Sunday, 7 December 2014

Not Instant Gram

Sunday Dinner today was courtesy of Shamini and included the glorious company of her Mum who's visiting the UK at the moment. We went 'western' for dinner with a Pork Roast with seasonal veg and chocolate cake for dessert. Simple but scrumptious

 Sunday Dinner with Sha & Mama Sha! London,  07 December 2014*

Too many people over-complicate Sunday dinner. It doesn't need to be fancy. Just made with Love. 

Shamini made a little side garnish of Creme Fraiche mixed with English Mustard, to go with Pork. It was exquisite! Definately taking that one back to the recipe bank!

And yes, the brussels sprouts mixed with Cabbage and whatever voodoo Sha added were awesome.

*I wanted to make this pic my first on Instagram, but seeing as the service only allows Square images I'm going old school and just keeping on my blog.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

No 30: And suddenly it was Christmas

All of a sudden, just like that... it's the festive season. Having spent a good deal of November in the USA (where it definitely wasn't Christmas until thanksgiving is over) the transition on arriving back in London was quite dramatic. Which is how I like it.

I was walking along Wandsworth Common on Sunday and happen across a Christmas market. It was a relatively small affair, but there were a couple of gems. The first being a stall run by the Dee Light Bakery full of their tasty Christmas treats. It's a local place, not far from my home in Tooting Bec and is a great example of local business done right.

The little plum iced puddingy thingys were amazing. See below for an extreme close up.

Dee Light Bakery, London, 30th November 2014
Of equally tasty delight were the folks on the Honey Stall. Led by Emily Abbott, they make honey sourced from hives situated in South London. They had several types, from various parts of South London. I tried them all and as much as I wanted to love my own local area the most, it was the Bermondsey based Honey that tasted the best.

Emily and the honey people, London, 30th November 2014

Saturday, 29 November 2014

No 29: Weekend Wanderer

Today's picture is more a representation of the weekend than the day itself. It's been a bit weird. Every time I thought I couldn't be surprised... I got surprised. Every time I bemoaned the normalcy of life... something abnormal popped up.

Such was the case on Sunday Morning while I was looking for something relatively normal to take a picture of. I was trying to find some left overs from saturday night - a beer can or glass left out on the street. Perhaps an empty box of fried chicken bones. Surprisingly (for South London) I couldn't find any. And then this gentleman cycled along.

travelling in style. Wandworth Roundabout, Nov 30th 2014

I asked him where he was going... he said he was traveling the 4 corners of London - Wimbledon, Wembley, Wapping & Wandsworth. Clearly he was doing the double-u tour. I asked him why and he said 'for fun!'. And then cycled off.

Monday, 24 November 2014

No 24: Step Count

The problem with holidays is that they can have a detrimental effect on your health. I gained 2kg while I was away. Whilst this isn't as bad as I expected, I'm now over 100kg, so its time to get to work on getting my weight back down to a reasonable amount. Perhaps that should be my next challenge? lose weight every day for 30 days? I need to be below 95kg. Ideal would be 92kg.

Anyway, I'm going to start by getting more walking done. Since I started my new job I've been sitting on my big butt for most of the day and not making it up in the evenings. To illustrate this, here's my step count for the day. 3000 steps short of my daily goal. And this is with me making an effort! Pathetic! Drastic action is needed!

Fitbit step count for 24th Nov 2014.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

No 23: The Godfather

Today was the christening of my Goddaughter - Amelie-Rose Gale. I've never been a Godfather before and I'm honoured to be chosen. The Vicar asked the Godparents to write some words of wisdom that can be referred back to in times of trouble later in life. We read them during the service, so to go with my picture, here's mine. Unfortunately my fancy camera ran out of batteries before the ceremony, so I only have a pic taken with my phone... of the church. If the parents give me permission I'll add a picture of the young lady herself.
Sunday 23rd November, 2014
London, UK

Dearest Amelie

When I was young, my dad would sit me down and teach me about the world. At the time, most of what he said to me sounded like nonsense, and I would simply nod my head with a smile and say ‘sure thing dad’…

But, as I grew older - and especially once I has started work - I began to find myself in similar situations to the ones he told me about and I could begin to understand where he was coming from. Now I look back and I’m glad he took the time to pass on his knowledge.

So this me attempting to do the same thing for you. Some of the things I’ve written here may not make sense at first, but come back to this letter from time to time and hopefully, one day, something here will help you when you are in a bind.

1. Learn to recognise ignorance in others quickly. It will save you a lot of wasted energy.
2. You can’t fix the world on your own.
3. Don’t be afraid to admit you've made a mistake. It’s not a crime to change your mind.
4. How you look and who you are not the same thing, but expect people to think that they are. With this knowledge you will be stronger than them.
5. If you can’t decide, go with your gut instinct.
6. You are more capable than you think you are.
7. Always look twice and and when you do, look for longer. Things are rarely as they seem on first glance.
8. Think for yourself. Make sure that the decisions you make are your own.
9. If you are not the smartest person in the room, make sure you know who is.
10. Be humble, be gracious, be polite and always be yourself.

I hope something here will help you one day…

Lots of Love

your Godfather,


Church of the Holy Cross, Greenford, London UK. 23rd Nov 2014

Saturday, 22 November 2014

No 22: Up in the air

It's Saturday morning suddenly and I've lost half the night in flight back to the UK. Work up to a blue world after 3 hours of poor sleep.

This is the best picture I could manage out of the cabin window. I think we are somewhere over northern europe at the time I took it...

Somewhere over the Atlantic. 22nd Nov 2014

Friday, 21 November 2014

No 21: phở the last time

I've been a regular visitor to the Washington DC area for the last 19 years. In fact, this was my 19th visit, so I guess it's become an annual event. And so as I come to the last day of my 2 weeks holiday I find myself craving to eat phở.

On a much earlier visit - way back in 90s - I was introduced to Vietnamese phở by my friend Russ. phở is a massive bowl of beef broth soup with noodles, meat, bean shoots, chillies and other herbal adornments. It's very popular in this part of the states too, much more so than in the UK - there seems to be a phở joint at every strip mall and shopping center in Fairfax county at least. So whenever I'm here I make a point of eating phở and it always turns out to be on my last day. I guess that makes it tradition now.

Vietnamese phở, Eden Center, Falls Church, Virginia. Nov 21st 2014
This time round we went to a place in the Eden center (can not remember the name now). The second picture is the equally amazing fried chicken wings that I had as a starter.

Spicy Fried Chicken Wings, Eden Center, Falls Church, Virginia. Nov 21st 2014
 Why hasn't this cuisine taken off in Europe to the same extent? this is the perfect lunch as far as I'm concerned...