The Gardener: 2011

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Looking at this tea towel brings a smile to my face; I think of it as one of my ‘happy’ tea towels. David and Dorothy bought me this tea towel from one of their holidays in Norfolk.  They both loved Norfolk: the birds, the coastline, the little towns and villages, especially Holt, the National Trust properties, just walking, the cottages they stayed in and tea rooms they found.  They loved Holkham Hall and visited there every time they stayed in Norfolk.  Holkham Hall is where this tea towel came from.  David loved his garden; it wasn’t particularly big but he tended every part of it.  There was a shed and a greenhouse, some raised beds where he grew potatoes and carrots, shrubbed borders, a small patio with pots, a pergola and the manicured lawn.  No weed lasted more than a couple of hours.  It wasn’t only his own garden that he was interested in; he showed an interest in Lyn and Rob’s and also ours.  He shared good ideas, like the best way of raising a crop of potatoes that would be ready on Christmas Day and he listened to advice from other gardeners – hence the raised beds.  David was fascinated by the fact that our garden was going to be part of the Markfield Open Gardens event in 2011.  He wanted to know exactly what we were doing (and he would have been horrified by how many weeds were still flourishing on the actual Open Days); he provided twenty or thirty coleus plants, of different varieties and colours, that could be sold for charity, that he had grown from seed.  He really wanted to see all the photos that were taken (and there were loads).

The tea towel sums up gardening for me; it has the feel of an old-fashioned cottage garden, with the small greenhouse, tomatoes grown in pots and the straw sun hat.  I can almost feel the warmth of the sun and want to sit on a deck chair and admire the fruits of my labour.  When I move house, I will look at this tea towel and remember the reasons why David and Dorothy bought this tea towel, the Open Gardens in Markfield, David’s home grown potatoes on Christmas Day, their garden which they had to give up and just think ‘Happy Days, Happy Memories’

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Cornwall: 1986

 

IMG_0163This is a classic, traditional, touristy tea towel: a map of the county of Cornwall,  highlighting towns and villages of significance, with a few sketches of places to visit.  It doesn’t actually matter which year I bought this tea towel in, because I have been back many times to Cornwall and it always takes me back to those times.  In fact, I bought it in 1986, on yet another holiday there, because I already owned many tea towels of towns, gardens and industrial sites in Cornwall, just needed a more generic tea towel.

When I was a child, my parents took me on holiday to Cornwall, three years running, from when I was six years of age.  We always stayed at the Veryan Bay Hotel, in the last week of July and the first week of August, the only time my Dad’s boss would allow him holiday.  Christmas was the start of the annual argument between my parents, with my Mum telling Dad to demand holiday at a different time and with him refusing to do so.  I was never clear when she actually wanted to go on holiday; I think it was the principle of it.  The place he worked didn’t close down for the summer holidays, so other people were having holidays at different times.  Veryan Bay Hotel was very nice, quite luxurious in parts, but the best bit was the dining room.  There was a large bay window, which stretched the full width of the dining room and overlooked the sea.  Every morning, we would get up early so we could sit in the bay window and my Dad would say “People would pay a million pounds to have this view every day”.  After the first morning, my mother and I would beg and plead that he would not say it again, and yet he did, every day.  25 years later, when he was very ill, he still remembered Veryan Bay Hotel and the “million pound” view, and the “million pound” quote.

Recently, I have been looking through my photograph albums, with a view to scanning all my photos, and came across pictures of my Dad, sitting in a metal-frame, folding deck chair (very uncomfortable, I imagine) on the beach, with a transistor radio by his side, listening to the Test Match, while I made sand castles and my mother read a book.  I am always fascinated by the way the memory works, about what we retain and what we forget.  My other memory of the Veryan Bay Hotel was of the meals, not mine but my Dad’s.  My Dad was a ‘meat and two veg’ sort of a person; he didn’t particularly have a ‘sweet tooth’.  For breakfast, he would always have mushrooms on toast.  When we returned home, my mother would make him mushrooms on toast, which he ate reluctantly, and asked her not to do it again.  “Why?” She would ask “you eat it every day on holiday” and he would say that mushrooms on toast was a holiday treat, not something for at home.  I, sort of, know what he meant.  Mushrooms on toast was reserved for the holidays; I follow his example devilled kidneys, tomatoes on toast, haggis and needs are for special occasions, holidays, not for everyday eating.  The other thing I am reminded of is that at the end of dinner, you could either have a pudding or a savoury.  My Dad always chose the savoury dish.  His favourite was Scotch Woodcock.  I could never remember what Scotch Woodcock was at the time and, more than 50 years later, I still have to resort to Mr Google to remind me. (Scotch Woodcock is basically scrambled eggs on crust-less toast, with cayenne pepper, capers, Gentlemen’s Relish and strips of anchovy over the top.  Sounds gorgeous. But what is Gentlemen’s Relish?).

