Went for a woodland walk yesterday at Aversley Wood, just 20 miles or so up the A1 towards Peterborough. It’s over 150 acres of ancient woods – Oak, Ash, Beech, and so on. We two were the only ones there. I’m sure that wasn’t just because of the intermittent showers of heavy rain. As we observed, “if it’s a Saturday and we are not walking in the pissing rain, something’s missing”.

Afterwards, went for a pint at The Bell Inn in the village of Stilton. Wondered why the main street wasn’t teeming with Ye Olde Cheese Shoppes (or any shops at all). Other customer at the bar had the same question, only he was not at all happy having driven up and down and out of the village twice looking for cheese action. He now had to settle for buying take-out from the pub, a fact not helped by the fact that the pub’s kitchen is closed on Saturdays. Bartender laughed at him in a sort of indifferent yet understanding way, but offered no insight into the question of the day – where is the cheese in Stilton?

So, in the same way that Champagne can only be made in that region, turns out that three counties (Derbyshire, Leicstershire and Nottinghamshire) have the designated PDO to call their cheese “Stilton”. So now you can’t make stilton cheese in Stilton. There is much controversy over whether or not a blue cheese was made in the place during the early 18th century. But no Wikipedia then and too late now. If only my fellow drinker knew, he would understand the pain of the wounds he had so roughly scratched.

Afterwards, a certain member in my party insisted we stop at that other great coaching inn, Ye Peterborough Services Station, whereupon she did feast on the traditional delicacy of a KFC Zinger wrap sort of thing. Apparently it’s some sort of chicken sweetmeat served upon a sheaf of unleaven bread, and made moist with a chutney called “salsa”.

The Books – That Right Ain’t Shit