luckykaa: (Wolf)

[livejournal.com profile] flickums bought me dinner.  Cake didn't have a candle in it though.

Wandered through the party district, and Flickums coerced me into trying a hookah. Something I've never tried before. We went for vanilla flavour, and had a Tequila Sunrise to go with it. Thus making that song stick in my head.

Flickums was wearing her long skirt, bodice and shawl, and looked every bit the madame of an opium den. The sort of high class establishment our adventurers go to for their leads.

The party district is not really my sort of area but a great place for people watching. Quite a few Scottish people. Not sure why.

Finished the evening drinking Pina Coladas, but it wasn't raining so that song doesn't really fit here. So Eagles still stuck in my head.

luckykaa: (Wolf)

40th birthday celebration started with [livejournal.com profile] flickums waking me up and letting me open presents. I now have all of Futurama to rewatch, Mysterious Cities Of Gold season 2 to watch  and 2 new extra geeky t-shirts.

Set off back to Mdina to see the catacombs, the WW2 shelters and St Paul's grotto. Perhaps we should have paid extra for the audio tour since there wasn't much context. But it seems St Paul preached from here after being shipwrecked on Malta. Catacombs are a maze of passages which may have been also been used as bomb shelters. Will have to look into the details.

Flickums bought me a White Chocolate Magnum.

Also visited Valetta. This is the serious tourist centre of the island. Loads of tourist tat shops, restaurants, ice cream shops. Flickums bought me a yoghurt ice cream.  There's also the regular selection of regular high street stores. Found a cafe advertising local craft beers and enjoyed a Blue Lagoon brewed in Gozo.

Heat was getting to us so we headed back to the car.  Flickums bought me a caramel Magnum on the way.

Returned to the hotel to chill in the pool. Turfed out at just after 6 though. Was told it closed at 7.

Still, not to worry.  Flickums is taking me to dinner.

Update: Flickums took me to dinner. I had pork chops.  They were yummy!

luckykaa: (Wolf)

Finished the day going to the Augustiner braüstübl. A brewery and collection of beer halls.

Was a little bemused at first because the entrance looked like the entrance to an apartment building, but heading down the stairs we heard the bustle of people.

We found a tale and I tried to figure out how to buy beer. It's a bit of an odd setup. Collect mug. Pay for beer. Acquire receipt. Exchange receipts for beer. There were two beers listed but I only worked out how to buy one of them.

Food was a little simpler. A series of stalls in one of the rooms. There didn't seem to be a lot of option for a complete meal though.

Decided to buy some souvenir mugs. And some souvenir beer. The mug purchasing system was similar to the beer purchasing system, but the bottled beer purchasing system was the simple prices of exchange money for crate of 6 beers.

Happy with my purchase, we returned home.

luckykaa: (Wolf)
I've never really done Valenties Day before. Last year I had a pleasant day with Flickums' German counterpart (both of us were several hundred kms away from our significant others), but this year I wanted to spend it with [livejournal.com profile] flickums! So she came down for the weekend. We spent a lot of the weekend snuggling and cooking,

Friday, she arrived. I cooked steak (really good steak from a friendly local butcher), and potato wedges. Then we got an early night because she'd been up since 4 and I hadn't managed much sleep.

Saturday I made pie. Then there was more snuggling. And we played video games. Wii boxing and Wii bowling. I really feel I should get some more games for that console. Went to the local "trade-It" to see if they had anoything else. Nothing worth buying. I did end up adding to the PS2/PS3 pile though. Then we went to Leicester Roleplay guild. There was one (big) game of D&D this week, and we were given adolescent dragon characters. Flick called her sapphire dragon "Blue", and inspired by Jurassic World, I followed the pattern with "Delta". I like my dragon already. Might have to play that game again.

Sunday we got up very late. Had brunch. Went to the cinema. Failed to see a film. Came back and I introduced Flick to Mission: impossible  Except I found getting hold of an episode rather hard. Ended up watching the pilot, which was fine, but I'd rather have gone for something a little further in once the series had hit its stride.

