Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Sock's Christmas Movie

Speakers on everybody and get ready to dance.....

Ps. If you want to see more of 3Menwent2mow catch their Christmas message here
its got to be better than the Queen's!

How they broke the news....


Monday, 13 December 2010

Health and Safety Dogs - Now is the Winter....

speakers on and tissues out.....

For new blog readers the adventures of the Health and Safety Dogs can be read by clicking on the  link under Full Stories to your screen right.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


The Sea of Immeasurable Gravy is proud to announce it's newest production - but you'll have to

clic for the flic

Tuesday, 7 December 2010



Resurrection, resurrection, resurrection


Question: What is the difference between the three latter day Saints pictured above?

Answer: Two are dead but the third's just been resurrected!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Sock's Guide to Christmas Prezzies No.1

We must all agree that the best prezzies are those we buy for ourselves (thereby ensuring that we get what we want not some naff bit of old rubbish that wastes space in the attic until a decent enough length of time has gone by to throw it away).  However, if you really want to surprise your loved one with a little parcel on Christmas Day, the Sock has some great suggestions for you - and today it's ideas for books.

This years must have book is Mark Diacono's 'A Taste of the Unexpected'. If you haven't read a blog review of it somewhere yet you must be one of the few. Everybody but the Sock applied for a review copy, to the point that Mark sent out so many free books that he now owes his publishing company a lot of money.* It will be borlotti bean pie with a sprinkling of szechuan pepper for Mark's Chrimbo dinner - unless you fill his coffers by buying the book.  The Sock paid full whack for hers but really it is worth it. Bright and attractive illustrations, inspiring ideas and recipes, a pleasure to read - what more could you want?  The Socks had always believed their garden was too small to dedicate a great deal of space to fruit and veg but were so inspired by Mark's talk at Wisley that the Sock is thinking of relinquishing her beloved alpines and turning that small raised bed into a more productive patch.  We are going to grow only things we can't easily buy or which, like supermarket tomatoes, bear no resemblance to the home grown variety.  Courgettes are out, cucurbits 'Fat Baby' Achocha are in, as is 'Alberto's Quillquina' a culinary herb similar to coriander. Oca is on order, sweet cicely, lovage and a variety of other more unusual herbs, spices and peppers are planned or in production.  After Mark's talk the Bedsock said "This is what I have been saying for years!" - much of this new growth will be his responsibility!

If you want a fab cookbook which makes lots of use of herbs and interesting ingredients the Sock's favourite this year is Yotam Ottolenghi's 'Plenty' (also Ottolenghi's 'The Cookbook').  This has revived the Sock's interest in cooking which is just as well now that the Bedsock is mostly coming home for his tea rather than working away.  The Guardian Weekend has been printing Yotam's recipes - search their online site for examples of them.  This One Pot Wonder is one of the Sock's favourites - a real treat and a great change from a traditional cooked breakfast although unfortunately no less calorific!

If you didn't buy Matthew Wilson's 'Making a Garden' last year then rush out and do so now (Sock review here).  Matthew is joint winner of this years Horticultural OMG Award for 'Most Snoggable Male' and there are plenty of pictures of him being gorgeous in the book.

The Sock's love to pass long car journeys listening to audio books. A tour around Iceland was Philip Pulman's fabulous 'Dark Materials' trilogy - totally in keeping with the landscape and atmosphere.  Australia's 'Great Ocean Road' gave us Robert Harris' 'The Ghost' and  Apollo Bay to Adelaide Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys',  mid-France gave us the beautifully read C.J. Sansom's 'Dissolution' whilst South-West France, a route much travelled by the Socks has given us Robert Harris' 'Pompeii', and more recently the complex, intriguing and unmissable 'Imperium'  and 'Lustrum'.  The latter two  deal with the Roman life and times of Cicero and illustrate perfectly that in politics some things never change. Listening to an audio book together is an enjoyably intimate experience - discussions about the plot, shared jokes and laughter create memorable moments.. we can never drive past Saintes in western France without bringing to mind the ridiculous Welsh Dwarf from the occasionally funny Hobbit spoof 'The Soddit'.

