Dr John Hawkins
Welcome to my bit of the Maison de Stuff,
home to a huge load of pictures,
and my daily blog.
My email address is as above - I've put it in an image in a vein attempt to reduce the amount of spam I get.
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Maison de Stuff
- Recent Entries:
- Courtauld, Middle Temple and The Thames
Dinner in the Garden
Back to London
Sunday in Devon
Beer Engine and New House
The Old Inns of England
Alexandra Palace and Go Ape
Large Padron Collider
Oliveto and Science Evening
Playgrounds and Party
Fizzy Cola Bottles
Berkhamstead and Frithsden Vineyard
Lunch at the River Cottage then a Long Boring Drive Back Home
Lyme Regis and Charmouth
London to Shute
Erika in a Party Hat
Laksa, Sort Of
Potters Bar to Radlett
House Party and Archway Bridge
Party and The Selfish Giant
Fish and Chips
Bricket Wood to Radlett
Manze's and Borough Market
Kings Cross Champagne
Back to Civilisation
Sunday in Herefordshire
Saturday in Herefordshire
London to Clodock
Sunday Morning with Grandma and Garden Centre
After School Ice Cream
Freeze Dried Roast Potatoes
More Cherry Blossom
The Bridge Inn
Dawlish and Cockwood
London to Devon
First Signs of Spring
Dimsum and the Wallace Collection
Hina Matsuri and Rosie's Birthday
Snowy Start to March
Even More Snow
Walking the Dog
- Courtauld, Middle Temple and The Thames
- [Friday 22nd June 2018]
Went to visit the Courtauld Gallery at lunchtime with Jeremy, then later on met up with Gemma (who was visiting from the US again) and the usual suspects for a varied evening taking in the Middle Temple Champagne Bar, the Thames Clipper, the O2 (yea not really a highlight) and finally the Angel in Bermondsey.
- [Thursday 21st June 2018]
Indonesian food for lunch from the street food market in Kings Cross.
- School Concert
- [Wednesday 20th June 2018]
Erika sang Tomorrow from Annie at her school concert.
- [Tuesday 19th June 2018]
Just one picture of the garden after work.
- [Sunday 17th June 2018]
Took Erika for lunch at Wahaca and a succession of playgrounds.
- [Saturday 16th June 2018]
Odd day out wherein I tried to get on as many ferries across London as possible. Only really managed two, plus the Thames Clipper, and not sure that counts.
- Dinner in the Garden
- [Friday 15th June 2018]
Dinner in the garden I think (or at least pre dinner snacks), a spot of sabrage, and more raspberry picking.
- Garden Bags
- [Thursday 14th June 2018]
Got some garden bags to dispose of the hedge trimmings and had dinner at Ceremony, the vegetarian restaurant near Tufnell Park.
- [Tuesday 12th June 2018]
Picked some raspberries in the garden then a late night drink at the Pineapple with Jeremy.
- Back to London
- [Monday 11th June 2018]
Headed back to London in the morning, just time for a few family photos before we went.
- Sunday in Devon
- [Sunday 10th June 2018]
Quite morning at Dad's soon to be ex-house, then Teignmouth for lunch.
- Beer Engine and New House
- [Saturday 9th June 2018]
Lunch at the Beer Engine then went to see Dad's new house in the afternoon.
- [Friday 8th June 2018]
Decided to have a barbecue as the weather was nice.
- The Old Inns of England
- [Thursday 7th June 2018]
Got a new (old) book today.
- Garden Table
- [Wednesday 6th June 2018]
New garden table and chair arrived today.
- Alexandra Palace and Go Ape
- [Monday 4th June 2018]
Erika had the day off school for a teacher training day today, so we went to Alexandra Palace, and Erika impressed us with her tree top antics at Go Ape.
- [Sunday 3rd June 2018]
Took Erika to the zoo.
- B12 Burger
- [Saturday 2nd June 2018]
Went to my local caff for a restorative fry-up, then went to John Lewis to buy a garden table and chairs, then went to some kind of hipster restaurant to try the new B12 vegan burger.
- [Friday 1st June 2018]
I had an afternoon / evening out with Cardo in and around Portobello.
- [Thursday 31st May 2018]
- [Wednesday 30th May 2018]
Erika was off school, it being half term, so we went to the Pineapple for lunch.
- Jim's BBQ
- [Monday 28th May 2018]
Barbecue at Jim's house in Suburbiton for his birthday.
- Hampstead Heath
- [Sunday 27th May 2018]
Walked across Hampstead Heath to Hampstead, had lunch at the Garden Gate pub, then got the train home. Spot of gardening in the afternoon when we got back.
- [Saturday 26th May 2018]
Took Erika to Franks, then visited Andrew's house.
- Large Padron Collider
- [Friday 25th May 2018]
Paella and padron peppers for dinner.
