Taking Care Of Business

Is it just me or is the time flying by at the moment? May be that is because I am back to being nice and busy again alongside the fact that things are opening up and more events are now taking place. The month of August just seemed to be a blur. The more things I do the more energy I seem to have and of course the more comfortable I am being around people again. As I am back working in London and going to the football I have had to just get on with it. And although I still wear a mask when I am inside anywhere it all feels pretty normal and natural.

Neil Quigley

I had a brilliant time last weekend. My girlfriend and I got invited ages ago by a group of friends to go to the Pub in the Park event in Chiswick. We decided to spend two nights in the hotel just around the corner from the park where it was taking place. I was working in London on the Friday so I got the tube and met Lynda at the hotel. She had already checked in and scoped the room informing me that we were a towel short. I managed to collect one on the way up from reception. I did somehow resist the urge to do a room service joke as I arrived with it.

Neil Quigley

Now I am Coeliac I really have to plan what I am doing for food and where I am eating in advance. Coeliac UK supply a very handy phone app that informs you of any accredited or recommended restaurants nearby to where you are. I checked this a few weeks ago and found a Cote’s Brasserie about a ten minute walk away from where we were staying. They happened to be fully accredited by Coeliac UK, which means they have a good selection of gluten free meals and take all the necessary steps to avoid cross contamination.

We arrived and they had a great table for us by the window with plenty of space around us. I identified myself as a Coeliac on arrival so when we had sat down they gave me my own special gluten free menu. I had my own waiter to take my food order. It was fantastic, we had three courses and my food came out at the same time as the others, plus it did come with a gluten free flag stuck in it, which I really liked. It meant that I could just relax and enjoy my food as I could tell they were taking the right precautions and doing all the right things.

We had a lovely meal washed down with a few glasses of a nice red wine. The Staff were brilliant. After dessert we strolled back to the hotel just before midnight expecting to get one more drink at the bar. To our surprise when we got there it was already shut, so we had to go straight to bed. Mind you as the Saturday was meant to be the main day that might actually have been a bit of a blessing in disguise. It did mean we got a decent night’s sleep. Lynda and I did not get up particularly early choosing to conserve our energy for the long day ahead.

Neil’s Food

Pub in the Park had two sessions an afternoon and an evening one. We had tickets for both. The first one opened at eleven thirty so we got there at about midday. It was really well organised and set up. The event is the brainchild of the chef Tom Kerridge. He has been doing these events across the summer for a quite a few years now, when regulations allow of course. There are lots of food and drink producers with their own stalls. This was right up Lynda’s street so within ten minutes of being there she had already purchased some tea liqueur and decided she was going to buy some spices.

We had a good walk round the entire site to get our bearings and work out where everything was. Throughout the day there were chef demonstrations. The one that Lynda wanted to see was due to be on at half past twelve, so we rushed to the area to see him in his advertised slot but there were two different chefs on stage instead much to her disappointment. The man she wanted to see was Atul Kochhar so to console ourselves we went to his pop up restaurant and each had one of his dishes. Luckily for me he had a few gluten free meals. Both of which I tried in the end and both of which were amazing. I definitely need to go to one of his restaurants.

We then found our way to the cider bar and had a pint each. Then we discovered a cheese stall that was giving out free samples. It would have been rude not to try some. In fact it was so good Lynda got a selection of them for us to enjoy at a future cheese and wine night. Next to the cheese there was a rum company who were also offering a sample of their product. It just so happened that they were based down the road from where I live. Their drink was really nice, so we purchased some of that to. As well as food and drink the other thing pubs are sometimes known for is live music, so there was a stage that had a few bands playing during each of the sessions.

Neil Quigley

We saw Nerina Pallot do her set. She was excellent. After that we managed to grab ourselves some prosecco to enjoy. Next it was time to try some more dishes from another couple of the selected chef’s restaurants. I had an amazing beef creation followed by Rick Stein’s black cuttlefish risotto. It tasted alright but I was a bit put off by the colour, as in general if something is black on your plate it is because it is burnt. There were a couple of cocktail bars there so we tried a Pepino Russo. It was a surprisingly refreshing drink that did have a bit of a kick to it.

The headline act for the afternoon session was The Feeling. I have been a fan of the band for years but this was the first time that I had seen them live. Now I appreciate that I have not seen any live music for quite a while but I thought they were brilliant, they sounded ace. They played all their big hits, their latest single and the title track from the musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” that was written by the group’s lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells. As we were watching them I managed to have some ice-cream plus Lynda found us some cans of this alcoholic water, which was a great way to stay hydrated while still getting a bit tipsy.

Just when I thought I could not love The Feeling anymore they came back on for the encore and did The Buggles song Video Killed the Radio Star. I had that as my mobile phone ringtone for about five years. I really like that song and it had the park bouncing, possibly helped by all the great food and drink options. That bought that session to an end so we walked back to the hotel to drop off all the items we had bought and then had a drink in the hotel bar while we waited for the evening session to begin.

The Feeling

We strolled back to the park for about six o’clock. On arrival it was obvious that this session was busier than the earlier one. We took the executive decision to have some more food at this point, which was again exquisite. To wash dinner down we found a new cocktail bar and had a couple of their specials.

I then noticed that the chefs that were on when we expected Atul Kochhar earlier were listed as being on that evening. So I wondered if they had swapped slots. We went to the demo area and happily I was right he was on stage doing a cooking demonstration showing us how to make the dish that I had actually tried earlier in the day.

Indian Style Chicken Dish

I was pleased that Lynda got to see him in action as she had been a bit disappointed when he was not on earlier. It was then time for another drink and I discovered a Cocktail Bar that were doing Pina Coladas. That used to be my holiday treat drink so I channelled my inner Derek Trotter and ordered one of them.

On the stage at this point were The Cuban Brothers. I had not heard of them before and if I am honest I was not sure what I was watching. There was a lot of just singing along to songs, dancing and a little bit of nudity. It was one of the strangest acts I have seen for a while. They were certainly unique I will give them that!

Cocktail Time

The headline act for the evening session was The Kaiser Chiefs. I had seen them once before at Glastonbury in 2007. They are a great live band and I think Ricky Wilson is one of the best front men in the business. You cannot fault his energy. He certainly puts a shift in when he is up there. Obviously they did all the big hits and we had a nice sing-song.

