Monday, 5 December 2016

Miss 22 and the BellyBuster

Dear reader, further celebrations as Miss 21 is now Miss 22.  This was celebrated this year in a Western style restautant called Smith and Western.  It's a local small chain and the one that we go to was the original of them all. 

The decor at this time of year is very festive inside and out.

Miss 22 and I both coincidentally chose the same cocktail. 
My Sex on the Beach 

Balloons for the birthday girl

Food was plentiful

Miss 22's burget

Mr Him's ribs and steak

I had cajun chicken and rice (Anchor butter from NZ)

Smith and Western are known for thier birthday bellybuster dessert which is for sharing.  They ring a bell and the staff follow the dessert to the table.  The dessert has a sparkler in it.  Everyone sings happy birthday when the bell stops and the dessert arrives at the table. 

Miss 22 can't have the chocolate belly buster as it may contain nuts.  The staff made this one up for her specially as nut free.  They had a xmas strawberry pavlova and used that to make her bellybuster, which we shared.  see 4 spoons in the pic. 

A little video of the atmosphere for you.  Very loud, we could hardly hear ourselves talk in there. 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Figgy Pudding or Not

Dear reader ,  on Friday I donned my Christmas jumper and headed to the festive lights of the pub .

Here I had chicken pie and veg,  wine,  

cointreau  and whiskey.  I had a fine time.  However all that aside the real piece d'resistance was the Figgy Pudding .

I actually had always thought that was another name for Christmas pudding.  My colleagues were also surprised having been under the same illusion as I.  In fact none of us had seen Figgy Pudding on a menu before.  We bulk ordered. Figgy pudding times 6, please .  

Looking on Wikipedia here, figgy pudding is mentioned as another name for Christmas Pudding!  That aside, this pudding was quite different and lighter. There were definite figs inside.  There are plenty of recipes online.  I won't link a particular one here.  

Figgy Pudding and salted caramel ice cream

We were at The Castle in Angel.  The food and service were fabulous. Do go if you are in the area, and try that Figgy Pudding (on the Xmas menu.)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Things that Shouldn't Be

Or perhaps should be.  

For instance, starting a sentence with 'and'.  An And at the beginning would work so more naturally then any other word very often.  Having a full stop before 'and' adds the emphasis to the 'and'  that as a writer you sometimes want (well, I do.)  On Friday I was reading a text book on giving presentations that my Nat Nav got out of the library.  The author used And at the start of sentences.  We need to make this a  'thing.'

On strike Friday last week I caught this train to work.  It was a Southern train.  It shouldn't have been running but was.  It was empty.  This is a 'thing' that should be.  Southern trains empty and running.

Monday last week we were summoned, yes summoned, to a staff meeting.  I went down to grab my seat and found this waiting for me.

This should be a 'thing'.  Alcohol in staff meetings.  Who's with me?

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Rightly Wrong Hotel

Dear reader,

I love conferences. I particularly like the drinks after.  I also am enamored of two conferences in a row.  You'll be pleased to know that I turned up at the right hotel this time.  That's fortunate as I was facilitating a session.  Ironically it turned out that I turned up rightly at the right hotel that was the wrong hotel last week. 

After conferencing in the right but wrong hotel I had a drink or three then took this picture  for you.  

Note the similarity to the video last week of the wrong hotel view point.  Ignore the obvious difference of night time versus daylight.

At the wrong hotel the right time this week I listened to talks,  I had lunch,  I facilitated a discussion,  I met peer friends and I had 'a few.' (British term).  At 7pm I texted Mr Him to advise him of my departure from this wrong hotel the right time, being  the time of my departure.  It was a train  strike day.  There was no saying I'd get a train home.  As it happened I caught a train home that shouldn't have existed.  This train's ultimate destination was my station.  Ultimate destinations are never my station.  I had caught the right but wrong train home.

I must detour on this tale to tell you I've written about this particular hotel before,  twice.  It was here that Mr Him was refrained by his employer to go home, quite wrongly in my opinion.  Here. Later that year I went to a conference at this rightly wrong  but right hotel here and that's where I caught out Mr Him's employer and the nonsense of his stay. in this blog in which there are  nice pictures in this one too 

Note, dear reader,  that twice these past 2 weeks I've been at this hotel and made my way home that same day.

Still there's a lovely view from the hotel, you have to agree. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

An Illusion Shattered

I mentioned that I had a conference for several days and a black tie dinner.  The dinner was an entirely separate event and coincidentally on the same day.  This meant packing so as I could change at the conference hotel ready to travel to the dinner hotel.

With backpack uploaded to my small frame I left the house on my second day expedition to the big city.  In my pack I had the contents of my handbag, phone, charger, shoes, evening dress, make up, jewellery and breakfast.  Yes, breakfast.  That's most important.

As Petra was on her own in the office I detoured to see her, pick up my ticket for the evening dinner, eat my breakfast, pick up my pashmina. (The pashmina was essential it turns out.)  An hour and a half later I was back in central London at the conference, with trusty back pack by my side. 

Here I listened to a scary story by a hacker. This involved all phones in the room being hacked and listed on the screen, (big, big screen) before us.

'who is Elizabeth?' asked the hacker.  A hand went up.  'Who is John?'  a hairy arm arose.   Then, there it was, for all to see, Anna Mutton Years.  Yes, literally.  My phone calls itself Anna Mutton Years. 'Who is....'  I shrunk low into my pashmina (I knew it would be useful.)   Great, all illusion of elegant lady, professonal, business like persona, shattered.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Mr Punch

Dear Reader,

have you heard of Punch and Judy?  It's a British children's (that's debatable) puppet show.  Here is an example from Youtube.

Mr Punch

On Saturday Mr Him decided to try the look of Mr Punch on to see if it would suit him, work, create magic.  Actually I don't know his reasoning.  I do know that I wasn't keen on this and asked him not to try it again. Below he is trying to cast a spell upon his tea. It didn't work. He still had tea, not beer. 

In other news Miss 21 brought us the most hugest cakes for afternoon tea last weekend. 

Automotive engineers cake which lasted him 3 days

Belgian Buns for Mr Punch and I (lasted us 2 days.)

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A London City Excursion

I've been quiet on the Anna front. Life has been peaceful, until this past week. 

During this past week all chaos on the work front ensued.  My deputy went on holiday,  I went to conferences and Petra had to hold the fort in the office.

As for my conferences, well I had eatings out and a black tie dinner too.  All started in grand fashion, with me getting lost.  My lostness was withour Mr Him, (he'd be proud of me, and particularly pleased if I joined this little lot.)

ruins near the Tower of London
I did find the Tower of London, which is rather an ironic name nowadays, I thought as I captured this pic. 

New and Old, Shard and Tower

Tower Bridge, I was to get closer than I imagined

wrong hotel

Still it gave me an opportunity to capture some unexpected photos for you.

 I found the hotel and had my day of seminars.  In the evening we went to a Dim Sum bar and had our first crackers of the season. Season!  A bit early still  I think.

spot the crackers... yes we pulled them and shared the jokes

As myself and peers left to head to London Bridge station we couldn't help but capture this view in the film below. 

   night view