John Hawkins

Dr John Hawkins

Welcome to my bit of the Maison de Stuff, home to a huge load of pictures, and my daily blog.

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Recent Entries:
Ardbeg
The Heath Yet Again
More Pubs
Tornado Potatoes
Sake on the Heath
MOT and More Black Dog Hill on the Heath
Black Dog Hill on the Heath
Autumnal
Knightsbridge Pubs
Vosne Romanee on the Heath
Inkpen / North Hants Ridgeway
Jeremy's Art Exhibition
Belgravia
Pevsner
Charing Cross and Strand Pubs
Sunday
Cooking in the Garden
St Albans
Thursday
Mocktails
Chair
Morning Walk to Hassocks
Lewes Bonfire
Sunset (ish) on the Heath
Kensington Pubs
Halloween
Heath
Pumpkin Carving
Paddington Pubs
Ashridge Estate
Prehistoric Family Day Out
Hereford
To Hereford
Hospitals
Saturday Evening with Mum
Ancre Hill
Fitzrovia Pubs
Frog
Tuesday
Erika's Weather Forecast
More Burgundy on the Heath and Dinner with Friends
Greenwich Pubs
ESW on the Heath
Marylebone Pubs
Smithfields Pubs
More Ye Old Mitre Research
London Metropolitan Archives
Pineapple
Ma Po Tofu in Epping Forest
ESW on the Heath with the Usual Suspects
Ye Old Mitre
Bar Tricks
Tuesday
Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells
Sunday
Saturday
Erika Back from her School Trip
Cambridge
Pineapple and Eataly
Oxford
School Trip
Dim sum
Autumn Equinox at Avebury
The Eve of the Autmn Equinox
Another Random Evening on the Heath
Kentish Town
Gin and Tonic on the Heath
Rain and Shine
Vegan Fried Chicken and English Sparkling Wine on Primrose Hill
Crocker's Folly
Cider on the Heath
Blackdown
Westminster Pubs
Erika's Birthday
Chocolate and Escape Room
Pre-Birthday
Pineapple
Monaco to London
Monday in Monaco
Aix to Monaco
Eating in Aix
Port d'Alon
London to Aix en Provence
Covent Garden Pubs, Somerset House and Pizza
Trofie with Pesto on the Heath
Korean Food and Billy Can Gin and Tonic
Walking to Watchet
Quantock Hills
Vegan Unagi
Vegan Goose and Hite
Cinema
Saturday
Bury St Edmunds and Grantchester
Crazy Golf, Orford and Glamping
Ufford
Hampstead and Badminton
Marshes
Gilbert and George
Lasagne
Last Day of Work

Pictures:
Avebury Autumn Equinox 2023: Another overnight stay in the Avebury area for the Autumn Equinox. A particularly moving sunrise this year.Avebury Autumn Equinox 2023
Friday 22nd - Saturday 23rd September 2023
Another overnight stay in the Avebury area for the Autumn Equinox. A particularly moving sunrise this year.
London September 2023: Pictures from London in September 2023 including Erika’s birthday.
London September 2023
September 2023
Pictures from London in September 2023 including Erika’s birthday.
Aix and Monaco September 2023: Five nights away in the South of France and Monaco, resuming our old annual tradition of visiting the Cote d’Azur just before Erika’s birthday.
Aix and Monaco September 2023
Thursday 31st August - Tuesday 5th September 2023
Five nights away in the South of France and Monaco, resuming our old annual tradition of visiting the Cote d’Azur just before Erika’s birthday.
Quantock Hills: A one night stay in the beautiful Quantock Hills.Quantock Hills
Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th August 2023
A one night stay in the beautiful Quantock Hills.
Suffolk August 2023: A short midweek trip to Suffolk on a bit of a whim. Taking in Ufford, Orford, Bury St Edmunds and Grantchester on the way back. Tried our hand at “glamping” one night, and stayed the other night in a golf resort, oddly enough.Suffolk August 2023
Wednesday 16th - Friday 18th August 2023
A short midweek trip to Suffolk on a bit of a whim. Taking in Ufford, Orford, Bury St Edmunds and Grantchester on the way back. Tried our hand at “glamping” one night, and stayed the other night in a golf resort, oddly enough.
Blog:
- Ardbeg
    [Thursday 30th November 2023]
- The Heath Yet Again
    [Wednesday 29th November 2023]
- More Pubs
    [Tuesday 28th November 2023]
- Tornado Potatoes
    [Sunday 26th November 2023]
- Sake on the Heath
    [Saturday 25th November 2023]
- MOT and More Black Dog Hill on the Heath
    [Friday 24th November 2023]
- Black Dog Hill on the Heath
    [Thursday 23rd November 2023]
- Autumnal
    [Wednesday 22nd November 2023]
- Knightsbridge Pubs
    [Tuesday 21st November 2023]
- Vosne Romanee on the Heath
    [Sunday 19th November 2023]

