Sunday, 24 March 2013

Long Weekend 21-24 March 2013

There's nothing like a few days off before the weekend. We spent Thursday in London. After a quick journey on the High Speed we arrived at St Pancras then headed for Knightsbridge via the underground.  First stop was Harrods. Both of us hadn't been there for over twenty years. We stumbled across the Chocolate room. Oh my,  I've never seen so much confectionery in one place. Sarah purchased some fudge after getting a free sample. She went a bit mad with the amount she bought but hey, we are in Harrods. We went to the cafe for a drink. The nice waitress showed us to a table and was trying to recommend the 22ct Gold Tea (Yes, tea with gold in it) at £14 a cup. Blimey the Cappucino was expensive enough at a  fiver! 



After drooling at the Rolexes in the windows of 'Watches of Switzerland ' we jumped back on the tube to Oxford Circus, then a short walk to our lunch venue, Bodean's. I have heard a lot about this place from friends and colleagues, and it didn't disappoint. The platter for two was huge, with loads of different BBQ meats including pulled pork, ribs, beef and chicken. Along with coleslaw and fries. Not the place for veggies, although to be fair there are veggie options on the menu! It was great food and the service was good. But the downstairs restaurant was a bit dark, the ambient light was so low I had trouble seeing what was on my plate, let alone being able to read the menu.   

I needed a new bedside lamp. My one packed up this week, the touch sensitive base died. Luckily John Lewis had exactly what I wanted. Then we walked further down Oxford street to Selfridges, where I bought some more coffee pods for my Nespresso machine. We jumped on a bus to get back to Kings Cross. The traffic was horrendous. After 45 minutes we had only got as far as Warren Street. So we jumped off there and got the tube back to St Pancras. The travelcard was a worthwhile purchase. We could have spent more time in London, but decided to get home before rush hour started. Thank heavens for high speed trains. Only thirty seven minutes to get back to Ashford. 

Friday

After the excesses of yesterday we spent some time at home today. First task was taking junk down to the recycling centre. As we were loading the car one of the neighbours came across to chat to us. He was genuinely upset, Their Cat had been put to sleep due to old age. Shame. Seventeen is a good age for a Cat. Then we took advantage of  no rain, or sleet, or snow to do some work in the garden. The mower fired up after a few attempts, and I gave the lawn a much needed haircut. Then it was off to 107.1FM AHBS to present the  'Hometime' show. It was great fun and went very quickly, there is so much to do in two hours the time just flies by. On the way home we picked up some Chinese food. It says something when the lady behind the counter in the takeaway knows your first name.

Saturday.

Woke up to reports of snow, although there is none in Ashford. We ventured into town, bumped into friends, did a bit of shopping, had a coffee then back home for lunch. This afternoon was spent watching the GP qualifying, and preparing stuff for this Friday's AAS meeting. Then we decided to do  the weekly shop. Saturday night was spent in front of the TV. 

A bit of a non-event day really.

Sunday.

Its bitterly cold. We took the pug out to get the tyres pumped up. Sainsbury's supply free air and water. Other garages have the nerve to charge for a few minutes air. Be warned. I can't believe its nearing the end of March and I'm having to wear hat, gloves and my winter coat....Hurry up Spring!

After lunch I watched the Malaysian GP, then prepared dinner, Puerto Rican Chicken from Levi Roots cook book. Always turns out good. At least its only a four day week next week. Then Easter holidays.

Until next week then...



Sunday, 17 March 2013

Beer Festival 16-17 March 2013

This week has been a bad one with regard to weather and travel arrangements. Blizzards on Monday and travel disruptions (Operation Stack) until Thursday meant getting home was a nightmare. It was good to wind down on Friday night with a game of Poker with good friends.

Saturday.



The plan for today was a visit to the Leas Lift beer festival in Folkestone. As I was about to get ready to leave home the doorbell rang. It was Andy, who asked if I had a spanner. He was on his new purchase, a Kawasaki 'Ninja' and the rear indicator was hanging off. I sorted him out and he was soon on his way again. 

The weather today was terrible, this time last year March was very pleasant. We were walking along the Warren in sunshine. Today its high winds, rain, hail the lot. I met up with MB, Tina and Batty at the station, and twenty minutes later  Lukey met us at Folkestone Central. From there it was a short walk into town for a breakfast, at the aptly named 'Full English' cafe. Suitably refreshed we stopped for a couple of swift halves at the British Lion, where we met up with Lisa. Then on to the Guildhall, where Lukey thrashed me at Pool. I forgot he was a regular club player. 

The walk down to the Leas Lift was, to say the least, interesting. High winds, driving rain and hail made me think my £100 plus waterproof coat was money well spent. Boy oh boy it was rough. The waves were crashing up the harbour wall. I didn't envy anybody out on the Channel today. The hail actually hurt my face.  Everyone attending the beer festival was crammed into the building at the bottom of the lift. It was cosy.  The toilet facilities were, as MB put it, Feral. The modesty tarpaulin was blowing about everywhere and the trough was swinging in the wind. 

We purchased beer tokens (yes, really!) One token got you a very generous half pint. I had four, starting with a Hazelnut Coffee Porter (Nutty), then a Ramsgate No. 5 (gluggable) and finishing with two generous halves of Dairy Brewery 'Copper Top' (my favourite of the day). Lisa had her photo taken for the local rag, and MB thought it was naughty to press the button marked 'Do Not Press This Bell'. It had to be done. 

The lift was not working, so I didn't fancy the walk back to the station, and by now I'd had enough beer. So I called Sarah to come and collect me. Soon it was time to say farewell to the others. On the way home we stopped to buy a new drinks fridge. I had been using a camping fridge in the garage. A few weeks ago I went to get some fruit juice from it and all the cartons were frozen solid. The thing had gone haywire. 

