D4D

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Archive for the category “Food”

Solo – Dining

As I’ve said many times before, I’m pretty comfortable with being single, with living my own life, and not really needing any company for a lot of things. I’m happy going to concerts on my own, and to the cinema – indeed, doing most things like that. It suits me and the way I am.

However, there’s one thing I don’t like doing on my own – and get your minds out of the gutter, please! – which is going out for meals. I don’t know why it affects me more than other things – there’s not really any logical reason for it – but it does.

So, in 2015 I’m going to be addressing it a bit, and forcing myself to do it. There are places (both local and further away) that I really want to go to, and so this coming year that’s what I’m going to do. There’ll be a list of places I want to visit – which I may put on here, or may not – and we’ll see how I do.

And I’m starting the way I mean to go on. Earlier this month on Twitter I saw a New Years’ Eve menu that I *really* fancied at a place in Cambridge, and I’ve been wavering on it. But having decided to get my arse in gear with this, I got in touch and booked myself in – and I’m really looking forward to it.

It’s also the first time in *cough* years that I’ll have been out on New Years’ Eve – although it’s quite likely I’ll bugger off before midnight, because I’m still an antisocial bastard who doesn’t like people all that much…

 

Cutting Down (Again)

While I’m off and job-hunting, one of my little side-projects is to (yet again) cut down on my intake of Diet Coke. It seems it’s a regular(ish) cycle with me, although I have cut it down significantly anyway from where it all was a few years ago.

As it is, I’m down to one 500ml bottle a day. It’ll vary again over time, but I’m quite happy with where it stands.

Feastless

This weekend just gone, I was planning to go to Feast in London, but events conspired against me.

I was going to go on Friday, but didn’t even get out of work ’til gone 8pm. It would’ve been at least 9 by the time I got there (by which time I could also have been home), another hour to get back to wherever I’d left the car, and then an hour to get home. And frankly, I was knackered anyway.   So no.

Saturday was never going to happen – I was seeing parents during the day, and getting domestic sluttery out of the way in the afternoon/evening.

Sunday was a maybe. And turned into a no. Work stuff rose up to bite me, along with a general disinclination to travel back into London on a day when I didn’t need to make the journey.

And so I missed it.  I think if I’d been really enthused I’d have made the time/effort to go (as I will with Meatopia at the same place in a month’s time) but everything else just made me think “Blah”.

Of course if I’d booked it in to go with anyone else, things would’ve been different. But I hadn’t, so they weren’t.

And that’s that. I’ll try to go to the next one instead.

Chef

Last night, I went to see Chef at the cinema. It’s brilliant – if you get the chance, go and see it.

Lots of films (or their reviews/pimps) bang on about being “the feel-good movie of the season/year/decade” – Chef doesn’t, but bloody well should. It’s ace.

The basic premise is simple – talented chef gets bored by humdrum menu/restaurant, has a meltdown at a restaurant reviewer, loses his job, goes off and launches a food van doing what he loves. But the acting, the script – and the food – all raise it up a level.  I’ve never been in a film where you hear the audience groan with lust/envy at the presentation of food in the film. They did in Chef.  Sure, it’s – kind of – a film for foodies, but it’s not just that. It’s one of those films where you can see that they had fun doing it, that it was an enjoyable thing to work on.

It’s funny, it’s sweet (without being mawkish, cloying, or any of the normal American emotional guff) and it’s just good.

Go and see it. It’s worth it.

Slow Progress

This year, as I’ve said before (and on many occasions) I’ve been working at getting more exercise, with an aim of losing some weight, improving health, and all that standard crap. At the same time I’ve been keeping track of food intake and so on, which has been interesting rather than overly useful.

I’ve been doing fairly well for a start- I’m tending to average walking about 3-4 miles a day, including at least a mile round the village every day. I started off just making sure I did it even on days when I wasn’t in the mood, or when the weather was vile (and lord knows we’ve had plenty of those so far this year) so that I could establish it as routine, and thus have even less excuse when the weather was good.

It’s slow-going though – which I’m not happy about. I’m eating less than the ‘recommended’ calorie count, and I’m doing more exercise. But weight has stayed fairly stable.  As it is, I’ve lost half a stone this year – which is better than it could be, but it’s still hard to monitor when it takes so sodding long.

This week has been different, because of stuffing my back last weekend (which is improving, but still insanely sore in the morning) I made the decision to lay off the walking etc. as much. It’s about halved from the usual, and I’ll actually be glad to get back to it.

