So apparently we have a blog?

Yeah, so it has been a REALLY long time since I posted a blog entry, and seeing as Jen has been busy lately, neither of us have given you an update.

Two weeks ago we had a lovely visit from our friends Candace and Lee Coram. Looks like they may be moving a bit closer to us in the near future so it wasn’t your typical visit. They did the touristy things a bit, but because they will be back, they had a much more relaxed experience.

Candace and Lee Coram arrive from the US via Heathrow

Jen had her 30th birthday while they were here so we had a nice little group attend the shindig. Think we would have liked to have been in the states for this one but, hey, what can you do? I am certainly glad to have been able to celebrate her birthday with friends, but I am still can’t believe how much she baked! Just look at this spread!

Jen's 30th Birthday Spread

And isn’t she just a cute 30th birthday girl?

Jen on her 30th birthday

BanksyWe also, mistakenly, tried to go to Brick Lane & Spittal Fields on a Saturday while they were in town so Candace could pick up a gift for our friend Brooke. Well seeing as those markets are only open on Sundays, we didn’t have much success. We did however find a really nifty shop were we could purchase nice mounted prints of photos of graffiti art by Banksy. Jen and I are thinking one of those pieces might be a nice touch on the wall of the new flat.

After Candace and Lee left last Sunday morning, Jen went to hang with her friend Lauren while I gave into my baser nerd and spent the day playing World of Warcraft. I have to admit, I was a bit insensitive that day as I didn’t consider it was Mother’s day here and Jen was trying to pre-occupy herself. She had mentioned me coming out to meet her for a bite after she finished hanging with Lauren, but I didn’t realize how important it was to her. I finally realized late Sunday evening and tried to make up for it.

We had a new sofa and desk delivered the Monday before Candace and Lee arrived, but as the sofa wouldn’t fit in the building we had to return it to the warehouse. This of course means we are now on the hunt for a sectional sofa – the three seater the landlord provided just isn’t great for snuggles.

This last week Jen has been really busy with work, though because her new boss won’t let her work past 6pm, we have pleasantly been home together in the evenings. We avoided cooking most nights, but did do a bit of laundry.

Thursday evening we attended a show at the Hammersmith Apollo. Our friend, Elsa, gave us two tickets to Newton Faulkner for Christmas. We had never heard of him before and I had no idea what to expect. It was a really great show though. Totally enjoyed his sound, though I have to admit, he is better live. The recordings just don’t do him justice.

Newton Faulkner at the Hammersmith Apollo

We also discovered a FANTASTIC vegetarian restaurant around the corner from the Apollo called The Gate. MAN! It was some fantastic food! I think we will have to go back again (if we find a reason to be in Hammersmith).

Last night while we were finishing tidying up we were also trying to gather all the info we needed to file our US taxes. I can’t even begin to express how annoying it is to try and sort this. The whole UK tax year being April to April only makes it more difficult as well. We are basically left to sort it using pay stubs, and of course TM never gave us physical stubs so I have to contact TM UK HR again.

Today Jen and I got up early so she could go meet our friends Laure and Brian at Heathrow (standard procedure for the Huddleston B&B). They will be staying with us for the first part of the week and we look forward to hanging with them. First stop, The Marksman at 6pm. Wish you could be there.

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Dark Chocolate Madness

I wanted very badly to get Drew a really nice cake for his birthday.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t like surprises and he seemed to lack any preference for exactly how the big 3-0 should be celebrated.  I understand.  We did have grand plans in our heads, when we thought we’d be on our home turf.  Instead we dragged our friends Kerry and Emily to the Ideal Home Show last weekend (though I think they might have liked it as much as we did), wandered through Camden in hopes of finding a special edition comic book, and then journeyed to Angel for a burrito.  Overall, good wholesome activities were undertaken, Dad.  I am sure you (and Jim Sasser) appreciate that.

This weekend though, with the long holiday and all, it seemed appropriate to get a cake and light the candles.  When Drew told Emily that he secretly wished that I might surprise him with a cake this weekend, I pulled out the bakery phone number I had been holding.  They make this dense, flourless dark chocolate cake with a thick ganache type dark chocolate icing.

I know it’s amazing.  I know you can’t eat too many bites in one sitting.  I know you can get a wicked chocolate/sugar buzz from the icing.  I know that I wish I could send one to my sister for her birthday.  What I don’t know is how they make a cake without flour; and frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to ask.  That sounds like some kind of cake voodoo.

What’s extra funny about this whole cake experience is that Drew wanted to go to Borough Market for these great brownies made by The Cinnamon Tree Bakery.  They are wheat and gluten free, dense like fudge, but cake-y enough to still meet the definition of a brownie.  He ordered a few Brownies for take away so that we could stash them in the fridge his weekend enjoyment, but he didn’t know I was about to pop into Konditor & Cook for this little monster…


Basically, we have chocolate overload at our flat this weekend.  Happy 30th Drew!