But better than all of these is the gift of a story.  One Christmas a friend gave us a tattered old copy of 'The Jungle Book' - the Socks were a bit bemused until we were told that the present wasn't the book, the present was that when staying in a holiday cottage we had rented together, she would read us a story from it every night.   There was something so wonderfully warm and nurturing to be sat around the log fire at night being entertained and enthralled by a new tale.  After that, when on holiday the Socks would buy a book of short stories, perhaps as in Iceland based on local folk tales and take it in turns to read one to each other before going to bed.  The folk tales were gloriously ridiculous invariably consisting of only a beginning, no middle or end - along the lines of  'There was once a peasant had three daughters.  One was fat and married a blacksmith, one was tall and married a merchant and one was thin..' No punchline or progression would be forthcoming so the reader would have to utter the words 'Er..that's it!' to denote the end of each story. Every night we would fall asleep laughing - and what could be a better present than that!


* This might be a slight exaggeration or possibly even a lie.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Return to Hissingfirst.... Secrets Revealed

By popular demand the Sock is very proud to unveil her new 'Hissingfirst' masterpiece!  If you missed all previous episodes you can seem them all here

The story continues

clic for the flic

Ps.  Apologies if the timing of the gif is too fast/slow - its impossible to get it right for everyone.  Let me know if there are problems.  Arabella xx

Monday, 15 November 2010

Gone Fishing IV

Joe's hooked a big fish... clic on the pic to enlarge

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Gone Fishing III

You all knew it was coming!!!!! clic on the pic to enlarge

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Gone Fishing II

Be afraid, be very afraid but clic on the pic to enlarge anyway!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Gone Fishing I


You really, really must clic on the pic to enlarge!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

People and Places

It would now appear to be November and quite what happened to October is anyone's guess.  Somewhere down the line the leaves turned amber, the central heating came on and the cats went into hibernation mode (which differs from summer mode only inasmuch as Spook spends more time pretending to be asleep on my keyboard and refusing to shift when I want to use it and Hebe lives at the back of my wardrobe rubbing as much cat hair as possible onto my previously smart black winter coat).

In between cleaning the greenhouse and bringing in the aeoniums to save them from a cruel and frosty death the Sock has been out and about.

First a delightful evening out at Garden Sage (a.k.a. Rob's Shoppiwop) where the lovely Landscape Man had very kindly agreed to give a talk to celebrate the fairly recent opening.  It was an engaging and interesting talk, very well pitched too given that the shop setting was rather small and intimate and the audience a daunting mix of locals, Rob's relatives and the Sock and some twitter pals leering less than four feet away.

Yes the Sock knows it is the same pic she took at Chelsea but how could she resist the opportunity to post it again?

This gave us the opportunity to appreciate just how handsome Matthew Wilson really is - even more so in the flesh than on TV.  Not that the Sock is shallow or anything but it did strike her that given the Gardening world is well blessed with quite delectable men and women how come we end up with mostly mingers or madpeople as the face of gardening on TV? Sadly C4 is not running a second series of Landscape Man, one of the few programmes the Socks both looked forward to watching.  We can only hope that Matthew is snapped up quickly (if he hasn't been already) by someone who will put his face back on our screens in an intelligent gardening/landscape style programme. 

Great Dixter
Next an extremely enjoyable autumnal outing to Great Dixter with the LazyTrollop who has blogged about it here. A planned summer trip there never materialized and it wasn't an obvious choice for autumn colour so the Sock thanks the indefatigable  VP for recommending it in her Guardian blog here.

Then the Apple Festival at Wisley.  The festival itself was a tad disappointing - stalls were mainly selling slightly upmarket deli stuff, expensive chutneys and cheeses much of which lost its appeal when a scrum of slightly downmarket visitors were seen fingering the food samples and dipping digits in the taster pots instead of using the proffered plastic spoons.  The apples themselves only took up a small tented area but did offer tastings of some interesting varieties  - the Sock waited to grab freshly cut portions of apple to avoid contamination by sticky little mitts.

We tasted these mild, fruity orange chillis and took one home for seed unfortunately Spook ate it!

The highlight was a talk by River Cottage Gardener/Climate Change Farmer/blogger/writer (and not bad looking either) Mark Diacono, encouraging people to grow more little known crops.  Having bumped into Mark prior to the talk and explained how her garden (55ft x 17ft) was too small to grow anything greatly exciting, the Sock left inspired to grow all sorts of wonderful flavoursome things that can't be bought at the supermarket.  More on this in a later blog with a review of Mark's book 'A Taste of the Unexpected' and a lengthy list of all the interesting seeds the Sock has since bought.