Anyway, there’s been progress, it’s just been ridiculously slow. Next step, once I’m back to not hurting (pardon the pun) will be to get back on my bike again and do more work on that score as well. Maybe that’ll help things progress. We’ll see.

 

Londinium

Friday turned out to be a really good evening – despite the trials and tribulations of driving in London.

I knew the drive was going to be a pig – after all, 6.30-7.30pm on a Friday night is always going to be a pig. I’m not the greatest fan of London driving at the best of times, but this one certainly wasn’t the best of times.

Apple MartiniStill, I got the job done, and only wished death and fiery rain on about fifty drivers – mainly those ‘in control’ of buses and taxis. The parking I’d found turned out to be perfectly located (in Chinatown) for where I wanted to be (Leicester Square), despite the number of suicidal orientals assuming that they had priority over big lumps of steel indicating that they were turning into the same street.

I’d picked a place called QPark - not the cheapest (although there’s no such thing as cheap parking in London, it appears) but cheaper than most of the other ones in the area that looked far dodgier. I do have to say thought that bloody hell, the parking spaces are tight – particularly when driving a sodding great boat like my Saab. Not too much of a problem going in, but reliant on others not parking like cunts when it comes to making one’s escape.

Garden PearAfter that, meeting up with friends at Scoff and Banter in Leicester Square was easy – and that Apple Martini was a worthy reward. (I’d got four hours minimum before driving, so a drink wasn’t going to cause any issues)

Having put the world to alcoholic rights, and grabbed some food as well – which was also excellent – it was on to the Leicester Square Theatre to see Mr Bill Bailey.

I’ve seen Bill Bailey before – as it turns out, ten years ago – although this show was much smaller. I believe this one was a testing run for his new ‘Qualm Peddler’ tour – and if that’s the case, go and see it if you get a chance. Some of the stuff was just surreal (and usually caused by some very strange members of the audience) and he seemed close to corpsing with laughter himself at some points. It was that sort of gig, really.

Food!Highlights included the reggae version of Downton Abbey, and Zombie Country and Western, but the entire 90 minutes was excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it all, and would love to have seen more.

After that, it was just the drive home – with London still solid traffic, even at 11pm – and then a clean run up the M1.

Oh yeah – and with those timescales, why did I drive?  Mainly because a) I don’t mind driving, and it’s always good to be able to say “Yep, done that, it holds no real fears” and b) because I’d thought it was going to start far later, and end after trains had finished.  Not that I mind at all – it was a good evening, and the driving was just one part of it.

But I couldn’t drive in London on a daily basis – there’d be far too much temptation to kill people…

 

 

2013 Phase 3 : One week in

So, as I wrote a week ago, I made some minor(ish) changes to lifestyle last Monday. Obviously it’s only a week in, but I thought I’d write a wee bit about what’s happened in that week.  I’m trying to get back into routines and patterns on these things, so I know that a week is kind of short, but if I’ve done it for one, I can do it for more.

The changes were

  1. Cutting out bread completely
  2. Eating better while at work  (i.e. no sandwiches, in particular)
  3. Walking/cycling more

And so far things have been OK, I’m pleased to say.

I’ve had no bread at all – although I’ve not cut out pasta or other wheaty products as such – and honestly I’ve felt no change, and seen no changes or results. I’m going to keep on with it for a while more though.

I’ve certainly eaten better at work, mainly through getting back to eating stuff I’ve made at home and taking that in, rather than paying for it on a daily basis.  I do need to find a balance here still, because as a contractor, it’s better for tax purposes (don’t ask) to buy something each day.

Exercise has been the big one. I’ve been out on the bike five times, and covered fifteen miles, there being a rather nice little three-mile circuit from home that works well for me. My times have dropped noticeably already – I’m using the Strava app on the phone to track things – and we’ll see how it goes.  My leg muscles in particular hurt like buggery on a couple of occasions, which isn’t surprising considering that the last time I was  cycling properly was in 2005 when I worked at CrapCo. But I’ll get better, get fitter, get faster. That’s the plan, anyway.

More importantly though, I’m quite enjoying it at the moment. I’m hoping to get into the routine before the nights draw in and the weather gets worse, so that then I’ll have even fewer excuses for not going. I have missed a couple of days this week- one through vile weather, another through being busy doing other stuff – but I can live with a five-out-of-seven plan for the moment.

All told, it’s all looking fairly positive.

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