Monday, 15 February 2010

Gari experiment and pics of the pub!

Hi Folks. I ran out of ground rice, that I make my porridge from, so I went to the asian shop where I buy it and they had changed supplier and the grain of the new stuff was too large for me. I looked round the shop to see if there was anything else I could use to make my porridge and I found something called Gari. It's made from the cassava root, a starchy tuber which is grown in subtropical regions. Gari is produced through a process of fermentation. It looks like small beige flakes. I thought, vegetable source starch - might be a healthy start to the day? So I bought some.

It microwaved with some milk into a thick porridge, but I have to say it didn't smell so great. It wasn't totally inedible, but I couldn't finish the whole bowl. Maybe it's an aquired taste? Maybe I'm just not used to it. It was a "Nil points" in the language of the European Song Contest. Let's just say that the next day I went out to a different shop and bought a 1.5 kg bag of ground rice.

Today my healer wasn't able to see me so I met up with the Bear again in this pub where we have been meeting a lot recently as the tea and coffee is cheap. Everything is cheap actually. Which accounts for the clientele. Which the Bear complained about quite a bit: "Company's rather low. Feels like the tide's gone out!"

He was in bad humour today. He complained about Valentine's day. He got her a card and nothing else. She got him a double photo frame which had a bear inbetween the frames and a pair of espresso cups and saucers. He was fuming that she'd spent 20 pounds! How many people would be upset to have money spent on them? The Bear doesn't like the way she wastes money, as he sees it.

Finally he finished the last section of the form that needed doing. I will photocopy it and post it tomorrow.

The pub was built as a Unitarian chapel in 1760 and is fairly unaltered since that time, both inside and out. The front aspect:
The side of the building where the beer garden is.
The beer garden is bordered on the other side by this building which is a Strawberry Hill Gothic chapel dating from the Regency period (1820). This is a delicate form of gothic architecture before it was adapted into much heavier forms by the Victorians. I will go back another time and take more photos of the front of it. It is a club for the marines now.
Inside the pub is one large double height room which has the original galleried area all round the sides. (The glass barriers were added during conversion to stop drunken people falling over!) Standing on the gallery I took this photo of the back wall of the chapel. Yes, the pulpit is still in place!
The hood of the pulpit is carved from a huge hunk of what looks like mahogony. The carving is superb. A representation of multiple swathes of fabric in an elaborate canopy.  
The design on the stained glass is surprisingly delicate with classical motifs in the central panel.
I love those cute little angels!
A few of the pews which they have left in the gallery.
It's unfortunate I didn't have the confidence to photograph the bar area which is underneath the gallery. But people were starting to look at me and I didn't want to freak anyone out! (I had asked permission BTW.) This is the pub I went to to get on the internet when it was off at home as they give unlimited internet use. I prefer to sit up in the gallery so I'm away from the hustle and bustle and can see everything that's going on. Next time I go in I'll get a shot of the bar.

It annoyed me that I was unable to zoom in. Or even focus properly. I really need to get myself a camera. The Bear notified me that they have some in Argos on sale so I need to check it out.

PS All I drank in there was an orange juice. I was lucky that the Bear was too bad tempered to even eat. Normally I have to watch him eating something greasy with chips!


  1. I have actually never heard of Gari!!
    Love the pub though. Where abouts are you i may just have to stop by if i'm in the country/neighborhood :)

  2. I had never heard of gari either, and I don't mind after reading about your experiment.

    I'm just loving your photos on this and the previous post. The buildings are so old and so interesting, and I love the details like the carvings and the angels. Nothing like this in NZ of course! Hardly anything over 150 years old here. And the church! I would love to visit it. I've never heard of a chapel being converted to a pub before. Intriguing!

  3. very neat photos :-) i can understand the bear being upset about the frame - its just a guy thing. he'd have probably been happier if she'd bought him beer and pizza ;-) that first cereal sounds yucky!! glad you got your regular stuff. I bet you could mill it yourself if worse came to worse.

  4. I panic when I go into an Asian food shop and I'm confronted with all these wonderful (but completely new to me) items of food... I wish I could just throw caution to the wind and experiment, but I struggle to cook the basics, let alone exotic stuff!

  5. Great photos of the pub - I love the way Wetherspoons buy and convert old buildings when they open new pubs! My favourite is in Cardiff, it used to be a theatre and you can still really see it!
    Asian food markets are great fun I think - but I always end up buying things based on the interesting label (which I can't actually read) and then tearing my hair out trying to work out what to do with them - then shoving them on the top shelf of a cupboard and forgetting them for 3 or 4 years! Sounds like a good plan for the gari from what you've said... did you have any flavourings added to it or were you trying it plain? At least you got your ground rice in the end!

  6. Nice photos of the pub. What a lovely area you live in.

  7. I'm not sure I could have resisted putting vodka in with the OJ. ;)

  8. That pub is beautiful. I don't think I could have finished that dish either. Glad you found what you usually like!

  9. may be you did not like the Gari due to new taste of it ,i am not surprised with bear 's unhappiness about frame men are mostly like him,they try very less to understand their woman 'especially when she is their wife ,you shot pub beautifully ,take care

  10. That's lovely pub you go to.It would be a sin to get drunk in there. Somehow the surroundings wouldn't allow it. The Bear sounds like just a grouchy old man who likes to complain about things and will find any excuse to. He's not exactly spilling over with happiness, is he? He should be a little more appreciative of the woman in his life. Especially of you!

  11. Those are wonderful pictures. I just love to look at such buildings. Its wonderful how such buildings were made with less technology.
    The design on the glass looks beautiful.

    I guess, Bear should be happy that there is somebody caring so much for him. All I got on my Birthday from my brother was a bent greeting card which he had given me the previous year...

    Have a great day!:)

  12. Hi Bear Friend-
    Love the beautiful photos complete with detailed descriptions! I really felt like I was there with you. And again I say (as with the last post with photos) I really wish I could travel so as to visit these beautiful places you show us.Perhaps some day I will.:-)

    I have never heard of Gari, but your comments made me think of something I just read in my current book of choice about the Blue Zones, parts of the world where the life expectancy is much higher than average. And in Japan some of the foods they ate as part of their traditional diet were described as being "an acquired" taste.

    Which really, when you think about it, almost everything we eat, no matter where we are or what it is would qualify as such, don't you think??

    Thanks for another great post and I hope you are having a wonderful week so far!

  13. where are you? are you OK? I miss you!


All comments gratefully appreciated!