About Steve Morgan

Occupational Therapist since 1986, Case Manager since 1990, Author since 1993, Consultancy since 2001. Launched a blog from 2013, a podcast in 2014, and YouTube videos from 2017.

Train cancelled, but…

It’s that frequently annoying situation. Your train arrives in the station on time, only to find your connection is cancelled with a two hour wait for the next service.

When in Salisbury next, I suggest you hope for such a situation! 5 minutes walk brings you to the fabulous Lebanese restaurant of Baroushka

This is a place where a leisurely approach to lunch is required; maybe even absolutely demanded…

A starter of grilled halloumi with a rocket salad accompaniment was the perfect balance of baked exterior with a delicately soft cheese interior. Looking like perfectly toasted slices of bread this provided a light appetizer…

The main course of pear glazed duck breast on a bed of cous cous with an orange salad provided a delightful range of contrasting tastes and textures. Even the designs of plate and table cloth add to the overall welcome sensual assault, to remind you that relaxation need not be a mindless exercise…

A Turkish Coffee came with a range of ethnic paraphernalia, including a cube of Turkish Delight

The Spiced Ginger Beer was a further addition to the assault on the taste buds. Is this placed licensed? You bet, with an extensive range of beers, wines and cocktails. But this is lunch, right… and some of us have yet to navigate the dysfunctions of the privatised rail system with a clear head!

Until we speak again, apologies to any readers stranded by rail cancellations elsewhere… you really are in the wrong place.

Mile End Road

For me, this is a 1980’s stroll down reminiscence lane. For you, this is a tale of two sides of the road.

Go south and you are in a twilight zone of mid and high rise blocks liberally interspersed with unsavoury looking fast food joints. A place where obesity and Brexit may hook up for a sleazy night out!

This is where the old saying bears some truth… “What the Luftwaffe started the town planners finished!”

However, cross the road to the north side and you can stroll the Georgian terraces that surround Tredegar Square, a short distance from Victoria Park… undoubtedly a place where the metropolitan liberal elite hang out. So, if you find yourself in Mile End with a spare 24 hours on your hands, don’t be afraid, just find north on your compass.

Start with a fueling stop at The Greedy Cow, where a Kangaroo Burger hops off the menu to assault your gastronomic whims.

Yes, you heard right first time, it is pinned down for a reason…

Then you simply meander through the conservation area to find a range of traditional watering holes to quench that marsupial thirst. The Lord Tredegar is a great old Victorian boozer serving up a fine pint of Hophead pale ale…

Then there is the Morgan Arms, requiring a careful navigation to avoid the resident Greene King family! A one time great traditional brewery that has joined many others in spoiling the name of good beer with its capitalist quest to take over the world of ‘falling down lotion’…

And if the dawn of a new day still finds you in fighting fettle why not avoid the traditional Youngs beers and opt for a Proper Job IPA in The Coborn? Just don’t let on to a certain regular reader that it comes from Cornwall…oops!

Need something less alcoholic? Who needs those coffee chains when you can pop in to an authentic independent Italian coffee house?

Until we speak again, this has been a nostalgic gastronomic trip down memory lane. As for the present day… if you are looking to get Brexit done, it has all gone south.

Return to 2020 Vision

[Acknowledgements to the Bute East Dock for providing the full cast for the following drama].

Events across 2016 to 2019 , on both sides of the Atlantic, have arguably led to what can only politely be referred to as a foggy funk of an experience…

2020 foggy Bute East Dock

So, as a fully paid up member of the ‘UK Metropolitan Liberal Elite‘, I have to concede that the ‘Majority 38% Will of the People Brigade‘ have triumphed in the prolonged political battle of barefaced lies versus ineffectual bullshit.

I have never been one to believe in the power of new year resolutions, but as we all embark on the Brexiters’ journey to the most bountiful and wondrous promised land of 19th Century independent beneficence, I have a wish… and that is that the 38% now completely own their self-proclaimed victory. Once the hard right prospectus that has been bought into begins to deliver on its empty promises let’s hear no excuses, or deflection of blame onto those who still don’t buy the catalogue of deceptions, or onto the EU, or onto immigrants, or onto anyone else but their own deluded selves.

