Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Friday, February 3rd, 2012

995Duncan has becoming increasingly stubborn, not helped this week by having a lingering cold as side of which he’s come out in spots all over his cheeks. For example, for breakfast he currently needs to have two bowls: one for porridge and one for cereal (or breakfast as Duncan insists on calling it), and has to sit on someone’s lap to eat them. If you ask him whether he’d like a little bit of something, he always reply with ‘big bit’.

This evening we had another classic example. Half way through the first course, Duncan pushed his plate away and declared that he wanted a lollipop (which usually means an ice lolly). After a few minutes of persistence, he decided better of it and ate a bit more off his plate. Anyway, eventually Emma went to get the lollies out (ideal for possibly the coldest night of the year!) and made the mistake of first getting out the packet containing the last remaining Fab. Emma generously agreed to let Duncan have it (having had a real lollipop earlier from a birthday at school). After one bite, Duncan decided he rather have a milk lolly like Emma and tried to palm his off on me. Luckily, half way through, Emma decided she didn’t like hers and gave it to Duncan, only to then decide she’d have Duncan’s Fab instead. Fantastic – two happy children. Only then, having seen Emma biting off all the chocolate and sprinkles, Duncan decided that he really would rather have the Fab! Luck would have it that Emma then decided it was too cold for lollies. Duncan reclaimed his lolly for the third time and I got a half eaten mini milk!

Castle Cake

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

977Emma’s becoming a bit demanding when it comes to birthday cake decoration. For Mummy’s birthday, it was to be a castle. This proved to be an unmitigated disaster: there wasn’t really enough cake mixture and then the icing was too runny so I spent a good while spooning the icing off the plate and back over the top of the cake until it finally reached a consistency where it would stick. Thankfully there were no complaints from the children when it came to eating it!

Welsh Holiday

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

869I’m just coming to the end of two weeks of vacation of which we spent the first 10 days on a family holiday to Wales. We originally had had various plans for an overseas trip but, apart from anything else, we’d failed to get Duncan a passport! In the end, we spent a week in a ‘lodge’ at a place called Timber Hill near Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire and then, because the original plan had been to find some mountains, up to a cottage in Llanberis for 4 nights.


Escape to Chilworth

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Partly in preparation for the impending birth, and partly to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary next week, we left Emma in the hands of her grandparents last night and decamped to a nearby hotel. Chilworth Manor is not the most luxurious of places (it used to be the University’s conference venue) but it served our purpose and the new leisure facilities provided for a very nice swim in the morning. We did, however, make the mistake of walking to the nearby Chilworth Arms for dinner. The walk itself was fine – we even stumbled in to the Chilworth Conservation Area whilst strolling around the grounds of the manor. The service once there was pretty poor: we were given someone else’s starter, the table next to us were brought the bill when they hadn’t asked for it, and the man on the table behind had asked whether a sauce was gluten free when ordering but it was brought to the table without anyone having checked. The food was also pretty variable. The “rustic bread” starter tasted pretty foul and had been drowned in olive oil. Christine enjoyed her salmon but my chicken, mushroom and leek pie mysteriously came with no pastry or other topping. Even the waiter commented that he thought this a little odd for a pie. As with our last visit a few years ago when Christine received a burnt starter, we didn’t pay for the entire meal as Christine found a piece of broken plastic container in her dessert. I think it’ll be a while before we eat there again…

Dancers and adders

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

753Today’s trip out was to the New Forest. After fighting our way through the hoards heading towards the beach we parked at the Reptile Centre and then walked to the New Forest Inn at Emery Down where we had lunch. Here we came across a group of Morris Dancers who thankfully seemed more interested in eating and drinking than dancing. We didn’t miss out entirely though as the merriment began just before we made our move to leave. We therefore headed off in the direction of the Portugese Fireplace to the strains of the recorder. From there we crossed to Knightwood Oak and then back to the Reptile Centre. Perhaps as a result of the additional sunshine I was able to improve on my Tuesday night count by spotting two adders, some natterjack toads and a green frog. Perhaps more interesting though was the webcam of the goshawk nest.


Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

698We’re visiting the in-laws for the weekend and today Christine managed her second fix of orienteering for the week at a NGOC local event at Bixslade in the Forest of Dean. I took Emma out for a walk in the carrier with Christine’s Mum. Even though I occasionally had trouble staying vertical on the muddy footpaths I was grateful not to have to venture off the paths in to the thick undergrowth (where the controls were apparently well hidden in traditional NGOC style). We arrived back just in time to see the exciting conclusion of the race between Christine and her Dad. Christine finished first but not by a big enough margin. For the first time in I don’t know how long Christine and I went for dinner on our own – nowhere more exciting that Pizza Express in Monmouth but it was still a nice break.

Cornish delight

Monday, October 20th, 2008

679We spent a long weekend visiting Christine’s brother and his wife down in Falmouth. We headed down on Friday, stopping at Bridport for a lunchtime break. It was like a dream come true for Emma – more pebbles than she knew what to do with! On Saturday we headed over to the massive stretch of beach that is Hale Sands. Lots to see with kite surfing, land yachting, and land kiting (apologies to devotees if I’ve incorrectly labelled their favourite sport!). Emma enjoyed drawing in the sand but was a bit bemused by the rest of the party building a large fort and then proceeding to watch the sea take it over.

Sunny Loughrigg

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

The reason for our trip to the Lakes was the JOK Champs, AGM and Annual Dinner. The first of these was held on Loughrigg Fell above Ambleside. The sun was breaking through as we arrived and while Christine was out running I had an easy time of looking after Emma as she played with the other JOK kids.