After yesterday, the matches that Ipswich Town will play next season are starting to come into line.
I can start to work out, which matches will be a bit more than an Eat-Travel-Watch-Return trip.
Looking at Championship promotion and relegation, it looks like the following.
Cardiff are definitely up and although I’ve never been to see Ipswich there, it’ll be one I’m happy to miss. Although, I quite like going to the Welsh capital on the best diesel trains in the world. I must go again to Cardiff or Swansea before the trains are retired from that route.
It looks like the others to go up are one or both from Hull and Watford, and possibly one from Brighton, Crystal Palace, Bolton, Nottingham Forest and Leicester. I would be sad to miss out on the trips to Hull, Watford, Brighton and Nottingham and I’d love to get rid of Leicester, as the ground is so far from the station. I think on balance, I’m prepared to put up with the dump that is Selhurst Park, to see an easy away match. It’s just a pity, that the two to go up can’t be Bolton and Leicester.
Sadly at the other end of the table, three of my favourite away places; Barnsley, Bristol City and Wolves are in line for relegation, along with Peterborough. The only one I’m not bothered about is the latter, as although the ground is one of the worst in the Championship, the city is worth a visit. After my last trip to Wolves, I think that I’ll miss that trip the most.
I’ll deal with who’s coming up first. Doncaster and Bournemouth are definitely up and although, I like Doncaster’s new ground, you have to get a taxi from the station and I would suspect, that Doncaster isn’t the most coeliac-friendly town. But as you go there from Kings Cross, it’s an Eat-Travel-Watch-Return trip. Bournemouth is an easy trip, the ground is very good and I’d probably fortify myself with a good breakfast at Carluccio’s in Waterloo.
Of the other candidates to possibly come up; Brentford, Yeovil, Sheffield United and Swindon, I’m really only against Yeovil, as that is an almost impossible trip. Brentford would be a low-cost bonus and Sheffield United and Swindon are more easy trips. Although, after my last trip back from Sheffield, I’d prefer one of the others.
The big question is who’s coming down from the Premier League, with Reading and QPR, who seem to me certain to get relegated. It’ll either be Aston Villa, Newcastle or Wigan. I hope it’s not Wigan, as that is a bad ground to travel to. I think I’d prefer Aston Villa to Newcastle, solely on the distance involved.
The team I’m annoyed about, who are coming down is QPR, as they have the worst ground for away supporters, where I’ve ever seen a match. Hopefully, they’ll get promoted or relegated quickly, or perhaps their rich owners, will walk away from their toy and the club will do a Portsmouth.
Since I wrote this post, we’ve seen Reading and QPR commit mutual suicide in a monochrome match. So I’ll just have to put on my strongest underwear and brave a trip to Loftus Road for a season or two.
I recently bought two small Le Creuset dishes that were on offer in John Lewis.
So I made some of my Shepherd’s Pie mixture and made a large individual pie in each.
I then cooked one and ate it as I often do, with lashings of tomato sauce.
i wonder if you could have a surprise pie party, as various pies can be made this way. So some would get fish, others meat of various sorts and you might even throw in a few veggie ones.
This product got a plug on Have I Got News For You, tonight.
I thought it was a spoof, but if it is, the web site is a masterpiece of misleading information.
It is actually a gluten-free breakfast cereal. The product page is here and I only have one problem with it and that is that it contains cranberries, which are a no-no if you are on Warfarin.
My other problem might be putting on a lumberjack shirt and high heels to eat it.
I never trust American food companies not to add gluten to products.
When Cadbury was British, you could trust that Crunchies were gluten-free and I’ve ate many without any reaction.
However, this message has just turned up on the UK-Coeliac Yahoo group.
I just had one of those Cadbury Crunchies from a pack of three, and am now in pain and looking 9 months pregnant.
I checked the ingredients first, and it just said “Contains Milk”… Lying Kraft/Mondelez/Cadbury B^&/4£ds!…
I went to Cadbury.com and it went to “Mondelez” which is apparently the new name that Kraft are hiding behind.
It is very telling that the text on the very top of the page is the current Nasdaq share price, and when I searched for “gluten” on their website it came back with “no results found”.
Cadbury used to be very good about gluten, but it is clear that these evil devils couldn’t give a toss about the poisons they put in their products or the people eating them.
I will do what the lady says at the bottom and won’t touch any more Cadbury products again.
So the Americans have ruined a classic British brand.
I’ve always liked coarse pork pâté and this one from Waitrose is one of the best! This was my lunch!
The only allergen is egg. It went very well with Genius toast and Benecol.
This recipe came out of Saturday’s Times and explains the tins of sardines and bread earlier. When I saw the recipe, I thought I hadn’t had sardines for years, so this recipe seemed a good one to rectify that omission.
All I did was put a crushed clove of garlic, a complete tin of sardines in tomato sauce and two eggs into a buttered ovenproof dish, which then went in the oven at 180°C, until the eggs looked cooked.
I did buy some parsley to chop on the top, but I forgot to do it.
I shall be cooking it again! Especially as sardines are suposedly nutritious and considered by some to be an aphrodisiac. The dish is also so easy to cook. The most difficult thing was opening the tin of sardines!
