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Party weekend

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

As it was a rather large Birthday this year H corralled the usual suspects and arranged a weekend at a ramshackle house near Frome.

Off we went on Friday afternoon to encounter the horrors of the M4…. should have been there in time for a late linch, but nooooo! M4 was at a standstill just before the Marlborough Junction so we decided to exit left and follow the A4. All was ok for a while, but then…. the A4 was closed in Marlborough… the diversion signs sent us around in circles so we gave up and headed back to the M4, a couple of junctions further down.

Not much drama after that but it cost us a huge amount of time….

Nice, August 2016

Friday, August 5th, 2016

After the horror of Bastille day in Nice, the start of August saw Nice slowly returning to normal. A new influx of tourists have improved the mood and filled the restaurants and bars again, and there is a renewed energy around town.

There is a fantastic exhibition currently on at MAMAC (Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain) of Ernest Pignon.Ernest. See below for some delightful pics.

We are only in Nice for a few more days, so H has started the depressing job of getting everything ship shape so that we are not in a panic the day before we leave! Today, H has also started painting the mirror from the WC, which she has been trying to do for ages (but work and life keep blocking her…).

Amusingly it has been very windy this afternoon. We are smug because our windows and shutters are properly secured, unlike out AirBnB neighbour opposite, whose shutters are trying to noisily escape their confines…

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Pimlico 2016-03-23

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

  
Lovely day for a visit to the gym at Dolphin Square.

Dans le Sud, May 2014

Monday, May 12th, 2014

After a chilly, damp week in Borås, what could be a better antidote than a trip to Nice? Exactly, not a lot!

So off to Gatwick we went! For once we were not rushing. Which was just as well, as the taxi driver managed to take to route to Victoria with the most traffic… I ask you, Oxford St and Marble Arch on a Saturday lunchtime? Tsk. Still, was in the enormous bag drop queue the requisite 2 hours before take off.

Flight was ok, helped along with large quantities of Haribo… Nice seemed very quiet… The bus was almost empty, which was nice! Decided to just grab a few bits from the supermarket and have a quiet night, which was rather pleasant.

Lazy lie in on Sunday, then went for a walk along the prom in the glorious sunshine. Was intending to go to Monoprix on the way home, but got a message from Allyson “will be in the Negresco bar in an hour”. So that was the shopping kicked into touch! Went home and glammed up a bit and headed to meet Allyson and Ana. Had a very pleasant time chatting and catching up, over a glass of Chablis.

Sunday evening brought the Yahtzee! challenge. Everything to play for…. Once we had the rules sussed, J streaked ahead with an early win. H redeemed herself by trouncing J in game 2, by quite some margin…! So we decided to leave it there for the night!

A few days in Borås

Friday, May 9th, 2014

I couldn’t avoid it any longer – it was time to go back, back to the island. I mean, Borås.
Met up with B-man at T5 and had another uneventful (just the way I like it) flight to Gotham City.

B was heading up to Stockholm on Wednesday (more on that later) so it was imperative to get a couple of cold ones in on Tuesday evening. So we duly headed into to town, a little later than usual, to B’s favourite Spanish bar.

A few Cruz Campos and some wild boar later, and we were sated. All was good.

Except the weather, of course. What did you expect? This is Borås!

Wednesday brought more rain, and B’s trip to Stockholm. In a car. With Daniel. And Tomas. Hmmmm, who to feel most sorry for 😉
Not me – I had a nice quiet early evening, and then met K and N in the Vinbar. Nice easy catch up there. No sign of Niel, but Jonaton looked after us rather well.

Thursday came, and with it the promise of a quiet night in front of the TV. P & Co were flying off to Iceland on Friday so K was heading back to Stockholm and P was staying in with the family. So arranged for an early gym visit with P. En route P informed me that the Iceland beano was off! The damned pilots were going on strike. So, in K’s words “might as well stay in Borås and get hammered”. I could see my nice, quite, (relatively) healthy evening slipping into the mire…

While I got a sweat on, P was rounding up the posse and getting flights for that night sorted! Success! They could get to Stockhoml in time for a flight to Iceland! So they were happy, and I got my quiet night. Nice 🙂

So a bit of shopping, chat with H and some TV and PS3. All good.

Friday at work was uneventful, if busy. This cheered me up a bit:

 

And the flight back to Blighty was ok too. Not at all bad for a Friday evening.

* update *
Had a message from P on Sunday night: “stuck in Iceland”. The damned pilots were still on stike! Had to laugh…

 

 

Auds Birthday Party

Friday, March 21st, 2014

And so it came to pass that lo, it was Audrey’s 40th
Naturally this meant a party. Rather sensibly, the theme was “What I want to be when I grow up”
That obviously left me in a quandary as I never intend to. However, Audrey let slip that she would be going as a nurse but “she had no idea what Miles would be going as”. It was a race between H and I to see how fast we could say “Chicken”…
Predictably enough…
It was all good clean hilarious fun. Big Bird stole the show a bit, as did the shocking pink nurses outfit. Brave lad.