Two evenings at the theatre, one seeing Shappi Khorsandi who said she knew that a lot of the audience would be worried thinking she was that irritating woman on Radio 4.  As the Sock was one of those 'worried' she was surprised to find Shappi very smart and funny on stage.   An other evening of more gentle comedy with Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller finished off the month on a happy note.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cote Restaurant - How did you annoy me? Let me count the ways...

UPDATE JULY 2012.  We did give Cote another go for a pre-theatre meal and it was much better.
Food and service good in a bistro style way.   My (and many others) irritations with those restaurants that still train their staff to ask annoying questions by rote still remains but I believe the backlash has started!!

The Socks are always pleased when a new recommended restaurant opens in Brighton and so it was when Côte opened in the summer serving 'good value' French Bistro style food.

So lunching there today we had expectations of a reasonable meal but whilst the food wasn't bad, there were so many little things that were wrong that it drained any pleasure out of the experience.  Individually each thing would have been only a slight irritant but cumulatively they contributed to an almighty annoyance.

1.  Attempting to fob you off with the worst tables.

2/10 on the irritation scale. The place was two-thirds empty but they tried to place us on the smallest two person tables and we had to insist on one of the better placed ones.

2. Within seconds of being seated a waitress was asking us what drinks we wanted and what water we wanted.

5/10 on the irritation scale. This is a slightly tricky one.  If we were dining out somewhere posh then we might want to order an aperitif to drink whilst perusing the menu but chances are, that in places like this at lunch time, we will want to see the menu and drink list first and not be hassled before we can even get our coats off.

3. Having been told we didn't want water the waitress for some reason put a water glass on the table which we didn't need and was in any case not washed properly.  My sleeve stuck to some dried pool of sticky stuff on the table.  When called over and asked to clean the table the waitress asked again if we wanted water  - we hadn't changed our minds on this issue during the 3 minutes since she last asked.

7/10 on the irritation scale.

4. Whilst perusing the menu we noticed that "a discretionary gratuity of 12.5%" would be added to our bill.

8/10 on the irritation scale - whilst we are happy to reward decent service that is definitely at our discretion and we find it extremely annoying  that we would have to be proactive in getting it deducted from the bill in the event the service is not up to scatch.

5.  Food was ordered and starters of moules mariniere and smoked salmon arrived quickly.  Actually these were OKish but given we were already a bit annoyed it was easy enough to feel that the smoked salmon was a bit tasteless and the moules came in a small bowl with no bread.  We were rather taken aback at this as we just cannot believe that anywhere in France (and the restaurant does have pretensions to being Bistro French) would serve moules (or indeed a meal) without bread. We had to pay £1.50 extra for it.  The moules were a bit gritty. The wine glass was a bit dirty.

8/10 on the irritation scale

6. So we've got the wine, we've got the food, we've got the bread. We've got our first mouthful of food and the waitress turns up and says "Is the food OK for you guys!"

10/10 IRRITATION! I ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN HATE IT WHEN THEY INTERRUPT ME CHEWING OR TALKING TO MY PARTNER OR READING THE PAPER OR WHATEVER TO ASK A BY ROTE QUESTION FOR THE SAKE OF IT!!! Also I don't particularly like being addressed as 'you guys' but I can get over that one.  Once in a really quite decent and well-known restaurant in Brighton I was chewing on a mouthful of food when the waitress asked this question and stood there and sighed impatiently when I didn't give her an immediate response!  Nevertheless on this occasion we masticate our mouthfuls and nod politely at her.

Two minutes later someone else asks us the same question.  At this point I avoid looking at them and resolutely carry on with the meal I am trying to enjoy.

7.  The main course of coq-au-vin is less than lukewarm.  We don't wait for the waitress to come and ask us if "the food is OK for you guys!" we use our initiative and call her over.  I tell her I don't want it microwaved I want a properly cooked meal that hasn't been hanging around cooling. In the meantime the Bedsock's sirloin steak frites with a bearnaise sauce has arrived.  The steak is good and cooked medium rare as requested.  The frites are in a little paper cone with emphasis on the 'little'.  The bearnaise sauce cost extra.