I distinctly remember the narrow roads, my Dad driving a Vauxhall Velox (which were big cars), not being able to see over the high hedgerows.  Years later when I recall this, I also remember it was those memories that encouraged me to read the Derek Tangye ‘Minack Chronicles’ and wish myself back in time.

After our three holidays in Cornwall, we travelled elsewhere: Jersey, Isle of Man, Lake District, Majorca; still the last week in July and the first week of August.  But Cornwall is still the most vivid; I can still see that “million pound” view.  Twenty years later, I cycled through Cornwall, from John O’Groats, to Land’s End.  Those were the days when you could walk to the edge of the coast without paying a penny, when you could stand on the rocks, alone, not surrounded by tourist attractions.

My memories of my childhood holidays must be part of the reason why, between 1982 and 1987, John and I spent a week each year in Cornwall, not staying in the same place necessarily but mainly on the north coast of Cornwall.  (I am sure you have read the Tea Towel Blogs of Bedruthan Steps, dated 25/9/16 and that of St Agnes dated 30/6/15 and there are many more to come!!).  There were usually certain things we always did: paddle in the sea, somewhere; I have many photos of me walking along the beach in bright yellow wellington boots.  We would always look for a National Trust property or two to visit, especially if there was a garden (and I have several tea towels that I haven’t yet blogged about) and always look for some ancient monuments, standing stones, burial grounds and settlements.   I remember walking for what seemed like miles, over moor and field, to find Men-an-Tol (the stone with a hole in it).  It was well worth the walk; it was beautiful on a stark landscape, who carved it?, who designed it?, for what purpose?, how many footsteps walked to it?  It was good to just relish in that ancient landscape.  We found Madron Well and Chapel, an old well in creepy woodland, concealed in shrubs and undergrowth, a ground level natural spring, a Cornish Celtic sacred site.  The well is said to have had healing properties; people still leave ‘clouties’, or strips of coloured rag, from the surrounding trees to appease the spirits within the well.

We discovered Chysauster Ancient Village, a late Iron Age and Romano-British village of between eight and ten Courtyard houses.  We found Chysauster before there were entrance charges, before temporary roofs were put on a couple of the houses, before areas were cordoned off so you could no longer wander through the whole site, before the Fogou (underground passage of no known purpose) was sealed off so you could climb down into it.  We went to Tintagel, stood against the walls overlooking the seas and thinking this would have been a great site for Camelot, even though there was no evidence that it was there.

Cornwall was always a place for discovering things, whether it was Iron Age burial grounds or industrial revolution tin mines, fabulously landscaped gardens and even more recently, the Eden Project.  For me, Cornwall is a victim of its own success: too many cars on too narrow roads, too many tourists, too many tourists things to do rather than leaving people to enjoy the beauty of the coast and landscape, too many opportunities for entrepreneurs to make money.  When a feature like Lands End becomes a tourist attraction that you can’t  visit without paying money, you know things are a little off-key.  But as I use this tea towel, I know that the wiping up will take three times as long as it should because I will be distracted by memories, good times and a yearning to return.

PS: Mr Google tells me that Gentlemen’s Relish (also known as Patum Peperium)  is a type of Anchovy Paste, created in 1828 by John Osborn.  It is, apparently, strong, very salty and slightly fishy in taste.  It can be used on jacket potatoes, in cucumber sandwiches and fish cakes, among other things.  This is something I have to try, along with Scotch Woodcock!!!

London Paralympics: 2012

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This is one of my favourite London 2012 tea towels.  I like the fact that it is quite stark, just ‘Great Britain’ and a small Union Jack.  It doesn’t have any disability symbols.  Hanging on the back of the kitchen door, it stands out from any others.

