Tweets this Week (2010-12-26)

  • Passed a massive queue for Eurostar reaching round to half way up to the front of St Pancras. Cold day for queuing. #
  • On the train back to Cambridge. The temperature there is less than enticing. -13°C, Bbbrrrr! http://flic.kr/p/93eL42 #
  • Breakfast at work today. Porridge. #
  • My evening plans have changed. Now I *can* go to the party. Excellent. #
  • Time from Tron in 3D. Hope it's good. (@ Arts Picturehouse) http://4sq.com/e67gNP #
  • Tron was fun, need a beer to discuss. Nice selection at the Fountain. (I'm at The Fountain Inn) http://qy.pe/6zX #
  • Poor duck, displaced from the Science Park Lake by the ice. http://flic.kr/p/93M3pa #
  • Tron-inspired artwork: http://bit.ly/eI95yf #
  • I checked-in La Bretonniere 2008 Saumur-Champigny Cabernet Franc, Discovered I love Cabernet Franc—lo… http://socialgrapes.com/events/4369 #
  • The Daily Mash – Echinacea proves 100% effective against ghosts http://bit.ly/eSoYSd #
  • Platitude of The Day—His Infallible Holiness, Reichsführer Benedict the Umpteenth, Archbishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ http://bit.ly/f0X18F #
  • The Pope was disappointingly bland this morning on Thought for the Day. Spouted standard dogma. Seems like not much thought went into it. #
  • With all the weather/snow gloom I was all prepared for a struggle to get to the NE. Roads empty and clear so far. Driving conditions great. #
  • We're here—Esh Winning. #
  • Warm welcome at Hamsteel Hall, but its *freezing* in the Hen House. We have 5 heaters now but a massive space to heat! http://bit.ly/gVp01i #
  • Beautiful walk from Hamsteel Hall, through Quebec to Esh Winning. On the snow-covered footpaths. http://flic.kr/p/94jCMm #
  • A shameful Thought for the Day
    http://gu.com/p/2m3t7/ip #
  • Lovely walk from Hamsteel Hall for Christmas morning with Chris and Emma. Only 3 hours too late for present opening! http://flic.kr/p/94q2gv #
  • We're taking Action Man for a walk http://flic.kr/p/94r8Ti #
  • I checked-in Jackson Estate 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Lovely, strong gooseberry flavours. Had… http://socialgrapes.com/events/4589 #
  • The Starbucks Christmas Coffee set from David put into operation. Thanks David.  http://flic.kr/p/94EygR #
  • Boxing Day walk in the snow, and a very long snowball fight. http://flic.kr/p/94Hojk #

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Tweets this Week (2010-12-19)

  • Came off my bike on the ice this morning. Ouch. Time for a new pair of trousers. http://flic.kr/p/91zoAq #
  • Lovely bottle of Mooi & Meedogenloos Dutch beer. Sweet and malty (and 10.2%). From Bacchanalia in Mill Road http://flic.kr/p/91Wvv8 #
  • Having a fabulous celebration meal at Midsummer House. #
  • I don't see anything wrong with the hat (humph). http://flic.kr/p/92DXgh #
  • Another lovely meal. Had a 'scotch egg' in a lovely cream and almond sauce. Interesting. (I'm at Great Nepalese) http://qy.pe/6qX #
  • Ahhh! In bed in the Caledonian Sleeper. Glass of whisky and it's lovely and warm. #
  • We're at Motherwell at the moment. Having a cup of tea and some shortbread! Train running about 20 mins late. #
  • Arrived in Stirling for Ethan's christening. http://flic.kr/p/92M3VA #
  • Lovely christening in Stirling http://flic.kr/p/92K6Fp #
  • Quick toasted sandwich before we take the train to Glasgow. (I'm at Crema) http://qy.pe/6tE #
  • uploaded a picture of Crema on Qype: http://qy.pe/6tH #
  • Lunch with the family. Sitting between Jessica and Lewis. (I'm at Black Bear Beefeater Restaurant & Travel Inn) http://qy.pe/6u8 #
  • In Glasgow city centre for a beer before we get the sleeper back. Nice iron-framed pub—loads of whisky. (I'm at The Pot Still) #
  • uploaded a picture of The Pot Still on Qype: http://qy.pe/6v8 #
  • Having a Harviestoun "Bitter and Twisted". I should sleep well tonight. Bar's a bit bright! (I'm at The Horseshoe Bar) http://qy.pe/6vk #

