Advent #1

Christmas Scene at Jacka Bakery

This morning was sunny and beautiful. The sun was out and the temperature was down, time for a long walk and a hot coffee as a reward.

Jacka Bakery is the oldest working Bakery in the country. Coffee here was our half-way, warm-up and sit-down reward.

theoldmortuary wrote a blog a while ago that mentioned an earlier visit to Jacka.
https://theoldmortuary.design/2017/05/12/what-a-difference-the-sun-makes/

Devon Slice and other baked goods controversy.

Yesterday’s Quickie#5 was a scone. A controversial food item, in particular in the borderlands of the Tamar Valley but also worldwide. Quickie#5 was a cheese scone for simplicity

Lively conversation occurs at theoldmortuary over baked goods as we are a mixed heritage household. One Hongkonger with Devon/Cornish genes, one Essex woman and two dogs from Bedford. Growing up in Essex I loved being bought a Devon Slice. A soft mound of sweet dough, glazed and split across the top and filled with fresh cream and jam. When I moved to the Tamar Valley I fully assumed I would reacquaint myself with the Devon Slice. I can’t say I was hugely diligent in searching them out but occasional enquiries were met with puzzled looks in the bakeries I visited. I have a vague idea I bought something similar, in the eighties, at Jacka Bakery on the Barbican in Plymouth, but it wasn’t called a Devon slice. As they are the countries oldest working bakery and must know their dough products I must assume a Devon Slice was an Essex or maybe even more locally a Braintree invention or,worse,a family made- up name.

Our much missed family baker, Jenny, part of the Cornish heritage had never heard of a Devon slice fitting my description.

This opening paragraph illustrates that there isn’t much of my bakery knowledge that is factually correct, and so with my lack of accurate knowledge laid bare I will make a small personal statement about the Scone/ Jam/Cream debate.

In my early Essex life amongst family we split a scone, spread the cut surfaces with thick cream and topped it with jam. We were all happy with this, I continued to be happy with it for 30 years until I moved to the Tamar Valley. My life since then has straddled the Tamar Valley, living in Cornwall and working either in Devon, or more recklessly and wildly, ‘ Up the line’ *

* Up the Line’ in Cornwall means anywhere beyond of where you are within Cornwall and to the East. It could mean Plymouth, London or, in reality, anywhere in the rest of the World.

Personally despite living in Cornwall I persist in my ‘Essex’ ways left to my own devices. In company I can go either way to be honest. I actually don’t have a huge preference. To say the spreading order of jam and cream or cream and jam is contentious is in itself contentious. Not having an opinion is entirely possible but will always expose the undecided individual to unlooked for advice in any group of people.I am hugely fascinated by other people’s views . Does Aberdeen side with Devon , cream first, or does it follow a Celtic lead and side with Cornwall, jam first? Where does Birmingham stand?

Essex I believe stands with Devon, but maybe that’s just my own leafy corner of North East Essex. Who knows?

Debate and more knowledge warmly welcomed.

Quickie- #3

Hugo and Lola + ghost writer

Today started well in dogland. There was mention of birthdays and beaches. All sounding good from our large warm bed.

Random stuff was loaded into the car to be delivered to Sam the only human son in this family. He’s only just reappeared in our lives , I thought he was an adult human but for some reason a massive box of Lego was being delivered to his new house. Is this normal for a 33 year old? Books and university clutter competed with other stuff all labeled John Lewis . Who is that for, for pity sake we thought Sam lived with a woman!

The mums seemed really pleased to have empty storage under the stairs, they can be really strange some times. We’ve seen Harry Potter, lets hope they are not thinking of downgrading us fur babies to the ” so much space” area.

Harry Potter is a human they can move in there if anybody does.

Breakfast done and everything seems ready for an outing . Towels are packed and coats . We try to eat the old cats food but the mums catch us and the cat swears, a lot. She really is a foul mouthed creature, you’d think at 22 she would be a little more polite in front of impressionable pups.

The drive to the beach was lovely, warm air blowing and Radio 4 mellifluously in the background . Woman’s hour, thankfully Jenny et al were not discussing orgasms or sour dough. We get twitchy listening to that kind of talk when the mums are around. They are a little outspoken at times and crazily rant at the radio. We don’t think they know Jenny is not really in the next room.

And so to the beach, someone so got the planning wrong, the tide was high and the wind and rain was wicked. Our ears were blown near inside out and not getting wee on our fur was virtually impossible. In our world the perfect poo requires 3 rotations and a look of quiet concentration . No chance of that today there was so much buffering and blustering. We had to give up on the rotations and just scamper to opposite ends of the beach just to keep the mums occupied, bless them they did look chilly. Poos done we frolicked with the foam and chased sea gulls. It’s always so much more light-hearted once the poos are out. We know the mums really love us because they even treasure our poo by keeping it in fragrant green bags. We would not do the same for them, the very thought makes us queasy, luckily we never catch them doing one on a walk.

The mums decide coffee is needed, they really do have a problem. We are always having to find independent coffee shops to keep them in the happy zone. That in itself is difficult to work out, no tails is such a design fault in a human. Fortunately there is a parking space and we all squeeze into The Sorting House. St Agnes, Cornwall.

Coffee is not our cup of tea but cake most definitely is. All too soon the mums decide to take us on another walk . I’m never sure quite what the point is but it keeps them happy. We ended up in a graveyard, they do take this ghost writing thing seriously.

St Agnes has a very pretty churchyard but one of the road names just makes us wonder if humans really are the superior race.

Thankfully the wind and rain persuaded them to return to the car, sleep, as ever, was our happy ending, once we’d sorted out the imaginary rats in the footwell.

Great coffee and cake, rubbish weather.

H and L

PS We’ve been here before. Here is theoldmortuary Instagram feed from July 2017.