We had a candlelit dinner. Flick arranged the starter (tomato soup with lots of nice extras) and the dessert (chocolate mousse), which was really good, although quite overpowering with the chocolate. I did roast venison and braised cabbage. It consider it a hugely successful dinner.

Finally managed to see Deadpool on a second attempt. Which was exciting, silly, fourth wall breaking (and 16th wall breaking) and generally lots and lots of fun. Opening credits are excellent. I lost geek points because flickums had to explain the post credits bit to me.

Open Sesame

Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:00 pm
luckykaa: (Dubrovnik)
[livejournal.com profile] flickums took me to a restaurant as a Birthday treat. I picked Sesame because it had a nice entry in the guidebook. Very cosy romantic terrace.

Food was delicious! I had a nice asparagus and mint and basil soup followed by slow baked lamb. Flickums had a beef with truffles (I nabbed what I assume is a truffle. Seemed surprisingly not very flavoursome).

Ordered a cake for dessert. Asked if they had candles because it was my birthday. They brought out a little cake with a big sparkler in it!

Finished the evening going back to the cocktail bar by the beach back in Lapad, and had a Sex On The Beach, while lounging in a lounger by the sea, and chilled with flickums.

It was an exhausting day, but really awesome fun. Best birthday ever!
luckykaa: (Wolf)
So, I cooked a roast and entertained guests. I've never really been in a position to do that before. Not properly. Was always lacking tables.

I still lack a lot of things. Like utensils for serving food, and something to put the meat on for carving; and I think there's still a problem with the layout of this house, with the kitchen being in a separate timezone from the living room, but I think on the whole it was a success.

It helped that I found a tame butcher who was able to tell me that the lamb I bought was happy meat. [livejournal.com profile] flickums and other friends (wolfie Alex, and Sarah) seemed to get on very well. Flickums made cake. It was really good! My spuds worked well. The wine the guests brought was fantastic! I have lots of leftover lamb!

There was also much snuggling of flickums and we saw Terminator Genesys. Also saw an episode of Trap Door. Really will have to do a movie review post at some stage.
luckykaa: (pancake)
I've always liked making pancakes. There's a certain satisfaction that comes with getting the batter consistency just right. Getting the fat to sizzle in the pan just enough. And as it looks like it's half cooked, we get to flip the thing. One deft flick of the wrist...

And it's back to where it was!

Well, I'm not the most cordinated person ever. Getting the balance between not quite flipping and a double flip isn't easy, but after two or three goes, I have a flipped pancake.

Tasy with lemon and sugar. Or with cherry conserve.

Pancake day has to be my favourite religious holiday!
luckykaa: (Wolf)
Okteberfest is mainly a Munich thing, but there is a Bavrian Brauhaus in Berlin. There's a also a very well organised expat comunity that arranges a trip there. It's close to where I live.

So I arrived. It was crowded! I had a beer, because what else is there to drink? Very nice it was too. The Oktberfest Bier and a Dunkel. Each in a 1 litre glass, because how often do you get the chance to do that? Huge glass!

The band played music and we drank and danced on tables! We need more of that. Perhaps nexty time I should get a pair of Lederhosen.
luckykaa: (pancake)
Had a very satisfying foodie day.

Visited M&S. Bought Bacon. Bought Ginger biscuits.
Visited supermarket, bought sausages, bought gravy. Bought rolls.
Visited Blokker. Bought a small earthenware dish.
Baked rolls. Had bacon sandwiches.
Made tea. Had tea and biscuits.
Made toad in the hole. Hugely successful.

I haven't actually done a toad in the hole before. Not properly. There seem to be a lot of superstitions and misinformation. Delia says that the batter mix makes far too much. I disagree. Jamie Oliver says that I need to get the tin as hot as possible. He may have a point, but he seems to think a tin is better. Earthenware will get to the same temperature, but stay at that temperature when removed from the oven. Some people say the batter should be left to rest overnight. I did leave it for about 10 minutes but that was a timing thing. I also stirred it before pouring which Heston seems to suggest. He also goes for a 50/50 water milk mix which I might try.

So my rule is simply use an earthenware dish. Heat at 270 degrees until it starts smoking. Add sausages and onions and pour batter over the top.