It was so great to experience live music again and see lots of people enjoying themselves and dancing in unison. It was a beautiful day, good food, nice drinks, brilliant live music and great company. We rounded things off with one more drink back at the hotel before bed, a fantastic event and a wonderful weekend.

The Kaiser Chiefs

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend as the weather was nice Lynda did a barbeque for us. Well she had one in the afternoon and saved some of the food for me so I could have it when I got home from the Spurs game. She had done a corn on the cob and served it using these pin things that I had never seen before.

It turns out they were small corn holders. You stick them in each end of the cob and they have plastic handles that you hold to eat the corn. I had no idea they existed but they are a real game changer when it comes to eating corn. It makes it much easier and saves you dropping it all over the place.

Corn on the Cob

Around a year ago Pretty Green brought out an Elvis Presley TCB range of clothing. As a big Elvis fan this peaked my interest but all of the items were quite expensive. About three weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a message to say one of these jackets was on a well known auction site. I was watching it all week and then the night before it was meant to close I put in a bid. The auction was due to finish in the early hours of the morning. I woke up randomly ten minutes before it was due to end. I noticed I had been outbid so I then put one more bid in and fell back to sleep. When my alarm went off I woke up to an email telling me the jacket was mine.

It is a denim jacket with a TCB lightning flash on the front. A special patch on the arm and then in the lining of it there is a copy of the TCB Oath in Elvis’s handwriting. This is it “More self respect, more respect for fellow man. Respect for fellow students & techniques. Body conditioning, mental conditioning, meditation for calming & willing of the mind & body. Sharpen your skills increases mental awareness for all those who might choose a new outlook and personal philosophy freedom from constipation.” I mean in general I do not think it is bad advice. I love the jacket and I will be wearing it a lot during the next year.

Neil Quigley

It was my mum’s birthday last Monday. I managed to actually get to see her on the day, which was great. She is also an Elvis fan so for her present this year I am taking her along to see The Elvis Tribute Artist World Tour at The Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury next month. It will be a night out that we will both enjoy.

The biggest gift you can give is spending time and doing fun things with loved ones as far as I am concerned. She had a lovely time on the day itself and I did also get her some perfume. As I always feel it is unfair if a person does not have an actual present to unwrap from me on their special day.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Tottenham Hotspur’s start to the season has exceeded my initial expectation that is for sure. After the first three games we have maximum points and are top of the league without conceding any goals. Add to that the fact that we are playing more positive and attacking football this year, there is a lot to be pleased and optimistic about. As we now come out of the first international break of the season we have a tricky away game at Crystal Palace today. Never an easy place to go but hopefully we can grab all three points and keep the momentum going.

Another pleasing factor is that Arsenal are currently at the bottom of the Premier League table having scored no goals, which of course does amuse me greatly. I do not think that The Gunners will go down and I do not believe we will win the league but at the moment I do intend to fully enjoy both teams’ current positions. Still a long tough season ahead but I am really enjoying being back in the stadium and seeing live football again. I will be delighted if we are still top of the league going in to the next international break in about a month’s time. But as the old cliche’ goes let us just take one game at a time starting with todays. Come on you Spurs!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am quite excited as it looks like next weekend I will be going to the Isle of Wight Festival. That is an event I have never been to before at a place I have not visited since I was about ten years old on a primary school trip, so it will be fun to rediscover it. If it happens I will tell you all about it next time we speak.

A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

School Friend Reunited

For me at least now things do seem like they are opening up quite a bit. I am mixing with more and more people and starting to do a lot of the things that I did before this whole pandemic thing started. The only real difference being I wear a mask inside places and I still use hand sanitiser everywhere I go. To me both of those things seem a very small price to pay to see friends and family, while doing all I can to try to keep everyone safe. I am also still doing regular home Covid tests to make sure I am not putting anyone at risk.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Two Saturday’s ago, I went with my girlfriend to her Auntie’s 75th Birthday gathering. It was being held at her cousin’s house near Bournemouth as a garden party during the afternoon. This was the first time that I was going to meet a lot of her extended family so I was a bit nervous as we headed down there. Lynda offered to drive as she does enjoy driving and by her own admission is not generally a great passenger! I did offer but if I am honest I did not put up much of a fight plus she did know where we were going as it was her family that we were visiting.

We had a long journey down there as it seems that everybody in the country is holidaying in the South this year. As it is I think fair to say slightly more complicated to travel abroad at the moment. After our epic trek we arrived there nearly an hour after we had planned to. We managed to get parked in the drive way of the house, which at a big family get together is quite an achievement. We then proceeded to the back garden where it was taking place. Her cousin had a very long garden that backed on to a river, so they had set up all the food and drink on tables there and supplied chairs for everyone.

I always love being near the water I do not know why but I do find it calming and relaxing. I got introduced to all of her relatives and as ever I did manage to work the “room” and at the very least said hello to each of them. Everyone was really nice so it was a great afternoon in the sun just chatting away while enjoying a few bottles of gluten free beer. As I have to be really careful what I eat at such events now Lynda very kindly baked me some sausage rolls and made a gluten free chocolate cake.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Due to the fact that she knows the importance of any contamination issues with what I eat she was checking how all the cakes were being served to make sure mine had its own knife. I say mine but it was of course available for everyone it was just the only one that I could eat. I made sure I got my piece first one of the benefits of knowing the chef so well and stood nearby as all the cakes were served. As it turned out the chocolate one was the most popular due to the fact that it did taste amazing and because of Lynda’s reputation within the family of being a great cook!

It just so happens’ that one of her uncle’s and cousin are also both on gluten free diets to, so it was nice to be around fellow restricted food eaters. As it was the first time they had met me, I may have over used the yes I do actually exist and I am real joke, every time that I was introduced to somebody new, but I think I got away with it. We stayed there for about four hours before it was time to head home and brave the traffic. Thankfully it was a much easier trip home.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am still really good friends with my very first friend from Primary School. We met when we were four years old hit it off straight away and we are happily still mates now. Thanks to the pandemic we had not seen each other properly for well over a year. He is married to a fantastic lady and they have two lovely children so it is always a joy to spend time in their company. They have a holiday home in Dorset which is in the middle of nowhere yet only about half an hour from the coast. I have been there a few times before but while Lynda and I were on the way down there I worked out that somehow I had not been there for fifteen years. Where does the time go?

