• Can we have five Rishi Sunak meal deals please?


    Just now, when I stopped typing and stood up, I could see the top of the mast that is the local transmitter of terrestrial TV signals. That my TV receives a strong signal was confirmed when I viewed the flat during the inspection. I ventured into the loft and saw through the estate agent’s torchlight that the TV aerial had been deliberately rotated 90 degrees out of alignment.

    There is just one snag with this transmitter; it is a repeater transmitter and does not receive all the signals. As a result the vast majority of Council tax band “A” and “B” homes around me have the ubiquitous satellite dish on the sides of their walls. Being buffeted by the wet salt laden winds of the Western Approaches their brackets are often badly rusted, except where they have been replaced ~ a frequent and regular occurrence around here. My flat did not have the rusty stain marks on it’s wall that goes with such dishes around here. This because the flat did not have one. The land-line main socket had been disconnected as well. This because the former joint-owners were two married couples who used the two bedroom flat as their holiday home. The small bedroom I use as a bedroom, the larger (by a mere 6 inches) I use as my office.

    I have eschewed copying them; I do not wish to pay a monthly fee for material most of which I won’t want to watch. What I have spent money on is compiling a collection of DVDs of old TV series and some movies. I have recently finished watching the 1970s drama “The Sweeney” and in a couple of years will start looking at the series again. The thing is, I remember seeing the series first time around. The original transmission ended in 1978. That was one of the years when I would visit the north east on business.

    What this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_Odeon) about the Odeon cinema of Pilgrim Street does not mention was that during the mid to late 1970s a very good restaurant was operated by a firm that was a tenant of the cinema. The restaurant was sited in the basement area.

    I discovered it my chance one lunchtime and was very glad I did as it served a most excellent steak and kidney pudding (not a typo ~ it was a “pudding” and not a pie”. The pies were individually made and the waiter would upturn the basin and serve the pudding on the plate ~ which was hot and large. The steamed suet pastry was done to perfection. The beef steak was tender and well cooked as was the kidney. Most important, the kidney was in a plentiful quantity. This magnificent culinary creation was served with most excellent mashed potato which was not overdone. Likewise the vegetables were superb being still crispy but sufficiently cooked to be enjoyably chewable, unlike the hot raw offering served up in many restaurants today! The meal was not cheap but it was very good.

    Sadly the restaurant did not trade for very long. The sad fact was that the operators could not afford to continue ~ a combination of insufficient revenue and too much rent. But it was good whilst it lasted!

    The same can be said of the “Eat out to Help out” scheme invented by Rishi Sunak, AKA “the Big Spender”.

    Early yesterday evening I had a decision to make: Sould I take advantage of Rishi Sunak’s meal deal offer or stay in and not chance catching COVID-19?

    I decided I’d risk it on the basis that whilst there would be tourists in the same room and the level of infections was increasing, the chances were still low that the hotel restaurant I was going to would still represent a low and therefore acceptable risk.

    I was glad I did for the following reasons:

    I received a good two course meal for £8.50 that otherwise would have cost me £17.00

    These are historic times. The “Rishi Sunak meal deal” is (eventually) going to cost us taxpayers a fantastic amount of money!

    By the way, the title of today’s post came from a lady (whose accent was Thames Estuary not Tamar Estuary) who walked in as asked, “Can we have five Rishi Sunak meal deals please?” To which the answer was “Yes Madam.”

    That hotel’s restaurant did a roaring trade that evening not only from the modest number of tourists but also from the many locals who had similarly decided to take advantage of the Chancellor’s largesse!

    Afterwards I drove a short distance to a famous local coastal headland and walked up it ~ gingerly as I was wearing lounge shoes ~ and looked out on the silvery blue sea of the twilight hour. A good end to a good day. For me, not the UK’s sovereign debt level!

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