El queso equivocado

In keeping with my tradition of attempting various ethnic dishes using entirely the wrong ingredients, I give you my Mexican-style burrito thing!

Everything always looks so good on TV, so achievable, and yet I always seem to end up with some weird Anglicised version of what I’m attempting to emulate! On this particular occasion, I was inspired by the Instagram posts of Criollo Taqueria – a restaurant overlooking San Miguel Bay, in Baja California. They also featured briefly on Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico TV series. Their food is very Instagrammable, it’s kind of their “thing” really. It’s a style of food they call MexaPop – or Mexican Popular – a modern, high-quality fast food take on traditional Mexican cuisine.

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Nørdic manifesto

Following on from the foodie theme of my last post (although at the other end of the spectrum), yesterday evening’s culinary escapade was decidedly Scandi. Recently I’ve been reading about the New Nordic Food Manifesto, which is an inspiring and worthy pursuit, to my mind. I’m a bit late to the party actually (as it was outlined back in late 2004), but I’d argue that now is as good a time as any to find out about it, as it seems to be less a proposal now and more a firmly established movement.

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Lunch à la Scooby-Doo

Oh, Daphne. Be still my beating heart.

Ahem! Sorry… bit distracted there.

The pic above is a little misleading, I’ll admit, but you know those sandwiches that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo make? The ones where they open the refrigerator, sling the ingredients across the kitchen like a croupier at Caesars Palace, and everything lands on a plate as a perfectly-formed, multi-layered snack? Yeah, that. Minimum prep, maximum nom. Don’t they always look like the greatest sandwiches you’ve ever seen? My mouth is watering at the very thought!

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Butterfly walk

Despite a forecast of mostly cloudy weather, on Saturday I decided to take a walk around the Rifle Range nature reserve, just a 20-minute walk or so from where I live in Bewdley, Worcestershire. Rifle Range is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England, and is a large area of mostly heathland, with some wooded areas around its periphery.

I’ve visited a number of times over the past couple of years, and when the weather’s good, it’s a great place for a bit of butterfly spotting. I have to admit however, I wondered whether I might have been wasting my sweet time, given how overcast it was when I set out. Continue reading “Butterfly walk”

The coffee conversion

I love coffee. I mean, I’m not one of those hard-core bean-junkies who can’t function without their pre-9am quota of umpteen oversize mugs of máximo-strength, but I do love it. I’m a bit fussy about my coffee, mind you. I’m not a coffee snob, or anything like that, I don’t know enough about it, but I certainly know what floats my dinghy, and what scuttles it on the ocean of hot beverages, and sends it gurgling into the murky depths.

This was not always the case, however. I’ve always been a tea drinker; still am – I think it’s probably written deep within my genome or something. Continue reading “The coffee conversion”

Possibly Poirot


Last Friday evening I completed the final leg of my usual commute home from work by steam, on the Severn Valley Railway. It was, without question, an unalloyed, unqualified pleasure. During the week, from Monday to Thursday, I don’t make it back in time for the last SVR train to Bewdley. On Fridays however, I finish work an hour earlier and (saving any delays en route) I reach Kidderminster station with about five minutes to spare.

It’s not something I’d really considered doing before, thinking – as I did – that a) I wouldn’t make the connection in time, and b) it was somehow a little too extravagant. Continue reading “Possibly Poirot”

The closeness of history

King John's tomb

To paraphrase Doctor Emmett Brown, it could be that the fifteenth year of each new century inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Well… perhaps not. There are certainly, however, a number of noteworthy centennial anniversaries this year.

One thousand years ago, in the late summer of 1015 the Viking invasion of England began, under Cnut the Great – or King Canute if you will. A little obscure maybe, but I’m sure everyone remembers the story of King Canute and the waves. I think it was Miss Parker, in class 5J, who recounted to me and my classmates the (possibly) apocryphal tale of Canute failing to hold back the tide. Ah, Miss Parker… how we all went weak at the knees over your long, golden tresses of bouncy blonde hair and your exotic Liverpudlian accent! It mattered not that we were but eleven years old.

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Oh! Doctor Beeching…

Mossy roots

Of course it’s pure conjecture on my part, but if the small village of Bagginswood in Shrophire wasn’t, in some small measure, an inspiration for the name of Tolkien’s titular character from The Hobbit, then you can cover me with eggs and flour and bake me for forty minutes! I mean, it’s entirely feasible, surely.

What this has to do with anything (tennuously) is that Bagginswood is the source of Dowles Brook, and a recent walk through the Wyre Forest along the Dowles Brook Circular Trail is the crux of this post.

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Frosty morning walk

It’s still very much a novelty that I can step out of my front door and, within just a few minutes, find myself surrounded by fields, forests, rivers and lakes; a novelty which I doubt will wear off. There are countless local walks, whose routes have been mapped, photographed and described in varying degrees of detail, such that you’re truly spoilt for choice. And if you’re prepared to venture off those well-worn pathways and simply follow your nose, I doubt you’d ever run out of places to visit. Continue reading “Frosty morning walk”

About me and this blog

When you move to a new town it’s not unusual to want to know more about it; moreso perhaps than if you’ve lived somewhere all your life. And there’s a great deal to know, it seems, about the small town of Bewdley, nestled in the Severn Valley, and only a few minutes from the Wyre Forest in the county of Worcestershire. I’d visited many times in the past, but just recently, after not a little encouragement, I made my home here; and I’ve not regretted it for a minute.

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