Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A Taste for Spunk


Surveillance Unit 38 is, once again, to be congratulated for its excellent work in the field. Showing their professionalism they have succeeded in gathering these fascinating images of antiquarians as their food. As you can see, these include scones with clotted cream and jam. 

In conversation within the church porch where they feasted, we were able to ascertain that the scones were home-baked and the jam, homemade. This was subsequently confirmed by analysis of samples back in the AFSI's laboratories. 

Less successful were Unit 202. Unfortunately, whilst undertaking surveillance work at Frettenham Church we fear that their presence was noted by one of the antiquarians who were transfixed by a small bottle of Frappacinno (pictured below) placed on the bonnet of a car. During their de-brief, it was explained that this preoccupation may have led to them being observed by the antiquarian who, "eyed them with hostility and suspicion". They managed to take a photograph of the perplexed subject before scampering away into the distance undergrowth. Such a breach of anonymity is to be deplored and the Grand Committee of the Antiquarian Food Surveillance Institute did consider disciplinary action. However, such was the magnitude of Unit 202's subsequent discover that any such action has been waived. 

Redemption... Spunk!
Whilst on duty on location somewhere in the north-east of Suffolk, operatives from Unit 202 were able to secure this stunning image. Using a combination of high-resolution photography, combined with directional microphones, they were able to ascertain that the antiquarians have developed a taste for Spunk. Listening in, we were heard the antiquarians talking about it as, "a bit salty for my liking", with one commenting, "I'm not sure about the mouth-feel it leaves." Another tweeded figure commented that they were currently unable to speak clearly, "as I have a mouthful of Spunk."

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Success at Heydon - But Mission Aborted!

Unit 22B of the Antiquarian Food Surveillance Institute sprang into action last Sunday, upon learning of reports that the Ragged Ramblers antiquarians were gathering for the Heydon open gardens event. 

Operative X19 managed to covertly take these fantastic photographs of the antiquarians taking tea within the Heydon Village Tea Shop, using a high-risk strategy - namely, over the shoulder reverse shots with a zoom lens. Although the operatives were unable to gather any crumbs as evidence, our laboratory analysts are of the opinion that the cakes consist of a Citrus Polenta Cake, Rocky Road and a Lavender Scone with Strawberry jam. Using some highly sophisticated equipment recently procured from the CIA Unit 22B were also able to obtain access to Munro Tweeder-Harris' iPhone notes list of the Ramblers' order. Thus, we know that they ordered the following:

  • Breakfast tea for 7
  • Lady Grey tea for 1
  • Strawberry Lime Cordial for 1
  • x1 Cheese Scone
  • x1 Shortbread
  • x1 Cream Tea with Lavender Scones
  • x1 Slice of Tiffin
  • x4 Slices of Fruitcake
  • x1 Slice of Citrus Polenta Cake
Obviously, we are delighted with such detailed results from 'the field'. However, there was an incident which has led to a good deal of trepidation within the AFSI. Wearing our new Audiotron Laser Mask, operative X09c broke all protocol by peering in at the window whilst wearing this full-face apparatus. At this point, the antiquarian, Tweeder-Harris, turned and clearly noted her presence. Operative X19 noted his quizzical expression and gave the emergency code to abort the mission. Fortunately, it seems that this quick thinking saved the day. We do take some comfort from the fact that we have noted on many occasions the tendency for Tweeder-Harris to enter a state of 'stupefication' upon the consumption of cake in the company of tweed-clad antiquarians. It is hoped that this, combined with his declining faculties, will result in our operational security not being compromised. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Slice of Coffee Cake

Operatives of Unit 22B have been hard at work. This is a covert photograph of a slice of coffee cake about to be eaten by the Ragged Rambler we believe to be Dawson Bulwer-Rant,  and was taken by Unit 22B in the Tiffins Tea Emporium in Long Melford, Suffolk. The crumb of the cake appears to have excellent structure and the icing is moist and ample. Mr. Dawson Bulwer-Rant certainly seemed to enjoy it and consumed it within 1 minute and 23 seconds, apparently.

