Mr Him enjoys a Curry

Dear reader

I feel your pain (actually judging by the pics later we may all think Mr Him's in pain) and understand you are missing the hero of my tales.

So without further ado I give you Mr Him enjoying a curry, really enjoying a curry.  Yes, I was open to bribary and begging to post these (he begged me.)  Finally I gave in.

Phew, i;m feeling a burning sensation

Yes, the flavour is hot

very hot

really hot...this hot

oh dear

how do I explain this!

Now on to my Christmas preparations.  I have been writing a few Blogmas posts so click on the links and enjoy with a large coffee, they are long.

Blogmas Part One and we go to Brighton  and video here

Blogmas part 2 in which we choose a tree  and making cheese here on video

Blogmas part 3 in which i shop

Blogmas Part 4 in which I don't relax ...yet

The Wrong Hotels

Dear reader

 I've had a busy month. Grab a coffee, tea, beer or wine.  This is a long one.
 First there was a black tie dinner at the wrong hotel then there was a visit to Geneva at the wrong hotel.  

Someone buy me a map.  

I was all spruced up in my finery, shoes were heels, bag was tiny and dress was sparkly.  I googlemapped and navigated that little arrow as I  wandered up and down roads and across parks for 45 minutes when finally the arrow settled and I was in front of big revolving doors, a footman, a big sweeping staircase and welcoming bright lights.

My coat was concierged.  Time to grab a champers.  Except there wasn't any.  In fact on close inspection of various rooms there was no dinner!

I asked reception waving my invite vigoursly as I spoke.  'You've got the wrong hotel.' Was the response.  How many Grosvenor hotels are there in London? Well 2 it turns out. 
At this point I debated giving up but I was persuaded that the other Grosvenor was a ten minute taxi ride.  I had 25 minutes to get there and seated.  

I did. And it's aswell as I was on the main table! Me! Your little Anna. 

 I conversed confidently with a marathon running dancing celebrity TV  MP on my achievements jogging.  He asked how far I'd got. 5 I said proudly.  '5 miles', he asked.  'No, 5 minutes ' I replied.  Luckily that was the end of that conversation as he rose to give the after dinner speech.

As for the wrong hotel in Geneva.  Here's how that goes. My colleague and I boarded the plane.  

We conversed on whether we'd be in a cupboard again a la Oslo, we had a g&t at the thought of it. 

We looked at the Alps flypast. 

We landed and found the free shuttle to our hotel.  Not bad.  We wheeled suitcases to reception.  We were told 'You've got the wrong hotel.'  'You're in the budget hotel down the road.' Colleague and I looked at each other. That look said ' of course, we would be wouldn't we.'

As it happens this budget hotel was comfortable, clean, modern.  Once again hangers on a wall for a wardrobe, big shower room but this time room enough to swing a poncho. My bedroom was a double and my bed had a ladder! Yes there was another bed above.  Choices choices. Where to sleep? 

My colleagues and I wandered the streets of Geneva 

and found a traditional French bistro. We ordered 

and tucked into that superficial amicable business social conversation along with our food.  You know the safe sort.  Except I opened my mouth. Addressing my colleague from San Francisco I asked 'are you into Stranger Things' . Well he answered that no he hadn't seen it.  Colleagues around the table were bemused.  The lady opposite me almost choked as she couldn't  believe a) that  I'd asked him if he was into strange things and b) that he didn't look shocked.  She told me later that she'd wondered if id had too much to drink. 

The conference went well.  My 3 fellow speakers and I decided to celebrate with a beer at Geneva airport. A half pint beer without bubbles in I  asked them to get me.  Simple you'd think.  No. 'Without bubbles' the fellas chorused.  'You want us to ask for a beer without bubbles' 'What do you mean beer without bubbles.' 

I found a table hoping those questions would go away.  They returned with my half of beer. ' 'We got bubbles.  It was hard enough making the bar staff understand half pint let alone no bubbles. ' they said.

