Archive for the ‘holidays’ Tag

Exodus Advent: 84 Days To Go   1 comment


Friday’s weather was glorious as I repaired and test rode a bicycle Jackie acquired at work (abandoned 2 years ago, she halted security from taking it to the skip).  It’s a Gazelle the exact model of the one she had in Amsterdam so she was pretty chuffed to get it.

Wednesday and Thursday (Exodus Advent Days 86 and 85) were filled with straightforward laboratory duties and following the story of the Frat Boy Rapist in the States (or, as he is known over there, Federal Judge and Supreme Court Nominee Frat Boy Rapist).



It was low tide along the Thames Path.




And, the dignity of the three branches of United States government was also at nadir.

Here’s my route (the beer stop was at the Sun, to be reported):

Posted September 29, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in sport, Tourism

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2017 Holiday Run Streak, Week 1 (Thanksgiving Week)   12 comments

Last year, a calf injury upended plans to repeat the annual Holiday Run Streak from the Saturday before Thanksgiving (the only US holiday I cling to) until the Saturday after New Year’s Day.  This year, as usual, it is a involves a minimum of 3 miles per day (which really only impacts my rest and cross-training days since I am already far exceeding this the rest of the week).  The ordeal started 18 November and continues until 6 January 2018…50 days instead of the usual 43 due to an early Thanksgiving and a Monday New Year.


Saturday 18 November (above) was the first of the ritual runs and was supposed to be 7 miles but ended up a little over 9 while I knocked out a simple section of the TfL Run Project from South Harrow to Ruislip Station (for the Piccadilly Line and picking up the Metropolitan Line at Rayners Lane).

Sunday 19 November was the weekly scheduled long run and I fell 3 miles short of the scheduled 23 but 17 over the run streak’s remit.


Already written up as part of the TfL Run Project, I would also add this trippers’ delight of a long-boat on the canal path about a mile from Paddington.  The collection of mannequins, other artefacts, and vegetation changes week-to-week, but there is always a bit that is either interesting or comic.  I see other boats that I look forward to, but this one is always a joy:


There was also this other chuckle on the Sunday run, between Edgware Road Station and Marble Arch (great name for a Super Hero, sort of):

Monday 20 November, the putative cross training day of the workout week, met the minimum with a quick trot from Hillingdon after work. Knackered, I forgot about the TfL segments I COULD have done. Oy.

Monday 20 November


Tuesday 21 November was a commute run from Thornhill Park and Ride out the wrong way to Wheatley then up Shotover Hill (more of a climb than I really needed) and into Oxford to grab a shower before half-assing some work:



Wednesday 22 November got a TfL Run Project write-up, too.  See if you can spot where I got lost:



Jackie had to return to the US to help out with a family emergency and flew on Thanksgiving Day (Americans generally don’t travel on TGD so at least the flights were cheaper).  Several friends (some current, some from yonks ago) suggested I put off the feast until her return but that is just not the way things work.  In fact, on the day’s run from Barons Court to Wimbledon (and then to Croydon) I spotted a couple of bins with “Feed Me” posted on them (which made me smile).  Later, checking the GPS app (Strava) on the phone I was confronted with this:


Cue the earworm of the day:


The meal was roast leg of lamb and a baked potato with fig bars for dessert, by the way.  Here’s the trail map:



Friday 24 November was the Black Friday Avoidance Trot from Watford to Chalfont & Latimer, covered elsewhere but without this final bit of detail:



Saturday 25 November: Okay, I am fully aware that this is an 8 day week, but the extra day was going to have to be dealt with at some point.  The 7 days from 18th to 24th November involved 81.4 miles, the stretch from the 19th thru today was 83.1 miles, and the total for all 8 days (the streak so far) is 92.4.

This final run  of the week was the Billy Bragg soaked Barking-Dagenham-Upminster (write-up soon) 11 mile run, here:



Posted November 25, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Notting Hill Carnival 2017   2 comments


We went to the Notting Hill Carnival to drink beer (check), listen to loud music (check), look at mostly undressed folks (check-a-roonie), and to eat some Carribean food (check).



I didn’t take a lot of photos after the crowd grew almost unmanageable so this is what you’ll get from this page (apologies, but just image search “Notting Hill Carnival 2017” and you’ll find whatever it is you think you want).


We weren’t as drunk as the Iggy Pop looking mofo, above, but not because we didn’t give it the ol’ college try.  His dance was really not as impressive as the copper whose video turned up viral this morning.



While the crowd probably contained every black person within 500 miles, this is London so (despite racists moaning about being overrun) it was a fairly pale shade, overall.



I was excited to find an ornate VR postbox (my effort to prove myself the whitest guy at the Carnival, according to Jackie):



And, the home of one of the founding paraders:



The Grenfell disaster weighed on everyone’s minds and there were tributes to the victims throughout (and, miraculously, an actual minute of silence in this loudest of London parties).



