A Perfect Ten

4TH DECEMBER 2017

This post is one day late, but we now have good internet access.

Now having tried one for lunch today I am bound to expand on my mention of the pork pies sold at Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe featured on 2nd, posted yesterday.

Walker’s are one of the best pork pies we know. It is therefore interesting that, in addition to their own Dickinson & Morris pies, the shop stocks those.

Dickinson & Morris

The proprietors’ own produce comes in two different wrappers. The red one appears standard.

Jackie bought a more expensive white wrapped pie.

We consider ourselves connoisseurs of this traditional English delicacy which can vary enormously in quality. There were a number of different varieties on offer in Newark when we lived there. We would rate them out of 10, taking into account both the filling which must be firm and not fatty, and the pastry which must be crusty and not soggy.

Until today we had not found a Perfect Ten. We have now.

Dickinson & Morris provide the following information on their website:

‘The business was founded by John Dickinson in 1851. In 1886 Joseph Morris joined the business as an apprentice and in 1901 the company changed its name to Dickinson & Morris.

Our bakery and retail outlet, Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, is a tourist destination and key landmark in both Melton Mowbray and the UK as a whole. In March 1992, after fire had devastated the period style building, Samworth Brothers bought the property and carried out extensive refurbishment and renovation in conjunction with English Heritage.

Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe reopened in October of that year. Next door to Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, The Sausage Shop now offers a selection of up to 20 different sausage varieties.’

James Peacock visited this afternoon, bringing back my restored iMac computer, and setting us up with EE mobile broadband. For me, this latter process was mystifying, fascinating, and conducive to reminiscence.

The mystification concerned all the clicks on the screen, too fast for me to follow. The fascination was about the mobile phone masts that James could plot on the maps he had accessed. There are three in New Milton within the range of the EE receiver. It was news to me that we could access the internet without broadband cables which are not a great deal of use in our location.

It was wandering around the house seeking a location for the best signal that evoked the reminiscence. James is too young to have remembered the hours of taking it in turns to stand holding an aerial in the early days of television. It was some years before the first sets could be operated without the use of a cumbersome external area. This was meant to stand on top of the old black and white apparatus. In reality it would only pick up a half-way useful signal in the most awkward corner of the room whilst being clutched in hands attached to  outstretched arms.

This evening I dined on Jackie’s excellent chili con carne and egg fried rice, while she chose a pasta bake. With mine I drank Mendoza malbec 2016

“Our Husbands Don’t Know We’re Here With This Man”

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2ND DECEMBER 2017

Continuing internet problems mean that I am still two days behind with this post.

After a good night’s sleep we began the day with an excellent breakfast cooked by Mr Watts. We enjoyed the bonus of our host’s conversation whilst he cooked our meal and served us. He provided¬† some of the information posted yesterday. We also exchanged details of knee problems. This is a regular topic for those of a certain age.

We were set up for the day with orange juice; cereals of our choice; a fry-up consisting of two eggs, two rashers of bacon, tomatoes and beans; toast and marmalade, and a large pot of tea.

Afterwards we set off by what we thought would be the pretty route to Melton Mowbray. In fact this contained numerous complex junctions and sometimes unclear signage. We determined to return by the M1.

Rockingham

One advantage we did discover was the, even on this dull day, pretty village of Rockingham,

The Barn Tea Rooms

and The Barn Tea Rooms,

Clematis Nellie Moser

outside which clematis Nellie Moser bloomed.

The Barn Tea Rooms

We enjoyed a coffee and a break in the delightful interior,

The Barn Tea Rooms

where one woman quipped that the husbands of her and her companion didn’t know that they were “here with this man”,

Jackie in The Barn Tea Rooms

so I made sure that none but Jackie appeared in the photographs.

Our object in arriving soon after midday at Jasmine House in Sherrard Street, Melton Mowbray was to check out the location and parking potential for this evening’s meal. The town centre boasted a confusing one-way system, so this had been a good idea.

We then went on a driveabout. Our first discovery was the

Windmill

Sibsey Trader

Windmill

Windmill,

Windmill

On the other side of the door to which

Inside windmill

visitors find a flour-covered notice. The bell you are invited to ring is attached to the blue rope.

Inside windmill

We couldn’t shift the rope, but were able to enter and look around the ground floor;

Inside windmill

and watch the ground flour descend the chute which indicated that Nigel was upstairs working.

The current six sailed mill was built in 1877 to replace a large postmill that had stood slightly to the west of it. During the mid 1950s it was abandoned to decay. until restoration began in the early 1970s. Ten years later English Heritage returned it to full working order. Today it is producing a vast range of stone ground flours continuing the ancient craft of traditional wind milling.

Windmill sails

One of the old sails lies beside the restored building.

The White Lion

Our next stop was at The White Lion pub in Whissendine,

Nutcracker Christmas decoration

where the Christmas decorations

Nutcracker Christmas decoration

featured a Nutcracker theme. The publican is a member of the Magic Circle who widely entertains a multitude of groups.

Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppie

Back at Melton Mowbray we wandered around for a while, visiting Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe,

Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppie window

the windows of which enticed Jackie to make a purchase.

Louisa, Errol, Jessica, and Imogen arrived at Jasmine House on time and we enjoyed a splendid Chinese meal, excellent service and wonderful company. As always the grandchildren were delightful, especially in their joyful appreciation of their presents. Naturally their mother had given us first rate advice. It hadn’t taken long to decide that it was OK to open the gifts this evening.

We experienced a smooth journey back to Watts Lodge in Bicester.