We travelled down after seven o’clock on the Friday evening and happily the traffic was not too bad. As it happened it was more or less the same journey we had completed the previous weekend. Both of the trips were booked separately of each other it was just pure coincidence that geographically they were so close to each other. When we arrived my mate’s wife had prepared a gluten free pizza and chips for us. They had let their daughter stay up a little bit later to see us, which was great. Obviously we had a lot of catching up to do so somehow we stayed up chatting and drinking until gone two in the morning.

Needless to say we were not up too early the next day but we did have a crucial fry up brunch to set us up nicely for the afternoon. They took us on a trip to Swanage somewhere I had not been to before. To get there we went past Corfe Castle, I quite like looking at old ruins and imagining the battles and the excess that possibly went on in them. We found somewhere to park then walked down to the seafront. It was wonderful to see lots of people there out and about enjoying themselves at the seaside in the sun.

Swanage

We took a stroll along the Promenade and when we got to the far side as it was a nice sunny day we found a table outside a pub at which to have a glass of Pimms. After that we then went into an old school arcade that had lots of the 10p and 2p machines plus a few fruit machines. My mate’s daughter is six years old and she loves it in there because as well as pennies you can win little gifts. Lynda won her a pot of slime and her dad got her a keyring. On the other games you could win tickets that can be exchanged for gifts. The four adults between us won a thousand tickets, which of course we gave to the little girl to get herself some extra little items, which of course she was delighted with.

After the arcade she convinced her dad and then me to go for a paddle in the sea with her. I was not exactly dressed for the beach. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt so I took off my trainers and socks then rolled my jeans up as high as they would go and joined the other two on the sand. Luckily the beach was not too pebbly. I am not sure how but somehow my mate and I ended up testing out the water first. Initially it was freezing however the longer you stayed in the warmer it seemed to get. I was trying to be careful not to get caught by any big waves to avoid getting my jeans wet. My friend and his daughter were not as concerned about that and both got their shorts wet.

Neil Quigley

After our adventure in the sea we went back to their cottage and had a barbeque. We had planned to eat outside but as my mate was cooking it started to rain, so we went inside. The great thing about having been friends for so long is that we are so at ease and relaxed in each other’s company that we can just chat and laugh for hours. That is exactly what we did while enjoying a few drinks until once again the early hours of the next day. He did introduce me to mead, a drink that I had not tried before. It was nice but I have a very sweet tooth and it was even a bit too much for me.

I have not kicked a football for a while now but my mate’s daughter wanted me to play football with her in the back garden. I did not need asking twice. We had a good run around and when I had tired her out I then continued for a bit to test my keep up game. I used to be able to do over a hundred as a kid. In fact I basically spent most of my childhood playing football. As it turns out I am still pretty good and in case you think that I am lying. There is video evidence! All I am saying is if Tottenham Hotspur are short this season I am up for it!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

After the sea air from the previous day we treated ourselves to a bit of a lie in. We got up and had breakfast in the back garden. At the start of the first lockdown to help with one of his daughters home school projects my mate actually bred a few chickens from eggs using an incubator that he made himself. Out of the four eggs he had two of them survived and are now just part of the family. They are allowed free roam of the garden. It was strangely relaxing to have the chickens pecking around your feet while enjoying your morning cup of tea. Plus they supplied us some amazing eggs for Breakfast.

As it was a nice sunny day my friend offered to take us to Poole for a walk along the sea front. The place was packed with people smiling and enjoying themselves, which was good to see. We parked up and had a slow walk along the path above the shore. They have a place there where they make very high quality yachts. There were a few impressive looking vessels moored outside it. The kind you would need a very big lotto win to afford.

On the way back to the car my girlfriend spotted a sign for a shop that said they sold gluten free ice-cream cones, so we headed straight there for some traditional seaside refreshments. I went to order first as I wanted to double check that the claim on the sign was correct. As soon as I said I was Coeliac the lovely lady serving behind the counter reassured me the cones were gluten free and told me what flavours I could safely have. Plus she took all of the relevant steps to avoid cross contamination.

I had a mint chocolate chip one, which was amazing! The place was called Truly Scrumptious and it is just off the seafront, down a side street. I would certainly recommend any fellow Coeliac or gluten free people in Poole give it a go. The service and ice-cream were both equally great. During two days at the seaside I managed to do pretty much all of the expected activities, which was very pleasing.

Neil Quigley

We went back to their cottage for a quick cup of tea and to get our stuff prior to the journey home. Bearing in mind more people than ever are holidaying in the United Kingdom this year the journey was not as bad as it could have been. It was a fantastic weekend spending time with my oldest friend and it was brilliant that he and his family could finally meet Lynda. The plan of course is not to leave it as long until we see them again, all other factors willing of course. 

Neil Quigley

I was at Tottenham’s first game of the season when we beat last year’s Premier League Champions Manchester City. I am a very optimistic person but before the game if I am honest I was not massively confident. It was a great performance from the team and good to see some of the younger players really step up and put their stamp on things.

The atmosphere was electric and we Spurs fans were in very good voice. After all that has happened during the last eighteen months it did seem strange at first to be in a stadium with that many people. But I of course took all the relevant precautions and by the end of the match it felt quite normal again. Plus obviously you do not rub shoulders with all sixty-thousand there anyway. This week we got the brilliant news that Harry Kane is remaining with the club. I am delighted by this and as the song says “He’s One Of Our Own”.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

I am working back at the BBC for the next six months as part of the scheduling team for BBC Radio 4. This is an excellent opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to contributing to and being part of such a great national station.

Neil Quigley

Next weekend I am going to Pub in the Park in Chiswick. It is a food, drink and live music event that I am looking really forward to. I am hoping for some good weather. I mean what is not to like with that combination of things offer. I will tell you what it was like next time we speak.

Neil Quigley

A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

The Time Warp

It does seem that things are still looking pretty good with the virus transmission rate across the United Kingdom, which is great news, I think. It shows I believe that despite things opening up people are on the whole being sensible and considerate to each other when going about their business, which can only be a good thing moving forward I hope. It means we can do all the fun stuff we used to and regularly see our family and friends of course.

