A night at the races…

Posted in Travel on December 20th, 2008 by Coffee

In contrast to any stories about bread, this post is one we’ve been putting off for ages, as it’ll probably take a bit more effort!

Every now and then we feel the need to get out of London for a day or two, and a perfect opportunity came along to do that one weekend. The village that one of our friends live in was having a fundraising night for the local hall. A night at the races!

Well, not really at the races.  It was all based in said hall, which was fine by us, as it was nice and warm, and the bar was only a few steps away.  All good!  The races themselves were videos, which you bet on by buying a runner, or owner of a runner in each race, or by placing bets.  Notice I didn’t say horses there. The runners turned out (once the video started – you didn’t know beforehand) to be horses, dogs, and even pigs. All good fun. But I’m not sure we really got into the fundraising spirit of things, as we seemed to be quite good at picking winners so came out ahead on the tote for the night. But not on the bar, so that presumably worked out OK.

The afternoon before ‘race night’ we had a great walk around the village. A pleasant Autumn/Winter day can be a great time to have a stroll. As a bonus we got to take a neighbour’s dog for a walk with us, and a very well behaved chappie he was too. Didn’t even object too much to being dragged past a dead rabbit or two.


You never know what you’ll spot by the roadsides. And this mushroom/toadstool/fungus was pretty impressive.  As were the apples we cadged from one of the trees by the road…


All quite a different pace and feel for a weekend. Very enjoyable.  Thanks Liz and Dave!

Bit of Baking…

Posted in Food and Drink on December 20th, 2008 by Coffee

I’m still not quite sure what made her keen, but Bec decided to make bread the other night to go with tea. Which was pretty good thinking really, as it became pretty much the whole of our tea that night…

And as we’re pretty keen to find anything interesting to write about for the blog that actually doesn’t need much in the way of deep comment we made sure we kept a photo diary of the event.

Luckily for you, dear reader, we’ve skipped the boring bits, like bowls of dough sitting around for ages in the hot water cupboard getting nice and fat.  The first “exciting” bit was after there had been 3 lots of dough rolled out that had to be filled with a whole lot of cooked red onions. A lot of onions. And we didn’t even use as many as it appeared the recipe called for.  And I’ll digress here for a moment, if I may.  If a recipe calls for 750gms of onions, peeled and finely chopped, does the 750gms relate to the inital unpeeled weight, or the final chopped amount?  It’s confusing.  And not very helpful. Hmm.

Anyway, here’s the spreading happening…


And how it all looked when we’d finally worked out how to plait them together.  Bec seems to be able to plait her hair behind her without thinking about it, but plaiting in front of you (with massive bits of dough, I agree) seemed to be a bit more confusing…


A bit more sitting around rising time later, and it was into the oven.  Then out again, looking pretty good.


And after almost enough cooling time, into out tummies did it go.  Not too bad. A little doughy, I give it a 7/10. But as it was the first baking in this oven,  I think we can be reasonably happy with it.


Rugby at Twickeham

Posted in London on December 13th, 2008 by Coffee


A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to continue following the tour we started in Edinburgh and got tickets to go to the NZ vs. England game at Twickenham (once again through Bec’s boss at work – thanks Tim).

We meet up with him just before the game, and as suspected our seats were in the “English supporters'” part of the ground.  So here we were again two little ole kiwi’s amongst a lot of English, and when we were scoring tries we had to be a bit more reserved than usual (well Bec has to contain herself).  The game was interesting, it took the AB’s awhile to get going, but then perhaps they were just waiting for the English to make mistakes – which seemed to work.


It was bloody cold in the 2nd half as the sun went down and it started to rain (how we forgot to take our hat and gloves, I’m not sure).  And of course we had a pint or two of Guinness whilst we were there. It seems to be a bit of regular thing when we go to Twickenham.

After the game as the crowds leaving were massive, and we thought it would be a fair while before we could get a train, we had a nice night walk down the Thames to Richmond, made all the more pleasant by stopping at a pub for a warming drink on the way.

It was another good day out. (And we won the rugby!)

