Archive for the ‘house’ Tag

DT #320, 16 November 2014 (Malmesbury Westport)   1 comment

Malmesbury Westport

Busy week ahead:
After the weekend just passed
Work will be a breeze.

Name: Malmesbury Westport
Type: porter
Recipe: Untied a rolled pork loin roast and rubbed with cumin, oregano, and paprika then stuffed it with full strength red chilli slices and garlic before rerolling and covering with more chillies, garlic, and lemon grass. Wrapped tightly in four layers of foil, the roast was dumped in a 120 C oven for 8 hours to be finished or charred on the BBQ.

Boiled some potatoes then smashed with butter, salt, pepper, and parmigiano reggiano.

Made a chinese style slaw of shredded cabbage, grated carrot and celery with coriander (cilantro), rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, seeded and de-membraned chillies, and yoghurt.

Venue: Hop Inn, Swindon

Review/notes: While the food cooked or infused, I tidied the rough cut of the carpet in the Drunken Bunny Pub, tacked down the edges, and started moving the furnishings about.

The Public Bar/Dining Room lost the Singapore buffet and gained our minimalist bar and a tall bookcase for a net gain of about four square feet but with the move of the table away from the window seems much greater increase.

The living room is such an odd shape and so cavernous that the shift of the heavy-but-low sideboard/buffet into it (and the tall shelves out) that we doubted the wisdom of the move but it opens a lot of wall space for our far-too-many pictures to go up.

So…nearly a year in we may be getting the ground floor in order.

The porter was spectacular — dark coffee and chocolate and bitter and tart and a perfect break in the midst of the day’s activities.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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DT #319, 15 November 2014 (Petit Monde French Red)   9 comments

Petit Monde French Red table wine

 

“Salaam alaikum.
Is this a muslim household?”
No, have a nice night.

Name: Petit Monde French Red table wine
Type: red wine
Venue: house, in the new ‘pub room’

Review/notes: The doorbell rang and I found four young men dressed for mosque and carrying a list of neighbourhood folk with likely names (our predecessors in this house as well as the landlord are Iranian).  Tempted to invite them in for tea I thought better of it not for the sake of the open bottle of wine but more for the disarray the dining and living rooms were in.

We got a carpet remnant that looks like it came from a pub refurbishment which, in fact, it had.  Hard wearing, plush and meant to hide stains from spilt beverages, vomit, or folks that wee themselves as they lean against the bar, we roughed it out to fit the dining room and started rearranging the space so that we could fit our bar in there.  It is now, unofficially, the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny pub…complete with bar cat:

Edie on the Pub carpet

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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DT #312, 8 November 2014 (Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon)   Leave a comment

Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon

A rainy day spent
Installing insulation
And draught excluders.

Name: Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: The Victorian house is mostly single glazed which makes it even more critical that we make it less porous as the winter sets in.  I was at the DIY place at 8 and spent the morning chasing air gaps but the house is noticeably warmer without the heat turned on.  It is quieter, too.

Did a quick shop down at the new supermarket where I also grabbed a bite of lunch (Chippy Challenge #110), then put on the supper and headed out into the squalls for a minimalist run of just under 40 minutes.  Returning to find the bird done already, I took a glass of wine to the bath and awaited the spousal unit’s return from work.  Saturday’s can be awesome.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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Posted 2014/11/08 by Drunken Bunny in Daily Haiku, Daily Tipple, house, wine

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DT #103, 13 April 2014 (Grey Fox Grenache Rosé)   1 comment

Grey Fox Grenache Rose

Hipster Neighbour Bob
Anticipating Greek heat
Paints his shed bright blue.

Name: Grey Fox Grenache Rosé
Type: rosé wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: We gardened a bit today and had a brief encounter with our neighbour as he put the brightest Aegean blue on the trim of his shed.  “Time to break out the bouzouki music,” I offered to which he replied, “I have a bouzouki, in fact, and know how to play it.”  I hope he is as good as his word.

Already had the Magner’s pear, but it was a lovely day out:

magner's pear in the garden

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

 

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
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DT #064, 5 Mar 2014 (Inycon Pinot Grigio)   Leave a comment

Inycon Pinot Grigio

This is refreshing:
There’s a creepy guy at work
And, it isn’t me.

Name: Inycon Pinot Grigio
Type: white wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: Dry enough, good fruit, and a bit of citrus: just like I like (and the wine is good, too).  Oh, and spotted a new graffito on the run today (below).

