Thursday, 21 May 2015

Parsley and Time

It seems to have been a spectacular year for Cow Parsley. I haven't taken much notice of it in the past and regarded it as just another weed, but the wonderful displays this year on the green and alongside the lanes have changed my view.

Apparently (Wikipedia tells me) it is not to be confused with Giant Cow Parsley, French Cow Parsley, Fool's Parsley or Poison Hemlock, so I'll be treating their advice that it is "edible ...sharper than garden chervil, with a hint of carrot" with a proverbial bargepole.

Last week I invoked the perk of the self-employed/semi-retired and took a spontaneous day off to cycle to the Coast and back. It happened to be the nicest day of the week for weather and my 73 miles were most enjoyable, particularly the yellow-green-blue section between Halesworth and Harleston through the rolling Suffolk hills.

Here is my trusty Raleigh Stead parked outside the Community run village shop in Metfield where one can buy the most wonderful selection of cakes to ensure one's athletic prowess is undimmed through carbohydrate shortfall ("some chance - Ed").

And here we are at the aforementioned Coast where (if the sun is about) the sea is always twinkling in a very pleasing way.

Southwold always had a lovely faded Enid Blyton 1930's feel to it with tea shops, book shops and even a pre-digital camera shop. Now, sadly, it seems to have turned into an offshoot of Chelsea or Hampstead and the dour little seaside coloured shops have all become coffee shop chains or expensive faux-30's clothing shops or upmarket boutique hotels. It is really now a pastiche of its lovely former self and the only things left there for me are the amazing Tim Hunkin machines on the pier or the rowing boat ferry out to Walberswick.

I made an excuse and left down the treacherous main road to the A12 and back to the excellent little market town of Halesworth for my lunch. An old-fashioned pedestrianised place with "proper" shops and pavement cafes. However, even here the cold hand of modern ways has penetrated as my excellent quiche and salad was served on a plank of wood. The great scribe Sir Bruin once pointed out that the ceramic industry has now been around several hundred years so you'd think plates might be freely available to cafes and restaurants by now.


Liz said...

More cow parsley! Mike has a photo of some on his blog from yesterday. Sir B and I were discussing the various names for cow parsley just the other day. Sir B refers to it as sheep parsley and I'm sure I've also heard it referred to as Queen Anne's Lace and, in that strange and exotic place called The Lincolnshire Fens, I have even heard it called Kecksie (sp?).

Are you following 'We Want Plates' on Facebook? They published a photo last week of some food served in a small platic skip.

Rog said...

I though Kecksie was a name for street football in Liverpool Liz.
I love these old names and we should all aim to keep them alive - henceforth I'm referring to it as Queen Anne's Lace.
When I first saw the Plates group I thought Sir B was supporting "We want Pilates" and had to do a double take.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Liz. The most useful name of this plant (from the point of view of playing Scrabble) is KEX. My Norfolk grandfather always called it 'Headache plant' from a belief that the scent will cause a headache, although I've always rather liked the scent.

Z said...

The card shop in Yagnub has changed hands and now looks to be a rather twee yet expensive home knick-knack shop. I'm quite disappointed as it had been very useful - and busy - as a card shop for a good twenty years.

Maybe we should poke fun at places that serve food on chunks of wood by comparing it to chicken in a basket from the '60s? I promise you will be given a plate next Saturday, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you bring back memories of buying fresh caught fish from the fishermen's huts just down the road from Southwold.

Rog said...

Mike : Kex are trousers where I come from.

Z: Knick-Knacks were something worn under Kex. I like your Chicken-in-a-Basket analogy - I'll never forget egg and chips in a basket.

Sablon: They are still there but I think they catch them from boats not their huts ;-)

Liz said...

Mike: Aha! Kexie looks like a far more sensible spelling to my attempt.

Rog: I thought kecks was a slang term for underpants rather than trousers. Mind you, when we were growing up I think my brothers called their under-dungers either shreddies or grollies.

It's all pants, innit?

Rog said...

Liz, what an inventive pair your brothers were in the linguistic dept!