Monthly Archives: April 2011
We had a lovely break in Spain – it was so nice to escape this country and to relax somewhere else for a while.
As you can see from this video it was relatively quiet on the Torrox Costa.
Richard and I enjoyed a peaceful time, chilling out, taking long walks along the beach, reading and catching some sun.
Oh and don’t worry, we didn’t escape the Royal Wedding – we managed to see it on the wall of TVs in the hypermarket!
Where do I start?
Well we booked on a half price deal so it seemed like we were in for a good deal and a good time.
The venue is decorated in a gaudy dark silver and black fashion – the kind of design you see in B&Q ad’s and in show homes. It was a gloriously sunny day in London and yet there was no natural light allowed to penetrated the harsh decor.
The music was also VERY loud. And very dated. All the tracks played were from the 80′s and a few early 90′s.
I am not sure if this is the ideal place to eat and if you came to drink you’d run the risk of not being able to hear anyone – even the bar staff wore ear plugs.
Now I must say the male waiters were very easy on the eye and the women seemed leggy (if you like that kind of thing) – sadly though looks cannot compensate for the lack of intelligence. It took several attempts for the waitress to take our orders and she had to come back several times to check things even though she’d written them down.
The general standard of the food was nice but it’s very expensive. Even paying half price it felt like we were being ripped off. We ordered a starter platter and I doubt it would have fed one let alone a small group – we finished it so quickly the waiter hadn’t got back to the kitchen before the plate was clean.
Ordering drinks were a mission – the cocktails took ages for the bar staff to prepare (their cocktail menu isn’t very big so you’d think the staff would know what they’re doing) and when it came to wine we were flabbergasted! We tried to order three different bottles only to find out they didn’t have any of them. We ended drinking a mediocre Sauvignon Blanc – purely cause this was all the had!
The payment system was different (to be honest bloody annoying), instead of paying a bill they insisted you paid money up front when reserving the table, paid a tab and continued as such. We put some money on the account when we booked but when we handed our card over to keep a tab we didn’t realise the waitress automatically deducted £50 from our account – this she tried to continue through the evening whenever we went over our total balance! This was very odd and made the evening frustrating as someone had to constantly pay and we had to keep all our receipts so we could work out what the total amount was.
If you want a loud hip bar where you can be ignored by dim staff and be watched while you pee (yes the man in the bathroom handing our towels was so close you couldn’t help but feel you were being watched whilst peeing), then this is the place for you.
If you want somewhere central in town where you can catch up with friends and enjoy a nice meal and a good bottle of wine – avoid avoid avoid!
Whilst we have been house hunting we have looked for parking or a garage – never did it occur to me we should be looking for a secret garage!!
I want one!
Anyone who has ever listened to my pod cast or read my blog will know that I have repeatedly stated how busy I am at work, recording the projects and the pressure that I undertake on the day to day.
Thankfully all this hard work, the to-ing, fro-ing and my perciverance has paid off as I received confirmation today that I have been promoted.
I am so thrilled to finally be awarded for all my hard work, especially in an economic climate where people are loosing jobs and companies are cutting back.
I am not sure my new salary can stretch to buying you all a drink (especially as we’re currently house hunting) but I wanted to thank all my friends and followers for their continued support and encouragement.
The couple of books I have read so far on my Kindle were sweet, moving stories about real life encounters, about personal endeavours, things that touch our every day lives and puddy cats! The latest book I finished could not have been more different..
Set not too far in the future, The Looking Glass Club has you follow the ups and downs of Zeke/Steel as he comes to terms with his past and how those events come back to haunt him.
Gruff Davies is a new author and a talented guy. It’s obvious he is knowledgable about physics and has a keen interest in human nature and sci-fi as this is self-evident in his work.
The Looking Glass Club flip-flops between the past and the current life of the key character, something I found I had to get used to, but to be honest once I was hooked I was hooked good!
It’s been a while since a book has got my attention as much as The Looking Glass Club has. My friend has read the book and was hooked at a different stage to me but I can guarantee at whatever point it grabs you, there will be no going back.
If you are squeamish you may have to think about when you read The Looking Glass Club as I had a few dreams punctuated with the events of the story, especially as Gruff’s writing style is so fluid and very very descriptive.
I warn you a certain nursery rhyme will end up penetrating your very soul, just as it does to Zeke/Steel. I didn’t realise until I finished the book that I was whistling the tune on the train, at home and in the office…
I don’t want to cover much about the story as it will give the game away. If you enjoy sci-fi, like a good adventure, aren’t adverse to some graphic detail and the odd swear (and a talking Jack Russell) then you will really enjoy The Looking Glass Club.
