Pies are beautiful

Back in  Blighty now, I buckle up to ride the unpredictable roller coaster that is the British Weather. A red hot week in March (our summer no doubt) which brought my tubby tortoiseshell Monica out onto the uncut lawn, paws akimbo, has given way to an extreme freezing April. The pyjamas, the double quilt and the sheep that heats up in the microwave, are still in full deployment and the Western Australian heatwave seems a dim and distant memory.Refusing to let vicious Arctic winds and icy, squally showers defeat our quest for Sunday amusement, we headed for the lovely-to-look-at-in-all weather conditions, Newcastle Quayside. We viewed the Millenium Bridge which had blinked its eye open for the passage of some leisure vessels, carrying brave woolly hatted site seers.

A cat surpised – it’s sunny!
Our lovely tilting bridge
Next we had a good scooch around the Baltic Art Gallery Shop. No one much looks at the ‘Art’ there, but the shop is nice for a look round and to buy cards which say witty acerbic things. My favourite, however is still the one from Paperchase which says ‘Happy Birthday You Twat!’ which I realise is neither witty nor acerbic really… funny though. Then we headed for the Quayside market. We had to take refuge in the Northumbrian fudge stall at one point while the hail passed over. The walnut and vanilla fudge samples were seriously depleted by the time we resumed our market ramble. The market seems to specialise in jewellery and calorific things to eat, really. There are strange potato twizzle things which are deep fried and then dipped in one of twenty nine flavours.

Strange potato twizzle things..
The whole experience is a dangerous minefield for the obese and the diabetic…

Cakes can kill
onsidering the furore caused by George Osbourne’s recent pasty tax, the pastry snack stall was going great guns. Although, it has to be said, nothing could be described as hot food at this point.

Do larger pasties attract a higher tax rate?    Our brave Nation’s relationship with pies is no Simon Cowell – ‘it lasted a few bonks’ affair. He made this comment on his recently revealed fling with Danni Minogue incidently , but a long term and most serious commitment. No one can deny the allure of a good pie.

                                    As if we need telling
While we gave the pasty stall our full attention, the stall holder obviously recognised our expert pie commentary and we were drawn into an impromptu focus group to brainstorm new potential pie and pasty fillings. We came up with ham and pease pudding, chicken and ham in a cheese and tarragon sauce, fish and chips pies, Parma ham, rocket pesto and goats cheese, corned beef and caramelised onion chutney and so it went on.

 Pies are beautiful things.I’m surprised we weren’t taken on on a consultancy basis on the spot. Mind you I’ve had my fingers burned before with that do some work for free and then hope they’ll pay you later malarkey. Once bitten and all that…Grainger Market Newcastle