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Hello? HELLOOOO? Is this thing still on?

Oh. Turns out I was holding it upside-down.

All is fine now, ignore me!

It’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve last posted, and really it’s been a blur. I’ve had no time to post even when I had the inclination – and I mean that in the most literal sense, my time has turned into (even more of) an extremely valued commodity. Note that this isn’t a complaint in any way, as it’s very much been a conscious choice; I’ve been focusing on essentially the three things that I currently most value and enjoy right now: Erin, cooking (and hosting), and boardgaming. This unfortunately means that other things that I do enjoy – like reading and videogaming – have taken a back seat for the moment, but I really can’t complain.

I mean, c’mon; I’ve got a house and a kitchen and a hosting venue back again! It feels so good to be able to spend the quality time de-stressing in the kitchen that I often need. So satisfying to produce delicious food, both for myself and Erin, and then also for the train of people we lure into the house to stuff full of things. To just be able to relax in our house, to not have the constant stress overhead of unresolved building-related things.

To not have to wear shoes everywhere; that’s an important step (see what I did there?).

 

Anyway, too long has passed and too much has happened since the last time so I’m just going to give a bullet list here.

  • We had our housewarming in April. I took three days off beforehand purely to cook; it was heaven. My sister Anne-Marie was here for part of the cooking and all of the eating/drinking, that was good fun. There were 26 (yes, that’s right, 26!) things on the menu, all homemade, and I (with help from Erin and AM!) managed to pull it off pretty well I think! There will be a bunch of pictures of the evening at the end of the post.
  • My birthday came and went. Erin indulged my love of fine dining and we went for the tasting menu at The Ritz. I won’t talk about it much (and we deliberately didn’t spend time and effort taking photos of the meal itself) except to say that it was awesome. Easily one of my most memorable meals; looking forward to whatever I decide to do next year :-)
  • Erin bought me the best birthday gift I could want – a culinary science book from the chef whose recipes I most love to follow. I’m in love with this book, and want to apply all of the techniques and cook all of the things.
  • We hosted ~7 times in the space of 3 weeks, including one stretch of three days in a row which almost killed me; loving it!
  • We spent some excellent time boardgaming, including an epic 8-hour single-game session at Jakub’s. We’re due to attempt a probably 8-10-hour game tomorrow; can’t wait.
  • We visited a new weekly Saturday food market right here in Leyton, and it’s excellent. It’s really nice to see local markets like this popping up in our area, we’ll have to make this a semi-regular visit.
  • We went to respective stag/hen do’s followed by the wedding itself in the awesomely-named Cockfosters. Who knew Cockfosters was such a fancy place? The hotel had a helipad. It was one of those excellent weddings where it’s mostly friends, and it was a really good and easy time.

Our summer holiday (wandering around Germany) starts in two and a half weeks, we’re really looking forward to that; it’s almost exactly 18 months since our last proper holiday (Australia), and another year+ before that since our last proper holiday purely on our own terms (Italy). This one is fairly low-key but it should be a really nice relaxing ~2.5 weeks to just decompress and get some time on our own.

In the meantime, though, we’re hosting 7 dinners over the next 17 days, and I’ve just spent the last two hours planning the menus and when I have time to prepare things. It’s not the most enjoyable part of it all, but I’m already looking forward to cooking all of the things!

And now, enjoy some pictures of housewarming (in reverse order, as it happens)! Thanks to Jimmy for the camera-work, including some lovely selfies.

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