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:
- Fukuoka to Helsinki to London
Beach, Kure and Kura Sushi
Thursday in Hiroshima
Okonomiyaki and Shopping
Monday in Tokyo, and Then Off to Hiroshima
Sunday in Tokyo
Saturday in Tokyo
Off to Japan
Sitges to Barcelona to Paris to London
Sunday in Sitges
Saturday in Sitges
Paris to Sitges
Royal Ascot Badges
- Fukuoka to Helsinki to London
- [Sunday 11th June 2017]
Flew back to London today. Chie had booked with FinnAir which meant a change at Helsinki, and also a rather amusing pair of airport codes (I shall leave it to your imagination given Fukuoka and Helsinki).
We checked out of the Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka around 7:30 and got a taxi from there to the airport. It's a very convenient airport to get to, less than 20 minutes drive from the city centre. The queues were all rather long and annoying (I think I've become too acclimatised to business class recently) but once we were through security we had a nice surprise at the gate - several of the cabin crew put on a little sow just before boarding, singing a capella "I'm leaving on a jetplane" and then the theme tune from Totoro, after which another member of the crew played accordion while we were boarding.
On board, the crew seemed to be rather taken with Erika, and gave her a crew hat and scarf to wear, and had her help out with handing out the food and drinks. She seemed to rather enjoy that. They were a lovely bunch, all smiles and singing, I've never encountered such a nice cabin crew on a flight before.
Erika didn't sleep on the flight, and despite bizarrely often saying how she likes plane food didn't each much either. I just about managed to get her to sit through one film (Trolls, which seemed fittingly Scandanavian) so Chie and I could also have a bit of quiet time. I watched Prometheus (which I was rather underwhelmed by) and Great Wall (which was as bad as I expected).
We had a short change at Helsinki, and were in the airport there for a little under 2 hours. I was actually hoping our flight might have been delayed and we could have had an overnight stay in Helsinki, it would have been nice to get out and see some of the city. Another time. Was very pleased to find some gelatin free Finnish gummy sweets and also some salted liquorice which apparently is usually quite unpopular to a non-Finnish palate but I was rather taken by.
The connecting flight from Helsinki to London wasn't nearly as nice, it felt a lot more cramped than the long haul flight (which had been half empty), and there were no movies or anything to help pass the time... but Erika fell asleep for pretty much the entire duration, which was good.
Landed at Heathrow around 5pm UK time, got the Heathrow Express back to Paddington and then a taxi from there back home, getting us home for about 7pm. I made pasta for dinner, and we all ended up going to sleep about the same time after that._
- [Saturday 10th June 2017]
Packed our bags at Chie's parents house in the morning, and Chie's Dad gave us a lift to the station. Chie's Mum was out for the day so we had already said our goodbyes to her the previous evening.
Had lunch with a friend of Chie's near the station before we got the shinkansen to Fukuoka, from where we'd be flying back to the UK the next day.
Just like the last time we stayed in Fukuoka we stayed at the Grand Hyatt, which was pleasingly familiar this time.
Had dinner with another friend of Chie's and her kids in the evening where we also enjoyed the water fountain, lights and and projection shows in Canal City.
- Beach, Kure and Kura Sushi
- [Friday 9th June 2017]
Went for a quick visit to a beach in the morning, followed by a visit to Kure for lunch and to see the Irifuneyama Western style house there. Shopping at Aeon Mall toward the end of the afternoon then Kura Sushi for dinner.
- Thursday in Hiroshima
- [Thursday 8th June 2017]
I worked in the daytime while everyone else went out for the day. Went to visit Chie's aunt Chikako-san in Nishi-Hiroshima in the evening.
- Okonomiyaki and Shopping
- [Wednesday 7th June 2017]
Spent the afternoon in the centre of Hiroshima, had okonomiyaki at Nagata-ya for lunch, then some popping candy ice cream for dessert later on.
- [Tuesday 6th June 2017]
Chie was busy with her Dad at the hospital for the day, so I took Erika to Miyajima to visit the aquarium.
- Monday in Tokyo, and Then Off to Hiroshima
- [Monday 5th June 2017]
The first night's sleep pattern was obviously two good to be true, and on my second night I think I only managed about three hours sleep. Ho, hum. Spent the day working at my office in Tokyo but was struggling to stay awake. Left early to get a shinkansen to Hiroshima so I could be there in time for Erika's bedtime.
- Sunday in Tokyo
- [Sunday 4th June 2017]
Following yesterday's marathon a thankfully much quieter day in Tokyo. After sleeping surprisingly normal hours for local time I lazed about in my hotel room in the morning, and then for lunch went to "Ain Soph Ripple", which was conveniently nearby, for a surprisingly good veggie burger. Wandered around Shibuya for a bit after that, then met up with Tanaka-san for a drink at our old Shibuya Stalwart Ningen Kankai, then headed on to try hipster outpost Fuglen where Andrew joined us. From there we went to a random back street yakitori place and rounded off the evening at conveyer belt sushi place Uobei.
- Saturday in Tokyo
- [Saturday 3rd June 2017]
A very long sleep deprived day for me in Tokyo - landed at Haneda at 7am, then headed to Shinjuku for coffee and an early lunch while waiting for my hotel room to become available. When it was, I perhaps foolishly eschewed my usual post flight afternoon nap and instead powered through, meeting up with Andrew who was in on Japan a business trip to give him a bit of a guided tour of Tokyo. We started in Akihabara, then headed onto Asakusa, after which Andrew headed back to his hotel and I just about managed a visit to Quercus in Ikebukuro to see Watanabe-san before returning exhausted to Shinjuku to collapse at my hotel.
- Off to Japan
- [Friday 2nd June 2017]
- Park Chinois
- [Thursday 1st June 2017]
Dinner at Park Chinois wth some friends from work.
- [Wednesday 31st May 2017]
- [Tuesday 30th May 2017]
- Sitges to Barcelona to Paris to London
- [Monday 29th May 2017]
Travelled all the way back to London from Sitges in one day today.
- Sunday in Sitges
- [Sunday 28th May 2017]
I had lunch down by the harbour before heading up to the villa to join the others for one long party from the afternoon into the small hours of the morning. Oh and I finally went in the pool. In a suit.
- Saturday in Sitges
- [Saturday 27th May 2017]
Slept in late and slobbed around at my hotel in the morning. In the afternoon I went and joined the others for a tour of a cava winery. Went back to my hotel for a bit more after that and persuaded the others to come down to the harbour for dinner, where there was a really nice little street of restaurants. Back to the villa for post dinner drinks.
- Paris to Sitges
- [Friday 26th May 2017]
Breakfast at the ever spectacular Train Bleu before getting the TGV down to Barcelona. Took a local train from there down to Sitges, only about half an hour away, and then had a bit of time to myself to explore the town before meeting the others. Went to the villa for some Veuve Clicquot (sabraged of course) before heading back into town for a fittingly Spanish late dinner of paella, then a bar and finally a moonlit stroll along the shore back to my hotel.
- [Thursday 25th May 2017]
Got the Eurostar after work (so handy from my new office!) and met up with Benoit in Paris for the evening so I could get an earlier train to Barcelona the next morning.
- Lubricating Locks
- [Tuesday 23rd May 2017]
Rather unexcitingly received a can of apparently the correct substance to be used for lubricating locks.
- Royal Ascot Badges
- [Monday 22nd May 2017]
Badges for Royal Ascot arrived today. Also less excitingly I bought some WD-40.