As an extra incentive there are several puzzles punctuated throughout the book, which if solved by anyone; could net them £1,000,000 (no joke!).
I dare you to take a look through the lives of the members of The Looking Glass Club and your own life will never be the same again.
“Half a pound of tuppenny rice…”
I have to say I admire the ingenuity of the Celcius (or Fahrenheit if across the pond) app and the way it utilises the notification bubble on the iPhones home screen.
Instead of displaying unread messages as per the norm, this app uses the number to let you know the current temperature of any given location. Clever huh?
Now let’s see who else can come up with anything as clever, simple but effective as this…
I wonder when Apple will give iOS an overhaul as it’s long overdue. Come on Jonny Ive – pull your finger out.
After being very disappointed by an incorrect booking at another venue we headed into Buckingham where we happened across the wonderful Tudor edifice of Prezzo.
It was a lovely day and we were seated in the terrace garden without any quibble and with no delay.
The setting was perfect to catch up with our friends and even though we were served by two or three members of staff (one who insisted on memorising everything), we were served politely, promptly and without question.
The staff had a happy manner and were happy to play along with our conversation/jokes.
The food was very good and between we all managed to polish off the contents of our plates (three courses) with ease and gusto!
If you find yourself in Buckingham on a sunny Saturday and you want somewhere to eat I cannot recommend the Prezzo highly enough.
The staff were so inviting and the food was cooked/served exactly as ordered. A wonderful experience and a great way to spend a lazy late Saturday afternoon in the sun with friends.
The weather really has taken a turn for the better here in England with the average temperature around 18 degrees and the sky void of clouds.
I have made the best of any opportunity I have to get out in the sun by taking walks at lunch, taking my team to St Paul’s to sit by the fountain, popping over the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern to have a browse (especially at the latest addition – the Picasso “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust“) and of course having meetings on the roof (I know we’re spoilt aren’t we!).
It seems, for once, that the weather was in our favour as we had long-planned to catch up with two good friends of ours, meeting at a mid way point (the live in the Midlands). We decided on Stowe Landscape Gardens. A National Trust Property that we had only visited once before, many, many years ago.
One of the most remarkable creations of Georgian England, Stowe was created by a family once so powerful they were richer than the king. The scale, grandeur and beauty of Stowe has inspired writers, philosophers, artists, politicians and members of the public from the 18th century to the present day.
I don’t think anyone could disagree with that statement as Stowe truly is a wonderful place to visit, the wonderful weather made it even more of a treat.
We limited our time at Stowe as we had planned to go to a country pub for late lunch. I am not sure just how far we walked but it must have equalled several miles as the gardens just go on and on.
There’s a lot to photograph too as Stowe contains lots of Follys – which is unusual for an English Garden which usually has one at most.
I was quite reserved with my shots as I was enjoying Rob, and Chris’ company so much. These guys really know how to enjoy themselves and they (well Chris especially) seems to bring out the devil in me. As you may imagine, we had a fun-filled day which included lots of wit and humour.
I should mention there was a wonderful site at Stowe as two lads were throwing a ball around. I think they were early 20′s (probably resident at the school) but one of the was blonde, topless and build like a brick out house. Chris remarked how funny it was that the four of us came together in a pack to watch our prey Sadly I didn’t manage a photo of this guy (it would have been far too obvious) but he made four gay men very happy yesterday
Following our walk around Stowe we headed off to the Red Lion in Evenly where we had booked a table for lunch. Sadly once we arrived we were informed that the booking had been placed in the diary incorrectly and the chef has gone home!
This was very disappointing as the Red Lion is a wonderfully quant English pub overlooks a cricket pitch and the quintessential English village.
We decided to come up with another plan and headed into the equally pretty Buckingham. By this stage it was already quite late for lunch and we were all quite peckish.
In amongst all the pubs and restaurants we saw a Prezzo which was located in an old Tudor house. It looked very pretty so we thought we’d investigate getting a table. There were no such problems and we were seated outside on the terrace where we all enjoyed a wonderful three course dinner in the sun.
The afternoon whipped by as we merrily drank and stuffed our faces. Once fat and full we made our way down to the Weir where we sat an watched the world go by, chatting and taking photographs of the native wildlife.
As you can see it was a pretty packed Saturday but a lovely day.
Sunday has been filled so far with chores, shopping and a leisurely lunch of cheese and biscuits. Thankfully the sun is still shining and we are both fairly chilled.
Long may it continue…