5/10 on the irritation scale. Actually, the reason why this isn't higher on the scale is because they recoup the situation by immediately bringing a new warm coq-au-vin to the table.  BUT during this time was have been asked twice more "if everything is OK with you guys!".  This pushes the irritation factor over the 10 and the Bedsock sternly tells the last person to ask it that it is really too much.  This happens to be a poor waiter who says he has been told to check if we are alright given the food mishaps.  I feel sorry for him - it is not his fault. It is not our fault.  It is the fault of whoever is running the place to get his staff to work as a team and know what each other is doing so that the customer is not continuously harassed throughout the meal by staff asking the same needless question.  In fact, much as I hate the way Waggamama mark on your placemat the fact that you have been asked and answered this question, at least this ensures it only gets asked the once and if anyone by some mistake asks it again you can just point at the mark on the placemat without having to gulp down your mouthful of unmasticated food in order to give them an answer!!!!!!

8. By this time we had taken deep breaths and prepared ourselves for the ultimate annoyance of being charged 12.5 percent service for this debacle and having to ask for it to be taken off the bill.  Amazingly someone was clued up enough to have taken it off.  Nevertheless our lunch at Côte costs us £57.00 for a two course lunch with 3 of the cheaper glasses of wine so I wouldn't say it was good value.

We won't be going back.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

By popular request.....

According to the divine James Alexander Sinclair "there are not nearly enough blogposts where we find you you lying in luxuriously enbubbled baths"*.  So in order to remedy the shortfall we have 'FISH SPA'!!!

In their ongoing mission to "do things that we will in all likelihood never do again" the Socks saw a Fish Spa in San Sebastian and immediately booked foot therapy sessions.  For the uninitiated the procedure is as follows

1) Clean feet in vibrating foot bath
2) Immerse feet in warmish tank of fish
3) Allow fish to nibble away all the deadskin and gunk off your feet
4) For a small extra fee afterwards you can have the fish fried up and served with an aioli as tapas

It was interesting to note that whilst the fish in the Sock's tank went beserk nibbling at her tootsies, the Bedsock's tank didn't seem so interested. Theories as to why this might have been include:

1) The Socks feet offered more tasty dead skin for the fishies
2) The Bedsock's feet retained a slight (but offputting) aroma of Tea Tree oil
3) The fish were already full after lunching on someone elses feet

It was quite a pleasant sensation - a bit like having a small electric current humming through.  It seems that the fish only do feet which quite frankly is probably just as well.


* see comments on previous post

Monday, 11 October 2010

Prieuré Notre Dame D'Orsan - Soul and Body

Although 'Body and Soul' was the theme of  this year's Festival of Gardens at Chaumont* nowhere could be a more appropriate place to nurture them than the beautiful Prieuré D'Orsan - one of my favourite gardens and our next holiday destination.  After my mid-summer malaise led to the postponement of our planned holiday to South Africa we needed a special treat to cheer us up and a one night stopover five years ago had left us wanting more.  I had  booked not the most expensive of the handful of rooms but, for us, the most desirable, an attic space with three windows each with a different view over the gardens. Our room had a stone floor, sloping walls clad in blonde-wood, a couple of Lloyd loom chairs and the kind of uncluttered, spartan simplicity we like. The views are enough to tempt me out of the cocooned warmth of the enormous, comfortable bed to confront the early autumn morning cool drifting in through the open windows. Cold room - warm bed, just the way it should be.

I stand by the narrow window and am mesmerized by a thousand colours green.

To the west arbours and arches

to the north orchards and raised beds

across the roof to the south..

In 1995 at Orsan in the Berry region of France architects Patrice Taravella, Sonia Lesot and gardener Gilles Guillot created anew a medieval garden at the Prieuré D'Orsan.  They bought back to life "an art of gardening reminiscent of pre-Renaissance times" using the highly -refined art of wood-tressing and plant-training as shown in illuminations to recreate the style of a monastery garden.  Although the garden is open to the public part of the day, guests have the sole use of it for the rest. There are few people around mid-week so we have the place almost to ourselves.