Ardbeg
[Thursday 30th November 2023]
Had a wee dram of an old bottle of Ardbeg I'd had hanging around for ages.

I think it probably has suffered a bit from being open too long?
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The Heath Yet Again
[Wednesday 29th November 2023]
Once again onto the heath. Saw some "oak apples" which were quite eyecatching.
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More Pubs
[Tuesday 28th November 2023]
Out filming in the daytime for another pub video - this time the edge of Soho on the Regents Street side.
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Tornado Potatoes
[Sunday 26th November 2023]
Erika and Chie made "tornado potatoes" at lunchtime.
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Sake on the Heath
[Saturday 25th November 2023]
On a whim decided to take some sake to the heath for a change. For the third day running a really nice sunset.
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MOT and More Black Dog Hill on the Heath
[Friday 24th November 2023]
We took the car for its MOT in the daytime, and while we were waiting availed ourselves of the nearby shops and eateries. Later on I went for Black Dog Hill on the heath at sunset.
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Black Dog Hill on the Heath
[Thursday 23rd November 2023]
Recently received a shipment of Black Dog Hill so took one to the heath for sunset today. A bit cold but rather lovely!
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Autumnal
[Wednesday 22nd November 2023]
Out on the heath for a bit, and it was looking very autumnal.
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Knightsbridge Pubs
[Tuesday 21st November 2023]
Another day's filming for a pub documentary - this time covering Knightsbridge, and as always hardly took any photos!
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Vosne Romanee on the Heath
[Sunday 19th November 2023]
Some Vosne Romanee on the heath in the afternoon.
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Inkpen / North Hants Ridgeway
[Saturday 18th November]
Went out for a walk today but neglected to take any photos!
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Jeremy's Art Exhibition
[Friday 17th November 2023]
Went to the Sainsbury's in Finchley Road in the morning to pick up a Click and Collect order (not entirely successfully). Then in the evening went to my friend Jeremy's latest art exhibition.
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Belgravia
[Thursday 16th November 2023]
Went down to Belgravia to visit the dentist. As is tradition I went for pizza at Oliveto afterwards, which is temporarily housed in one of the Olivo group's other restaurants owing to a fire earlier this year.
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Pevsner
[Wednesday 15th November 2023]
Got another volume of Pevsner's London to help with making my pub videos.
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Charing Cross and Strand Pubs
[Tuesday 14th November 2023]
Another afternoon out filming a pub video.
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Sunday
[Sunday 12th November 2023]
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Cooking in the Garden
[Saturday 11th November 2023]
I think the girls must have been out all day today - I went to the heath for a bit in the afternoon / early evening, then back at home decided on a whim to have a little fire in the back garden and cook my dinner on it.
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St Albans
[Friday 10th November 2023]
Spent the day in St Albans doing a "collab" with another "YouTuber". Only took one photo though!
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Thursday
[Thursday 9th November 2023]
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Mocktails
[Wednesday 8th November 2023]
Erika made mocktails this evening using ingredients from a kit she'd been given for her birthday.
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Chair
[Tuesday 7th November 2023]
Impressively Erika fixed a chair we'd had since she was tiny in her woodwork class.
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Morning Walk to Hassocks
[Sunday 5th November 2023]
Having hunkered down overnight up in the hills I had an early morning walk to Hassocks then got the train from there back to London.
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Lewes Bonfire
[Saturday 4th November 2023]
Attended Lewes Bonfire again, despite all the weather and the usual transport difficulties in doing so. This time with Andrew in tow.
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Sunset (ish) on the Heath
[Friday 3rd November 2023]
Late afternoon / early evening on the heath for the sunset.
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Kensington Pubs
[Thursday 2nd November 2023]
In Kensington in the afternoon to make another pub video. In the evening tried a new brand of fake steak called "Juicy Marbles"?!
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Halloween
[Tuesday 31st October 2023]
The usual halloween silliness.
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Heath
[Monday 30th October 2023]
Quick late afternoon / early evening visit to the heath.
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Pumpkin Carving
[Sunday 29th October 2023]
An annual tradition of doing pumpking carving ahead of halloween with one of Erika's friends.
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Paddington Pubs
[Saturday 28th October 2023]
Afternoon in Paddington to make another pub video.
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Ashridge Estate
[Friday 27th October 2023]
Went for a walk around some of the Ashridge Estate, near Ivinghoe Beacon. I was focusing on taking video so hardly took any photos. Just one or two of mushrooms.
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Prehistoric Family Day Out
[Thursday 26th October 2023]
A halloween themed prehistoric family day out at a place called Celtic Harmony somewhere north of London.
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Hereford
[Tuesday 24th October 2023]
Spent the daytime having a wander round Hereford, taking in the cathedral and some of the shops. Then back to Robin's new place again in the evening.
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To Hereford
[Monday 23rd October 2023]
Drove from the East Midlands to Hereford, where we'd be staying at Robin's new place for the next two nights. Stopped off for lunch on the way at the Black Swan at Much Dewchurch.