I am starting to go out a lot more now returning to all the things that were previously restricted that are now fully open. That said when I am somewhere there are larger groups of people I am still trying not to get too close to everyone. Limited contact with a lot of people you do not know feels like the right approach still for the time being at least. To be fair even before the pandemic I was not that keen on having strangers invade my personal space anyway, so it is really just a continuation of that philosophy.

Neil Quigley

A couple of Sunday’s ago my girlfriend and I went to an outside comedy gig in St Albans. It was during the afternoon at Verulamium Park in the city. It was part of this year’s St Albans Comedy Garden event. We got there just after the gates had opened. It was all very civilised and well organised. There were lots of street food stalls and plenty of space to sit down or stand. Sadly for me I could not see any obviously gluten free options, so I made do with a cup of tea and a packet of crisps. I am so rock and roll nowadays!

The food and drink area was behind the seating and the stage much like an outdoor theatre set up. As this was one of the first events for us post Covid I had booked two end seats so only one of us would have to sit next to a stranger. Lynda offered to be the one to do that with only a small amount of pressure from me. It was a brilliant line up. I was a bit concerned when as we took our seats it started to rain but happily it was just a quick shower and it remained dry and sunny once it had passed over.

St Albans Comedy Garden

The compere was the excellent Andrew Maxwell. He was in the jungle on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here a few years ago. I have also seen him host a couple of comedy programmes for Radio 4. He was great as ever. The man has a ridiculous amount of knowledge of so many different things, which he expertly displayed while talking to the audience. That is very much the role of the host of any stand up show. He was telling us about some of the Zoom and Drive In gigs he had done, which although a good idea under the restrictions were a bit of a nightmare for the performers it is fair to say.

First on was the wonderful Maisie Adams. I have been a fan of hers for a while but this was the first time that I had managed to catch her live. She was fantastic with her energetic style and stories. Already a regular on Mock the Week I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of her on television over the next couple of years. When her set ended we had the first of the two intervals. I took the opportunity to use some of the facilities and I was particularly impressed with the toilet monitor whose job was to direct people to empty Portaloo’s. It did keep it all moving along quicker.

Neil Quigley

The second comedian was the brilliant Rhys James, who I like and have seen a few times before. As it happens he was from the area and had been to the park where the comedy was on several school trips. He was very funny as usual despite the fact he still only looks about twelve when he is actually thirty! Once he had finished, yes you have guessed right, it was time for another interval the last one before our headline act. It was a decent sized set up. I reckon there were at least five hundred people in the audience. However we were of course all outside, so it felt perfectly safe.

The last comedian on was the hilarious Dara O’Briain who I have seen before and who is always great. He is simply a very funny and clever man. He had just had a knee operation so he had to do the gig sat down but that did not dilute or change anything. In fact I am not sure why more stand ups do not sit down. You can still tell the jokes but use up much less energy. Dara is a great story teller and I am a real sucker for an Irish accent it just makes everything sound slightly cheekier to me. It was a great event with top comics doing what they do best showing off and telling jokes. It was just nice to see some live comedy again.

Neil Quigley

Last Saturday night I returned to the theatre for the first time since I saw Shakespeare’s Taming of The Shrew at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at The Globe in March 2020. I went to Milton Keynes to see the latest touring version of The Rocky Horror Show. Therefore it is fair to say there was quite the culture gap between my previous and most recent theatre trips. Mind you both of them did involve some odd costumes and at least a few glasses of wine.

Lynda and I went with a group of friends. We booked the tickets for it towards the end of last year in the hope it would be all fine by now. We all agreed that we would dress up for the occasion. This is quite a common thing with this show. Lots of the audience do this for every performance. We were all staying together in Northampton for the night with a minibus booked to transport us to and from the theatre. I had organised two potential costumes but I was struggling to make up my mind which one I should wear.

Rocky Horror Show

We all met up about three in the afternoon. The plan was to have a few drinks and then head down to the local pub. I was still not sure which outfit to choose but by this point we had all had a couple of glasses of Prosecco, which may have aided my decision making. We got ready and I decided to go for it and dress up as Frank N Furter. Using the outfit I ordered online from a well-known website with the addition of a green coat I had bought separately. I felt I at least needed to try to preserve some modesty in the pub and on the way there and back.

We arrived at the local pub to strange confused looks from the bar staff. It is fair to say we stuck out a little bit compared to the rest of the customers in there. I had some crisps while everybody else had a meal of some description. I just did not really fancy the gluten free options on the menu there. It was then time to get the minibus to the theatre in Milton Keynes. On arrival there was a bit of a queue to get in as you had to supply a Covid Certificate if you were double jabbed as we all were or a negative test if you had not been vaccinated. I am perfectly fine with this level of checks before entry. Plus now at the theatre more people were dressed up like we were than in the pub!

I have seen the show a few times before although this is the first time that I have dressed up. This production was very good. The whole cast were great. Ore Oduba who won Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago was playing Brad and Phillip Franks who was in The Darling Buds of May as Catherine Zeta-Jones’s husband was the Narrator. It was a fun evening. The audience got involved shouting out the long established heckles and we got the chance to dance the Time Warp twice. It was definitely the first time and will probably be the last time that I do it while wearing a corset and stockings!

The Rocky Horror Show

It is fair to say that Lynda does most of the cooking at the weekend. But a couple of Saturday’s ago it was rightly my turn. Now previously when it was my turn to cook I would have just got a takeaway but now I am Coeliac that can be slightly more difficult. I took it all very seriously and decided to test myself and cook a dish that I had never made before. I found one on the gluten free section of the BBC Good Food Guide that I liked the look of and thought that I could do.

I printed it off and took it with me to buy all the ingredients that I needed from my local supermarket. I am not saying that I am not usually that elaborate with my cooking but I did not have anything in that I needed so basically had to buy the whole recipe. I must admit I was a bit nervous about it. She is a great cook and makes amazing food so I did not want my effort to be rubbish. I made Satay Sweet Potato Curry from scratch. I followed the instructions to the letter and served it up with some rice.

Happily if I do say so myself it was very nice. It tasted fine and more or less looked like the picture on the recipe. I am declaring it a total triumph. It did all get eaten and nobody was ill, which I believe does make it a big success. In case you think that has given me the bug for cooking, then think again I am more than happy to wait another six months for my next turn. Anyway for dessert Lynda had made me a gluten free chocolate cake, which tasted amazing and completely blew away my main course. I am perfectly fine with that by the way; you have to love the sweet stuff!

