Tuesday, May 31, 2005

St Bees adventure #2

Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Evenin' folks

As I sit watching England play soccer against Colombia in New York on TV, it's time for the second in the series of St Bees shots.

This one was taken at the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - a narrow-guage steam railway between Cartmel and St Bees. The railway is affectionately known as The Ratty. We didn't actually go for a ride on the train (I've not been since I was about 8), we just pulled into the carpark to have a wee look. If you want to read more about the railway click here

And while we're on the subject of websites, click
here for the American website for the sticky toffee puddings I was talking about yesterday. It's amazing the number of shops it lists that stock the pudding in the States!

Oh, and we're liking the idea of Sept 1 being Robin's name day.

In tomorrow's pic we finally reach St Bees itself...!

Monday, May 30, 2005

St Bees adventure #1

Robin at the pudding shop
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up folks

Yes, this is the first picture (of 5!) of Robin from our bank holiday weekend adventure up to St Bees in Cumbria - a tiny seaside village that I last went on holiday to in about 1983 when I was 8. I took my wife up there for a surprise anniversary weekend (we've now been together 5 years and 1 day!).

This picture was taken outside Cartmel Village Shop, in the south of England's Lake District - a shop which has become extremely famous for its sticky toffee pudding - which is absolutely superb. Actually, I remember reading that Madonna gets it exported to the States. For more info on the shop (and to see a picture of the famous pudding) click here

More pics from our trip coming over the next few day.

Also, we're trying to find out from the Greek rellies when St Robert's day is - if indeed it exists on the Orthodox calendar. My Elvis-loving brother will no doubt be interested to hear when it is, because that's his name too!

Oh, and the other big news - me and Robin are off to Moscow, Russia in ten days. Should make for some great photo opportunities!

Hope you folks are all well.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

1 x Robin, 3 x Elvis

Robin meets the King
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hello folks

After all the excitement of our British food pictures over the last few days, me, Robin and the missus have come away for a long weekend and are currently in my brother's flat in Manchester - where this picture was taken.

My bro's a bit of an Elvis nut and this is a massive great picture on his living room wall. I'm hoping the trio of Elvis dudes are not going to shoot Robin in the back. That would be lowdown and dirty.

Will post more from our weekend away in the next few days.

Oh, and it looks like there is no St Robin day - so not sure how we're going to celebrate his name day. Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

To go with the spotted dick...

Robin and Ambrosia
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

We haven't eaten our spotted dick yet, but as my mother said on the comments below, the choice of custard to go with it is very important. She suggested Birds - and I'm guessing she was talking about making it herself from custard powder, in a saucepan, with milk.

We prefer the easier route of buying a can - and our favoured brand is Ambrosia Devon custard. As the commercials say, 'Devon knows how they make it so creamy...'

As for beet pickled eggs - when people ask if I'm a fussy eater, I usually tell them that the only thing in the world I haven't eaten and will never eat is, yes, pickled eggs! I'm not sure that dying them purple would change my mind...!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Robin and some spotted dick

Robin and a pud
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, our cultural culinary exchange continues apace, with Robin showing you folks some proper British spotted dick. Well, I say proper - obviously *proper* proper would be if it was homemade, but Aunt Bessie offers a reasonable (and reasonably-priced!) alternative.

My wife, who attended a British boarding school a la Harry Potter, confirms that spotted dick was sometimes on the menu, but neither of us have ever actually tried the pudding before - so we're looking forward to tucking in. As the packaging says, it's a 'suet sponge with sultanas, currants and mixed spice'. Sounds tasty. Will let you know how it is.

Aunt Bessie, incidentally, has a fan club - which you can join by clicking here. Personally, though, I've always thought she looks a bit scary. There's something dark about that smile...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Robin and a 'Full English'

Robin. Full English.
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, for those of you who were asking, here's Robin with a 'Full English' breakfast. Well full-ish. There's no sausage or black (blood) pudding, but I think my lovely wife did me proud with my Sunday morning breakfast otherwise! I think she was in a good mood because Greece won the Eurovision song contest last night. For those that don't know, it's literally a Europe-wide contest for best song, watched by hundreds of millions and entered, this year, by 39 countries! Next year's will be held in Athens because Greece won - we're definitely planning to go.

