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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- Recent Entries:
- Turkish Food in Hampstead
Lost in the Mist
Windsor Scouting Mission
The Italian Shop
Curry - and I actually enjoyed it
Lost in Translation
- Turkish Food in Hampstead
- [Friday 12th March] Chie's cousin (Sato) and her friend (Miho) had arrived in England the day before, and were staying in a hotel in London for the first few nights of their holiday. So after work me and Chie headed into the city to meet them for dinner. Having attempted to book a few places in the centre and failed, we decided instead to resort to the old faithful - going up to Hampstead, where we knew lots of places, and it typically wasn't so busy. After a bit of a wander around, we decided on Zara, a Turkish restaurant just round the corner from where I used to live. I've always liked the food and the atmosphere in there, and the girls seemed to enjoy it to. I drank a few Rakis, which was quite enjoyable. Seemingly every Mediteranean country has it's own aniseedy drink - Pernod (or Pastis to be more general) for the French, Ouzo for the Greeks, Sambuca for the Italians (?) and Raki for the Turks.
- Claddagh Ring
- [Thursday 11th March] After a depressing day at work, I was determined to go out for a drink, however, it didn't seem to be working out. Nobody from the office wanted to go out, so I persuaded Chie to go into Reading with me where we also failed to find anyone to drink with. We'd pretty much given up and decided to go home, when we happened to drive past the Claddagh Ring, which is Chie's friend's local pub. We gave him a call, he very kindly agreed to meet us there, and all was hunky dory in the end. I'd never been in before, and had a slight concern it might have been a bit on the rough side. It was actually very nice, and everyone seemed really friendly. Perhaps that was just because we knew one of the regulars though...
- Lost in the Mist
- [Sunday 7th - Wednesday 10th March] Can't really remember what I did on these days, so it can't have been particularly interesting.
- Windsor Scouting Mission
- [Saturday 6th March] Kev kindly volunteered to come along with me and Chie on a scouting mission to plan out a route for the following week's planned pub crawl in Windsor. I took a set of pictures along the way, which has turned into something of an informal Windsor pub guide. We covered eight pubs in less than five hours, including a prolonged stay at the first one for lunch. Of course, this is only possible when drinking halves. It occurred to me that this might be a good strategy for future crawls - I personally would prefer to get a higher coverage of pubs, and am quite happy to live with the slight embarassment of smaller pint glasses. I couldn't really imagine being able to sell this concept to anyone else though.
- Oxford Again
- [Friday 5th March] Went to Oxford again to meet up with Duncan (AKA Jimmy), and have a few beers in some of Oxford's lovely pubs. It didn't turn out quite as we planned - it was supposed to be a pub crawl, and we only managed to visit two pubs. Still, I enjoyed it nonetheless. As you might imagine, I took some pictures.
- The Italian Shop
- [Thursday 4th March] In the daytime I was in London having a meeting with my supervisor. Rather than get the train all the way in, Chie suggested I go with her in the car in the morning on her way into work, and then get the train from there instead. So I suppose it was the first time for me to experience Chie's journey into work. Anyway, after my day in London I met Chie again after work, whereupon we went to an Italian Delicatessen near her office. It's like an Aladdin's cave - really fantastic. Understandably I couldn't resist the temptation to stock up on all the usual essentials - pasta, olive oil, olives etc. Also bought some very nice Italian bread, and a bottle of a wine called San Lorenzo, which I'd had previously at my local Italian restaurant. We then proceeded home and had, not surprisingly, pasta for dinner, with olives and a couple of glasses of wine. Very nice.
- Curry - and I actually enjoyed it
- [Wednesday 3rd March] Neither Chie nor I could be bothered to cook anything this evening, so we decided to eat out, and walked to our nearest Indian restaurant, which is in fact very close indeed. I ordered from their contemporary menu, which was really nice this time (has been a bit ropey in the past), and did the usual poppadoms, lager etc. Even managed to persuade Chie to order a whole pint, which was great. When I lived in Hampstead, we used to eat out together all the time (in fact I've only just recently paid off the debts incurred), and I suppose by comparison we don't really do that so often now. I had forgotten just how nice it was. Obviously, the quality of food isn't quite up to what it was in London, but still if you're in the right frame of mind the general experience is still really great no matter where you are.
- Lost in Translation
- [Tuesday 2nd March] Had burgers for dinner, then rushed out to the cinema to watch Lost in Translation. I was extremelly impressed by Chie's timing - we only had to sit through approximately 25 seconds of adverts. There's genius there, you know. As for the actual film, well I'm not really sure that I have a solid opinion about it. It was entertaining to watch, I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time watching it or anything, but at the end I was left wondering what the point of it all was. I don't know, perhaps the plot was just too subtle for me. This is the second film I've seen recently which has been an American film set in Japan (the other of course being The Last Samurai). It seems to be a general trend of Hollywood films about Japan that they have to spend a large part of them film basically showcasing Japan. It seems like a bit of a cheap trick in a way - you don't need to invent anything yourself really to do a film about Japan, just show Japanese culture, and that will be unusual and therefore interesting to most people all by itself. Not really sure what my point is here... Anyway, it seems to have been a big success, regardless of whether or not I truly appreciated it. I was amused to hear recently that apparently Francis Ford Coppola now introduces himself as "I'm Sophia's Father".
- Cous Cous
- [Monday 1st March] Nothing particularly interesting happened today. Went for a quick pint after work. Chie had gone swimming. When she got back we had cous cous with halloumi, and a sort of tomatoey dish I made with lentils and broad beans. Quite nice.