Silent Sunday

Blue Skies over Yorkshire (Samsung Mob!lers)

So, the weather hasn’t exactly been glorious this summer, no tan to be had in the back gardens of Hull this year. Still, I’ve had some great days out and about and Yorkshire has, as ever, done itself proud.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been getting to know my Samsung Galaxy Pro and its nifty camera. It has the capacity to produce some great shots and various effects can be achieved (I love the Retro Camera app) for quite impressive results. I thought I’d share a selection of the pictures I got over the summer holidays that show we did have the odd nice day (each one has at least a tiny slice of clear/blue sky).

Recognise anywhere?

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A Glazed Look In My Eye?

I am very much looking forward to October.

There’s something exciting and quite momentous on the horizon.

Something I’ve been waiting for a long time.

Something that will make myself and N very happy.

Krispy Kreme are coming to South Yorkshire!!!!

*Fireworks*

*Confetti*

*Party poppers*

*EPIC HAPPY DANCE*

If you read this and thought “What’s Krispy Kreme?”, may I direct you to their website by clicking the link above.

It’s very simple, they make doughnuts, really nice doughnuts. And, until now, the only outlet in Yorkshire was somewhere in Leeds. Well now they’ve decided to open up in Meadowhall, which means I can recreate my Manchester Selfridges meal of a Yo!Sushi pogathon followed by a doughnut or three. I am not ashamed by this, guilt is a very corrosive emotion which I neutralise with custard filling and chocolate sprinkles (and maybe a few extra lengths in the swimming pool).

Apparently most people go to Meadowhall to shop for clothes and other stuff. Freaks.

Sweet and Mallow

So, marshmallows. Great for toasting over a campfire, dropping in hot chocolate and…….. and, ermmmm *scratches head*, not much else really. Step forward then, local company, ‘Pommallows‘ who have decided to give the humble marshmallow a bit of a facelift, by which I mean they cover them in chocolate and other yummy things – works for me!

With treats starting from 50p, for the surprisingly satisfying ‘Pomstick’, going up to £4 for a bag of 22 Poms, there’s something for everyone’s taste and pocket. The discerning buyer also gets to choose the chocolate and topping or, if like me, decision-making isn’t your strong point, you can opt for a lucky dip.

Admittedly, when my Pomstick arrived it had clearly suffered at the hands of (my long time nemesis) Royal Mail being, as it was, a smidgen squashed. Not to matter because it tasted great – the mini bonbons with the chocolate and the light fluffy centre made for a totally different type of sweet and kept me munching for a while and smiling for a great deal longer.

I’ll can definitely see me turning to this company again when I’m on the look out for a sweet pick-me-up or a kooky confectionary gift for a friend. If you fancy giving them a go, keep an eye out for them at local markets, check out the online store or have a chat with chef Kate on Twitter – they run regular competitions, so you may even be lucky enough to win a free sample!

Potty about pets

I love independent shops – Hull is full of them, even though their numbers have sadly dwindled in recent years. I like the quirk, the individuality and the opportunity to find something that you wouldn’t necessarily find in the city centre chain shops.

Some of the names given to these independently owned stores also beautifully illustrate the Hull sense of humour and creativity. Bo-Kays (a florist), His and Hairs (a hairdresser), Aversnack (a sandwich shop) and Get Stuffed (a cafe) spring to mind.

Conversely, there is a pet shop in the Avenues area of the city, very matter-of-factly, straight-to-the-pointedly, called ‘Not Just Pets’. Ah, you may think, so it sells garden or household stuff alongside animal supplies?

Not exactly.

Fruit and veg then perhaps?

Try again.

Clothes? Car parts? Paint? Cakes? Electrical equipment?

No. Do you give up?

To be honest, you were never going to get it (unless you’ve seen the shop in question). They sell, what I guess is best described as, drug paraphernalia – bongs, grinders, rolling machines, that sort of thing. Makes sense I suppose. I mean, how many times have you nipped out for cat litter and realised you didn’t have any Rizlas?! *thinks* Actually, it’s none isn’t it?

Or maybe I’m missing the point – are the ‘extra-curricular’ supplies actually FOR the pets? I guess it would be one way of stopping my cat trying to rip my face off whenever I try to put him in his travel case. Though I imagine his food bill might go up, I already have enough trouble keeping him out of the kitchen cupboards without the raging munchies.

Under the circumstances I’m surprised they didn’t go for something a little more creative – ‘Potty about Pets’ maybe or ‘Bongs and Biscuits’. What about ‘Dopey Dogs’? I’m a little disappointed at their lack of imagination really. So much opportunity wasted in a city that usually shows so much shop-naming flair.