Oh, and the Greek woman who won it is called Helena - so her victory was on her name day (see below)! Re name days, yes Dawn if people don't have a saint, they usually go for one that sounds similar. I shall ask my mother-in-law what she'd recommend for a Dawn - she's a bit of an expert on such things.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy Name Day Eleni!

It's a special day!
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, today is a very special day - it's the Name Day of Eleni, my sister-in-law and a very close friend of Robin. Hope you have a good one Elz! With lots of love from me and my lovely wife.

(For those of you who don't know, the Greeks celebrate name days as much as they do birthdays. Name days are celebrated on the Saints day of the name you have. Today is the saint day of St Eleni (or St Helen), so it's Eleni's turn to celebrate.)

Na zisis Eleni! (as they say in Greece)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

These, KJ, are crumpets!

Robin, crumpets
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

They're sort of spongey, bread-y things, a little bit like what Americans call English muffins, that you grill and then smother in butter and jam (jelly) or whatever. The packaging of these ones tells me they're made from wheat flour, water, salt, vinegar and raising agents and a few other bits and bobs. And they are very nice indeed.

Do *you* have an English food you don't know about and would like to see a picture of Robin next to? We'll be only too happy to oblige!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Robin and the Queen's house

robin, swans, castle
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

This one was taken on Sunday, when we went to Windsor for a day out with some friends of ours who were over from Sweden.

This is the river that runs through the town, with lots of swans on it. In the background you can see Windsor Castle, which is where the Queen calls home. We tried knocking on her door to borrow some teabags, but she didn't answer.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

That's quite a view!

robin look out over toronto
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up

This is the third in the trilogy I like to call 'Robin: A Small Bird And A Large Tower'. Here he is at the top of the CN Tower, looking out over downtown Toronto. Well, actually, he's looking at the camera. If he was looking out over downtown Toronto you'd only be able to see the back of his head and you might think he was ignoring you. Safe to say, moments after the photo was taken, he span round and had a good old gawp.

Robin. A glass floor. A big drop.

robin on the cn tower's glass floor
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Hey up

This is Robin lying on the glass floor at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, below which there's a sheer drop about 130 floors to the ground below. Quite a spooky feeling to walk on it - though it didn't stop me joining in with the schoolkids jumping up and down on it really hard. We'd have looked pretty silly had it given way...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Robin and a very large tower

Robin and CN Tower
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, I'm back in London (straight into work from overnight flight - feeling slightly dazed).

As you'll see from the pic, yesterday myself and Robin went and explored Toronto - this was taken down by the harbour and the weather was gorgeous.

We also went up the tower (tourist-y, but surely worth it on a clear day like that...). Pictures from up there to follow...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Robin and me are in Toronto...

...but sadly, my USB chord isn't - so don't think I'll be able to share any pictures till I'm back (on Friday).

Anyone got any top Toronto tips? I've been once before, but was literally in the country for less than 14 hours, so my expertise is minimal.

From where I'm typing, I can see a massive revolving ice hockey player on the roof of a bar across the street. That seems typically Canadian, somehow.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Robin, chillin'

Robin on the Heath
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

So after we'd released Robin from the door of the phone box (see below), we took him up to the extremely lovely Hampstead Heath, which is a bit like London's version of Central Park, except hillier, not in the centre and with ponds you can swim in.

As you'll see, he buried himself in the grass and enjoyed a relaxing few hours catching some early-summer rays...

Robin! Phone box!

Robin in a phone box
Originally uploaded by athens2004blog.

Yes, it's Robin poking his head out of the door of a traditional British telephone box. There aren't too many of them left in operation these days (they're usually modern plastic ones) but this is one of the old school types - as spotted in Hampstead, a particularly upmarket part of London.