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Celebration meal at Midsummer House

We had a lovely dinner at Midsummer House to celebrate our anniversary. Eager to try everything, we had the tasting menu, which was 12 courses (and that was after the little nibbles at the start)

Velouté of Haddock, poached Quail Egg

Celery and watercress mousse, with beetroot-wrapped Goats Cheese and Horseradish ice cream

Sautéed Scallop, Celeriac and Truffle

Sweetbreads, Pistachio, Maple Syrup and Mouli

Sea Bass and Cuttlefish, Sauce Nero

Pousse Café

Slow cooked Duck, Beetroot Purée, Lettuce and Orange

Artisanal Cheese

White Chocolate, Kalamansi Lime

Warm Kumquats, Lemon Thyme Ice Cream

Chocolate Crémeux, Amaretto Cream, Crispy Feuilletine

Coffee and chocolates

The food was beautifully prepared and exciting. The soft-boiled quails egg in the haddock foam was a treat, and the watercress and celery mousse was wonderful. The duck main was also gorgeous. It all was great (perhaps not the Pousse Cafe, which was a layered drink that I wasn’t that keen on). I couldn’t finish the last desert, I was beaten by then! 🙁

We had a matched tasting of wines which was interesting and well matched to the food—the wine just kept on coming. With the gin martina to start and the extra port we seemed to be having glass after glass. Wine list:

Sancerre, Jean Marc Roger, 2008

Vin de Pays d’Oc, One Block Muscat, Domaine de Treloar, 2008 [lovely!]

Riesling, Privat, Nigl, 2003

Albarino, Bodegas Torroxal, 2009

Summerhouse, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2008

Qunita do Infantado (?), Tawny Port, 10 year old

DISZNÓKŐ, Late Harvest, Tokaj

Maury, Mas Amiel, 2008

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Midsummer House is only 10 mins walk from from our house, so we’ll now be constantly tempted to pop back in.

Tweets this Week (2010-12-12)

  • Having the last of my green puh er—2008 Meghai "Five Coloured Peacock" Peacock of Nannuo Mountain. Bit of a mouthful in more ways than one. #
  • What's this like then? IPA 'Chilled'. Perhaps not tonight since it's freezing cold outside. http://flic.kr/p/8Zaq8n #
  • Milton Arms: sorry, grim night. Not the company bit the freezing cold draughts, smell of sick, loud football and pub quiz, yelling drunks. #
  • Oh, and add smoker in the bar and in the draughty foyer. Sigh. Glad to leave. #
  • That was a cold cycle home! -5.2°C brr! http://bit.ly/gO2COH http://flic.kr/p/8Zc9d2 #
  • RIP goldfish, victims of the big freeze. I hope it was a painless way to go. #
  • Lovely time at the RSC Christmas Party. Amazing costumes again this year. Food was excellent too. Thanks to everyone for organising. #
  • Laptop shopping for parents hits home how expensive Apple are. £££ Time to switch to Linux, considering what I use my desktop for. #
  • Street Art from OakoAk http://bit.ly/eTSddK #
  • Why I'm saddened by Scotland going Gaelic by Ian Jack
    http://gu.com/p/2ymd2/ip #
  • My mouse has two daddies http://bit.ly/eZ0BmT #
  • All set for a great Christmas lunch at the Free Press. Feels like the start of Christmas. Thanks for bubbly, Craig http://flic.kr/p/91fkrt #
  • Oh gosh, eaten and drink so much. Goodbye afternoon! #
  • Had a lovely walk around town. Now hankering after some Holst Planets. Tomita Planets still on my Amazon wish list (hint hint family) #

