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:
- Borough Market
Haircut and Hackett
School Tour and Easter Bonnet
Sunday Lunch at the Wrestlers and the Zoo Again
Champagne at Work
Me and Erika
Gardening and Furniture Shopping
- Borough Market
- [Saturday 4th April 2015]
Went to Borough Market in the morning to buy morels for dinner (to go with a bottle of Gevrey Chambertin I recently bought). Lunch at Manze's.
- Good Friday
- [Friday 3rd April 2015]
Chie and Erika went off to see some friends for most of the daytime today, leaving me largely to my own devices.
I put on my tweed suit, feeling in the mood for a gentlemanly sort of afternoon in St. James's. I thought I might have lunch at my club, but ultimately decided to dine at the Fountain restaurant in Fortnum and Mason instead - I'm rather fond of sitting at the counter there and people watching when eating alone. I'm always pleasantly surprised by how good the vegetarian options here, you'd really think for such a traditional establishment they wouldn't be up to much, but actually they make very thoughtful use of interesting vegetables. I started with a very fresh (and seasonally appropriate) fennel salad, then followed with a heritage potato and celeriac gratin with "wild" mushrooms. I don't think they really were "wild" mushrooms - more like cultivated oyster mushrooms, but that quibble aside, it was very pleasant.
After a quick bit of Easter shopping in Fortnum and Mason I thought I'd better go to my office for a bit, as I'd realised I had to print out the tickets for "CBeebies Live" tomorrow, plus I thought while I was there I could get a bit of work done. Earlier this year I've moved desks into a different building across the road from the main one, and had just taken it for granted there would still be some kind of out of hours access. I couldn't actually figure it out. So instead I just went into the "old" office, where I didn't have a computer or anything, spent nearly half an hour figuring out how to print a PDF from my phone, then left again.
I wandered vaguely back to St. James's, thinking as I wouldn't be able to get any work done I might just as well resume my afternoon of gentlemanly self indulgence, but ultimately I seemed to have gone off the idea by that point, and instead just got on the tube and headed home.
Did some shopping in the little street of shops near the new flat, which I am increasingly warming to, having initially been a bit underwhelmed - the funny little fruit and veg shop I'd initially written off as a generic convenience store turns out to have lots of useful things including, as I found today, vegetarian feta (couldn't even get that in the big Sainsbury's in Pimlico sometimes) and lots of varieties of organic tinned beans etc. So I decided to go Greek for dinner, and make a moussaka with a greek salad. After dropping off the food shopping (it was a bit heavy) I headed straight back out to Theatre of Wine, another nearby shop which is helping to change my initially rather bleak opinion of the area, and had a chat with a chap there about Greek wines, which was rather interesting. Chose a bottle of "Xinomavro Nature", which was, just as they'd said, "barnyardy", and actually slightly sparking - really weird for a red wine. Can't say I immediately was convinced, but there was something oddly moreish about it, and by the third glass I think I could safely say I was a convert.
- Haircut and Hackett
- [Thursday 2nd April 2015]
Chie had given me a voucher to get my hair cut at Murdock for my birthday, and as my hair was starting to look rather scruffy, I thought I'd try and make use of it before the Easter break. So I popped out in the middle of the day to the branch near Sloane Square, which is inside the Hackett store there. This worked exactly as I assume Hackett wanted it to, and as I happened to be there I also bought some clothes - a pair of trousers which I think were quite justifiable (I never seem to have enough, and most never fit properly) and a "gilet" which was surprisingly expensive, but it was one of those things which sort of jumped off the shelf at me.
Met some of the chaps from the office on the way back for a quick - "last day of term" pub lunch. We also resumed these festivities briefly at the end of the day, with a Negroni at the little Italian deli at the back of the office.
Made "pasta e fagioli" for dinner.