Firenze for the weekend

Friday, March 21st, 2014

My lovely wife bought me the gift of travel for Christmas and so, on a grey Thursday we headed for Heathrow where a flight to Florence was waiting for us.
No gastronomic weekend would be complete without starting at the airport, so we settled down at the Caviar house for pile of smoked salmon and a cheeky Chablis.

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The flight (with Vueling) was quite good. We seemed to have loads of room.

Arriving at Florence, we headed out into the arrivals hall where J was accosted by an Italian lady, who asked in easily understandable Italian “were you on the flight from London?” To which I naturally replied “Oui”…
Shaking my head with embarrassment I slunk out in search of the Taxi rank. There was a bit of a queue, which gave us time to appreciate just how much our Italian cousins smoke. Pretty soon our taxi arrived. A Subaru Imprezza WRX… Cool!
It was rather grey and raining and the driver was telling us how high the Arno was and how worried everyone was getting about flooding. As he power-slid around a roundabout. -_-
He was quite amusing, getting the interior lights to flash in time with the music.
A couple of unnecessarily powerful accelerations later we were pulling up at the hotel. I had already booked dinner for Friday night so we went up to the room and relaxed for a while, by listening to the toddler next door screaming.

Fri night: Ristorante Benedicta
Heading out of the hotel, and turning left, it took about a minute to get to the restaurant! I knew it was close, but what I didn’t know was that it was actually the hotel restaurant, and there was a back way in that was even closer! Still, we were very comfortable and Francesco the owner and his son were positively charming.

Amuse bouche:
H cod w olive oil
J rebilito (bread soup)
Antipasti:
H fried Artichoke w tripe
J house antipasti. Pecorino with onion marmalade, salami w fennel (delish), focaccia w ricotta sauce

First course:
Shared pasta w spicy wild boar sausage & tomato sauce

Second course:
H Octopus
J Bistecca

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Dessert:
H Solid chocolate (cake)
J Poached pear with vanilla sauce

Saturday
Up early, but missed breakfast due to wanting “10 more minutes”

Headed straight for the Accedamia. Got there just after opening which is unheard if in the Hollingsworth household… But it was worth it. Stunning pieces right from the off. All a bit of a theme but it was much fun comparing the quality of celestial “doves”. Some looked like doves…

David!

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What a magnificent chap he is. Apologies for the low qual pic… There were “no photography” signs all over the place!

Climbed 463 steps of Duomo

Lunch @ gobbi
H wild boar sausage & pecorino salad
J pear & pecorino
Main
H Baccala (cod) in pomodorro sauce & chick peas
J rabbit w pancetta, potato & carrot etc
Chianti Ruffino

Dinner
H risotto chiantigiane (delish); smoked swordfish carpaccio w celery cheese (gruyere / emmental?); creme caramel
J rebilito; lamb chops (4 large) w spinach & asparagus; tiramisu
Chianti Classico Marchese Antinori Reserva 2010

Sun
Made breakfast! H got a wheat free breakfast box.

To Uffizi

Sun eve
Restaurant Alle Murate
Slightly more upmarket that the guide book suggested! But we’re worth it 😉

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You can check out any time you like…

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I always prefer Ars, if I have the choice…

 

Back to Borås, Feb 13

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Due to a whistle-stop visit in Week 3, it hasn’t actually been that long since I was in Borås, but it was nice to catch up with my buddy Brian as we don’t overlap too often these days. We managed to hookup in the BA lounge for a bacon roll or two before the (as usual) delayed 07:35 to Gothenburg. The flight was good: calm and not too busy.
Picked up the car and headed into I15. Daniel practically climbed on my back as soon as I got to my desk! Lots of plates need spinning,..

After dropping stuff of in Göta we headed into town and fell into Babbel for some well earned refreshment 🙂 We managed to grab some grub in between the beers..

Boxing Day 2012

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

After our “Killing” marathon it came as no surprise that we missed breakfast!
It was sunny so I cajoled H into getting up and out with the cameras and we headed up the hill to the old chateau. The light was golden and brought the best out of the wonderful colours. We left the hilltop and popped down to the port, via some antique shops, to see if Ken was in the pub. Sadly not, so we meandered back around the coast road to the Promenade and headed home. It was properly dark by this time and we decided to have an early dinner and watch the last few episodes of the Killing. Which was cracking! And so to bed.

Christmas Day, 2012

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

As it was Christmas we treated ourselves to a lie in…
When we finally dragged ourselves out if bed, the present like was practically shouting at me. After a quick brekkie, H finally agreed to opening a few parcels. Luckily we opened all of them! Lots of lovely things 🙂
By this time it was getting on a bit so we rushed out for a skate along the promenade. Which was fun! Both of us manages to keep upright, and the guys & gals on the promenade we doing some phat tricks. We can only dream of being that good!
Back home to stuff some meat into the bird…
While we were cooking:
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Yep, collecting the refuse on Christmas Day!

And our star:
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Nice eh?

Cooking took a while longer than expected but once it was ready we settled down to eat and watch a couple of “Killing” episodes. It turned into quite a few though, and at 4am we decided it was bedtime’