Members of the team were, unfortunately, unable to procure any crumb samples for laboratory analysis as the proprietor of the establishment happened upon them, tweezers in hand, about to place samples into bags and asked them to leave. It is a sad indictment of our society that scientists dedicated to discovering the secrets of antiquarian dietary habits are frustrated in their attempts to further understanding in this way!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Communique: Report from the front lines

Field operative: 379A
Location: Redacted for security purposes
Date: Redacted for security purposes

Intelligence gathered from a recent reconnaissance mission, found members of the group, currently known as The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers, availing themselves of a local tea shop. 
379A was able to covertly collect samples of the food consumed at this gathering and has sent them to HQ for further analysis. Preliminary reports suggest the following were consumed: (primary constituents listed and provenance included where possible)
- tea loaf - sultanas, brown sugar, English breakfast tea, self raising flour (Sainsburys), black treacle, butter, eggs (chicken). 
- date slice - rolled oats, preserved dates, sugar, butter, treacle (PJ Harvey convenience store), unconfirmed substance (possibly unctuousness)
- "millionaires shortbread" - condensed milk(Fussels), chocolate, butter, flour, sugar (Ipswich), eggs, vanilla (Jane’s vanilla emporium)
- Mackerel Pate - eaten by the one known as ‘Aunty Gary’ - mackerel (Gt Yarmouth pier), butter, cream, salt (Russia), pepper, lemon juice

379A also collected further pictorial evidence of the food being eaten using the latest AFSI technology - teapotcam. 

Exhibit 1.1

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Pie Eyed Poetry

Working covertly in the field, Food Surveillance Unit 321 has successfully captured this spectacular image of one of the Ragged Ramblers imbibing a pie during one of the Society's excursions in the misunderstood county of Essex. At the press conference announcing this achievement, Antiquarian Food Surveillance Institute spokesperson, Sally Chew, expressed the following sentiments:

"Although we are a scientific institution and take a rigorous, evidence-based approach to increasing our knowledge about the fascinating dietary habits of the Ragged Rambler, there are occasions when, to watch one at work is... well, it is close to poetry. On this occasion, the way this subject bit into the pastry with such vigor and relish had Unit 321 members mesmerised. One of the operatives noted the lines that formed around the subject's eyes as he bit into his pie were,
'like laughter lines... like he's smiling at his pie - but in a predatory way.'"

The team managed to collect crumb samples that were successfully analysed at the AFSI's secret laboratories, revealing a butter-based pastry filled with a beef and gravy mixture. We are currently trying to establish the provenance of this item, but that is currently proving to be very challenging indeed. 

Postscript: AFSI t-shirts with this image will be available for sale through our online retail outlet in the near future. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Billionaire's Shortbread in Norwich Assembly House

Field unit 3BGB observed members of The Ragged Ramblers entering the Assembly House premisis at precisely 12:53pm on Wednesday 30th January 2013. Using their covert expertise, they were able to observe the conduct of the two gentlemen in some detail.

In particular, operatives became very excited when the Ramblers began to eat the 'Billionaires Shortbread' they had ordered. It was noted with extreme interest that both gentlemen turned thr aforementioned food item upside down before beginning to consume it with a fork.

Professor G.M. Food from the A.F.S.I. makes the following observation:
"Clearly the Ragged Ramblers have consumed this item previously. They must have deduced that, due to the thickness and robust nature of the chocolate layer, one would simply crush and flatten thr soft caramel and shortbread layers if it were left correct way up. This kind of adaptive behaviour reveals an extremely high level of what we call 'food intelligence'. It also suggests that Eagged Ramblers are serious consumers of cake - an assertion borne out by many other observations in the field."

The excellent work of the A.F.S.I. in studying and revealing the food culture of the Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers continues in earnest.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Ragged Ramblers, Scoffing

July 2012

Known members of The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers (one of whom we believe to go by the moniker, 'Wee Davy') were observed by Unit 231 in H.......n, consuming hot pasties with a light salad in cafe zone of a High Street bakery. Operative K24 observed that,
"the Ramblers ate with such a fury that their Quavers were a-quiver and, sited as we were on the opposite side of the street for most of the operation, their flashing cutlery was a silvery blur of busy-ness."

Of a third Member (not pictured in this image), it was observed that:
"the corpulent one sat greedily eyeing their plates, and salivating profusely, as he sipped at his tea."

Later observations confirmed the team's improvised hypothesis; namely, that he was attempting to lose weight and had a 'sensible' packed lunch awaiting him in the Ramblers' vehicle. 

AFSI Director, Professor G.M. Food commented:
"It is a sad fact that this is the very same gentleman we recently observed consuming a high calorific sausage roll recently outside of Orford Church, followed by a very large almond confection within Ufford church that very same day. We therefore postulate that, sadly, he will revert to type once again."