- School Tour and Easter Bonnet
- [Wednesday 1st April 2015]
Went on a tour of Erika's prospective school this morning - a big part of our decision to move to this area. I am pleased to report that it was really impressive, and I think lived up to all the hype surrounding it. After a chat with the head teacher the tour itself was conducted by a couple of kids at the school, who clearly loved the place. I had a very good feeling about it.
They were having some sort of Easter party at Erika's nursery today (they were closed tomorrow for training or something), and has asked us to make an Easter bonnet for Erika to wear for the day. As she only goes in on the afternoon this gave us this morning (working on the motto that if you leave a job until the last minute, it only takes a minute) to hurriedly make it. Our tiny local Sainsbury's had a surprisingly good range of seasonal things to assist with this - we managed to get an undecorated hat and a box of "crafty" things to decorate it with, and also in one of the other shops I managed to find PVA glue. Once back at the flat with these supplies, it took a while for me to re-learn the limitations of PVA glue, and after trying several designs which clearly weren't going to hold together, I settled on a final decision which relied on a bit of tissue paper (which had previously wrapped a bottle of wine) as a sort of band, to which I then stuck bunny faces. Whilst I don't exactly think I have a career in millinery ahead of me I consider it to have been a respectable effort.
Also today, we took delivery of a chair I'd ordered for Erika's bedroom - I wanted something to sit on when reading her bedtime stories, and waiting for her to fall asleep, as kneeling on the floor was really uncomfortable, and sometimes the process of getting Erika to go to sleep can be rather protracted. It's not exactly how I'd imagine it would be from the pictures on the website, a bit bigger than I'd hoped for (I thought it was more of a "cocktail chair" which despite the name look like kid's chairs), but it was cheap, and I like the fact it was made in Long Eaton, near where I grew up.
- [Tuesday 31st March 2015]
Dinner at our old haunt Oliveto.
- [Monday 30th March 2015]
A couple of random pictures from Monday evening at home.
- Sunday Lunch at the Wrestlers and the Zoo Again
- [Sunday 29th March 2015]
Went for Sunday lunch at the Wrestlers in Highgate followed by another trip to the zoo.
- Tidying Up
- [Saturday 28th March 2015]
Spent the morning tidying up, then went out for lunch at Comptoir Libanais and did a bit of furniture shopping.
- [Thursday 26th March 2015]
Had haggis, neeps and tatties for dinner.
- [Wednesday 25th March 2015]
This week on my weekly morning off with Erika we went to the zoo.
- [Monday 23rd March 2015]
Made tapas at home for me and Erika whilst Chie was out for the evening.
- [Sunday 22nd March 2015]
Had some of the afternoon to myself - went for Sunday lunch, then back home to catch up on some domestic chores.
- [Saturday 21st March 2015]
Erika's friend Sophie came to play in the afternoon.
- Champagne at Work
- [Friday 20th March 2015]
A propos nothing had some (read: too much) Champagne at work, with some of the usual suspects.
- [Thursday 19th March 2015]
Went and bought a bottle of Cocchi vermouth after work and tried it in a Negroni, accompanied rather classily by some Wotsits.
- [Wednesday 18th March 2015]
Erika went for an EEG this morning, which being roughly in the same part of town as my office, meant she came to see me both for breakfast and lunch.
- Me and Erika
- [Tuesday 17th March 2015]
Chie went out with a friend from work, so it was just me and Erika at home this evening. Also I bought her a proper duvet for her cotbed in the daytime.
- Steam Cleaner
- [Monday 16th March 2015]
Bought a steam cleaner to clean the Persian rug, and finally brought it back from my office where it I'd been storing it since I bought it.
- My Birthday
- [Sunday 15th March 2015]
A very quiet birthday celebration this year - just the three of us - went for pizza at Rossopomodoro in Camden.
- Gardening and Furniture Shopping
- [Saturday 14th March 2015]
Out in the garden for a bit in the morning, then into the centre in the afternoon to do sofa shopping, and look at dining tables.