Snaggletooth has been eating some odd things of late. He enjoyed what I call Mozart’s balls and most often see at airports. He’s also had some Tayto chocolate with cheese and onion crisps in it. It was a subtle cheesy/oniony flavour and not unpleasant. He ate some Galaxy Enchanted Eggs which are a lovely rose gold colour and some Golden Wonder Curry Sauce flavour crisps which were wonderfully authentic.
There are a lot of bits of Oxford that don’t get written about enough. Two of them close to me and featured in my latest book Pam Dickens Keeps Christmas All The Year are Templars Square, known as Cowley Centre to those over thirty-five years of age, and the Littlemore Fish Bar.
I used to spend my pocket money here and there are great local shops. The bridge goes from the car park to the shopping centre and offers views in two directions. Good, eh?
Another great asset to the community is the Littlemore Fish Bar.
Fish and chips is the grandaddy of take away food. If you want to get close to cod you should visit.
As well as these two locations, a lot of local garden centres, Oxford city centre and Summertown also get mentioned by Pam Dickens. It was fun to write and I hope is fun to read, even by those who are not local!
Hello Snag food fans, I’d like to wish you all a very happy 2022. I’m hoping it will become decreasingly coronavirusy as it progresses. Recently Snaggletooth has enjoyed a lot of festive fare; some sage derby cheese, Christmas pudding flavour wheats, chocolate Yule log, and that perennial festive fave the Viennetta tarted up for the holidays.
Snaggletooth has enjoyed some cup cakes recently, they were from Lidl and were very good. He’s also had some blue raspberry flavour Chewits, a very good addition to the Chewits stable. The Fry’s strawberry cream bar went down well but Snag would still like the Five Centres to make a comeback. Finally, since Christmas approaches Snag has had an Irish cream mince pie. Expect more festive nibbling soon!
Back in July I finished the second of my Christmas themed books, Sherbets and Herberts & Other Christmas Stories, and what with it being the height of summer I didn’t mention it much online at the time. It’s fair to say my books don’t really launch, they sort of sidle up to the six or seven people who like to read my stuff and then cough politely until they get noticed.
Sherbets and Herberts contains twelve short Christmas stories. The first, called The Float, is an introduction to the two villages of Sitton next the Water and Padlin on Flooze. These villages are inspired by the many Cotswold villages I’ve visited. The next four stories give the book its title and are about a pub and the regular customers, Don, Alan and Brian (in my mind I’ve cast them as Russ Abbot, Philip Jackson and Toby Jones). I’m a bit afraid that their world of the pub is beginning to disappear, so I wanted to write about it. The sixth story, The Bus Blues, is about a musician. I love writing about musicians.
The seventh story, Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World, takes us back to the late 1970s and the punk era. Story eight, Everything Stops For Tea, made me hungry when I wrote it and is a bit whimsical. Story nine, Chas Change and Terry Thinkthrice Soothe Sad Decembers, is a story which has at its centre my belief that humans can be helped to heal. The tenth story, The Perfect Stocking, is about surprise and also about planning. Story eleven, Snowhenge, is about a cosy day indoors. The final story in the book, A Resolution of Retail Rivalry, is about two business men who become pals.
The photo for the book cover was taken on a table purchased in the 1950s by my maternal grandparents and at which I’ve sat for the family Christmases of my childhood and some of the family Christmases of my adulthood. It’s a jolly nice table and can be extended.
You can download Sherbets and Herberts & Other Christmas Stories here.
It’s free on Kindle on 13th and 14th November 2021. Happy reading!
I love Christmas books and I love diary books. I have whole shelves dedicated to both. I noticed that I had never read a Christmas diary book. All diaries contain some Christmas, that is how years work, they all have a December 25th, but a really Christmassy diary book? I couldn’t think of one. So, as Toni Morrison said “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I created a placeholder on my shelf, between diaries and Christmas books for this as yet unwritten book.
I wrote Pam Dickens Keeps Christmas All The Year between May 2020 and October 2021. Despite this being the coronavirus pandemic times the book has no mention of it, because it is set in 2018. It’s very much an escape, a virus free oasis, with baubles. I read 111 Christmas books while writing it! I set it very locally, because that was the only place I was going! It’s a gentle book, stress free and easy to read in short bursts.
So, here’s what it’s all about; Pam Dickens will be released from paid employment this year and she is jolly pleased about it. Join her as she gets used to retirement and occupies her time very pleasantly by focusing on her favourite festival. Meet her husband Malc and see what marriage looks like after more than four decades. Meet her family and friends and enjoy the bits of Oxford that locals inhabit.
