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Greetings from Kent, Pickles fans.
It has been just over two weeks since the Waltshaws’ great relocation, and it has been a jolly busy fortnight down in the Bubble.

Apart from the minor logistic annoyances associated with moving, like not being able to get the wardrobe up the stairs and STILL not having an internet connection (I am coming to you now from a very slow, shared, dongle), we are becoming nicely settled.

We started trading on the harbour on the weekend of Whitstable Oyster Festival, which was much fun, if a bit of a baptism of fire. Unlike our regular pitch at West Norwood Feast, our pitch on the harbour is both Saturday and Sunday. This means our usual pie offering isn’t really feasible as we don’t have the time or facilities to make enough pies in a day to sell over two days (nor do we really want to sell two-day old pies). So we opted for scotch eggs, as they take a fraction of the time to cook as pies, and they tend to hold a similar kind of appeal.

First task was to get a supply of local free-range meat and eggs. Fortunately that proved to be pretty easy. After a couple of phone calls and a drive into the Kent countryside, we now do business with Gibson’s Farm a few miles away. It is an idyllic place, where you can see a lot of the animals for yourself. Having got up close to some of them, we can confirm that they are all indeed free-range, content beasts:

TOMW generously sharing her travel snacks with a young Angus. He repaid her by blowing his nose onto her new jeans.

As well as the bucolic joy of flouncing through the fields to buy the supplies, there are also financial benefits from buying direct from the farm, which have been quite welcome.

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So a scotch egg production line was formed. The most arduous and tedious task, and the one that nearly caused insurrection, was the boiling and peeling of 200 eggs. At this point the kitchen smelled like the devil himself had made an appearance, and I shan’t list the places where we are still finding tiny bits of eggshell.  

A few hours, and 15 kilos of meat, later we had ourselves some sceggs to take to market….

Sceggs’ eye view of the harbour

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we sold quite a few sceggs to Morris dancers who seemed delighted to see a stall selling the golden balls of joy. What I wasn’t expecting though, was the reaction that scotch eggs provoke in Japanese tourists. They absolutely loved them. They marvelled at them, photographed them, covered them in chilli sauce, and ate them in surprising quantities. It was undoubtedly lucky for us, therefore, that Whitstable Oyster Festival had shipped in bus-loads of Morris dancers and Japanese tourists.

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 The town of Whitstable marked the Waltshaws’ first week in the Bubble on Thursday evening by lighting grotters (piles of oyster shells containing candles) along the beach followed by an impressive firework show. Which was very kind of them, we would have settled for a discount on the council tax.

 

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