In search of sun-dried tomatoes….

March 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm 1 comment


In his book “Pies and Prejudice”, Stuart Maconie describes the moment he realised he had become a Southerner…..

‘My name is Stuart Maconie, and I am from the North Of England. Some time ago, I was standing in my kitchen, rustling up a Sunday brunch for some very hungover, very Northern mates who were “down” for the weekend. One of them was helping me out and, recipe book in hand, asked “where are the sun-dried tomatoes?” “They’re behind the cappuccino maker,” I replied. Silence fell. We slowly met each other’s gaze. We did not say anything. We did not need to. Each read the other’s unspoken thought: we had become those kinds of people, the kind of people who had sun-dried tomatoes and cappuccino makers, the kind of people who did Sunday brunch. In other words: southerners.’

Well, as you know, Cheshire is somewhat of a staging ground – a Southern enclave in the North, wedged between foreign lands such as Wythenshawe, Stoke and Wales. And so, over the last twenty three years we have slowly forsaken a diet of chip butties and balti pies and discovered the joys of brunch in Knutsford. Just last year we acquired our very own Nespresso maker. And, now we find ourselves heading south in search of sun-dried tomatoes……

We have found C’s perfect demographic based upon proximity of Waitrose, John Lewis and Pizza Express and hope to be in Reigate (no, not the retirement Mecca by the sea – that’s Margate…..) in the Surrey Hills area by the end of May.

This rapid rush to relocate is not entirely motivated by a desire to be close to our lil’ sis, Rebecca, who already lives there and has just given birth to our beautiful niece and, therefore, generated some baby-sitting duties. Although, that is the icing on the cake.

No, the great March south is the result of Middle Man finding a new role with a new employer who will require his presence in London (Paddington) and Paris. So, begins a new life commuting on trains to both capital cities, or maybe by plane to Paris should the French air traffic controllers ever decide to go back to work.

This “Tale of Two Cities” starts in May so we have both tendered our resignations and are busy trying to sell the house. We have already sold Middle Man’s car, downsizing to a very nippy Audi A1; and, we are busy trying to find somewhere to rent at a price which will still leave us with enough money for the occasional jar of sun-dried tomatoes or two.

Middle Man apologises in advance for future blogs ranting about his commute to work and we both look forward to hosting regular brunches with our visiting Northern friends and families. Don’t forget your passports.


Entry filed under: Cautionary Tales, middleman. Tags: , , , , .

Learn the lessons of history….please! Are you being served….

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Danny Llama  |  March 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Balti Pies…what is the witchcraft that you speak of? Want to confuse someone easily from more southern climbes…ask them what they will eat for tea. I frequently have to discuss the benefits of calling tea ‘dinner’ when speaking to the Northern English tribe…namely my native Liverpool.

    Liked by 1 person


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