A Fyne Meal?

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Loch Fyne - Elton

Gosh, we haven’t been here for a good many years – Loch Fyne in Elton – Last time we were here was February 2008 and before that, our first visit, New Year’s Eve 2005.

We met up with our good friends, Mick and Jane just after 7.30 and surprisingly for a Friday night, the place was almost deserted – maybe not a good sign given it’s only, a four weeks before Christmas!

Things started well though, with our very personable Server explaining the Specials in great detail and presenting us with a very extensive main menu plus the Christmas equivalent.


Service was swift, but it all went a bit down-hill from there. Mine and Mick’s Starters and Mains were OK, but the girls’ Mains of fish was a tad over-cooked.
 
A bit of a shame, but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves!

With so many restaurants and eateries on our doorstep, we’re spoiled for choice round here, and therefore I think it’ll be a long while before we visit here again!
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Is this the real thing..?

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Image result for film bohemian rhapsody

Are we the last couple to catch Bohemian Rhapsody whilst it was showing at the local Odeon?- Quite possibly!

We opted for the 2.30 performance in Screen 2 which was about 10% full when the movie rolled.

Was it any good though? Given the haemorrhaging of actors for the title role and a troubled production process, it was a wonder it EVER got made! However, reviews had been very positive and our friends who’ve seen it, sang its praises!

And as it turned out, we were no different. It was an excellent movie with actor, Rami Malek living and breathing Freddie Mercury throughout – at times, the resemblance and mannerisms was almost uncanny! Hats off then, to Malek’s acting ability, and all the cast for making it such a watchable event – it almost felt like a documentary at times (and that’s no bad thing in my book!)

The film left us with a feeling of sadness at a talent that was lost at such a young age. Underneath it all, in spite of his genius, he came across sometimes as just a confused, sad, little boy!
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The standout scene for me was the re-creation of Queen’s Live Aid performance – how did they do that!!??

The film had been criticised by many of those ‘in the know’ at glossing over big parts of his life – and especially his sexuality, but I guess there is only so much you can squeeze into a film, and keep the audience interested. We were impressed though and definitely one of our fave-films of the year.

4halfstar

Doctor Who – Series 11, Episode 8 – ‘The Witchfinders’

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Doctor Who - The Witchfinders
Well, at least I got the start tie right this week! It’s 6.29:55 and I’m ready!

Opening scenes looked good – another serious story-line – and a Witch is about to be dunked!
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6.38: One dead ‘un and the Doctor’s now a Witchfinder General.

6.41: King James makes an appearance – and the pantomime season has arrived early – Oh dear!
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6.44: Scary! What was that? – cue ‘Monster-of-the-Week’

6.52: Even more scary! It’s ‘the Witch’

6.53: Maybe not!

6.59: The Doctor is a Witch (allegedly!)

7.08: Getting pretty tense now!

7.09: Oh, SHE’s the Witch

7.10: The (other) Monster-of-the-Week appears!

7.12: “Ready for Battle?”

7.16: Monster’s sorted…

Hmmmm, it started well, but then it all became a bit predictable – and all that was missing with Alan Cummings’ portrayal of King James was him twirling his moustache!
Nope, didn’t work for me!
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Two Stars

Frank’s – A Hidden Gem

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Bev & Julie picked us up tonight for a journey into ‘old’ Kettering. More specifically, Frank’s Pizzeria located in Havelock Street.

In spite of living in Kettering for over 20 years, we’d never discovered Frank’s! The establishment has apparently been in business since dinosaurs roamed the one-way system here, and although Frank is now looking down on his business, it continues the thrive!

Frank's Pizzas, Kettering
In short, Frank’s sticks to what it does best – Italian food – and more specifically, pizzas! And although apparently there has only ever been seven types on offer, they all came highly recommended by B & J.

Once inside, two things became immediately obvious: the decor and how busy they were. The decor was basic, with very simple wall coverings and functional tables & chairs. Bev had jokingly mentioned that no two pieces of cutlery are the same and all the plates suffer the same identity issues, but we were in luck – everything matched on our table!
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Even though it was early when we arrived – 7pm – the place was already heaving, including a table for 20 celebrating a birthday in full-flow! Frank’s continued to fill-up with all tables taken by 7.30. They also do a takeaway service as well and tonight that added to the heightened activity near the entrance to their (what seemed like) very small food-prep area. Maybe not surprisingly then, it was noisy, requiring us to raise the volume of our own voices to chat. However, all-in-all, it added to the unique atmosphere of Kettering’s hidden gem.

Food, by-the-way, was beyond delicious and served with a genuine smile. It certainly felt like a family business, and it was clear that there was plenty of passion in the food and the service… and these days, that makes a very change!

It was good value as well! The four us had a pizza each, Bev and I got through four beers, whilst the girls had some House Wine and a Southern Comfort. To finish, we all had coffees and I squeezed in a dessert. The damage? just under £55 – not bad at all in my book!

Well, I’m certain we’ll be going back before too long.
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Doctor Who – Series 11, Episode 7 – ‘Kerblam!’