We I then decided we had to have a momento selfie.  Have you tried getting 4 into a selfie around a wide table perched on bar stools? It doesn't work, as you can see. It causes faces to be scribbled out!  Yes, I am in hysterics as you can see from my crinkled eyes.

And the YouTube video which shows flying throught the Alps and a bit of Geneva night life.

Catch Up On November

Dear reader

I have had such a busy month that there isn't time to blog on Mr Him.  Never mind, lets leave him behind as I tell you what I have been up to.

Sadly first of all my father died.  This was expected for several years and so is taking its time to sink in.  I still cannot believe it.  Colleagues are surprised that I am at work but as I told them that by speaking for 5 minutes here and there to several people in the office it lets the grief out in dribbles. If I was at home I would distract myself and not talk about it.  At least at work people ask me and so I talk.  There are hugs too.

Christmas will be hard. In some ways I want to create new routines but the girls don't as our routine is Xmas to them.  Its what they expect.

Well, other than that I have been on the London eye with 3 other lifestyle bloggers and felt left out due to not having the right boots.. see here and there are pics of the Thames and London from above so do have a read.

Dear reader,  I'm sorry that you are having to borrow posts from my other blog but my father's death has taken its toll on my ability to write in the way that you are used to, for the time being.  I would like to say a special thank you to Mary the Pouting Pensioner who offered me a room whilst my mother was ill and to Stephanie of Hastings Battleaxe who has helped me to find a suitable location  for the wake and recommended a florist.  

It is moving that as a blogging community that we become true friends when in need.

Two Have a Breakdown

Dear reader 

On Saturday Mr Him and I set off to meet with Mary and her husband. The day was of 2 halves.  Our blogs were to be of 2 adventures followed by a joining up at lunchtime. Mary was going to go to visit Rudyard Kipling's house and I was to have a breakdown and then we'd meet for a nice lunch and Vino and be driven by husbands.  

Our part went to plan.  Just 15 minutes from our destination (Batemans)  our car broke down in the middle of Storm Brian thereby causing Mr Him to become a hero. This is something that I like to let him do now and then and gives him a story to tell over lunch, and that, of course, was my plan. 

Mr Him called out the AA. I called Mary. We had a bet on who would be most useful.  Having summoned Mary for a lift to the  pub for lunch from the car park in which  we were stranded I declared my call to Mary was the most useful.  

However, thirty minutes later the AA turned up and ' fiddled' with our car. We were off again.  I called Mary to abandon pick up and meet us at the pub. As the  AA escorted us to the pub to make sure the car was now working   Mr Him declared himself the winner.  His call was most useful.

The pub that I found by chance was a little gem from the 13th century.  It was rather like entering  Brigadoon in that it didn't appear on Mary's Sat Nav nor TripAdvisor.  As anyone trying to find Brigadoon would do Mary obtained directions from a hairdressers shop. (I had obtained directions from a bakerery shop.) 

I ate a hearty beef and ale pie. 

I drank a hearty wine  (glass)

Mr Him had a hearty fish and chips

I drank another hearty wine (glass) and then being heartily 'stuffed' we shared desserts in our couples.  Mr Him and I had a rum bread and butter pudding with icecream. 

As usual we had a darn good chinwag and not much talk on blogging.  We talked of life in general. I always very much enjoy my meetups with Mary, my older twin by blah years, and her husband.  

Im looking for the return of Storm Brian.  

Pop over to see Mary's day here  and visit my video of my breakdown here on YouTube. 

Historical, not, Sites

Dear reader, last week not only saw me entertaining by bar stool leapage but I also showed my Kenyan colleague what he kept calling historical sites, not hysterical sites please note.  All well and good and very  kind of me, wasn't it to show him these 'historical' sites! Well, yes except these sites were Martian burrowing cylinders, time machine clocks and Martians. 

I kept explaining that they weren't in fact histortorical but I think something was lost in translation!  I suspect he will have some interesting stories to tell of England, the Martians and time travel. Just thank goodness he wasn't visiting during our draft apocalypse!

