The Drunken Chef, 1 Pump Lane, Thame
Our first house in England was at 1 Pump Lane, Stretham, the second oldest structure in the village (only predated by the barely standing vicarage built by Christopher Wren for his sister and brother-in-law). The house gave its name to this blog. But, sadly my job moved to Oxford from Cambridge and we moved to a small house in Bicester, not too far from Thame.
I have only visited Thame once (for a race after a night of boozing and that required a few tactical chunders before the start) and noted that it was full of pubs and worth one or more trips. What I didn’t notice was that it also has a Pump Lane and the business at #1 is named The Drunken Chef. Spooky. A trip to Thame must be scheduled this fall….
[I found this while googling “port” and “1pumplane” to see if I had covered the beverage in the past.]
Inspired by (linked to the London map):
Stretham (2009) gets auto-corrected to the London neighbourhood of Streatham. If you defer to it as “Ely is” then it get’s changed to Eli.
Further back, we have 2006-2009:
Good question. Answer here.
My sleepy little village is all over the news, lately. Primarily, we have been watched because of the just ended trial, conviction, and sentencing of a mom that stabbed her two teenage daughters to death here two years ago:
Then, just last Sunday morning an 81-year-old childrens book author (who has sold more than 21 million copies of her Topsy and Tim series) was mugged by a teenager as she left the village store:
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous except for the times when it has been completely shit. Above, there was a nice day in the village, so I shot the house (above) on my way to catch the bus to work.
Then, I noticed that the neighbourhood kids must have been bored the night before, having stacked what appear to be some concrete structures on the northbound bus shelter:
I shaved at the halfway point of my marathon training regimen, a few weeks ago. I was planning to let it go wild until the marathon in a couple of months then clear the brush after the race but I had to get a new i.d. card to have access to the lab at Oxford and figured it would be better if it matched my passport photo. I have noticed that I get better service at uppity places but not quite so good at dive bars since shaving…here it is after a morning run the day it went down the drain:
Jackie injured her knee and has been reduced to walking for outdoor exercise. Even then we managed to really over do the effort on a hike around Wicken Fen. On another run this month I spotted my first native ferret, but the only unusual wildlife we saw on our hike was this herd of wild horses:
Saffron Walden, Felixstowe, Wisbech, and Bury St Edmunds have emerged as some of my favourite towns in East Anglia over the course of this month’s travels. Saffron Walden has a few of these houses around with patterned surfaces; while these are pretty attractive, it seems that you see a lot more of these deeper into Essex (a trip back through Thaxted is planned in the not too distant future where nearly every old house has some of this sort of masonry):
To get to work today, I left the house at 6 am and ran from Stretham to the Newmarket Rd/East Rd roundabout in Cambridge. It rained last night so the trail was especially damp but the morning was beautiful. I can see this becoming a regular method of commuting into work as long as the daylight holds up.
After a short 2 miles on the A1123 avoiding traffic, it was all sunrise, World War II bunkers (above) and wildlife (and loads of cow shit–sorry, Fatty, no mushroom growth yet). Since finding this brick on a walk through the Grunty Fen last Sunday, I have also been scanning the trails for other fun souvenirs:
Coming to Europe from Atlanta Georgia (by way of a number of other violent-crime ridden American shit holes), it is easy to get lost in the bucolic simplicity and utter safety of small town England. But, it’s not all tea cozies and Women’s Institute meetings, here, no sir indeed. The complete disrespect for order and the rule of law here in the fens is illustrated here in this photo lifted from the Ely Weekly News (16 April 2009) showing the depths to which the village of Stretham has sunk:
It is getting too warm to use the iron stove for supplemental heating, but the Americans out there tend not to be familiar with how it falls out over here. You can get firewood, sure, but it is actually far cheaper to use coal. Yep, our carbon footprint is reduced the rest of the year so that we can pump this sulfurous carbon rich smoke into the sky when it gets a bit nippy. They actually sell this at every petrol station in the land and you can get this relatively smoke free stuff.