B..cus..I’m Happppi

There was a customer in the coffee Bar the other day and amongst other parts of putting the world to rights they also  suggested I was negative about things.

Well how little do they know me. How can they suggest that of someone whose favoutitest EVER book is “Eeyores little book of Gloom”, the same person who has spent over 35 glorious years supporting the awesome Bradford City as a footballing penance and had the pleasure, nay privilege of working for a Local Authority dealing with the adoring public and self-important  senior officers and politicians, on and off for nearly 20 years…

What’s not to be happy about??

…and as I have now paid me subs to some holding company so I can carry on using my domain name you can once again read about my sublime happiness on this ‘ere blog

Anyway just in case anyone else gets the wrong impression of my wonderful life let me tell you what fantastic things will be occurring on or near abouts the purple carrot in the next few weeks

Friday 13th – 10.00am – Scrabble Challenge – beat the proprietor and get a free coffee / tea  

Sunday 15 Feb – DOGSoc Golf February Freezer competition – The Dyke  £27 – cafe closing early at 11.30am

Monday 16th – 7.30pm – Purple Carrot Book Symposium
This months books to check out: If on a winter’s night a traveller – Italo Calvino; Any Human Heart – William Boyd
take two books, choose one or both or not, discuss and critique then recommend the next – £5 – includes glass of wine or tea / coffee and nibbles

Friday 20th – 7.30 for 8pm – Paul’s Popular Pop Quiz  – £4 / £8.50 with food – It’s pie night too! – enjoy the end of the half term with some proper irreverent irrelevance

Monday 22nd – 7.30pm – Games night – a chance to play some cards, hit the scrabble table, Rumicub the opposition into submission, breakout the backgammon, or chance upon something new and exciting to while away a few hours in our newly decorated basement cavern…

Friday 27th – The monthly Hassocks Hash – 7.30pm prompt

Monday 2nd March 7.30pm for 8pm start -The New Monday Night Trivia Quiz

Thursday 5th March – they’re back – Wine Wars 2015 return to the purple carrot and what a starter.   Well actually not a starter at all but desserts and Pudding wines to tickle the taste buds accompanied by some rather splendid puddings and cake, and cheese. Tickets £16 in advance from the purple carrot

Friday 6 – Monday 9th Feb – limited opening hours as yours truly escapes to the continent for a couple of days –

spoiler alert – NOTHING EVER HAPPENS IN HASSOCKS – a series of events adopted and put on by the Purple Carrot just to prove the point 

SUPPER CLUB COMING SOON – munch with the bunch


could anything be more exciting?

This week we have two events to tell you about (well three if you count next Monday as well). The Neighbourhood Plan Consultation (housing part) (yes I know yawn yawn), The first Wine Wars of the year, and next Monday’s New Monday Quiz

FRIDAY 30th 7.30pm & Saturday 31st 10.30am  So usually you just sort of troll along, popping off to work, relaxing into your weekends, planning future holidays, so when someone tries to tell you about the Parish Council and the Mid Sussex District Council and the West Sussex County Council well it’s pretty boring really isn’t it and they’re all the same anyway – corrupt, self-serving, ineffectual, inefficient, killjoys, no idea what’s really going on – but suddenly, stealthily almost, a trickle of developers turns into a deluge and we want to know why aren’t these councils doing more to protect our “village” from the nasty private sector people?

It is at this point (hopefully) that you realise the nice comfortable bubble of existence that we enjoy here in the shadow of the South Downs National park is not something that should be taken for granted and that being a NIMBY is a right that has to be earned, and sensible reasons for sustainable growth postulated, argued and agreed. The time for moaning is over. The time for ranting is not going to happen. The time to be complacent and tacitly complicit has come to an end. IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT IS PROPOSED FOR HASSOCKS YOU, YES YOU must now come to terms with doing something about it, not leaving it to others – who wouldn’t do it right anyway –     the Neighbourhood Plan is NOT the Parish Council’s plan but the communities plan compiled, after consultation with the community (THAT’S YOU / US again) and others, by the Parish Council and other volunteers – everybody working on the plan is a volunteer and everybody is encouraged to get involved.

There are 2 consultation events, 30 & 31 January @ Downlands School, all about site assessments, which sites are suitable or not and what else should be considered or other potential sites and the size of developments. All the details are here
oh my gosh it’s really happening what can we do….

