Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
New thing was going to West Wycombe which is a beautiful village with three pubs that we intended to make our new things. The first was called the Swan which was lovely and like stepping back in time. However, the woman behind the bar was so rude it was almost funny! So we downed our pints and went to the next pub called the George and Dragon which was ok, but the first woman’s attitude had dampened our mood for drinking and we went home before we could experience the last one, the Old Plough.
New things started with going to Chesham train station a totally new way which is quite impressive given that it’s only four minutes away! When we got there, we discovered that the trains weren’t running so new things continued with the landlord’s car to Uxbridge. So we got to the beginning of the G20 protests late, but they were kind enough to wait for us before they started! We thoroughly enjoyed the march which was extremely peaceful and went past Westminster, past Trafalgar Square, finishing up in Hyde Park. I got a couple of words with Mark Thomas, the political activist and campaigner, which was a huge thrill for me, before he handed me a card to be used in case you get stopped by the police! Despite the rain and wind, we stood through a number of very inspiring speeches ranging from Tony Robinson to Brendan Barber to Susan George, all with the message on how the global economy should concentrate on the poor rather than allowing bankers to cream the profits from our taxes. The whole affair was very inspiring and there was no trouble at all, even though there was a huge number of police enjoying a spot of overtime. Mabel couldn’t take any more of the cold and begged to be allowed a pint, so our new things continued with a pub in Mayfair of which I can’t remember the name, but there were lots of marchers inside. En route was the only trouble I encountered as two coppers chased a group of four youths who weren’t involved the protest. One of the policemen ran straight into me and tripped over. While he was rolling about on the floor, I had visions of being arrested, but it all turned out ok! We continued our new things with a meal at Haozhan in Chinatown, which was unusual and not your typical Chinese food. Very elaborate with prices to match.
New thing today was a very quick visit to a really good boot sale in Ascot first thing in the morning. I then spent most of the rest of the day in bed and in the pub (the Royal Standard of England).
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
New thing was Prezzo in Newbury, which I’d never been to in the two years I lived in the area! Had a nice meal in there, while Mabel reminisced about how it used to be the town’s library.
Lots of new things today as was house hunting (didn’t manage to shoot anything though). However, the very first new thing we did was to go to the Empire Cafe in Newbury for a traditional breakfast. What a great place and a very nice, simple breakfast of two slices of toast with scrambled eggs for £2.10! Reminded me of my parents’ rest home where I spent a large number of my formative years, what with the ‘olde’ metal teapots (that I correctly predicted would drip all over the place), the prints, the dresser and the old folder menus – didn’t see any doilies though. Funnily enough, on the way in, we bumped into the estate agent who would end up showing us round the houses in the afternoon.
New thing was the Roald Dahl museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden which was really good and highly imaginative. I am sure that my enjoyment would have doubled for every year you remove from my age! Funnily enough, when I got home I managed to read Anthony Buckeridge’s autobiography in one sitting and there seemed to be quite a few parallels with Roald Dahl’s childhood. Both were about the same age, both tragically lost their fathers at a young age, they both had great mothers with a fantastic sense of humour and coincidentally both had dealings with the bullying Mrs Pratchett in Roald Dahl’s novel “Boy”. I spent a very pleasant time here in the afternoon reliving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and of course the Twits. There wasn’t much mention of the Someone Like You and Tales of the Unexpected, but no matter. The only downer was the fact that I hesitated when the admission staff asked me what my postcode was, and asked why they needed to know. I then heard the staff mocking me, saying to each other:“there’s about 20 other houses with your same postcode” and “we’re not really the Roald Dahl Museum, we’re the secret police” which I thought was rude and at best, naive. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t like giving out info unnecessarily?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tired and didn’t want to use the car. So new thing was a weird tofu thing I got from Waitrose.
St Patrick’s Day! New thing was going into Clinton Cards in Chesham and seeing a mother’s day card for £3.95 and coming straight out again. Also some bits of New Greenham Park on my way to a picnic and then the movie My Sassy Girl. Had to watch the American version instead of the Korean version though.
Monday, March 16, 2009
New thing was a fancy dress shop called All dressed up in Chalfont St Giles. Saw an article about this in the paper, so thought it would be a bit of fun to check out what medieval outfits they had. Unfortunately, I must have interrupted the woman’s lunch or something as she seemed really annoyed to have to deal with a customer, so I made quite a hasty exit. Other new things included getting ambushed by 2 neighbours who told me to move my campervan because “it’s an ugly white blob and we don’t want to have to look at it all day”. Which I handled really well....by crying. Other new things inlcuded checking out Mabel’s new car, Jane Honda and after going to the Cock and Rabbit in The Lee (not new) and then going onto Pizza Express in Amersham.
Went to a boot sale in Chalfont St Peter where we sold lots of fudge and some other bits and bobs. But true to form, I bought lots of books and other things I didn’t realise I needed J Also, much later in the day, new thing was going to a Chinese takeaway in Wellingborough.
New thing was going to Dorney for a walk. Have been here before for the Race for Life, but this time went for a lovely walk in the summer sunshine along the Thames, almost as far as Eton Wick, before turning back and finishing up in the Pineapple Pub for a pint and then food after being tempted by the lovely treats going past us.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Also as it took me a lot less time than I thought to get to the village of Hurley – a beautiful village right by the Thames, I was quite early and so went into a pub called Ye Olde Bell. This is a fantastic building which dates back to 1135, although has fantastic modern touches. I suddenly had visions of getting married in the grounds due to the beautiful gardens and the innovative toilets which have a system that switches the light on and also a reading of a play when you open the door. I soon retained my sanity over getting married though and was enjoying half a Guinness with my novel (Love by Angela Carter since you ask) when I realised that I was on fire as one of the logs had shot sparks at my leg and my trousers were burnt.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Another rubbish one! This time it was buying edamame peas from Waitrose. Will have to count as my new thing!
Took Mabel to the Nag’s Head in Great Missenden for a couple of pints and those expensive crisps. Very quiet and the overwhelming smell of fish soup (presumably called bisque in these posh surroundings). Although quiet, this award-winning pub has recently been refurbished and used to count Roald Dahl and Lord Wilson as customers. There's a nice atmosphere and feeling of really being out in the countryside when you look out of the window at the rolling hills.
Uxbridge shops and then Trade Sales and Ford in Slough. Did not find it easy to buy a car; I thought Trade Sales had massive stocks of all cars for all budgets. However, the moment we got out of the car, a bloke asked us what we wanted in a manner which made me think we had parked in the staff car park. When we told him our budget, he said: “Why would you only spend that on a car? You’re asking for trouble. Why buy trouble?” Before I could tell him to F*** off, he said that the cheapest car on offer was about £5000 because “all our cars are fully-serviced.” Despite the fact we were standing next to a car priced at £4,000 we decided to look elsewhere. Just looked at one more garage before I got bored and we went out.
New bit of Chesham, but more excitingly, took Mabel to his new place in Newbury, near the racecourse..
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
New thing was the Portrait Cafe at the National Gallery for about 30 seconds because moments after I arrived, all the stewards starting shouting at people to ask them to leave. Either a power cut or a Thomas Crown Affair style heist. Other new thing was Samurai for sushi and then a walk around the streets of Covent Garden.
St Peter’s Church hall in Chalfont for a very nice boot sale.
Lots of pubs in the Tottenham Court Road area including most importantly the Bricklayers Arms for my colleague’s leaving do (after another new thing of playing Guitar Hero very, very, very badly). I don’t remember anything that happened after 7pm.