For all those itching to leave comments…

Posted in Geeky Tech Stuff on December 13th, 2008 by Coffee


Another little tech chore that I’ve not got around to for far too long has been completed.  The server can now send you an email to help you reset your password for the blog if you’ve forgotten it.

Of course you still have to remember the username and email that you used when you first registered, but if your memory’s like mine and you can’t even remember that, let me know and I can reset it for you.

I guess now we’ll just have to write some posts that are actually worth commenting on!

Moving house…

Posted in London on December 10th, 2008 by Coffee

Well, the horror of it all has just about receded into the past enough for me to think about writing something about the move we made a month or two ago. Just about!

As you’ll remember, the state of our landlords mortgage affairs led us to have to vacate the old flat so that we could feel like we could sleep peacefully without bailiffs knocking on the door in the middle of the night telling us to get out. Or worse, turning up during the day while we were out and taking all our stuff assuming that it was his… So we looked for a few flats around town, but in the end we decided to take one just across the road from where we were. This was partly because we’ve gotten to know this area now, but partly because I thought it would make it an easier shift. We wouldn’t have to make sure we had everything packed up at one time for a truck to come and take it all, and could take our time walking things across from one place to the other. (Bec says – But to be honest I think because we had so little to go the not packing properly makes it even harder when moving.  Who would’ve thought it would take so much time to walk just across a road to shift).

And that was pretty much the whole weekend. Walking loads of stuff from one apartment block to the other. Back and forward and back and forward and sit down for a minute and back and forward etc, etc, etc.

Whew! I feel tired again just thinking about it!

I started off keeping track of how many trips, boxes, etc that we’d brought over, but by about the fifth trip that had started to wear a bit thin, and we just put our heads down and did a few more. So I’ve really no idea how many trips and how much stuff we moved.

We did meet a couple of neighbours going up in the lift for another load on Sunday in the old flat that had obviously been watching us all weekend and were quite impressed/amused by the whole ordeal. Glad we could entertain someone!

The star of the whole ordeal was a little sack trolley we borrowed off a friend of Bec’s. We did also borrow another one from the concierge from the old place, and a furniture delivery guy that was briefly loitering outside the new place for a few loads here and there, but the one below was the constant companion. It must have looked a bit funny to casual observers. I’d be carrying over some awkward stuff, while Bec would be driving the cart over with a stack of boxes that was almost as high as she was! It was easier for both of us that way, honest!


Glad it’s all over though! Hopefully for a good long while! I still think it was easier to do it this way than pack it all up at once, but if we had to do it again I think I’d pay a couple of guys to come and do a lot of the walking to and fro for us while we tried to look busy packing stuff up ready for the next loads…

Rugby in Scotland

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized on December 6th, 2008 by Bec

A few weekends ago (actually must be just about a month ago now), we decided to go to Scotland to watch the All Blacks game. The atmosphere at Murrayfield is just fantastic, the only problem was as I had got the tickets through work we were sitting in the Scottish supporters’ area. But on a good note the game wasn’t sold out so we had plenty of room, and the All Black reserves were sitting about 10 rows in front of us (I was tempted to fall into them on my way to the toilet….. but was too shy).

The ceremonies before the game were great, I think my favourite was all the lights blacked out and the bag pipe band playing, then followed by the haka.


From memory we enjoyed the game itself and then the walk back into town with all the rugby fans (it is great to look ahead and there is just a sea of people everywhere – poor people trying to drive anywhere, but then what were they thinking?!), to go for a few drinks in a pub in the city.


The next day was poppy day (we pinned ours to our wooly hats) and an absolutely stunning day. Well the sun was shinning, but it was bloody cold!!! But we had a really nice time wandering through the city and seeing the sights.


(I’m sure one day this is just going to take off! – Mike)

Our legs did get a bit heavy though! We’re really not used to hills in London, so never seeming to stand on a flat bit of road all day took its toll!


Then at the airport we were joined by the All Blacks and I must say I was suprised how small they were when they are stanging just a few feet away from you (I am not so sure why I thought they were giants before, perhaps it is all the padding they wear at the game).

All in all it was a nice wee break away. (And we won the rugby!!).