The Old Keswickian

Seems like I rattled the cage of the owner of the Old Keswickian. Alan Simpson who claims to be the owner disputes how much I paid for my fish and chips. That’s very odd. I know how much I was charged, I wonder where the discrepancy occurs?
Anyway, he points out the price and then continues to  say I was probably ‘non compos mentis’ when I visited and therefore dialogue is futile, and he hopes I will never come back.  A few emails followed, all quite insulting, I see now why the Old Keswickian is the way it is. Well, with an attitude like that matey if I was coming back, I won’t be now.

However as I said:
The Old Keswickian; fish was fine, chips were dry, hard and tasteless, the cartons they use are so small food falls off, pay extra for a plastic fork, expensive.
the Kingfisher charged me a fair price, food was delicious, served in an appropriately sized carton and I was given a fork for free. What’s not to like?

You can see where I’ll be eating from now on.

Fish and chip drop

For as many years as I can recall I have been going to the Old Keswickian in Keswick for a lovely bit of cod and chips. There’s nowt like taking your food away and sitting on a bench in the sunshine to eat it while you watch the world go by. In Keswick there is a definite lack of seagulls to spoil the experience too.

However I’ve noticed for some time now the Old Keswickian’s chips are large and dry and tasteless. I asked the lad serving one day if they had changed the potatoes they use and he looked at me as if I was stupid and shook his head. Now on their website they say the following:
“our potatoes are the finest quality, primarily Lincolnshire, Maris Pipers and Markies, selected by our local merchant for their correct sugar content and dry matter percentage, so you get a superior chip…other than 100% vegetable oil (non hydrogenated) and flour, nothing else goes into our fish and chips…no additives…no colours…no preservatives…nothing!! Can other food outlets claim that”.
All I can say is, even frozen ones from elsewhere can taste better.

Something else I’d noticed but not really bothered about is the tiny carton they place them in. It’s very small and once they put the fish on top of the chips, the chips fall out and as happened yesterday, I dropped half my fish trying to eat it. The carton is not even the size of the fish and because the fish is balanced on the chips it’s very difficult to eat it. Especially if you use those silly wooden forks. Those silly wooden forks have been around for so long: I recall trying to use them as a child and they’re OK if all you have is chips, but they’re useless for eating fish with. You can pay 10p for a plastic fork which is much better, but if you paid £7 almost for fish and chips can’t they let you have a plastic one free?

So instead of enjoying my food in the sunshine, I dropped half of the fish on the floor trying to use the wooden fork to eat it, and the chips were so distasteful that I threw half of those away. Now, that cost me £6.95. Almost £7 is not a number to be sniffed at. It’s not a small amount that you’d not be bothered about if you lost, but given that I lost half my meal (partly by accident and partly by choice of course) that means I paid £3.50 for something I didn’t enjoy. I did enjoy the fish, so half of my £3.50 was pleasant, but half of that fell onto the floor because it was balanced precariously on a pile of chips in a tiny carton. So that’s £1.75 well spent out of almost £7. not good value.

So, I’ve contacted the Old Keswickian detailing my concerns and will update with their response. In the meanwhile, I’ll be scouring Keswick for the best fish and chips.

*Update: I have 2 backup sims that I use in an old phone so that I don’t have to give out my real number. I gave one of those sim numbers in the form I used to contact Old Keswickian on their website. An hour later I started getting nuisance calls…what an odd coincidence.

*More Update: Went into Keswick and had haddock and chips from the Kingfisher fish and chip shop on main street. Greta service from helpful staff, beautiful fish, lovely chips, in a proper size carton! and he gave me a plastic fork for nothing. £5.50 for all that. Old Keswickian is old hat now, I won’t be visiting there ever again. (The nuisance calls stopped after a while)

Fitz park parking in Keswick

I mentioned some time ago that the Keswick football club was letting people park in their car park and charging £3 per full day by using an honesty box. Given the sheer greed of the local council’s parking fees I think this was a massive step forward and I use and pay for the parking there regularly, partly as it’s cheap, and partly as I want to let the footie club know that I support their decision, and of course any money can go to helping them out.
It’s not just Allerdale council, all of the lakes has disgusting parking charges now and I really hope more and more places like the football club offer their parking cheaply.

Another one to do so is Fitz Park Trust. Their car park is in fact adjacent to the footie clubs car park, accessed off Crosthwaite road. The same deal is to be had, £3 per day although you can pay for an hour and 2 hours as well. They have a proper pay and display machine there and apparently all money goes to the Fitz Park Trust to help look after Fitz park. Now, whether the council has set up this trust as a back door way of raising money for parks I have no idea, but the deal is good so what the heck.