You can buy it on Kindle here
Paperbacks are available here
Snaggletooth has chomped an orange flavour Twirl, nibbled some Percy Pig piglets, masticated some pudding flavour chews (lovely lemon meringue was his favourite) and had a limited edition Hazelnut Wispa Gold recently.
Snaggletooth has enjoyed the summery seaside snack of some candy floss flavour rock. He’s also sophisticatedly nibbled some strawberry and mint After Eights. He thought Mary Berry had every right to look pleased with herself on the packet for her raspberry ripple cake, it was delicious. The cherry flavour Turkish delight was wonderful and he hopes it hangs around for longer than the lemon one did.
Snaggletooth is a big fan of the Cadbury Mini Roll and enjoyed the new Neapolitan option, likewise the orange Wagon Wheel. He’s also nibbled some Colin the Caterpillar jelly sweets and chomped on some cheese made from the milk of cows who graze in Glastonbury!
Snaggletooth has nibbled some lemon flavour Turkish Delight which he really enjoyed but judging by the massive pile of it in B&M at 69p a packet it wasn’t a commercial success. It looks a bit like fluorescent snot but don’t let that put you off (it’s put you off hasn’t it?). The hot dog flavour Pringles he ate also came from B&M. They tasted a bit mustardy and were very pleasant. In case you don’t have one nearby, B&M is an emporium of useful household things and foodstuffs. They specialise in high fat and high sugar delicacies at low prices.
Aniseed balls are not a commonly found sweet nowadays but I got some in Notcutts Oxford garden centre. My Mum likes these so Snag shared them with her. I love the colour of aniseed balls. The cherry Jaffa Cake is a new Jaffa Cake flavour but there has been a similar Polish biscuit/cake (sometimes available in Lidl) for ages. Let’s not get into the debate about whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, McVities state clearly that they are a cake. If I hang about in the biscuit aisle, that does not make me a biscuit, so nor does it make the Jaffa Cake a biscuit.
I’m going to feed another 154 things to Snaggletooth, so keep watching this space!
I’ve been making cakes a bit more often due to the pandemic and Snaggletooth has sampled my chocolate hazelnut sponge. It’s reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher, but thankfully (unlike M&S getting cross with Aldi over caterpillar cake similarities), the makers of the gold nobbly posh chocs haven’t objected. There has been a leap forward in Fruit Pastille technology recently and Snaggletooth has chomped the new flavours enthusiastically. Then Snag went back to the 70s for a classic Black Forest gateau. Finally Snag has enjoyed some delicate mini meringue pies with pastry so thin and buttery it’s a triumph. M&S should concentrate on their little pies rather than starting beef about lookalike insect cakes.
It’s been Easter recently, that lovely long weekend of chocolate indulgence. Snaggletooth has nibbled some Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs which were delightful, next year he plans to eat a Reester bunny, which is the same treat but in big rabbit form. Snaggletooth has also eaten a Milky Bar egg. A friend mentioned that when they were a small boy the Milky Bar egg box was in the form of a fun wagon. The hot cross bun is now available in loads of flavours, the Sainsbury’s strawberries and cream one finding favour with Snag’s taste buds. And finally, Snag has eaten a fancy Christmas pudding due to a cupboard overstock during the festive period.
It’s been a very cakey time lately (I had my 47th birthday in February) so Snaggletooth chomped some panda face cake and some chocolate cake. There has been a new development in the world of Jaffa Cakes, the passion fruit variety, and Easter is approaching which means Mini Eggs in any form at all are being eagerly devoured.
Snaggletooth’s been eating sweet things again. It’s the time of year when Santas and bunnies overlap in the shops and Snag has chomped both the bringer of festive gifts and the furry representatives of approaching spring. Snag has also eaten some Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, an exotic taste of North America and some delightfully sticky cinnamon bread.
I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, or as I think of it, Lemmy’s birthday. It’s been a weird old year has 2020, and having weird hobbies, like feeding things to Snaggletooth, has helped by being a distraction from the awful coronavirus pandemic. I hope you’ve all found some good distractions.
Snaggletooth has embraced the festive foodstuffs this season. He’s found the maple and pecan mince pies to be rather toothsome, as was the chocolate Yule log. The best bit of the chocolate Yule log is the end slice with it’s high cake to icing ratio. I have discovered that by buying a pot of chocolate icing and applying to the cut ends you can make every slice an end slice! The pigs in duvets sausage rolls are good dipped in salad cream and the M&S Billionaire’s YumNut was super sweet.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas 2020 and a happy, healthy 2021!
Snaggletooth’s diet has been entirely festive recently and as I write this we’re only two weeks away from Christmas 2020. The gingerbread chocolate digestives went down well, as did the chocolate Santa. The new mince pie wheats are a good December breakfast and the sausage roll crisps were very tasty.
