I'd been invited to Essex.
But first I had an old friend visiting for a cup tea and a catch-up as she was en route to visit her Mother who lives somewhere south of the river, I won't mention that again though. Actually, I have a feeling Esher doesn't count. Anyway, lovely to have an hour catch up and finally realised exactly why she didn't want to leave the car parked on the street in this part of Tower Hamlets...
After she beat a hasty retreat I reviewed my list of what the little people on twitter had suggested I needed to gain access to Essex. It was pretty much:
- Fake tan
- White stilettos
- A one piece leopard print onesie
- Blonde wig
- Faux white leather accessories
- And a taser...
Oookay. This wasn't going to go well. I can at best manage mumsie. Okay, so I was going to have to wing it. Not only was this the first time I was visiting this part of Essex, it was also my first experience of Limehouse train station. Which is not as exciting as you might thing.
Soon though I was whizzing through the east of London en route to things that lay beyond the loving embrace of the M25. As I broke in to open countryside I realised it must be further than I realised, so I began to practice my French. After all, it helps to be able to exchange a few words with the locals. For example:
Excusez-moi, où je peux acheter faux bronzage?
At one point I was astonished to see a forest of inspection platforms, goodness knows where, but the sight of them was quite amazing, I just wish I'd had the sense to take a picture! I had the same thought when we passed the most lovely little church alone in a field by the railway line, so pretty.
As, it turns out, were the sight of yachts beached as it was low tide. I was starting to like this area quite a lot.
In time I rolled in to someplace-by-sea, where I was promptly told it wasn't the sea. Pfft. I can't see that far any more, it looked like a sea to me! I did have a moments thought of going paddling, but, being now officially late I wandered off in the general direction of the postcode I'd been given. Got to love maps on phones!
Anyway, it was fabulous to catch up with my lovely friend Clarissa and generally put the world to rights over a late lunch an a glass or four of Chateau Sur la Mer. Or something.
Eventually it was time to meander back to the station. Not only did I find it, but, given that I had a ten minute wait, I resisted going to the chip shop right by the station entrance... Having slipped past the border guards again, I was definitely developing the late evening nibbles so I pondered the problem on the way home and had a fabulous thought for how to end my trip to France, I mean Essex...
Introducing the Croque épicéé...
Take some super soft home made bread. Toast one side. Add thin slices of dirty chorizo sausage from chez Lidl, followed by plenty of the strongest cheese you have to hand. I dash of worcester sauce, a spinkle of cayenne pepper and a good grind of black pepper...
It's gorgous, the depth of the chorizo pokes cheekily from beneath the safe confines of the melted cheese. Definitely one for my oh-my-god-I've-got-the-nibbles menu.
|Voilá, croque épicéé|