Sunday, November 27, 2011

More old boy reunions real and virtual

So I suppose it ius not uncommon to meet up with old friends at this time of the year and yesterday evening a group of former UWIST (now part of the University of Wales Cardiff) flat sharers and their other halves had a great evening of food and chat - the venue was the Charlotte Street eatery that performs so well in the Tapas area - Navarros.
Thanks To Nick C for organising and great to see Jonathan and Claire, Peter and Tricia, Mike and Liz and of course Susanna and thanks to Debbie for accompanying me – hopefully next time we do this Steve and Eve will be there too.
Now the University of Wales was important in my 'education' but perhaps not as much as Lawford Mead (Primary and Junior) and by the wonders of Linkedin I have found another old pupil of the same era- Roger Harding who seems a very talented actor - check his Youtube stuff here.

Meanwhile at the allotment in the back garden progress continues. Have planted Blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes today along with a Raspberry and Blackberry bush (just about see them on the left) . Weather was really good today and beans look like they'll be planted out soon (pictured on the right) andf these will be followed by early peas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

1Z reunion

At the weekend as well as planting more garlic, vines (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir)and Kiwi on the allotment I was sowing some peas in pots and watching the broad beans slowly shoot(see first picture ).

Alongside this excitement we had a visitor a very good friend who I first met at Braintree County High School around 43 years ago. As you can see (Kevin is on the left) we've not aged at all and both have Dorian Gray type pictures in our lofts.

Kevin is now working for Avon Fire and rescue in some sort of computery job and is able to pontificate with the best of us.
Debbie, Kevin and I had a great lunch at The Bollo (roast lamb etc.) and then Kevin and I went to see Jeremy Paxman at Richmond Theatre where he gave a presentation related to his new book/TV series on the British Empire.
Judgement from me is that he'd make a cracking lecturer - the Q&A was not as good as it could have been due to an inexperienced moderator and some fairly off topic questions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First plantings at Northfields allotments

This weekend we did our first plantings at Northfields
Shallots and Garlic (below)for harvesting next summer
Also a Rhubarb crown (on the left) which will not be in any condition to provide dessert until 2013 at the earliest! (don't forget that the leaves are poisonous)

You can see though we have made some progress since we first signed our agreement in August – the difference in November is less weeds and some clear spaces!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Syon Park Capability
Last week myself Debbie and brother Nick went to a restaurant new to us in West London- nice to enjoy different food of an impressively high standard. Enjoyable despite waiter Cosmo having a small accident with a fairly expensive bottle of wine.

Check out the review and If you get the chance do try it.
And here's the location.

Hidden away in Hambleden

Almost a year after we were bequeathed a wine tasting activity day we went out to the rural countryside and had a splendid tour and an educating tasting session –a chance to try sparkling English wine and a ferocious Ginger wine too.
The Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery is a magical place and our tour guide Rico was incredibly knowledgable about all things drink and food related - all the visitors ended up buying various bottles for future consumption if only to join the list of celebrated imbibers that includes Prince Phillip. More information and instructions on visiting are here.

Nice Hotel

To make our trip relaxing we decided to stay at a fairly local hotel - suitably poncey this former brewery oozed character -Henley is a smashing little town and !!! SEASONAL TIP !!! has a shop where you can get great cards and gifts. the name is The Simon Drew Art Works Shop

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Early starting

So a few weeks back you might remember that I started some garlic from a Tesco garlic bulb - just broke the bulb up and stuck individual cloves in plant pots outside the house - most have them have now sprouted and in a few weeks I might plant them out in the allotment. (see picture of the shooting garlic on the right taken today).

My next go is starting some broad Beans (Aquadulce Claudia from Thompson & Morgan) I've decided to start them in individual potting compartments and have put 8 outside and 8 in lean to Greenhouse thing -will see what happens and report back.

I've also got some peas to sow, a Rhubarb plant and some shallots more as I get them in the ground.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

ITN/ITV building

The other week I was visiting 200 Gray's Inn Road (lower picture)for a business meeting and it was a trip down memory lane.
I was employed by ITN when they moved there from 48 Wells Street (adjacent picture) and I carried on working there on Saturday Mornings doing an Odetics Playout for an early C4 News bulletin for a while after I joined Basys - a few years later I was again there as part of Reuters (having a bit of an induction before going to Reuters Hong Kong) - this was at the time of the Nick Leeson finance story.

Looking at the building I realise how well it has aged in its' 21 years (ITN moved there in (1990)- notable changes are the removal of the hanging sculpture and removal of the bar!