Snaggletooth has nibbled some coconut ice recently, it’s full of sugar and pleasingly pink. He’s also chomped some homemade sundried tomato and olive bread. Homemade bread has become a thing during the coronavirus pandemic. Since Christmas is approaching he’s had a pigs in blankets pot noodle which was surprisingly edible and some ham flavour Pringles which are a good addition to the Pringles suite of potato snacks.
One bright spot in an otherwise way too full of pandemic 2020 has been the new AC/DC album.
Here are my predictions of what the songs will be about based on AC/DC’s previous albums; I predict 5 songs about sex, 2 about love, 2 about rocking (the importance of), 1 about crime, 1 about the human condition and 1 about the rejection of social norms.
As with all my previous categorisations, songs can be in two categories if they don’t fit neatly in one or are ambiguous. I have an Excel file to record my decisions.
Realize – this is about personal power/ego, supporting lyric “I’ve got the power to hypnotize.”
Rejection – another song about personal power/ego, there’s acting the big I am all over this song, supporting lyric “Better keep me on your side, or I’ll find you in the night.”
Shot In The Dark – this is about sex, supporting lyric is all of them, but especially “a long night pumping.” When I first begun listening to AC/DC I may have been naïve enough to think this was about blowing up balloons but now I know better.
Through The Mists Of Time – this is about nostalgia/sex, we have a new category here with nostalgia. Some of AC/DC’s first dalliances are likely to have had knee replacements now. A sobering thought. We’d all love to go back to the Saturday nights of our late teens and early twenties, when the world was shiny and new for us and our groins throbbed to the beat of an un-ignorable drum. Supporting lyric “Through the mists of time, And the painted faces, Looking so divine.”
Kick You When You’re Down – this is about sex, supporting lyric “Why do you kick me outta bed?” It reminds me of “Shot Down In Flames” a bit.
Witch’s Spell – another one about sex, this song is from a long line of rock songs about the dark arts of women and their ability to be all enchanting and that. Supporting lyric “Got a tale to tell, Caught in a witch’s spell. Crystal balls and an almanac.” It’s a little known fact that AC/DC once received a yearlong forecast of what would be their sexual fortunes from a highly specialised mystic. It was called the almanackers and all copies have sadly been lost.
Demon Fire – this song seems to be about a sort of sexy criminal, so I’m going to categorise it as sex and crime. Supporting crime lyric “Give me no quarrel, lives of crime”, supporting sex lyric “Demon fire is all you desire.”
Wild Reputation –this is about crime, supporting lyrics “On a hot summer day, Dollar bills come your way, Somebody robbed the bank.”
No Man’s Land – this is about war, supporting lyric “Fight and live another day.”
Systems Down – usually when you hear going down in a hard rock song you conclude swiftly what it’s about, and I see no need to go on a longer mental journey, this is a sex song, supporting lyric “This furnace is about to blast.”
Money Shot – could this be about a COVID-19 vaccine and the significant scientific challenges to be addressed? Nah, it’s about sex again. Phew! What we want from AC/DC is escapism, we’ll read The Lancet, BMJ or New Scientist if we want to know about vaccines.
Supporting lyric “Lady, just try the money shot (Best taken when hot).”
Code Red – I can’t tell if this is about sex or war so I’m categorizing it as both. Supporting lyric “Weapons ready.” I think the lyric “Sleeping on a waterfall” might be nonsense but necessary because it rhymes.
In conclusion we have 6.5 songs about sex, 2 about personal power/ego, 1.5 about war, 1.5 about crime and 0.5 about nostalgia.
My initial predictions were about half right. I underestimated the amount of sex AC/DC would spaff out at us in this musical offering.
One of the best things about this AC/DC album is that it’s an AC/DC album. There’s no new direction, no attempt to do something different, because when you got it so right so long ago you don’t have to change.
Here is the updated pie chart of AC/DC studio albums by song topic;
AC/DC have enlivened our rather lacklustre 2020 for which I thank them. Will we get to see AC/DC live in 2021 or 2022? I really hope so. Many of their classic album covers are now available as jigsaws but as an experience it won’t beat live music. Maybe their next album will feature a song about doing one of their jigsaws?
I’m in a good mood today because I’ve just bought tickets for Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons – Play Motorhead!
I’m sure this’ll be a tasty gig, now back to what Snag has masticated of late. He’s had some Irish cream fudge, some sticky toffee pudding flavour Crunch Creams (all the Crunch Creams are good, but these are superb and sadly limited edition), he’s had some Rocky biscuits and some Curiously Cinnamon Churros. Join me next time to see if he eats anything even faintly healthy!