Talking of deluded selves; a glance across the pond to the incoherent rumblings of Dumbfuckistan prompt another wish… that the Twitter-fuelled comedic interlude of the last few years be terminated in November, and some semblance of sanity be reclaimed from the ‘orange peril’ that has swamped the free-thinking world.

Until we speak again, reality is likely to dictate otherwise, but we can only dream of a return to 2020 vision…

Long Dock

Christmas in Peckham

How do you avoid the repetition of a traditional Christmas meal? Well, we’ve previously done Cardiff in July, Blackheath in June, central London in January… but here we were, planning on having our annual Christmas meal in December of all places! Trouble is, most restaurants seem to want to ditch what they are known for, and produce their version of what everyone is doing.

I have to admit, on this occasion I was doing the travelling, so it seemed only right to delegate the venue choice to the dude living locally. “Peckham…”, he suggested. Well, the first thing to come to mind was the song lyric “Is there life in Peckham?” Turns out, there really is, and amongst other contenders, it is alive and well at…

Artusi sign

On inspecting the online menu possibilities, it seemed like we were attending the first night of a somewhat far more adventurous Christmas menu than I had seen before. But, despite getting up my resolve to go for it, redemption came in the form of having to book it in advance. We hadn’t, so we were left to their very own tradition of setting out their Italian inspired menu of the day on a blackboard near the restaurant entrance…

Chalkboard menu

A Salt Beef starter arrived with just the right blend of soft melt-in-the-mouth tender brisket and tart pickled cucumber…

Salt Beef starter

The main dish of Rigatoni Sausage Ragu came in the form of small pasta tubes with smaller pieces of sausage in a delicate balance. Why get stuffed, when you can just enjoy a satisfying blend of complementary flavours? Though it is very clear to me that had Juno been present that Sea Bream across the table would not last the time it takes for a blog post snap…

Canelloni Sausage Ragu

Until we speak again, it seems there is life in Peckham, and it comes in a very satisfyingly un-Christmas package. Artusi is for any time, not just for Christmas!

Artusi entrance

A Celebration (?) of Lies

Bend over BritainTrump is coming! Apparently the whole Brexit thing will be done and dusted in a month and a half, and then the UK ‘Liar-in-Chief’ can kow-tow to the global ‘Liar-in-Chief’, and we can look forward to importing more of a US-style healthcare approach…

US healthcare horror story

Let’s be very clear, the UK population was presented with a rock-and-a-hard-place set of options on the ballot paper. The Labour prospectus of monopoly money wish lists, presented by a barely credible and insular cabal of reactionaries, pretty much got what it deserved. Then the promised re-emergence of a Liberal Democrat force stumbled at the first fence.

So, let’s brace for a return to the 1980’s… not that of the previous failed Michael Foot Labour project; more one of Thatcher-world, where caring is a quaint concept buried deep in romantic literature, but not to see the light of day.

Until we speak again, if this Brexit thing is so good, then surely it is time for the ‘enlightened’ Welsh nation to reject half measures… why not go for the full monty and follow Scotland and a united Ireland into the greatness of independence. Why cede sovereignty to an uncaring Tory Westminster?

Welsh-Flag1

 

The Sunshine Trap

Here’s one that Juno would have approved of, during one of those fleeting waking moments, when the priority slides from the dreamy to the tasty.

Take a picture of this… it’s a hot and sunny day at the lake in City Park, so you find a perfectly submerged branch in order to simply bask in the bright sunshine…

Before

A few hours pass, and you are left wondering how you managed to end up in a dish at one of the city’s fine dining establishments…

After

Until we speak again, it may be a gloomy autumnal, drifting into winter, kind of day in the UK, but don’t overdo the temptations of sunshine when they come a calling. You could end up in the soup!