To me the beauty of the garden is its order which provides an incredibly serene and relaxing atmosphere.  Despite the fact that everything but EVERYTHING has been twisted and trained, cut, contorted and caged so precisely, this is not a garden under stress. There is no sense that the plants are fighting or merely enduring their bondage, they are embracing it, cloaking, covering and caressing the frameworks they cling to.  This is a garden both loving and loved as these hearts reflect

Patrice has provided a list of gardens to visit and things to do in the Berry area but we don't want to leave our cloistered confines.  Why visit another garden when this is so beautiful and we have time to sit and stare,

to laze on one of the many woven chairs or benches and read, to walk around the kitchen gardens and wonder what will make its way to our evening repast,

to work out how we reach the chairs at the centre of the vegetable labyrinth

to wander out to where the hedges open and the garden morphs into a wildflower meadow, to watch the abundant wildlife from red squirrels to vibrant butterflies

or just enjoy the endless endeavours of the hedge trimmers

The only thing that saddens me is that the lavenders lining the hornbeam cloisters have gone.  The hornbeams have filled out and the lavenders were old and there was no longer space for them but I miss them, their perfume and the visiting hummingbird moths that I first saw here the last time we stayed.

But all things change and there are new views and vistas like this one through the hedging giving a glimpse of the showbeds of leeks and cabbages like a blue-tinged infinity pool.

Even in the best of gardens a little devil will be chomping away...

Whilst the garden is feeding the soul, Patrice Taravella's exquisite cooking is soul food for the body.  He describes it as "long way from the formal approach ... and closer to the meals shared with a gathering of friends." This is food the way we love it, the freshest of ingredients many of which are picked straight from the Prieuré's gardens and cooked in a way that allows each individual flavour to speak for itself.  Despite the fact that the Filet deVeau aux Morilles is perfect cooked with earthy flavours, the Filet de Canard aux Pèches de Vigne is perfectly balanced with fowl and fruit flavours to die for,  it is the vegetables that give full voice to the dishes.  A course of fresh goats cheese and tomato is unbelievably exquisite the fresh, clean cut of the flavours zinging in our mouths.

I'm told the tomato is green zebra, one I have heard of and can (will) grow from seed but I can't believe I will ever achieve this tart, citric, fruitiness with one I have grown myself.***  Patrice is not a man afraid to use salt - not uniformly in the cooking but a sprinkle of salt crystals across the dish and in tiny clusters on the food which suddenly explode in your mouth cutting into and complimenting the clean flavours.  I ask him if this is some special magic salt but he laughs and says it is just salt and that fleur de sel is for the tourists.

And if the tomato is a revelation the Oignon Confit a Chèvre is a masterpiece.  Such simple ingredients cooked to a perfection of intensified flavour - it is caramelised onion but not as we have ever known it!

There are only three couples eating in the chic dining room, the others of whom are French.  Patrice informs me that he can always tell which the British diners are as they invariably move their wine glasses from the top right of their plates setting to the near side of it.  I am aghast as this is exactly what I have done although the Bedsock who has left his in situ is looking smug.  As an excuse for this ghastly faux pas I explain that I need the glass close and to the side as otherwise my dress will dangle on the plate as I reach across for it. I  demonstrate this my linen sleeve soaking some sauce up on its way to the wine. Neither Patrice nor the Bedsock are impressed and for the rest of the meal I try and keep my wine topside of my plate setting but for those like me, who fall upon their wine like a thirsty beast, it is harder to do than one might think.

At least I am not committing the ultimate sin of texting and tweeting from my i-phone as a Frenchwoman, who has positioned herself on the one table that will receive a strong enough wi-fi signal,  has been doing throughout every meal.  This is so discourteous both to her partner and to our charming host.  It has not gone unnoticed by the latter and the next day when I take my lap-top to the sitting room and with a certain sense of guilt link myself up to the internet Patrice remarks that "everyone is now quite addicted to these things" and adds that he doesn't even have a TV.

