Author Archives: Judge 'Gonzo' Pickles

Taj Mahal Tandoori, Bowmore, Islay (61%)

Tuesday 19th September 2017. Walking up Bowmore Main Street with barley grains in my shoes passing straight by the Co-op in a whisky-spiked stupor. Doubling back to fetch that San Miguel four pack still tasting the Bowmore signature flavours of treacle toffee, that whisper of peat. It’s still there in the fresh, clear spirit, newly […]

Viraaj, Woodseats, Sheffield (60%)

Saturday 2nd September 2017. At Stradbroke Community Centre there was a tractor mowing the field round and round. It’s not a field with painted lines or goal posts, just a fenced in patch of grass. No park bench with memorial plaque where Albert used to sit and enjoy the view, only the damp ground. I […]

Lal Qila, Wilmslow Road, Manchester (67%)

Saturday 19th August 2017. We were at one of the Manchester University campus buildings for a chess tournament, stopping at the Chancellor Hotel. The campus was pretty much deserted, just these chess ghouls wandering around looking vague. You go into the room and you shake some guys hand, usually a threadbare middle-aged type like me, […]

Zara, Hadham Road, Bishop’s Stortford (61%)

Saturday 12th August 2017. 1987 was a big year for a restless stripling kiss-chasing screaming girls across Parsonage Lane playground…  Inspired, fifteen year old, zitty punks squatting pumped hams like Brian Jacks (who pips Geoff Capes to kiss-chase gold at The World Athletics Championship). Steamy possibilities awakened by a squawking Cilla Black jiggling her booty to […]

Prithiraj, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield (53%)

Friday 23rd June 2017. It was a case of the evening after the night before. The considerable achievements of a considerable career honoured with a considerable buffet and a considerable number of beers. At midnight, I hailed a cab, heading back to a distant land of sobriety and wellbeing. A considerable journey. Somewhere adrift of that […]

Rajdhani, Dore Station, Sheffield (64%)

Saturday 3rd June 2017. Of course, come the pivotal moments, the salient dramatic action, it’s swords and daggers – the text demands it – yet otherwise they’re toting guns; choppers overhead. Is this 1st century BC Rome, or what? I asked myself. We can work out the contemporary parallels ourselves; don’t have to spell it […]

Passage to India, Whitby, (62%)

Friday 26th May 2017. Guess what, a bunch of gregarious types supplanting profanities for punctuation plonked right beside within tsking distance. An otherwise deserted landscape of fanned napkins and upturned wine glasses recursively diminishing into cavernous darkness. A troglodyte Mecca. Regulation pickle tray, you know the drill: chopped onions, raita, mango chutney, lime pickle. Felt […]