- Oliveto and Science Evening
- [Thursday 24th May 2018]
Lunch at Oliveto, and in the evening a science event at Erika's school.
- Murger Han
- [Wednesday 23rd May 2018]
Went to Murger Han again for lunch.
- [Tuesday 22nd May 2018]
Some pictures out in the garden.
- [Sunday 20th May 2018]
Went to Whitstable for Leon's Birthday, and failed any photos other than my train ticket.
- Playgrounds and Party
- [Saturday 19th May 2018]
Spent the day with Erika in a series of playgrounds and then at her friend's birthday party.
- Wine Tasting
- [Thursday 17th May 2018]
Held a Gevrey Chambertin wine tasting / dinner at home. Only managed to take one picture - of the aftermath.
- [Wednesday 16th May 2018]
Ingredients arrived ahead of the following evening's wine tasting / gourmet dinner.
- Andrew's Birthday
- [Tuesday 15th May 2018]
Down to Deptford in the evening for Andrew's birthday.
- Fizzy Cola Bottles
- [Monday 14th May 2018]
Just one random picture.
- [Sunday 13th May 2018]
Went for dim sum at our usual haunt with friends for lunch then pottered fairly aimlessly about for the remainder of the afternoon.
- Berkhamstead and Frithsden Vineyard
- [Saturday 12th May 2018]
Was granted some free time in the daytime today and decided to go for another of my walks. This time I decided to head to Berkhamstead - mainly because it wasn't too far from Euston station, an easy station to get to, and on the map the surrounding area looked quite green.
On most of these walks I've been glad to be able to get out of whatever town I start the walk in as quickly possible and get into something resembling countryside. Berkhamstead however was a pleasant surprise, not wholly unpleasant and and of itself, and my walk commenced with a nice stretch along the canal which runs through the centre of the town, lined for the most part with pretty gardens, and occasionally a moderately picturesque dwelling, plus the occasional canalside pub.
After leaving the canal I joined the Hertfordshire way, which to begin with followed a country lane. Although I'm usually less keen on walking along roads, this was actually one of the nicest stretches of the walk, when I suddenly experienced a wonderful feeling of isolation - apart from the odd passing car I had that delightful sense that there was nobody for miles around, such a welcome contrast to being so hemmed in on all sides in London. Recently on these walks those moments have been quite euphoric.
I then reached Potten End, where I'd considered stopping for lunch at one of two possible pubs there, but the first I could tell at a glance was far to gastropubby for me, and the second, much more of a local's pub feel, looked like it might be OK, but I decided instead to press on for Frithsden Vineyard.
This must be one of the closest vineyards to London, and quite possibly the closest to home, in North London, as most of them tend to be down South. It's on a very small scale, a sort of pet project of the owners who had a house with a bit of spare land, but nice nonetheless. I had timed it quite well by chance today as they were having an open day, and had a barbecue going. Alas they don't have any sparkling wine at the moment, so I tried their (still) white and rose, both of which were pleasant enough, but neither exactly my cup of tea. As it turned out the vineyard is actually for sale, but at £1.75 million with the attached house being modern and not particularly beguiling I don't think I'll be putting in an offer. Still, a nice spot and a nice feature of my day out.
From there I broadly headed back in the direction of Berkhamstead again, albeit this time a different route, initially through a very pleasant little bit of woodland, where I enjoyed possibly the last of the bluebells of the season, and then across the golf course and finally through meadows filled with buttercups and back into Berkhamstead. Caught a bit of rain en route, but felt blissfully unconcerned.
- The Angel
- [Wednesday 9th May 2018]
Went to the Angel to meet the usual suspects, and decided on a whim to try and photograph pretty much everything along my walk from Blackfriars station to there.
- Lunch at the River Cottage then a Long Boring Drive Back Home
- [Monday 7th May 2018]
Spent the morning exploring in and around the gatehouse before heading to Axminster for lunch at the River Cottage, then the long boring drive back to London.
- Lyme Regis and Charmouth
- [Sunday 6th May 2018]
Lunch in Lyme Regis then went to the beach for a Spot of fossil hunting in charmouth later in the afternoon. Later on dinner back at the gatehouse.
- London to Shute
- [Saturday 5th May 2018]
As always seems to be the case whenever we decide to drive anywhere it took far longer than we thought it would, but eventually by early evening we made it to Shute, and were met there by Dad and Janie. We then had a picnic dinner out on the lawn in front of the gatehouse.
- Chie's Birthday
- [Friday 4th May 2018]
Chie went to see a show in the evening. I stayed home to look after Erika, who insisted on going into the garden to look for woodlice.
- [Thursday 3rd May 2018]
Some shopping errands and a pub lunch in the centre of town. Out in the garden for a bit with Erika later on in the afternoon.
- Oxo Tower
- [Wednesday 2nd May 2018]
Impromptu night out at the Oxo Tower with some of the usual suspects.
