June 30, 2004

fancy a job?

there’s a good one here….

filles at 7:41 pm

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Detox and Sports

There’s not a lot happening here. We’ve been following our detox all week. Three days down, officially four to go… But, since we have friends coming to stay for the weekend, and we couldn’t possibly subject them to an enforced detox, then we will quit for the weekend, and resume when they leave, maybe – perhaps!

Michelle added wine to the ‘OK to consume’ column last night, along with Brie – ostensibly to accompany Edouard, who was our guest for dinner, and tomorrow she is off to France for 2 days, so I guess she will be trading in the legumes for duck, and the lemon juice for wine earlier than me!

We are getting ready for a sports day on Saturday with our friends from Bamford. It is an intercompany sports day being held here in Glasgow, and if she’s lucky, Michelle will be able to play Badminton for the Sheffield team. That is – if she is lucky, I’m not so sure if Sheffield will be lucky. I’ve known Michelle for almost 9 years, and have never seen her pick up a badminton racquet!

I know she has one, but can she use it?

filles at 7:11 pm

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Lloyd’s show

Check out Lloyd’s all new Canadian reality show “The Prime Minister”. It’s brilliant! Here…

filles at 12:34 pm

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June 29, 2004

More pictures

see links on the right for pictures of Dublin, Bath, Stonehenge & new pictures of our sushi night in London…

filles at 7:45 pm

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June 28, 2004

Meal and Education – at The Fat Duck

If you have been reading these pages for some time, or if you know me personally, you know that I LOVE food. I talk about it, I reminisce about it, I smell it in my sleep – and most of all I love to eat it. Nearly everything I do involves food. It is my lasting memory of every day, and the first thing I think of when I wake up of a morning. I devour magazine articles, recipe books and delicatessen counters. Once I’ve finished lunch, the first thing I think about is dinner, or lunch tomorrow, or the meal I’m going to prepare for so and so next week… This is not to say that I always eat well or wisely, I’m partial to a carb fix or a junk day just like most people, it’s just that I enjoy it so, so much.

On the evening of June 18th, a Friday at 7pm, I had the most incredible food experience to date. It was with Christine. We took the train from London to Maidenhead, which on a direct train takes about 30 minutes, and jumped in a cab for another 5-10 minutes, and arrived at The Fat Duck, in Bray, Berkshire.
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filles at 3:03 pm

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Detox

We started our 6 monthly detox today. Drinking lemon juice, water and all manner of herbs and tinctures mixed in. It’s not so bad, it just takes a lot more time to prepare things. What do you cook for dinner when you can only eat nuts, seeds, pulses, fruit and vegetables? I know there are millions of things, it’s just that they all take time…. especially when all you can think about is caffeine and chocolate (side affects to a detox!).

Today I made a black, red and brown rice salad for my lunch – and Michelle’s lunch tomorrow. It is so good! That’s right, I’m starting to remember, fresh is good.

7 hours down, 6 days and 16 hours to go….

filles at 2:45 pm

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June 27, 2004

New Photos

I’ve added links (on the left) to the photos from our trip to the Peak District and Oxford, as well as some from Bangkok from January….

I’ll keep working on the rest. Check back over the next couple of days!

filles at 12:56 pm

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Belle’s of the dinner party

Yep, the aforementioned dinner party – this was after the strawberries in red wine! whilst searching for our Top Ten tracks of all time….

(p.s. thanks for the photo Christine!)

filles at 12:38 pm

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June 26, 2004

Go Wallabies Go!

Despite the weather in Glasgow today, it’s been an excellent day! We went to see the Australia vs England rugby game this morning at Walkabout – and guess what? WE WON! not just by a hair, but we thrashed them 51 to 15! GO Wallabies GO!

After such a win we went to the Glasgow School of Art to visit the ‘Degree Shows 2004’. This is the annual degree show for all graduating students from the departments of fine art, architecture and design. The fact that it was held for the most part in the Mackintosh building – which in itself is absolutely beautiful, just added to how brilliant some of the photography, textiles, architectural models and jewellery really were.

