I have been very busy over the last two weeks or so. I won’t go into detail but I would like to thank Becky and Dave for a lovely housewarming and birthday party that they had last weekend. I made my own burgers to cook on their BBQ and it was all jolly good fun. I also went to see Pirates 3 this week which I thought was very swashbuckling. It was almost as good as this video found by Colin:
Don’t let the song get stuck in your head!
I went to the Brake Road Safety Awards on Friday evening with work. The company that I work for won an award for our risk management product which I thought was pretty cool. Nothing like drinking on company expenses.
I am going to have a Pimm’s party. It is called Pimm’s in the Park and will be on Saturday 11th August at 2pm in St Andrew’s Park, Bristol. Everyone is invited, just bring along a picnic, some chums and a bottle of Pimm’s!
I sit here hot and restless. The weather is threatening and I am sure I just saw some spots of rain on the glass of the window. I feel like my life has turned into a whirlwind of busy this week yet I can’t pinpoint why. I look back to when I last blogged and realise that it was only last Friday, yet even this seams like an age ago.
I have visited my parents, met up with Lauren who is a friend from high school and now works in the same hospital as my Dad, been bowling – a sport that I definitely need more practice at, done a five mile walk over Cannock Chase, ate in multiple restaurants, been to the gym twice, wrote two Facebook applications on their new Facebook platform, washed the car, visited the Festival of Nature in Bristol and many other things besides.
Successful bowling is very much a combination of skill and luck. Dad was surprisingly good at sending the ball down the alley to remove all the pins in its path. However he did manage to slip over while showing off and cut his hand. Stuart, my sisters fiancé, had a quietly accomplished bowling technique while my aunt managed to get the ball into the gutter 99% of the time. The other 1% was when she got a strike halfway through the second game.
On Thursday I visited Casa Mexicana on Zetland Road in Bristol. A subtly themed Mexican restaurant with bored waiting staff greeted James, Jacky, Ross and myself as we chose a table by the window. Our drinks order was taken three times by three different waiters although we couldn’t complain when it arrived – the sangria that Ross had ordered certainly had a kick to it. The food was spicy and good although I think they were a bit stingy with the rice that was served with my Chimichanga.
Facebook is a social network site that began with American college students and has now rolled out across the world. Last week they released Facebook Platform, a development API allowing programmers to connect to and produce widgets for Facebook. I have created two Facebook applications this week. The first allows users of PleaseGetMe.com to display their wish lists on their Facebook profile page. The second, LifeKarma, allows you to give good or bad karma to your Facebook friends – and lets them retaliate. Your karma score is shown on your profile and you can even access a graph of your karma rating over time. If you have Facebook then please give them a try.
I have signed up to Last.fm so if anyone else is on that then add me as your friend
Is anyone going to the QFC party in November? I was thinking of getting myself a ticket but only if others are going too.
Yesterday a total of 5,567 people turned out in London’s Trafalgar Square to take part in the world’s largest coconut orchestra – and I was there!
Led by Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam the orchestra clip-clopped along to “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” and set a new world record, beating the American total of only 1,789 people.
My parents came over at the weekend to visit and see my new flat. We had Sunday lunch at Robin Hood’s Retreat, a lovely little pub on the Gloucester Road. Normally you have to book in advance, which I did, as it is very small and very popular. However for some reason this weekend it was pretty empty when we turned up. The food was good but slightly overpriced for what it was and the service, while polite and considerate, was a bit on the slow side. I started by having the goat’s cheese with beetroot followed by roast beef and a chocolate tart for desert.
Last night I went out with Jacki, Ross and James for a meal at Max’s Italian Bistro in Clifton. The restaurant was fairly quiet but then it was a Wednesday night. As we perused the extensive menu our waiter, who had the deepest Italian voice I have ever heard – like an Italian Barry White, introduced himself and took our drinks order. We didn’t have starters but for my main course I had spaghetti carbonara. The pasta was cooked to perfection, I always slightly over or under cook mine. You really can’t beat a carbonara sauce made in a real Italian restaurant. Desert was two pancakes in a zesty orange sauce with chocolate chip ice-cream. Absolutely gorgeous food. The prices were on the high side but with a discount for eating on a Tuesday or Wednesday night plus an extra discount that Jacki and James had made the evening very reasonable. Overall Max’s is very welcoming, personable, and delicious restaurant. I would highly recommend it for that special, intimate occasion.
