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About Fletcher

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    travel to far-flung places
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. HAPPY CHRISTMAS! Well, not quite, yet! We did a dry run tonight for our main meal on Christmas Day. We have decided it will be just the two of us, no matter what Mr Covid says. So goodbye turkey, goodbye goose . . . hello venison. Done in the style of the Duke of Wellington. We can get loins of red deer at this time of year and we make a duxelles mixture, lay that on parma ham and wrap the seared loin in shop-bought all-butter puff pastry. This turned out far better than we hoped so we will plan this for Christmas Day, served with as fine a wine as we think reasonable, maybe Tignanell
  2. I think the included excursions are welcome in some areas of the world where organising something independently might be tricky - I'm thinking of West Africa, for example, or some ports in Asia. But in the Med and especially the Caribbean we much prefer to do our own thing, which often involves renting a car. So I'm not wholly in favour of Silversea's new policy.
  3. You just need enough of the oil to cover the base of the roasting pan and also enough to be able to baste the spuds. I find rapeseed oil imparts a nice flavour as well as a colour. I also use it for saute potatoes, sone salad dressings and some veg dishes, especially ratatouille. However, when I make a quantity of ragu it's always olive oil. For steak or sausages it's always a smear of beef dripping. For stir-fries, sunflower oil. And so on! When we lived in London we went to Le Manoir once or twice as a year - a fab place but we have never stayed overnight. It was always fo
  4. It certainly is. Just as critical as the variety of spud is the cooking medium and after many decades of research I have come to the conclusion that rapeseed oil is the best, followed by duck or goose fat. I was pleased to see Raymond Blanc advocate rapeseed oil quite recently . . .
  5. We're in neighbouring Norfolk and we have winter barley right across the lane from us, which is nice, and a vast field of sugar beet just along a bit and that isn't nice at all. You know how muddy that can get. But the beet crop this year has been hit by yellow aphid and most of it will be rotten. Worst thing about beet, apart from the mud and the noise of harvesting it, is the smell and sometimes the rats which feast on the leftovers.
  6. I always meant to post up a summer photo like this one. It's our front garden and I have just ordered up our lawn service . . .
  7. Great story. The IC was a legendary South Pacific hotel called The Rainmaker which went to seed in the 1980s. Here's a shot I took of it about ten years ago -
  8. All those crows, rooks, ravens, magpies, jays etc. Must be a terrible mess on board.
  9. I took this shot last Friday - about half a mile from our house . . .
  10. Be aware that this cruise does not stop at St Helena, the island most famous as the last residence of Napoleon. The ship stops at Tristan da Cunha which is (or was) part of the St Helena Dependency, both British Overseas Territories. Tristan is an extraordinary place, officially the most remote island in the world with a permanent human population. The harbour there has been improved in recent years but landings are by no means guaranteed, even by zodiac.
  11. The BBC's Andrew Marr Show pointed us to this witty newspaper headline - https://www.ayrshiredailynews.co.uk/post/south-ayrshire-golf-club-owner-loses-2020-presidential-election
  12. Last night an old-time bistro classic - cabillaud a la boulangere, which is cod fillets on a bed of sliced potato and onion baked in homemade chicken stock.
  13. Yesterday we had an enjoyable day out in our home county of Norfolk, possibly our last jaunt for a month. It was our first such trip in at least a fortnight because it has been raining since early October. But yesterday it was sunny. We started off walking around the Sandringham Estate for the autumn colours, then to photograph the beach at a place called Heacham - pure English grot but great migrant bird life - and then back through Sandringham, Anmer and Houghton. My photo is of the King's Road between Sandringham and Anmer - the former the traditional winter home of The Queen, the latter
  14. WELCOME TO WASHINGTON D.C. Twinned with Minsk
  15. Thanks everyone for your response to my comment about a defeated incumbent US President walking out in a huff and not working on until January and the peaceful transition of power. And then also attending the inauguration - a sort of ritual humiliation. We in the UK have a totally different approach to this. On the day after the general election the defeated Prime Minister leaves 10 Downing Street and 15 or 30 minutes minutes later the new PM arrives, after having seen The Queen down the road.
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