SATURDAY night – 31 January  7.45pm for 8pm start   After you have finished venting your spleen, conversely known as putting a cogent and coherent argument together the time is probably ripe to continue fixing the world and what better way to do this than explaining to all who will listen just which of the 7 wines at under £7 is the best with which delicious cheese as The Keymer and Hassocks Sports & Social Club opens its doors to the wider community for a right proper wine tasting session. Giles, from Hurstpierpoints’ excellent Southdowns Cellars will offer a masterclass in understatement whilst selling the finer points of white, red and rose, while Mystic (still basking in the glow of Stamford Bridge 4 goal hospitality) will provide purple carrot cheeseboards filled to the brim with High Wield Dairys finest. Tasting starts at 8pm , until about 9.30 and there will be prizes too. Any donations/contributions/funding to the costs you might wish to give will be passed on to local charities and WaterAid.

Finally, and technically next week, it is the Purple Carrot New Monday Quiz again a 7.45 for 8pm start. Suitable for teams of 1,2,3 or 4 (5 or 6 if you like) Now I know some of you don’t come along because you only like to go to one’s that you win at !!! (you know who you are) and others feel that they might drink too much on a school night, but with a jackpot round now standing at over £100, questions ranging from the current, past a future, the easy to the improbable, table rounds to puzzle and tease, a modern invention called decaf coffee (won’t keep you awake all night or get you drunk) and our usual nibbles, platters, cheeseboards and cake…well it’s probably worth giving it a try n’es pas?

Quiet isn’t it

Welcome to the new year, I assume you’re all still out there…?

January is always a bit slow as peeps come to terms with the uncomfortable truth that remortgaging the house to pay for Christmas wasn’t actually the best idea ever.

So to help you get through the monetary drought we have some low cost going out oportunities for you to experience and enjoy over the next few weeks

Friday 9th – 7.30pm – Malc’s chatter -the essentials of run performance and creating a training plan  

Monday 12th – 7.30pm – Purple Carrot Book Symposium
This months books to check out: Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene; One Day – Paul Nicholls; The fountain at the centre of the world – Rob Newman
take two books, choose one or both or not, discuss and critique then recommend the next – £5 – includes glass of wine or tea / coffee and nibbles

Friday 16th – 7.30 for 8pm – Paul’s Popular Pop Quiz  – £4 / £8.50 with food

Monday 19th – 7.30pm – Games night – a chance to play some cards, hit the scrabble table, Rumicub the opposition into submission, breakout the backgammon, or chance upon something new and exciting to while away a few hours

Friday 23rd – The lovely Karen’s birthday

Saturday 24th – Book Club Boogie @ the Hassocks Hotel . Help the lovely Karen celebrate her birthday with some bangin’ toons from a bunch of DJ’s who should know better “Moist Marty T” , Mystic Willy, DJ Coot and Crispy Creamy Cheesy Christoff will take you through styles, moods, highs and higher on a journey through sounds. £8 in advance (£10 on the door) tickets from Marchants, The Purple Carrot

Saturday 31st – the beginning – PC Tasting treats Wine Wars 2015. First event of the year to be held at the Keymer & Hassocks Sports and Social club in Adastra Park – presenting Giles super “7 for Seven” and tasty cheeses from hereabouts Tickets £10 in advance from the purple carrot

Monday 2nd Feb 7.30pm for 8pm start -The New Monday Night Trivia Quiz

Monday 9th Feb – Guides film night

Sunday 15 Feb – DOGSoc Golf February Freezer competition – Lewes £27

New Years Eve

This year we will be mainly enjoying food and drink and feastive cheer

NEW YEARS EVE 8.30pm – 1am

Come and join the purple carrot crew for a very pleasant evening of food and chatter, platters that matter, round the world countdown, midnight bubbles, and possibly a few tunes for the younger and young at heart –
Let us know you’re coming BEFORE midday Wednesday (31st) so we can get the catering right.

