Questa settimana è cene italiane

In order to at least try to eat healthily during the week and not take the easy route of one of the many takeaways nearby, we write a menu and shopping list for the week and then broadly stick to i, (yes that is my mother’s influence – though I haven’t gone as far as printing templates in the order of the supermarket layout, my list is broadly split into groups on the back on an envelope!).

But even with veg coming from our fortnightly delivery, at the moment, inspiration is low, so writing a menu consists of picking a theme or recipe book.

This week its Italian. Robbie’s pick, maybe inspired by his attempts to learn some Italian or maybe as the sun is out, making it feel like summer is on its way and a reminder of sunny holidays to Italy.

So thanks to some help from Jamie and Nigella, our menu is:

  • Bistecca con fagioli cannellini
  • Gamberi con limone e pangattato
  • Pasta e ceci
  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Costolette di maiale con salvia
  • Salsicce con lentichhie e salsa di pomodoro


There are certain things in life that you always mean to acomplish but as they are a little rubbish, or a little too far out of the way, you never actually do them. Well today, we managed to do not one, but two of those those things.

Since my mid 20s I have wanted to eat at a Little Chef restaurant (a Heston tv show that described little chef as the worst food in the world and a similar Ben Elton routine marvelling in its crapness convinced me that this was a place I just had to go to) and it has become a bit of a running joke when we drive past services that have a Little Chef that we must stop there and sample the culinary excellence. Well today Nicola and I, in a state of tiredness (me) and illness (Nicola), actually went into a Little Chef to sample their Quick Bite menu. Like anything where you have built up high (or in this case low) expectations the event itself always fails to live up to your imaginings and unsurprisingly that was the case today as lunch ended up being a perfectly adequate mass produced meal that was quite boringly perfectly edible. Even though it was an anticlimax its a good feeling to have finally eaten there.

The second thing that I have always wanted to do is to go to the Roman Palace at Fishbourne, the best preserved Roman site in the UK. Every time I go to a Roman site I am always a little disappointed as i have high hopes of seeing an actual villa or a semi reconstruction but when we get there all that is left are foundations. Well today was no different but once I got over my initial disappointment I rather enjoyed the free tour, the mosaics and the Roman garden and I was glad we made the effort.


At this stage you are probably wondering why the post is entitled Emsworth. The reason is the we ended the day at a B&B in the rather pretty town (or at least from what we could tell as we strolled around looking for dinner) of Emsworth and I was determined to, just once, actually remember the name of an anonymous small town that we have stayed in…

A proper kiwi summer holiday

While we managed to catch up with most of the Andersons in September, we decided it wasn’t quite the same as a trip back home for Robbie. So 36 hours after leaving Norfolk on 27th December, we arrived in Taupo surprising most of the family thanks to a little help from Dave.

We spent a wonderful two weeks in NZ, with a couple of days around Wellington and one in Auckland, enjoying what Robbie remembers as a traditional summer holiday – sunny days and warm evenings, cricket on the beach, enjoying Lake Taupo, dinner and gossiping with extended family (there were 24 of us one night).

More  to follow, see some initial photos here

Little Red…

Christmas has snuck up on us this year. Work has been tough, I can’t shake this cold, the UK is going through a very warm spell and my family seemed done in November with a plethora of coordinated lists before I could even begin to think about Christmas. All in all I’ve not been feeling like my normal Christmassy self. But tonight we went to the local panto and thankfully I now feel like I can forget the day-to-day rubbish, remember to not take it so seriously and enjoy myself. A real thumbs up to Greenwich theatre, with a mix of tongue in cheek, old and new, and a fabulous cast. I’m looking forward to seeing my family and remembering what’s important.

Best wishes to you all.

Family Holiday

We were lucky enough to have an Anderson family holiday in Hawaii in September to celebrate three significant birthdays. We decided to break up the long flight and took our chance for stopovers in San Diego and Las Vegas – where Robbie completed one of his 40 things to do when he’s 40, to put £50 on red (we lost!)

I’ve included a link to some favourite Photos.