Enjoyed with a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.
luckykaa: (pancake)
For the last year or two, I was having trouble getting to sleep roughly once every other week, but this seemed to be increasing. For the past month this hasn't been a problem.

It may be a coincidence, but that's also the time I ditched an aggressive happy-meatarian (i.e. free range or veggie) lifestyle. I was finding it way too much work to be sure meat was outdoor reared, so was essentially vegetarian. Partly because I found a veggie diet hard, but the possibility that the insomnia may have been diet related was a factor. I had been putting it down to stress, but I wasn't feeling all that stressed.

Would do some experimentation to work out what I might have been missing but that would involve periodically making myself miserable and sleep deprived and I'm actually enjoying this sensation of being able to sleep.
luckykaa: (Travel)

So, after angsting considerably abut whether to accept 3 month extension it's offered, I get offered a 2 month extension. I also have the option to extend this sublet by the same amount. Serendipity is a marvellous thing, so I figured I'll accept.

Have decided I need a new passport. Current one expires in less than 2 years, and while my appearance hasn't changed much since 2005, last time I went through passport control, the border person did need to check quite thoroughly. Problem with this is that I sort of need my passport. I've been using it quite a lot over the past year and a half, and rarely been a month without crossing a border. They sure have become expensive! £72.50 plus a premium if applying from abroad! Plus a courier fee! Might leave it until I'm back in the UK for a month.

Went to beerup (Beer meetup). Had some nice beers. Met some fun people including a Serb and a Dane, both of which had impressive beards. always get on well with beer fans. Lovely bar. Many Belgian and a few Dutch beers

I want to go to a convention at some point. Irish Discworld Con looks like fun, but is in Limerick. N flights from Amsterdam to Shannon. Can fly to Cork (or possibly Dublin) and then get a bus to the station and a train to Limerick and a bus or taxi to the hotel. Could always rent a car, I guess.

luckykaa: (Travel)
Started off in the Washington Library.  This made the bibliophile in me drool.  Nine stories of library space!  Okay - not all of it is books, but still, nice to see such a large library.  Also a display on the top floor about prejudice and being actively involved.

Had a friend offer to show me around but she was a bit tied up so I went to Chinatown on my own. I like Chinatowns.  Bought myself some sweets at a sweetshop.  Looked around.  My Guide showed up later and took me to a very nice park on the edge of Chinatown.  The Ping Tom memorial park.  Has a Chinese pavilion in the centre, and a very asian feel about it.  Acquired a smoothie that really was a bit too wierd for me.  Giant pieces of fruit made it hard to drink.

Then went to the quirky neighbourhood.  I found a very good microbrewery.  My guide suggested we go to Goose Island.  Went to Greektown to eat first though.  Grilled octopus!  Yum!  And I got a free cake because it was my birthday a few days ago. 

So, the Goose Island bar was pretty good.  They did a nice English Ale and served it in English pints.  Cider was rather too dry for my taste.  German style beer was nice.  Something about American beers though.  There's this bitterness about them. 
luckykaa: (pancake)
It's coming up to one of those times of year when a certain day in February is mentioned in all the shops and it looks like I lack the one thing I need to be able to celebrate it. 

Pancake day's coming up...

...and I don't have a decent frying pan.
luckykaa: (Default)
So, after 2 weeks working away from home, I finally manage to have a home cooked meal.  And boy was it a doozy.

It's amazing how things build up.  I had offered to help Estelliane get her car started.  Alas, I didn't have the energy to push start it.  Borrowed some jumper cables from my parents and used them.  Got car started and I get man points for doing so.  Also got lunch for doing so which was a fundamentally broken Eggs Benedict.  Doing it on crumpets was a nice idea, but the eggs were overcooked and you're not meant to cook the hollandaise!  Oh well.  It wasn't actually terrible. 

Plus I always like chatting with Estelliane.  Apparently I need to find a nice Swedish lady:)

Did have to turn down an offer of an burns night event this evening.  Then it turned out I probably could have gone which I feel guilty over but wasn't sure what was going to happen and when today.  More to the point though, I needed some me time.  I also wanted to see parents.  Cousins were visiting.  Thought I'd stop by and say hi. 