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February

graffito near exeter college sport ground

Posted 2014/03/05 by Drunken Bunny in Daily Haiku, Daily Tipple

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DT #051, 20 Feb 2014 (Tesco Finest Tempranillo)   Leave a comment

Tesco Tempranillo

Moving furniture.
Waiting is the hardest part.
Patience, my pet.

Name: Tesco Finest Tempranillo
Type: red wine
Venue: house in Eastcott

Review/notes: We are down to two plates, two wine glasses, two sets of flatware, etc.  Everything else except the big stuff is at the palace in Old Town.  Looking forward to the movers but it’s nice to be in such an empty house, too.  Had a coupon for Tesco Finest and never tried the T’rillo…better than I expected (no fan of Spanish swill).

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

Posted 2014/02/20 by Drunken Bunny in Daily Haiku, Daily Tipple, house, wine

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DT #047, 16 Feb 2014 (Casa Planeta Nero D’avola Syrah)   2 comments

Casa Planeta Nero D'avola Syrah

Boxes, tomorrow,
Move to their new home and wait
For the furniture.

Name: Casa Planeta Nero D’avola Syrah
Type: red wine
Venue: house in Eastcott night before we get keys to house in Old Town

Review/notes: Good wine with telly in a room full of boxed up books and records.  Exodus begins tomorrow.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

That’s MISTER Boston, to you   5 comments

mr_boston_front

While slowly piecing together our bar, I finally tracked down a reasonably priced hardback edition of Mr. Boston, the guide we each cut our bartending teeth on. Normally, our household drinks menu is pretty spartan: I’ll have two shots of bourbon with 4 ounces club soda or a large single malt (neat, as God intended) in a clean snifter (because I’m ever so dainty and because I like to watch it reflux on the glass); Jackie tends toward V&T (with a slice of lime if it is a special occasion). But, for the rare entertainment opportunity we plan to stock the fixings of beverages for adult drinkers. That said, the prohibition on sweetened carbonated soft drinks (colas) still stands, mind.

It is a good read and a solid piece of reference material to have around. It is especially nice that this one (unlike those I’ve had in the past) is organised around the base liquors: sections on rum, whisky, brandy, vodka, etc. make cocktail roulette with whatever supplies on hand an easier proposition than the alphabetized editions in the past: picture opening to the random page and getting “a Champs Élysée, then…fetch me the brandy, yellow Chartreuse, lemons, confectioners’ sugar, and bitters.” Of special note, modernised recipes give the old ingredients for the possibility of a ‘taste off’ but the booze load is all modern (and, slightly higher than older copies); some, but not all, of the old recipes with raw eggs or egg whites omit them without such mention in this newer edition.

mr_boston_page_12

Page 12, above, was my favourite, so far, at first glance since I misunderstood its instructions. As I initially read it, lunch for four people starts with 24 cocktails (or glasses of wine), then 24 more glasses of wine with the lunch and 16 liqueurs to finish. And, the more people at the gathering, the more each is served: an evening out four 4 people is a very reasonable 64 drinks but if the party is 10 strong, 400 drinks are in order.  Having a couple over for the day would certainly wind up with us in hospital.

It makes me think of the social drinkers I’ve known in the past and…hang on…I may not be so wrong after all.

Posted 2013/11/21 by Drunken Bunny in bars, booze, house

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Burning Excess Vacation Days Cider Fest   Leave a comment

aspall dry suffolk cyder

The employee holiday year ends 30th September and I still have four weeks of vacation and a Bank Holiday to take, so I’m doing a few long weekends and then a couple of whole weeks; but I can’t really afford whole weeks away so we have been doing day trips to nearby attractions (e.g., Gloucester Cathedral and the nearby Dockyards development and Food Festival).  But, the extra time at home means idle hands which I have filled with popular, but not especially challenging, ciders for the past few days (as an exploration for my uninitiated palate).

aspall dry suffolk cyder label

First up was Aspall’s Cyder from Suffolk.  I was already familiar with Aspall’s from our time in East Anglia but the ciders I have tried before were spelled the traditional way and were fairly run-of-the-mill.  Cyder with a ‘y,’ however indicates single variety fruit AND the first pressing of the fruit–it is sort of the difference between extra virgin olive oil and the stuff only fit for frying or using in the bedroom (don’t judge me).  This cyder was crisp and dry and had a depth and range of apple flavours that changed — but didn’t diminish — as the glass warmed over the next half hour or so.

bulmers pear

Pear ciders or perries have become my favourite warm weather tipple, lately.  Mind you, when it is truly hot nothing beats a cheap lager (I’m really partial to Old Style and PBR back home), but when it isn’t too viscous and/or sweet and the lightly malic acid goodness of the fruit can clear away the residual flavours of sip just taken NOTHING refreshes quite like a perry.  Surprisingly, Bulmer’s is pretty good as these go; I reckoned that as cheap as you can get this on special deals it was going to be more suited to cooking than drinking but since this bottle went into the recycle bin I have purchased a fridge full of Bulmer’s.

bulmers cider 1

The Bulmers apple, on the other hand was viscous but still pretty tasty; like a lot of these it would be better on ice.  Searching for an opener I finally found a good use for a race-finishing medal.