I have worked with, and for, disabled people all my working life, in various guises, taking different roles.  The politics of disability have been a passion of mine.  However, the politics of disability is not about whether local authority social care services are being cut or whether the criteria for disability benefits is stricter; it is much wider and all-encompassing that than.  The politics of disability is fundamentally about the way society (people, places, attitudes) make you feel.  Do you feel included?  Do you feel part of a community, a part of everyday life, part of things that matter to you?  Those feelings go back to being linked with legislation, opportunities, education, employment, leisure and much more.

A few days ago, I wrote about Stoke Bruerne and my link with it and Dave Morris, my former boss, my confidante, my role model and my friend.  He came to my mind, once again, when thinking about the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  Dave was a Senior Policy Advisor on Disability Issues to the then London Mayor, Ken Livingstone.  In 2009, he was seconded to the London Organising Committee for the Paralympic Games, advising on external access and inclusion co-ordination.  Sadly, in 2010, two years before he would be able to see his work come to fruition, he died suddenly and unexpectedly.  I had worked with Dave, at POhWER in Hertfordshire, from 1997 to 1999.  When my contract ended I returned to `Leicester to take up the post of Director of mosaic: shaping disability services.  I was recruited to bring about a ‘Radical Transformation’ of a disability organisation that had just celebrated its centenary.  I invited Dave to be the Guest Speaker at the first Annual General Meeting that I organised; I needed him to be able to inspire the Trustees and staff.  He certainly got to the hearts of the Trustees, and many, but not all, staff.  Two days ago, while continuing with the process of ‘down-sizing’ I came across the speech that Dave gave in 1999, the speech that made me realise that no matter how hard it is to bring about change, you have to try.  This is what Dave said:

“As last night was Halloween, I thought I would start with some horror stories.  My first happened in my university days, just up the M1 in Nottingham.  While sitting in some hostelry one evening, no doubt discussing some finer detail of Hegelian dialectics, somebody came up to me, as they do because if you’re a disabled person in a pub, you are public property, and the following exchange took place

‘I have a friend like you; he is a vegetable’

Now part of me likes ‘collecting’ these times when the interaction between society and disability becomes personalised.  As we hurtle with gusto, towards the new millennium, the fact is that the Civil Rights struggle is still a live issue.  It has been said that the disability movement is the last great civil rights struggle.  The Disability Discrimination Act, in the same way as the Race Relations Act, Sex Discrimination Act and Equal Pay Act, has drawn a line in the sand.  Our society is telling us that we should have equal civil rights; we should be able to have access to transport, to employment, to education and the Millennium Dome in the same way as anybody else.  As it is against the law to discriminate because of the colour of somebody’s skin or gender, it is now illegal to discriminate, in certain circumstances, because of disability.  As we all know, however, equality legislation has not disposed of racism or sexism overnight and neither will the Disability Discrimination Act.  All of us still need to work hard to make equality, or even something even near it, a reality.

And this is where I come back to the horror stories.  The fact is that still, for many of us, the unacceptable becomes commonplace.  Horror stories become part of our everyday existence.

I’d like to classify myself as a pretty average, ordinary type of bloke.  I work full time (and usually extra time) in a responsible job in the voluntary sector.  I earn a reasonable (if not, extortionate) salary – in the same way that women still only get 60% of the salaries of men, disabled people do not command the highest salaries in the world, however skilled and experienced we are.  I am in a long-term relationship and, yes, I have a sex life.  I have a range of interests out of work: cinema, theatre, football, pubs, late night philosophising after pubs.  I have a strong innate belief that all of us should be able to develop our potential.  The beauty (and it is beautiful) of our society is that its very fabric is about difference.  The ugly thing about our society is that many of us do not realise the value of diversity and try to be ‘normal’, allowing prejudice and discrimination to flourish.

Although I classify myself as average, as a disabled person I have also experienced the unacceptable reality of prejudice and discrimination.  As a child being dispatched to a harsh and cruel institution, where wheelchairs were taken away as punishment; where you are forced to go on stupid diets and were sent away for what can only be described as experimental surgery; where the local vicar was allowed to base a sermon on the progressive ecclesiastical thesis that we were disabled because of the sins of our parents; where every day a brass plaque announced to the world that this institution was caring for the cripples in the name of Jesus; where other dark, unacceptable things happened……

At my interview for a university place, when the Head of Department, after apologising for the delay in my interview for a place on an Honours Degree course, gave me a children’s book with the words ‘look at this while you wait; it’s got lots of pictures in it’.  It obviously rubbed off cos the Teletubbies are my heroes.  Being prevented from having a job in the Civil Service because it would not look good for a disabled person to work with the general public; being asked by a colleague what hospital I lived in and then overhearing a subsequent conversation with another colleague about how severely disabled I was ‘but he’s so intelligent’; being refused a drink in a pub because ‘we don’t have any facilities for people like you’; being spat at in the street; being told on numerous occasions, when I challenge these instances, that I have a chip on my shoulder.

