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:
- Sunday in North Wales
Saturday in North Wales
Train to North Wales
Thursday at the Society
Just a Minute
Pan-Asian Day with Leon and Gav
Afternoon with Junchan
St. Blaise's Day
Tapas with Junchan
South Bank, Gordon's and Wahaca
Aldgate Pub Crawl
- Sunday in North Wales
- [Sunday 14th February 2010]
Spent the morning birdwatching from the kitchen window at Dad's house, then went to visit Abersoch in the afternoon.
- Saturday in North Wales
- [Saturday 13th February 2010]
A pre-lunch stroll along the sea by Porth Ysgaden followed by a post-lunch outing to Llanbedrog for another stroll along the beach and a visit to the gallery.
- Train to North Wales
- [Friday 12th February 2010]
A few pictures taken in the evening on the train on the way to North Wales.
- Thursday at the Society
- [Thursday 11th February]
Chie had gone to see a concert with some people from work this evening (a Japanese singer called Utada Hikaru) leaving me to my own devices in the evening.
Poked my nose in at a leaving do for a chap from work, but as not many people I knew were there I only stayed for one drink then headed off in the direction of the Whisky Society.
It turns out my two favourite bartenders at the society - Ana-Lise and David - are both leaving. Tonight was Ana-Lise's last night, and David would be going in about two weeks time. A bit of the end of an era really - I'd relied on both of them for numerous whisky recommendations. So anyway I was glad to have the chance for a last dram with them both tonight.
- Harry's Nuts
- [Wednesday 10th February 2010]
- [Tuesday 9th February]
- Just a Minute
- [Monday 8th February]
Went to see Just a Minute being recorded today, which was a bit different and quite fun. The guests were Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Sue Perkins and Graham Norton.
- [Sunday 7th February 2010]
An afternoon in Marlow to say goodbye to Andy just before he headed off to Japan.
- Pan-Asian Day with Leon and Gav
- [Saturday 6th February 2010]
An afternoon / evening in London with Leon, Yukari, Gav and Kyle. Started off with Korean lunch, then went for Japanese karaoke, and finished off with Thai food for dinner.
- [Friday 5th February]
- Afternoon with Junchan
- [Thursday 4th February 2010]
I took the afternoon off today as Junchan would be leaving on Friday, and it felt a bit mean if she was just left to entertain herself in the daytime for the whole time she was here.
We met up at my office at lunchtime, and then wandered from there, past Buckingham Palace, through St. James's to Fortnum and Mason. We had lunch at the Fountain restaurant there, which was rather nice - lots of very well heeled clientele.
(haven't quite finished writing this yet!)
- St. Blaise's Day
- [Wednesday 3rd February]
A St. Blaise's Day outing to Holborn has come to be one of my odd little annual rituals, and this year I took along our friend Junchan as well.
A few years ago I was idly browsing around on the web and somehow came across a page about a "blessing of the throats" ceremony at St. Etheldreda's Church in Holborn. Given that the church is also associated with what is probably my favourite pub (Ye Old Mitre - both the church and the pub were originally part of the London estate of the bishops of Ely), plus the fact that the Scotch Malt Whisky Society use the Crypt at the church for some of their more formal functions, it has become something of a favourite London landmark for me. I didn't realise until recently that it is also one of the oldest buildings in London - built around 1280 during the reign of Edward I.
You can't actually get inside the church after 5pm unfortunately, but I'm happy just to stand outside and admire it. There's a great picture of the church from the 1700s on this wikipedia page which shows that despite the surroundings having changed somewhat significantly, the church really has remained just the same for centuries. I like that sort of thing.
Of course no visit to that neck of the woods would be complete without poking one's nose in at Ye Old Mitre - a "mositening of the palette" to follow the "blessing of the throat" if you will. Plus there's also Fabrizio's not too far away wherein rather superb pasta can be had, not to mention the Cittie of Yorke and the Whisky Society. It's my favourite area for a night out in London - oozing with history and a real visual feast in terms of architecture and interiors.
Here's a map of the places we visited tonight:
View St. Blaise's Day in a larger map
- [Tuesday 2nd February]
- Tapas with Junchan
- [Monday 1st February 2010]
Our friend Junchan is starting a new venture in France this year - a sort of cultural exchange centre / language school in Lyon for French people interested in Japan, and vice verse. En route from Japan to France she stopped off in the UK to stay for a few nights from tonight.
Imagining she'd probably be a bit jetlagged we didn't plan to do too much this evening, and just popped out for dinner at the ever reliable tapas place near where we live. This seemed to go down rather well - tapas seems to get better when you have a larger group (i.e. 3 rather than 2) as it means you can order a wider variety of dishes.
- South Bank, Gordon's and Wahaca
- [Sunday 31st January 2010]
A jolly nice Sunday. Started off the day with a traditional Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup, pickles and tofu. Then lolled around the the remainder of the morning and the early afternoon, and the typical bowl of "weekend ramen" for lunch (this time with "vegetarian shrimp").
Went to see an Ozu film at the BFI on the South Bank in the evening, and had a very pleasant stroll along by the river to get there, taking in some nice views of the Houses of Parliment.
After the film had a drink at Gordon's wine bar, followed by dinner at Wahaca.
- Saatchi Gallery
- [Saturday 30th January 2010]
Wandered over to Sloane Square / King's Road to take a look at the new contemporary Indian art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. Whilst in the neighbourhood we bought a new Dyson vaccuum cleaner in Peter Jones, where we also had lunch.
After heading back home to drop off the vaccuum cleaner we were surprisingly able to muster the enthusiasm to head back out again, this time toward the centre of London, where following a quick pint at the Dog and Duck in Soho we did some food shopping with a distinctly oriental theme - first some Chinese things from See Woo, and then some Japanese things from Rice Wine.
Had nabe for dinner, with a combination of the Chinese and Japanese ingredients we'd bought today.
- [Friday 29th January]
- [Thursday 28th January]
- [Wednesday 27th January]
- Aldgate Pub Crawl
- [Tuesday 26th January 2010]
Went for what may well prove to be the last in the series of epic John and Andy London pub crawls, as Andy as imminently leaving to go and live in Japan. This time we went around Aldgate, finishing off the evening with dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Soseki by the Gherkin. Here's a map of the planned route (which we deviated from somewhat in the end):
View Aldgate Pub Crawl in a larger map
- [Monday 25th January]
- [Sunday 24th January]