Stella lager has a reputation as a yob beer so I didn’t have high hopes for the ciders which they insist on spelling ‘cidre.’  The pear cider was particularly good on this past hot weekend, though.  The colour was pleasant and the flavour of pears predominated.

stella pear cider 2

Both Magner’s (the pear cider is reviewed below) I tried were a bit syrupy and are more suited to serving on ice than any of the other bottles.

magner's cider 3

The weekend wound down and we settled into some telly by way of documentaries, one about Paul Simon and another about Rod Stewart.  The Stella apple was a good companion drink for these–not too sweet and it actually matured as it warmed.

stella cider 4

Nightcap after television found the Magner’s pear last in the fridge.  Better than the Magner’s apple, I think there are better choices…that’s right, you just read me giving advice on ‘better choices.’  Too many ciders…too many….

magner's pear cider 5

Posted 2013/07/24 by Drunken Bunny in beer reviews, running, tourism

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Kebabs in the Garden, Our House, Swindon (kpw* bonus kebab)   2 comments

[*kpw = kebab per week for 2013, as noted in an earlier post and the 33rd entry for the 2013 Challenge]

kebab meat

The kebabs so far this year have all been lamb (with one exception) or otherwise all döner (with one other exception).  For the Challenge, you can’t use a venue twice but there’s no reason not to have homemade so here’s a recipe for something Americans might recognise as a kebab.

Start with a good piece of lean beef (this lightly marbled rump roast cut like warm butter).  Instead of cubes, try cutting strips ¾” thick, 1½” wide, and 4″ long so they will pleat on the skewers.  These need to marinate and I chose a mostly dry rub to work with: a little garam masala, minced parsley, loads of garlic powder, a touch of black pepper and a crushed Oxo cube.  The Oxo cube provides the salt which is key to any marinade or, indeed, to any meat: it doesn’t take much but salt draws the liquid from the tissue and the resulting pressure gradient draws some of the salty-spiced moisture back in; salting anywhere from four hours up to two days is essential for making a lean piece of meat succulent and moist.

kebab meat ready for coating  kebab dry rub

The next afternoon the meat was skewered along with veg (bell peppers with sliced leeks, mushrooms, and courgette/zucchini slices) and put over the barbecue.  The smoke was sublime.

ready to cook  cooking

The result was lovely with just enough spice to flavour without masking the meat.  Sublime.

homemade kebabs at ours

Henney’s Dry Cider   Leave a comment

henney's dry cider

This job required alcohol. Not only does everything wind up in a basement (or shed or garage, depending on your circumstances), but it winds up scattered to the four winds and untraceable by normal efforts.  The time had come to sort, at a minimum, the tool chests and to get the scattered hardware and ironmongery cluttering up the bottoms of the large and the portable toolboxes.  This would also help clear out a space for the keyboard which was still wrapped for moving–since last January–behind a ladder and some spare chairs.

On my current cider kick, I went to the refrigerated supplies and found a Henney’s Frome Valley Cider–crisp, dry and yet rich and strong (all qualities that as yet elude your humble author).  And, just about the right amount to finish this wee job and determine that I need a lot of practice on the keys.

henney's dry cider and a job done

Fireplace cover   2 comments

The fireplaces in our house are not usable (chimneys are sealed).  The one in the dining area is particularly large and we decided to use it for storage but needed a way to cover it.

step 1 raw materials

First, we gathered our materials: a saw, tape measure, some lumber, a painting canvas slightly larger than the 1.2 m X 0.9 m opening, four pints of Fosters lager, and a roll of wallpaper.

step 2 braces mounted

The canvas has to stand free so some braces were fashioned and screwed into place.

step 3 mount wallpaper

Not beautiful, but functional…and better than I hoped.

step 4 cover fireplace

Posted 2013/06/02 by Drunken Bunny in house

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Urban Fox at the house   Leave a comment

2013-03-31 fox back garden 1

 

During coffee and the Sunday paper, the sun appeared (don’t worry, it is still castratingly cold) and one of the urban foxes in the buurt found a sliver of daylight in our back garden.

