Monday, June 30, 2008

Mr K-E's Cruise

A few days ago, Mr K-E and a few friends went cruising on the River Medway in Kent. One of his friends has a cabin cruiser which sleeps 4 people and they spent a nice afternoon cruising followed by an evening in the pub.

They had to negotiate a series of locks on the way. According to Mr K-E, it's quite hard work dealing with the locks because you have to open the paddles to let the water through the lock gate.

Then once the water levels have equalised, you push against the big timber arms to open the gates. You really need to put all your weight into opening the gates.

One person needs to stay on the boat to keep it steady because it's very turbulent in the lock when the water is pouring in.

This got more and more complicated as the afternoon went on and they drank more and more beer.....

Most of the way there are no roads nearby, so it was peaceful countryside. They didn't pass another boat all the way.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Barcelona, June 2008 : Food

I have finally had a chance to sort through the Barcelona photos and I will upload them over the next few days. Here are some photos of the food we ate in Barcelona.

This was our typical breakfast. Cappuccinos, toasted cheese and ham sandwich for Mr K-E and ham baguette for me.

We could have had a buffet breakfast at our hotel, but it was 16Euros each. A bit steep, especially as the Euro is now 1.23 to the pound.

So we decided to have a small breakfast and big lunch instead.

We had paella for lunch one day. It's the classic Spanish dish: rice cooked in seafood stock with mixed seafood. The yellow colour is from saffron, I think.

I liked it, but the seafood taste was a bit too strong for Mr K-E.

We had lunch at this tapas bar. Look at all the hams!!

The tapas is lined up on the bar, little snacks eg bread and cheese and ham held together with toothpicks. When you have finished, they count up your toothpicks.

Once when we were lazy, we had Spanish fast food hahaha. Just as greasy and fattening as fast food everywhere else.

Bread with tomatoes and garlic
Patatas Bravas (Potatoes with a spicy sauce)
Bacallao (Salt Cod) Fritters
Small Fish

Lunch took ages. I am not exaggerating when I say we took more than 2 hours to have lunch. Everyone just seems to take their time...except for us impatient tourists.

After that, dessert. Mr K-E had Creme Catalan which is the Spanish version of Creme Brulee.

I had something called "apostles sweet" which were crisp pastry rolls filled with custard and sprinkled with icing sugar. You also get a small jug of warm chocolate sauce to pour over....yum yum.

We had dinner at this trendy restaurant. People eat dinner late in Spain... it was 10:30 when we were seated. You could see people arriving and meeting their friends for dinner at 11:30!

The food was lovely and the cava was delicious.

(Cava is Spanish version of champagne...)

For dessert, we shared a cinnamon bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream.

It was the first time I have had cinnamon icecream, it tasted really good.

And last but not holiday would be complete without lots of icecream.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Barcelona, Baby!

Barcelona was great :) We had a great time and I will post some photos once we have had a chance to sort them out.

There was so much to see and do that I didn't even get a chance to look in any shops. Yep, I just walked past Mango, Zara and *sob* even Loewe. Although I did manage a sneaky peek in duty free before we flew home but the selection was tiny. Probably a good thing, I don't think I really need another handbag hahahaha.

Things we did
  • Saw lots of interesting architecture (this was the highlight for me)
  • Ate like dinner at midnight like proper Catalans
  • Ordered random it meat? is it seafood? Enjoying the surprise when it arrives...
  • Wandered through the Gothic Quarter
  • Explored the Olympic Park Area and the castle on the hilltop
  • Wandered along the beach
  • Went to L'Aquarium and enjoyed the breeze in the harbour area
We walked miles everyday and I am still exhausted!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Going Away

I'm glad I enjoyed the quiet time at work without getting paranoid because suddenly it seems that work is landing on me from all directions...oh well, back to normal.

Tomorrow I am heading to Barcelona for a long weekend, boy, am I looking forward to it. As usual, my husband, Mr Last-Minute, is "busy" sorting out all his toys eg camera, chargers, packing etc.

We booked a taxi to take us to Gatwick and it costs £39 now! I guess all the taxi fares have gone up because the petrol prices are going crazy. It's worth it...I don't fancy dragging my suitcase to the train station at 6am.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another Sunday night

Is it Sunday night already? What exciting happenings have going on in the K-E household?

  • Mr K-E got completely smashed at a wine-tasting event at his work. Well, it wasn't so much the wine tasting but the beer afterwards...
  • ...and the next day his parents came to stay for a night. So I had to do all the tidying up; I wasn't impressed!
  • Big Brother has started again, which means Mr K-E hogs the TV from 9pm onwards every night. This will last for a couple of weeks until he gets bored of the idiot contestants.
  • We went to a friend's housewarming/birthday party yesterday. It was a barbeque so we were mainly outside all afternoon. There was a stack of cupcakes inside, which I didn't realise was the "birthday cake" and the letters actually spelt out a birthday message. So I ate one....hey, it's cake... I couldn't resist.
Will the excitement never end?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rib Roast

I often see people buying beef "rib roasts" at our local butcher and I have always wanted to try them, but they are huge racks of 5 or 6 ribs. That's just too much for me and Mr K-E to eat, even in one week of leftovers, so I normally just buy a chicken or lamb chops.

Yesterday I was at the butchers and I thought - sod it, I'll just ask them to cut me one rib. The butchers did it, no problem, but one rib is still enormous.

Hahahaha, Mr K-E was a bit worried when he saw the size of it!

During the bad-old BSE (mad cow disease) days, beef sold on the bone was banned; now rib roasts, oxtails etc are back, yum yum.

We are lucky to have a really good local butcher; the shop is really popular and you usually have to queue for about half an hour on Saturday. This is considering there are 9 butchers serving customers as fast as they can. Anyway, while I was waiting patiently in line, there was a couple behind me and the bloke was moaning about the queue. He said, "Why is there such a queue? I've been waiting 15 minutes already, the meat is good but it's not that good ...etc ..."

I just thought, what an idiot. Why are you here then? If you don't think the meat is worth it, go to the supermarket down the road!

Rib roast with potatoes, parsnips, broccoli, gravy and a blob of horseradish sauce. Yum yum. The fat keeps the meat really juicy and tender while it cooks; and then you can trim it off once it has done its job.