Satay Sweet Potato Curry

That same night after we had enjoyed my attempt at being Jamie Oliver we had some online tickets for one of the Mischief Theatre Company’s Movie Night’s. We saw one ages’ ago in the middle of the longest lockdown. It was brilliant, so we thought we would watch another one. I am a huge fan of their work and have seen all of their theatre productions except one. And I intend to put that right when it reopens later in the year. I like their style and what they have all achieved together. They have basically taken this brand from the Edinburgh Festival to Broadway. That is sensational and does not happen very often.

The Movie Night show is an improvisation of a film that is performed for a live audience and also for one who watch it at home digitally. It features many of the original members of the group, so they know each other really well and are also comfortable enough to really try to put each other off and mess around a lot. It is all done in a similar style to the Show Stoppers Musicals in that they have a director who can stop and start the action and add in extra elements if they wish to. They also act as the link between the actors and the audience.

It was another fun if not slightly strange performance. They did a Zombie style movie where in the end there was no real hero, which is a little odd for those sorts of films. But it was funny and amusing. I always enjoy their stuff. I have been luckily enough to speak to most of them at the end of their live shows and they all seem like decent people, who just really enjoy what they do. They are still trying to come up with new shows and ideas to keep themselves fresh and fun. That should be applauded. It is nice to see good people doing well but as far as I can tell not letting success change them.

Mischief Theatre Company
Mischief Theatre Company

My football team Tottenham Hotspur held an open training session for members at our stadium two weeks ago. I had not been there since February last year, so I decided to go as I thought it might be a good re-introduction to the place. I opted to drive which I have not done to get there before. Parking is not that simple in that area so it did take me quite a while to find somewhere to leave the car. In the end I found a car park via a website called Your Parking Space. It was only about a twenty minute walk from the ground and it was actually reasonably priced, unlike some of the other options that I looked at.

I found the car parking space that was actually in a Tesco. I then popped into said shop to get a protein bar for the walk. I thought I might need the energy just in case Spurs invited me to join in with the training session. I got into the ground using the new digital ticketing system via my phone. It was great but a bit weird to be back there. Most people, myself included were wearing our masks while inside on the concourse. But once we stepped out into the stadium itself we were nicely spread out so it was masks off to enjoy the sun and wait for the players to come out.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

They had the Spurs TV crew there interviewing a few people and explaining how the morning was going to work. Then the squad all appeared ready to be put through their paces by the new boss Nuno Espirito Santo and his coaches. I found it quite interesting seeing the players warm up and watching the drills that they do. They trained for about ninety minutes finishing the session playing seven a side matches on a very small pitch but with full size goals.

They were still working on their fitness of course but most of the exercises seemed to involve a football. That was not always the case during my pre-season days.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

It was great to be back in our magnificent stadium and to see the players in person again. Obviously Harry Kane was not there and he may never be back there in a white shirt. We will just have to wait and see. The event was all done by one in the afternoon. There was only a limited crowd so it felt quite safe and relaxing for me bearing in mind that is the biggest gathering of people I have been with since the restrictions ended.

The big test for me will be tomorrow when our season starts against Manchester City with a capacity crowd. I fear it might feel a bit odd at first but I am sure I will soon become very comfortable with this normal situation once again.

Neil Quigley

I have no idea how we will fair this season. The two Manchester clubs are going to be hard to beat and as much as it pains me to say it Chelsea are going to be a force in the league, I feel. I still think that the squad we have with a few new additions should have enough about it to challenge for the final Champions League place at least but we will see.

If we can get a good start and get some momentum going that would be nice. That is something we have failed to do for the last three years. As a fan I am looking forward to the excitement, the highs and lows and just being back at matches again cheering on my team. Come on you Spurs!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Taste Of Life

We are now in a position then in the United Kingdom where most of the initial Covid restrictions have been lifted. It does look like some others may be implemented in some areas going forward however. I have been starting to go out a bit more and mix with a larger group of people. Personally I still plan to keep wearing a mask when inside public places and on public transport as that seems to me to be the respectful thing to do currently for people who have immune system issues. I also try to maintain a degree of social distance from people where I am able to.

Obviously things have only been “open” for nearly two weeks so it is a bit early to fully process the impact of more people mixing and the overseas travel increase on the transmission of the virus. The actual infection rates are not as bad as feared, which I hope means that we may be hitting the vaccination tipping point. Rather than people just ignoring the NHS App and may be not getting tested. If we are lucky the vaccine may not only be stopping people dying but also stopping us catching it and passing it on so easily. That will obviously help to keep further infection rates under control and mean we will be able to live with it and control it like with the Spanish Flu ultimately and of course Polio.

Neil Quigley

Two weeks ago today I went to Taste of London for the first time. My girlfriend who is very much into anything food related has been each time it has taken place for about the last eight years. This is basically her Latitude. She organised the tickets and we went with a couple of her friends. It was held in Regents Park in London. This meant that I had to get on a train for the first time since March 2020. It did feel a bit weird initially when I got on but I had my mask on and we found a seat for two at the back of a carriage so nobody could sit behind us. It was only a forty minute journey and in the end it felt quite normal.

We arrived at Euston and met some of her friends there to walk to Regents Park. It was a lovely hot and sunny day perfect for walking around a park area eating and drinking. As it was so warm and I have no hair I very sensibly remembered to bring a hat to wear. Sadly for me I have to have one all year round to keep my head cool or warm depending on the season, I have still not found one that suits me yet. Hopefully I will one day! We arrived at the event entrance and had to wait for the final two people in our group. It was all nicely spaced out and very well organised.

The final members of our party arrived and we went in. We had got VIP tickets so the first thing we did was head to our special area to enjoy our glass of champagne. It was great. We had our own table and found a map to start planning our food journey. Lynda as she is far too good to me went through the menus and highlighted all the gluten free meals that I could have. Happily there were quite a lot of them. Once we had finished the bubbles we set off in search of our first items. As part of our ticket deal we had three vouchers each to use to exchange for dishes.

