The Scoop on Scoops

Ice cream is a great “holiday” food.  It has on our past travels been associated with seaside trips, and other getaways.  As far as beach fare, my childhood had been limited to Feast bars,  Cornettos, and if really lucky a Mr. Whippy soft cone.  It was my wife that introduced me to the wonders of seaside Italian style treats.

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The first introduction, however, was not at the sea front but in the Welsh valleys.  Mr Creemy, Tonypandy, Wales is one of the best ice cream experiences I have had.  While ihe atmosphere of this little venue may not amount to much,  it being a small ice cream parlour in a small Welsh valley town/village. The ice cream, however, is wonderful. So much so, that we make a point of visiting whenever we are in (or even near) the Valleys.

On the latest visit I had a peanut butter ice cream in an excellent quality waffle cone with a rich cherry sauce and really good whipped cream. The portions are good-sized, the scoops tasty, and the overall feel is of luxury.  Its a place to really spoil yourself!

Image ©Padre’s Ramblings

Don Gelato’s, Aberyswtyh, Wales is on the town;’s sea front.  We stopped for a few scoops while visiting the beach for the day. The ice cream parlour is part of the Royal Pier complex and is adjoined to the Inn on the Pier.

There are multiple cone types, but ice cream/gelato flavours are the real choices to make. We had Turkish delight, strawberry, and chocolate. They were flavourful, and had a really great texture. The scoops were relatively large compared to some seafront cones we have had, and while not cheap, they are good value for money considering the quality.

There was some queuing to be served, but the quality of the ice cream was worth it, and the staff were doing their best to accommodate everyone. This really has to be the place to get your seaside cone on a summer’s day.

Cadwaladers ice cream flavours

image: Cadwaladers’ own site

Cadwaladers in Criccieth, Wales is another quality seaside venue.  We stopped in to try a few scoops and were glad we did. After all what is the beach without ice cream? But this is no ordinary ice cream. We had a scoop of custard which was the flavour of true custard, not just a hint. The Turkish Delight was bursting with yumminess as well. The pistachio was also goo, but lacked the explosive good flavour of the other two, but was still one of the better ones I have had.

Image ©Padre’s Ramblings

Candy ‘N’ Cream, Hunstanton, Norfolk is a ice cream and general sweets venue.  We have stopped there while visiting Hunstanton on several occasions.  It is convenient to the car park by the Information Centre, and is next door to Fisher’s fish shop. We have also had good experiences with the Pavilion Ice Cream Parlour in the town, but found parking closer to Candy ‘N’ Cream.

The shop is a traditional sweets shop with loads of variety, but they also serve some really good quality take-away ice cream. The shop lacks the fancy options of its neighbour down the hill, but the ice cream itself is in my opinion better. We had a nice strawberry which was very fruity, a banoffee scoop which was really well balanced and not sickly sweet, and a rich caramel/toffee scoop.

This bright pink building looks like a sweetie itself, and the entire “kid in a candy shop” experience is there. It is not a sit down for a sundae venue (like the nearby Pavilion) so it all down to what you are after.  I for one like it, however.

Image ©Padre’s Ramblings

Gorleston, Norfolk’s Dimascio is a great year round venue.  Even in the off-season the selection and quality are superb. Right before going into my wife’s Keto diet regime, we made a visit.   I had a very nice waffle cone with hazelnut, maple/walnut and strawberry cheese cake and my wife has coconut (very nice), chocolate and cherry with a flake. The quality was excellent, the flavours rich, and the texture creamy. It is a favourite when in the Great Yarmouth area.

This was just a sampling of ice cream venues, but all well worth checking out if nearby.




The Sisters Tales Release

Bk 1 Sisters Cover

In the aftermath of the Black Dunes War, the kingdom was a mere shadow of its former glory.   Although victorious, it was at all too great a cost.  Widows and orphans were to be found throughout the land.  Many of these sought a meagre existence in the capital city, swelling its population.  Much of the metropolis had descended into squalor.  This was especially true in the districts of The Alleys, and Back Lane.  It is in these latter environs that a dispirit band of women made a stand against their misfortunes, and set out to determine their own fates.  These heroic, or at least anti-heroic, souls were collectively known as “The Sisters.”

Paperback version is now released and ebook format is available for pre-order with an 1 April release.

Thank you all who supported me through draft copies on the blog, and those who provided advice.  The longer end product owes much to you.


Amazon Link


Perks of the Job

SPF 11-11-18 Pensitivity

Photo Courtesy of; pensitivity101

No one could say it was a dream job, but in this economy – “work was work.”  Tim had left college with a few GCSEs and a NVQ Certificate in Engineering Operations, and this would do for now.  His job: Plant Operator at the local sewage treatment plant.

“Okay,  Tim,” Doug, his shift leader said.  “Here are the filter troughs, and as you can see, the slurry trucks collect from here.

Tim looked puzzled by the randomly spaced tomato plants that lined the pathway near the troughs.

“What are those?  Some kind of garden?” he asked.

