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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Affected Views and Unaffected Views

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas JANUARY. 16, 2021

[168-365] 16th. January 2021- Some views are unaffected by the latest lockdown, like this one of Kingsbridge harbour. The tide still comes in and it looks as beautiful as ever in the early morning January light. Normally there may have been the odd boat or two, but otherwise it looks pretty normal.

This scene below, however, is the main street, Fore Street, on the busiest day of the week, Saturday morning. We haven't been in since New Year, but the small food shops are still open.

I heard yesterday that the Farmer's Market was on today, again food and garden only. We decided we should go to show our support and we bought at four of the stalls and also walked up Fore Street and went to the Baker and the Fish shop.

I cannot imagine what it is like trying to run a business in the middle of this, but all the sellers were in good mood and really friendly.

We bought sausages and bacon from a farm in mid Devon, and some Scotch Eggs from the Scotch Egg Man (No, not from Scotland, see below). The beautiful fresh large brown eggs were a must from the egg man. Bizarrely, to our picnic/breakfast selection, we also added a plant from the plant man. An Australian Mint Bush, which I had never heard of but which apparently will have green flowers. He had three different types all of which had a strong herbal scent when you rubbed the leaves.

The one we chose was supposed to not have any smell but I rubbed the leaves anyway and both I and the plant man were surprised to find that in fact it did. At first he didn't believe me, but it actually had a beautiful aroma which was a sort of sage mint mix.

A Scotch egg is a whole soft or hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried. There are a number of different theories about the origins and etymology of Scotch eggs, and no firm conclusion. The OED gives the first instance of the name as 1809, in an edition of Maria Rundell's A New System of Domestic Cookery. For her, as with most other writers of the time, they were a dinner dish, served hot with gravy. They did not, at that time, have a breadcrumb layer, although by 1861 Isabella Beeton suggested this as an option.

In the United States, many "British-style" pubs and eateries serve Scotch eggs, usually served hot with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce, or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair Scotch eggs are served on a stick. Scotch eggs are available at most Renaissance Festivals across the US.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, Scotch eggs may also be called vogelnestje ("little bird's nest"), because they contain an egg, or eierbal ("eggball"). One 1880s Scottish recipe also calls them birds nests.

This reminds me of a funny story. My other half speaks very good French and German and used to travel in sales all over Europe. MOH had a distributor in Germany who spoke no English but who invited MOH home for a meal to meet his family. In the back garden was a beautiful bird house on a pole with intricate Bavarian wood carvings a real thing of beauty. MOH wanted to comment how beautiful it was and used the words "vogel haus" to describe it as you would if you didn't know any better. Vogel is bird and haus is unbelievably, house. Unfortunately "bird house" in Germany or at least that part of Germany had a different meaning as an idiom.

So on the first visit to the German distributor, MOH sat down to a beautiful home cooked meal and complimented his wife by telling her that she had a beautiful brothel in her garden. Luckily this pure comedy moment sealed a long working relationship and yet we are told that Germans have no sense of humour.

This is the main traffic hub of Kingsbridge above, which as you can see is fairly deserted.

I had to go for a routine visit to my doctor this week, first time I have been there since we signed on a year ago. I asked what the vaccine situation was locally as we only get a sort of general national picture.

Our GP is part of a group of nine local surgeries who have combined forces to run one centralised vaccine operation about twenty miles from here, covering 75,000 patients. They jabbed one thousand people in the first three days. This is just the start and the operation will gradually grow.

Up to today, 3.2 million people have now been vaccinated in the UK. It's important to note that those 3.2 million people are precisely those most likely to have ended up in hospital or dying from the disease. With 3.2 million individuals now unlikely to need hospital care, this should mean that these numbers start to reflect in hospital admissions and deaths within a few weeks.

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