Home Turf

It doesn’t always feel obvious, but there was a reason why we moved out to the New Forest all those years ago.

Today it was grey all morning, so we went out and did the grocery shopping. It had brightened up by the time we had finished so we stopped at one of our old haunts on the way home. We were just outside the village of Wood Green, just a few miles from home. I used to enjoy these views every time I went out on my bike.

Song Lyric Sunday (3 November 2019) – Direction

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set the subject of lost and found (my attempt). This week he gives us the subject of direction.

So I decided to go for a real foot-tapper from Men at Work. Men at Work have been going for forty years, although in that time, the lineup has changed. Down Under hails from the early days – it was actually released in 1980, but took a few years to travel around the world, reaching #1 in both the UK and the USA along the way.

The song was penned by Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, founder members of the group, and is loosely about an Aussie who travels the world.

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast

And she said Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, “do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

And he said I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover, yeah

Lyin’ in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, “are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?”

And he said Do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover

Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover

Colin Hay, Ron Strykert

When to Leave Alone

Ah, the Rugby World Cup final is on TV.

I have not one jot of interest in rugby – never played it, never watched it, never followed it.

But I remember the last time England won the World Cup. Commentators tell me it was 2003. I think. I wasn’t really listening.

I remember it then because we had gone out for breakfast in Salisbury. Saturday morning, yet all was dead. We wondered why, but weren’t complaining. At the final whistle, ecstatic rugby fans started to appear on the streets.

We’d gone for breakfast to David Brown’s. David Brown – we knew the guy slightly – was a butcher in Salisbury. He opened a café over his shop, which did nothing more than to sell the food, cooked, that he sourced from downstairs.

What an advert! This was really top-quality food, local sausages and bacon. Come lunchtime, roast beef baguettes were the specialty. To have sufficient confidence in your food that someone can just eat it in your café. If someone happens to try something in the café, and wants to take some home, it was a simple trip downstairs. I’ve often thought that supermarkets miss a trick here – they should have sufficient confidence in the quality of what they serve in their cafés that they should say exactly what it is so that people can later go down the aisle and put some in their cart. I don’t see that cost even comes into it, because if you sell a cooked breakfast, there is easily a 10x markup of the cost of the raw ingredients in any case. And if you’re also inducing people to then go and put your food in their cart, you have a double whammy.

So yes, David Brown’s. Best breakfast in Salisbury. When he finally retired, he sold the butcher’s, I suspect for a hefty premium, and started a catering business, providing the exact same food, just as something to keep him busy. Last I heard, the business had gone from strength to strength, and he was busier than ever. The guy who bought the butcher’s? Well, he tweaked the menu, he changed what he served and I guess he changed where he got it from, we didn’t like it as much, so we stopped going. He changed the name (if I were David Brown, I’d have probably insisted on it), so the original name is known only to old farts like me.

It’s funny. I hardly eat meat any more, but that was never because I don’t like it. And we live in a rural area, so it is no surprise that we can buy top-notch ingredients locally, if we know where to look. And so just a regular, small butcher’s shop could surpass any supermarket you care to mention.

Alas, I doubt there’ll be many ecstatic faces today – unless they happen to be South African 🏈 😪 🥓 😋.