

Should anyone feel inclined to enquire about my evening meal, I would simply refer them to my brunch.


  1. What wonderful facial expressions you made! What I would like to ask is how did you feel afterwards?
    I am certain I would have curled up for a snooze… 🙂

  2. Back in my student days, I lodged in a village with a cream-tea shop so renowned that almost everywhere I hitch-hiked, while living there, my drivers would have heard of the place (asking where you were from was a common conversational gambit when travelling). It was listed in the local students To Do quasi-bucket-list in the literature distributed at the Art College and University. There were four of us co-lodging, and the star challenge was the cream tea for four. Their clotted cream, way thicker than standard fare, came in a tower [self-standing] 8″/20cm high. There were two average size scones each, already split in half, and lightly buttered. During our term there, we managed this feat twice, and I was instrumental in eatig the lion’s share, and in completing the job, both times. There was a tactic in this, as well. The establishment is no longer there, more’s the pity.
    The second time we did it, we hadn’t forewarned our landlady, and we came in groaning (even those who, by my measure, hadn’t eaten much). It was a Sunday afternoon, and she was quite put out that none of us could even manage a nibble at her usual large plate of ham sandwiches she’d produced for tea-time!

      1. That’s the right terminology! If you, when part way through, were the “best yet”, surely they should have given you a gold medal for completing an Olympic Breakfast?

  3. Astounding. You remind me of “The Clean Plate Club” a government campaign instituted here in the States by Hoover, post WWI and then again by Truman, post WWII when food was more scarce than it is now and the intent was to get children not to waste food. Ironically, the “clean plate club” mentality continued into our more affluent times when portion sizes have grown much larger and so have waistlines. The trick now seems to get people to eat smaller portions and leave food on their plates when restaurants offer too large a serving.

    I’ve noticed that the size of the dinner plates I inherited from my grandmother are much smaller than those purchased more recently.

    Still, your challenge was all in good fun, and you should be awarded a medal by the Clean Plate Club…especially for the size of that plate!

  4. I loved the beach photos–especially the dogs frolicking, despite the notice.

    But oh my–that plate of food! I’m glad Jackie demanded the camera to document it. 🙂

    1. Many thanks, Merril. There are promenades further up, and most people took their dogs along there and used poop scoops. But certainly those in the water made a good subject.

  5. Oh my goodness! What a meal! Now you need to visit The Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas, and try their 72 oz. steak. If you can consume it and the accompanying side dishes in an hour or less the meal is free.

    1. If only you could pass as Derrick’s stunt-double, he could visit you, while you pretend to be him and come over here for your Indian meal…

  6. Have you seen that TV show from America- Super-size Me? Viewers get to watch people with gargantuan appetites eat gargantuan portions of absolutely everything. You could well be a contender…??

  7. Did you charge money for watching? Next time put a jar out labelled “I eat for tips” 🙂

    I like the doggie photos but I don’t like doggies on the beach. I think the owners need the exercise more than the dogs.

    He he, the Isle of Wight again…

  8. I do think you are right, Derick, about runners learning to live through the pain and push on. Although that plate is certainly more that I could take on. I’m a 5K girl, myself.

    1. “Proper”, no; “improper”, yes; “English”, yes. There is a term “full English”, and this is supposed to refer to the meal, not the eater. But, in THIS case…

  9. Having had a total gastrectomy the most I’d manage from that plate is one egg half a slice of the toast, couple of slices of tomato and a desertspoon of beans, I shall therefore have you charged with wilful and malicious torture of the mosy inhumane type.
    How I miss a big breakfast 🙁

  10. LOL

    (coming from a person who eats gluten-free rice cereal, psyllium husks, freshly ground flaxseeds, various nuts high in Omega 3s, pumpkin & sunflower seeds & fresh fruit for breakfast).

    I haven’t been able to eat high fat or fried food since having my Gall-bladder removed many years ago 🙂 I can no longer eat baked beans either (despite them tasting delicious).

    I particularly like good fried bacon, but it’s off the menu for me too. Gosh, eating can be boring in my household sometimes.

  11. Enjoyed your post Derrick, your pictures are a pleasure depicting life and the environment in your part of the world, quite an appetizing meal and array on the plate, looks like plenty of flat chips there also.

  12. I looked at the well-filled plate and thought it looked more like an early morning warm-up than a marathon (after all, I did eat manage the Harry Ramsden’s Challenge and then eat the free pudding!)

    Then I looked at the plate in the final photos, and the curvature of your shirt front, and realised that this was indeed a challenge comparable to any marathon.

    Well done, you are a breakfasteer of the first order!

  13. Interesting story about the steamer ship and steamer cottage. I like the photo of the Isle of Wight and the Needles. The sunshine rays and creating shadows on the beach was beautiful, Derrick.
    Saving the Best for last~ Congratulations, Derrick! You won the Olympics breakfast, reaching the finish line in tact. 🙂
    Thank you, Jackie for taking the photo since this shot shows how huge that breakfast platter is!

  14. Oh what beautiful views Derrick and fascinating about the Steamer too.. And wow what a whopper of a plate, and you ate every scrap.. 🙂 Great English breakfast.. 🙂 Have a good rest of the week Derrick.. Sue

  15. Oh good heavens, how did you do it? Do I detect a bit of excessive competitiveness there? I can hardly believe you pulled it off and remained clear-eyed and upright. Maybe you took a walk afterwards, to settle it. And no dinner, indeed. You may have even thought twice before having toast for breakfast the next day.

  16. Oh, gosh, I didn’t even mention the rest of it. Got a kick out of the steamer story – I wanted to hear how it got wedged up there in the first place. And the photos of the family are lovely.

    1. Many thanks, Crystal. We couldn’t find the answer to the steamer except that it was used as an office whilst the nearby Highcliffe Castle was being built, then as a summer house until it fell apart.

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