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Lucky

Jenna lent me “Lucky”, following on from the two Alice Sebold novels I read earlier this year. She warned me it would be a hard read. It was. It is an autobiography that deals frankly and personally with rape, written with all the skill and control of an expert author. Sebold never seems to give in to self-pity, and is ruthless in exploring her emotions and those of her friends and family around her. Exhausting stuff. The trauma comes through clearly throughout the book. I’m left with a great respect for her strength and determination.

I found the opening chapter personally disturbing: the language and atmosphere didn’t convey a horrific rape and at times became erotic. Not a comfortable mix. I’m tempted to say this was the language used and the gentle pace. but I’m not going to analyse this too much. The final chapter deals with Sebold’s life after university—it give me quite a different impression to that which I had from her earlier novels. The links between this book and her two novels are very clear, and support one another. I’m glad I read this on lots of levels.

“Lucky” (Alice Sebold)

Monsters

Vit, Jay, Adam, Michael and I went to see the low budget ‘Monsters‘. I wasn’t that impressed until I read an interesting review in the TAB that gave me some background to the movie. Now I am impressed about what was achieved on the low budget! Why should the budget make a different? Not sure, I just feel impressed. I didn’t find the characters very fleshed out and rather thin? Only the relationship was developed in depth. The ‘walls’ and political parallels with Mexico/US immigration were interesting.

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Tweets this Week (2010-12-05)

  • That's the second time today that it's snowed when I wasn't looking. Stealth snowfall in Cambridge. #
  • On the 6:45 to Kings Cross for a day 1 of 3 at Olympia. Looking forward to the conference. #
  • Off to the Free Press book club: http://amzn.to/idAELX tonight's book a Beginners' Guide to Acting in English #
  • I love travelling on the bus. On my way to Olympia. http://flic.kr/p/8Xz1VJ #
  • On the number 10 bus from Olympia to Kings Cross—I wonder how long that will take?! #
  • Almost back in Cambridge: the bus to Kings Cross was a *bad* idea, it went via Oxford Street! #
  • Snow falling in Cambridge. Not much yet. http://flic.kr/p/8XKmgr #
  • I'm at Olympia Grand Hall (Olympia Way, London). http://4sq.com/57HdSO #
  • Final visit for this term—Arabian Nights. Michael's in bed with sore throat? He's missing out on Milton Icarus! (I'm at ADC Theatre) #
  • I checked-in Domaine La Combe Blanche 2001 Minervois-La Liviniere Blend, http://socialgrapes.com/events/3158 #
  • uploaded a picture of The Copper Kettle on Qype: http://qy.pe/63O #
  • Years since I've been here. It's a lot smarter now. Breakfast time! (I'm at The Copper Kettle) http://qy.pe/63P #
  • I checked-in Rolly Gassman Terroir Des Chateaux Forts 2006 Alsace Blend, http://socialgrapes.com/events/3229 #
  • Lovely lunch with Elisabeth and Tony. Great food but slow service. (I'm at Ben Jonson) http://qy.pe/65Q #
  • Driving back from Bicester and the road in the Bedford services are getting icy! #

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Mill Road Winter Fair

Had a great if freezing time at Mill Road Winter Fair. Super buzz, particularly in the area where the traffic had been stopped over the rail bridge and down into Romsey. The bridge was packed with people on foot and bike.

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We stopped off in Bacchanalia, and tried and bought some Glukriek, pre-mulled kriek that you heat in the microwave for an instant Christmas feeling. Very sweet—bought four bottles! Also tried some nice beer from Cambridge Moonshine Brewery too.

Next some sushi from Green Box—the rice rolls covered with lots of little popping fish roe, yummy!

Also did some important Christmas shopping…



Mill Road Winter Fare