tonymorel: (Default)
blogs hey, they're brilliant!

I must admit (much to my shame) that when it comes to local elections I know bugger all. I'm not really sure what the councillors do (or are supposed to do) or how you go about contacting them. The most I ever do is use to leave a message for Gisela Stuart who apparently is my MP.

After spending the afternoon Googling (yeah, I'm still harping on about the river access campaign) I came across the names of one or two candidates for Thursdays elections and eventually landed on their blogs.

Now, I know that their blogs will be carefully stage managed, and entries will be read and reread before posting (unlike my drunken entries) but it's still good to get a better look at these people.

So far, I've only got two worth reading - Rod Dungate and Deirdre Alden but I'm sure I'll be adding to the list as I track more of the critters down.
tonymorel: (Default)
It had taken 8 years, but I finally managed to catch up with Becky for lunch.
I figured as I'd waited this long, I better make the most of it and so we went to Purnells on Cornwall Street - a few roads back from Colmore Row if you know this bit of Brum, and a bit of a coincidence, it's opposite the office where I met her a decade previously.
Anyway, on with the good stuff, the food...

  • Cucumber mousse - chili oil butter

  • Poached egg yolk - smoked haddock milk foam - cornflakes - curry oil

  • Goats' cheese jelly - shallots - chive oil - marinated shallots - crispy sticks

  • Salad of Devonshire crab - apple - celeriac - smoked paprika honeycomb

  • Brill - coconut milk - truffle - salsify - potato terrine - Savoy cabbage

  • Classically roasted tail fillet of beef - liquorice charcoal - purple potatoes - Jerusalem artichoke purée - malt vinegar black pepper

  • Lemon and honey parfait - Griottines - thyme ice cream - ginger biscuits

  • Warm dark chocolate mousse - chocolate crisp - mango sorbet - mango leather - passion fruit jelly

  • Hand made chocolates and candy - coffee
All in all, a most amazing gastronomical delight, although nine courses for lunch took a bit of getting used to :)
tonymorel: (Default)

tonymorel: (Default)
It was a Saturday night and we didn't have a reservation, which judging by the waitress's expression wasn't a good way to start the evening.
We were shuffled into the corner by the bar while they tried to make room for us, but before we had even taken our coats off they had cleaned and relaid a vacant table and we were being escorted upstairs - can't complain at all about the wait.

The waitress had returned with our drinks in an infeasibly short time but there was no rush from her for us to open the menu let alone make a decision - which was handy as when we did we were confronted with an excellent selection.

We did have a bit of a language problem as I was the only English person in my group so I was having to relay messages between my two French and one New Yorker friends and the poor stressed out waitress so I was actually fairly surprised that only one dish failed to arrive as ordered.

With the exception of one meal, all the other main dishes were excellent, large portions, exceptionally well presented and extremely scrummy tasting.
The one that didn't hit the spot can't really be complained about either. I thought it was spot on, my friend from New York found it a bit mild tasting and the young lady from France who had actually ordered it found it too spicy to be able to eat - although the waitress was quick enough to provide extra rice so she could fish out the prawns and mushrooms and leave the "fire water" as we roughly translated it.

When the bill arrived at the end of the evening I had to double check everything as I was that sure that something had been missed off. Granted, I do have a habit of eating at obscenely expensive places, but even so, The Thai Orchid seemed really great value for money.

The only thing I wish had been different was how little the waitress smiled, which wasn't even once, but then as I said, it was a busy Saturday night and she really was rushed off her feet.

Definitely a place worth returning to.
tonymorel: (Default)
Well that was a most enjoyable few days.

Estelle's sister Sophie was over from France visiting, and LadyJack had made the trek from across the pond, so my tiny little flat was rather crowded.

Friday started by a visit to Estelles office and an introduction to her work mates, followed by the pub :)

Eventually I got a call to say Jackie had arrived at my flat, so I popped home to collect her and headed back to the pub (bet you can't guess what the common theme of the weekend was)

After forgetting that I'm not 17 any more, and downing a bottle of Magners in one, we headed off for Chinese food before crawling home.

As my wonky sleep pattern had been pretty bad all week, there didn't seem much point me taking up valuable bed space, so Sophie shared the main bedroom with Estelle, and Jackie had the spare bed while I was on the sofa.

It was probably the right decision as the two jet setting travelers were rather tired, Sophie seemed to really struggle to stay awake, and Jackie had something like 96hrs of sleep to catch up on.

Saturday consisted of myself and Jackie meeting Lin/Leo/Rob for a trip to the pub, while Estelle took Sophie to see Oxford and then we met up again on the evening before going out for a Thai meal. My food was really good, but they screwed up Sophie and Jackies orders :(

Despite being rather shattered, we said goodbye to Jackie early Sunday morning and then headed off to Warwick Castle for a day of mediavel fun :)
Yet again Sophie's order got messed up, this time mistaking fish for meatballs and spaghetti.

In the evening, as we hadn't been for ages, it was suggested we go to the pub for a few drinks with some of Estelles friends again, and then after that we dragged ourselves home for cake and DVDs (Estelle bakes the most delicious almond cake)

Unfortunately, during the movie, I somehow got an eyelash caught under the lid, the rubbing of which caused my eyes to look red and puffy, which, to the untrained eye may have appeared to look similar to Estelle and Sophie, who, being rather pathetic girlies, had been crying all the way thru "The Notebook"

This morning I was dragged kicking and screaming to have eggs benedict for brunch, before taking Sophie to the airport and waving goodbye.
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So, what's all the talk of volunteer work I hear you ask?

The Waterway Recovery Group

The WRG is a voluntary organisation who - along with local councils, the enviromental agency, Inland Waterways Association and anyone else foolish to get involed - are helping to restore Britain's canal network.

Concentrating primarily on the derelict canals, they run both weekend and multi week camps to try and return our canal network back to its former glory.

I've always loved the canal network, and if I'm not kayaking down them, then - as Lin & Leo will testify - I'm happy to go a traipsing down the towpath stopping off at the various pubs and teahouses that you find around here so I figure it's only fair that I put something back.

It's heartbreaking to see the state that they canals have been left to fall into, not to mention they are seen by many as a dumping ground for rubbish, someone has to make sure they're still around in a state good enough for others to love them to.
tonymorel: (Default)
Hmmmm Del Camino the salsa band along with LatinMotion DJs are on at the JamHouse tonight.
Anyone interested?


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Tony Morel

February 2011

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