Been up to Villiers Terrace

We are having a couple of away days at the Villers Hotel in Buckingham. As a yoof, I was a big Echo & the Bunnymen fan, and that had a song called “[url=]Villiers Terrace”[/url]. That was about a drug den in Liverpool. This one is nicer.


I went to see the Wales National Theatre’s production of WW1 drama Mametz today. It was an outdoor production in a forest in Usk. We weren’t allowed to take photos so I sneaked this one before the main part started. It was amazing, really well done, mixing time frames and locations, and deeply moving. For the final scene we were in the middle of the forest, and it was raining heavily, but that seemed appropriate.
I’m not a big theatre fan, I hate musicals, and I struggle with the staginess and luviness of many shows, so an outdoor production suits me. It’s only on for a few days, so I urge you to see it if you can.

Claws of doom

Local supermarket was selling whole cooked lobster for 7 quid so I treated myself. This looks like I’ve boosted the colour on the photo, but that is it straight out of the camera. I attempted a beurre blanc, which split, but it was still delicious.

Meet the owners

My daughter and I are fans of the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team. They had one of those dodgy owners, and an appalling year last year, with players not being paid, and sackings. A few weeks ago we thought they were going out of business, but then some new owners came in, led by Todd Kelman, the former MD of the Belfast Giants.
Tonight they held a free [url=]meet the owners event [/url]at the Cardiff Museum, where they announced their plans and unveiled new signings. It was great, Kelman is a good performer, and like many people who are excellent at their job, he makes doing the right thing seem so simple.
Exciting times ahead for the Devils, roll on September.

Botanical gardens

So today I walked from the hotel to the University of Coimbra where I gave the second all day workshop (a repeat of yesterday’s one with different participants). I then got a train to Porto, taxi to the airport, and then had a three hour delay, meaning I didn’t land until 1am and was home by 4am.
Anyway, the walk to the uni took me through the Botanical Gardens, and the weather was a bit british at the time, but I can image how lovely it would be to spend a warm summer’s day here. The workshops have gone very well, with good participation. It’s all been a bit hectic though and i haven’t really had a chance to see anything of the cities I’ve been in.

Twin cathedrals

I ran a workshop from 10-4 in Lisbon today (it is tough doing that solo – all that time on your feet!). Then I caught a train to Coimbra to do the same tomorrow. I had a quick wander around near the hotel, before going for a meal (in a unprepossessing looking restaurant called La taberna, which served fantastic food). Here two types of cathedral stand alongside each other – the religious kind and the sporting kind (that’s the football stadium Estádio Cidade de Coimbra).


I am in Portugal for a couple of days giving workshops on digital scholarship. I flew into Lisbon tonight, and having negotiated the metro, found my hotel was opposite the Futebol Park where they show all the games on a big screen. It was Brazil Cameroon tonight, and Brazil are practically a second team for the Portuguese, so there was a good atmosphere. Cameroon weren’t up to much defensively so even this poor Brazil team could score. It was a nice way to watch the footie.


Today I made this lasagne – including rolling my own pasta, the ragu sauce, bechemel, etc. Ok, I didn’t hand rear the cow or get eggs from my own chickens, but you know, near enough all homemade. Given the 3 hours it took me, and the range of ingredients I had to buy, I can’t say it was really worth it, but it tasted good. Even my daughter liked it. I need to purchase a pasta rolling machine though, as doing it by hand was tricky and the pasta sheets were too thick.