Sunday was the day to bake. Last year we had Christmas Cake baked by Epi. This year it’s Dundee Cake baked by me. Seems like a good subject for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge πŸ™‚

It’s pretty dark this time of year and so these photos are not brilliant but there you go…

Take some Butter…

Mix that with sugar, flour and eggs

…Add in Mixed Peel, GlacΓ© Cherries…

…and Currants, Sultanas and chopped almonds. Then tip the lot into a baking tin…

…and decorate with almonds. Stick it in the oven for 3.5 hours – go play some Farming Simulator. Check to see if it’s finished baking. Add another 30 minutes or so and voila!..

…Dundee Cake cooling down. I don’t overdo the almonds on top – Alasdair doesn’t like them πŸ˜‰

I had a lot of thoughts for this CMMC – Some statues of English Queens perhaps. Or a couple of Chiltern Queens buses. I could have shown a couple of Squirrels but Cee has that covered and then there’s the Mushrooms growing in the garden! In the end, I’ve decided to go with some Public Houses πŸ™‚

The Public House is a part of British culture that finds itself under threat from changes in society over the last half century. Many Pubs have closed down – sometimes because the high street they used to serve has moved, taking the shoppers with it to another part of the town. That’s certainly true of East Finchley where the old Market Place is now a children’s playground and the two pubs that served the centre of the village pre-war are now long since gone. A couple of shops on the new high street have become pubs in their place – though in many areas, once the pub has gone, it’s gone for good. The Red Lion and The Dick Turpin serving my local area have gone and not been replaced – Here’s a photo of the ‘Turpin during demolition…

…However, there are still lots of pubs around. Celebration of the Monarchy is one of the commonest themes in pub names. The Rose and Crown, The Royal Oak, The King’s Head and The Queen’s Head are popular choices. We used to have a Queen’s Head in Church End, but that’s yet another pub that has closed and been repurposed. However, in New Barnet there is The Queen’s Arms…

…Staying with the royal connection, this is an unusual one, The Queen’s Head and Artichoke in Marylebone…

…An unusual combination! Reputedly the original ale house on the site was built by one of Queen Elizabeth I’s gardeners, which may explain the odd name. The pub / restaurant closed during the pandemic and is currently under builders sheeting – I wonder if it will re-emerge as a pub or if it has joined the long list of permanent closures.

Another popular theme in Pub names revolves around pagan customs and beliefs. The Green Man is common – we used to have one in Finchley but that has also gone – a community centre stands on the site now. There are lots of pubs which reference the Sun. In Notting Hill there is The Sun in Splendour – a pub I visited occasionally when I was working in the area as a young trainee but sadly don’t have a photo of. Instead, here’s The Sun Inn in Barnes…

…See, just when you thought there weren’t going to be any Buses… Oh, and there’s a brace of Bus Stops too! πŸ˜‰

A final Public House and another odd name, The Auld Triangle…

…This is a reference to the Harp – an indication of it being an Irish public house. Usually a sign of excellent Guinness. However, it was originally The Plimsoll Arms. It has changed ownership during the pandemic and will again be called The Plimsoll. On a Saturday, you’ll find it full of Gunners fans, because it’s close to the Emirates Stadium…

…I digress πŸ˜‰ Hope there’s enough Q’s and U’s in that selection πŸ™‚