- Erika in a Party Hat
- [Tuesday 1st May 2018]
Just one picture, of Erika in a party hat.
- [Monday 30th April 2018]
Erika with her new piano (which Chie got from a friend who is moving at the weekend).
- [Sunday 29th April 2018]
Chie was working today, so I took Erika to the zoo.
- [Saturday 28th April 2018]
Natalie from work happened to be in the neighbourhood in the afternoon, so we met up at the Southampton Arms, then she gave Erika a cycling lesson, then back home for some ESW and risotto.
- Ice Cream
- [Friday 27th April 2018]
Ice cream with Erika after school.
- Farewell Dinner
- [Thursday 26th April 2018]
Farewell dinner with Christian in East Finchley who was imminently moving to New York.
- New Sunglasses
- [Tuesday 24th April 2018]
New sunglasses arrived (primarily needed as I've been suffering with hayfever) and in the evening I built Lego with Erika.
- Laksa, Sort Of
- [Monday 23rd April 2018]
Made a sort of laksa for dinner.
- Bugs Party
- [Sunday 22nd April 2018]
Erika went to a friend's birthday party where she got to handle some bugs.
- Potters Bar to Radlett
- [Saturday 21st April 2018]
Walked a stretch of the Hertfordshire Way from Potters Bar to Radlett - if anything a bit too warm for walking today!
- More sun
- [Friday 20th April 2018]
Sunny again today, what a delight.
- [Thursday 19th April 2018]
Finally some bloody sunshine! Like probably everybody else in London we had a barbecue.
- [Tuesday 17th April 2018]
Opened the crates of GevCham which arrived yesterday.
- [Monday 16th April 2018]
Some GevCham arrived in the daytime. Played Marble Run with Erika in the evening.
- House Party and Archway Bridge
- [Sunday 15th April 2018]
Chie invited some of her friends round for a party at our place in the daytime. I ducked out for a bit in the afternoon for a walk, but didn't really have enough time to get out into the countryside so instead just walked up to Archway Bridge.
- Party and The Selfish Giant
- [Saturday 14th April 2018]
Erika had a birthday party to attend in the morning, then as soon as that was finished we whizzed her into the centre to watch a musical version of Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant.
- Fish and Chips
- [Friday 13th April 2018]
Fish and chips for dinner. Erika often has fish and chips for lunch at school on Fridays, so we rarely ever have it at home. As it was the Easter holidays for her still it seemed like a good opportunity!
- [Wednesday 11th April 2018]
Benoit was in town, went for a drink around St Pancras.
- Afternoon Off
- [Tuesday 10th April 2018]
As it was the Easter holidays I took the afternoon off to spend some time with Erika, and we went for dimsum for lunch.
- [Monday 9th April 2018]
Just one random picture of Chie and Erika in the evening.
- Bricket Wood to Radlett
- [Sunday 8th April 2018]
I went for a Sunday stroll in the rain.
- Manze's and Borough Market
- [Saturday 7th April 2018]
Recreated a day from around this time last year - pie and mash at M Manze for lunch, followed by a visit to Borough market to buy spatzle and morels, which formed tonight's dinner.
- Kings Cross Champagne
- [Friday 6th April 2018]
As the weather was pleasant, sat outside on the steps leading down to the canal at Kings Cross and had Champagne with the usual suspects.
- Cherry Blossom
- [Wednesday 4th April 2018]
Checking the state of the cherry blossom and the apple tree in the garden.
- Back to Civilisation
- [Monday 2nd April 2018]
Woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground in Clodock this morning, and sadly after one last breakfast had to pack up and leave the cottage. Drove over to Caerwent from there to visit Bec, Dave and Jessica. After that drove back to Bristol to drop off the car then got the train back to London.
- Sunday in Herefordshire
- [Sunday 1st April 2018]
Had the only good weather of the long weekend this morning, so made the most of it and did an Easter egg hunt followed by a walk in the surrounding countryside. Headed over to the Bell at Skenfrith for lunch with Vera, Robin, Robert and Louise, then had them all back to the cottage for tea afterwards. Final dinner at the cottage in the evening, followed by a final trip to the pub.
- Saturday in Herefordshire
- [Saturday 31st March 2018]
Breakfast at the cottage in Clodock, then went to have a look at the village shop in the next village up (Longtown), followed by lunch at the Carpenters Arms in Walterstone. Headed over to Abergavenny in the afternoon for tea with Vera and Louise, and to meet Louise's new dog Lily, about which Erika was very excited. Back to the cottage in the early evening, took Chie and Erika to see the Cornewall Arms before dinner, then baked potatoes for dinner at the cottage.