Most importantly I'd acquired some venison. 

My roast was the best roast I'd ever done.  Really need to learn to make proper gravy though. 

Rules of a roast - meat needs to be moist and tender.  Still not quite sure how you achieve that but covering it, starting at a high temperature and turning it down a bit afterwards seemed to work.  Also added some butter melted was recommended by some people.  Potatoes - boil them first.  Red cabbage - braise it!  Lots of recipes online.  My potatoes were the crispiest spuds ever.  And the meat had plenty of juices to add to the gravy.

Served with a Rioja and was all perfect.

I now have leftover venison.  No idea what to do with that.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
[livejournal.com profile] cath_er_ine had a cocktail party.  I mixed drinks (well, some of them - Vix let me be the bartender despite lack of competence).  I made myself a glass of green!  It was rather fun. There's always a slight problem with this sort of thing that everyone who's actually likely to be interested lives so far apart so there's always the accommodation/travel issue, but we managed.  Attempted to make a snowball but there was no lemonade.  Attempted to make some lemonade, and had some success but it wasn't really a proper snowball.  It did have an essence of lemon cheescake about it.  Created another cocktail based off rum, pineapple and lime, which ended up tasting of Lemon Meringue pie. 

I can't help feeling we're just pretending to be adults though.  This is just dressing up in a cocktail party costume, for the novelty.  Doesn't really matter.  We had fun.  And I got to use my circuit-board cufflinks.  Would have been nice to have more ingredients but enough ingrediants to make everything is horribly expensive.  I wonder if anyone makes a set of smallish bottles of the essentials.

[livejournal.com profile] lemming_man drove under guidance of [livejournal.com profile] omylouse.  He seemed to enjoy this. 

I would have slept in the lemming's spare room, except he hasn't go one.  He does have a garden though and I have a tent.  It's really quite comfy.  Getting a little cold though. 
luckykaa: (Default)
I think that was the longest birthday celebration ever.  Startyed last Monday.  Went to Hersmonceux castle for the Mediaval festival.  [livejournal.com profile] penguin_worship was kind enough to give me a lift.

So we arrived in time for the siege.  It was fun, although the arrows did stop some way short of the castle.  Seems they had no intention of actually killing each other.  Ambled around.  Many friends came, and wished my happy birthday.  Picked up a nice book.  Leather bound funnish spells.  Received various presents.  Cider and Dragon's breath (mead fruit wine blend) and t-shirt and fudge.  Watched some people fighting and other people making stuff.  Ate some pig!  Had lots of fun.

Friday was my actual birthday.  Visited my parents.  Received some DMS (purple FTW!) and a voucher of a sushi making course.  Was competing for attention from my nephew.  Went to Britsol and caught up with some old friends ([livejournal.com profile] tyrshundr, [livejournal.com profile] vanir and [livejournal.com profile] xenaclone managed to make it.  Not as big a crowd as I was hoping but nice to catch up).  Decided to go back the the Washington Hotel.  I quite like it.  Rooms are a bit tatty but they seem to do good service and they're small enough that you get a breakfast cooked to order rather than a buffet. 

Stopped by other friends on the way to Reading.  Some of them were making armour. 

Went to parents for a birthday meal.  Received a present from my brother (replacement Swiss Army card.  I seem to keep losing these at airports).

Meal was onion soup, smoked salmon and avacado, pork in cider, sorbet, cheese and biscuits, pavlova.  All cooked to perfection because my dad does that sort of thing ever so well.

And so onto Sunday where I was still horribly busy.  Met up with Estelliane for lunch, and went to Caroline for pub quiz later.  We won!  Go us!  Actually I think they miscounted...  Was quite please with our epic performance on the AI voices round.  Mr Smith was a slightly tricky one.  Queeg (from Red Dwarf) required a bit of dredging my braincells.  The real sneaky one was Pod from Snog Marry Avoid - team effort from me and teammate.  Not sure if I should be proud of that one.
luckykaa: (Default)
Okay - here's the plan.  I'm heading to Bristol on the 2nd of September (unless nobody wants to come) for some birthday drinks at about 6pm. 

