WHOM THE GODS WOULD DESTROY…

…they first make mad. Why is Cornwall Council hell-bent on destroying Truro? Why do they hate the lovely Truro Farmer\’s Market on Lemon Plaza where you can buy wonderful bread, mouth-watering cheese and the best roasting duck you can find anywhere (even in Waitrose)?
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They want to concrete over 55 acres of farmland about a mile north of Truro for a Park-and-Ride scheme, \”affordable\” housing (yeah, right), a special Cornish Food Market, a branch of Waitrose and a… (wait for it) … recycling waste disposal centre (more on that another day).
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Without going into tedious detail about the scheme itself, this is madness. Why? Because it is now extremely well-established that big out-of-town shopping parks destroy the town centres all around them. Because a \”Cornish Food Market\” full of fake pretty-packaged food will probably destroy the Farmer\’s Market. The tourists who currently love the Farmer\’s Market will be lured into the fake supermarket style food hanger before they ever even find the genuine market in town. Because whereas a Waitrose in any one of the several large empty retail sites in Truro would probably do nothing but good, a Waitrose next to a large free carpark out of town will suck yet more business away from the town. Hence the SaveTruro campaign.
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And as Truro town centre implodes, what will happen to Cornwall Council\’s take of the business rates there? Eh? Thanks to the vagaries of the rating system, the Waitrose, \”Cornish Foods Market\” and whatever else grows up on the Newquay road site will not pay anything like the same amount in rates as will be lost by their destruction of Truro as a shopping centre.
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Cornwall Council are carefully shooting themselves in the foot, several years down the line. The bullet will be fired when they approve the imposition of the development (please don\’t call it regeneration, this is a greenfield site). It will bury itself in the Council\’s collective foot ten years from now when business rates from Truro town centre nosedive.
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As Cornwall Council normally has its foot stuck firmly in its mouth anyway, this will look pretty silly but the laughter will be hollow.

Roast Beef Dinner

Traditional English Sunday lunch – my mother used to produce one every Sunday, including a wonderful pudding, very often exotically Hungarian and always delicious. I do it occasionally, when I find cut-price joint of meat or buy something lovely at the Truro Farmer\’s Market on Saturday.
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I have to fit in with the Sunday TV – especially Top Gear. I refuse to do it for lunch because then the entire afternoon is wiped out (as it was when I was a child). I don\’t usually manage a pudding because… well… I refuse to do a pudding in addition to a roast.
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No Yorkshire pud either, although I love Yorkshire pud and I actually have a really good and reliable recipe for them.
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Note for USA readers: Yorkshire pudding, interestingly, is exactly the same recipe as what you call popovers. Except instead of splitting them and putting on jam and butter at breakfast, we put them next to slices of meat at lunch or dinner and pour gravy over them. And they\’re delicious, really. Very traditional. Divorces have happened over aspersions cast on Yorkshire pudding prowess.
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So. There it was – it took about an hour and a half to make, not including the time number 1 son took peeling the potatoes.
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We sat down, I carved slices and… We\’d finished in half an hour. I\’d hoovered my food again as I struggle not to do. It was very nice, especially the gravy. Speaking with no due modesty at all, my gravy is bangin\’ (I believe is the term). My roast potatoes are good too.
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Finished in half an hour. Hour and a half of work. Half an hour of eating.
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That\’s why I don\’t do it very often.