Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Weymouth

Sunday, September 29th, 2019 | Friends, Travel

It has been a few years since our last group trip. Venla did come to Anglesey, but only in utero. As such, we were long overdue for a getaway. I fancied doing IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth, so it seemed like an excellent opportunity to combine the two.

Our accommodation was a The Bakehouse, ideally situated near the pavilion with the beach one hundred metres away on one side and the quay even closer on the other.

The weather was sunny for the first few days, and we hit the beach several times. We walked up to Nothe Fort and explored the museum.

Saturday included Weymouth parkrun, and a BBQ and Sunday was taken up by IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth. The second half of the week was rather wetter. It rained throughout the race.
As a result, on Sunday, we headed to the Sealife Centre. This seemed like a nice, dry, inside activity. But not in Weymouth. Most of their exhibits were outside, including the penguins, seals and Venla’s personal favourite: the scary duck. We were rather glad to get home and dry.

Most of all, though, we just hung out. It was a great opportunity to spend a week with friends.

Jimbob in Leeds

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 | Friends

It’s not often that we have an eminent doctor of chemistry visiting Leeds. But earlier this month we were graced with James and Meg dropping by for a wedding.

This is one of the few occasions where we would deliberately want to eat British. So, we hit George’s. They put candy floss on everything, and the food was generally acceptable but mediocre.

We also hit Blackhouse for Sunday lunch. My beef roast was so bad I had to send it back. But they did replace it with a much better one and took it off the bill. I’ll happily go back but stick to a classic steak next time.

We forgot to take a picture, so here is a stock image…

New Year’s Eve 2018

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 | Friends

We saw out 2018 and welcomed in 2019 with our traditional house party. This year, Elina, Venla and I were joined by Chris & Cara, Chris, Kristo, Michelle and Mike.

And oh how we partied. I didn’t get to bed until 4am. So much so, that I had to miss the first Parkrun of New Year’s Day. Luckily, having gotten out of bed at 10am, I did manage to swing my Armley Parkrun to complete the second.

Chris & Cara’s wedding

Friday, June 29th, 2018 | Friends

Congratulations to Cara & Chris for tying the knot yesterday.

The bylaws of our stringers club only allow married couples, so it’s great that we can finally accept their membership application.

Four things we learnt from Nick’s 40th birthday party

Saturday, February 17th, 2018 | Friends

Earlier this month we trekked down to Huddersfield for a surprise party of my friend, and former boss, Nick. Here are four things we learnt…

Karaoke bands are a thing

You can have a band that turn up and play backing music while you sing along to lyrics from an iPad mounted on a mic stand. What an awesome idea.

A great find by party organiser Lee-Anne. She booked them after being impressed by a gig they did in Manchester. And had the heart to stick with them even after they politely told her that they have never played in Manchester and she must be confusing them with a different band.

Star Wars-themed does not automatically mean fancy dress

In my defence, I was assuming Elina would choose the white robe outfit. It was 100% her that assumed I would want her to go in a golden bikini. Which is not true, because finding a Jabba the Hutt costume is both expensive and difficult.

Venla likes to fight stormtroopers

Especially if they are inflatable and easy to push over.

John Smith’s Stadium is quite nice

Everyone knows that you burn calories just by being in a sports venue, even if you are just there to consume alcohol, buffet food and some kind of delicious chocolate ganache tartlet.

New Year’s Eve 2017

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 | Friends

We rang in the new year with our customary house party. Our 10th annual one, as it happens.

I don’t have a group picture this year. I didn’t have one for the Manchester trip, either. All of this living in the moment nonsense is really damaging the quality of my blog. I knew that trying to enjoy life was going to end badly, one way or another.

This year, the three of us were joined by Norman, Chris, Cara, Lauren, Gabriele, Tim and Kearny.

Last year, we made a series of predictions for the year ahead. Most of them we were incorrect about. But a good ones: there was a general election (Cara) and the Patriots did win the Super Bowl (Norman). We’ve now made a fresh set for 2018.

Trip to Manchester

Sunday, January 7th, 2018 | Friends

On the last Saturday of 2017, we headed over to Manchester to see Michelle. She was stopping there on her way back to China. I don’t have a photo from the event, so here is a stock image.

It went well. The trains ran on time and Venla was reasonably well behaved. She had a lot of fun shuffling around Manchester Piccadilly station but was not a happy baby when I told her shuffling time was over.

Most of all, it’s nice to spend time with old friends and that while life circumstances and locations may change, the things you love about each other never do.

We had lunch at a place called LEAF. It was very good; recommended if you’re in the area.

Christmas Eve Eve Eve

Friday, December 29th, 2017 | Friends

To celebrate Christmas Eve Eve Eve, we got together with the Sheridans for a meal.

It was interesting to see Venla interacting with Kearny. They didn’t really play together because they are still too young for that. However, they did spark off each other. There was a lot of squealing and looking at each other.

My brioche turned out quite well. A little overbaked due to running around after Venla, but otherwise fine.

New Year’s Eve 2016

Thursday, January 5th, 2017 | Friends

It is hard to believe that this is the 9th year we have run a New Year’s Eve party. Luckily, the new additions to the circle have not detracted from the atmosphere. As ever, it was a pleasure to catch up with friends: new and old, near and far. It even featured a Skype call from Dr Murray who is beavering away with research projects in South Korea.

The food was popular. It appeared that we would have too much of it when we first started. However, by the end of the evening, a valiant attempt had been made to get through it all. There were plenty of desserts left over. This has worked out well: we’re still eating most of the cake people brought.

Despite the party going on until just after 3am, I still managed to make it up in time for the New Year’s Day Parkrun. The benefits of having a human alarm clock. NYD is a special day in the Parkrun calendar: it is the only day when you are allowed to compete in multiple events. Because of this, Leeds stagger their runs: 9am for Woodhouse Moor and 10:30 for Temple Newsam.

That represents my 98th and 99th Parkrun: next week, the big 100.

After that it was onwards to Miller & Carter for recovery steak. There I immediately piled into my body all of the calories I had just burned off. Venla was less happy here: a new year’s hangover will do that to a baby.

Next year is our tenth anniversary, and I have something rather special planned…

Gabriele’s birthday

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 | Friends

tgi-fridays

Do not tell TGI Friday’s know it is your birthday. They will make a lot of noise.