Neil Quigley

My first purchase was a vegetable curry, which was amazing. There are lots of different food stalls run by different restaurants from all over the country. They serve you a portion in a paper plate or bowl along with wooden cutlery. We decided we needed to wash our first food choices down with a Tequila based drink, so my girlfriend and I both had a Margarita. I forgot that it comes served with a bit of salt around the rim and ended up taking a big mouthful of that as I began to drink it. Once I got over that it was actually quite nice.

For my next sample I had scrambled egg with cottage cheese, some avocado and bacon. It was delicious. I am not sure I have ever seen eggs that golden. As eating is thirsty work we stumbled across a stall that was selling Gluten Free Beer called Jubel. It seemed rude not to try a pint, so we did. They make fruit flavoured beer so I tried their Peach one, which was satisfyingly refreshing. We then decided to go back to the VIP section for a bit. As we got there they were doing a hot sauce tasting so we joined in with that.

Scrambled Egg

We sat down and they gave us four small pots each with a carrot in them so you could use that to taste them. Pot one was Tamarind it was nice with a slight kick. Then we had some Ketchup which was very nice I could easily have that on anything at a barbecue. Next there was a curry sauce which again was tasty but had a delayed warmth to it. Finally it was this company’s Wild Horse Sauce. When you first put it on your tongue it had lots of flavour, then about thirty seconds later you just get this intense heat in your mouth.

If I have anything too hot I sweat from a certain spot on the top of my head and this was now happening. They then told us they had added mayonnaise to the sample they had given us to cool it down a bit. I would not like to try the neat version. It would blow your head off. That said they were tasty and we got to have a chat to the guy who created them all and despite their heat he did not seem like a sociopath! After all that spice we decided to cool down with a pint of cider.

Margarita

You buy Taste of London tickets in sessions and they only last for four hours. I thought that would give you plenty of time to try all that you want but it soon flies by. We all still had vouchers left so it was time to hunt down more food. Next I tried some Garlic King Prawns which were fantastic accompanied by some Plantain fries that were equally as good. We decided to wash our latest courses down with a Pimms. Well it was a lovely summer’s day and we were in a park, so it just made sense. I like to round off any food session with something sweet so I managed to find a Gluten Free cookie stand and treated myself to a few of them.

Then our session time expired and it was time to leave. We did think about having a few drinks in London but in the end decided just to get the train back. Mind you when we got home as the weather was still so nice we sat in the garden and continued drinking until gone ten o’clock. I really enjoyed the event and look forward to going to it again next year. It is good fun and all the food there is sensational. I will admit I did feel a little jaded the next day but then again I must have tried some food and in particular drink from every imaginable category, great day out though, I would certainly recommend it.

Neil Quigley

I am slowly getting around to catching up with friends who I have not seen for ages. The other week I went and saw a mate of mine who lives in Milton Keynes, who I had not seen for eighteen months. We met at his place and exchanged the Christmas presents that we had not been able to give each other at the time. Great minds think a-like as we had both bought t-shirts relating to the football teams that we support. We decided to go and get some food. As I am now Coeliac finding somewhere to eat out can be tricky. But we had both been to a Frankie and Benny’s near his place previously and they are on the accredited list for people with my condition.

We ended up walking up and down the place where we thought the restaurant was without being able to find it. My mate then asked a security guard who informed us that we were in the right place but that it had shut about a year ago. This posed a bit of an issue as we needed to find somewhere near by that fulfilled my needs. I went on the Coeliac UK website and managed to find another place that was also on the list a Miller and Carter Steakhouse. It was almost empty so we got a table easily and sat down to eat. They did have a special gluten free menu so while my friend had their dirty burger I enjoyed Salmon with Mash Potato and Broccoli. See I told you it was mostly a healthier way of eating.

It was great to see him face to face and have a proper catch up. We have known each other for seventeen years now. We met when I basically took his job. But that is a story for another day. It was all very amicable. He is doing well both professionally and with his sporting achievements at the moment. The wonderful thing about meeting up with friends even if you have not seen them for ages is it is all just so natural and normal. We concluded our meeting with a walk around his local park, I think mainly so he could show me where his cricketing triumphs had taken place this year.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The thing with starting a relationship in the middle of a global pandemic is that is does take a lot longer for you to be able to introduce your other half to your friends. To try and address this balance my girlfriend and I went to visit a mate and his family last Saturday. Obviously I had not seen him for quite a while either so it was brilliant to see him and his wife along with their two children. They seem so much older than the last time I saw them, the kids not the parents that is, just to be clear.

He very kindly offered to do a barbecue and supplied all the food and drink although Lynda did arrive with some Flapjacks and home made Chilli Jam to give them as a present. She never likes to turn up empty handed plus she is a great cook, so both of those things just work. It was a lovely afternoon. We just sat chatting in their back garden. It was dry and sunny which was lucky as that was not what was forecast. My mate got up to get the barbecue sorted for us. When he got the food out even though he had checked with me in advance and said he had got all gluten free stuff I could not stop myself leaping up to go and have a look at the packaging.

I would like to apologise to him for that, it is something I must learn to control. It is all a bit new still and I promise I do it to everybody. Just ask Lynda! After being fantastically well looked after and having had a lovely time we then decided to head off home. We had only got about five minutes down the road when it started hammering down with rain. You cannot teach timing like that! I must have sensed it and known exactly the right time to leave, so we did not get soaked. Knowing the perfect time to leave must be a new skill I have found as I am sure I have got that wrong a lot in the past.

Neil Quigley and Adam Fisher
Neil Quigley and Adam Fisher

I had an appointment with the Hygienist recently. I always feel like a naughty school boy when I visit one normally and that is when I tend to go every six months. However due to the situation it was nearly two years since I last saw one. Fair play to her she did not faint when I arrived so it cannot have been that bad. It is quite a weird feeling as they are scrapping and chipping away at your teeth. I am lucky that I still have all my teeth. But I do have a tendency to over brush. I drink lots of tea and do not like my teeth to look stained so push harder than I should, which means my gums are receding. That does at least mean they match my hair.