That’s not why there was so much smoke in the next picture.  We imbibed in a modicum of hash before travel, but we could easily have sustained a contact high everywhere we went.  “Mahr-ree-wanna, mahr-ree-wanna…like the Bob Marley, mon,” intoned one street salesman as we pushed through a crowd.  That and the hundreds of jerk chicken and goat curry stands on almost every street left our clothing reeking of char.



The food was grand, too.  J had the goat and I had the chicken (contributing to the avian holocaust wherein more chicken is consumed in 2 days than in the whole rest of the London year).  I also had these numbers handed me on the Tube the day before:

16,000 coconuts
400 goats
15,000 plantains
70,000 litres of carrot juice
10,000 litres of Jamaican stout
25,000 bottles of rum.

I believe it.


Entrepreneurs in the neighbourhood rent out their toilets for £3 a go (£5 if you want to jump the queue).  The dry compost loos provided by the borough make it an understandable (if not justifiable) luxury.



The first and last — the Alpha and Omega, if you will — stands we saw were this troupe of God Botherers:



One of them — at the far left of the photo — gave me a leaflet with a long, preachy cartoon.  Distilled, below, are the bits I thought I could use here (but opted not to bother):


Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Beer (Memorial Day Weekend)   2 comments

Fat kids,
Skinny kids,
Kids who climb on rocks,

Tough kids,
Sissy kids,
Even kids with chicken pox.

Love hot dogs,
Armour hot dogs.
The dogs kids love to bite.  (from a long running Armour Hot Dogs commercial with lyrics that could never be aired today)

We don’t have Memorial Day in England, but the last Monday of May is a Bank Holiday so we consider it the equivalent at the house.  The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved Memorial Day from May 30 (regardless the day of the week) to the last Monday in May.  I still find this a travesty and something implemented for the sake of industrial convenience over tradition.  By the time we returned to the States from Australia in 1974, Georgia had adopted this as well so the holiday no longer fell on my birthday but on the 27th of May that year.



It was 2 months to the day until the House Judiciary Committee passed the first of three articles of impeachment.  The White House had been stonewalling the independent prosecutor and the Congressional investigations and trying hard to rewrite the narrative of its high crimes and misdemeanours.  I had been reading the transcripts of the White House secret recordings since they had been published in April and would most likely have had my copy open next to the pond to read between dips.  Does any of this sound familiar?



I don’t know specifically how I spent that Memorial Day but I know I didn’t start smoking pot until the 4th of July that year so I probably just sneaked a few beers from the folks’ bottomless stash and listened to some baseball on the radio (WSB, Home of the Braves with your host Skip Carey, and the Braves, uncharacteristically, won 9-1 over the Phillies).  Inevitably there would be a cookout with ribs, burgers, and of course hot dogs.

We don’t have proper hot dogs here, either, but at least I found some that aren’t in a can (yes, Americans, tinned wieners!).  We set up our network speaker to stream the previous night’s Cubs/Dodgers game which the Cubs, uncharacteristically, lost 4-0.  Everything, as far as we could do it, was like it was in 1974.

Come on Judiciary Committee.  You can do it!


Hennessy’s, Greenford, Middlesex   Leave a comment



Jackie was leaving to visit her family in Trumpministan (formerly the Short-Fingered Republic of Vulgaria) and I took some time off to do stuff with her for a couple of days before the flight. These things did not include shopping for clothes so while she was at the shops, I went for a run to Greenford with a stop in their branch of Hennessy’s.



It was a quiet morning in the pub with just some OAP’s sitting around reading the newspapers and the bartender snacking on crisps. Tuesday, close to noon … oh, well: the beer was cold and helped get me back home. Sometimes that’s all you really need.



Posted May 11, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs, Running

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Siren Broken Dream Breakfast Stout: Advent Calendar 2016 Boxing Day   Leave a comment


Name: Broken Dream Breakfast Stout
Brewery: Siren
Rating (1-5): 4 out of 5 Sammy Davis Juniors with Santa Sacks full of Alka Seltzer

Notes:  Breakfast stout, indeed.  Here’s the entire Advent Calendar listing (I still have enough in the fridge to keep this going until New Years, as well):