As usual, I get all sentimental when visiting student shows, wishing I was once again a student. Thinking (probably incorrectly) that wouldn’t it be great to be concentrating so much creative energy as well as learning…..

Then I come back to reality and really think about it, and decide that life as a student was not all that brilliant! No money, no experience, no wrinkles – and so the circle goes…..

filles at 6:59 pm

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June 24, 2004

Bonne fete a toute les Quebecois

I know I’m supposed to be writing my Fat Duck review, but I just can’t sit down to do it! I need more time…

Today I spent the day in the darkroom, printing some lovely photos of Milene & Gabriels kids, also a pretty picture of Christine, and another of our friends in Bamford, Michelle & Barry. Perfect day for it really, it drizzled all day, then tonight when I got home I had to put on the heat it was so cold!

Its been a week of news really. On Saturday night, Michelle and I were asked to be godparents to Milene & Gabriels son, Jonathon. It took all of 1/2 a second to discuss our response (and considering Michelle was in Sherbrooke and I was in London, that was no time at all!). We are both thrilled. Personally it means a great deal, with no kids of my own, and no other godchildren – it’s a real honour. Thank you Milene & Gabriel. I hope I do you proud. Imagine, two fairy godmothers! What more could a lad need or want?

Then last night, Michelle & Barry announced that they were going to get married. July 30! so soon! It’s going to be lovely, we’ll be back down in the peak district, think we might drive this time – so we can take our gigantic gift!

Also, I spoke to an old friend from Montreal who just married 2 weeks ago, and he is happily expecting a baby very soon…

Any other news I haven’t heard, but should have?

filles at 11:42 pm

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another gem!

Check this out. Glasgow has been named as “the world’s most intelligent community” of the year at an awards ceremony in New York.

It sounds good doesn’t it?, if you want the full details, read on…

filles at 11:28 pm

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June 23, 2004

Strawberries in red wine and mint syrup

I keep meaning to share this. I did this a couple of weeks back for a dinner party we had here. It was GOOD!

220g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
500ml dolcetto, or other light-bodied red wine
600g strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
Mascarpone, optional, to serve

Combine sugar, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Without stirring, bring mixture very slowly to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then stir in wine and cool mixture completely. Combine strawberries and mint in a bowl, pour wine syrup over and toss gently to combine. Divide mixture amongh 6 bowls or glasses and serve with mascarpone, if using.

Serves 6.

from Australian Gourmet Traveller: October 2001

filles at 4:46 pm

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London – Day 2

Today started out very drizzly. I took the tube to Barbican and wandered about the desolateness in the rain. I never really knew, and still don’t, what Barbican is all about. Other than the theatre it is like a housing commission estate, albeit more beautiful, and an excellent location in almost the centre of London. From there I headed up towards Old Street and to the Turkish Baths on Ironmonger Row. I had been planning to come here for the last year, in fact, since we first moved to the UK. Friday is ladies day at the baths, so I was all psyched up to go get a scrub down. Now Michelle and I had been to the Colonial Baths in Montreal before (back when they used to have Ladies nights – Tues I think) and initially we were shocked at the age of them and the general state (let’s just say they weren’t pretty, not even 20th century’ish) anyway, these were even older and even more outdated. If that is possible?

ironmonger.jpg
But I guess the point is nothing to do with how the baths look, but whether they have a steam room, some scrub down marbles, hot rooms and a plunger pool – and the Ironmonger Row baths had all that was required. I did my steam, plunge in icy water, hot room, plunge, steam, plunge, hot room, plunge, steam, plunge, hot room, plunge for about 2 hours, then 1 last steam before I lay down on a marble slab for my scrub. Wow! Sandi, who was wielding the iron brush, scrubbed out any dirt, along with the top 7 layers of skin just to be sure. She did it with soap, then an iron brush, and then with salt – then I turned over – and the process was repeated. Finished with a gallon of oil I felt like a very clean olive as I slipped my way back into the hot room to let the oil soak into my skin.

