Isn’t that gorgeous?  So elegant and perfect. So colourful, and yet in no way gaudy. Those glass shelves do a great job of showing off the goods without getting in the way, don’t they?

This week, for ABC Wednesday (the letter ‘G’), I’m going to give you some real contrasts in the world of shops and shopping.  I found that wonderful display of gloves in a Venice backstreet, which just goes to show that those Italians are so much more sophisticated than us English folk, don’t you think?  Of course, I haven’t had the chance to show you what they do to cakes, yet, but we’ll save that for another week.

So, from graceful and understated gloves in the gorgeous city of Venice, we go to …


George’s Fish Bar, in Bourne, Lincolnshire.  Now, George’s Fish Bar (so I’m told) has an excellent reputation and has been awarded four stars for hygiene, so it’s not in the least bit grimy, but elegant and understated?  I don’t think so, do you?  Love that shark’s head, George!   He has a great gaping grin!

After that, where shall we go?  Well, how about Dewey Beach, where the greyhound folk held a silent auction back in 2007, where this gigantic carved wood greyhound was the star attraction?


Not exactly a shop, but certainly a way of selling something.  Isn’t that grand? – and just look at that grain!

Talking of greyhounds, here’s a picture from a Meet and Greet I did with Sid last year.


It’s a little mini-shop, you see.  Just a table top with a few greyhound goodies for sale to help the hounds.  And it was held at the Rainbow supermarket in Bourne, where – despite the greyness of the day) the good people dropped quite a nice amount of money in our tins.

Another Meet and Greet we did was at a garden centre just before Christmas.   And here is a sweet girl greyhound doing a little shopping among all the glittery decorations and gift items.


Her name is Naughty Nellie, but she was being very good that day.

If you look at the bottom left hand corner of that photo, you’ll see a sign for a G Tech sweeper.  We have one of those little electric carpet sweepers and they are excellent!

Amazing what they have for sale at these Garden Centres.  I mean, they even have displays of garden furniture, and I love the St George flags hanging in garlands from roof to roof!


Can you imagine yourself gently swinging to and fro in this double swing seat?    I would imagine that many of you are also imagining yourself with a nice cool drink in your hand.  Just remember, never mix the grape and the grain if you want to avoid those hangovers!

Talking of which -


Have you ever noticed how many of our whiskies have names beginning with ‘G‘?  Look at that: Glenfiddich, Famous Grouse, Glenmorangie, Grants, Glenlivet … and further along the shelf are the gins.  They might even have some grappa.  Quite a few glugs there, for those that like a tipple!


Here we are again on Macro Monday – and I have a nice easy one for you! This will no doubt come as a relief to you all.

Unless …

… Unless I have it wrong again and it isn’t easy at all! Looks easy to me, but, don’t they always?

Anyway, this week’s puzzle is a very familiar object, though perhaps a little more ‘up close and personal’ than you’re used to seeing it. Also, maybe, from a rather different angle. I bet you all have one though – or had one at some time or other. We have (let’s see … ) seven of this type, and at least four which are a whole lot more modern. I also have a lot which are basically the same thing, but don’t look much like this. They do perform the same basic function though – and no, I don’t need them all, I just like them, and I’m a bit of a squirrel.

People use these things in several forms. The way they look is as variable as a pair of curtains or a person’s choice of floor coverings – but just like those things, despite all the differences, when you see it, you know exactly what it is.

Take your best shot! Answers in the comments, if you think you know what it is, and I’ll be back tomorrow to enlighten you with a nice little picture link.

Well, there. Quite a few of you got this one! First one to get it right was Carletta – well done, Carletta! – and then we have Margie, Denise, DutchBaby, Baino, Granny Grimble, and Babs. In fact, well done, all of you!

There were those who decided against going with the right answer (you know who you are!) and then we have the witty ones, which I always love. Thanks to Sistertex, Silverback, Brinkbeestinenglish and Maureen for the laughs, and special thanks to Mara for managing to drag Johnny Depp into it! You all know how much I appreciate that!

For those who still don’t know what it is, go here, and all will be revealed! Later this evening you’ll be able to read in the comments exactly why there are cobwebs in there.

Thanks for playing!

Posted on August 25, 2010 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay26 Comments »


I know exactly where to take you for this week’s ABC Wednesday post! Come with me to Venice – I found a great shop there, just behind Piazza San Marco: the Ferrari shop! And how neat is this – since I name all my ABC picture files using the letter plus numbers, the name of that picture is ‘F1‘! How fitting!

No, I didn’t go in and buy anything, and I have no clue how they got that thing in there, since there are no roads for cars in this district. I can only assume that somehow it came by boat. I’d love to have seen them do that, wouldn’t you?

Imagine a Ferrari being ferried down one of these narrow backwaters!


No shops in that picture, I fear, but there is plenty of washing flapping like flags among the flowers.

By the way, guess what they use as ferries on the Grand Canal? Decommissioned gondolas! Once their life as a tour boat is over, they have the fancy seats taken out and the gold plated fittings removed and the old gondolas are used as ferries to take shoppers from one bank to the other.


Fun? Maybe, but I didn’t like the way you had to stand up on the way over during ‘rush hour’. With my luck, I’d have fallen in.


