Darren

159 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel, preparing for an icy week with my Birthday present to myself

I now feel a bit of a wuss writing this as my pal Darren sends photos of the snow in Canada outside his rural retreat where it is minus 17 degrees. I am not sure if it will snow here in North Wales next week. My kids hope it does and so do I as if there is even a light dusting of global warming, the Marxist Madrassa where the Mrs works will shut down and we will enjoy her company all week. But I do know that it will be cold by Welsh standards and that an alternative to switching on all our hugely expensive gas radiators is to run a fire in the main living room where folks can snuggle up and watch mid rot on the telly.. And that brings me to my birthday present to myself, in the first photo below, a heavy splitting axe.

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919 days ago

No Malcolm Stacey Today – but to summarise

I have not fired him or, so far this week, Darren. But perhaps a P45 for the Canadian socialist crackpot is called for once again. After all it is almost Christmas and what else could I give him?

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1014 days ago

Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel - no Darren these are not bloody cherries!

My colleague Darren uploaded these photos and reckons what he saw was cherries. Poltroon! Sadly my nine cherry trees are yet to yield much, I have hopes for next year. What you see is from the two crabapple trees in the new orchard I planted in early 2020 and which Joshua and I harvested last week.

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1227 days ago

Now that's what I call a garden - a winter wonderland chez Darren

Our esteemed IT genius Darren says that there are so many pictures of my garden in badgerland Wales, the latest going up last night, and that my bleatings about snow stopping play are so pathetic that we should post a picture of his garden in the socialist paradise of Canada this morning. Okay.


I have to admit that Darren does seem to have a bit more snow to deal with than I have. The global warming is everywhere and has even frozen the vast river at the bottom of the garden. Don’t tell Greta! It is, I concede, a spectacular garden view.

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1287 days ago

Tom Winnifrith Bearcast: after a shameful admission from Darren, what he needs to do on video this Christmas

This issue for Darren was prompted by me discussing “cousin” Axl Rose yesterday.  I start by discussing day 12 of Joshua’s Advent calendar, then what Darren needs to record for you this Yuletide. Then it is the strange tale of Calisen (CLSN), Goldman talking woke nonsense and finaly BBC #fakenews on cheddar cheese prices and why my grandfather, Sir John Winnifrith, was right in 1975 and why food prices, therefore, could and should fall from January 1. 

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3800 days ago

Having to Choose 14 beers to drink – it is a hard life as we prepare to launch Maribelle’s

You know I have a hard life. Deciding which 14 bottles of beer to drink is the sort of chore that I have to suffer. I can sense the waves of pity heading my way. Actually it was not quite as it seems.

The countdown to the launch of our new Spanish themed wine bar Maribelle’s is accelerating. We go live on Monday February 3rd at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road.  Fear not, Real Man Pizza is not closing – it thrives with its new menu as the quirkiest Italian restaurant in town. It is just that we are opening up our unused basement as Maribelle’s. And so last week I worked hard on:

Hiring a new waitress. The first girl to walk in was Ana from Spain. What can I say? Her CV was perfect, she wants to be a journalist but she could be a model. She had the job in 30 seconds. No messing about there. An easy executive decision.

Then the wines – 25 Spanish wines, white, red, rose, Cava. I love a white Rioja. That was fun. Eight Sherries as well. I know I kind of associate sherry with our grandparents, with what my philosophy tutor at Oxford Dr Malpas used to pour before a tutorial or with the 1970s. But white Sherries, chilled, can be fantastic and we have a cracking selection on offer.

Then to the “Spanish speaking beers”. This is a bit of a cheat. Of the 14 one is a Spanish cider. And seven come from Spain. The rest are from Argentina, Peru, and Mexico and – as a real cheat since they speak Portuguese there – one is from Brazil. I dithered about the Argie lager but it is just so good.

Then the real treat – the tapas menu. A few heated discussions with Maribelle herself (our chief waitress from Spain who has two degrees in economics and takes her clothes off to campaign for world peace) ensued. But we have agreement now and this week the cooks will be practising hard to get everything just right.

The sign makers are commissioned and new signage goes up this week while the electricians and carpenters are in over this weekend.  This afternoon Darren and I will finalise the artwork (some debate over a brass model of a woman’s bottom is still to be concluded – I vote yes, Darren and his Mrs are dithering) and the furniture. And then down to the marketing literature featuring Ana.


All of the team at Real Man is very excited about this new venture. Fingers crossed. I hope to see many blog readers popping into Maribelle’s from the third. Hint: Ana works Tuesday to Thursday.

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