“Nah, You see sometimes the filters clog and there is a temporary overflow from the troughs to the surrounding area.  The human body ain’t great at digesting tomato seeds so they settle into the surrounding dirt, and with the high quality fertilizer leaking, they just kinda spring up,” Doug explained.

“Why don’t you chop them down?” Tim asked with a disgusted look on his face.

“Nah, they are good eating,” Doug observed as he picked one, rubbing it on his jacket and then taking a bite.


[182 words and sadly based on a true story.]

Sunday Photo Fiction – March 24, 2019

Newt Wizki: A Roseman Tale

rosemen cover

Watchman Newton Wizakowski was known to his fellow officers as Newt Wizki, a pun based on the Eastern Province’s signature drink Witzkey.  This distilled time bomb was crystal clear, except for the small lizard at the bottom of the bottle.  Witzkey, it should be noted, delivered a 90% alcohol punch.  Newton’s eastern accent, and unfortunate given name made the nickname just too hard for the other Rosemen to pass up.

He was a well-built man of medium height, with broad shoulders and sturdy legs.  He had thick black hair and sported the walrus-like mustache popular in the East.  He also had a punch nearly as powerful as that of his namesake.

Wizakowski was a transfer from 7th precinct, where he had worked for four years in Nordland border region.  There, he had dealt with minor smuggling, and some cross-border sheep rustling, but “hard crime” was largely absent.

His family ironically were brewers and distillers, though not of the lethal Witzkey.  He grew up among the large copper stills and he had played hide-and-seek among the endless rows of aging casks.  This upbringing had given him a firm understanding of mechanical mechanisms, and an uncanny ability to always finding criminals’ hiding places.

Being a younger son, he couldn’t look forward to any important role in the family enterprise, so at eighteen he applied to become a Watchman.  He was accepted on his first try, and proved a quick study.  It was only with some reluctance that his supervisor, Inspector Imachuck signed his transfer to the capital.

On arriving in the city he was given a choice of duty stations, and he thought that a place called “The Back Lane,” sounded rather out of the way and peaceful.  It was a matter of surprise when he arrived in front of Inspector Cruikshank’s desk as an “actual volunteer.”

“Wizakowski, is it?” Cruikshank questioned looking at the paperwork.

“Yes Sir,” the officer responded.

“From the Seventh near North Town?” Cruikshank continued.

“Yes, Sir.”

“What in the hells made you volunteer for ‘The Lasts’?”

“Lasts, Sir?” Wizki questioned confusedly.

“The Lasts.  The Ninth.  Us.”

“I had come to the big city, and I wanted to get a quiet start,” the younger officer explained.

“Quiet?” Cruikshank asked.

“Yes, Back Lane sounds remote and peaceful.” Newton observed.

Shaking his head, Inspector Cruikshank handed Wizki his new warrant card and said, “Welcome to the ‘quiet’.”


Retirement in Patagonia

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“Why have we come all this way?” Edith demanded.

“Because I think there is some treasure to be found here,” he responded.

“It looks like a suburban street to me,” she insisted.

“No, really,” Donald retorted.  “I have done my research and followed all of the leads.”

“What ‘leads’?” she questioned sourly.

“Well it all started when I was watching The Princess Bride on TV.  It said, ‘the real Dread Pirate Roberts has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia.’ He had switched his identity with a guy called Cummerbund.  And look here, the phone-book lists this address as belonging to Juan Cummerbund.”

“My God, you are crazy!” she said as he pulled her with him.

He knocked the door and drew a gun.

A tall man with a wooden leg and eye-patch answered the door.

“Captain Roberts?” Donald inquired.

Taken aback, the old man returned, “And why would you be call’n me that, Matey?”




What Pegman Saw: Patagonia, Chile


Apologies for running 9 words over

Athens: An Adventure


It seemed a simple enough request: an economy class ticket to Athens, Greece.  I was on my way to an archaeology seminar, at which I was going to be presenting a paper on the problems of post-Victorian spoil in the corrupting of sites.  

With my bags packed and ticket in hand, I arrived at Gatwick and was surprised that I was expected to fill in a United States visa form.  I rolled my eyes and thought “Sounds like Trump’s America, needing to file if you will be within 24,000 miles of US territory,” but filled it in I did.

I put my carry-on in the overhead storage and settled into my seat.  I must have dozed through the rest of the pre-flight.  Later as I woke I was surprised at the number of southern drawls I could hear from my fellow passengers.  

“I can’t wait to get to Athens,” one explained to a neighbour. “I haven’t been home for years.”

Shortly afterwards the pilot announced that we were beginning our descent.  He then announced that the temperature in Athens, Georgia was a mild 72 degrees.

When I “de-planed,” I insisted on seeing someone at customer services.  I was told I would first need to clear customs, and the desk would be on the left after leaving immigration.

I tried to explain that I wasn’t staying, but to no avail.

I followed the crowd to the customs hall and the agent asked to check my bag.  She opened the bag, and then pushed a button.  Suddenly five more agents arrived.

“Sir, what are these?” the first asked.