Ticket ONLY £12, with family tickets also available –

txt 07814360341 or email chris@thepurplecarrot.org



My Apologies – book symposium postponement

Really sorry people but I’m going to have to postpone tonight’s Purple Carrot Book Symposium until Monday 12 January as I’m feeling well ropey and would be no sort of host. I couldn’t bear to be the bringer of poorliness to households over Christmas – the Festive fungus, Christmas Ills n Chills, Holiday heath taker.  Much prefer to be thought of in a positive light, for business purposes you understand…

NEW YEARS EVE 8.30pm – 1am

Come and join the purple carrot crew for a very pleasant evening of food and chatter, platters that matter, round the world countdown, midnight bubbles, and possibly a few tunes for the younger and young at heart –
Ticket ONLY – £12 – family tickets available –
email chris@thepurplecarrot.org

while we’re on the subject I’m afraid opening hours at the Purple Carrot over Christmas will be a bit hit and miss due to a couple of family commitments and the fact that no-one leaves the comfort of their chair in front of the TV for two weeks anyway!

  • Tues 23rd OPEN 8am- 5.30pm
  • Wed 24th 8am – until all the food is eaten up in the afternoon… 
  • Thurs 25th CLOSED
  • Fri 26th 9am-11.30am
  • Sat 27th 9.30am – 2pm
  • Sun 28th CLOSED – football tournament 1.30pm
  • Mon 29th CLOSED
  • Tues 30th CLOSED
  • Wed 31st New Years Eve Party 8.30pm-1am
  • Thurs 1st Jan CLOSED
  • Fri 2nd CLOSED
  • Sat 3rd 9.30am-2pm
  • Sun 4th 9.30am-12.30pm
  • Mon 5th 7pm-10pm – QUIZ

wine wars – Hassocks decides – and the winners are…

Well you can’t get much closer than that

after six months of serious thought, gargling, spitting and swallowing it all came down to Julias poorly tooth!! On finals night 27 tasters did their best impressions of Keith Floyd meeting Oz Clark in a late night bar to declare Australia victorious over Germany by a mere 2 points. At this point I must thank the 60 plus different people who participated in this most excellent affair over the last half year, and invite them and any others who like a little challenge to next years series of Wine tasting events which will give different countries the chance to showcase their talents even more.

However we start 2015 with a slightly different challenge not just to the taste buds but to some of our favourite local wine merchants and cellar men and women – keep your diaries free for Saturday 31 January , the best is yet to come.

This coming month at the Purple Carrot we have a couple of things coming up that may float your boat, apart from a glut of Christmas meals and functions – we do still have some evenings free if you’re a last minute organiser!

Friday 19th December – 7.30pm for 8pm start
Pop Quiz – the truly festive edition
Despite being dumped from a great height by our resident quiz master – the not quite as popular as before he blew us out Paul – we struggle gamely on. Actually it’s likely to be really really good (I hope) and with a jackpot now nearing £100 there could be a very timely wad of cash to wave around just before the carnage that is Christmas – £4 per person, £8 with food

Monday 22nd – 7.15pm – 9.45pm
The Purple Carrot Book Symposium – This months books to check out:
Our Man in Havana – Graham Greene;
One Day – Paul Nicholls;
The fountain at the centre of the world – Rob Newman
take two (this month three!) books, choose one or both or not, discuss and critique then recommend the next – £5 includes glass of wine or tea / coffee and nibbles

Sunday 28th – 1.30pm – 3.30pm
The Purple Carrot Developing (and old crocks) Footballers Tournament – Downlands all-weather pitch once again hosts and while our friends from London remain at home chastened nay humbled by their 11(ish) aside drubbing by the noisy neighbours of Rottingdean plenty others are around to take their place. Food will again be provided after the event at the Keymer and Hassocks sports and social club in Adastra park with the opportunity to enjoy Newcastle v Everton in the 4.15 kick-off.

Wednesday 31st – 8.15pm – 1.00am
The New Year is upon us – festive soiree – bid adieu to 2014, raise a glass to 2015, eat a mince pie!
chatter and natter with some of Hassocks finest citizens as they come together to discuss the finer points of his years goings on – £12 includes midnight bubbles and nibbly nosh

Sunday 4th January – 8.45am – 3.00pm

DoGs golf – three club challenge  – On the slopes of the Downs at sunny Waterhall
Just three clubs (and a putter if you want one)
Full English Breakfast followed by 18 holes of golf with sherry and mincepies on the way round. AFterwards you’ll definitely need some steak and red wine pie to rejuvenate you once again.   £28

Monday 5th Jan – 8.00pm – 10.00pmm
The Thursday Monday Trivia Quiz – a new night for the faithful quizzers
Now on the first Monday of each month the trivia quiz looks to attract a couple more people to give our resident champions a run for their money, and a bit of competition. go on you know you want to – £2.50

@ThePurpleCarrot tonight – your Favourite Book?

