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A walk along the Thames today with the mist and low cloud hanging ominously above. Ended up – where else – in Borough Market and spent too much money. What a surprise. A couple of sourdough Pave from my favourite baker. Couldn’t tell you the name of the stall, but it’s run by a french family and they always have a big stack of Chocolate Brownies front and centre. Which I resist. Anyway, best baker in the market, and I’ve tried them all.

Next to Wallace’s Hill Farm stall for some wild beef. Bought a half-kilo pack of casserole beef, half of which will go into another Hot Pot and the rest minced for Forfar Bridies. Also got some Smoked Streaky Bacon.

At one of the many mushroom stalls I got a £2.50 / 100g mixed bag which on quick glance includes a couple of Horse mushrooms, a girolle, a couple of grey chantarelles and miscellaneous oysters. Sadly no morels, but as they were going for £13 per 100g that’s not surprising!

Another tub of Pate Moi mushroom pate, something that I eat far too much of. Every time I go to Borough I have to get another tub (or two).

Today I stayed well clear of the Gorwydd Farm stall. It’s the diet you know. I’ve lost 8kg since the beginning of the year; if I buy another half wheel of their wonderfully rich and creamy Caerphilly then it’ll all go back on overnight.

On the down side was a disappointing lunch. Usually I have a tray of scallops as a mid morning snack, then a bowl of paella for lunch. Today as a change I decided to go for meat, and had a Boston Sausage in a bun. Now the sausage was made from good flavoursome meat, and well seasoned. Disappointing texture though. Quite flabbly and no bite to it. Bun was also lifeless. Not one I would buy again.

Right, home now and see what I can do with these ingredients.

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One park, trashed.

This was where the London Live screens were located. Crowds who didn’t have stadium tickets came here to watch the games on the big screen.

This was once a great area for relaxing in the summer sunshine. Now the grass has gone, replaced by a mudbath. LOCOG’s solution seems just to have been to cover the area in forest bark. That’s going to be nice to lie on in the late summer. Let us hope that they spend the autumn and next spring re-turfing the park

On a bank holiday twenty years ago, this area would have been lined by people up on their soapboxes (literally and metaphorically), addressing the teh people about their own pet subject, as the crowds walked into Hyde Park. In turn the few in the crowds would be heckling the speakers.

It has been a long time since I saw any Speakers at the Corner. Today the speakers are sitting at home writing blogs, and the hecklers have become trolls.

I hope the Olympic Committee have put aside a lot of money to repair the sites around London after the events have finished. Walked through Hyde Park today, and after the recent bad weather the ground has been left in a horrendous state. Inside the fenced-off areas where they have been working it’s like a bomb site. It’s going to take a lot of work and money to restore the park to it’s former state

What a wonderful day

Yesterday was the Spring Equinox, and today was forecast to be warm and sunny. For once the Met Office got it right. Spring has arrived.

Woke with the sunlight streaming in through a crack in the curtains, and on the spur of the moment I decided to take a trip into London for a change. Quickly made up some sandwiches and grabbed some breakfast. Packed my bag and got the bike. Up the hill and caught the tube in to town, out at Finchley Road and through Regent’s Park, then through Paddington to Hyde Park. All over town, Londoners were doing what Londoners do best. Sit in traffic jams.

Everyone was at it. As I dodged through the jams, people everywhere were carrying picnic lunches out to their cars, and joining the jams.

Once beyond the jams, Londoners were doing the other thing they do best; Enjoying their river and enjoying their open spaces.

Made my way south and across the river then turned east towards Kew. In two weeks time this area will be absolutely mobbed as the annual circus that is the University Boat Race comes to town. Hit the river around Hammersmith Bridge and then followed the riverside path down stream to Putney Bridge. I never realised just how much this area was given over to rowing. All around the Putney and Hammersmith Reaches the riverbank is lined by boathouses. Prime riverside development potential, these rowing clubs must be sitting on an absolute fortune. Continuing down the river, keeping as close to the river as possible until I reached Parliament. Embankment was blocked off from Parliament to Balckfriars for some charity event so I diverted up to St James’ Park to Hyde Park. Did a few laps then sat beside the Serpentine with a coffee and an ice cream. Back to Finchley Road and home.

Another day of continuous rain so no prospect of getting out on the bike. Went into London and had a wander round the British Museum in the morning, having a look at some of the History of the World in One Hundred Objects, particularly the stone axes and hand chipping tools.

In the Afternoon I went over to the NHM to have a look at the new Darwin Centre – not knowing that you have to book tickets. From the outside the building, the cocoon especially, is stunning. I look forward to the next time I have some time off and I’ll remember to book before going.

Between the two I popped in to Foyles. Big mistake, as they had the -hot off the presses- Oxford Handbook of the Auditory Sciences. I was seriously tempted by this, but in the end I resisted temptation and restricted myself to just Volume Two, The Auditory Brain. Volumes One and Three will have to wait until next month.

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