Archive for the ‘Ruislip’ Tag

Garden Chairs and Bunny Repairs   4 comments


We worked on the garden a bit this summer… I’m fairly pleased with the way the table and chairs look in Cubbie Blue.  In the States, I’d probably look for an umbrella for the picnic table with a Cubs logo on it, but here in England I think I’ll have to settle for something plain (or, maybe I can stencil a blue W into it…).


Jackie wanted red for the dining chairs so I went with something I could use for the Cubs logo but I think I found Cardinal Red instead.  The seat upholstery came from a journey to Shepherd’s Bush Market.



Now, for the bunnies….



I last painted these cast iron bunnies 30 years ago when we lived on Mecaslin Street, Home Park, Atlanta. The rivet in the tail of one of these broke in-transit to Arizona in 2005 and the one through that one’s nose snapped off this past winter leaving it in two pieces: bunnies on the half shell.  It’s now high summer and I can hang out repairing them on my new Cubs themed garden furniture whilst listening to a game streamed via

When did WGN lose the broadcast rights and why isn’t Old Style still the sponsor?  Foreign fans want to know.




These guys are about 70 years old (maybe 80…they were making them then but I know these were at the house when it was a fishing camp for the well-to-do in the postwar 1940’s) and it was nice to inspect one on the inside after all this time. The layer of rust is probably protective so I left it alone then drilled and tapped some M6 holes to effect a repair.




The tail I did by sight, but once that was anchored I wired the two halves together to pull them together and to immobilise them while I drilled the nose hole through then tapped the hole so that I had one side threaded and the other started.  Then I cut the wires and finished the second half so that a bolt started in one would pick up in the other.  This is harder than it sounds…if the threads are even slightly off, the screw won’t mate and it will cross-thread.  Most blacksmiths will tell you to fuck off if you ask for this and even the instrument engineers I consulted said it was about a 1-in-20 chance I would manage this.  Haters gonna hate, though, and this worked a treat.



I borrowed the lab Dremel and used a cutoff wheel to finish this part of the repair (nose and tail).  Look closely at the confluence of wheel, bunny, and bolt and you can see some of the sparks:



Then, for both bunnies I needed to take off the paint we put on 30 years ago and that which we painted over from another 40-50 years back.  I used the lab heat gun for this step despite having easy access to some sublimely suitable (and horrendously unfriendly to the environment) solvents which would have made it short work.  Still, heating this to near ignition and whacking it with a wire brush exposed the textures cast into the metal — and previously obliterated by the layers of enamel.



I used an epoxy styled paste to fill the gaps in both of the little guys.  Here they are (below) just before the sanding and otherwise ready for the primer layer.

The broken ear on the one on the right happened when I was about 10 years old (so, about 45 years ago).  Me and a cousin (the one referenced in this post) used to play this game where we would fling the bunnies at each other daring the recipient to catch the projectile (these are about 15 pounds in Imperial measure or 7 kg in modern money, so kudos to our youthful good sense).  We never did grab one in flight but this one time (of which we now reminisce) it hit the tarmac driveway, driving the severed piece of ear into my relative’s face.  I think the beating I received had more to do with fucking up the bunny than sending my cousin to the hospital, for the record, but six-of-one and half-a-dozen of the other.



Next, the primer coat was applied:



and, a slow build-up of colour:



The former Chinese Sex Chair (and now BBQ table) isn’t weathering well so I also decided to fill in the notches at the top and repaint it, too.  The spackle has now been sanded but the new paint will have to wait until a warm, sunny weekend.  In the meantime, it served as the bunny finishing studio.



Bunny details took ages, with this only one of the interim attempts at completion:



But, now in November, they have a clear coat and a home back out in the garden.  The colours are more even than they look in this photo (glare and haze … Tim and Kesey still look — in person — like they did a couple of years ago, for comparison; I just couldn’t be bothered to walk back out there for a better picture), but the grass really does need a trim (even worse so than in the pic).  But for now it is wintery out and the garden is forlorn.



Posted November 3, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in art

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Fill a 6-foot-deep hole with 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup…   1 comment

At cocktail bars, I’m ridiculed by bartenders when I order something old-style like a Manhattan or a Side-Car.  But, going by the evidence in the Ruislip Cemetery, the Tom Collins is quite literally dead.  R.I.P.

Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Obits, Recipes

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GB Kebabs, Ruislip, Middlesex   Leave a comment


There is a pharmacy right next to GB Kebab.  This is probably a codicil of the business license.  On the other hand, my gut microbiome will never be healthier or more diverse if I can ever flush away the salt.


Posted August 11, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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Weekend Runs, late February 2017   3 comments


Around Christmas, I started a training cycle meant to prep me for the Siracusa City Marathon (Sicily) but other necessary travel was going to interfere with that date (and, in typical Italian fashion, they have just this week cancelled this year’s event, anyway) so I will have to make this year’s marathon some other time.  I’m sticking to the schedule, though, and will just continue to ramp things as if I were doing another ultra (so when I DO finally pick 42K to run, it’ll be a dawdle).

This weekend, I had an 8 miler scheduled for Saturday and just decided to wing it by listening to some podcasts to give me an hour then legging it home from wherever I was then to close the loop.  The photo, above, was some sort of elephant mobile that has appeared at a roadside memorial on the bike path next to the A40 (Western Avenue) between South Ruislip and Northolt.




Soon after the memorial photo, I picked up some Hash House Harrier marks from a recently cleared trail and followed those a bit, then out to Rayner’s Lane and, seeing that my time for the show I was listening to was lapsing, homeward.




