Monday, April 30, 2007


I think the only way to go now is to power my way through until the end and hope the urge doesn't take me to play through as a different character...I am of course talking about Puzzle Quest! How glad am I that this isn't never ending!

Browsed the Penny Arcade index earlier and here's their take on Puzzle Quest.

First Impressions

An Excerpt From The Book Of Deeds

In related news I finished God of War yesterday and snapped and ordered Picross DS, Eledees & Mario Strikers Charged. Fortunately they will arrive at sensible intervals but I now have approximately 3 days to finish Puzzle Quest & Hotel Dusk before the first one lands...oooops!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

He shoots...he scores!

I have a dilemma...I have a pile of video games unplayed, a garden to look after and a soon to start Tai chi class at the Buddhist centre (must get K to listen to the message on the phone from them)...where do I find the time to fit anything else in?

The problem is that in 4 weeks the Wii makes its debut (in Europe at least, ahead of the US) online and its quite tempting to get involved. Mario Strikers Charged is going to be leading the way and from what I've seen so far looks pretty good.

Now I've just got to find some friends that have the game too!

Added to that my imports of Pokemon DS are soon to arrive and Picross DS looks intriguing also

Saturday, April 28, 2007


We've just got back from what is now the top of our "most expensive meals ever" list and I felt compelled to blog about our experience.

The previous list topper was the cheap sounding Roy's at the Marriott Financial Center in New York (not sure if it survived 9/11) when we got engaged. A great meal for a great day.

Today's venture was to the 2 Michelin starred Midsummer House in Cambridge. K had eaten here before when some business contact took her out to lunch and she raved about it then. Much talk of foams, jellies and exciting pastry ensued. We were planning to go last week when we were on holiday but I'm glad that we waited until we were both feeling much better.

The place is sat just by the river and we had a bit of a job getting there as the directions provided were a little ropey but we arrived in plenty of time (despite going round a one way system 3 times) and sat out by the river watching the rowers while using up our precious lunch conversation topics! Even got a sight of some boobs as one of the rowers changed into her wet suit.

We were the first to arrive and were quite close to where the staff gathered in an alcove watching the room making sure everybody was alright so it was a little intimidating at first. Fortunately a few more people arrived and the general hubbub disguised whatever comments we were making ("aren't all the staff thin?", "we didn't need to dress as smartly as we did" etc).

After some deliberation we went with the tasting menu which is designed to demonstrate the variety of dishes and is something the whole table has to partake in. It's essentially lots of micro courses. We avoided the wine as we had to drive back but K did have what is possibly the best G&T I've ever tasted. The menu had a few things on it that I was wary of but it also threw up some surprises.

Before any of the courses arrived we were offered bread (mine was white and tasted of toffee with the sweet crust) which was duly taken (K managed to scarf all hers but I was a little more restrained!)

Dish 1. Not on the menu but we started with Pink Grapefruit & Champagne foam. This was served into a glass via a soda syphon at the table and was delicious. K loved the tiny, tiny spoons!

Dish 2. Again not on the menu, Pea Veloute with tiger prawns was next. This was very foamy, served in a deep glass, warm with a bread stick stuck in the top. Thick pea puree at the bottom getting foamier towards the top with some tiger prawns hidden in it, it was absolutely top notch.

Dish 3. The first dish actually on the menu! "Sauteed Scallop, Bay Leaf, Pigs Trotter" Was a little wary of the trotter but it was served in a little breaded cube sat on the best onions I have eaten and a really sweet sticky balsamic vinegar. Oh and then there was a delightful scallop cooked in a bay was great!

Dish 4. "Parsley Risotto, Snail, Yeast, Jabugo ham". Now I was worried about this one , especially for K but I needn't have. It was served on a marble slab and had a sake sized cup full of risotto (with some sort of foam) and the snail was sat at the end of a plastic pipette full of sauce. You had to place the snail on your tongue and then squeeze the pipette to get the full experience and it was bloody lovely! The snail was like a cooked mushroom in texture and the flavours of garlic were wonderful! The risotto was delicious as well.

Dish 5. "Cannelloni of Red Pepper, Jamaican Jelly" Another marble slab affair with a very thin canelloni on a stick and some sauce with cubes of jelly in it. The sauce was nice as was the cannelloni but the filling left me feeling a little queasy, very, very rich. I think it was the foie gras in it that was turning me off.

Dish 6. "Comté Soup, Foie Gras, Roasted Grapes". Foie Gas was the other thing on the menu that I had concerns about. I don't much like the idea of it but I thought I would give it a go anyway. To me it was the worst dish of the meal. Everything but the foie gras was delicious. But the FG itself? Very very rich with no real taste I could identify. We both left most of it and am glad that I didn't like it. We were little concerned that the chef would come and throw us out when he saw our plates (we'd heard much swearing and shouting at junior chefs from the kitchen up to this point!)

It was at this point that I saw a couple of familiar ladies walk in and I realised that across the way was my old general manager and the current President of Strategy & Development for Global Services! Fortunately she spotted me and came over and said hello so didn't have to keep avoiding her gaze!

