Give Us This Day: a Toast to GB Cafe, Nottingham

GB in name, Great Breakfasts and more besides in nature.

The concept of Great Britain or GB in these Brexit fuelled times can be a particularly contentious one for many people, opening up as it does questions of nationality, culture and identity. There’s nothing quite like debates about food and who eats what and why and when. What we don’t eat exercises us as much as what we do.

The beauty of the GB cafe in Sneinton Market is its tolerance for a wide selection of tastes. It has a diverse offer of meals at some very satisfying prices and in an atmosphere which is warm and welcoming, if not a little heavy on the GB theme. Big pictures of London are all very well in London, but in Nottingham it would be great to see something a bit more of a Nottingham focus – which isn’t about Robin Hood.

But it’s a real find down in the up and coming Sneinton Market area and something to visit at any time of day.

Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to GB Cafe in Nottingham.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here

Give Us This Day: a Toast to Toast at Gray’s in Leicester

What’s for breakfast?
Tea and toast? Well…
Fry up? Er…
Organic muesli and yoghurt? Hmm.. not sure.

All of the above plus lavish helpings of the most idiosyncratic contemporary music around complete with references to Delia Derbyshire, Kevin Coyne, Flaming Lips and all points bezerk? Ah yes, that’s for me, definitely.

If you’re one of those people who need an aural fix in the morning alongside their habitual brew, then Gray’s is for you. Snuck in off one of the main precinct streets in the City of Leicester, right in the heart of its cultural quarter, Gray’s is open from 8.30 and is guaranteed to open up your sound and taste buds from the off and get you in the swing for the day.

It’s a heartening change to the diet of greasy spoons and predictable chains that are scattered through the rest of the city and consequently is one of those businesses which defines Leicester’s character. And you get a decent bacon barm into the bargain.

My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to Toast at Gray’s in Leicester.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here

Give Us This Day: a Toast to Earnse Bay, Barrow in Furness.

Heaven on Earth? Not quite but not far off.

It’s a well kept secret in Barrow in Furness that Earnse Bay is not much short of heaven on earth. True, there are no angelic choirs, divine instructions from on high or bars which are open 24/7, but what it lacks for heavenly stereotypes it makes up for with sea, sky, coastline and windfarms. And the brooding Cumbrian mountains in the not so far off distance.

If you want tropical bathing: forget it. If you want warm, crystalline seas with more life under the surface than above it: forget it. If you want snorkelling, surfing and all the usual seaside paraphernalia of bingo halls, cheap nasty diners and violent games machines; don’t even bother.

But if you want the priceless liberation of wind on surf and stone, stars in the endless firmament and a brief moment of immortality  then Earnse Bay might just be your destination of choice. Just don’t tell anyone else. No-one wants this heaven to become someone else’s hell just yet.

My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to Earnse Bay.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here.

Give Us This Day: a Toast to Reincarnation.

At a recent education conference, our presenter talked about the value of the green curriculum, stressing its importance in Eco-viability, sustainability and all good things in general.  Ironically sponsored by Pepsi Cola, she added that as we only had one life we best make the best of it, that we only had one life on this planet and that it was our moral duty to be good guardians of it.

In an important nod to her audience however she also recognised that there was more than one way of looking at our lives on the planet: “to those of you who believe in reincarnation” she finished, “ the greening of the curriculum is not so much about saving the planet now, but making it a better place for you when you return”.

Reincarnation is a particularly handy idea to deal with common sense notions that we only have one life; that life is not a dress rehearsal; that death is a foregone conclusion and like taxes, we best face up to the giant tax collector in the sky and pay what’s due on time, with no argument and with good grace. Reincarnation allows us to plan for the second, third, fourth and who knows how many times around, hopefully securing a better deal on the next visit unless we have been particularly obnoxious on this occasion.

Planning for reincarnation would be a useful addition to funding applications as it would be a tacit acknowledgement that our cultural efforts are always flawed, no matter how many business plans we write. A box which asks us how we intend to produce the production, deliver the curriculum or save the world when we are reincarnated either a) as a lizard or b) as a superhero would make writing and reading funding applications a lot more of an entertaining process for everyone.

My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to Reincarnation.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here.

Give Us This Day: a Toast to Latvia

We have Christmas trees all year round.
2010 was the 500th anniversary
Of the first decorated tree.

The whole world is made of rye alcohol.
It forms the widest waterfall in Europe
apart from the Petrograd vodka estuary.

Our oldest chocolate was invented in 1937.
It drives the tallest vertical wind tunnels
When digested at the right time of day.

We have the loudest ice hockey fans.
The largest traditional folk lore festivals
of mushrooms: not only healthy, but popular.

You can’t say that about the English forest mushroom.

My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen and Members of the Jury, please raise a toast to Latvia.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Toast: read all about toasting here.