The final test

Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through a number of tests for various cancers and I completed my final test this morning with my first jolly mammogram.

Probably the least fun of the lot, it involved going all the way to Canary Wharf in pouring rain in order to be sandwiched, squashed and scanned in a brisk fifteen minute appointment.

Results are due in a couple of weeks and then all being well with brain, blood, boobs, heart and bowel, I should be good to go!

Count down to Summer

In the next two weeks we will embark on our relocation to France for the summer! It’s a mammoth exercise in planning with dog travel and paperwork, the exorbitant dog taxi and flights back to the UK for work and family commitments over the next three months.

We had almost everything sorted but realised our cunning plan of a French passport for Agnes was scuppered by the French authorities and she was going to have to get the dreaded post-Brexit Animal Health Certificate which costs a fortune and is a massive pain in the arse.

At least we realised before we made it down to Folkestone where we would have been turned away, our faces downcast and our tails down.

So roll on June 2nd, we’re even missing the Jubilee for this!

All hail the Mighty Chickpea!

I have always been a fan of the humble chickpea as a life long devotee of humous but things have suddenly moved to another level.

This week I made Socca for the first time and discovered an easy and delicious flatbread but so much more. We know Socca from Nice where it’s sold on the Cours de Saleya in large warm triangles wrapped in paper and liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper. Delicious!

I decided to have a go and whilst my version was a little thin, I’m having a second attempt today as it was all eaten immediately.

My other Chickpea success story were baked falafels which I made for the first time. With garlic, fresh herbs and soaked chickpeas, this recipe was incredibly simple, cheap and much more delicious than the hard, dry dog turds we get from our local shop.

Next on my list, the holy grail of humous. I’ve tried it before without success. It’s time to try again…

West Bay and Friends

Last weekend we spent a delightful weekend in West Bay (Dorset) in the company of old friends.

We enjoyed some of the best weather (and a little of the worst) which was perfectly combined with pottering around antique shops, eating delicious food, getting a little sunburned and generally catching up, talking and laughing.

It doesn’t get better than that!

Shedgate

After several months of faffing around talking about a small brick shed which adjoins our kitchen, I asked the direct question of our prospective buyers, were they buying a flat or a brick shithouse?

Of course, this being London even a tiny brick shed is premium property which could house an entire family of Ukrainians but in this case, it’s simply an old garden shed which will never be demised as part of our property for that very reason.

Anyway, that seems to have done the job as we are now making progress and provided the lease extension gets done soon (having taken at least seven years) we should be in a position to make our epic move three flats along.

As always, if it’s meant to be and all that. It all makes sense on paper and hopefully it’s a good decision emotionally. More to come soon…

The blue corduroy jacket

Last week I met a man wearing a blue corduroy jacket. He was standing outside a pub with a small dog in tow, and already had a glass in his hand (the man that is). Some things never change!

It was, of course, the same chap I met, at the same pub, ten years ago. We decided to celebrate a decade together by taking a trip down memory lane.

After dinner we walked across Primrose Hill as the light was fading. In early May, it’s a lovely time of year with the freshest, greenest young grass and new leaves.

We ended up walking home through St John’s Wood chatting as we went and sat in our large communal garden as evening turned to night and our reminiscing came to an end.

Ten years later and we still have plenty to talk and laugh about and it turns out it wasn’t such a bad decision to go and meet the one in the blue corduroy jacket!

Here’s to the next ten!