Blogjam? Bloggage? Backblog?
Whatever it’s called, I’ve got it bad. I’ve had one of those busy periods of such intensity there’ve been times when I wondered if the old ticker will see me through to my 40th later this year. And the casualites (along with family, social life and regular sleep patterns) have included any faint hopes of regular blog updates.
So I’ve got plenty to catch up on. Earlier this week one of those busy days was spent driving to Liverpool to meet with a potential new PR client. It was my first ever trip to that fine city and I hope to hear soon if we’ve been successful with our pitch.
While I was drawn there by work, the venue was next door to historic Aintree Racecourse, better known to millions of previous visitors as the home of the Grand National. However, gambling is not one of my many vices, so I don’t profess to know much about the nags.
What I DO know about is breakfast. Anyone who’s worked with me knows my epic, albeit unorthodox appetites – especially in the morning. For instance, here is a recent missive from Danny Groom, the man who now runs the dailymail.co.uk website and whom I caught up with recently for the first time in years:
Spookily, I was telling one of my colleagues the other day about the famous Douglas breakfast of a baked bean toastie, jam on toast and a banana – all served by a drug-fuelled lunatic with dirty fingernails.
Danny, who has worked on the newsdesks of PA, The Observer and the Daily Mail, was referring to our time together on the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. There was no canteen in the building so we used to send out for breakfast to the local sarnie/snack shop – which had dodgy hygiene standards but would deliver to our desks.
Anyway, I digress, purely to explain why the horseracing Mecca of Aintree held little interest for me, particularly when my belly started rumbling after a four hour drive down the M6 (including a rather scary white out experience on the Biggar Road).
Within minutes of arriving I’d found my way to a greasy spoon cafe (bypassing the fish and chip shop which was, bafflingly, open for business at 11.30am) dragging a reluctant Raymond with me. I knew exactly what I wanted: a cup of tea and a roll with sausage and brown suace.
This proved frustratingly difficult to get hold of. The Scouse woman behind the counter made extremely hard work of my accent – and after several minutes of negotiating, still seemed not to understand the concept of a roll with sausage.
At one point she tried to serve me a baguette. The fact this run down caff even had fresh baguettes was a minor miracle – but didn’t divert me from my hunger for a simple breakfast roll. Finally the woman grasped that all I wanted was a round roll – “Ahhhh – a barncake!” she exclaimed.
Shortly my cuppa arrived – along with the most ginormous roll I’ve ever been served. This thing was like a gargantuan, floury, freak-of-nature big brother of the roll I’d been expecting. And I swear, there must have been six or seven separate sausages on it.
Raymond’s eyse widened in awe. Mine simply widened in anticipation.
True to form, I polished it off in short order and have to offer my hearty congratulations to the makers of Liverpool Barn Cakes, which seem to be a regional variation of the Stotty Cake I’d previously encountered in Newcastle.
An hour or so later it was lunchtime, and our hosts laid on a fine spread of fruit and sandwiches. I felt obliged to tuck in again.
Ahem. blogjam, indeed.