Even the washing up was fairly minimal!
I went to Waitrose on the way home today and bought a Genius loaf and two tins of sardines.
So is this all I will be eating tonight? No!
But some could imagine I was living on the breadline!
I had decided to come back directly from Sheffield station to St. Pancras International.
Partly, this was because it was without a change and also it would enable me to compare the two companies; East Coast and East Midlands. But mainly, it was because the journey up cost £33.00 and I was able to get back for £19.80, by the simpler route.
It started well enough in that I was able to get easily by the Supertram to the station, with a change at Fitzalan Square. My only query, would be to ask if Sheffield have enough trams, as the tram was crowded both ways and there was a long delay waiting to get one at Meadowhall? I also find it strange, that we have six modern tram systems in the UK; London, Edinburgh, West Midlands, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield, and all seem to have different trams and different ticketing systems. For instance, other than London, the only tram system I can use without paying is Sheffield.
If we had a standard UK tram and infrastructure, then anywhere that wanted a system, would be able to cost it very easily. Surely too, a common tram, would reduce inventories for spare parts and reduce costs for staff training.
I have had quite a bit of experience of East Midlands First Class this year, so I took the precaution of going to the usually excellent Marks and Spencer in the station to get a drink. As I’d only had the sandwiches I bought at Meadowhall all day, I thought something to eat might be an idea. But Marks and Spencer were out of gluten-free sandwiches and I couldn’t find any salads at all. There of course, is no restaurant in the station, where anything gluten-free is available. So I would have to wait until St. Pancras.
I did check out the toilets and despite being pretty new, they weren’t in the best of states.
Especially, if you compare them with the exquisite ones I used at Doncaster on the way up. Doncaster’s toilets were also free.
So obviously you don’t pay for what you get!
After the toilets, I thought, I’d check out the First Class Lounge.
It was shut, just like it was at Derby a couple of weeks ago.
The train left Derby on time and I had a table for four to myself. By the time we got to Leicester, I’d had a cup of instant coffee in a cardboard cup, as opposed to the china cups from a pot on East Coast.
Then disaster struck, as we held at Leicester for forty minutes or so, after staff told us that the overhead lines had been brought down in the Elstree area. To be delayed on an electric train by overhead wire problems is to be expected, but when you’re in an operational Class 222 diesel train, it’s somewhat ironic.
We continued untroubled until Kettering, where we stopped for another twenty minutes, before being ordered off the train and onto another Class 222 heading for St. Pancras. I could just about find enough space to stand up. Luckily the crush didn’t last long, as staff told us that at the next stop at Wellingborough, if we got out and walked to the back of what was two trains coupled together there would be more space.
It now was obvious what East Midlands Trains had done. As to get a single train through the damaged knitting at Elstree, would be much easier than getting two trains through, they coupled two six coach trains together to make a twelve coach one.
Before I had moved to the comfort of the second train, I was talking to someone who worked for Network Rail. He blamed Dr. Beeching for all of the delays, as there hadn’t been any investment in the 1960s and 1970s. As I think the electrification that caused all the trouble was installed in the 1980s, that is quite an amazing conclusion.
As all of the electrification of that era seems to cause trouble, no matter where it is installed, I would think that there must be something wrong with the basic design. I did read something about how the Regional Eurostars used to bash hell out of the wires on the East Coast Main Line and cause failures. So perhaps the new Thameslink Class 377 trains are the problem. But I doubt it, as they’ve been around for some years.
In the end we arrived in London at 22:30, after a four hour journey. Marks and Spencer in St. Pancras was devoid of any suitable food, so I went home in a taxi and had cheese on toast.
I wish I’d gone home the other way via Meadowhall and Doncaster, despite it being twenty minutes slower. After all, I was two hours late into St. Pancras. At least, if there’d had been an overhead line failure, I suspect that I’d have been kept going by all that glorious East Coast tea in First Class.
Patisserie Valerie was one of C’s favourite places for coffee, although she didn’t usually have one of their cakes.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a cup of tea in their cafe at Kings Cross station with a friend.
As it is in a generous-sized china cup and I was in the station again getting tickets for a trip tomorrow, I decided to have another tea today. On asked if I’d like anything else, I said that I was gluten-free and that I didn’t think they had anything, But I was wrong, as the picture shows.
Although it was plastic wrapped, it was one of the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Plastic wrapping is acceptable to preserve gluten-free status, when the cake is of this level of quality.
The large cup of tea and the brownie was reasonably priced at £4.60.
Kings Cross station and its neighbour St. Pancras are getting to be very far removed from the tired memories of British Rail’s curled sandwiches and dreadful coffee of the past.
i know it is the policy of Network Rail to take this good food route and they are to be congratulated on their approach.
This Leon in Carnaby Street looks very small.
But inside it is rather spacious, with seating for a hundred or so. So it’s a true tardis, which of course we know is larger on the inside than it looks from the outside. i had gone for breakfast before I did some shopping.
This restaurant is ideally placed for Oxford Circus, so like today is a good place to start your shopping.
Note the tea mug, that would satisfy the most fussy builder.
leon may do real food, but they also do real mugs in quite a few of their restaurants.