Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Last Supper

Forget all the other nonsense you've read on here over the past four months; the real blog starts right here, right now.

At 6am in the morning, I'll leave the house loaded like an Indian minibus and cycle to Douglas, the Isle of Man's gently throbbing metropolis en route to the ferry, ticking off the first of my fifty capitals in the process. ITV are going to film it apparently. (I know I typed that sentence but it just feels surreal.) But there were important things to do before then.

Last night was a time to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow I ride. As you'll absolutely definitely know if you've been paying attention, I've been set a challenge to eat something I've never had before in each country I visit. This was proving difficult on the Isle of Man. There's very little that's uniquely Manx, except perhaps their little scallops known as queenies. They're lovely, but I've had 'em. The only other thing here that I've not seen outside Manxland is the very unlovely cheese, chips and gravy. But I've had that too. There was nothing left to try. And then I stumbled across this local delicacy:

Now, I've never eaten a knob but I was willing to give it a go. Disappointingly, it's just a clever marketing ploy. They're nothing more than boring, old boiled sweets sold with a slightly rude name. It's not even an amusing play on words, like a bar of cockolate or a Toblerbone. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they are knobs. If they are, it would explain why the women around here aren't dancing in the streets. And to think they'd been sold the myth of Manx men's third legs. I've had boiled sweets before and so their eating would be cheating.

So to fulfil the terms of the challenge I had to think bigger. This meant me and brother Dave popping to the local meat shop and having a butcher's at its grand choice of jungle food and its various cuts of endangered species. But what to eat? Should we partake of a tasty hippo burger or maybe an elephant's rib, or something lighter like hyena on toast? I was slightly disappointed that they'd sold out of panda and all their dodo meat was out of date but in the end we plumped for bison and wild boar.

The wild boar was delicious, like a liver-flavoured pork steak, but I should have taken the bison on my travels in case I ever needed a new tyre. Rather than eat bison again I'd rather stuff my mouth with Manx knobs.

So, early to bed and, with a weather forecast predicting rain and strong winds, probably not much sleep.

1 comment:

  1. All the best -as an OU grad and sometimes cyclist - I'm really looking forward to following your progress with the books and on the bike. Take your time and enjoy it!