I have written before here (ckick on link on here) of the role of the town that  I work in had in The War of the World's but many of you weren't readers then so do click on the link to see more.

To whet your appetite here are some pics I took last week of 'historical sites'. There are no bar stool leaping hysterical sites.

A martian looms over the town

this sneaked in and is historical in the context of Status Quo

Time machine clock in a pub.  The outer circle is books

Draft Apocolypse

Dear reader

We practised the apocalypse this week.  No doubt you have heard of Britain's trial run  with the Yellow sky of Doom.

I don't know about you but when my kids were young, and I too, we drew the sun yellow.  Children in Africa often draw it red. I didn't understand why until 6 years ago when we were in Tenerife and we experienced Saharan sand in a wind storm.  The sky turned an eerie yellow and the sun appeared bright red. This had been a one off experience for us.  Until this week.

That very same eery yellow sky and red sun befell us in England.  It was like a partial eclipse.  Birds flocked to roost and office workers abandoned tasks to take pictures.  It was unexpected. People admired the 3 pm sunset at the same time as being hastag 'scared $%%^less' as one of my friends put on facebook.  We hadn't got a memo saying the apocalypse is nigh, nor that the trail run of Armageddon was happening that day.  The weather forecasters hadn't warned of yellow sky from the west or a front of red sun causing human disturbance.

The phenomenon was widespread.  My family working in other counties, my  friends in other parts of Britain were seeing the same phenomenon.  It lasted a good 4 hours.

So how did I experience the event?  It was a warm day. 

12.30 - 1.30  I had gone out of the office at lunchtime. The wind was strong and warm, the sort of warm wind you get closer to the equator but not in England.  The sky was normal. 

1.30-2.30 I returned to the office and got down to spreadsheet endeavours.  

2.30  a colleague started mumbling of yellow things.  I handed him sticky notes but he pointed at the window.  The sky had a yellow tinge in the distance.  

2.35 By the 5 minutes the yellow cloud moved closer to us.  As it got nearer  it also got darker.  Birds started flocking to roost.  

2.45 Colleagues stopped work and looked, and talked.  

2.50 Amy worried about her washing she had left out on the line. 
2.55 Nancy rang her husband, who was in London in an office and who said his colleagues were all at the window taking photos.  This clearly was not just Woking.  This was widespread. 

3,00  I rang Mr Him.  He said the sky where he worked was yellow and tasted funny.   I looked at the BBC website.  This sky was all over Britain!  

5.00 By the time I left the office at 5 the sun was red.  Bright red.  

Here are some links for you to see how we did with the draft Apocolypse.

Almost Canarian Potatoes in Farringdon

Dear reader, on Thursday I had the pleasure of eating almost Canarian potatoes in England.  Almost as they weren't cooked in salt or their skin.  What was the similarity then?  The sauce.  This orange Spanish Mojo sauce.  (You know how much I love my Canarian potatoes, and it's the sauce that does it for me not the volcanic soil or salt.)

As well as almost Canarian potatoes I also almost had a slippage on a stool due to height and lightweightedness of stool combined with tightness of my skirt in a ratio that caused hilarity.  The result, I couldn't get up on said piece of furniture. This was much to the amusement of my colleague from Kenya who I was entertaining at work that week. I can tell you I was onto a winning formula with my various small leaps onto the stool so if you need to entertain colleagues from overseas  do remember the stool trick. It's good for a good half an hour. 

The Canarian potatoes and stool escapade occurred in a Spanish Tapas bar in Farringdon London called Iberica. Myself and my Kenyan colleague were meeting two business contacts from South Africa.  It was the South Africans who had found and booked this gem of a restaurant or Tapas bar. 

The location was excellent for me as I was able to get a direct train home from the doorstep.  I suppose the reverse can be true and I can get a direct train there too from my doorstep . Now there's a thought! Canarian potatoes just an hour's train journey away.
The wine was absolutely superb.  As velvet as you would expect in a high quality Tapas wine bar. We finished with a digestive which was a lot like a sherry.  (Might have been a sherry.) 

