Friday, 30 September 2011

A week of naughtiness.

I have been a bad Fat Fighter this week and will be paying for it when I visit the gym on Sunday (Saturday will also be naughty - already planned). I've been very busy this week and I've not cooked anything.

The first naughtiness of the week was on Tuesday evening when I headed down to London to visit my 'Science Mum', Kristen for a catch up and advice. I stopped by her pad for a couple of beers and a chat before we headed out and met her cat, Carl, who I had not seen for about 8 years. He was like me and had not been to Slimming World for a couple of months....

I love him. 

We headed out to a local Tapas restaurant where Kristen is a regular and she treated me to some amazing food and wine. Here we are sipping on our after dinner liqueurs.


Excellent company, superb advice and delicious food!

The next day I had some exciting news. I'm going over to Princeton, New Jersey a week on Saturday to decide whether to accept a job over there. Naturally, we were too excited to cook so we went to a local pub for pizza and a beer. That was wednesday.

Last night, all the girls of Jen's family met up at another local pub, The Thornhill Arms in Rushden for yummy food and a couple of beers...


Being in 'healthy mode' I chose the lightest meal on the menu....

At least I ate my peas.

And today I had an email from a US immigration lawyer informing me that it's possible that Jen will able to come over to the US with me if I accept the job. Once again, we had to celebrate this lovely fact and Jen treated me to dinner. I chose the healthiest meal on the menu, a full rack of ribs and a large glass of wine. I figured the salad would have too much dressing on it.

At least I ate the corn on the cob. Jen chose the 'healthy' option too...


Due to the Indian Summer in the UK, we're heading to the beach tomorrow (in October?!)....fish and chips? It would be rude not to.

Mumma A, I will hit the gym all of next week and be syn free. I promise!! (crosses heart)






Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bush Bashing.

Today we headed 2 minutes down the road to the Brigstock Beer Festival. I was in heaven. A whole room of local ales for £2.50 a pint. Bloody bargain.

Jen did not appreciate the local brewing capabilities and opted for a bottle of dirty french lager much to my disgust.

The hog roast was delicious but the music was something that would kill brain cells.





After 3 or 4 pints of the local ales I was beginning to feel rather merry and the music sounded excellent in my mind.

We even thought it was a fantastic idea to 'adopt a footpath'. 

What a pair of idiots. We 'adopted' the longest route and we now have to patrol it every now and then to monitor rubbish levels and dog shit. Damn you beer.

After all the ale had been consumed at the festival we thought it was a good idea to drink some more and headed over to the local pub. We came across the shooting party who had been out hunting for pheasants earlier that day.

We signed ourselves up to go 'bush bashing' next saturday. I'm not sure what that really means but I can't wait.

Brother John, if you read this I need to borrow your posh countryman clothes and bush beater.

Thank you.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Innsbruck.

Hallo! Wie geht es dir?! To be honest my most useful German phrase this past week has been 'ein bier bitte'. We arrived in Innsbruck on Monday afternoon. The spectacular views I had read about did not exist as this is what we saw upon arrival....


I was not impressed. The next morning however, I was super impressed.


This was the view from the conference centre. I spent a LOT of time at the conference centre so didn't see much of the city. We did manage to sneak away one afternoon and head to the very top of that mountain in the picture above. It involved a train, 2 cable cars and a bit of hiking in our work clothes.

The cable cars were small and cramped and quite wobbly at times but we all did nervous smiles for the pic...


First stop up the mountain and the views were lovely...


The next view was after another cable car right to the top. We dared each other to get as close to the edge as possible. This was Jon's attempt.


This was mine.


I think Jon won. Work shoes aren't the most grippiest of shoes and I'm a wimp. I held a man's hand on the plane over there. I even grabbed his thigh because the turbulence was quite rough and I was scared so the above pic is quite some feat!

I had to present a poster and do a presentation in front of about 200 people and afterwards we sampled the fine ales of Innsbruck multiple times.



x10.

On the final day of the conference my hangover was a little above average and I took a walk to clear the cobwebs. I passed the beer cellar that had assisted in my hungover state whilst eating a pretzel and swore at the door.