 

2013-03-31 fox back garden 2

Posted 2013/03/31 by Drunken Bunny in house, neighbours

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Music in the Cafes at Night and Revolution in the Air   1 comment

dining living

Well, it is true that we LOOKED at a couple of houses in Montagu Street but preferred Old Town over Rodbourne as it is so much closer to the things we actually do in town.   And, the house we settled on isn’t sharp or sophisticated outside but inside works so much better for us; to mix my Bob metaphors, it seemed to say, “your débutante just knows what you need, but I know what you want.”

[Sidebar: I did a 30 minute lecture, recently, with more than 50 Bob Dylan lyrics,marked on the white board as ‘ticks’ as I progressed, peppered throughout, and only one professor from the audience came by to congratulate me on THAT point…Oxford may be grand, but it isn’t really cool.]

But, returning to the starting theme, we got a basement down the stairs.

It has been a nice run so far, I have to admit (despite obvious glitches), on Ferndale Road, and I’ll still come over for the butcher and the Italian deli, but rarely more…”when bringing her name up he speaks of a farewell kiss to me…He’s sure got a lotta gall* to be so useless and all muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall….”

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*Jackie doesn’t cut Jerry any slack…I love the man and the things The Family did for us chemically and, for that matter, matrimonially (probably more to do with Kleps, the guy who did our wedding, than her hatred of the Dead, but same batch, same dip).  See you kids who know us at the house, the rest schedule a meet-up at Riff’s, the Vic, the Hive or the Castle!

western

So, here we go…another fucking move.  Let’s try to make this one a little more permanent for awhile.

Posted 2013/01/16 by Drunken Bunny in house, music

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Autumn in Swindon   Leave a comment

Twice in as many days, people in sunny climes (and whose blogs I read) have posted whinges about their endless summers (with one inviting her minions to blather on about fall in their necks of the woods–so here goes).

As the days retreat, here, and the light takes on the orange cast that its low angle dictates I find the chores around the garden tedious and hopelessly depressing…our pots of wild flowers are becoming fire hazards, the sunflowers are ratty and yet still seedless (it rained a lot this year and there was little sun or heat for proper growth…they only flowered when I dumped copious volumes of phosphorous rich fertilizer on them during my holiday last month), the petunias are bolting, and the lawn mocks them all with its exuberance in the face of the swampy conditions…and the cat door, as I now see in the picture, is filthy and could do with a wipe.

The trees, however, are showing vibrant and early colour so tomorrow we are going to Stroud to take a walk on the hillier bits of the Cotswolds into the medieval village of Painswick (where the “New Street” was built in 1428 — the Old Street probably doesn’t get around much anymore — and the grocer delivers wares by donkey).

It is entirely possible a pub stop or two will occur.

Posted 2012/10/06 by Drunken Bunny in entertainments, house

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Our new home in Swindon   3 comments

Google street view of the new digs

We have moved house to Swindon, ancestral home of Mark Lamar, Diana Dors and Billie Piper and known for the Great Western Railway and the Magic Roundabout (Google any of these if you really want links).  We got about 3 times the garden, and twice the living area of the place in Bicester at £115 per month less (plus another £85 less in Council Tax per month) and the commute on the bus is as quick and as cheap but my annual bus ticket also gives me five other counties to explore (and not just back-and-forth from Bicester to Oxford).  There’ll be more photos once we’ve emptied most of the boxes, but for now lets just say we are very happy with the move.

UPDATE: The Google StreetView Van drove by in September 2012 and caught the kitty in the window:

ferndale and edie on google

Posted 2011/02/07 by Drunken Bunny in house

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The Savoy, Swindon   12 comments

We were in Swindon to find a house to rent having tried two weeks earlier and suffering a crash, the loss of our car, and several days hospitalisation. We saw dumps, bad neighbourhoods, and dumps in bad neighbourhoods plus one fairly decent place in a fairly decent buurt that we were on our way to put down a deposit on when, very tired and aching from still healing injuries we spotted the Savoy and thought that a burger and a Guinness would not go amiss (and would help wash down a bit of Tramadol for me).

The Savoy is a cavernous place built into what was once an old movie palace.  This is the kind of Wetherspoon pub I really like, where they have refurbished a bit of interesting local architecture and retain a lot of its character (good art deco features everywhere in the Savoy) and still have a cheap menu of good food and a line of taps at cut rate prices.  I imagine the place is fairly roudy on the weekend evenings, but it was a good resting spot before tackling the rental paperwork.

Posted 2011/01/26 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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