Monday, 31 December 2012

New year fireworks at the Burj Khalifa

We are very lucky indeed as Darren has booked us a hotel nearby, and he was also charming when we checked in so we have a room with a prime view of the tower.
We went out earlier to see if we would be able to get a good view of the fireworks from the shopping mall under the Burj.
We caught the metro but unfortunately, although we actually got on the packed tramcar,  it sailed straight past our stop and on to the next one, which meant that now we were much further away than when we set off!
The crowds were massive so we just joined them in walking. At one stage there were that many people that we all just walked straight across a four lane major highway and all of the cars had to stop and honk their horns, but everyone just laughed and carried on.
It became obvious that we wouldn't see a thing at the mall, so we are back in our room with the window open, enjoying the view and having a nice glass of port.
Fantastic fireworks and the pictures don't do them justice.
Just like Nottingham really.
Happy new year to everyone!!

Paddling in the sea in Dubai

Arrived this morning, dropped off our kit at our hotel and caught the handy (and very cheap and clean), metro to the Marina.
There is still a lot of work going on, but the completed buildings are amazing. They are sky high and really packed in close together, with some lovely looking gin palaces moored up on the water.
We walked through the Marina and suddenly found ourselves on the beach.
The water looked beautiful and inviting and was only a little bit nippy. There were colourful shells all along the water line and I was dying to collect some, but settled in the end for just a photo.
Really nice start to the trip - just under pressure now to stay up til midnight to see in the new year.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

And they're off

On your marks, get set, goooooooo........

Here we are at Heathrow Airport and our adventure is about to start. We are flying overnight to Dubai and should get there about 8am tomorrow morning.
My luggage weighs 10kg and it has to last for 16 weeks. Also, the whole outfit that I am travelling is going in the bin once we reach our destination.
I have just got to try and avoid the temptation to buy loads of new stuff on our travels.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Magnificent meal at Marcus Warings

Just blown almost a months food budget in one meal today - but fortunately we don't start budgeting until January so it didn't count!
Put on our best remaining togs and met up with Susan and Paul for a blowout lunch at the Marcus Waring restaurant in the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge.
It was very fancy and we had three courses with little extras thrown in.
We started with a tiny fried fish ball, then what looked like a boiled egg but was actually pumpkin soup with parmesan foam and crispy bits on top, followed by truffle and mushroom risotto, then halibut with polenta, then a surprise plum and gin souffle (see photo), then mascarpone, masala and coffee pudding.
Finally little chocolates arrived to try and take our minds off the bill, which was less than we expected.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Warhorse - the play

Just arrived at the Drury Theatre to see Warhorse.
The theatre is packed, the reviews are fantastic, we have tissues for the finale, so we are all set for curtain up
Parked in the carpark and it costs £24 for four hours!
Thank you to Margaret and Roy for such a lovely Christmas present and for the scenic drive here with running commentary.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Uncle Darren and his nieces

Family Boxing Day afternoon and Darren is having a lovely time entertaining the Darvill nieces.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

New bike for Christmas

We left our flat yesterday and caught the train to Nic and Ben's in Ipswich.
As is traditional, someone got a new bike for Christmas.
Surprisingly it wasn't Darren, but Jemima found a Peppa Pig bike under the Christmas tree!
I think he's really jealous.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Serif Christmas party

After 25 years and leaving work yesterday, Daz won the lifetime achievement award at Serif.
I was on hand to capture the moment but pressed the button a millisecond too late. (That's him just walking off the stage)
We also spent half of the afternoon making the table decorations. They appeared to defy gravity and three helium balloons were attached with ribbon to a poster which was attached with invisible cotton to a branch covered with pretend snow that was standing in a three foot high vase.
Unfortunately between the two of us, somehow one of the posters and balloons broke away from the branch and spent the rest of the event on the ceiling.
A fantastic night that got quite emotional as Darren said goodbye to all of his workmates.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Festive squatters

There are three days to go until we leave our flat and I have sold or given away most of the furniture.
To brighten the place up we have all of our presents around the 'mother in laws' tongue' plant and our coffee table and tv stand are cardboard boxes covered in wrapping paper.
My office is quite low to the ground now and our bed is also at floor level.
The strange thing is it is all rather lovely and all that we need.
Daz is inspired by the whole thing and thinks that we will never need proper furniture again.  Good for the budget too!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