I'll try and find somewhere in Clifton.  Somewhere that does good cider.  If anyone has suggestions then awesome.  Let me know.
luckykaa: (Robot)
I've had an annoying cold since Monday. This is the main problem.  Everything else just feels bad because I'm not in a mood to deal.

Work continues to go rather slowly without any concrete targets.  I really want to have some designs and specs and actual targets.  It's been three and a half weeks and we've started nothing.

Finding lack of useful utensils annoying.  I need a knife that actually cuts!  Or a knife sharpener.  Landlady is a bit of a hoarder.  That's why there are 7 pepper mills and no salt.  (Also 2 couple of bread makers that are never used and 2 irons for some reason).   The result is there's a lot of stuff but never what I actually need.

Landlady asked me to install a printer for her.  It was a freebie from her neighbour because hers was out of colour ink.  Most of us just buy a new cartridge.  Didn't come with cables or installer.  Landlady's PC is on its last legs.  Windows should not take 5 minutes to shut down.  Also found HP's installation software horribly slow.  Printer requires ethernet connection to set up wireless.  After waiting an hour and a half or so for the whole thing to install, it only printed in black and white.  Checked the ink cartridge.  No colour.

Spent far too long today getting PC to connect to internet  Is a bit of a faff anyway because my room is in the opposite corner for the house from the router - low speeds and frequent lost connection.  But even so - I was just getting the "connection issues" wireless message where it refused to give me an IP address.

Had some leftover spinach.  Googled for interesting recipes to use it up.  Saw a nice cannelloni recipe on BBC Good food. Put it in saucepan.  Knocked saucepan on the floor. As expected, there's no useful utensil to scoop up.  Also have no remaining ingredients.  Sigh.  Off to supermarket.

And LJ's been down all week so been unable to complain about it properly.  I'd switch to Dreamwidth or something but I refuse to let myself be forced into an action that would effectively legitimise the attack.
luckykaa: (Default)
So, I'm leaving this lodging on Friday morning.  I want to use up the food I have over 2 days.  I only do something light in the evening since the canteen does proper (albeit rather bland) meals.

I have:

Stir fry veg: Half a pack.
Vegetable Oil.
Salt.
Some soft blue cheese.
Pumpkin seeds.
Pasta.  Probably 1 day's worth.
Piri Piri marinade.
1 red onion

So it looks like the Nandos marinade will go with the stir fry veg, and the cheese and onion will go with the pasta.  Simple but quite tasty.  Would rather like some extra carbs to go with the stir fry though.  Normally I'd just get some pitta bread but that comes in packs of six.  I'd only want three, have no time to eat the other three and my frugal upbringing objects to the waste.  Plus I did that earlier this week and I like variety.  In fact just about nothing I might buy comes in small packs suitable for a single use.

So how do I turn Piri Piri stir fried veg into something more akin to a meal without waste?
luckykaa: (Default)
So, Christmas turned out not too bad.  Was at parents' friends place and she has space!  Was also round the corner from bearhaus so invated there for randomness. 

Christmas haul included new DMs.  Same as the old ones except newer, and with tread.  Also received new jumper, a wallet, some whiskey, some magnetic ball things and many many socks.  Played buckaroo with nephew.  Decided it's a silly game.  Ate world's biggest ever Turkey!!!!  With bacon and stuffing.  Played Apples to Apples with family and friends.  Drank lots. 

Boxing day I did as little as possible.  Went to see family and friend again and ate the world's biggest piece of beef!  Watched Upstairs Downstairs.  Drank less. 

And today I went into town.  I wanted to buy various bits and pieces for costume.  I found a ray gun and that was about it.  Am also tempted by new phobile.  The HTC wildfire looks tasty but they were sold out.  So that was a bit of a failure.  Will try again soonish.

And have now run out of things to do.  Well, wil be doing the long put-off house tidy.   Need to see people at some point.

Right now am making leek and onion soup.  Yum.

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