Friday, 17th July, 2020

[Day 123]

When I used to trek up and down our High Street in Bromsgrove, I occasionally used to see sets of pottery (such as half a dozen plates or saucers) being sold off at ridiculously cheap prices and I tended to purchase them, if they were of a pleasant design, for use as saucers to put under indoor plants. I had, in the past, purchased a set of six small bowls and in fact use one of them every day to give breakfast to Miggles, the cat who has adopted us. Today, just out of interest, I turned to see who was the manufacturer and it was Grindley’s, a well-known potteries firm whose vintage pottery is still in demand. So as my curiosity was now aroused, I hunted around on the eBay websites and discovered that the design I had in my possession was called ‘Tudor Rose‘ and although not what you would call valuable, individual items seem to sell for about £3-£5 so there must be some kind of market for people who either collect them or want to replace some missing items. The next dinner party to which we are invited I shall try and weave into the conversation ‘Evidently we only use our Grindley’s ‘Tudor Rose’ ware to feed our cat‘ which sounds like a line out of Jane Austen.

Today in the park we had an assignation to meet some of our oldest Waitrose friends but first had to buy our newspapers and then make a trip to the Post Office (in W H Smiths currently) in order to post a parcel off to my sister. That having been done, we met our friends on the way to the park and proceeded to our normal park bench only for a local authority worker to come along with a portable, petrol-driven strimmer with which he proceeded to cut off the lower branches of the willow immediately beside us. As we now could scarcely hear ourselves think let alone talk, we had to grab and bits or pieces and make for the safety of an alternative bench where we were now out of earshot of the offending machine.

Lunch was an interesting affair – I had previously bought from Iceland a packet of frozen unspecified ‘white fish’ that turned out to be pollock. If you look on the web, you will find that pollock has the reputation of being a good looking but incredibly tasteless fish. I got around this by making a little concoction of my own which a spoonful of seafood sauce (a la Waitrose) a spoonful of garlic mayonnaise, a splodge of tomato ketchup and a dollop of 1000 Island dressing. This was then all mixed up and given a quick whizz in the microwave and it made an incredibly tasty dish as it turned out. As the potatoes had in my store jar were starting to sprout, I picked out some which I then cubed into very small pieces prior to boiling them and then added to them a raw egg, some butter, some whole milk and some grated cheese which I then mashed together to gave a kind of enhanced mashed potato. I only mention all of this to show that if you start off with some fairly pedestrian ingredients, you can actually turn them into quite a good meal using a little imagination and enterprise.

After lunch, it was time to give the lawns their 7-10 day mowing and they really seemed to need it this time – the combination of a lot of humid weather must have really made the grass grow quite rapidly. Whilst on a gardening theme, I was circulated the other day by a firm from whom I had evidently bought stuff in the past who were selling off a lot of their summer stock at massively reduced prices (they claimed £65 worth of stuff for a fiver) Anyway I succumbed and should be soon be getting 12 dahlia tubers, 100 gladioli corms and 25 oriental lilies which might collectively make for quite an interesting display even if we just put them into pots and distribute them around as ways of brightening up a few borders.