Day Beverage Venue Rating (link to picture)
1 Fuller’s Black Cab Stout The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 4.5 Surly, Drunken Elves out of 5
2 Guinness West Indies Porter ditto 4.5 Hittin’ Christmas on the One out of 5
3 Shepherd Neame Double Stout ditto 4.5 Drunk Uncles out of 5
4 Meantime Chocolate Porter ditto 3 Santas Mooning You out of 5
5 Hook Norton Double Stout ditto 4 “Two Drinks and she’s Under the Host” out of 5
6 M&S London Porter ditto 5 Soul Brothers Number One out of 5
7 Shotover Oxford Black Porter ditto 4.5 Santas Bearing Night Train out of 5
8 Revisionist Craft Stout  Gardener’s Arms, Oxford 3 Just What I Wanteds out of 5
9 Sambrooks Four Chimneys Chocolate Stout Green Man, Paddington 5 Steve Buscemis out of 5
10 Wychwood Black Wych Porter The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 5 Debauched Elvettes out of 5
11 Wiper and True Milk Shake Milk Stout ditto 5 Black Lab Santas out of 5
12 Enefeld London Porter ditto 3 Bar Nativities out of 5
13 Guinness Stout The Ashbourne, Hanger Lane 2 Billy Bob Thorntons out of 5
14 Box Steam Funnel Blower The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 5 Office Party Jackasses out of 5
15 Hammerton Pentonville Oyster Stout The Star of Kings 1 out of 5 Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Kids
16 Brew By Numbers 08/06 Oatmeal Stout The Beer Asylum 4 out of 5 Beethoven’s Birthdays
17 Dragon Stout The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 3 out of 5 Santa Benders
18 Portobello Market Porter The Hop & Vine 4.5 out of 5 Dicks in Boxes
19 Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 4 out of 5 Feasting Santas
20 MarkoPaulo Coal Porter The Owl & The Pussycat 5 out of 5 Christmas ‘lumps’
21 Red Squirrel London Porter The Red Squirrel Bar 5 out of 5 Beer Bong Elves on Shelves
22 Wimbledon Phoenix Smoked Porter The Lass o’ Richmond Hill 3 out of 5 Santa’s Laps
23 Three Boys Oyster Stout Brew Dog 2 out of 5 Gay May/September Romantic Christmases
24 Hobson’s Stove Pipe Stout The Slug and Whip-It, Ruislip 4 out of 5 Wrigley Field Christmas Greetings
25 Hitachino Espresso Stout ditto 4 out of 5 Steve Harveys
26 Siren Broken Dream Breakfast Stout ditto 4 out of 5 Sammy Davis Juniors with Santa Sacks full of Alka Seltzer


Posted December 26, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Beer

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Kiuchi Espresso Stout: Advent Calendar 2016 Christmas Day   1 comment



Name: Espresso Stout
Brewery: Kiuchi
Rating (1-5): 4 out of 5 Steve Harveys

Notes: After a bottle of champagne, a bottle of port, a bottle of Chianti, and half a bottle of Vin Santo, I was ready for some stout.  Merry Christmas, and I hope yours was nice, as well.



Posted December 26, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Beer

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Stove Pipe Stout: Advent Calendar 2016 Christmas Eve   1 comment


Name: Stove Pipe Stout
Brewery: Hobsons
Rating (1-5): 4 out of 5 “It’s Not All Doom and Glooms”

Notes: Neither of us is Christmassy this year but it is Winter and that requires/demands gorging.  I baked a gallon of biscotti to go with the pair of Vin Santos on the wine rack, there’s a round of cornbread soon to be a dressing ingredient for the turkey crown tomorrow, and there’s some raw pizza sauce in the background.  I sold my keyboard on e-Bay and am waiting for the guy to come pick it up (down to just the uke and the guitar).  Jackie begged off the Peanuts Christmas this year but I listened to David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries on my run a little while ago.  Ho. Ho. Ho.

The other entries on the Advent Calendar are here.


Posted December 24, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Beer

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Three Boys Oyster Stout: Advent Calendar 2016 Day 23   2 comments


Name: Oyster Stout
Brewery: Three Boys
Rating (1-5): 2 out of 5 Gay May/September Romantic Christmases


Notes:  I can’t fault this beer in any way at all.  The venue, Brew Dog in Shepherds Bush, is as annoying as getting stuck on a broken down subway full of people on their way to Comic Con or a gaming convention.


Posted December 23, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Beer

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Wimbledon Phoenix Smoked Porter: Advent Calendar 2016 Day 22   5 comments


Name: Phoenix Smoked Porter
Brewery: Wimbledon
Rating (1-5): 3 out of 5 “Santa’s Laps”
Notes:  The beer was nothing special and the Lass o’ Richmond where I purchased the brew tried to shortchange me then did a bunch of doublespeak to make it sound like I was the one with the mathematics wrong.

On a similar note, Ian Dury had many reasons to be cheerful:



none of which included running 8 miles across London on a cold, winter day to get to his memorial bench only to find that the sound feature has been removed:


The bench is in Richmond Park, where the wild deer are docile:


So docile, in fact, that as well armed as they are they barely take note while something as recklessly dangerous as drunken Brits on holiday approach close enough to touch them.  Like Americans at an all-you-can-eat buffet, they just keep on eating despite the likelihood of imminent doom.  This is as fitting a metaphor for this fucked up year as I have seen.


But, the sunset was beautiful this evening.  1, 2, 3….


All of the Porter/Stout Advent Calendar entries can be found at this link.