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Hospitals
[Sunday 22nd October 2023]
We were hoping to have a nice day with Mum but ended up spending practically the whole of the daytime waiting around in hospitals, which was rather disappointing. Did at least still manage to have a Sunday roast at the end of the day.
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Saturday Evening with Mum
[Saturday 21st October 2023]
Drove up to the Midlands in the afternoon and in the evening went out for dinner with Mum at her local Chinese restaurant.
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Ancre Hill
[Friday 20th October 2023]
Some Ancre Hill in the back garden.
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Fitzrovia Pubs
[Thursday 19th October 2023]
Spent the afternoon in Fitzrovia making a pub video.
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Frog
[Wednesday 18th October 2023]
A frog in the back garden again.
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Tuesday
[Tuesday 17th October 2023]
A quick visit to the heath.
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Erika's Weather Forecast
[Monday 16th October 2023]
Erika did a weather forecast.
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More Burgundy on the Heath and Dinner with Friends
[Sunday 15th October 2023]
Some Burgundy on the heath in the afternoon / early evening then round to our local friends' place for dinner.
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Greenwich Pubs
[Saturday 14th October 2023]
Down to Greenwich to make another pub video. This time with Andrew in tow.
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ESW on the Heath
[Friday 13th October 2023]
Early evening on the heath for some ESW and whatever the sunset had to show for itself.
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Marylebone Pubs
[Thursday 12th October 2023]
In Marylebone to make another pubs video.
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Smithfields Pubs
[Wednesday 11th October 2023]
Spent the day making a video about Smithfields Pubs.
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More Ye Old Mitre Research
[Tuesday 10th October 2023]
Spent some of the daytime in and around Ye Old Mitre doing historic research. Then went to the Guildhall Library to look up some old records.
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London Metropolitan Archives
[Monday 9th October 2023]
Went to the LMA to look up some old records about pubs.
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Pineapple
[Sunday 8th October 2023]
It seems I popped into the Pineapple in the afternoon.
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Ma Po Tofu in Epping Forest
[Saturday 7th October 2023]
I went to Epping Forest and cooked ma po tofu for lunch.
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ESW on the Heath with the Usual Suspects
[Friday 6th October 2023]
My (ex) work friends came and joined me on the heath for a change, for an evening of ESW tasting.
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Ye Old Mitre
[Thursday 5th October 2023]
Spent some of the daytime doing research about Ye Old Mitre, for a video I was planning to make.
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Bar Tricks
[Wednesday 4th October 2023]
I practiced a couple of bar tricks this evening.
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Tuesday
[Tuesday 3rd October 2023]
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Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells
[Monday 2nd October 2023]
It seems I bought a box of these today.
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Sunday
[Sunday 1st October 2023]
Played badminton with our neighbours in the street for a bit in the afternoon.
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Saturday
[Saturday 30th September 2023]
Went to Kings Cross in the afternoon, don't remember why. Oddly wore my top hat in the evening out in the garden. Also don't remember why.
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Erika Back from her School Trip
[Friday 29th September 2023]
Erika returned from her school trip around lunchtime. Temaki sushi for dinner.
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Cambridge
[Thursday 28th September 2023]
As a follow-on to my excursion to Oxford this week, today I went to Cambridge for a tour of the pubs there.
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Pineapple and Eataly
[Wednesday 27th September 2023]
Lunch at the Pineapple with Chie, then later on we went to Eataly and had dinner there.
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Oxford
[Tuesday 26th September 2023]
I went to Oxford for the day to do a tour of the city's pubs. Didn't take many photos as I was mainly recording video.
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School Trip
[Monday 25th September 2023]
Erika was heading off on a residential school trip today - four night awa from home! In the evening Chie and I went to Diwana on Drummond Street for dinner but I seemed to get a rather severe stomach ache on the way home.
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Dim sum
[Sunday 24th September 2023]
Went for dim sum at our old favourite Joy King Lau.
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Autumn Equinox at Avebury
[Saturday 23rd September 2023]
Woke up early and actually made it to Avebury in time for the sunrise for a change! Glad I did as it was a particularly magical one.
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The Eve of the Autmn Equinox
[Friday 22nd September 2023]
Took the train to Swindon then a bus to somewhere near Avebury in plenty of time to have a long walk around the surrounding area, taking in Windmill Hill, West Kennet Avenue, Silbury Hill, Swallowhead Springs and West Kennet Long Barrow before finding a place to make dinner and hunker down for the night.
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Another Random Evening on the Heath
[Thursday 21st September 2023]
Running out of things to say about these trips to the heath! Relatively nice sky this evening but also a bit of lightning at one point!
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Kentish Town
[Wednesday 20th September 2023]
Filmed another pub documentary, this time in Kentish Town.
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Gin and Tonic on the Heath
[Tuesday 19th September 2023]
Spent the daytime in St. James's filming another pub documentary.