Finally, the Pencil Museum has also opened it’s car park up to anyone for a fee of £4 daily. If you visit the museum and take your parking stub you can get £1.50 off the entry too.
There’s a large space of clean and flat waste ground next to the tarmacked bays and motorhomes tend to park there. Again for all day parking this is not a bad deal however like the other car parks mentioned, there is no overnight parking allowed.

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Keswick visit

I was out last night with some work colleagues so I decided to head to the lakes today. The weather was appalling with loads of snow and freezing wind. Nevertheless Jack and me got out for a nice walk around although he wasn’t too happy about his waterproof lol He hates having to wear it but as it was biting cold as well as wet I thought it best to protect him.

I notice there was a caravan set up in the place where I normally park. This is a thing I see all over now and as a caravan is a more established sort of setup than a parked vehicle, I know the council are going to be looking at that spot soon and either restricting who can park there and for how long, or charging for the spaces.
It’s sad that the odd few can spoil it for the so many, but I’ve seen this happen in so many places now. Aberystwyth was the last one to be controlled and whilst I hate that the council has put controls in place I don’t blame them. People were parking for weeks on end and sitting out on an evening on the pavement next to their vans, making barbecues and having tea and drinks with their friends.

A roadside spot isn’t meant  to be a campsite, it’s a temporary spot top park free so you can enjoy the locality. If you want to sit out on an evening and have barbecues, go to a campsite! So many motorhomers are fools to themselves and sadly they spoil it for everyone else who heeds the ‘unwritten rules’ of wild camping.
I do know of some alternative sites around Keswick without having to pay the ridiculously inflated car parking prices that the council set, but I’ll never share those sites online, there’s far too many mindless people out there now.

My simple rules for wild camping:

  • Never empty your toilet except in a designated place. It’s not only against the law, it’s pretty disgusting. How would you like 15 litres of week old human waste poured on your drive or in your garden?
  • Never put tables, chairs etc out on public areas. People have to walk past and to see someone making lunch or sitting reading on public pavements is just annoying too.
  • Never leave litter or other ‘household rubbish’, there are always bins available somewhere so carry your rubbish til you find one.
  • Don’t park opposite houses, someone lives there and they don’t want to see a dirty great van outside their window for days on end.
  • Never stay in the same place more than 3 nights maximum. Other people want to park and enjoy the view, move on, come back another time, share it out.
  • Don’t park on the kerb even if the road isn’t level. Lorries do this in laybys and not only is it destructive but it limits the pavement area anyway. Locals who take pride in their area just don’t want to see it.
  • Never run your generator or engine by the roadside. I’ve seen this in Aberystwyth on the seafront and when you’re out for a walk it’s an awful sight and sound. Go to a remote layby if you must, or have a night on a campsite and charge on hook up.
  • Don’t block access to drives, other roads, farm access gates or simply by parking on a narrow road and causing a bottleneck. It’s just plain selfish and you’ll anger people.

I stick to my own wild camping rules rigidly and I take pride in the fact that I can enjoy my particular lifestyle without irritating or inconveniencing anyone else.

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Tubular ching ching?

Some clear plastic tubing.
Some clear plastic tubing.

Forget tubular bells, lets hear it for Tubular ‘ching ching’. That’s the sound the till makes when the hardware store in Keswick racks up an incredible £5 for 1 metre of this piece of clear plastic tubing. I actually drew a breath when she told me the price at the till, and I was so stunned I forgot to make a churlish face and say “Crikey!”

This is to try to make filling the water tank easier, you may remember that my fuel tank spout idea didn’t work, so maybe this will, wish me luck!

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Keswick

Keswick
Keswick

My friends are up in the north for a funeral, so we decided to meet up and spend the day in Keswick as I was over here anyway. Although it was cold the sun was out and we enjoyed  walk around the lake almost to Ashness bridge before having to turn back.
That’s one of the beauties though, you don’t have to have a specific goal in mind or target to reach in Keswick. You can go for a walk and enjoy just being there no mater how long you walk for.

Catbells
Catbells

There is often a great sunset in winter as the sun goes down over the Newlands valley, lighting up Causey Pike and Catbells.

I recall some years ago taking 2 hours to get up Catbells I was so unfit. I still struggle now but there’s no question of not being able to do it. The views are amazing from there, I think it’s time I was back up it again soon.

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