Monday, October 25, 2010

Ian and Sarah's Wedding - 15 September 2010

A month ago, on a Tuesday evening I got a phone call from my brother:

"Are you sitting down?" he asked - ??
"I've got something to tell you: Sarah and I are getting married." - Blimey! Didn't see that one coming. 
"Errm. Congratulations!"
"Thank you. Tomorrow morning at 10:30."

Turns out nobody was invited. No parents, no siblings, no close friends. Just the three boys. 

Nice photos though. 

Ian and Sarah's Wedding 01
Sarah and Ian

Ian and Sarah's Wedding 02
Sarah and Ian

Ian and Sarah's Wedding 03
Sarah and Ian

Ian and Sarah's Wedding 04
Joe, Lorenzo, Tom

Ian and Sarah's Wedding 05
Joe, Lorenzo, Tom, Sarah and Ian

So the plan is to make the next sibling dinner party a wedding celebration in a restaurant of our choosing. We had toyed with The Groucho Club of which Ian is a member but Sarah is not so keen so the rest of us will have to put our heads together. 

Watch this space...

PS. It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway - I am very happy for them and they make a charming couple :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meet me where they play the blues

Mary Coughlan at Ronnie Scott's Thursday 14-Oct-10

I have seen Mary Coughlan once before when my Mary was working in Dublin. She appeared at The Olympia Theatre performing a set of Billie Holliday songs - there being many parallels between their two lives. 

Ronnie Scott's is an altogether different kind of venue. There was only a couple of small tables between us and the stage. It really is an intimate venue. That's why the photo of the empty stage. They request no photos and we were so close it would have been kind of obvious. 

Afterwards Mary bought the latest CD and MC's biography both of which she signed. Helped by good food and company it was a great evening.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Supertramp at the O2

Mary was due to see Supertramp at the O2 with her friend Andrea but was unable to go so I stepped into the breach. Andrea had managed to get excellent seats - the closest to the stage that I have ever been at the O2.

Courtesy of my mobile service provider O2 I got us a free upgrade to access their O2 lounge and we were able to relax in uncrowded surroundings. If you are an O2 customer text 'upgrade' and the number of guests (max 4) to 60202 after 3pm on the day of the concert. If you are in the first 100 then you get access, 2-4-1 cocktails and a private elevator to the arena.

The concert is part of Supertramps's "Greatest Hits Tour" and so it was. Excellent concert with much toe-tapping. Afterwards we went for a glass of wine while the crowds died down and got home about 00:45. I must say was not fully refreshed, alert and ready for my day when the alarm went off at 05:45 but worth it.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Puglia November 2010 - Harvest

Another fine weekend trip to Trullo Azzurro. Our old friends Alan and Andrea had rented Trullo Azzurro for 10 days. We already had a visit planned that coincided with their last weekend so that was nice.

Our original plan was to fly after work and meet in Milan: me from London Bridge via City Airport, Mary from Woking via Heathrow. Then we moved the flight to the morning to spend more time with A & A. We could change the time but not the route so Friday morning we left within 10 minutes of each other to go to *different* aiports and both fly to Milan to meet up again. From there we travelled together to Bari. That has to be one of the dafter travel plans ever.

Harvest Mary, Anthea
Mary and Anthea picking grapes

What A & A did not know was that it was harvest time and that they were going to be co-opted for harvesting and grape crushing.

Harvest Alan, Andrea
Alan and Andrea picking grapes

Harvest Roland
Roland transports grape from field to shed

The whole operation is pretty home grown.

Harvest Tonino
Tonino prepares grapes for pressing

The white grapes are given a light crushing to break the skins followed by trampling in the press.

Harvest Mino
Mino treads grapes

Once the wellington boots have squeezed out the bulk of the juice then the screws are applied. The juice will later be transferred to a stainless steel vessel for the actual fermentation and then bottling next spring.

Harvest Grape Must
White grape must (juice) ready for fermentation

Our next set of guests are - apart from a sudden last minute booking - a honeymoon couple: ahhh! Given the lateness of the season we wanted to make sure they had a copious supply of logs for the wood burning stove. No bear skin rug but I am sure they will improvise :-)

Harvest Logs
Logs for the wood burning stove

We also augmented the usual welcome pack with some Prosecco (local sparkling wine) and arranged with the local agent for some flowers.

Full set of photos on Flickr

Trullo Azzurro logoTrullo Azzurro: beautifully restored trullo in delightful, secluded valley near Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy. Available to rent on a per week basis, sleeps 4-6. For more information visit