This evening we ordered Chinese food. Normally I would eat the lot, but I only managed half of what I ordered. I was stuffed. The rest of the evening was spent snoozing in front of the TV. It has been a good Saturday.

Sunday.

The cats made sure we got our early morning call, I eventually got up about 8 o'clock to feed them and make a drink. Then after the shopping we set up the drinks fridge in the garage, then I snoozed in front of the Australian GP (Yawn). I hope the season improves. I started transferring CDs on to my portable hard drive. Its a long process that's going to take me ages.

We have a three day week next week. I really need some time off .

Until next week then



Sunday, 10 March 2013

Not much happening (again) 9-10 March 2013

Friday night we took part in a quiz night. It was organised by Sarah's colleagues to help fund a family to travel to the U.S with their daughter, who is having specialist medical treatment there. Not only did we raise £1000 but our team also won, much to the consternation of Sarah's colleague, who thought her team would win. A good evening was had by all.



Saturday.

A quick trip into town to get a mothers day card, and a mooch around HMV. They haven't got much left but I did pick up Prince - Purple Rain CD for three quid. Then after a frothy coffee we just went home. We caught up with some TV that had been recorded, then decided to do the weekly shop as we were going out early on Sunday. My watch auction finished, and I was pleased to have doubled my money. Sometimes its good to blag a bargain, and even better to sell it at good price. 
I wanted steak for dinner, Sarah wanted chicken so we cooked our own tonight. Sirloin, chips and mushrooms for me and chicken & noodles for her. My steak was lovely, although the bottle of Moldovan Red I seemed to have acquired would have been better off sprinkled on my chips.

I watched 'Made in Dagenham' tonight. I thought it was an excellent film. I remember when I left school and  worked at a timber yard by the Thames at Belvedere. You could see the Ford factory across the river and I was always impressed by the giant 'Ford' sign on the Foundry building (Pic). It reminds me of the summer of '79, when I earned £30 a week stacking timber that the forklift drivers had knocked over. I was part of a crew of people all waiting to start Uni, apprenticeships etc. so we were all in the same situation. It was a great time of my life. I checked on Google earth and the timber yard is no longer there. Shame.

Sunday.

I woke up with a headache. I reckon that Moldovan red didn't agree with me last night, even though I only had one glass. We got up and suited and booted ready for a lunch out with the family. Unfortunately illness has struck my parents so we didn't eat out, instead having an impromptu Sunday roast at their place. 

We went to Bluewater afterwards, and as usual just strolled around looking at the nice things in the shop windows. We did buy some cupcakes in John Lewis though, they were a lot cheaper than Lola ones, which did taste nice (we had a sample) but weren't worth the money. At the end of the day its just a cake for one. It wasn't too busy there, I reckon people were spending Mothers Day indoors. It started snowing on the way home. Will this weather ever improve?  Winter is beginning to get on my nerves.

Lets hope the clouds clear this week. There is a comet to be spotted and if it becomes a naked eye object someone just may have to eat something that may disagree with him. However not much has happened on the Comet spotting front just yet....

Until next week then...








Sunday, 3 March 2013

Canterbury and Clean - up 2-3 March 2013

This week, I have been mostly presenting on the radio. I did my usual Tuesday night request show, then stood in for someone on the Wednesday night request show. Its been a while since I did two in one week and I quite enjoyed it.  Since before Christmas I have been suffering with a trapped nerve in my shoulder. In January the doctor prescribed tablets and physiotherapy, and it seems to have done the trick. I had the last physio session on Friday and now the shoulder is a lot better.



Saturday.

We went to Canterbury this morning. I needed a new jacket for spring. I can't keep wearing the fleece, and the Leather one only comes out for best. I made use of a £5 off voucher with Debenhams and got a nice Harrington Jacket. After lunch, courtesy of Nandos, we did a bit more shopping then headed for home.
This afternoon I put one of my watches on eBay. I hardly wear this one and it just sits in its nice case ticking away, unused. I should get a reasonable price for it as its a limited edition. If you fancy a look here is the link.

I had a listen to Peter Young on Jazz FM. Its something I rarely do (I always forget he is on) and I really enjoyed the show. There was a great mix of Jazz and soul,  PY is a great presenter and has been at the top of his game for years. I used to listen to him on Capital Radio in the late 70's/early 80's. He was one of the better presenters on there until the likes of Pat/Mick/Dr Fox took over and bland formulaic playlists were the order of the day.

The evening was spent in the company of Friends. We listened to Wham's first LP (on Vinyl!) and chatted over drinks and nibbles. I gave them a demonstration of internet radio including a listen to one of Afghanistan's two pop music stations, and a listen in to the California Highway Patrol (CHiPs) scanner. They had pulled over a pick-up for having too wide wheels. Exciting huh!

Sunday.

After the weekly shop, we had a look through the Auto Trader website. We really need to change the Pug for something that is cheaper to run. We have decided to get another Yaris as Sarah liked the one we had a few years back, and we like Toyotas. There was one for sale in Gillingham, so I quickly phoned my Bruv to see if he had heard of the dealer. He was less than complimentary,  but offered to find one for us. Watch this space.

We popped out to B&Q where I bought a 4lb 'Cooking Hammer' for smashing up my concrete slabs . The afternoon was spent smashing up, clearing the old fireworks from New Years Eve (I hardly ever venture into the garden in winter!) and Sarah did the essential job of clearing Cat poo from the lawn. I don't do poo. We did find a dead bird as well, Cats will be Cats.... I then cleaned out about six months worth of crud from inside my car. Thats a couple of pounds worth of petrol saved!

Until next week then...