No need to worry about that on the island of Murano. The canal here is hardly wide enough to need a ferry, and the bridges are frequent.


You might be able to spot an ‘F‘ in that row of shops, too – ‘F.lli Moretti’, which I presume is short for ‘Fratelli Moretti’, or ‘Moretti Bros’.

While we were on Murano, we had lunch. Fairly ordinary thing to do, I hear you say, but it turned into an adventure for me, because the speciality of all of the food places over there seemed to be fish – and I am allergic to some types of fish. Very allergic. But I was famished, and we found a place and sat down. Here’s a shot of the menu.


If you have very sharp eyes for fine print, you’ll see that there are only a handful of items on that menu which do not contain fish. There are fish appetisers, pasta with fish, fish dishes, fish, fish, and more fish. That small piece of paper there in front says (among other things) ‘Sono molto allergica al pesce. Il mio cibo deve essere cucinato separatamente dal pesce*’ and was written for me by the lovely T, because Italian is her mother tongue. It quite possibly saved my life because the people in this trattoria took it very seriously and cooked me something special, entirely separately from all the fish.

When we got back to the main island, we took a walk. Wandering through the funny little back streets and investigating the various shops on the way, I found this little gem. A photography shop – and since that’s spelled with an ‘F‘ in Italy, I feel quite justified in including it.


See that row of pictures by the door? Who is that famous fellow at the bottom there, the one with the white shirt? You know who, don’t you? Yep, Johnny Depp himself! It was taken at the Venice Film Festival in 2003. What a find, huh? There’s a short clip from an interview taken that year here on YouTube if you fancy it. He’s looking just as he is in that picture – which is just fine by me.

The fair hair, by the way, is because he’d just finished shooting Secret Window. It’s his ‘Mort Rainey’ hair.

* I am very allergic to fish. My food must be cooked separately from fish.


When we got married, thirty-odd years ago, one of the vets I worked for at the time gave us a large Le Creuset casserole dish. I had never seen one before. It was orange, and very, very heavy. I’ve learned since that at one time they only came in this orange colour, which they call ‘volcano’. And also that it was heavy because it was made of cast iron.

We still have that casserole. It’s done it’s fair share of cooking family dinners over the years, everything from macaroni cheese, to casseroles with dumplings, and it’s got a few chips and dings, and the enamel is slightly crazed, but you see, that’s one of the good things about cast iron: if you expose the metal, it’s actually good for you, because it slightly increases the iron content of your food. No worries there.

Anyway. For years and years (and years) we couldn’t afford Le Creuset cookware, so I loved that casserole. The Pyrex dishes we were given for wedding gifts are almost all of them gone, smashed to pieces or chipped or scratched too badly to use. And saucepans? OK, let’s talk about saucepans. Our original (second-hand) saucepans have been replaced many times over, going from new, thin, aluminium or enamelled pans, through Pyrex glass (never again!) to heavy duty aluminium and, with the advent of our induction hob, to stainless steel (you can’t cook with aluminium or glass on induction hobs, because the heat is induced in the saucepan itself by the use of magnets).

I love stainless steel saucepans, but the first ones we bought turned out to have un-coated aluminium sandwich bases which eroded to a knife edge in the dishwasher, and after cutting my hands one time too many on the damn things, we replaced them with better pans. The new ones were solid, with completely enclosed bases, but (bizarrely) aluminium alloy rivets, which were also eroding in the dishwasher. So the time came last week to think about replacing these ones, too, before the handles fell off when I was carrying something hot and heavy.

We bit the bullet and went to the newly opened Le Creuset store in the city.

Oh joy!

There we found our new set of saucepans on the ‘sale’ stand, looking a little lost, with their ticket marked down from £204 to £153. What was wrong with them, you ask? Well, it was terrible! They were the old pattern and hadn’t got the magic words ‘Le Creuset’ stamped into the supporting grip opposite the handle. Oh no!! How could anyone possibly live with such defective pans?


I decided I could, and grabbed them, quickly, before someone else walked in and decided that they could live with them, too.

And then, on the same table, I spotted this beautiful blue skillet – the subject of my Macro Monday puzzle for this week.


I’d been thinking about buying one of these corrugated skillets for some time, because you use a lot less fat this way, but well, I just didn’t feel justified in lashing out on one. However, when you’re faced with a Le Creuset piece in such a gorgeous colour, just begging to be rescued from its ignominious position on the Table of Shame … well, I’ve always been a sucker for the underdog, especially when said underdog comes at such a knock-down price.

Yep, believe it or not, the price of my skillet was reduced from £65 to £45 because of that one, small dimple – which was completely coated in the requisite amount of satin black enamel, by the way. If you look very, very carefully at that picture, you may just be able to spot it by one of the pouring lips. If not, enlarge it by clicking once here, and then again on the next page.

There were also the most gorgeous kettles reduced by 50% simply because they’d been packed into boxes with the wrong picture on them. So, I say to you, dear readers, if you hanker after a piece of this legendary cookware, there may never be a better time to run off to your nearest store and get it. Always providing, of course, that you live in the UK, and you can get there in time.

I can’t see this stuff hanging around too long, even if it is still quite expensive after the heavy price cuts. I mean, look – the saucepans can even do tricks with their lids!