Dish 7. "English Asparagus, Spring Truffle" Another first for us (truffle) and K's favourite dish so far. Different types of asparagus (dice, puree and stalks) altogether in a crisp shell wtih some truffle flakes.

Dish 8. "Red Mullet, Coconut and Lime" This was awesome! Mint & lime jelly, lime sauce, pureed artichoke, fantastic fish, cubed coconut and the surprise mint & lime ice-cream in the middle of it made for a fantastic main course!

Dish 9. "Cassoulet of Pork Belly and Carrot". After some discussion of what a cassoulet was (a little cast iron casserole dish with beans and a pork cheek in it) we were served with my favourite dish so far. Belly pork with a red foam, pureed carrot and roasted cloves of garlic with the aforementioned cassoulet on the side. The cheek sounded daunting but was just some very tender pork meat. Couldn't fault this dish!

Dish 10. "Apple Test Tube" We skipped the optional Artisanal Cheeses and went straight onto the desserts. Before the test tube arrived we had been supplied with 2 sets of cutlery and a straw! Displaying my 'white-trashiness' I giggled in delight at the straw and couldn't wait for the test tube to arrive. The tubes arrived in a rack and were in three layers, Apple Puree on the bottom, Apple Granita for the middle layer and then some other kind of apple thing on top. A dinky fork helped with the top 2 layers and the the waiter informed us to use the straw for the bottom and the maitre'd chimed in that we should try and make some noise. K kindly obliged!

Dish 11. "Mango, Passion Fruit and Lychee" Mango & passion fruit delice, lychee ice cream, toasted pine nuts, freeze dried mango, and honey make a fantastic dessert! I don't really need to say any more!

Dish 12. "Moroccan Cous Cous". A bed of caramelised cous cous, yellow pepper sorbet, an apple, cinnamon and raisin ice cream, some odd cucumber stuff and a caramalised cherry tomato! K's tom vanished pretty quick and her blunt description that it was just cherry tomato in sugar sent me sightly hysterical but her description was spot on. Slightly odd to taste but nice nonetheless! But the ice-cream was fabulous...truly delicious.

Dish 13. We followed this with the bitterest espresso I've ever had (which I put a tad too much sugar into) and K was convinced that it was only the a la carte menu that got the pastries and chocs. She was wrong! Out came the pastries (think deep fried triangles of puff pastry dusted with caster sugar with pineapple and toffee dipping sauces. To finish off we got to select 2 chocolates each from the handmade selection. I had eucalyptus and caramel and K had banana and greek yoghurt!

We finally paid the bill and made our way back to the car!

Now usually K and I can be in an out of a restaurant for a 3 course meal in under 45 minutes...this took us 3 hours and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute! The setting was perfect and the staff were a delight, explaining the dishes, never patronising, pouring more drinks and remaining discrete at all times, you couldn't really ask for more! I think it was telling that besides the foie gras we literally ate everything put in front of us...truly a great meal!

The cost means that you can't go every week (or even every quarter!) but we're already planning our next trip! Now I must go and lie down...nicely full without being stuffed and the only thought of food will be some coco pops much, much later!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


My plants finally arrived yesterday and are now all safely planted in the ground. Although one of my strawberry plants has died already and my tomatoes look none too healthy! Also I was quite disappointed with the girth of my leeks (and thats not a phrase you hear often enough if you ask me). I was expecting something a little more substantial that the chive like plants that arrived. No matter I'm sure(?) it'll all be fine and they'll turn into something fantastic!

Got a free evening today as K is away at a work do and then going straight to orchestra. I suppose I can fill my time with a bit of God of War which started off stunningly with a battle against the hydra but has gone a little humdrum without the big set pieces. Although to be fair my judgement may be clouded by the fact the game pissed me off a little when after I'd reloaded for the umpteenth time it offered to switch to easy mode so I could progress!

In other video game news K and I are addicted to Puzzle Quest on the's like crack cocaine! K has taken to playing it in bed and before she goes to work in the morning...most unlike her! It's a shame we only have one copy! Download the demo (at link above) and you'll see!

Although I am supposed to be playing Hotel Dusk at the mo!

Why isn't it called Northern Lights?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


No sooner than you get a bit of time off your body decides its time to catch a cold! Nothing too bad but a lot of nose blowing and some coughing, missed blood donating though, didn't want to feel any grottier (and there's nothing quite like giving blood to make you feel all funny!)

Good news is that the spare room is mostly sorted out now. Everything put back and it feels much more spacious! I'll post some photos when I have the energy to take some!

Hopefully my plants will arrive tomorrow (they've shipped according to the website) so that'll give me something to do. Still can't get twitter to work...emailed support again to see what they suggest.

K is making plans for my birthday already! Today she bought a bubble machine and I learned she's considering getting a Mr. Whippy machine as well! I can't wait!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

1 down, 8 to go

Had a good start to the holiday yesterday, mainly spent it basking in the sun...


