I am as old as the hills, so when Mr R brought over his DVD of the Christmas Top of the Pops from 1971 this weekend I thought, I might know some of these songs. But it turns out, I knew the lot! And three of them have special significance too.

Slade’s Cuz I Luv U will always be much loved as it’s the song I walked down the aisle to, just moments before all the lockdown madness began, exactly a calendar month ago today.

The Ressurection Shuffle by Ashton, Gardner & Dyke has recently re-entered my consciousness. I heard it again on the radio about a year ago and I am now compelled to get off my sofa and do some daft dancing whenever Mr R sticks it on the turntable…

…and Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) by Benny Hill made us both laugh SO MUCH that we watched it twice. Both of us knew every single word of it and sang it at the tops of our voices between guffaws at Benny and his antics.

I knew I had made a Benny Hill dish for the blog at some point and indeed I did. I wrote about his Courgette and Tomato Salad in 2014. Reading that blog post again is poignant at this moment in time as I was celebrating the soft launch of my nephew’s brewery, the Hammerton Brewery in Islington.

I was, and still am, incredibly proud of my nephew and his wife Nina in setting up and making such a success of their brilliant brewery. It is such a fun place to be and the beer is fabulous.

But of course it is currently on shut down. It cannot supply pubs and restaurants and it cannot open the brewery taproom or their fabulous pub The House of Hammerton.

But my friends, THEY ARE DELIVERING BEER DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR ANYWHERE IN THE UK, and cured meats too! just check out this lovely salami I got with my Panama Creature and N1!

And how lovely to open my fridge and find it full of Creatures!

Here’s a link to the Hammerton Brewery online shop. Please consider supporting their business by getting some beer delivered or paying upfront for some lovely beer at the taproom once all of this is all over with a membership card.

If you are outside the UK, perhaps you have a craft beer-loving friend you could surprise with a gift? Imagine how happy they would be getting a keg of Crunch on their doorstep!

Or, in a lovely gesture, you could buy an NHS hero a pint or two or three…

In a serendipitous link, before my nephew resurrected this dormant family business, Benny appeared in a 1950s ad campaign for Hammerton’s Oatmeal Stout. Don’t you just love that?!

So here is Benny’s Salad Nicoise recipe aka Nice Salad. I guess in these strange times a can of new potatoes would be very handy indeed to have around the place and if you can get eggs, RESULT!


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