In the evening a quick gin and tonic on the heath while Erika was at her woodwork class.
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Rain and Shine
[Sunday 17th September 2023]
Headed to the heath for the aftenoon / early evening. Rainy to begin with but cleared up later.
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Vegan Fried Chicken and English Sparkling Wine on Primrose Hill
[Saturday 16th September 2023]
The girls were otherwise engaged in the afternoon, so I took a bottle of English sparkling wine to Primrose Hill, stopping off en route to pick up some vegan fried chicken to have with it.
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Crocker's Folly
[Friday 15th September 2023]
Chie and I went to lunch at Crocker's Folly in Marleybone, a very grand former pub which is now a Lebanese restaurant.
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Cider on the Heath
[Thursday 14th September 2023]
Took some of Dad's cider to the heath for a change from the usual wine.
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Blackdown
[Wednesday 13th September 2023]
Got the train down to Haslemere so that I could revisit the wonderful Half Moon Inn in Northchapel and then walk up to Blackcap, the highet point in the South Downs National Park.
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Westminster Pubs
[Tuesday 12th September 2023]
I spent the daytime down in Westminster making a video about the pubs in the area.
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Erika's Birthday
[Sunday 10th September 2023]
Erika's birthday, spent at home, with a few friends over for a little party in the afternoon.
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Chocolate and Escape Room
[Saturday 9th September 2023]
The day before Erika's birthday. While she was at Japanese school in the morning I went down to Fortnum and Mason to buy her some chocolates. In the afternoon I took Erika and a friend to an "escape room" as part of Erika's extended birthday weekend festivities. After that gelato, then back home for a bit, then later on we went to the big Sainsbury's in Camden to buy things for Erika's party tomorrow.
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Pre-Birthday
[Friday 8th September 2023]
Erika took some cupcakes into school ahead of her birthday. In the evening we invited one of Erika's friends over for a pre-birthday dinner.
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Pineapple
[Thursday 7th September 2023]
Chie and I had lunch at the Pineapple.
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Monaco to London
[Tuesday 5th September 2023]
We headed back to London today - me by train, the girls by plane.
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Monday in Monaco
[Monday 4th September 2023]
I woke ridiculously early and went down to the hotel beach to watch the sunrise. When I got back the girls were still fast asleep so I went out again, for a morning stroll around Monaco, to see if I could find a spot with a nice view of the principality.

Then breakfast at the hotel, after which I dragged the girls out for another walk, to the market, our favourite lunch spot, by way of the Japanese gardens and the casino square.