Hull (No Longer) In Print

If I cheat and include a year in Cottingham, I’ve lived in Hull for almost 12 years now. In those years I’ve found equal measures of amusement and information in the council produced free magazine ‘Hull In Print’. As with any parochial publication, it had more than its fair share of cheesy articles on local doings, illustrated with photos of grinning dishevelled schoolchildren, Mums and tots at coffee mornings or old men holding amusingly shaped vegetables on their allotments. But it also provided useful information – theatre listings, art exhibitions, contact details for local councillors, legal advice, refuse collection dates and, in general, lots of local events that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Not to mention the competitions (compers tip – local comps have a lower entry rates and so you have a greater chance of winning) which have, over the years, netted me 2 x £25, a Hull City Monopoly board game and a calendar (yeah, *now* you’re jealous!).

So I was disappointed for all the above reasons to find out that the magazine will no longer be arriving through my door. The decision to halt physical publication came suspiciously close to Eric Pickles’ announcement to overhaul publicity rules for councils, but the official reason is ‘cutbacks’ and so the magazine finds itself going solely online.

I’m well aware of the distinct whiff of propaganda around these types of magazines so attempts to soft-soap me with fluffy stories and spin are wasted. I probably read Hull Daily Mail as often as I read Hull In Print (once a month) so neither was losing me as a reader as the result of the other and, if I’m honest, I view the bias displayed in both publications with equal disdain.

Obviously I’m all for saving money (and trees) and it does seem wasteful when the information is simultaneously available on the web. But of course, I’m commenting as someone with ready access to, and understanding of, the Internet, not everyone is so lucky. It’s a matter of accessibility. I doubt my elderly Great Aunt (or is she a cousin? I’m never really sure) who lives in Anlaby and doesn’t have a computer or the ability to trot off to the library (*if* she will even have a local library much longer) will feel the same. That’s yet another window on the world, another link with the community that will be lost to such people. And even for those of us who can get to a PC, will we even remember to check the ‘Hull (No Longer) In Print’ website every month? Sure, it will be my first port of call when I want to find an answer to a specific question (like, “When the hell are you going to collect my bin?!” around Christmas and bank holidays) but how many important, cultural, fun or just plain interesting events are going to pass me right by? I’ve managed to find a City Arts Newsletter and there is always the Twitter account but even combined they aren’t as comprehensive as the magazine. Of course, there exist other independent local magazines (such as Tenfoot City) but they’re not always easy to (remember to) find.

While hardly representing the zenith of journalistic practise and accuracy (the last issue had a rather glaring spelling mistake – Sydney Smith School was missing a ‘y’ in the wordsearch), Hull In Print served a purpose for me, maybe not the purpose Hull City Council insidiously intended, but a purpose all the same.

If anyone can point me in the direction of any other local magazines covering the relevant issues I’d be very grateful. Oh, and if they run any competitions, that’d be grand too.

Babaaaaaa!

If anyone read my post regarding Parkin last year, they might remember I mentioned wanting, nay needing, to locate someone, somewhere that makes Rum Babas. At the risk of sounding like a reminiscing war veteran, I remember Tesco selling them when I was a nipper, I’d always get one after I’d been swimming in Goole (oh, the glamour!). A few years ago the dish came up in conversation with my OH – he’d never heard of them, which I found a bit odd being as he was actually alive in the 70s (I wasn’t) when they were de rigueur. In an effort to prove a point (and also that I’d not imagined their existence) I decided to try to track some down, a task which, until last month, was proving particularly challenging.

Hurray then for The Indulgent Tarte (fab name!), a patisserie and delicatessen in the ever pleasant town of Beverley. Walking down Butcher Row I spotted a window full of gorgeous looking cream cakes and, predictably, got tractor beamed inside. While N bought some of his own particular vice (that would be sausage rolls) I tentatively enquired if they had any Rum Babas. No they didn’t – *sad face*, but they could make them to order – *hallelujah face*. I ordered four (well – I needed to be utterly positive that they were as nice as I remembered). Happily they were as nice as I recalled, perhaps even better (being as they were from a proper patisserie not a Goole supermarket). Moist and creamy and, I suspect, if they came in packs with that stupid nutritional wheel on, it would be all red – but that just means they’re REALLY good for you, right?

I can highly recommend both the cake and the bakery that make them. Beverley isn’t short of nice eateries but this is definitely one to bear in mind should you find yourself in the area with a grumbling tummy and a yen for something a little bit naughty.