It is nice when they have finished as your teeth do feel all sparkly and clean. I have been using an electric toothbrush for years and still manage to scrub them too hard. I have been advised to use softer brushes and try to clean every tooth individually and carefully. I feel like the Hippo in a Disney film who gets his teeth cleaned by the bird. She did a marvellous job. They are a lot cleaner but I need to go back in four months as there had been such a gap since my last visit I think she needed a bit more time. I am fine with that oral health does help with general health. And although I do not always like the look of my teeth I am happy they can still do the job they were designed for.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I had to go for a scan to check my Bone Density. It is to do with my Coeliac Disease. The waiting list at my local hospital is so long that they offered me the chance to have it done at a diagnostic clinic in Milton Keynes. It was a brilliant facility. I went straight in, there was nobody else waiting so I was in and out within twenty minutes. That is my kind of medical appointment.

While I was having the scan the person doing it took a phone call and I heard them say I do not know what I am doing with it. Realising I may have noticed without being prompted she clarified that the phone call had come from payroll about her time sheets and that she definitely did know what she was doing as regards to the scanner, which certainly put my mind at ease.

Neil Quigley in Car
Neil Quigley

Tottenham Hotspur have returned to pre-season training and have already played a few friendly matches. Despite the fact that many of the players involved in the summer international competitions have not returned to the club yet. We have made a couple of signings this week. One of which involved Eric Lamela leaving I liked him, he was skilful, aggressive and a good team player, sadly I never felt he quite reached his full potential with us possibly due to his injury problems. I wish him all the best for the future. Thanks for the Rabona against “The Gunners” Coco!

There is still a lot unresolved at the moment will Harry Kane stay or go? What further changes will be made to the squad before it all gets underway in two weeks? I agree that has come round quickly! I am looking forward to taking my season ticket seat once again after not being able to go to a match for the whole of last season. It is brilliant news that Son has signed a new long term contract. He is top quality. I have no idea how we will do this season. I hope the fans and team unite and we all give it our best shot. Lastly I can confirm I will not be buying our new away shirt. It is possibly the worst thing I have ever seen and I fear I may get a headache when watching us play in it. That said Come On Your Spurs!

Neil Quigley

I am looking forward to seeing live comedy tomorrow afternoon. It has been too long since I have been to a gig. Lynda and I are off to see the brilliant Dara O’Briain headline an outside show in St Albans. The last time I saw him in Tring I was sat in the front row and we had a bit of a chat, which was fantastic. I wonder if he will remember me.

Dara O'Briain
Dara O’Briain at Tring picture courtesy of Adam Hollier Photography

A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Not Staying At Home

Here we are then from Monday a large part of the restrictions and rules that have been in place to help tackle the pandemic in England will be removed. I appreciate we cannot continue for ever in some form of frozen state. As a massive fan of the theatre and the arts it is terrible what has happened to those businesses and the people who work in the industry especially as it does appear other sectors have been treated differently. That said though it does feel a bit odd to me that with cases of the virus now rising to levels on a par with what was happening before the last lockdown. All social distancing and all of the current precautions should now be removed.

I do understand that the reason they feel they can do this is down to the success of the vaccination programme, which has been brilliant. Personally I have been fortunate enough to have had both of my jabs for more than six weeks now. It does appear that they greatly reduce the risk of hospitalisation and also your chance of dying from it. That is of course excellent news. It will hopefully help make the transition for it to be more like how we live with the standard flu virus. But the Government has warned us that cases will increase and there will be more deaths as a result. That feels like a bit of disappointment after what we have all been through already.

I am slowly beginning to start to head out to places and meet up with a few more people under whatever guidelines apply at that time. I do have the NHS App and always check in whenever I go anywhere. To me that seems the common sense thing to do. We are all in this thing together and reliant on the actions of others to help us all get to the other side. The latest advice seems to be a lot more advisory than mandatory. My plan is still to wear a mask when I am using public transport or in an indoor space with strangers, as cases are higher now that seems to make more sense than ever. The main aim of a mask is more to stop you spreading the virus rather than stop you getting it. However it does help with both sides of that coin.

Ultimately you have to do what feels right for you and what you feel happy and comfortable doing. Very few people on the planet have lived through something like this, so it is new to everyone and we all know it is frustrating. But a little more thought and compassion may help us all through it a little quicker with a bit of luck. It does feel like the way things are going that half the country could be self-isolating by the end of the month, if cases rise and we mix in bigger and bigger groups. But I guess we shall see. It will be interesting to see if after all of the big sporting test events that we have had recently, if we see any major surges in cases as a result of them, obviously I hope not.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

England were beaten by Italy on penalties in the Euro 2020 Final at Wembley Stadium. I worked there for a few years between 2012 and 2015 and remember being excited and interested by the way this competition was organised with Wembley hosting the Semi-finals and Final of the tournament. Even back then I hoped that this would improve our chances of success, like it did in Euro 1996 when we reached the Semi-Final only to then be beaten by our old friends Germany as ever on Penalties. Famously a certain Gareth Southgate missed one on that occasion.

Talking of the manager I think he has done a brilliant job with the National team. He originally took over in slightly odd circumstances but quickly put his own stamp on the role. Having come from being in charge of the Under 21’s this meant he knew them and was keen to work with younger players. He has massively lowered the average age of the team during his time in the role. He has shown he is not afraid of making tough decisions and has the faith and confidence to do what he thinks is right. He also sets the right tone. And is a great talker and role model for players and fans alike.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The Italians on the night were just a bit cleverer possibly their extra experience did show in a few areas on and off the pitch. We matched them all the way in the actual football part of the game. Penalties are always a bit of a lottery. It is the same for both sides. You need a bit of luck on your side and everything to go your way. As a footballer a penalty in a shoot-out situation is the most pressurised thing you will ever be involved in. You go through pretty much every emotion as you step up to take one.

I once took a sudden death penalty for Aylesbury United in an Under Eighteen Cup Quarter Final. I can still remember the nerves I had as I walked to the penalty spot. I had to score to keep us in it. You can practice taking them as often as you like but you cannot recreate the pressure that is there when you do it for real. I had made my mind up where I was going to put it and struck the ball as hard as I could. The keeper went the right way got a hand to it but it still went in the net. I have never felt such a feeling of joy and relief. It was amazing! That was a penalty kick in a youth team match that did not really matter. I can only imagine what it must feel like to step up to do it in a final for England.

