I am very lucky living here in the pennines. High on the moors can be a little wild in winter but when spring arrives you forget that haven’t seen any of your neighbours since Christmas and the wind and rain subsides little and life starts getting back to normal. Now I know that normal is a purely subjective concept, but normal in our village means you put your light waterproof coat on rather than three arctic standard waterproofs and your thickest woollen vest.
Now I know that I am painting a pretty bleak picture, but even in the depths of Winter I do count my blessings. We have great Pubs with roaring fires that fill your nostrils with that smell you only get off burning real logs, Great Beer in a multitude of varieties but my particular favourite Hot tasty food that warms you to the very core.
Even now I can remember coming in from school and my mother having a huge pan of homemade vegetable soup simmering on the cooker with what seemed like huge pieces of fresh bread and butter being served up as soon as we got through the door. Its strange though that all the food I remember having as a child is still around in some form or another although the portions do seem to be getting smaller.
When we sometimes do go into Manchester to dine I always look on the menu for food that I recognise, that I can compare to how it tasted in the past. More and more the restaurants try to introduce dishes that sound fantastic, some of which are, although the servings are seldom as generous as I remember.
Now like most blokes my age we were brought up on Pies, Puddings, Chips fried in beef dripping and at a push some vegetables.
Now this is were living in the Pennines has an overriding advantage. Nearly all of the farm shops here sell pies of all shapes sizes and varieties and all taste exquisite. They even compete with each other to see who makes the best pies which is always a winner especially when you see the trophies on the butchers counter top. If you partner that with Home produced bacon, free range eggs and mouth watering sausages then you will realise that my diet is a challenge, how do I eat all this stuff I love without weighing at least twenty stone.
Its simple Ann my long suffering wife attends Weight Watchers which means that for at least two thirds of the week I eat healthily, those being the days when I am particularly grumpy like some poor soul who is strung out because of withdrawal. Apparently its for my own good and i should be grateful I get to eat this wonderful food for the other third of the week.
So here I am sat on a Sunday night dreaming of pies waiting for my Sunday Dinner which because of Weight Watchers on Tuesday evening will mean we will be on Chicken and Boiled Potatoes and a couple of lettuce leaves.
I pray that Ann loses a couple of pounds this week otherwise my diet for the next week will consist of cardboard bland tasting food that will make me very grumpy indeed.