I did do some useful stuff though like finishing off tidying the garden and putting together my raised bed...just got to wait for my plants to arrive now. Also does anyone know what this plant is? I think they might be tulips as they keep coming back year after year but they do seem a little small to me?


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Treasure Island Z

This looks good too...Pirates & Puzzles...looks like I'll be needed K's help to work stuff out!

Lots of cheesy goodness

Despite already owning this on Gamecube, if the price is right I may just get it again. Warning Cheese factor is quite high in the Japanese commercial.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easter Weekend


Spent a lot of time in the garden over the weekend and to be honest it still looks like a mess! I need to get everything sorted so that when my mini plants arrive I can put them straight into my new raised bed. Luckily we're off next week so there should be ample opportunity to get it sorted.


I decided to replant my mint pot and when we came to unpot it this is what came out!! No soil just roots! Hanna over at This Garden is Illegal posts about the dangers of mint...heed her words!

Also managed to finish Canis Canem Edit. Enjoyable overall but I think I may be too good for some games! This was fairly easy and a nice big cross indicated whatever it was I had to do next! This is OK if its tricky but when my objective was to find a way into the Girl's Dorm for example, a big yellow cross on the map showing me the secret ladder to the roof is a bit of a giveaway!

We also did a couple of caches around the lovely Southwold...the lighthouse is shown below!


Experi - MENTAL

As you've probably spotted I'm trying to get down with the hip and groovy kids by embracing their pointless social 'net technology. Always the follower I noticed Alex had started to use Twitter and I was intrigued. It appears to be some kind of technology for stalking but it does mean I can add new content to my blog from my phone and from anywhere. Unfortunately as you can see my last update was 4 days ago...for some reason it won't accept input from my mobile. I'm eagerly awaiting a response from tech support.

Alex also appears to have added me to his Facebook list...not sure what facebook is but I'll probably get around to checking it out later.

Things you shouldn't really buy off the internet...

Aside from comedy video game T-shirts I've never bought any items of clothes off the internet. I think there are some things that you should try before you buy and clothes and shoes is one of them. So why have I just bought a pair of experimental flip flops from the net? Um, dunno!?

I first saw these in an article on a BA flight to Brussels last July and they just appealed to me...and what with the hot weather we've got at the moment and my penchant for spending money it was kind of inevitable. I'll let you know if they are the ultimate in comfort and bloody painful (which I think they just might be!)

Saturday, April 07, 2007


For some reason I'm up and blogging...its 7.20 am on Saturday morning and I should still be in bed. But sometimes when your body is saying "Hmm, warm & cosy, please don't move" but your mind is awash with thoughts and plans for the day then you just have to get up.

Now that I am up I can't really think of what I should be doing with my's a little too early to start the Big Day of Gardening and I'm kinda hoping that my raised bed kit arrives today. Visited the Suffolk garden show yesterday and suprisingly came back with garden ornaments, a jigsaw and expensive olive oil but no plants. Am going to revisit the garden centre later with a big list.

I feel a little out of kilter as well because its Easter weekend and only Saturday but my Friday went a lot like a normal Saturday goes so I'm sat here thinking its Sunday, its all very confusing. We've actually got a pretty much free weekend actually (my parents WERE coming and we WERE going to Yarmouth but both have fallen through), so we're probably going to end up spending a bundle!

And I'm quite peckish but with K off swimming in a little while (if she ever gets up) and the promise of meeting up for breakfast in town a little later I should probably manage until then.

She's up!

We did have a very pleasant visitation from the Palmers (the Nottingham Palmers, not to be confused with the Stokesby Palmers , who don't actually exists yet until Colleen remarries in October to a man called Chris Plamer, ach, my head hurts) to kick off the weekend (they stopped by on Thursday night prior to traveling home from their holiday). Not seen them in ages and it was great to catch up with classic Palmer mayhem (Emma being attacked by one of her 6 year olds and Chris dealing with mad employment tribunals, always good value!) Chris also fuelled my desire for an iMac (check out their multiple Apple vs Mac ads featuring Mitchell & Webb!)...a world of cool and simplicity await me...although not until Leopard is finally released and I can still boot into XP should the need arise!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Food & Video Games = ?

Game Cakes!


Another long day doing manly things (sawing and hammering) and the gate is nearly finished, just got creasoting and attaching a latch to do. The whole grisly process can be seen in picture detail over on Flickr.


This means I can do the nice planting jobs over the Easter holiday, we bought some new tubs and cloches and far too many seeds! Hopefully we'll get a bountiful supply of veg and some nice flowers too!


Spent part of yesterday making soup for our 'dinner party' at Yarmouth to celebrate Colleen's and Beck's birthdays. We made the starter and then we had Colleen's salmon and Beck's banoffee pie for dessert. A tip though, its best not to get 3 people with not previous banoffee experience trying to make banoffee pie while the the experience ed one is rooting under the stairs looking for just doesn't work!

Also watched the first episode of the new series of Doctor word, brilliant!