Heroes in Action

Wednesday, 9 April 2008


Here are some of my favourite people in action – the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team rescuing a fellwalker cragfast in a gully above Wasdale. Just to show, if you didn’t already, that the Lake District isn’t only, or even mainly, about daffodils and tea and biscuits by the lake!

Being cragfast is the great Lakeland nightmare; stuck on a steep rocky slope, unable to move in any direction. Brrr!

These guys do this for nothing, you know. They need all the support they can get.

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In Praise of English Food

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

There’s an old Euro-joke that says, give or take a few permutations:

In Heaven, the French do the cooking; the Germans do the repairs; the Swiss are the government; the English are the police; and the Italians are the lovers.

In Hell, the English do the cooking; the French do the repairs; the Italians are the government; the Germans are the police; and the Swiss are the lovers.

It’s all terribly unfair, of course, but a bit of knockabout fun so long as we don’t take it too seriously. I’m not sure where the English reputation for terrible cooking came from, although I suspect it has something to do with wartime and post-war austerity and rationing. It’s certainly not true that English food is bad. Even the French, who tease the Brits for eating petit pois all the time, are secretly admiring of Cheshire (above all the others) cheese, Cumberland sausage, black pudding, and our amazing repertoire of cakes, biscuits and puddings, many of them proudly regional. It’s particularly depressing in the light of that to see the muscling-in of ‘muffins’ and ‘cookies’ everywhere you look – mass-produced monstrosities that look and taset synthetic and are an insult to the richness and butteriness of our own domestic delights.

So, it’s great to see blogger velochick setting up a new site devoted to the native cuisine, Old Fashioned English Grub Rocks. I shall be following it with great interest and I commend it to my readers too.