Back to the hotel after that for more swimming and lounging around on the beach, then dinner ended up being back at the same restaurant as the previous evening.
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Aix to Monaco
[Sunday 3rd September 2023]
In the daytime we took the (budget version of) the TGV from Aix to Nice, then on from there to Monaco, arriving at our hotel around 3pm. Spent most of the rest of the afternoon at the hotel's beach / pool. Then later on out for dinner at our old favourite restaurant on the beach, before heading back to the hotel for post-dinner cocktails (also on the beach).
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Eating in Aix
[Saturday 2nd September 2023]
Quite a foody sort of a day in Aix en Provence today. Started with pain au chocolats at a patisserie, then went for a stroll around the market and more snacking.

Later in the afternoon Chie and Erika went for a swim in the pool at our friend's apartment complex, while I did more food shopping for dinner. I cooked my interpretation of Provencal classic "Petits Farcis" and while it was baking we had a quick outing to see the Terrain des Peintres, where Cezanne used to go and paint views of a nearby mountain.
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Port d'Alon
[Friday 1st September 2023]
We spent the daytime at a little cove / beach called Port d'Alon which our friends who live in Aix had discovered. In the evening back to Aix for dinner at a Lebanese restaurant.
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London to Aix en Provence
[Thursday 31st August 2023]
Travelled by train from London to Aix en Provence today. Eurostar to Paris, then 1st class on the TGV from there to Aix. Arrived in Aix in time for a late al fresco dinner in a lively square in town.
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Covent Garden Pubs, Somerset House and Pizza
[Wednesday 30th August 2023]
Quite a mixed bag of a day. I spent a bit of time in the afternoon making a video about Covent Garden pubs. Erika joined me for the tail end of that, and then we went for tea and cake in Somerset House. After that, dinner with work friends who were visiting from the US.
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Trofie with Pesto on the Heath
[Monday 28th August 2023]
Went to the heath to cook trofie with pesto for lunch.
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Korean Food and Billy Can Gin and Tonic
[Sunday 27th August 2023]
Went for Korean food today for lunch on a whim, although to be honest it was a bit disappointing. Later on I randomly made a gin and tonic in my billy can.
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Walking to Watchet
[Thursday 24th August 2023]
Woke up in the Quantock Hills, had a simple breakfast on a hilltop watching the sunrise, then walked from there to Watchet where I had a second breakfast. Then got the bus to Taunton, and the train back to London.
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Quantock Hills
[Wednesday 23rd August 2023]
I got the train down to Taunton, for a one night stay in the Quantock Hills. I seemed to hit it at a perfect time of year, with the heather in bloom, and on a day with good weather, and the colours were utterly glorious. A beautiful part of England, I don't know why I had never been before!
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Vegan Unagi
[Tuesday 22nd August 2023]
Vegan unagi (eel) was better than expected.
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Vegan Goose and Hite
[Monday 21st August 2023]
Neither of these things were very good.
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Cinema
[Sunday 20th August 2023]
Took Erika to the cinema for a change. Later on I went to the heath for a bit around dusk.
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Saturday
[Saturday 19th August 2023]
Bit of sabrage. Not much else to report.
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Bury St Edmunds and Grantchester
[Friday 18th August 2023]
Breakfast and a morning / early afternoon stroll around Bury St Edmunds, then later on stopped off in Grantchester for a late lunch / afternoon tea on the way back to London.
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Crazy Golf, Orford and Glamping
[Thursday 17th August 2023]
Did a round of crazy golf at the golf course hotel in the morning. Then motored on to Orford, where we had lunch and spent some of the afternoon. From there, we then proceded to our glamping site near Bury St Edmunds, where we'd be staying the night in a "pod" in the woods.
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Ufford
[Wednesday 16th August 2023]
Drove to Suffolk, where we had somewhat randomly chosen to stay the first night of our trip in what was essentially a golf hotel, because it had a swimming pool and was close to the part of Suffolk we wanted to visit.
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Hampstead and Badminton
[Tuesday 15th August 2023]
Did a quick pub tour of Hampstead for a video. Then later on played badminton with the girls.
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Marshes
[Monday 14th August 2023]
I went for a walk in the marshes of the Thames Estuary.
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Gilbert and George
[Sunday 13th August 2023]
Went to East London for lunch and to the visit the Gilbert and George centre. Also a visit to Eataly.
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Lasagne
[Saturday 12th August 2023]
I made a very nice lasagne for dinner.
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Last Day of Work
[Friday 11th August 2023]
After 16.5 years, today was my final day of employment with the company. The girls came to the office with me to help me pick things up from my desk.
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