Sunday, January 30, 2011

A meal is more than just fuel for the body

It is an opportunity to share and chat and enjoy.

This last week has seen us give the M&M corporate mission "To eat, drink and have a good time" a thorough workout:
  • Last Friday we met up with brother Ian and his partner Sarah for an excellent meal at our favorite italian restaurant - Enoteca Turi. Although I&S got married last September they have been together for a number of years and I am so used to saying "partner" I find it hard to switch to "wife" or "sister-in-law".
  • Saturday we hosted Bron and Maggie for a Chateau Leoville dinner party. We had a bottle of 1982 Leoville-Poyferre and B&M a bottle of Leoville-Barton also 1982. So we had "compare and contrast" opportunity with two fine, mature clarets. And some excellent food to go with.
    Leoville-Barton 1982, Leoville-Poyferre 1982
    Leoville-Barton 1982, Leoville-Poyferre 1982
  • Sunday we cooked a traditional roast for our Danish house guests, who had arrived on the Monday, to give them a taste of traditional English cooking.
  • Monday Mary went out for a team meal from work.
  • Tuesday we gave our Danes a taste of traditional Scottish food with a Burns Supper. Unfortunately they were not convinced so it will be refried haggis for us at some point.
    Google Doodle Burns Night 2011
    Google Doodle Burns Night 2011
  • Wednesday was Mary's birthday so we went to the wonderfully kitsch, Grade 2 listed Criterion Restaurant for a pre-theatre meal. That was followed by The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman at the inappropriately named Comedy Theatre - an excellent but intense play.
  • Thursday we had the night off.
  • Friday was meeting up in Glasgow with "the girls" - Mary's friends from Uni. We had an excellent meal at Guy's Restaurant in Candleriggs and a real good blether. We also treated ourselves to a stay in the refurbished Grand Central Hotel just a short stagger from the restaurant.
  • Saturday no meal of note *but* we did meet up with fellow blogger and close neighbour of May's - Lynnette "Life with the Lusks" and husband Tommy for a coffee in Irvine. Always good to meet a cyber-chum in real life.
    Lynette and Tommy Lusks
    Lynette and Tommy Lusks
    Lynette's blog post on our meeting: Saturday Coffee Time
  • Sunday we plan a nice meal in - something we try to do every Sunday evening. A little quiet time together.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Home but not alone (3)

You are never alone with a "To Do" list.

While Mary went off to Grayshott Spa for a weekend of pampering and power walks I was home alone with the cats.

The "to do" list, to be fair, was self inflicted - there were a number of things needing to be done including "watch DVDs": Friday night was "Escape from New York" and Saturday night was "Millers Crossing". Other items included:
  • tip run (garden rubbish)
  • charity run (Mary's clear out of the wardrobe prompted by the immanent arrival of Danish house guests)
  • grooming the cats (a never-ending task)
  • various DIY tasks now consigned to the memory bin of history
Sunday I went down to visit Mum and Dad for lunch from were it was only 25 minutes to get down to Greyshott to collect the heavily exfoliated Mary and chauffeur her home.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Onassis @ the Novello Theatre

We went to see the last night of Onassis by Martin Sherman and starring Robert Lindsay at the Novello Theatre. The plan was a matinee with our friend Andrea aka Mary's Andrea (*) followed by a meal in Covent Garden.

Andrea was ill and unable to attend but we decided to go anyway. The box office didn't do refunds - like many other theaters once they have your money the ticket is your problem. Mary couldn't be bothered to loiter outside like a ticket tout so offered it - for free - to a surprised lady in the box office queue.

The play was good, much better than I was expecting from the Telegraph review.

We did cancelled our restaurant booking for three. Instead we had a couple of cocktails in the bar at Christopher's Grill. Then off home on the 87 bus for a meal at home.

* Andrea A is Mary's Andrea, Andrea L is my Andrea and Andrea P is our Andrea.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Christmas 2010 - The Usual Suspects in Polperro

Christmas 2010 - The Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects

This year we reconvened "The Usual Suspects" for Christmas redux. For most of a decade (the 90's) the same core crowd would rent a holiday home for a week of eating and drinking. Then children intervened and we dispersed for another decade (the 00's) of smaller scale gatherings.

The children are now at an age that we decided to reinstate the team outing. This time the venue was Landaviddy Manor in Cornwall. The pattern was much as previously: each couple cooked one meal apiece, we ate out or leftovers for the others, lots of country walks and beer in real pubs.

Christmas 2010 - Polperro Harbour
Polperro Harbour

Wed 22-Dec-10: travel down to Devon and Mary did a simple pasta meal.

Thu 23-Dec-10: a quiet day awaiting the last couple, Bob & Lynn, to join us. John & Andrea did the meal - well Andrea really.

Fri 24-Dec-10: after breakfast a walk along the Southwest Coast Path to Looe - a 9 mile round trip - with pub lunch at The Ship Inn. Evening meal at Couches restaurant in Polperro.

Christmas 2010 - Southwest Coastal Path
Southwest Coastal Path

Sat 25-Dec-10: full cooked breakfast and presents followed by a coast path walk to a landmark - 5 mile round trip. Back for birthday cake and more presents for Julian, my godson, who was born on Christmas day.

Kate & Ian presided over traditional turkey evening meal. We have always gone for black tie for the meal. Makes it a bit more special and give the girls a chance to flaunt their party frocks.

Christmas 2010 - Christmas meal
Christmas meal

Sun 26-Dec-10: A full team outing walk to the Jubilee Inn at Pelynt - 7 mile round trip - although some caught the bus back for the sake of the children. Bob & Lynn did venison for supper.

Mon 27-Dec-10: Walk to Polruan - 12 mile round trip - with pub lunch in The Russel Inn. Ate leftovers.

Tue 28-Dec-10: Too wet for a long walk so we simply walked down into Polperro for a beer at The Blue Peter. Last night for some of us. Mary did a Thai meal.

Christmas 2010 - Southwest Coastal Path 2
Southwest Coastal Path 2

Beautiful scenery, good beer, excellent company, fantastic meals and wonderful wine. What more could you ask for in a Christmas break?

Full set of pictures at

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Movember 2010 update

Thanks to all my friends and sponsors who enabled me to hit the £400 mark.

Mark McLellan's Movember Moustache

It was on the 4th of November Mary said "Why don't you grow a moustache for Movember?" OK but the next morning I forgot and shaved as usual. After the shaky start the rest was easy - send out a begging emails and taking Mary's cakes into work.

In the UK in 2008 there were 12,047 female deaths from breast cancer BUT there were 10,168 male deaths from prostate cancer. [Source:]

Prostate cancer deserves more awareness, more research, more money!