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.

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:
Sunday
Rob's Mum's Birthday. Or Was it Rob's Birthday?
Pinocchio
Zoo and Garden
Saturday
Afternoon Off
Baudes and Fashion at Royal Ascot
Back to London
Kilpeck
Abergavenny
Oliveto and More Top Hat Pictures
First Negroni of Spring
Top Hat
Diwana and Green Park
Zoo
Friday
Thursday
The Girls Are Back in Town
Back to London
Dawlish

Pictures:
Japan March 2016: Pictures from our trip to Japan in March 2016.Japan March 2016
March 2016
Pictures from our trip to Japan in March 2016.
London March 2016: Pictures from London in March 2016.London March 2016
March 2016
Pictures from London in March 2016.
London February 2016: Pictures from London in February 2016.London February 2016
February 2016
Pictures from London in February 2016.
London January 2016: Pictures from London at the start of 2016.London January 2016
January 2016
Pictures from London at the start of 2016.
South Wales December 2015: Weekend visit to South Wales to see Vera, Robin, Louise, Bec, Dave and Jessica.South Wales December 2015
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December 2015
Weekend visit to South Wales to see Vera, Robin, Louise, Bec, Dave and Jessica.
Blog:
- Sunday
    [Sunday 24th April 2016]
- Rob's Mum's Birthday. Or Was it Rob's Birthday?
    [Saturday 23rd April 2016]
- Pinocchio
    [Tuesday 19th April 2016]
- Zoo and Garden
    [Sunday 17th April 2016]
- Saturday
    [Saturday 16th April 2016]
- Afternoon Off
    [Thursday 14th April 2016]
- Baudes and Fashion at Royal Ascot
    [Tuesday 12th April 2016]
- Back to London
    [Monday 11th April 2016]
- Kilpeck
    [Sunday 10th April 2016]
- Abergavenny
    [Saturday 9th April 2016]

Sunday
[Sunday 24th April 2016]
Spent the morning at the flat, made ribollita for lunch, then spent the afternoon visiting a couple of Erika's friends in Pimlico.
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Rob's Mum's Birthday. Or Was it Rob's Birthday?
[Saturday 23rd April 2016]
Went up to Finchley for what I believed to be Rob's Mum's birthday party, but turned out to actually be Rob's birthday party.
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Pinocchio
[Tuesday 19th April 2016]
Tried the new pizza place in Belgravia at lunchtime.
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Zoo and Garden
[Sunday 17th April 2016]
Took Erika to the zoo for the morning / early afternoon, did a bit of shopping in Camden, then spent the remainder of the afternoon in the garden back at home.
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Saturday
[Saturday 16th April 2016]
Spent the morning and early afternoon in and around home - did a bit of gardening, and made a mushroom risotto for lunch. Then later on in the afternoon went for a bit of an aimless wander round St. James's.
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Afternoon Off
[Thursday 14th April 2016]
Didn't feel like working this afternoon, and it was a nice day, so I took the afternoon off to look around for hats for Royal Ascot with Chie, then afterwards had a late afternoon / early evening drink at my club before going to pick Erika up from nursery.
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Baudes and Fashion at Royal Ascot
[Tuesday 12th April 2016]
Rather enjoyed a bottle of Frederic Magnien's Chambolle Musigny Baudes 2003. Also spent some of the evening reading Fashion at Royal Ascot, which I'd just received a copy of.
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Back to London
[Monday 11th April 2016]
Got the train back to London in the morning.
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Kilpeck
[Sunday 10th April 2016]
Spent the day with Vera and Robin, went out to Kilpeck for lunch and a look at the very uniue church.
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Abergavenny
[Saturday 9th April 2016]
Got the train to Abergavenny in the morning, and enjoyed a lovely family gathering in the afternoon.
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Oliveto and More Top Hat Pictures
[Friday 8th April 2016]
Chie had a late afternoon dentist appointment near my office today, so afterwards we decided to go for dinner at Oliveo, followed by gelato at Olivogelo. After that, back at home, since I'd bought a Winchester shirt I tried on my morning suit and top hat again.
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First Negroni of Spring
[Tuesday 5th April 2016]
Was light enough, and pleasant weather enough, for a Negroni out in the garden when I got back from work.
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Top Hat
[Monday 4th April 2016]
Bought a top hat today, in preparation for Royal Ascot in June.
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Diwana and Green Park
[Sunday 3rd April 2016]
Chie and I fancied curry for lunch, so we went down to Euston to eat at Diwana, then carried on down to Green Park for a bit of a wander around.
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Zoo
[Saturday 2nd April 2016]
First trip to London Zoo after Erika came back from Japan, including finally seeing the lions return to their new enclosure.
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Friday
[Friday 1st April 2016]
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Thursday
[Thursday 31st March 2016]
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The Girls Are Back in Town
[Wednesday 30th March 2016]
Chie and Erika came back to London today which made me very pleased.
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Back to London
[Sunday 27th March 2016]
I got the train back to London this morning.
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Dawlish
[Saturday 26th March 2016]
I had originally hoped my Dartmoor pub exploration might be at least a two day jaunt, but after the lovely spring day yesterday the weather forecast had been pretty dire for today and the remainder of the weekend (and it proved fairly accurate) so before I'd even come down to Devon I'd already abandoned any plans to do any more than the one day.

Instead today we had a potter around Dawlish for a short while around lunchtime, which was a good illustration of what a bad idea it would have been to attempt anything outdoorsy on Dartmoor today - even in the relatively short period we spent walking round the town, in the midst of civilisation, it felt really cold and wet and I wanted to just go back inside for a nice warm cup of tea.

We did however take a quick look at a cottage I've had my eye on, which is currently for sale - albeit that we could only look at the outside, as were were unable to arrange a viewing for today. As with all of my whims about buying a holiday home I doubt very much that anything will come of it, but this place has quite a draw for me given that it's in the same little row of thatched cottages as the one Vera owned for a few years. Erika said several times she'd like a pink house, near the beach, and this fills both of those criteria perfectly - plus there's a particular sentimental attachment with Dawlish - and this little row of cottages - in that it's where I often went for bucket and spade holidays in my childhood... but of course on the flip side, with Dad living nearby, we can already come to visit the area whenever we want.

We are in the fortunate position of a holiday home not being a pipe dream but actually being something we can realistically afford - at least partly because we have such a modest sized place in London, no bigger than we need for the three of us. I know I've probably said it before, but I'm really reluctant to pour more money into the London property market, as it's such poor value, and there's so many better things we could do with the cash. The cost of this house in Dawlish in particular is roughly the same as what we'd have to pay in our part of London just to get a spare bedroom.

I'm left in quite a quandary as to what to do. I feel quite a burden of responsibility as a joint custodian of Erika's childhood - I think most people's earliest memories are from around the age of four, which she's just coming up to now. Our flat in London is very much a functional compromise, chosen for all the usual banal reasons of locations of offices and schools, whilst trying to minimise the amount of cash we had to shovel onto the London property bonfire. It's nice to own our own place, and it has a bit of character I suppose, but presumably we'd move as soon as work/school requires us to be somewhere else, and maybe I'm wrong but it's really hard to imagine that it's somewhere any of us will get all misty eyed and nostalgic about in years to come. I guess the idea of a holiday home is as much to do with continuity - somewhere we could keep even if we have to move around in London - and somewhere we might hopefully have more of an emotional attachment to than an overpriced shoebox in a grimy part of London.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon back at Dad's house, drinking endless cups of tea. In the evening Dad and I collaborated on dinner, and made a selection of Indian dishes.
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