- London to Clodock
- [Friday 30th March 2018]
Got the train from London to Bristol in the morning. Had lunch in a yurt, then drove our hire car from there to Abergavenny, where we popped in to see Vera and Robin briefly, before stocking up on supplies at the Waitrose there and then driving to Clodock, where we'd be staying in a cottage the next three nights.
- Sunday Morning with Grandma and Garden Centre
- [Sunday 25th March 2018]
Spent the morning with Grandma (breakfast at a local cafe, food shopping in the local shops, then lunch at home) then waved Grandma off and Erika and I went to the garden centre.
- [Saturday 24th March 2018]
Went down to Guildford with Grandma Mary to visit Adrian, Liz and the kids.
- After School Ice Cream
- [Friday 23rd March 2018]
Took Erika for ice cream after school and met some of her friends from school in there.
- [Thursday 22nd March 2018]
Just one random picture of me giving Erika a piggy back at home.
- Indonesian Food
- [Wednesday 21st March 2018]
Went for Indonesian food with Chie at lunchtime.
- [Tuesday 20th March 2018]
Checking the buds on the cherry blossom and apple trees.
- Tap Shoes
- [Monday 19th March 2018]
Erika was given some tap dancing shoes by a friend.
- Freeze Dried Roast Potatoes
- [Sunday 18th March 2018]
I attempted to improve my roast potatoes, taking advantage of the snowy / icy weather to freeze dry them outside after the initial boiling. Only a marginal improvement.
- [Saturday 17th March 2018]
Erika had a friend from her first nursery come to visit Kentish Town for a playdate, starting with lunch at Wahaca.
- Birthday Cake
- [Friday 16th March 2018]
Had my birthday cake the day after my birthday.
- My Birthday
- [Thursday 15th March 2018]
Didn't want to make a particularly big deal of it this year after last year's effort, but it did seem like a good excuse to badger a few friends into going to Oliveto, my favourite restaurant. Fortunately they've recently started opening from 6pm (always used to be 7) so even though it was a school night it seemed just about workable to also include Erika in the proceedings.
After dinner we went to Olivogelo for dessert, then waved off Chie and Erika while the rest of us went for a post-dinner cocktail in the bar above Olivocarne (we were essentially doing a tour of Mauro Sanna's exmpire at this point), and then finally the three of us still remaining went for a final drink at the Duke of Wellington.
- [Wednesday 14th March 2018]
Held the inaugural session of the Pineapple Salon in the evening.
- More Cherry Blossom
- [Monday 12th March 2018]
More cherry blossom in the back garden today.
- The Bridge Inn
- [Sunday 11th March 2018]
Morning in Starcross, an early lunch at Grandad's house, then a quick visit to the Bridge Inn at Topsham on the way to Exeter before getting the train back to London.
- Dawlish and Cockwood
- [Saturday 10th March 2018]
Took the train to Dawlish, walked along the sea wall to Dawlish Warren, then went for a mini pub crawl in Cockwood.
- London to Devon
- [Friday 9th March 2018]
Got the train to Devon in the evening after work/school.
- First Signs of Spring
- [Thursday 8th March 2018]
First blossoms starting to come out on the little cherry blossom tree in our back garden.
- Piano Lesson
- [Monday 5th March 2018]
Erika had her first piano lesson today, and afterwards came home and did a bit of practice on my old piano keyboard (which I had been given for my birthday 15 years ago!).
- Dimsum and the Wallace Collection
- [Sunday 4th March 2018]
Went for dimsum at Joy King Lau then visited the Wallace Collection where they had some kid's activities.
- Hina Matsuri and Rosie's Birthday
- [Saturday 3rd March 2018]
Hina Matsuri (Girl's Day) in Japan so for lunch we had chirashi sushi with the Hina Matsuri dolls. In the evening we got a babysitter (!!!) and Chie and I went out for the evening to our friend's birthday party in Soho.
- [Friday 2nd March 2018]
Still snowy, so had fondue for dinner to warm us up.
- Snowy Start to March
- [Thursday 1st March 2018]
- Even More Snow
- [Wednesday 28th February 2018]
Really quite a lot of snow by today.
- More Snow
- [Tuesday 27th February 2018]
Quite a lot of snow today!
- [Monday 26th February 2018]
Started snowing a bit today!
- Walking the Dog
- [Sunday 25th February 2018]
Went to join our friends walking their dog on Hampstead Heath, which ended up partly retracing our steps from last Sunday morning.
- Turkish Food
- [Saturday 24th February 2018]
Went for Turkish food for lunch in Harringay (Haringey? I can never remember which is which), then visited friends for the remainder of the afternoon. In the evening I met up with Ricardo in Hampstead, then walked back home from there.
- Projector Disco
- [Friday 23rd February 2018]
Used the projector to make a disco in the lounge for Erika.
- Cocktail Cabinet
- [Wednesday 21st February 2018]
Went to Deptford to help Andrew move a cocktail cabinet.