Tonight’s first meeting of the Purple Carrot Book Symposium (from the Greek meaning “to drink together” – a forum for debate and chatter a cup of tea or glass of wine) – is to be a loosely held together affair. Having seen much talk on social media about lists of favourite music, plays, books, people – the lists are manyfold – it was thought this first forray in the murky world of literature could be a  show and tell (or just tell) about your favourite book, books, or even books that you think others should read.

Come along this evening to help shape and build this into something accessible for people who like to read and talk about and range of literature but don’t always have the time or commitment to sign up to 12 months of hard reading.

For now there is no specific format, but the idea is to have a couple of books each month for discussion classic, new, fiction, fact I don’t believe it really matters. Maybe you’ll read one, or both, or none, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding out about them.

We’ll provide a drink (tea / coffee / glass of wine) and nibbles you provide the thirst for knowledge, energy, enthusiasm,  or just doze quietly in the corner – the choice is yours

7.15pm – 9.45pm  – £5

and another thing

Erroneously left off the list of things happening at the Purple Carrot this month is a further information session on the Downlands school energy project. From 2.00-3.30pm this Saturday 15 November at the purple carrot

HKD Energy Directors will be on hand to answer any questions about the Downlands School Solar Project and provide further details about the plans. hkd energy information sessions

A real chance to be involved in community development

November probably won’t surpass the glorious weather of October – FACT

To come to terms with the sobering thought that we’ve probably seen the best weather of the year sail past in an extremely windy wet bubble, we’d like to offer you a couple of tidbits at the purple carrot over the next few weeks to take your minds of it all.

First up come the semi-finals of the very popular wine wars, Hassocks being the cultural centre of Mid Sussex we offer a more infused version of wine tasting striving diligently to find the country with the best overall wine offer. Thursday 13th is a battle of the big reds with Australia taking on Chile, followed by a lighter affair the following week Thursday 20th with Germany trying to upset the kiwi cart.

This Sunday 16th sees many many first-timers and old hands undertake the 10km in Brighton under the guise and guidance of “We RUN” Hassocks. If you can’t be there to support them why not come and find out how they did over a Purple Carrot Sunday brunch from 11.30?

Friday 21st – 7.30 for 8pm – Popular Paul’s pop quiz promises to be something special as it enters its 3rd year, and it’s time for a pie and mash extravaganxa to accompany. Jackpot round stands at about £70 but it’s bound to be dead easy :0)

Sunday 23rd is the ever so thrilling Dread @ the Head DOGSoc golf event where some foolhardy people battle the elements at Seaford Head golf course all for the superb Steak and Guiness stew afterwards (£27 – 10.15 for butty and coffee)

Monday 24th is the first meeting of the Purple Carrot Book Club – 7.15 – 9.45. Always liked the idea of being in a bookclub but never had the time, commitment or people to share with? This is a chance for a more informal look at books you might like. (£5 with a glass of wine, tea / coffee cake). Take a choice of two books every month, read one, read two, read none! then discuss.

Friday 28th – Light-up Hassocks is going down on Keymer road early doors, but when you’ve eaten too many scrummy hot dogs, drunk too much mulled wine, and fed all your money to the tombola – then it’s time to take on the Hassocks Hash 7.30pm, and redeem yourself – then perhaps finish off the evening with a wee dram and a mince pie (too early?)

Sunday 30th – we will be closed as we deserve a little rest every so often, and we have to visit the Gingerbread Tea Rooms (Brugge) to try out their waffles and hot chocolate, get tips and come back cinnamoned up ready for the Wine Wars final (Fri 5 Dec) and more mince pies than you can shake a stick at

NOVEMBER – the semi-finals


Thursday 13 November – 3 tickets left

Australia v Chile


Thursday 20 November – sold out

Germany v New Zealand


Friday 5 December – tickets going fast

hosted by

South Downs Cellars

100 High Street, Hurstpierpoint

01273 833 830 http://www.southdownscellars.co.uk