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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Food and Drink Sunday.

Oh what a dismal morning, rain and yet more rain.
We ended up going to bed early last night, because I had been trying to get rid of a headache, which was not going to go away, so the only option was an early night. If only I reckoned if I got an un-interrupted nights sleep it may go. Oh how wrong I was, not about the headache but about the un-interrupted nights sleep. At 2.20 am we were both woken up by shouting and screaming of males, probably coming back from the pub. One of the males wanted to kill the other; he was shouting how he was going to drown him etc. All this shouting included the F word over and over again. Because I am too much of a lady I will not add the word to this posting. I infact absolutely hate the word, and see not reason for its use in the English language. This ruction went on for sometime and others joined in. Keith and I just lay in bed and hoped that they did not come near the boat. It was not something we wanted to get involved in. But having said that, I would have called the police, if it had escalated. At one point we heard a young woman scream out, and more shouting. The group then settled down at the chatting, shouting and lots of swearing taking place. Eventually the weather played its part, when it began to throw it down, meaning that the group went off to find cover. All that took place was more than likely fuelled by drink. What these individuals fail to understand is the fact that their words of killing someone have far more reaching consequences. If they should actually do the deed. Not only will it destroy their lives and those of the people around them, it is forever, they cannot go back once they have committed the crime. And all this is because they have drunk too much and taken something trivial to heart. They will wreck the lives of the person they kill and those connected to that person. By the time all this seemed to stop the church bells had struck 4 am and I was still awake, with my headache still in the back ground. I did fall asleep and when I woke up thankfully my headache had gone, but the rain was still pelting down heavily on the boats roof. This meant that the ground was going to be very soggy. We got up around 8.30 am and I put on my wet weather clothing to take Paddy out for his walk, around Crown meadow, which was extremely soggy. The river had also risen considerably due to all the over night rain. This does not bode well for the Food and Drink Festival today. The Signal 1 Radio weather forecast, has said that the weather will brighten up later, so we shall see. Liz Ellis on Signal 1 gave us a mention on her morning radio show, which was great. Keith joined in a competition to name the year, which got him another mention. At 10.30 am, I decided that I would wander over to the festival site to see, what conditions were like and if anyone had turned up, even though it was still raining. I was in my tradition boatwoman’s costume, due to the weather. It was really nice to see that despite the weather, people were entering the festival site.It was as you can imagine muddy under foot, but that was being dealt with. I soon had the camera out and was snapping away. The main areas for the mud were the exit and entrances, but the field itself was standing up well to all the feet trampling over it. I got the chance to photograph Dahmendra Vassaramo, International Indian Chef of The Year. Dahmendra is the chef at Thornbury Hall, whilst he cooked some truly amazing dishes, Parveen Saddique proprietor of Thornbury Hall told the audience how to use the spices on display, Parveen also answered any questions from the audience. Keith joined me over and the demonstration tent, where we had the honour of trying the dishes Dahmendra had cooked. The smell alone of the food was mouth watering. It was great to see that so many people are passionate about food.If you want an amazing Indian meal then Thornbury Hall will do you proud.
Come lunchtime, the sun was out and so were the crowds. It seems that the fact that there was a little mud put them off from coming to try the food and drink on offer.
Next up in the Demonstration Marque was the Staffordshire Oak Cake filling competition. Janine Machin was once again the compere for what was a great competition. Eight contestants offered up recipe fillings for the Oat Cakes and Peter Nullis of La Dolce Vita, had to cook them all for the judges to sample. It certainly got the publics attention, as the marque was full. I can honestly say I have never eaten a Staffordshire Oat Cake, maybe I will have to change that and try one.The demonstration Marque had proved to be a huge success, with plenty of people going into watch the chefs perform.One of the biggest crowds of the weekend went to watch Mandy Wilson of Golden Goose Catering Company, Mandy produced some mouth watering food, which the audience were allowed, in fact encouraged to try, so Keith and I were on hand to indulge in testing the food, which was lovely. We really have enjoyed our weekend of photographing and trying the food. As the afternoon and the festival drew to a close, Keith and I were invited for a drink in the beer tent, where we tried a pint of the Titanic Brewery’s beer. Neither Keith or I are real beer drinkers, but we did like what we tried and it was nice of Jill to treat us. We sat and discussed the weekend’s events and the feedback which we had been given by the stall holders. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed their time in Stone, and many of them had done very well despite the weather. What was nice was the fact that they would like to come back and do it all over again next year. That also goes for us, as we have had a lot of fun. The Stoke-on-Trent IWA stall, was very quiet. They had been a little busier in the WOW area, helping to keep the children amused. The fact that this event was not a canal event meant that people really were not that interested in the IWA stall, which was a real shame. Still you cannot win them all.
Back onboard Hadar and we have settled in for the evening, watching the Harry Potter movie, and I reckon we will be in bed early, hoping to make up for the lack of sleep, in the early hours of this morning. So another week has passed, and a new one will begin, we will see you next week all being well.

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