The choice of a sweary generation ®

Archive for the category “Food”

London – Meat and Hamlet

Last weekend, I was very lucky.  A friend had gained tickets for Hamlet (with Benedict Cumberbatch) at the Barbican for herself and a few others. As it turned out, one of those people couldn’t go, so the ticket was up for grabs. And I thought “Yeah, OK, go for that”. So I did.

I have to be honest, it’s not something I was eagerly wanting to see. I’m a bit of a philistine, and don’t really know Shakespeare’s stuff as much as I could/should.  Yes, I know Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet – plus bits of Tempest, but only because I’ve seen Return To Forbidden Planet.  I’d never been to see a Shakespeare play at the theatre, and really had no idea what to expect.

Anyway, things being as they are, I decided to make a day of it – and then both Honest and Blues Kitchen revealed new specials on their menus.  Well, it’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

The new special at Blues Kitchen

It turns out, you can park at the Barbican for the whole day on weekends for £8. That’s not far short of remarkable – and something I’ll definitely be taking advantage of again in the future.  I figured it would be ridiculously busy later in the day, so went up early, when the entire place was virtually empty.  (I’m glad I did, because the parking spaces are… entertaining, to say the least)

From Barbican, I could easily walk to everywhere else I wanted to be that day – bearing in mind, that’s “easily walk” in my terms, not necessarily those of anyone else/sane – so it was an easy day. A long one, as it turned out, but pretty easy.

I got to Barbican, parked up, and wandered. I knew where I was heading – but hadn’t actually clocked how close things were. It was about a mile, so not a long walk at all. (As always, for my values, not necessarily those of anyone else)  As a result, I was there far earlier than expected, and well before they actually opened. So – a further walk and explore was the result.

Once they opened, and I’d ordered, the Blues Kitchen burger was absolutely stonking. Best I’ve had in a long time…

The Pig KahunaThen a walk down to Honest – again, about a mile, maybe a bit further – and more of the same. I wasn’t overly taken with that special – it was still good, but not actually all that special.

From there, I had quite the wander – bits I didn’t know all that well, so spent some time mooching around, making discoveries, connecting parts of my mental map of London, and all that kind of thing.

post_burger_walkAnd then eventually back to Barbican, where I spent a very relaxed time on the Lakeside Terrace, reading and people-watching.

I’ll comment about Hamlet in another post – but safe to say, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Getting back was a doddle too – I’d expected the car park to fill up for the evening, which didn’t happen. So the performance finished at about 10.30, and I was home just after midnight. All told, a very civilised way to do a Saturday…

Heavy Thoughts

Last year I did pretty well when it comes to weight loss, dropping two stones over the year. (It was actually a bit more, but then went up again towards the year end)  The plan this year is/was to do more of the same, and lose a similar amount of weight.

So far, that’s not gone well.  It stayed pretty stable through January to April, and then May was – for unknown reasons – really bad.  Basically, I had a real desire for sugar, coupled with a lot of idiot days, journeys, activities and meals. It felt pretty non-stop, and for whatever reason from that, my brain/body wanted sweet stuff.

When I weighed myself on Monday, I’d put on nearly a stone, which has really annoyed me. I’ve been pleased with the weight loss, so putting some back on is a bit of a setback.

But it’s only a setback, not a major issue. From here on things are a bit calmer again – although saying that I’ve still got weekend trips to Oxford, Manchester and London coming up – and I’ll reduce that sugar intake again. That has, I think, been the main trigger for weight gain.

I’m going to get back to doing some other stuff too, and seeing how things go.  But that’s the plan, and I’m not changing my goal for the year. I just have to work a bit harder than expected to get there…

Successful Dining

One of my things this year was to get myself being better at going out to restaurants on my own – something I’ve never been keen on, and one of my weaker points when it comes to being single.

So I’d made it a goal – a resolution, if you will – to go out and eat more in places on my own.

Thus far, it’s actually been remarkably successful (He said, modestly) and I’ve been really pleased, if I’m honest.

