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:
Car Trouble and Nando's
Car and Curry
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese
Beer and Curry
Going Up North
Not Much Really
Coming Back from Barcelona
Sunday in Barcelona
Saturday in Barcelona
Off to Barcelona
Oxford Again, Again
- [Wednesday 29th September]
Left the office quite late, and couldn't be bothered to cook so went and got Indian takeaway for dinner. Bought a few bottles of Asahi to go with it, which was very nice. Watched British Isles: A National History and found myself, extremely unusually, welling up with national pride. I particularly enjoyed the bit where Alan Titchmarsh had a small box with all the different types of rock to be found in Holland, and then compared that with the massive warehouse filled with all the different types of rock to be found in Britain. It was the sort of programme that made me think my TV license fee was money well spent.
- [Tuesday 28th September]
Got another email from a newspaper about my website today, which was nice. Might possibly be involved in another article in the near future so watch this space! After work met Chie briefly for a spot of shopping - bought a big map of Scotland - then she went to the gym. Ate dinner quite late, when Chie finally got home from the gym. Had jacket potatoes with Quorn pies and broad beans in parsley sauce. I love broad beans with parsley sauce, it always reminds me of my Mum (whom, I feel compelled to point out, for those who might pooh pah broad beans with parsley sauce, is actually a very sophisticated cook).
- [Monday 27th September]
Made a vegetarian bolognese sauce to go with spaghetti for dinner. It was a collaborative effort between me and Chie, which was quite fun.
- Clifton Hampden
- [Sunday 26th September]
Went for a nice walk along the Thames from Clifton Hampden up to Culham and then back again. Found out about it in Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, which I had just finished reading. Had lunch at the Barley Mow, then walked to Culham and back, with a quick stop off half way at the Waggon and Horses for a sneaky half. We meandered back home in the car, stopping off at Wittenham Clumps where there is a great view of the Thames. Took some pictures.
- Stayed In
- [Saturday 25th September]
Chie went out for lunch with some friends, but I stayed in all day. Had a big cooked breakfast before Chie went off. Made pesto and had that with spaghetti when Chie came back. Not much else to report really!
- [Friday 24th September]
Given that the car is now (hopefully) fixed, we decided we'd go off and do a proper supermarket trip, having had to rely on the little one round the corner for the past few weeks. When we got back, we had burgers and home made chips for dinner. After dinner I finished off reading Three Men in a Boat, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, particularly because of all the local references.
- Car Trouble and Nando's
- [Thursday 23rd September]
Having hoped all our car troubles were behind us, it decided to break down on Chie's way to work in the morning. It went almost straight back to the garage, and whatever was wrong was fixed the same day. So, hopefully, fingers crossed, that's the end of it now... In the evening went to Nando's with David, Kev, etc, and then for a couple of beers afterwards.
- Car and Curry
- [Wednesday 22nd September]
We finally got the car back from the garage, and to celebrate we went out for a curry with Nozaki Sensei and Kaorisan. Also got three (!) new bottles of whisky today - see here for details.
- [Tuesday 21st September]
Chie cooked tonight, a sort of middle eastern meal with cous cous and some kind of beans in tomato sauce, as well as some halloumi and pitta bread. Very nice.
- [Monday 20th September]
Made a meal based on leftovers found in the fridge, which actually turned out to be very nice. Didn't do very much the rest of the evening.
- Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese
- [Sunday 19th September]
Chie was at the gym during the afternoon, and I stayed in pottering about by myself which was pretty boring. When Chie got back I made one of those roast meals where unusually everything went right. I went for a really healthy version, lots of vegetables - cauliflower and broccoli cheese, peas, carrots, brussel sprouts, with roast potatoes and roast parsnips. After dinner me and Chie spent the rest of the evening sitting on the floor in the lounge, listening to music, drinking wine and later whisky, reading, and messing about on the internet a bit. Very nice. I started off a sort of whisky page, which I may elaborate into something more, errr, elaborate, at some point.
- House Warming
- [Saturday 18th September]
Went to a house warming party with some of Chie's friends from work in the evening. Spent most of the evening playing "make believe" games with Panachi, the daughter of one of Chie's Japanese friends. She is utterly adorable! It seems like a long time since I have spent time attempting to entertain a young child, and I actually really enjoyed it.
- Beer and Curry
- [Friday 17th September]
Had a couple of pints after work, followed by a trip to my local Indian restaurant. Reminded myself that I much prefer the take-away in my village.
- [Thursday 16th September]
It was a sad day today. My grandmother on my mother's side had passed away a week prior, and so today I was in Yorkshire for the funeral. It was a simple affair, as people say, basically just family were there. I tried to keep positive about the whole thing, she had lived a long and, I'd like to think, happy life. She went pretty peacefully I'm told, having been asleep most of the time for her last few days. She left behind plenty of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I was really determined not to get too down about it but I guess the hardest part was seeing my Mum upset. Still, I was pleased I could be there. I got the train back home around 4-ish, and thanks to some good connections I was back in my flat by about 7:30. Had a quiet night in, mostly by myself, as Chie was out with one of her friends.
