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About Monkvalley 




Thank you for visiting oohlaloire, the place to find my memories, and  thoughts about food, and a life lived in the Loire Valley.

Food is my passion. Writing about a passion is easy. Writing an “about” page, is different. Where to start? Where to stop? How much to include? What to leave out?

So: Here goes. Born in 1948. I am the oldest of 5 siblings two brothers and two sisters . I was born in Chesterfield. I lived for a while in Amersham Buckinghamshire when my father moved south to work. I returned to Chesterfield in 1968, working for the Post Office Accountant Generals Department ( A G D ) 

It was while working here that I met and later married Sheila. We celebrated 40 years married in 2013.

I love music, absolutely any genre, nothing is out of reach. Classical, Jazz, Pop, Soul, Country and Western, rap. I Enjoy Gardening, as this blog is testament to. I used to play Tennis, Badminton, and Squash. Although that might give the impression of a sporty type, I am not really. I enjoy walking our very active, but, gentle English Setter, Ash. and playing with the other two furry residents in the valley…….no not Sheila! Wiggins and Skye, our cats! 

My real passion though is all things food, cooking, tasting. Experimenting with different flavours. Time spent in the kitchen is not a chore for me , it is my relaxation, time I love . 

Reading and browsing though the 150 cookery books we have. I can find something different every time, a li1ttle gem of a recipe hiding away in the pages. For me, a perfect evening is one spent with dear friends over a lovely meal. Enjoying the food and wine. 

Sheila was born in Chesterfield in 1947. She went straight from school to the AGD. Whether she actually did any work during the 30 odd years, is another question!

Now! Sheila is very sporty “A’s” in gym and games, with the tag line from the headmaster  “If Sheila applied the same enthusiasm and dedication to academic subjects, as she does to sports, she could go far” Badminton, Squash, Tennis, Swimming, Netball, the last three competeing for her school, and, in Athletics, throwing the javelin ( compiting for Chesterfield) but, she is: famous for…. In frustration after a dismal throw she thrust the javelin down with a vengeance! ……… Straight in her foot!!

Sheilas taste in music is classically lead, she used to sing with Chesterfield Philharmonic, but I like to think that since meeting me her taste have broaden out. Her current favourites, are, Adele, Sam Smith, and Diana Krall.

Her food of  choice is more down to earth, – stews and curries, (her favourite sandwich is by far, fish finger with tomato ketchup) – not fine dining, and far less experimental with recipes, sticking to the book, word for word.

She loves making bread.

Having said that she is not experimental , she does enjoy cooking things, maybe something  you’d say “why bother,” she has recently cooked Rillettes de porc (simular to potted meat) and, confit du Canard, her next project: Black pudding?

We were both fortunate to take Early retirement with full pensions in 1997/98. ……and the rest is as they say history and “History” is where you will find it!

If you have enjoyed reading about my adventures on monkvalley then why not visit the wine lady


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