Sunday was a little more structured for the planned 17 miles (17.7, eventually).  Hopping on the towpath of the Paddington Branch by the Civil Engineer, it was a quiet canal-based trip around to the Grand Union Canal with a short detour for a pint at the White House before heading back to the waterside and into Uxbridge.  Even after picking up the pavement, again, things were quiet (mostly wooded and waterside cycle path into Ickenham).  Good loop, this one.




The Station House Apartments made me laugh because it sounds like a euphemism for prison … you know, like “The Grey Bar Hotel,” or something.  They even look a little like something administered by G4S.

The graffito, below, was oddly encouraging although, with about 4 miles left the end was not near enough.




Posted February 26, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Kebab Centre, Ruislip, Middlesex   Leave a comment



The reason I made such a big deal about Uncle Jim’s kebab was that it was so unusual: most kebabs you get were like the one I inflicted on myself (or, rather, with which I afflicted myself) at the Kebab Centre in Ruislip yesterday.  Yuck.  I couldn’t decide if it was the meat or the salad that imparted the rotting compost essence but the congealed grease that collected in my mouth and esophagus definitely came from the Beast that was passed off as lamb (as did the salt that had me attached to a water bottle for the next 6 hours: I drank as much water last night as I would, usually, in 2 days).



Posted January 11, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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Last year can fuck right off: 2016 by the numbers (mostly)   2 comments


Numbers, or so, listed in bold and underlined.

Everyone has shit to talk about 2016, and so do I; but, I’ll minimise that, here.  I finally sprang for two new pair of running shoes to replace the pair, featured in the photos here, that I picked up in Chattanooga in September 2015 and subsequently added 2253 running miles on before retiring them last weekend (with walking, as these were my usual day-to-day shoes, these had much closer to 4000 miles on them).



Over the Christmas break, we watched a shitload of TV and a bunch of really cheery movies (highly recommended of these are the drama Martha Marcy Mae Marlene and the documentary The Coming War With China.  To recover from those you might want to find Twenty Feet From Fame.  But, we also caught a bunch of shit tele and some old stuff.  In keeping with the theme of the year, we downloaded a collection of the Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) and spent the entirety of each show playing the middle-age white person version of Jew-Not-A-Jew (aka the straight person’s version of Queer-Not-A-Queer) by pointing at each corpse we spotted on screen and saying, “DEAD.” “Bob Hope. DEAD.” “Joan Rivers! DEAD.” “Gary Shandling, DEAD.” (By the way, that’s Not A Jew, Jew, and a little of both).



So, instead of the multitude of other celebrity deaths everyone is banging on about, here are the 17 I noticed but did not eulogise (and some of whom you may have missed):

17 January: Blowfly, 76
2 February: Bob Elliott, 92
16 February: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93
6 March: Merle Haggard, 79
3 June: Muhammad Ali, 74
17 June: Fred Tomlinson, 88
22 August: Toots Thielemans, 94
29 August: Gene Wilder, 83
8 September: The Lady Chablis, 59
16 September: Edward Albee, 88
30 September: Hanoi Hannah, 87
18 October: Phil Chess, 95
2 November: Dolores Klosowski, 93, American baseball player (Milwaukee Chicks)
7 November: Leonard Cohen, 82
25 November: Ron Glass, 71
22 December: Miruts Yifter, 72
25 December: George Michael, 53

In a similar vein, here are the other numbers of my year…

Obits actually in the blog: 16

Alan Rickman
Nancy Reagan
Swindon’s Stagecoach Bus Depot in Old Town
Robert Ford, Madman Mayor of Toronto
Station Jim
Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium and Turner Field in apparent murder-suicide
Brownie’s dad
The jihadi sparrow
American democracy
The villages of Longford and Harmondsworth
America, the not so great pre-Trump version
Fidel Castro
Andrew Sachs
AA Gill

New Years Honours of Note: 1 (for the name): Mr Fabulous Flournoy, (MBE)

Mileage (running): 1589.8, quite the slack year — the least in two decades of keeping track


Pub write-ups 1 January thru 30 June: 38

Pub write-ups 1 July thru 31 December (we moved house 28 July): 216 (254 for the year)

Recipes, such as they are, published here: 5

Brunswick Stew and BBQ Sauce
Chicken Llewyn
Malted Milk Ball Hot Toddy
Chicken Breasts done as if for Pakoras

Kebabs: 2

Fish: 22

International trips: Except for returning from Cork, technically a 2015 trip, 1 (Bremen)

Marathons: 1 (Wales Marathon)

Other races: 0, but a few planned for 2017

Weight (high): 169 lbs (12 stone 1 pound, Winter drinking weight)

Weight (low): 150 (10 stone 10 pounds, at the Marathon)


Hop & Vine, Ruislip, Middlesex   4 comments



My second micropub in a row (see the Beer Asylum from Friday night), the Hop & Vine opened Saturday night and I finally made my way over Sunday for a lunchtime pint of porter.  The atmosphere is industrial but the Hop Inn (Swindon) made it work so well that it has been district CAMRA pub of the year several times in the 3 or 4 years it’s been open and there’s no reason this one can’t do likewise, here.




The ales are gravity fed but the taproom is visible across the bar.  They have several gins and a large variety of bottled beers.  I’m especially interested in the 2L refillable growler for takeaway purposes (although, I have to smirk whenever someone here uses the term “growler” in the American context knowing all to well what the vernacular definition is).

The couple that run the joint are still excited and friendly so it might be good to catch them before they get surly and rude.  I, along with 1000’s of others, supported their license with the Hillingdon Borough Council and now it is time for us to support them with regular custom.





Posted December 19, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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