“They are Medieval glass beads in the one plastic bag, and Victorian beads in the other. They are examples from my research,” I began to explain as they brought a German Shepard to sniff the bags of brightly coloured, pill sized beads.  Fortunately the dog was not phased by the contents.

I finally got to the service desk, and after some apologies I was given a ticket back to London, it being too late to make the Athens conference.

As part of the apology I was give a $20 voucher to be used in duty-free.  I quickly went into the DF concourse and grabbed a “real American hot dog” for only $19.95.  Being late for my flight I swiftly put this and my nickles change into my carry-on.

After boarding, we were delayed by severe thunderstorms, but eventually took off.    The plane soon reentered the stormy weather, and we were pummeled by a series of lightening strikes.  One of the engines caught alight and we made a controlled but unplanned descent into the ocean in the Devil’s Triangle.

The plane came down in surprisingly calm water off the coast of a small island.  There were a few bumps and bruises, but everyone survived.

On the island was a series of WW2 metal huts, a large campfire pit (which was strewn with charred Pepsi cans and carbonised marshmallows), and several kayaks. We had places to stay – a win, and some might try to seek rescue by taking a kayak to a bigger island we could see on the horizon, but no one felt intrepid enough to give it a go.

Two days later we were surprised by the sound of a ship coming into the lagoon near the campsite.  Sixty-four Bahamian Boy Scouts and their leaders had just arrived to use the camp.  We were rescued. I quickly gabbed two Pepsi cans and a handful of marshmallows.

As soon as I returned to England I began my most important academic work: “The problems of modern leisure rubbish on the preservation of WW2 historical sites.”


Haunted Wordsmith’s Fibbing Friday

  1. You wanted to book a trip to Athens, but the agent misunderstood you…where did they send you?
  2. What will customs agents find in your luggage?
  3. What do you sneak aboard the flight, and what do you sneak it in?
  4. The plane crashes — everyone survives — where did you crash?
  5. What are three things you find at your crash site?
  6. Survivors see a rescue opportunity but don’t take it…why?
  7. What are you finally rescued by?
  8. What is the first thing you do when you get back home?
  9. The airline offers you money, but you turn it down…what do you get instead?
  10. You decide that a cruise is safer, where do you go?
  11. You get marooned on a deserted island but find huts and scientific equipment made out of coconuts…what happened to Gilligan and the Skipper?
  12. A fishing boat rescues you, but you have to pay Poseidon for safe passage…what do you pay?
  13. He rejects your fare and throws you across the world…you land safely, but where do you end up?
  14. How does your story end?

Taco Meatloaf



Meatloaf was staple fare when I was a kid.  Ground beef, onion, and cracker crumbs made for an evening meal, and sandwich filler as a left over.  This recipe builds on the 1960s standard, and has a bit of a difference.


  • Ground Beef  300 – 400 g
  • Tortilla Chips 50 g
  • Sweetcorn 3 Tbs
  • Onion 1/2 medium
  • Taco Spice (chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and black pepper) [see below]
  • Cheddar Cheese 50 – 100 g to taste
  • Eggs 2
  • Red Bell Pepper 1 Tbs (optional)
  • Jalapenos 1 Tbs (optional)
  1. 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder.
  2. 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder.
  3. 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder.
  4. 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
  5. 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano.
  6. 1/2 tsp. Paprika.
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin.
  8. 1 tsp. Sea Salt.


In a large mixing bowl crumble the chips.  Add the beef, sweetcorn, and eggs and mix well.  Dice the onion, and any peppers used.  Add to the meat mixture.  Grate the cheese and add to the mixture as well.  Mix and knead well.   Then pat into a ball and place in a loaf plan.

Preheat oven to 175 C/ 350 F.  Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve topped with lettuce and tomato.



Miscellaneous Prompted Micro Poems 6

Captured in their passing – an instant caught on film –
A moment kept forever – shadows of where they’d been –
Though memories may grow foggy, precious pictures still remain.

TLT Throwback – Year 3: Eleven 14 March 2019

three line tales, week 163: a special deal

photo by Artem Bali via Unsplash

This special offer’s made – especially for you,
It wont be ’round forever – only a day or two,
Go ahead buy one – it’s the thing you should do.

Three Line Tales, Week 163 14 March 2019

Image result for writing

For World Poetry Day

For poetry day around the world, it’s time
It is a day for rhythm and rhyme
It’s not that poems from you we will coerce
So remember it can always be verse

21 March 2019




High Noon Lane


high noon

CCC #19

They had been married for exactly one year, and as an anniversary surprise David took Anne to see the new house he had built for them.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked as they entered an unfamiliar estate.

“It’s a surprise,” he responded.

“I hate surprises, you should know that.”

They turned the corner and stopped in front of the new build.

“Surprise!” he said.

“What?” she questioned.

“It’s our new home! It’s where I have been going on the weekends.  I built it!”

“What?  You have been away so much, I didn’t think our relationship meant anything to you,” she said.  “In fact, I have been so lonely that I was going to file for a divorce.”

David looked forlornly at the house, then at her; and then staring at the street sign on the corner said, “Do not forsake me, oh My Darling!”