The 2011 T.W.Brit Christmas List

Yes, it’s this time of year again and strangely, while I dug up the old Christmas logo, I obviously forgot to update the theme with the modern logo style due to the fact I no longer have a working copy of Adobe Creative Suite or better still – Master Suite. This is a shame in itself due to the fact I was to animate the TWBrit logos soon.

This year I’ve been troubled about my wants and wishes… As ever, they’re all crazy, but I thought I would avoid things that require pretence – so membership of Whites Club has been removed. Nevertheless, the taste of all the things I cannot afford grows and lets be honest – is it not that if we refuse to dream, we’ll never make our tomorrow better? This year I will also ply a degree of reasoning with the items on the list. This does not mean there will be logic in that reasoning as in some cases it might come down phrases like “want one” or “me-some” ;-)

Also some things on my list last year I actually got :-) and some things this year maybe left over from last year.

So here it is, the crazy and often regarded insane:

 The 2011 Christmas List

                          

Battenberg Cake

I know, I’ve put it here before, heck Gabsatrucker even made me one once. But Battenberg is a guys cake… It may look pink and yellow, be wayyyy too sweet – but it is the mass production and yet basic engineering concept that makes this baby a geometric marvel that most guys like – me some

Life Time Supply of Coffee

Because last time I did get coffee, but I’m still alive and I’ve run out ;)

A Knighthood:  for services to Britishness, Commonsense and because I’m apparently Legendary :-)

                     

Personalized TWBrit Guitar Picks

Not that I can decide which way to do the artwork as you can see….

                                    

ACDC Wine

:) Toller, Shaker, Blood and Black :)

                                                 

Heavy Duty Footwear = CAT & Dehner

I have no problem with wearing pretty much nothing else than Caterpillar Colorado Boots all the time… Supreme comfort, durability and never a bad smell. I have also been on the look out for a long field boot for ages and without spending thousands, the only one that seems to be tough enough and still to be reasonable are Dehner Boots… the actual benefit of Dehners’ is that while it may look like you’re gonna get your head kicked in by them – it allows me to wade through your sticky, lard like entrails afterwards. This, (if you are unsure) is a good thing! ;-)

Tech…  did you think I had forgotten?? Here they are, the crazy tech items I actually need…

                                 

Dell Alienware M11X, M14X and M17X – yes, all 3

                                  

Then 2 x  XPS 15z with i7 cpu’s

                                                                                                    

Marshall Hand Wired amp and speaker stack.

                                                

Motion Computing J3500

                                                          

A Matrox M9188 16 port Graphic Card with Touch…

                                                                

Adobe Master Edition

I have come to use Adobe software a lot on here and with other work. I used to have the CS2 edition but lost the disc a long time ago. And have been using Trial versions ever since… the trials have expired :( But the reason I love this software is simply the fact you’re limited only by a few things; Imagination! Knowledge of how to use it fully and Cost. Here is the ad vid to the previous version; everything you see here, the detail in the designs, animations and the music was all done with it.

                                                               

Battlefield 3

Because it’s Battlefield 3 and I can’t run Battlefield 2 anymore :( Just for fun, here is the Play Symphony playing the theme music :-)

                                                                                               

Amberley Court

Amberley Court was on last years list… If this house was a few miles east and not on the side of a hill… it would possibly be the best possible house in the world to me. It came up for sale on the Knight Frank website and I have literally spent weeks pawing over the plans and redesigning the Master Bedroom suite, removing the garden and building a huge basement that covers several floors and includes a way out to the pool house and an extensive subterranean garage, not to mention all manner of other things. The general layout is just astounding!! Sadly it was taken off the market… But still, what a house!!

                                                                                              

Free advanced Adobe Training

                                                                    

Private Boeing 787

Yes, yes, I know…. And yes that is a car in the hold. And why? Because it’s the ultimate freedom, and because it’s so wrong and well, I want one :D

But as I did not win the Euro millions Lottery to the tune of £146m ($227,716,200) a few months ago and would have bought a new 737 BBJ (or 2nd hand 777) to whiz myself and my friends about in – I decided to set my fictional goals just that bit higher ;-)

                                                                    

As EVERY year… a Taylor K22ce

 

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As an interlude, I also have a question or two… Person posing as my former neighbour of sorts, who are you and what have you done with my razor-sharp witted, night driving, sledge-hammer owning, house bashing, hard-assed off roading buddy KMA? ;)

It has been a strange year, and I have to say there are several people I miss on the old twitterscape and blogasphere. I guess most don’t know who they are – but from Dave, Annie, Joanne, WKD, Al, and so many others… you’re missed.

Right – back to it…

Again…. The Land Rover 110 CSW… 2.5 TDi and fully equipped if poss ;-)

-

The Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Actually, I would use this every day!! Top tool for doing a top job :-)

                                                                   

A Desktop Solution with a 28 or 30 LED primary screen solution with 2 x22 screen and 6 x 7 touch screens. Sadly the NEC/Alienware 48 inch curved screen is no longer available.

Another Guitar : Gibson Les Paul Dark Fire.

This thing just takes guitar tech to a new level :-)

Gibson still make the Dark Fire, but you need to order it via dealer.