- Going Up North
- [Wednesday 15th September]
Left work a bit early, and got on a train going up North to where my Mum lives. Had a couple of beers to make the journey go quicker, and gave one to the bloke sitting next to me (giving beer to strangers on the train is one of my little quests in life). On arrival at my Mum's house I spent most of the night trying to fix her computer for her, having occasional short bouts of sleep whilst waiting for updates to download over her unbearably slow modem connection.
- Not Much Really
- [Tuesday 14th September]
Just had a very quiet night in basically. Made a kind of stir-fry with noodles which I didn't really enjoy, and compensated by following up with a couple of omelettes (one with brie, one with emmental) which were much nicer. Spent a bit of time catching up on email, washing, etc.
- Coming Back from Barcelona
- [Monday 13th September]
Spent most of the day travelling. Landed back in England around 4 in the afternoon. On the way back home we decided to go for a wander through Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, where we used to spend a lot of time when we lived in London. Despite being a bit cold and windy it was still really nice around there. Got home around 9ish, and went to bed pretty early as we were both knackered.
- Sunday in Barcelona
- [Sunday 12th September]
Spent the first part of the day doing some sightseeing in the centre, then headed off to Parc Guell later on in the afternoon. Went for Tapas in the evening.
- Saturday in Barcelona
- [Saturday 11th September]
Apparently today was a Catalonian holiday or something, so quite a lot was closed, including the shopping centre near our hotel, much to Chie's frustration. Spent the afternoon in the Forum 2004 exposition thing, and just went back to the hotel in the evening for pizza and an early night.
- Off to Barcelona
- [Friday 10th September]
We flew off to Barcelona in the afternoon. After landing, we made our way to our hotel (which took some time), dropped off our bags, and then went out for the evening. Found a really nice little bar first, "hidden away in the backstreets" (please now take a moment to cringe at this cliche). After that had dinner at a place called El Arcano, and then went into another bar, where there were lots of people playing guitars and stuff. Got really very drunk, without intending to particularly. Enjoyed it a lot.
- [Thursday 9th September]
To mark that we were officially on holiday (although we hadn't actually gone anywhere yet) I decided we should go out for pizza.
- [Wednesday 8th September]
Chie made tempura for dinner, which was really nice. A particular success were the slices of red skinned potato (couldn't get sweet potatoes, so had to make do), mushrooms (again, a substitute for shiitake) and ginger. Lovely.
- [Tuesday 7th September]
Chie was out for most of the evening. I stayed in and did a bit of overdue housework for a while. After that I had a little whisky tasting session, which resulted in this article. For dinner I had trottole tricolore (pasta in sort of swirly shapes) with a Dolcelatte sauce. Was quite nice.
- Another Conference
- [Monday 6th September]
Was at a conference in Oxford in the daytime, well, just the afternoon really. Popped into a nice wine shop in Oxford while I was there and bought a bottle of Talisker to congratulate myself on having got through another presentation. Popped back into the office when I got back, and from there went for a quick pint with David, Rich and Kev, which was jolly nice. Feeling lazy, I got a takeaway curry for dinner, which was very good, as it happens.
- Tea Party
- [Sunday 5th September]
A friend of Chie's was leaving England, so we were invited round to a farewell tea party. Wasn't really sure what to expect, as I had never met the majority of the people involved before. It turned out to be really nice actually, we sat in a lovely picturesque garden and enjoyed a very peaceful and relaxing afternoon amongst the apple trees and tomato vines.
- Busy Saturday
- [Saturday 4th September]
Had a very busy day, writing a presentation in the morning for a conference I'll be going to on Monday, and then in the office in the afternoon getting stuff ready for an exhibition.
- Oxford Again, Again
- [Friday 3rd September]
Another night out in Oxford - this time just me, Duncan and Kev. At my request, Duncan took us on a tour of some very nice pubs - The Aniquity Hall (as standard), then a spot of pizza, then The Wheatsheaf, The Bear, followed by the Turl Bar and finally, of course, the Turf Tavern. Really enjoyed it, and of course there are pictures!
- [Thursday 2nd September]
Got out of work a bit late today. Made lasagne for dinner, which was quite nice. Not much else to report!
- [Wednesday 1st September]
I thought we might be able to tag along on an office do in the evening, but it didn't really work out in the end. So instead me and Chie went for a drink and a spot of dinner in town. Had a Bloody Mary at the Iguana, haven't been there in ages. Then went for a curry which was pretty average. When we got back I watched some of Nip/Tuck, for the first time, and found it surprisingly enjoyable.
- Whisky Research
- [Tuesday 31st August]
Very lazy evening, had a frozen pizza for dinner, and watched telly a bit. There was a program on about Campbeltown which inevitably prompted me to (A) drink some whisky and (B) spend some time reading my new whisky book - David Stirk's The Malt Whisky Guide. Decided based on my research (!) that my next purchase ought to be a bottle of Ledaig, (apparently pronounced Lay-check), from the Isle of Mull.