As I said earlier, I tend to collect these examples because they, for me, illustrate the road we need to move along.  I believe that much has changed over the last few years and the unacceptable is less commonplace.  Our organisations exist to make sure this continues to be the case.  The new language of empowerment, equality and rights is an expression of the fact that we are no longer prepared to accept the unacceptable; that we are moving centre stage; that we can be in control and in charge, but also work together.

I wish you well in your development………in your Radical Transformation”.

What Dave said eighteen years ago, is still as relevant today as it was then.  It saddened me that some things have not changed.  A lump comes to my throat when I think of all Dave did.  I miss him but I have three tea towels that rate highly amongst my memories of Dave: Stevenage: 1999 (Blog dated 21/10/15), Stoke Bruerne: 2004 (Blog dated 13/3/17 ) and now this one. I can never use any of these tea towels without thinking of Dave Morris with much fondness.

This Blog is dedicated to David Wesley Morris, 25 December 1958 (always pissed him off that he shared his birthday with Christmas Day and therefore got less presents than anyone else) to 19 April 2010.

 

Oliver Cromwell: 2016

 

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When I was at school, besides geography, history was my favourite subject.  I am always sceptical about the way history is taught: the way that World War I is portrayed; the Dissolution of the Monasteries? Did Camelot actually exist?  You can understand, in times where there  were very few records of any sorts, that an accurate story is largely impossible.  But then, even where there are records, there are some people who, for example, dispute the events of the holocaust.  What will history say about Al Quaeda or the sinking of the Titantic?  Today, I look at world events, read so many different perspectives on what has happened, that I realise history is really only tales from the teller’s perspective.

I went to a Catholic convent school.  I ask myself: was it only coincidence that we never learnt about Oliver Cromwell, the English Civil War, the rise of Puritanism and the abolition of any Catholic practices?  Or was there not time in the curriculum after we had dealt with Tudors, the Dark Ages, Mediaeval Britain, Second World War, Hundred Years War, the Austrian-Prussian Empire and so forth?  Because I realise that I know nothing about Oliver Cromwell.  Coincidentally, my friend Fee came to stay with me last night; she was talking about “that woman who writes historical novels about all sorts of people”.  We eventually, with the help of Mr Google, discovered she was talking about Phillippa Gregory.  Knowing that this blog was coming up, I looked to see if Phillippa Gregory had written about Oliver Cromwell; I thought I could crib some information about him but alas, no.  So any information I have about Oliver Cromwell comes from the website of the Oliver Cromwell Museum and that of Oliver Cromwell’s House.

Oliver Cromwell was born in 1599 and died, possibly of urinary tract infection and septicaemia, in 1658.  What is clear, is that Cromwell’s legacy is somewhat controversial.  Winston Churchill described him as a ‘military dictator’, Charles Sharp as a ‘regicidal dictator’; he was regarded as a ‘hero of liberty’ by John Milton and Thomas Carlyle and as a ‘class revoluntionary’ by Leon Trotsky.  There is no disputing that he was an Independent Puritan, intensely religious and despised Catholic practices.  He was one of 59 MPs who signed the death warrant of Charles I.  He led successful armies in the English Civil War; he was a Member of Parliament for both Huntingdon and Cambridge and he was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.  About two years after his death, the Royalists, under Charles II, returned to power.  At this point his body, which had been buried in Westminster Abbey, was dug up, hung in chains and beheaded.  Oliver Cromwell’s remains caused such controversy that their whereabouts have been only approximately known for fear of them being dug up again.  They were only finally laid to rest in 1960, in Sidney Sussex College Cambridge where he went to university; the exact grave remains unmarked.

In December 2016, I took a bus trip to Ely.  I have been to a delightful tea room in Ely called Peacocks but have no other memories of Ely.  Although cold, it was great and we came across Oliver Cromwell’s House; not surprisingly, this was where he lived, for ten years and is now a museum of 17th Century life.  In the shop, I saw this tea towel.  I love the play on words, a rye sense of humour.  And here I come back to the fact that I knew nothing about Oliver Cromwell and the significant part he played in parliamentary democracy.  I need to find someone, who is easy to read, that has written about Oliver Cromwell so I can learn more.  I wonder if there is a Ladybird book?  The answer is “Yes” because it is on sale in Amazon!!

