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:
- Back to London
At Sea Again
Elizabeth Street Party
Pea and Mint Sauce Martini
Dining Chairs and a Wander around Kentish Town
- Back to London
- [Saturday 20th June 2015]
The ship arrived back at Southampton in the morning, and we got the train from there back to London.
- At Sea Again
- [Friday 19th June 2015]
Last full day of the cruise, at sea again.
- [Thursday 18th June 2015]
Our fourth and final port of call: Bergen.
- [Wednesday 17th June 2015]
Third port of call, and another fjord - Geiranger this time. Alas the weather wasn't quite as nice as the day before.
- [Tuesday 16th June 2015]
Skjolden, the second port of call on the cruise, where we were treated to the one and only day of really nice weather in which to enjoy the spectacular fjord scenery.
- [Monday 15th June 2015]
First port of call on our cruise today: Stavanger.
- At Sea
- [Sunday 14th June 2015]
Spent the day at sea. Not much to see but oil rigs. First of the two black tie evenings, which led to me getting very frustrated at having forgotten how to tie a bow tie, and not having the internet to hand.
- [Saturday 13th June 2015]
First day of our cruise to the Fjords. Embarked at Southampton in the afternoon, and spent the remainder of the day getting to know the ship.
- [Friday 12th June 2015]
The day before our cruise.
- [Thursday 11th June 2015]
Grandad and Janie came to visit.
- Elizabeth Street Party
- [Wednesday 10th June 2015]
Went along to the Elizabeth Street Party for a bit in the evening.
- Pea and Mint Sauce Martini
- [Tuesday 9th June 2015]
Attempted to make an unusual / quirky martini. It almost worked.
- [Monday 8th June]
- Dining Chairs and a Wander around Kentish Town
- [Sunday 7th June 2015]
Our new dining chairs arrived this morning, and in the afternoon I had some time to myself, so went on a wander around Kentish Town.
- Natalie's Party
- [Saturday 6th June 2015]
My friend Natalie from work was going to be moving soon, and in a similar way to us was relocating from a quite desirable part of London, to a more affordable and therefore not quite as well heeled neighbourhood. Consequently she'd decided to have a final hurrah in her current neck of the woods - Parson's Green - to which I took Erika along as well (Chie was originally planning to join us but at the last minute decided she'd rather take advantage of the opportunity to have a complete rest).
On the way there, from our bit of North London to Parson's Green required four different tube trains. In a way, with a toddler present, changing trains a lot actually makes the journey easier, as it helps to stave off boredom a bit.
The previous time I'd brought Erika along to what was essentially a party for grown ups (the afternoon on Stave Hill), it had worked surprisingly well. Erika had been on top form, she'd been witty and charming throughout, and didn't seem to mind the lack of other small people. This afternoon didn't work quite as well for some reason, possibly down to the fact there were more people in a more confined space, despite there being other kids there, and I'm not sure she enjoyed herself as much. Ho, hum.
On the way back, we took the overground, which impressively we were able to get on from West Brompton (just two stops on the district line from Parsons Green) all the way to Gospel Oak, which is walking distance from where we live. It was surprisingly busy though, and towards the end Erika got a bit irritable, wanted to have something to eat (I had nothing with me by this point) and there was a bit of a scene.
When we finally got home, Chie had made homemade gnocchi for dinner, which were rather nice.
- Pizza Wine
- [Friday 5th June 2015]
Was in the mood for a nice bottle of wine this evening, so on the way home ventured to our local wine merchant and made the usual awkward (and yet it really shouldn't be awkward) request for a vegetarian compatible wine - something not fined with isinglass. For some reason or other I particularly fancied something from the Veneto. Impressively the chap in the shop managed to call the winemaker on the spot (oddly via his Dad, who apparently knew them) to confirm that the wine in question was indeed free of dead animal bits. So I bought a bottle of Inama 'Oratorio di San Lorenzo' Colli Berici Carmenere Riserva 2009. Which, perhaps squanderously for a not-particularly-cheap wine, we had with a takeaway pizza. The pizza was a bit of a disappointment, and to be honest, I wasn't hugely enamoured with the wine - possibly not the wine's fault, but the setting. It was quite a rich, heavy, wintery sort of wine, and just wasn't quite right for the time of year, or the junk food we ate it with.
Also very frustrating this evening was my unsuccessful foray into home automation - I'd bought some smart light bulbs and a controller (in the belkin wemo range), having liked the idea of being able to control the lights in the flat remotely and so on, but after several irritating hours this evening I gave up trying to get the bloody things to work. I'll be sending them back.
- [Thursday 4th June 2015]
Andrew at work is rather obsessed with Frank's in Peckham, to the extent that in the weeks leading up to it actually having opened for the season, a week ago today, the precise opening date had been a constant source of discussion.
Owing to having had a bit of a hiatus from drinking over the past week and a bit, I hadn't been there on opening night as Andrew had, but by today the constant nagging to come along had been inescapable. However, having been out with Al and Kyle the night before I felt a bit bad about the prospect of abandoning the girls again, so, remembering that Frank's is apparently child friendly, decided instead to invite Erika and Chie along.
The sensible approach would be for me to have gone straight there from work, it only being a 10 or 15 minute train journey from Victoria, and have the girls meet me there. For some reason or other though that wouldn't do, so instead I first headed in the exact opposite direction to pick Erika up from nursery, then got the surprisingly pleasant train service from Kentish Town to Peckham Rye - no need to change - which for the first half at least, despite being at rush hour, was surprisingly quiet, so we had a table to ourselves. This was particularly convenient as I'd picked up sushi for us all to eat, so we had a very civilised early dinner on the train. I haven't been on this route before, and it was quite delightful - it passes through the centre of London (which is a rare thing on an overground train), and the view going over Blackfriars bridge was particularly lovely.
Once at Frank's I'm pleased to report it was a glorious summer evening, almost verging on being too hot out on the exposed concrete, atop the multi story car park in Peckham where Frank's resides. The view was great as always, and it was a good opportunity to try out my new camera a bit.
We didn't stay particularly late, what with having Erika in tow, and were back home by around 8:30. The return train journey was similarly delightful.
- 1950s Negroni
- [Wednesday 3rd June 2015]
Out with Al and Kyle for drinks. Had a Negroni made with 1950s ingedients at the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz.
- [Tuesday 2nd June 2015]
Another trip to the zoo, on a Tuesday morning rather than a Wednesday morning for a change, as Chie was in Barcelona.
- New Cameras
- [Monday 1st June 2015]
Erika and I got new cameras today.