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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Back on December 16th, Lisa, my mother and I visited Newhaven Fort in unsuitable footwear and took part in a recreation of the Dieppe Raid by buying sweets from a French bloke with bees. When I subsequently failed in my attempt to secure ownership of said fort, due to the outrageous selection policy of Lewes District Council, which involved not handing over custody of big guns to people like me, I felt the whole experience had been a waste of time. But oh no...

I've had an e-mail this morning from Dieppe. It's entirely in French (which naturally I speak like a native) (a native of Britain, that is) and it's sent to inform me that due to my close ties with the French port, and willingness to buy their confectionary, they've taken the liberty of adding this blog to "notre annuaire, L'annuaire de Dieppe et des Environs". Or to put it another way, The Directory of Dieppe & its Surroundings. They've listed me under 'English Blogs & Friends' (I'm currently the only friend they've got), where they describe me as "writer Brighton". Which is short, but to the point.

I'm not sure if this entitles me to the freedom of Dieppe, but I will be e-mailing back to ask for more sweets.

Mmm... bekömmlich.Anyhoo, being a discerning individual who shops only in the most exclusive stores, I went to Lidl last night. They do foreign cat food which is half the price of its English equivalent, and unlike Lisa, who wouldn't touch Lidl food with a bargepole, my cat can't tell the difference. So I was standing at the checkout with two bags of Opticat and some shaving foam, when the girl on the till decided to go to the toilet (not in front of me, but in a back room). So to pass the time until she returned, I began to idly look at a nearby display of seeds from Germany. Which is where I found the packet on the left.

I was naturally drawn to them by the fact that they look like little pies, with a hint of muffin and a suggestion of fairy cakes covered with custard. I felt hungry just looking at them. And that was before reading the back, which states "The fruit flesh is tender, delicious and easily digestible". So I bought them for 29p, assuming that I'd find out what they were (courtesy of Mr Google) when I got home.

But therein lies the mystery. I've found a few German websites which mention them, but none which tell me what they are (although one describes the flesh as "tenderly delicate and very bekömmlich"). So are they sweet or savoury, do I put them in a salad or a fruit bowl, and more to the point, can I grow them in my windowbox and make them into pumpkin pie? Fortunately I've got three months to find out, because the seeds can't be sown until April.

But that aside, today is 'Annual Free Day' at The Royal Pavilion where, to celebrate its purchase by the town of Brighton in 1850, admission charges are waived for one day a year. As the website says, "Come along and luxuriate in the extravagant interiors without paying a penny". I don't need any more persuasion than that.