Now it’s time to put YOUR feet up: 2017

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When I open the ‘Contacts’ section, on my mobile phone, the first name that comes up is ‘Ann The Foot’; The Foot distinguishes Ann, who is a Reflexologist, from a number of other people called Ann that I know.  Soon after I met Ann, I needed to contact her urgently, but I couldn’t remember her surname; I just knew her as Ann. I had to try several other Ann’s before I got to the right one; it was embarrassing having to admit that I couldn’t remember anyone’s surname.  From that day, she became Ann The Foot in my mind, and in my list of contacts, and still is.

If you have a significantly twisted spine, there is a strong likelihood that you will be susceptible to sciatica; for the last thirty years I have had bouts of sciatica, always down my right hand side.  I have had lots of medication (doesn’t work and gives you stomach ache), injections (works sometimes but has time-limited effacacy), physical treatments (most have no effect, like acupuncture) and other practitioners that use some kind of manipulation won’t touch me with a barge pole, traction (not to be recommended these days), physiotherapy (good exercises for prevention not cure).  It was about eight years ago, when I had a really bad bout of sciatica;  I was visiting my Aunty Joyce at Christmas.  We swopped stories about sciatica.  She said that she had been going to a Reflexologist because she was so desperate, as a last resort.  She said she was sceptical that it could help.  After a few weekly treatments, the sciatica had gone and now she was going once every three weeks to make sure it keeps at bay.  She was adamant that I should give reflexology a go.

I am not really an ‘alternative’sort of a person; I like to understand how things work.  But I thought “This must be worth a go; anything is worth a go”.  There are a lot of advantages to Reflexology: (a) I hadn’t tried it before, Aunty Joyce was the only person I knew that had, she thought it was good, so that was a good start (b) Reflexology doesn’t involve touching my spine (no one is going to touch my spine these days, too dangerous) (c) it doesn’t involve taking your clothes off (always an advantage in my eyes) (d) a lot of people don’t like having their feet touched but I actually like it, so that’s good (e) I was desperate.  How do you go about finding a Reflexologist?  Simples, as the Meercats say.  Use the Yellow Pages (I’m talking about eight years ago, probably not so effective these days as there appears to be almost nothing in Yellow Pages). So I ring Ann (The Foot) and make an appointment.  What I hadn’t thought about was the fact that I would have to lie down; I can’t lie flat on my back on a couch; it is a physical impossibility; it’s a bit like a Hump-Backed Whale lying on its back.  Then I saw her wonderful, green garden lounger with fabric rather than a hard surface; I can do that!  That was the start of a beautiful relationship between Ann The Foot and my feet.  Eight years of weekly joy, eight years of sciatica-free pain.

Ann The Foot is a practical, down to earth woman who understands that I need to understand what is happening; she understands that I am sceptical of the ‘alternatives’.  I don’t know if she realigned my shakras but at least she didn’t tell me about it.  I got to understand those painful bits on my feet that related to my neck or shoulders or lower back or head or eyes or………… When she said “Got trouble with your neck this week?” She was always, absolutely right, hit the nail on the head.  The first couple of weeks she played that ‘airy fairy’, New Age music and then one week the CD stopped working “Thank goodness for that” I said, as she apologised.  “What would you prefer?”, she asked.  At that point my mobile rang, very unusual occurrence at that time of the day and the ring tone was Liszt.  The next week she played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and I was in my element.

As you lie on your back, with Ann The Foot working on your feet, there is no pressure to make conversation like there is in the dentist (“Have you been on holiday?”, while your mouth is prised open with a clamp) or in the hairdressers (“Where are you going on holiday?”, above the screeching sound of Beyoncé or similar).  Yet over the years, Ann The Foot and I shared tales of births, marriages and deaths; we talked of the health, and ill-health, of her dogs and my cats; we talked of the wonders of Strictly Come Dancing (we’ve been through eight series together), berating the end and how long it is until the next series; we’ve talked about the pleasures of Call the Midwife and the social history that it portrays; we’ve recommended films to each other, talked of Dancing on Ice and a myriad of other things that will not change the course of the world but are just ordinary.  I have listened to the horrors of her moving house but always enjoyed having my treatment, in her conservatory, overlooking her wonderful gardens.  On one exceptionally hot day, I actually had my treatment in the garden.