We ate small boards of cured meats, hams and some cheeses, and almost Canarian potatoes. 

There were no dogs allowed, for those wondering.

The loos, restroom, ladies/gents was a place to make friends  (in the nicest possible way) as cubicles for each were in the same room but not either side of the room.  Instead interspersed or alternate, and no one knew where to go. Conversations were had with the opposite sex from other tables in this room as one played 'where's the gents?' And  'umm, am in the wrong room. ' One man called out for his wife, I think he was in fear that I was chatting him up over the paper towels.

There are no pictures of the restroom but here is a picture of a shabby chic lamp, looking upwards into the shade, with its ripped and burnt material and melted candle light holder effect.

Catching Up Whilst we Wait for Numptiness

Dear Reader

I have been chastised for not updating this blog recently.  I apologise but in defence I  have been adding to my 'other' blog, the boring one.  My lack of contribution here, dear reader, is due to lack of numptiness of Mr Him, and my family.   In some ways its restful, as you can imagine. 

Whilst we wait for numptiness to return you may wish to distract yourself with these boring offerings  here, just scroll through the outfits to get to the scenery bits, the last being most interesting (dreams.)

I also filled some time last Sunday copying a local Tesco advert, here 

Plus I did cook a meal and here is the videographic evidence.   Most likely I did this by the delegated method. 

Cooking with Hello Fresh

I am  currently attempting No Spend October and Coach to 5k and have written about both here .  You will see that I have had my first tantrum!

Finally, let's consider what numpty means here.  I hadn't reaslised quite how apt!

A Luncheon in London

Dear reader,  

I have a pictorial treat for you today.  On Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to a 'lunch' at Plaisterers Hall in London.  Plaisterers Hall is one of the livery or guild halls.  I have written of another Livery hall that I have visited here. (I have to say though that my favourite to date is Butchers Hall but I wasn't blogging at the time so didn't take pics).

And about Plaisterers Hall here .  

As I arrived on Thursday I saw remains of the old London Wall, but as you can tell from the video Here , I have difficulty saying where exactly are the Roman remains, and that was before drinking wine.  Later there would be no hope.

I ate in unusual elegance, which reminds me that I must speak to Mr Him.  

To set the scene let me take you on my journey. 

Below is St Mary Le Bow which is mentioned in 'Oranges and Lemons' the nursery rhyme  more on this here

I had a quick pick me up looking almost opposite the above bell tower, in Nespresso. 

Plaisterers Hall has an almost Wedgewoodesque ceiling

 I obviously couldn't take photos of the guests and meal but here is my napkin after I had indulged in game terreine, stuffed chicken breast, chocolate eclairs and various cakes, coffee and a chocolate truffle.

I also sneaked a video of inside for you.  here

Woodstock or Zen

Dear reader

A few weeks ago Miss 22 decided that she'd like to build a 'Zen Garden '.  She bought little white stones and a small bamboo fence. She weeded and planned.   I had thoughts  peaceful activities such as meditation and a bit of upside dog going on. Well upside down dog may have gone on but I doubt it was anything to do with yoga!

You see I awoke on Sunday to find Woodstock had happened in my garden.  

It all started when Miss 22  and Miss 18 gathered some friends and  variously they headed to the woods for sticks to burn and the supermarket for ribs and donuts.  I suspected when I saw the remnants the next morning that that wasn't all that was bought. 

Mr Him and I headed to bed unawares of the carnage  going on at the end of our garden.
The next morning I drew curtains to find the refuse of  Woodstock incarnate.
I'll let you enjoy in the video.

I soon set them to clearing up. It got this far.

Happily, later in the day the remnants of Baby Woodstock had been cleared up and we had Zen once again.

Making of Rhubarb Gin

How I made Rhubarb Gin and Mr Him does a BBQ See he's still being sensible. Maybe I should pour the gin down him! No. That would be a...