As well as the ‘proper restaurants’ I’ve been to – Grillstock in Bath, Kitchin in Edinburgh, Meat Liquor in Brighton, and a couple of others – I’ve also been doing the same sort of thing when I work on-site on Mondays.  That’s more pub-restaurant than anything else, but it still applies to the ethos.  Basically, when I’m on-site and it comes to getting home, I can choose to sit in solid traffic for two hours and more, or I can wait in the pub, have some food, and then drive home in 50 minutes.  Really, that’s a no brainer.

All told, I’m getting used to it, it’s not something that causes me a problem per se any more – and that rates as a success in my eyes.

There’s still more places to go, more restaurants on the list, and it’s all good.

Out and About

The end of this week is another busy one.

Thursday, I’m in London seeing Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer at the Hackney Empire.

Then for the weekend, I’m in Manchester, seeing friends and attending the Grillstock Festival in the city centre. I went last year and it was good fun, so a repeat visit should be entertaining.

Another Visit to Brighton

On Sunday, I did another day-trip down to Brighton. I’d known I wanted to go somewhere coastal, and it was really a toss-up between Brighton and Whitstable (although I could also have chosen Somewhere Else, but couldn’t decide where I wanted to go) as both were known quantities, and a dead easy two-hour drive to get to them. There’s only about five miles of driving distance between them, so it really was a toss-up.

It was also somewhat dependent on my insomnia – if I’d had the rare event of actually sleeping well/late, I wouldn’t have bothered, and would’ve done something else instead. But as I was awake by 5.30 – thanks body-clock, you bastard – then the day-trip was Go.

Anyway, for whatever reason – and I’m not completely sure myself what the deciding factor was, other than “Fuck it, that’ll do” – I ended up opting for Brighton. It’s still not somewhere I know super-well, although I’m familiar enough with it that I’ve a rough idea of where I’m going and what I’m doing.

So – a two-hour easy drive down, and I was there by 9am, when it’s still nice and empty. I ended up walking a large section of the seafront, hindered only by a number of joggers, runners and cyclists. (Although it’s always amusing when I’m walking and overtaking joggers – they really don’t like it)

Yes, the weather was that changeable...

Yes, the weather was that changeable…

The weather was pretty good – although changeable – and despite dollops of cloud and greying over, it was still warm and sunny for the most part. I’d walked a lot of seafront, and ended up finding somewhere slightly sheltered – it was also quite breezy – to vegetate and read for a while. Sadly, I’d chosen a place that seemed to be on a main walking route for people from the Marina end of Brighton, with a constant stream of people saying “Oh, is that a mile already?” (thanks to a sign on the esplanade) and commenting about the weird Gaudi-esque construction that was on the beach in front of me. So after a while I decided to wander back towards the car, and probably stop for lunch along the way.

Cue a bit of a furkle on the phone, and oooooh, look, there’s a MeatLiquor. That’ll do as a target!

And that’s what happened.

Now that's a lunch

Now that’s a lunch

Wandered round a bit more afterwards, and then another drive home – managing to avoid all the people getting up later, who’d decided to spend the remains of their day by the sea.

All told, a very successful day.

The next day-trip will be somewhere different, although I don’t yet know where/when. But they’re certainly being good for the soul…

Make Up Your Damn Mind 2

It seems like a developing theme (although I don’t intend it to be so) but I’ve been noticing dodgy signage/labelling this week.

This one is at a local restaurant…

So - not all day every day then

So – not all day every day then

If you’re advertising a menu as “All day every day”, you can’t then qualify it as “up to 6pm on Friday and Saturday”, can you?


Make Up Your Damn Mind

While shopping this morning, I looked at “Glaceau Vitamin Water“. Not for any intention of buying, just out of interest (I got a promo thingy for it, so thought I’d look).

The labelling is….. interesting.

Zero or not?

Zero or not?

So… “Zero Calories”, but 100ml contains 1.5 calories, and 500ml contains 8calories.

All told, that makes it a pretty interesting interpretation of “zero”…

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