Anyone who even offers to do it is a hero. You are on a hiding to nothing in a way. If you score it is expected. If you miss you will suddenly never feel more alone. To put your hand up and say you want one shows what a person you are and demonstrates such leadership and courage. You can always look at teams and see players who did not fancy it. That is their choice but you should never criticise the person who was prepared to put everything on the line for the team. It is not a nice way to lose and it should not really be a nice way to win. But it is, as a player the adrenalin rush you get from winning one is off the scale.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Well done to everyone involved with the England Squad. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved and how they united the country. The aftermath from it is sadly a society problem that we all clearly need to work together on. You see this sort of thing almost on a weekly basis during the normal football season. The unrealistic expectation to win every game! Then the attack on individuals when things go wrong! The mind set of which I just do not understand I support every player at my club who plays for the team and the same goes for the National team.

This team are great role models and dedicated hard working young men. The main stay of this squad will all be together for a couple of years or so. There is a World Cup next December and I see no reason not to dream that we can do it. We reached our first final since 1966. We are getting closer. There are some children who have never seen England reach anything less than the Semi-Final in any competition they have seen. Let us not spoil their fun and optimism with our old negativity based on failures of the past not opportunities in the near future!

England

Last weekend my girlfriend and I went to see some of her friends for a few days in Reading. During the most recent lockdown one of them celebrated a landmark birthday. This was the first chance we had to mark the occasion properly. He offered to cook for us on both days but he was unable to put us up, so we stayed in a nearby hotel. It was really lovely to see everyone again. Luckily he is a decent chef so on Saturday the meal included Paella and a Beef Stroganoff both of which were excellent. Then we had a Gluten Free Cheesecake that was supplied by Lynda. That meant I could have some but everybody else had to have the “special” version to.

We may have had a few drinks and spent the day laughing and talking. It felt very normal and relaxing. I think I am still happier in small groups of people I know rather than being in venues with lots of strangers around. To me it just feels a bit more comfortable and sensible. We got a taxi back to the hotel just before midnight, that on the face of it seems like a reasonable time to end things. However I will admit that we met up at around three in the afternoon. In our defence we had not seen each other for at least ten months.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

On the Sunday her friends got up earlier than us and went for breakfast at the restaurant next door attached to the hotel. We thought we would just grab a quick something. There was a Burger King across the road. We looked in there but they had nothing that was suitable for a Coeliac. There was a Nando’s nearby but that had a queue outside. Therefore we ended up driving to a Supermarket so that I could raid their Free From section. I am still getting used to the fact I am a Coeliac as previously getting fast food or a simple snack at breakfast would be easy and simple. Now I have realised that it requires a bit more thought and planning. That is fine it is just a bit of a learning curve for me.

Our host cooked us a Lamb Roast Dinner, which was lovely. We also managed to sample three different bottles of Fizz in the afternoon. On reflection it seems like the perfect way to enjoy the weekend. There was of course a big football match that evening that I was never going to miss, so we said our goodbyes and went back to the hotel in time for kick off. We met up in a friend’s room to watch it me armed with some Gluten Free Beer, my girlfriend with some wine. It was a bit odd watching it all in a hotel room but the most important thing is that I got to witness it, despite the result. It was a brilliant weekend, great to see and spend time with people. Something I have not done that much of over the last eighteen months.

Neil Quigley

Paella’s are like buses you do not have one for years then a couple come along right after each other. My girlfriend’s mate gave us his version last weekend. And the Sunday before Lynda decided to try to make the dish for the first time. Now I probably should have kept quiet but I am not very good at that. When she told me her plan I mentioned that the only time I had ever previously eaten Paella was when I was in Barcelona in a very nice restaurant there. It was not an attempt to put pressure on her. I was just being truthful and honest and possibly showing off a bit that I had been there. She need not have worried her Paella was a triumph. I really enjoyed it and went back for second and third helpings!

Paella
Paella

I have been having issues with my left arm for about eight weeks now, which if you are a little bit addicted to exercise like me is very annoying. It means that I have had to alter my regime so that it does not hurt when I work out. Anyway yesterday I went to see a NHS Physio Therapist for some assistance with it. They were very helpful and professional. They are going to help me manage it and improve it with a series of exercises and some treatment. To be fair the amount of niggling things I pick up when I am keeping fit I could do with a full time Physio like they have at football clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

Talking of which I got some new running shoes recently. I did not wear them in enough before I went for my morning run in them. I got them basically because they have a big N on each side. But they are meant to be pretty decent. However the first time I used them they gave me a huge blister on my heel. It was so big that I actually had a problem putting my shoes on. I tried to leave it and rest it in the hope that it would go down and disappear by itself. Everyone was telling me to pop it but the medical advice is that should be kind of the last resort.

After several days with no improvement, if anything it seemed like it was getting bigger, so I phoned my Doctor’s to get an appointment with a Nurse. As it happened when I called they had a cancellation for thirty minutes time, so I took that slot and rushed straight down there. She decided that it would be best to drain it to let the fluid out. My girlfriend had been threatening to do that for me. But I was happy to wait for a medical professional to make the call and carry out the procedure. It is still quite sore and I am unable to run, but it is slowly getting better. Moral of the story is wear any new footwear in before you use it in anger!

New Trainers
New Trainers

As a massive David Jason fan I have of course been watching Still Open All Hours the follow up to the original BBC Comedy that he appeared in alongside the great Ronnie Barker. In the new version the shop boy has succeeded his Uncle as the owner of the corner shop and picked up a lot of his skills and beliefs along the way. The other week I watched a few episodes of the original Open All Hours. I had not realised how many of the original characters were still in this updated one and how much it is true to and corresponds with the version with Arkwright in charge of the shop.

It is actually so clever and would make sense totally if you watched them all back to back, which bearing in mind the gap that there was between the original and the new one is incredible. Both versions I think are funny and have some laugh out loud moments. But you cannot beat Ronnie and David working together. The two of them in a scene just makes everything funnier. The delivery, the timing and the relationship between them is astonishing. The secret may be just leaving little pauses to build tension and anticipation. The ability to allow silence I think is one of the hardest things for any comedy performer. Both masters of the trade, I would like to personally thank them for all the laughter over the years.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Today I am going to Taste of London in Regents Park. It is the first time I have been to this event. However Lynda assures me it is brilliant. Due to her love of food I think this will be to her like a football match or music festival might be to me. I am looking forward to experiencing it. And I will let you know what it was like next time we speak.

Regents Park in 2018

A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Neil Quigley Presenter