Saturday, January 6


Having bribed Mrs G. to unpack and tune our sole surviving TV so that we could take advantage of the festive programming, I suppose it gives some sense of satisfaction to report the extent of our viewing stretched as far as twenty minutes of The Great Escape and ten painful minutes watching The Vicar of Dibley. If the writers and actors from the latter were a football team, they’d be West Ham. With only four channels available (Freeview arrives in 2009), I suspect our future interest in the medium will be limited to that of the odd FA Cup match.
One of my best discoveries since arriving has been Radio Devon’s answer to John Peel. The guy goes by the name of David Lowe, and his featured artist of the evening is non other than the great Russ Conway (local lad, born in Bristol). Would you believe old twinkle fingers is currently playing the bloody West Ham anthem, ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles.’ For tonight’s competition you have to name either of Russ’s two, number one hits. As you all know, they were ‘Side saddle’ and ‘Roulette’, but I can’t get through on the phone. There’s a Val Doonican CD at stake.
The security restrictions that surround flying have all but extinguished my enthusiasm for foreign travel. However, reading Giles Coren’s review of his short trip to Tokyo in today’s Times would tempt even the most reticent of adventurers to rush along the M4 to Heathrow. Lost in Sushi describes his eating exploits in the Daiwa sushi bar and other local restaurants. Given my dire experience with sushi, I can only imagine the quality of food he was putting away. Unless I catch it myself, we’re somewhat limited on the wet fish stakes in the immediate area (no itinerant white van man from Grimsby of a Thursday morning; no Borough market). Waitrose in distant Okehampton do a nice line in farmed barramudi and attractive looking mahi mahi. Am going to have to spring for another tank of diesel and look this Rick Stein chap up, in Padstow.

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