Damn you amazing beer cellar. Damn you.


I headed to the last session of the conference and admired the view once more whilst drinking some iced tea and eating my hangover pretzel.


Cultural photo - not sure what it is but everyone took a pic of it so I figured it's famous.



We had to fly out of Munich and we were all sad that we couldn't have a stop over in the city because for the next couple weeks it's October Fest. All we saw of the festival were thousands of Germans wearing Leder Hosen in the train station.



Lovely time away but pleased to be back. Jen LOVES my free conference bag and has worn it all day long. She is odd.


I announced to Jen this morning/after our lunchtime pint that I am having a detox week. She then informed me that there is a beer festival with hog roast in our village hall tomorrow. Detox will therefore begin on Sunday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

Last week I was stupidly busy at work and next week I'm going to be even busier. I'm presenting at a conference in Innsbruck and have been packing my suitcase downstairs whilst Jen has been telling me what to pack. I've packed lightly so that I can fill it with Austrian beer.  I don't think Cleo wants me to leave.

Either that or she wants to come and sample some Austrian beer with me. And learn all about science of course.

Whilst I was packing our mate AnnMarie came over to do some DIY for us. Both myself and Jen don't even know how to use a hammer so AnnMarie sorted out a few bits and bobs. I drank wine whilst I watched her do all the hard work. It's a tough life.

Jen says she'll miss me when I'm away next week but I secretly think she's looking forward to it, the reason being is that she is allowed to cook stinky yukky fish all week. She's already bought swordfish steak for her meal tomorrow.

Gross.

I'm going to bed early because I'm up at 4.30am to catch my flight. Not amused.

Auf wierdersehen!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Castle.

Today I was a little bit lost. I didn't know what to do with myself and did not want to spend the day doing nothing...

when suddenly I found what I was looking for.

ROCKINGHAM CASTLE!!!!!! OMFG I was so excited! '900 years of living history' on our doorstep!! Jen was also thrilled by the idea!

Especially when I told her it was £9 to get in to the castle and grounds!

'You can't put a price on history Jeni Smith', said I as we rocked on up to Rockingham castle and took her money off her.

The man at the gate also agreed with me and happily posed for my super excited picture.

A smile began to creep across Jen's face when we parked up and saw a man with the highest waist band we've ever seen in our lives. 

Super awesome. As was the castle which was built almost 1000 years ago by William the Conqueror's dudes.

We hopped over a fence and explored the gardens.

I found a comfortable bench. Given the amount of food and alcohol I have consumed this past week (thank you Flow Cytometry course for your hospitality (full English, steak, beer battered prawns, curry, many bottles of wine, McDonalds etc)) I would have broken the bench had it not been smashed up already.

The grounds were just lovely and we thought it would be an opportune moment to take a picture of the two of us for the mantlepiece. It was also rather windy.

Excellent. 

There were a lot of signs in the grounds telling you not to pick flowers, not to step on the grass and not to fall over.

Jen allowed me to use her posh camera and after she had popped in all the settings, I took this pic of her on the 'slippery' steps.

She showed me how it was done properly and in focus....

I text Mother to let her know I was being cultural and she informed me by way of picture message that I had in fact, visited this castle 20 years earlier. My Dad had not discovered T-shirts back in the 80's.


20 years later and I haven't changed that much. I still wear awesome shorts and I'm still better than my brother.

We weren't allowed to take pictures in the castle much to our disappointment. There were a lot of men wearing high waist bands and a lot of spooky looking rooms. We did however, manage to get a picture of me sitting on a 16th century crapper and accompanying sink.

The trip to the castle turned out to be a fun day out and Jen enjoyed taking a million photos of details I didn't even spot. I was too busy prancing about and sitting on toilets. Good thing she was there.

She's blogged about it on her site which you can find here!

After our trip to the castle we took the 2 minute drive to Rockingham village and stopped for pint of Guinness at the Sondes Arms. Jen cheered up all of a sudden.


Lovely pint, lovely day out and ready for the week ahead. 

Game on.
 
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