Whipped Cream and Other Delights

Whipped Cream and Other Delights
Whipped Cream and Other Delights

There was a contemptible fashion show called ‘Project Runway’ – Total carcrash TV of the very worst variety.  I remember catching an episode where this plonker spent the whole of the show painting a sheet white which he then tried to drape on a model.  (I attempted to drink myself stupid to drive the visuals from my mind – note to self – that doesn’t work!).

In this great and hugely inspiring Mexican cafe in Cornwall we frequented last week this record sleeve covered the back of the till.   One look and the memories came flooding back of that painted sheet.  Whipped Cream and other Delights however is more than just a good looking Cleopatra type babe sitting provocatively covered in whipped cream (or wearing  a painted sheet if your imagination takes you that way).  Its the 1960’s Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass most popular release.  I’ve listened to the whole album and have found my self alternately smiling, tapping my foot and falling asleep.  An interesting sensation.  Perhaps that’s why a girl on the cover is wearing whipped cream.  She represents the interesting sensation that Herb is trying to convey in his music or perhaps Herb thought ‘being with’ or ‘being a girl’ covered head to toe in whipped cream would be an interesting sensation? (Note to self – Must try – Wife?)

Try searching for Whipped Cream and Other Delights on Spotify and sharing the experience.  (Its good music to type too)
More about the album here


Yellow Car – Game of the Summer!

Yellow Car!
Yellow Car!

Wife screams “YELLOW CAR” and jabs at the air in the direction of her target.  In what was probably the most dangerous driving experience of my life the whole of our little family became embroiled in the most competitive game on the planet:  YELLOW CAR.  Causing family feuds, arguments and verbal abuse we played the game to a point where we all had to agree to stop for the benefit of our relationship.  It was only then we discovered the game has a twist in its tail:  Once you start – you can’t stop!

How to play the game

Drive or walk along a road.  If you see a yellow car you:

1.  Point your finger at it.
2.  Shout at the very top of your voice YELLOW CAR.  If you are first this gets you a point.
3.  Like the umpire in tennis you instantly recount the score for everyone playing.

Sub rules:

If you don’t shout it does not count.
The car has to be yellow not gold or beige.
There are no winners – there is only the person currently in the lead.

When do you stop playing yellow car?

You never stop.  Once you start this game you are playing it for life.  This we found was unfortunate in the following situations:

1.  At Mevagissy driving along the harbour wall with a sheer drop and Wife spots a yellow car the other side of the harbour.  She shouts yellow car so loud that I think I’m going to hit one of the tourists and nearly swerve off into the sea.
2.  Wife and Boy get so dissalusended with my success in the game they decide to team up and are instantly in the lead by 10 cars.  Naturally I get the hump and don’t speak to anyone for 10 minutes causing them to increase their lead by a 2 cars.
3.  When you pass a full supermarket car park and the driver takes their eyes off the road to scan the hundred or so parked cars.

After these situations I ordered the car to stop playing but immediately broke my own command when a little yellow mini appeared in my rear view mirror.  Once you start you just can’t stop…….

We arrived home and the following day Wife took Boy and his mate on a walk to the park.  Returning they stood in my studio doorway and recounted all of the yellow cars they had seen on their way too and from the park.  I protested that I was not even there at the time…. This however does not matter I thought as Wife announced the new scores. A plan was forming in my devious mind….  Wife has now returned to work after our holidays, boy and friend are in a summer camp and working at my computer and I have access to Londons road camera network:


Yellow Car on London Cam!
Yellow Car on London Cam!

Spagetti and Marshmellows

Spag and Marsh Mellows
Spag and Marsh Mellows

Boy had friend round and after a good few hours of running about, play mobile, swords and fighting dragons out came the familiar cry – “I’m Bored!  What can we do?”  I was prepared and strolled out of the kitchen with spagetti and marshmallows in hand.  If the kids could speak and no just stand their with their mouths open you know they would have been saying “You are totally Bonkers Dad“.

My instructions to them were simple.  Build the largest building you can using these, the largest gets a special very yummy prize  About 30 mins later I was called to judge the efforts and award prizes.  By this time they were just working on one structure which was lop sided triangle based affair.  “Pretty good boys” I said.   “Our prize” they demanded.

Oh yes…you get to eat the Marshmellow“.

Smiles flashed over their faces and what took 30 mins to build was demolished in 30 seconds.  The only evidence it ever existed a pile of broken spagetti strands.

Dear Ed and Tom

Dear Ed and Tom
Dear Ed and Tom

Boys postcards home from holiday have been varied in the information provided.  Cards to Nanna and Granny full of detail and care.  Then came the card to cousins.  It was the special card.  The one he took the most time picking but this was balanced by the least time writing.