I left the baths 3 hours later and much cleaner and softer than I think I’ve been since the last time 7 layers of skin were forcibly removed from body. It was amazing. This is now going to be one of my regular stops whenever I go to London. And I would urge you, men and women alike, to drop by. It really is a lovely relaxing and refreshing experience, especially if you’ve been doing the tourist trail for weeks and couldn’t face another museum or bunch of tourists�. Most of the people there look like they’ve been coming there for years, some of them since it first opened! Here is an interesting article.

Next, I headed for Borough Markets for lunch. Now, I’d heard all about the Borough Markets, and had some high expectations both for the quality of the food and for the celebrity spotting. I was certainly not disappointed with the food. The problem with travelling and living out of hotel rooms is that you cannot buy fresh food – there is just nowhere to put it�. The fruit was amazing, as was all the fish and meat I saw. And for lunchtime, it was like this huge smorgasbord. Gourmet sausages, burgers with rocket and grape tomatoes, sushi, noodles, fresh juices, you name it, if you could eat it – you could buy it at Borough Market on a Friday lunchtime. The only disappointment was that I didn’t see any celebrity chefs in there haggling over spinach� nevermind. And more, if you enjoyed Bridget Jones, you might be interested to know that her apartment (in the movie) was located above the Globe Pub in the markets… see this article.

After the markets, I made my way back towards the hotel, stopping for a wander around Leicester Square and Chinatown, and then for the obligatory walk along Oxford Street, before taking a bus back to Notting hill Gate.

Friday night was supposed to be the highlight of our trip, what I had been working towards, and looking forward to for months. Now this is an entry on it’s own. I need some time to work on this one. This was a meal like I’ve never experienced before – many many many courses, amazing flavours and challenges�.

I’ll fill you in soon�.

filles at 2:56 pm

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June 22, 2004

Rathergood.com

I just love this site. Check out a sample of Elbow by the kittens….

filles at 11:54 pm

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London – Day 1

I think we arrived in London with a sense of trepidation. Christine because there was so many things she wanted to see and do and she didn’t know how she was going to fit them all in, me because there was so many things I wanted to see and do, I had almost decided already to not get stressed about the planning, and not do any of them!

vivienne.jpg

However we started with the Vic & Albert Museum because of the Vivienne Westwood exhibition going on that we both really wanted to see. It was fabulous. From her punk period with Malcolm McLaren and store on the Kings Road, to the most amazing, beautiful evening dresses and all the bits in-between. And girls, did you realise that without Vivienne we probably would not have known tube skirts or that whole ‘buffalo girl’ look? Just a couple of the many little influences she’s had – I’m sure they’re not her most profound, but certainly my biggest ‘aahhaa’ facts� Afterwards I headed off to see the Bill Brandt photography exhibition, to stroke my new flame of interest in photography, and Christine to the Sshh Exhibition (Sounds in Spaces) which sounded very interesting – a selection of artists who compose a soundtrack to different objects and spaces in the museum (perhaps Christine will provide some details in the comments(?)).

It was actually the first time I’d ever been to the V&A Museum and it was really worth it. Claiming to be “the world’s greatest museum of applied and decorative arts” I really enjoyed it. Had I known that there was a exhibition called ‘The other flower show‘ on, I would have definitely gone for a visit also. It’s an ‘installation’ exhibition where ten designers and artists have been invited to transform a shed in the V&A garden. If I can, and they are both still on, I will go back and do the Sounds in Spaces tour and the flower show exhibition, the next time I’m in London.

In the evening we used our Sunday Times �15 three course dinner vouchers at L’escargot another Marco Pierre White restaurant near Leicester Square. Milene and Gabriel joined us and we actually had a lovely evening. The meal was just so-so, but for �15 it’s hardly possible to complain. The menu itself looked amazing, but when the meals were presented they were tiny, and it seems that the seasonings were off. It was down to chance really, if you had ordered the parma ham for an entr�e and the duck for a main – it would have been perfect! The wine, port and of course the company certainly made up for any shortcomings however, and to give them it’s due, the full menu was probably of another class entirely.

filles at 2:50 pm

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