I point out that if I lived somewhere as beautiful and time consuming as the Prieuré I probably wouldn't spend my days slobbing on the sofa watching America's Next Top Model either. My excuse for the lap-top is that I am writing a garden blog about Chaumont which we have just visited.  "Chaumont pfffft! These are not gardens, they should not be there for so long each year and they give people the wrong impression of how cheaply and quickly a 'garden' can be made" opines Patrice.  I tell him that there was a similar backlash against 'Groundforce' in the UK but that actually I thought that Chaumont was fun and that they were more art installations than gardens.  I don't think I have convinced him.  In order to appear intelligent I say that "Forest gardening is now becoming popular in the UK."  Luckily before Patrice can ask me what forest gardening actually is, another guest distracts him and I am saved from displaying my complete lack of knowledge on this matter.

The reading room is filled with books and magazines about gardening many of which feature articles on the Prieure including some beautiful photograph albums detailing the journey of the Prieure from ruin to restoration.  I have asked Patrice if he has produced a cookbook but he says he has written enough books this year already.  He proudly shows me a copy of 'Hortus' which features his garden.  I ask what happens to all the fruit crops from the many vines, apples, medlars, pears etc. entwined around the garden.

"No fruit this year" he shrugs.  I'm astonished but he explains that Berry is on France's hail belt ("Hallé Berry" I think but luckily the words don't reach my mouth).  Early in July a huge hail storm gathered.  Normally the Prieuré is notified by the Met Office in advance so that they can set-up a machine that pumps some kind of stuff into the atmosphere which will melt the hail before it hits.  Sorry to be so vague on this but I was a little gobsmacked and wasn't sure whether Patrice was joking.  He wasn't - this time there was no warning and thirty minutes of hard, heavy, hail hit the garden washing a layer of mud off the clay soil and through the lower area of the house.  It also damaged and destroyed all the fruit and only time will tell how much of the garden will die of disease invading the weakened trees. He shrugs philosophically in a way that French people and farmers must so often do.

On our last afternoon we notice a photoshoot taking place in the garden.  Patrice nonchalantly says it is yet another advert being filmed against this backdrop.  They are dressing one of the more intricate woven garden seats with what appears to be accessories including a hat, a suitcase and wait for it.... a pair of fuckme shoes!**

I have an idea that a thousand women wearing fuckme shoes could stamp their stilettoes around the lawns, aerating the soil and helping Patrice with his clay drainage problem.  Luckily these words don't reach my mouth either.

Patrice describes the Prieuré as a place to "ensure your happiness and rest, as well as giving you a chance to recover your health and strength away from the rest of the world."

We came, we saw, we rested.

* see earlier blog here
** for and earlier blog on fuckme shoes see 'What the Romans did for us' here
***we later find green zebra tomatoes on sale at Saintes farmers market and they are just as good!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Misty Morning in the Pyrenees

It has been a long held ambition to awaken early enough in the morning to venture out with camera and capture cobwebs dripping with dawn dew.  As you might imagine the tucked-in warmth of my continental quilt cocoon has too often provided a stumbling block to this enterprise.  So it was with great excitement that I awoke to a misty Pyrennean morning at our mountain inn and found a lacework of cobwebs hanging heavy with crystal droplets from the trees around.

These are my sought for pictures - I just love them and hope you do too.  Clic on them to enlarge for full effect and don't miss the detail in the last one...

Early morning mist in the valley below


Astonishing colours picked up by the watery webs

Delicately different patterns to each web

 Packed lunch!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Madrid - A Room with a View

Madrid, the beautiful Plaza Mayor, centre and cultural hub of  'old Madrid'.  We are staying in a beautiful apartment chosen for its view across the square, the three sunny windows on the first floor by the arch in the far corner are ours.

Unfortunately the view is somewhat spoilt by the exhibition tents in the middle promoting Argentina!

There are other things we didn't expect to see from our three terrace windows leading out onto a small balcony..

A Fat Spiderman

An alarming box with legs bothering people

A mouse

Harry Krishna and his mates

A nude lady forming part of a load of semi-erotic frescoes on the Casa de la Panaderia, representing Cybele adopted Goddess of Madrid looking for her daughter Proserpine in the underworld.

A small choir singing Hallelujah outside a bar just below us late on a Saturday night

A procession of horses and carriages which has now been around the square at least four times with a bit of drumming and trumpeting and a couple of limos squeezed in between.

A man wearing a fab hattiewato

Yes it's all happening here - although if the man who plays the Godfather theme on various instruments 12 hours a day outside the cafés below, doesn't change his tune soon I may have to send the Bedsock down to sort him out!!!