Monday, 18 September 2017

Erratum. Awards. Prizes.

I have been taken to task by my husband for describing David Warner as portly yesterday. I confess to not having sought out recent images of my former idol but I have a distinct memory of seeing him in something or other where he had definitely become a man of substance, as some might say. Not, however, on the lines of Gérard Depardieu, who unfortunately went well beyond portly. So, having looked for recent pictures of Mr Warner, I stand corrected: not portly but decidedly craggy!

This morning, running along the Donkey Line, one of our local bridle paths, I came upon a deer. She was standing in the middle of the path but ran away up the hillside before I was able to get out my phone and take a picture. We have lived in this area for about forty years now, originally in a little hamlet in the valley between two of the Saddleworth villages. You never used to hear about deer around here. Then, last year or the year before, someone told me about walking in that valley and seeing quite a lot of deer and having to keep his dog under control. Not long after that I saw a couple on the hillside near our house and then today, there she was, a deer on the Donkey Line. Internet sources tell me that roe deer are an increasingly common sight (or "site" as one source put it!!) in the local woodlands. Who knew? Clearly not the roadsignage men as there are nor warning signs of the roads.

 It's the season for awards to be given out. Elisabeth Moss received an Emmy for best leading actress for her role in The Handmaid's Tale, a series we have yet to finish watching. We started watching before we went off to Galicia for the summer and left the TV programmed to record the rest in our absence. The joys of modern technology! We know the basic story, having read the book years and years ago, but the rest of the dramatisation still awaits us.

On the awards front, I came across an article about the National Fish and Chips Awards. It's amazing! I never imagined that such awards existed. Apparently “The Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours a fish and chip business can receive, and it is renowned for its competitive nature rewarding only the best of the best in the industry." This is a quote from Marcus Coleman, the chief executive of the Seafish Industry Authority. He went on: “Having watched our 10 finalists progress through the competition, I can safely say that their skill and dedication is outstanding - they are a true representation of the crème de la crème of our industry and sum up perfectly why British fish and chips are, and will always be, the best in the world.”

Why has no-one nominated Diggle Chippy, in our opinion one of the best in the land? Of course, we are not great frequenters of fish and chip shops, so maybe we are not the best judges. We simply call in there whenever Phil's brother comes over and we go for a long hike, pausing for fish and chips al fresco. It doesn't quite match up to the standards of Blackman Lane Chippy, a place we used to frequent as students at the University of Leeds, a chippy long since demolished in the process of the development of the one-way system around that fair city.

Anyway, to qualify for the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award, shops were judged on their frying skills, menu development and innovation, marketing, and staff training. Owners also had to prove they source fish sustainably. Oh dear! That all sounds rather a lot for a tiny little chippy that operates in a converted wooden garage on the main road of one of the Saddleworth villages. Mind you, it does have its own Faceook page and it has been rated 43rd out of 250 Oldham restaurants on TripAdvisor! 

So what have they missed out on? Well, the 10 finalists win an all expenses paid trip to the Norwegian port city of Alesund, to learn about how fish travels to the UK, including the fishing process from catching to filleting. 


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