The Anonymous Widower

The Americans Reinvent The Sausage Roll

This article on the BBC, describes a row about the American’s reinvention of the sausage roll.

The sausage roll is ours, so to paraphrase The Sun.

“Hop Off, You Yanks!”

June 25, 2017 Posted by | Food | | 1 Comment

The Beer In Spain Makes Up For The Lack Of Rain

Before I was diagnosed as a coeliac, I used to like my beer. For a few years afterwards, I could drink bottles of Guinness from Park Royal, but like the brewery they are now history.

But in this trip to Spain, I have drunk four different gluten-free beers and as I post this, I’m seinking a bottle of Estrella Damm Daura and very reasonable it is too!

I used to get it from Waitrose, but her upstairs got it replaced with the aptly named Celia.

One day, I intend to share a bed with a Celia, whilst we drink appropriately bamed bottles.

I’ll add that to my bucket list!

By the way Cecelias need not apply!

I

June 24, 2017 Posted by | Coeliac, Food | , | Leave a comment

Fruit And Veg Farmers Facing Migrant Labour Shortages

This the tutle of an article on the BBC.

It makes some ontrtesting points blaming the weak pound and Brexit.

Perhaps twenty years aho, I read an article in a msgazine about a team of engineers and scientists working on developing an automatic apple-picking machine.

The article finishes by saying in a couple of decades, we’d only be eating fruit that could be harvested by machine.

We don’t seem to be there yet!

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Business, Food | Leave a comment

London To Karlsruhe Via Paris

I took Eurostar and a TGV to Karlsruhe, using these trains.

  1. Eurostar – St. Pancras 08:19 – Paris Nord 11:47 – £115 from Eurostar
  2. TGV – Paris Est 13:55 – Karlsruhe 16:25 – £69.19 from Voyages SNCF

I took these pictures on the way.

Note.

  1. I bought both tickets on-line.
  2. Premium Economy in the new Eurostar trains is more cramped than the old ones.
  3. Eurostar’s Premium Economy gluten-free breakfast more than filled a hole.
  4. Paris Nord to Paris Est is just a Metro.
  5. I took a diversion via Republik, which was a good place to wait in the sun.
  6. I stayed in the Schlosshotel in Karlsruhe, which was one of several acceptable ones by the station.

I could probably have done the journey cheaper by flying, but it would have had more hassle.

April 30, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast At Saltaire

On my way back from Skipton station, I stopped off for breakfast at Saltaire.

I ate in Salts Diner and as you can see, I had a large gluten-free full-English breakfast with tea and juice for £9.95.

April 22, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel, World | , , | Leave a comment

Serial Cooking – Cod And Tomato With Basil

I created this out of one of Lyndsey Bareham’s recipes from The Times.

I aimed to make it something i cook cook quickly from the store-cupboard and the freezer.

April 20, 2017 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

An Excursion To Axminster

My Devon Day Ranger allowed travel to Axminster, so I took a trip.

These are my comments on various topics.

Peninsular Task Force

According to the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, the Peninsular Task Force has made recommendations about this route.

  • An improved line.
  • An enhanced South Devon Metro
  • A better diversion route.
  • Speeding up of services between London Waterloo and Exeter by 36 minutes.

It will be interesting to see what actually happens.

Axminster Station

I was surprised to find that Axminster station is quite a sophisticated one as the pictures show.

It also had an excellent cafe that made me a fgluten-free bacon sandwich.

Class 800/802 Trains On The West Of England Line

The West Of England Line is currently certified for InterCity 125s, so it would probably allow Class 800 and Class 802 electro-diesel trains to use the route.

It might need some updating to some of the connecting routes East of Yeovil Junction.

Speeding Up Services Between London Waterloo And Exeter

Most of the services on this route are run by 90 mph Class 159 trains, which are well-matched to the 90 mph West Of England Line.

The current trains are diesel, which means they can’t take advantage of the electrified section of the line between London and Basingstoke.

In the June 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, this is said about services between London Waterloo and Exeter.

Journey time improvements of up to 36 minutes between Exeter and London Waterloo are forecast through a combination of linespeed improvements and trains calling only at Salisbury between Clapham Junction and Yeovil Junction.

The described stopping pattern would cut seven stops, at how many minutes a stop?

I have read that cutting a stop saves around three minutes a stop, but the amount will depend on a large number of factors.

  • Braking for the stop.
  • Accelerating back to line speed.
  • The ease with which passengers can enter and exit, which is helped by wide doors and large lobbies.
  • The quality of the driving.