Perhaps one of our oddest encounters was last August in A&E.  I had just accompanied Liz, in an ambulance, after she broke her arm when I saw Ann The Foot coming out of the department.  It throws you a bit, seeeing someone out of context; I expect to see Ann The Foot in her conservatory, not in hospital.  She was there because her husband had had an accident.  We spent many weeks after comparing notes about the quality of hospital treatments.

The fact is that last week, Ann The Foot finally retired.  I knew this had been on the cards for a long time; I was aware that she had not taken on any new customers; I suspect, but don’t know, that I was her only customer for some time.  I wondered if she had intended fully retiring when she moved house, or when she had her first grandchild or even second grandchild but there was no way in which I would broach this subject because it might preempt the end of my treatment; if she wanted to retire, she would have to broach the subject.  She did that five weeks ago.  It was inevitable; I cannot be desolate because it has been a wonderful eight years; I have enjoyed every session (except when she presses that lumpy bit on the side of my foot).  My treatments could only end one way – with the gift of a tea towel, designed by me.  It is this tea towel; I took the photo before I gave it to her, in order that I could write this blog, as a thank you, not only for the treatment but for helping me look at alternative therapies in a different way.

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Wells Next the Sea: 2001

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This small town, of just over 2000 people, is listed in the Domesday Book as ‘Guella’ meaning a spring, deriving from the fact that the chalky area was full of springs and wells.  Wells Next the Sea is a bit of an odd name; I always want to add the word ‘to’ after ‘next’.  It would be accurate since Wells Next the Sea is actually a mile from the sea, due to silting in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

This Blog is a bit of a cheat.  The tea towel came to the top of the airing cupboard pile in the middle of last summer; I photographed it ready for a Blog but couldn’t think of anything to write about it.  It’s not a U.T.T (Unidentified Tea Towel).  I can remember buying it in a small gift/sweet shop at the bottom of the long road down to the sea.  It was the only tea towel I could find at the time.  It is not my favourite tea towel.  The cotton is very thin and therefore it lacks absorbancy; the colour blue is very garish, against the stark white background.  It looks cheap (but to be fair, it was very cheap).

For me, Wells Next the Sea is like the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.  People tell me that Wells Next the Sea is a ‘must’; you have to visit it because it is like stepping back in time; they say it is a very traditional seaside town, not commercialised.  That sounds like the sort of place that I would like.  They say “the beach is known for it’s long, flat terrain, abstract sand dunes, varied unique beach huts and a naturist area to the west, at Holkham”.  I’m sorry, I don’t get it; I think it is boring, neither one thing nor another.  I am always disappointed when I visit Wells Next the Sea (but I have been back but never bought a second tea towel); it’s not on my ‘Wish List’ of places to revisit.  As I use this tea towel, I just think of all the other great places on the North Norfolk coast that I love and maybe, one day, I will grow to love Wells Next the Sea.

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Huevosa a la Flamenca: 1984

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This was a present from ‘The Aunties’ to Liz, following their holiday in Andalusia.  They bought everyone in the family, including themselves, a tea towel with a recipe on, same size, same style, same design; the recipes were all different.  Liz has passed this one to me.  I found one for ‘Beef Tripe Stew’, amongst Dorothy’s tea towels, which I passed on to Sarah.

I thought this recipe might be ok; translated it is ‘Andalusian Flamenca Eggs’.  I have a lot of eggs and the online recipe says “Perfect if friends drop in or after an exhausting day at the sales, this traditional Andalusian meal is bursting full of healthy tomatoes and peppers and takes only a few minutes to prepare”.  Sounds good to me until I read the full list of ingredients.  It is mixing eggs and tomatoes.  I love eggs; I love tomatoes but the thought of them on the same plate, let alone in the same dish, makes me want to throw up.  I have had this aversion to the combination of eggs and tomatoes since I was two years old.  It is my earliest memory, being sick on the kitchen floor, in my grandmothers house, after a tomato omelet.

I love the concept of these tea towels, with recipes in Spanish, but I have yet to find one that I could face eating.  Instead, I will use the tea towel with pride, think of the Aunties enjoying a holiday in Andalusia and forget about the recipe.

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