This weekend I drove down to Exeter with Becky and Dave for Roz’s fireworks night and birthday meal. We arrived on Saturday evening just in time for fireworks and sparklers at Damo’s house. More often than not the rockets went over the house so it was difficult to see them. I was a little worried that we would get back to the car to find one of the wooden rods from the rockets imbedded into the bonet of my car.
Roz served us home made parkin and chocolate brownies which were both very nice. I gave Roz some soaps and things from Lush while Becky and Dave gave her the board game Scrabble.
After the fireworks were over we headed into the city centre for dinner at Tyepyedong. I had the chicken yakisoba which was very nice.
Photos are on my gallery.
A few weeks ago Rosie suggested that we meet up for milkshakes. Loving milkshakes as much as I do I immediately jumped at the chance to sample one from an American diner style restaurant.
Andi, Rosie, Dave and I arrived at around 1.30 in the afternoon. We managed to get a booth at the side of the fairly small restaurant. I ordered an extra thick caramel milkshake and a Cajun chicken burger. The milkshake arrived really quickly with the burger following only a few minutes later.
The caramel milkshake was really thick. It was almost as thick as ice cream. It was served in a small glass with a straw; however they did leave the large metal container which was about half full. The Cajun burger was very nice if a bit greasy, however most of the grease ran out onto the plate so it was just perfect when bitten into.
A very nice afternoon, at least until Andi realised he hadn’t paid and displayed!
I might have accidentally had a ’99 with a flake from the ice cream van that just visited the place I work. It jingled into the car park and then accidentally sold me ice cream. Ah well, I will go geocaching at the weekend and walk it off. Possibly on the ‘Downs.
The Retreat is a bar, bistro and restaurant serving world foods from a small house like building in the village of Long Ashton, 10 minutes from Bristol city centre.
Sarah and I visited this restaurant on a Wednesday evening with our friends Jacki and Ross. The Retreat is taking part in an offer by the Telegraph newspaper whereby you can collect vouchers for a reduced price meal. Jacki and Ross had been collecting these vouchers and decided to invite us with them.
As it turned out the meals cost only £5 per person for a starter and main course dish with desert charged as extra.
From the outside The Retreat looks far more like a pub than a restaurant and this theme is continued inside the establishment. The decoration consists of contempory art prints and fairy lights. The building has a sense of being somewhat worn.
Confusion began with trying to decide how to get into the building. Of the two doors available we ended up in the bar and had to retreat outside to go into the restaurant.
Throughout the meal we were the only people eating in the restaurant, although it sounded like the bar area became busier toward the end of the evening. Our waiter was the only front of house staff on duty to cope with both the bar and the restaurant. Very chatty and friendly he was fairly attentive and always asking us if there was anything else we wanted. When Sarah asked what the fish was he told her that she could go and look in the tank outside to see what they looked like. Both Sarah and Jacki declined the offer.
My started consisted of a whole roast garlic with a small green salad and some bread. Jacki had the same and we were initially skeptical about the dish but it turned out to be quite nice. My only comment would be that there was a little too much oil on the salad. Sarah and Ross began with a carrot and coriander soup which was reportedly very nice.
For our main course Sarah and Jacki had Talapia fish panfried in extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest served with spiced cous while Ross and I had Albondigas meatballs in a rich Provencal sauce served with turmeric rice and salad. The meatballs were very nice and the dish was well presented.
On asking for the desert menu we were told that the cook was lieing on the floor with back pain. After looking at the menu and the prices we decided to buy some icecream on the way home.
The food was good but there is something about this restaurant that feels slightly wrong. I think it was the slight lack of professionalism. The evening itself was very nice.