I quote “I am enjoying my holiday in cornwall in mines and stuff see you soon love from Boy“.

And stuff?” I asked,  “Like surfing, swimming, rock pooling, motor boating, canoeing, making gigantic sandcastles, watching movies till late

“Yes Stuff” he replied getting on with something on the iPad…







The Bitter Taste of Germander

The Bitter Taste of Germander
The Bitter Taste of Germander

We’ve just had three childless nights at Cowley Manor, a great little spa hotel on the edge of Cheltenham.  Getting drunk on G & T’s, watching rubbish movies, meeting strange people and swimming:  50 lengths each day on top of 30 mins of Elliptical workout – crushing when completed with a hangover!

Boy stayed with friend and by all accounts had a great time going out with forest rangers, whittling wands and tree climbing.  The arrangements with friends parents  that we would reciprocate with friend joining us for the following five nights.  The handover of Boy and friend was scheduled to take place at Sudeley Castle.  We met in the car park and as we strolled in the Castle grounds I recounted some of our exploits to Boys friends mum.  The gardens of Sudeley have a great Healing Herbs section with helpful tags telling you what they do.  Friends Mum presented me with some Germander which I duly started chewing on.  “Oh Simon” she cried,  “You’re supposed to rub it on”  Sure enough I then found out why.  This has to be the most bitter tasting herb in the world.

Water was swigged, leaves were spat and I endured flashbacks to the G&T’s of the previous nights,  (Not that unpleasant)  For the next few days I’m off the booze trying to detox from this and the over indulgence of Cowley.  A task which entertaining and looking after two young sprogs will undoubtedly help.

Cowley Manor – A good place to drink Gin and Swim…..Here
Sudeley Castle – A good place to find Germander ……Here




Riding Waves

Wife said to me earlier this year “I want to do three totally new things this year”. A smile lit up my eyes and my mind raced, wife saw this and frowned, “stop being lusty” she commanded. “Three new experience things like seeing the northern lights, going on a bobsled or something“. Within a day tickets to the Rewind Festival were booked which despite my dislike of large unfamiliar crowds I’d agreed to go too. Then there was talk of exotic adventures which gradually petered out. With our holiday to Cornwall on the horizon I secretly began researching what new experience South West of England would give us and while booking the various family activities we fill our holidays with I found it – The family would learn to surf!

We rocked up at our Newquay surf school at the start of the afternoon to be greeted by our instructors Alan (A cute little Blonde girl who was to be Boys instructor the lucky lad)and Mr Brazil, a young surf boy for whom surfing was a near religious experience. After giving away our age with a whole load of Point Break (Keanu could be my twin brother) references we got down to business and waist high in the waves of Newquay started to surf.

Surfing it turns out is easier than old think. Boy got the hang of it right away and he’s only seven! Amazed at his prowess – standing on his second wave Wife and myself launched ourselves into the session. We both caught, rode and tamed the waves of Newquay with great ease, we high fived and frolicked in the surf. Boy rode a wave right into the beach and so did we. Next time we might even do it. Kneeling…….or even standing up!!!

An hour and a half later, tired of lying on our surf boards we sat on the edge of the sea and watched our surfer dude boy catch wave after wave. Wife announced that she could have easily have been a surf chic like Alan if she’d been born next to the sea. Looking over to Alan I let Wife know in no uncertain terms that there was still time, after all we still have new thing number 3 to fulfil.

Check out the surf film Point Break here. (Alan would probably point you to Big Wednesday or Endless Summer but I’m a north London boy and a film with Keanu and Patrick wins my vote any day)

We loved our instructors from The Newquay Activity Centre here.we had two instructors for the three of us as we wanted boy to have someone focussed entirely on him and his safety.


Early 1930s Design Portfolio Found on Hotel Walls


We spent last few days in Fowey Hall on the coast of Devon. It’s a ramshackle run down hotel featuring young, eager and pleasing staff, a good service ethos, not a bad wine list and to top it all they don’t mind Boy charging about the place. flirting with the staff and taking over the cinema room. It seems when the hotel owners took over the pervious inhabitants took all their pictures with them. I’m speculating that they found a designers portfolio in the attics, framed the up the contents and scattered them about the place. even though most of the drawings seem pretty naive and quaint it works…

I found this one entirely appropriate to the families holiday mood even though she looks wrapped up warm and we basked in the heat wave sun for 10 whole days. Each day she remained me how lucky we were to have this blast of sun and that in a very short time we would be back to the thick coats and hats….

If you need a place to crash in Cornwall it’s worth checking out. Here