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Doctor Who - Kerblam!
Here we are then! past the half-way mark for this series and we’re into titles with exc!amation marks – surely a slippery slope downwards from here on in!
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I tend to prefer the serious Who-storylines and so with the promise of the always-hilarious Lee Mack in the cast, I have a feeling this episode is not going to work for me (still, that’s mostly been the pattern so far anyway with this series, even without any humour!)
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6.45: All set, but not a good sign that I missed the earlier start time of 6.30! Still, at least it was on record, so it was just a case of reaching for the Q remote control and a quick fiddle!

6.50: Five minutes in, and against all expectations, I’m liking this story! Although it’s still a fairly simplistic script, if feels very Who – and actually, it’s not a comedic storyline either! I still think there are too many ‘companions’ though, but for the BBC and the bigger picture, it certainly ticks the diversity box.

Ten minutes to go: A good conclusion to this week’s episode, which I didn’t that coming. In spite of a previous Doctor convincing a generation-or-two that statues are something to be scared of, tonight was another everyday item that’s going to give youngsters even more nightmares for years to come! Beware too, the body-count in this episode is abnormally high!
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Next week’s looks more up my street – deadly serious – The Witchfinders…

PS Just read that the Who-Rumour-Mill is on overtime: Apparently, Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker are only in it for one more series – and that’ll be broadcast in 2019, not 2020, as originally suggested – it’ll be a shorter number of episodes too! Ooo-err!

And if that’s not enough… apparently there’s NO Christmas Day episode either – shock horror! Instead, it’ll be broadcast on New Year’s Day.

3halfstar

Shiny Things!

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A short drive to Stanford Hall just before Lunch today at the invitation of Tarratt (now Pragnell) the Jewellers.

Stanford Hall

It was a cold start to the day, but turned out to be perfect weather (and occasion) to let the Cat out of the bag for a few hours! (and judging by the cars in the car-park last time we went, the Jaguar fitted in nicely!). This was a posh event… men-in-black on the doors looking somewhat menacing and the whole of the ground floor kitted out with Pragnell’s serious bling of all shapes and sizes – and to suit every wallet and purse! (providing they were on the LARGE size!)

Why the invitation? Well, our guess is that having bought our wedding rings and other shiny bits-and-bobs from Tarratt’s in Leicester, we’re ‘on their list’. They had a similar event two years ago and we managed to have a good look round – and not spend a bean!
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And today, was very much the same… lots of pretty, shiny stuff… but the wallet and purse remained firmly in the dark!

Just as we were about to leave though, we cracked and spied a rather attractive ring for Ann. We didn’t do the deal today, but we’re making an appointment to visit their store in Leicester before Christmas.
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The only downside to today was that as I parked the car, I managed to get my reading-glasses caught in my seatbelt (yes, really!) and in conjunction with my open driver’s window managed to catapult them out of the car, to somewhere in Leicestershire! We looked around the immediate area, and slightly further afield, but there was no sign of them!

On both counts then, quite a spectacle today!
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The Sound of… Bookends

Reading time: 2 minutes...After picking up Jo, Janet & Carol, we headed off to Kilworth House this evening for a spot of nosebag and evening with the Simon & Garfunkel tribute act – Dan Haynes & Pete Richards aka ‘Bookends’. Simon & Garfunkel at Kilworth We haven’t been to Kilworth for over a year – last time was in September 2017, to see Top Hat and of course before that, in December, 2011, at the Hotel itself for our pre-Oz Honeymoon. Well, Kilworth’s legendary Christmas ‘decs’ looked fantastic and the event was certainly well supported with around 150 all sitting down to enjoy the pre-event Dinner in the Orangery. Our Table of eight was shared with Paul and his wife Lynda plus their friend (who was seated a bit too far away for me to chat with her much). Food was well-presented and tasty – and to make the evening’s logistics work, they served Starters and Mains before the event with Desserts and Beverages after the Boys had finished their performance. Back to the main event… After an easy-to-miss low-key stage entrance at just before 9pm, Bookends were straight into their repertoire – and wow!, from the off, they certainly sounded just like Simon & Garfunkel! –  fantastic!! But you didn’t need to have 20/20 vision to spot that they didn’t look like them at all – and they made light of that in their intro (pointing-out their collective lack of hair!) explaining that their focus was on S & G’s music itself. Luckily our Table was closest to the the Boys and we got to enjoy their great sound (with a great view!). I can’t emphasise enough how good the harmonies were and although they’d only been going around seven years, it was a very polished act. Initially, some of the tunes were unfamiliar, but we were soon into well-known staples such as ‘The Boxer’,’ ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Mrs Robinson’ and of course, the piece that everyone was waiting for: ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. We learned later that they also tour with a Strings section too – and I found this on YouTube
After Bookends departure, a lot of people left immediately, but we hung around. In fact, we didn’t leave until just after 11pm. It had been a GREAT show and in spite of the misty/foggy driving conditions, we we were home just before midnight.