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Spotless Sunshine of the Eternal Mind

We both felt weary when the alarm sounded at 7am, but thought that a quick walk would bring us round and it did just that. 




The sun was shining and it felt good to have some warmth on our faces after all of the biting cold we've endured since our return from France.


The hedgerows are waking up from their winter slumber and the first crisp nettles are now evident. For those of you unfamiliar with the stinging nettle, it is a miraculous plant. Imported into Britain by the Romans (what did they ever do for us?), as a medicinal crop, this prolific weed is not only nutritious, but it's sting has been proven to be beneficial to those suffering from the debilitating effects of arthritis.Now is the time we gather nettles and add them to our home brewed beer. We have been brewing ale for many years and love to experiment with different edible hedgerow plants. Nettles add a wonderful earthy flavour to beer and are full of minerals such as magnesium and potassium. For a truly rustic old fashioned ale, we have added Yarrow (too bitter for me, but this was one of Kay's favourites), and also Cleavers - also known as "Sticky Willy" due to it's clingy properties. It's a most satisfying experience brewing beer and of course there is the drinking!


 We ate some Pennywort on the way back to our house. It's very refreshing and crunchy and makes a nice addition to any salad. Refreshed from our walk and free salad, we packed the car and headed out of sunny Cornwall into rain and more rain. 

Driving in the UK is not as pleasurable as driving in France. The roads are so congested now even on Sundays, and we had to contend with holidaymakers returning home from the half term break. Our destination is 300 miles north and it can take anything up to 10 hours depending upon traffic jams, roadworks and poor weather.  


Today took about 7 hours as we battled torrential rain and strong crosswinds interspersed with blue skies and rainbows.




 As usual, we experience a measured drop in temperature as we travel north. It was 10 degrees Celsius as we left home, but around 4 degrees as we arrived in Stoke. 

That bitter cold northern wind , how I despise it. I grew up in a home there with only a coal fire to warm the whole property. In the winter months, I grew used to ice forming on the inside of my bedroom window. Hurrah for Cornwall!!! Still. there is one thing sure to drive out the cold and that's a British restaurant curry. Phew! 


We had a vegetarian set meal for two and jolly good it was. Poppadoms, Chutneys, Onion Bhajis , two Curries, Rice and two side dishes. Oh, I nearly forgot the Kulfi - Indian ice cream. Pistachio flavour. 
Wash it all down with a pint of Cobra beer and you have a meal fit to drive out any cold weather experience. 


On the walk back to our hotel I found a pair of cinema 3D glasses and naturally wore them. I look like a demented Roy Orbison.

 What better way to end an evening...

Simon
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