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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Main Index (text only)
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Maison de Stuff
- Recent Entries:
New Year Party
Monday Evening in Belgravia
10 Year Anniversary
Borough Pub Crawl
Back in London
Off to the Airport
Enoshima and Ikebukuro
Eating in Tokyo
Travelling to Tokyo
Naoshima and Okayama
Ujina and Sushi-Tei
Sunday in Hiroshima
New Year's Day on Miyajima
New Year's Eve
- [Saturday 23rd January 2010]
Typical Saturday morning (breakfast at the ever excellent Regency Cafe) followed by Andy's leaving party in the afternoon.
- Burns Night
- [Friday 22nd January 2010]
Held my third Burns Night this evening, pretty much along the same lines as last year's. There were seven of us in total, and I stuck to pretty much the same tried and tested menu:
- Scotch broth to start (this time potato, parnsip, carrots, leeks, shallots and pearl barley)
- Haggis, neeps and tatties for main. Only slight variations this year were a creamy whisky sauce to go with the haggis, and the addition of truffle oil in the mashed potato.
- Scottish ice cream with shortbread and raspberries for dessert (a bit like the "Marr's Hurdies" from my first Burns night in 2005).
I gave a particularly enthusiastic rendition of the "Ode to a Haggis" this year, with somewhat more hand gestures and stabbing than than usual. It was observed that sounding angry is a very good fallback for people who can't do a Scottish accent convincingly.
Of course there was also a plethora of whisky to be sampled, and for once it was slightly less Islay-centric, including a few interesting speysides (An SWMS Tomatin and Longmorn I'd got as part of a bundle, and a very spicy 25 year old Gren Grant Al had brought along).
Was also pleased that I was not the only kilt wear this year! Excellent effort by Andrew there.
I hope my guests enjoyed the evening - I certainly did. I've never actually been to any Burns night other than the ones I've held myself, so no idea really if I'm doing it "properly", but I always seem to enjoy them nonetheless.
- New Year Party
- [Thursday 21st January 2010]
My company's second Christmas party, which we decided to postpone until after New Year. This time held at Namco Station, a kind of games centre / amusement arcade near Waterloo.
- [Wednesday 20th January 2010]
Went home after work, had dinner with Chie, then got a call from Al who happened to be in the neighbourhood, so we went out for a quick pint. Met up at CASK, and then later on headed over to The Morpeth Arms.
- [Tuesday 19th January 2010]
Went to Diwana, the very good vegetarian Indian restaurant on Drummond Street this evening for dinner.
- Monday Evening in Belgravia
- [Monday 18th January 2010]
Decided to go shopping at the Waitrose in Belgravia this evening. As I finished work a bit before Chie, I decided to go by way of The Grenadier and then The Nag's Head.
As pretty much always ends up being the case after shopping at Waitrose, we had fresh pasta for dinner - a kind of mushroom tortellini, with fresh pesto.
- 10 Year Anniversary
- [Sunday 17th January 2010]
Today marked 10 years since the day Chie and I very first met. So it seemed appropraite to go back to the place where we first met - Reading University. Of course being a Sunday pretty much everything was closed, and we couldn't actually get into the student union, but it was a nice day which made for a very pleasant stroll around campus.
Also took the opportunity whilst in Reading to meet up with Rob and Kate and their little boy Felix.
- Borough Pub Crawl
- [Saturday 16th January 2010]
An afternoon and evening spent exploring the fine pubs of Borough with Andy (and later on Chie too). Here's a map of the route (although we didn't actually make it to all of these pubs):
View Borough Pub Crawl in a larger map
- [Friday 15th January]
- [Thursday 14th January]
- [Wednesday 13th January 2010]
A few pictures from (hopefully!) the last flurry of snow of the season.
- Back in London
- [Tuesday 12th January 2010]
Back at work today. Having gone to bed pretty early the previous evening, I predictably woke up around 4am this morning, and am not really sure if I managed to get back to sleep or not.
Fairly quiet day in the office. Had a very nice lunch - bavettini ai carciofi (a kind of pasta with artichokes) at Oliveto (see here for a picture).
In the evening met up with Al in Fitztrovia for a couple of drinks. Particularly liked the Newman Arms.
- Off to the Airport
- [Monday 11th January 2010]
I often don't bother taking pictures on the absolute last day of a trip to Japan, as pictures in airports are usually not that interesting! However I noticed on my camera I was just a few pictures shy of having taken 500 during this trip, and was determined to get there!
Rather pleasingly our friend Ai-san, who works as a flight attendant, was passing through Narita airport at the same time we were, so we had a chance to meet up and have a bit of a natter while we were waiting for our flight.
The flight itself wasn't too bad I suppose. Watched quite a few films: Zombieland, The Informant, Surrogates, Four Christmases and The September Issue.
Surrogates was a particular surprise as the opening titles included a brief sequence of my friend Jim Wyatt talking about robots. He came to visit us on New Year's Eve last year.
- Enoshima and Ikebukuro
- [Sunday 10th January 2010]
Spent the afternoon on the island of Enoshima near Tokyo, including a visit to the spa there. In the evening met up with Chie's friend Miyuki-san and headed over to Ikebukuro for the usual dinner at Rohlan followed by a wee dram or two at Quercus.
- Eating in Tokyo
- [Saturday 9th January 2010]
A day spent almost continuously eating in Tokyo - vege ramen in Akihabara for lunch, and a feast of Taiwanese vegetarian food at It's Vegetable in Kinschicho in the evening.
- [Friday 8th January 2010]
Spent the daytime working from my company's Tokyo office, then in the evening met up with my friend Tanaka-san for a night out in Asakusa.
- Travelling to Tokyo
- [Thursday 7th January 2010]
Hardly took any pictures today. Spent the afternoon travelling to Tokyo from Hiroshima, then had a quiet evening in Ikebukuro visiting Watanabe-san at Quercus Bar.
- Naoshima and Okayama
- [Wednesday 6th January 2010]
A day spent visiting the island of Naoshima, famous for contemporary art, followed by an evening meeting up with some old friends in Okayama.
- Ujina and Sushi-Tei
- [Tuesday 5th January 2010]
A late afternoon seaside stroll by the sea at Ujina in Hiroshima, followed by a visit to the bar on the top floor of the Grand Prince Hotel, and then dinner at Sushi-Tei in central Hiroshima.
- [Monday 4th January 2010]
My first visit to the island of Kyushu, one of the four main islands of Japan. Got the Shinkansen to Hakata / Fukuoka where we met up with our friend Ai-san, who then took us by car to Yanagawa for a punting style "donkobune" boat trip along a canal.
- Sunday in Hiroshima
- [Sunday 3rd January 2010]
Another quiet day in Hiroshima without very much planned! Just went out to do a bit of shoping towards the end of the afternoon, then back home in the evening for okonomiyaki.
- [Saturday 2nd January 2010]
We didn't really have anything planned today, so after a lazy morning we decided to randomly get on a branch line from Hiroshima and see where it went. It went to Kabe. It wasn't very interesting.
- New Year's Day on Miyajima
- [Friday 1st January 2010]
Visiting Chie's family on Miyajima on New Year's Day.
- New Year's Eve
- [Thursday 31st December 2009]
Visited Chie's Grandparents in the daytime, then back to her parents' in the evening for nabe and some drinks to ring in the New Year.