Friday, 9 May 2008

First Impressions of Ripon

Who was it who sang 'I love to go a'wandering' all those years ago? Pointed the motorhome north last Friday and off we went. One of the attractions is that you don't always know for certain where you'll land or what you'll find. Sat in Ripon, that delightful Yorkshire town two hours later. Parking proved ridiculously easy, the sun shone down, the signs were good. A promising start to a well earned break. Out of the city to small town idyllic charm. Hunger pangs at the ready, we espied a fish and chip shop with welcoming open doors. Only in the time it took us to cross the street the proprieter appeared in the doorway and with a curt, "We're shutting" hastily closed the doors.
Bemused I looked over my shoulder to make sure our spaceship was still parked, for surely we were aliens from afar to warrant such treatment. Had we landed in Ripon, never; the place was undoubtedly Royston Vasey. Never mind, a short distance away was another chip shop, this time with customers. We entered and patiently waited our turn. The unsmiling man behind the counter looked in our direction. "Fish and chips once please, and could you please do a second fish without the batter." My wife is what is called a coeliac, and thereby has to have a gluten free diet. Had my wife requested caviar, oysters or even elephants testicles on toast, the effect could not have been more dramatic. His eyes glazed over at the absurdity of such a request. "Can't be done," he emphatically stated with authority, "tried it once and all the blacking on the bottom of the pan came off." And that was that. Which is strange in that the Polish person serving in the chipshop in Seahouses can do it, and do it to perfection; as can, amongst others, the Turkish chipshop in Ashbourne and a Greek establishment in Weston Super Mare. A shame really, as you tend to judge a place on such minor absurdities. And yes its true that I'm not called Grumpy Old Ken for nothing. It's not true I later called in a cafe in Ripon for elephants testicles on toast and they'd run out of bread.

1 comment:

kyozan said...

Sounds a load of balls to me. All very immatesticle!
Well done, Grumpy!
PS. You forgot to mention the cathedral. It's within sight of the chip shops!