New additions to the family

Just doing a quick update as we have two newish family members, who are both about three months old.
Max is Darren's third cousin we think, as he is Lauren's son and Lauren is Darren's cousin's daughter. Does that make sense?
The next one is far more straightforward forward, as my sister Elaine has got a kitten called Monty.
Very disappointingly, I find I did not take a photo of him, but instead took one of Elaine's home made yule log.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Daz wins awards at his own leaving do

Great night last night. Went to Anne's for a get together with the squash girls with mulled wine and mince pies. They gave me a lovely card that was hand made by Julie.
Then it was straight on to the Bunkers Hill where Daz was having his leaving do, complete with a performance by Gareth's band.
Patrick presented him with a fantastic card that contained a few surprises!
I didn't even know that Wiggle had nominated him as their best browser during working hours, but he is also a 'cake expert' and even more astonishing 'never actually at work'.
Not quite true yet, but it will be after next Friday.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Happy birthday to me for yesterday

Had a good night out last night with Elaine and Mark at Debsch Persian restaurant.
We arrived at about 8pm and the chef seemed to be on his own. He told us he had cooked 30 portions of food today and it was all already accounted for. However, as we had been before he said he could put something together for us for both starter and main courses.
Not sure what it all was, or where he found it, but it was fantastic! Very lamb and aubergenie.
I think choosing your own food is over-rated now.
Ps, 51 and a day today - how time flies.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wish I had a car today

Cycled up to Trentpac to collect some bubble wrap for our forthcoming move.
I knew they only sold it in bulk, but I had no idea how much bulk that would involve!
The idea was that I would tie it with the string on to my luggage rack and cycle the four miles home.
In reality, I managed to tie it to my bike, but there was no room for me so I had to push it, and every time I went round a corner it tried to fall off.
Oh well, it could have been worse, it could have started pouring with rain about five minutes after I took this photo.
Oh, it did!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Mixed Masters Notts Badminton Tournament

Having a lovely time this afternoon at the Albert Hall watching the great Nottinghamshire badminton stars, along with other England players, past and present.
Don't know how we managed it but we have front row seats and a fantastic view.
Nathan Robertson, Anthony Clark, Chris Adcock and Peter Mills played first and then Anthony played with Donna Kellogg.
Had a chat with her afterwards and I told her how i always copy her warm up routine after watching her years ago at the All England.
She seemed impressed but Daz rolled about laughing and said i am the laziest warmer upper he has ever seen, so maybe it's not that similar.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Cars at the Good Food Show

Had a lovely day out today in Birmingham. Elaine picked me up and I was surprised her car was a burgundy colour but didn't think much of it.
Driving along she was surprised to find a sixth gear in her car so she tried it out. Turns out she has swapped her old car for a lovely new one.
Great show and enjoyed watching James Martin who also turned up on the stage in his new little car. It was that tiny, and he was quite large that his only way to get out of it was to lean out, tip the car sideways and crawl out.
Interesting recipes from him, also saw the whole Masterchef crew of John, Greg and Monica. Andi Peters from Blue Peter and various others from various tv shows.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Declan's birthday

My great nephew (how old am I) is one today so my mum and dad hosted a little party for him at their house.
He particularly enjoyed the trifle and blew out the candle on his cake with a bit of help from his mum.
He was given a little drum and stick as a present and he soon started mixing up the drum with his trifle bowl so kept tipping it upside down and really thumping it hard.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Wet tram crawl

Margs and Dave are here for the weekend and we have been out for a pub crawl on the tram route.
Started at a the Fox and Crown in Basford and had a Thai lunch and then went up to a crazy place in Hucknall that had no customers, no furniture but surprisingly had the lampshades that M and D want in their new lounge.
We then found the William Peveral in Bulwell, which was a Wetherspoons and a bit boring.
On to Hyson Green and tried the Horse and Groom and The Lion. Both were great real ales places with a lovely atmosphere.
The Frog and Onion lost out as they had no beers on and no food. They said we turned up at the wrong time, which is strange for a Saturday night!
Followed up with The Gooseberry Bush, Langtry's and the burger bar.
Stopped raining at last at about 9pm.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas lights switch on

Exciting night tonight in the Market Square. It was the Christmas lights switch on by Richard Whitehead, the runner from the Para-Olympics who we saw win a gold medal.
Unfortunately we didn't quite see that bit, but we saw the fireworks out of our windows and then went down to watch Mike's kids perform in the orchestra at the Council House.
Ps, and have new technology now so am taking photos on my camera and then loading them on my tablet - fancy or what!