Sunday, 10 March 2013

Week off

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I've had a nice week off work. Pretty chilled out and quiet really. Typical - when I get  a week off Nathan suddenly gets busy! He's spent the week going into schools to give demonstrations of his new school app with his business partner Darren. They have been very well received so far!

Tuesday evening was exciting as the courier arrived with Nathan's prizes - at last!! Three lovely boxes for him to open. One with his new Nokia Lumia 920 in sleek black inside , another with his  ASUS tablet and the biggest one containing his Toshiba Ultrabook. Needless to say he soon had them all up and running. it doesn't take long to set things up with Windows Live Accounts and Windows 8. Simples :-)

Tablet Box

Time to open the laptop

We decided to celebrate Mothers Day early - as places are rammed and rushed if you try to take them out for lunch on the actual day. So we chose to go to The Wayfarer with my parents, Nathan's parents and my brother Dom and his wife Sharon. It is such a nice gastropub and we had been there once before to celebrate a birthday.

So we all went on Thursday lunchtime. It was quiet and we could take our time and the service was wonderful. So was the food! It is a bit pricey - but worth it! We were also celebrating my mum's birthday which is on 18th March!

Quite a few of us had the half a roast chicken option - with different sauces. Mine, Dom's and Sharon's were with barbecue and the mums both had it with lemon and garlic. Beautifully presented - with chunky hand-cut chips. N's dad asked if we had time for him to choose the 8-hour slow roasted lamb shank. He was assured that it had already been cooked overnight so we wouldn't have to wait too long!

Exciting :-)
My dad tried the duck and declared it superb - as was Nathan's Beef en Croute. I did learn something too - you can get much more juice out of a hot lemon.

Most of us had dessert too - only N's dad resisted! I was intrigued by the Baked Alaska with Pistachio Ice Cream - I haven't had one in years! That was a popular choice - as was the Ginger Crème Brulee with Rosemary Biscuit. N loves the chocolate - so went for Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Sauce and ice cream.

Happy mums on Early Mothers Day :-)
It was all delicious and everyone enjoyed it very much. We retired to N's parent's house for coffee and Thornton's Mis-shapes ( my dad was very impressed with those!). We didn't need to eat for the rest of the day!

 What else did we do this week? Well on Saturday evening we met up with Jodie and his lovely girlfriend Claire for a few drinks. They were visiting his parents in Leek and decided they'd come over to Newcastle for a catch-up with us. Jodie used to be an apprentice at the college when Nathan was Network manager there and I was Librarian. He left there to go to Liverpool University and now works in London. We don't see him very often.

It was the first time we had met Claire who comes from California - a couple of hours drive South from San Francisco. She has been working in London for four years and met Jodie through a mutual friend (I think!)

We decided to introduce them to Brad,s pub - The Lymestone Vaults.

Enjoying a pint of Foundation Stone
 It was really quiet as we walked through the wet streets of Newcastle - but as we entered the pub the noise was deafening and it was practically full! We managed to get the last table - sadly the sofas by the fire were taken - and stayed put all night. Well, the beer is great and as N said to him - I bet Jodie was delighted with how much change he got after buying drinks. London drinks are much pricier!

They all tried the locally (Stone)-brewed beer except me. I'm not fond of the bitter taste. The only one I love is Floris Honey beer - but they didn't have that!
I started with some Two Trees Perry and then went onto the Stone's Ginger Wine - which is lovely and warming when it is snowing outside.

Jodie and Claire
We couldn't believe how quickly the evening went by - in no time we were being asked to drink up and go as it was approaching midnight. Hopefully we'll see the two of them again when we go down to London in September for Eurogamer, if not before.

So I am back at work tomorrow - Tracy tells me that it has been manic while I've been away! I look forward to finding out what's been going on in my absence!

Nathan has a busy week too - as well as more demos scheduled for schools he has a special appointment on Tuesday. For ages his mum has been telling him that with his beard like it is - he looks like The Yorkshire Ripper. Then last week he had a call from Seven (we are both registered with them - they are an extras agency) who told him that some client had chosen Nathan's photo from the book because he looks perfect for something they are going to start filming soon - it is a docu-drama about The Yorkshire Ripper! It may involve some acting too. I'm sure he'll be great :-) He has to go for the casting audition in Manchester on Tuesday!

Also before I go for now - good luck to Laura who has a job interview tomorrow with Staffordshire County Council. Hope it goes well - fingers crossed!

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