Looking at the timetables various stops can take between three and seven minutes.

As an example, the Class 159 trains take 52 minutes between Basingstoke and Waterloo with stops at Woking and Clapham Junction, but a 100 mph electric train does it in 45 minutes with just a stop at Clapham Junction.

Without the actual figures, I can only take an educated guess.

An average of four minutes would mean finding eight minutes from linespeed improvements.

But there would be one simple way to speed up the trains.

Running Class 802 trains would certainly reduce journey times.

  • They are electro-diesel trains, so could use the electrification between London Waterloo and Basingstoke.
  • They have a 100 mph speed on diesel power, if speed limits allow.
  • They have a 125 mph speed on electrified lines, if speed limits allow.
  • Their undoubted power would get them quickly up to linespeed, thus reducing stop time.
  • They have probably got better braking performance, than the current Class 159 trains.

But also consider.

  • If linespeed is increased from the current 90 mph to perhaps 100 mph, the Class 159 trains can’t take any advantage.
  • Running on electricity between London and Basingstoke, could also save a few minutes and some carbon emissions.
  • Upgrading the line West of Basingstoke to allow higher speed where possible.
  • Adding some more passing loops, at stations like Whimple.
  • Any extra electrification past Basingstoke would be welcomed.

This could realise savings of perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes.

I am assuming the following.

  • The more powerful Class 802 variant of the Class 800 train will be used, as speed on diesel power will be important.
  • The trains can be fitted with third-rail shoes, like the closely related Class 395 train.
  • I wonder, if it would be prudent to make all Class 802 trains dual-voltage.

Operationally, the trains may offer other advantages.

  • If they are closely related to the Class 802 variant used by GWR for Peninsular services, this must be beneficial, as FirstGroup is involved in both train operating companies.
  • It appeared to me at Exeter St. Davids that the Class 159 trains need a lot of refuelling, so the large fuel tanks of the Class 802 trains might save refuelling time.
  • The joint fleet could be serviced at the same depot in perhaps either Exeter or Plymouth.
  • Running similar trains on both routes from Exeter to London might give a marketing advantage.
  • Five-car and nine-car Class 802 trains could be used as appropriate.
  • It might be economic to extend some Waterloo services past Exeter.

A quick calculation shows that to provide an hourly service needs the following number of trainsets.

  • Class 159 trains with a round trip of 7 hours – 7 trainsets of two trains.
  • Class 802 trains with a round trip of  6 hours – 6 trains.

This could make the smaller Class 802 fleet easier to manage.

A South Devon Metro

The Modern Railways article has a brief reference to an enhanced South Devon Metro.

Currently, between Yeovil Junction and Exeter, there is generally one train per hour (tph).

This is not enough.

So in addition to the current service could the South West be seeing a modern diesel service from perhaps Yeovil Junction or Salisbury to Plymouth, at perhaps one tph.

But ideally, there should be four tph on the route to provide a Turn-Up-And-Go service.

New Stations

The stations at Axminster, Cranbrook and Whimple have recently opened, reopened or rebuilt.

There is also this article on DevonLive, which is entitled Second Cranbrook station still in the pipeline.

So could the eco-village of Cranbrook, get a second station called Cranbrook East?

I suspect that development of the line West of Salisbury could see some more and better stations.

Conclusions

The recommendations of the Peninsular Task Force should probably be followed.

I think we’ll see the following on the West of England Line.

  • An enhanced service of at least 2 tph from Yeovil Junction to Exeter, with some extended to Plymouth.
  • London Waterloo to Exeter in under three hours.
  • A variant of Class 800 trains working the route.
  • New and improved stations.

One great advantage is that First Group are at least part-owners of the two train operating companies in the region.

 

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free Food On The NHS – Again

In August 2015 , I write Gluten-Free Food On The NHS.

My view hasn’t changed. But my list of foods has changed slightly.

I still think, that those prescribed a gluten-free diet, should get a small payment each month, either as a voucher or a direct transfer into your bank account.

The current system is bureaucratic and expensive. A lot of money also goes on products that are crap and I wouldn’t give to a starving beggar!

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments

Sibling Wars

I agree with the princess in this story on the BBC, which is entitled Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne.

But I doubt her elder brother does!

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Two Marks And Spencer Mini Meals

The picture shows two of Marks and Spencer Mini Meals

The ingredients say that they are gluten-free and freezer-friendly, so I put them in my freezer for an emergency meal, if I arrive back home without any food in the fridge and am rather peckish.

I must check to see if all of these mini-meals are gluten-free!

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Food | , | 3 Comments