                                                    

A Made By Bob hoody in navy blue with white writing, size XXL

                                                      

Still want an Accuracy International .338

Because it rocks and it’s just a whole loada wrong ;-)

                                                                                          

British Airways – Free bump to business class on every flight I take…. And free trip to Toronto before Christmas please (rtn January) ;-)

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                 

Theakston’s Old Peculier by the barrel, not the bottle

Whoever you are, where ever you are…. Please, have a great Christmas, drive safely and be safe. For my friends of other religions – know that the spirit and good will of this time extends to you also.

But NOT if you’re a kiddy fiddling priest!!

UPDATE

Regular readers will be thankful of the following image as I’m now too late to purchase these confectionary gifts for you – and yes, this is for real.., as you can see HERE.  I know Hammy will be exceptionally disappointed ;)

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A return that’s never wasted

It was in the freezing January of 2010 when I ventured out of my way while heading up from Devon to visit my mother in Oxfordshire…
The place I set upon was Cirencester in the heart of the Cotswolds. An outstandingly beautiful part of the UK and in the case of this town – a historic centre of Roman commerce.
The reason was that comedian, author and traveller Dom Joly simply could not stop raving about a local eatery by the name Made By Bob..
Let me put you in the picture a little;
Dom travels the world, eats in all sorts of places and tries everything, his knowledge when it comes to places to eat on a global stage is frankly encyclopaedic!
So when this guy says, it’s his favourite place to eat – I listen…

Back on that cold winter day, there was ice and snow everywhere as I headed off to find this place courtesy of Dom’s directions.. and I think you can read that story for your self HERE.

Roll on to just a few days ago and I’m showing this blogs hindrance and help, American blogger, marathon runner and of course Big Rig driver – @Gabsatrucker around a few bits of the UK during her busy schedule..
With fair warning to Dom to avoid the place and after getting names of great villages to show to Gabby from Robert Llewellyn - we headed to Made By Bob…

It was very busy as we waited for our seat, Bob suddenly looked over, smiling and acknowledging…
The food and service had not faltered one bit!! It was stunning…
Now between the present time and last time I visited my hair has grown into a shaggy mess – and I was having a bad hair day – yet here, 18 months later a with firm memory attached to the back of his eyes – Bob said hello and thanked me for my previous write up…
He went on to explain that they were about to start expanding the place and major alterations would begin in the coming days as they start to go straight through the wall and into the next place…

I was simply gobsmacked that all this time, nothing had faded, if anything it was better!
Hard work, dedication – almost to the point of exhaustion has made this place one of the most (if not THE most) outstanding places to have lunch in the UK today!
Even with the place busy the welcome was outstanding and the food brilliant…

Now roll on a couple of days and imagine sitting in a Café Rouge in Windsor… Where we suffered terrible service, very poor quality food and waited, oh boy did we wait for our food… almost to the point of leaving!!
And then paying a LOT more for the pleasure…

No, I could mention many places to eat, not as much as Dom – But I have to concur, there is probably no better place to eat in Great Britain at lunchtime than at Made By Bob in Cirencester…

If you haven’t been, GO!! But be fair to yourself – eat somewhere the day before and somewhere the day after – you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Heck we went to one old favourite place to eat, The Rose Revived in Oxfordshire and never even got to eat… A place I’ll never ever return to…

So to Bob, his better half and his team, thank you for the great food and outstanding hospitality… If I ran approval ratings, this place would score full marks and then some… (there’s a thought)

Thanks also to Robert Llewellyn and Dom Joly without whom the day simply would not have been so awesome…

 

 

Published in: on 7 October, 2011 at 23:11  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

Made by Bob

You know when a new movie comes out and everyone’s seen it but you, yet everyone gets a little hyper about how it’s a ‘must see’ thing? When you finally get to go and see it, you’re left not with the enjoyment of the movie to remember, but a stumped wonderment to what all the hype was about…
Well when someone who appears really down to earth says that not only does he spend so much time in a restaurant that and even a good chunk of his future book ‘The Dark Tourist’ was actually written in there – you start simply wondering why? Furthermore, this person, who is known for his globetrotting adventures, then claims it’s his favourite place to eat in the world…. You just gotta go look.

Over the last 20 years I, like many, have eaten in a vast array of restaurants. Because of my work I’ve been lucky enough to eat in some pretty amazing places all around the world.
I must say though, I’m not any kind of culinary expert. I’m simply someone who likes to eat good food without pretence and formality.
Yes, I’ve eaten in places from the Hotel du Cap in France, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Riyadh and so many other grand and not so grand places, but few places leave me with any true wish to return.

‘So, just where is this amazing place?’ you ask. Knightsbridge? Chelsea, even? No! It’s in an arcade in Cirencester!
I often pass through Cirencester on my way to visit my mother in Witney, so I decided to pop in, give the place a look and have a bite to eat.
I must confess I have been passing through Cirencester on and off most of my life but had never really got out and had a walk around. This typical and some say ‘quaint’ Cotswold market town is a centre for Agriculture, Equestrian, Celeb shopping and so much more. Indeed, it’s one of the few places in the UK that while you may not know anyone there, you’ll certainly recognize more than just a few people from the world of TV, Film, Media and even Royalty while strolling around.

Freezing and passing rows of Range Rovers and Discoveries parked on Market Square, I finally walked into the Corn Hall and ‘Made by Bob’.
The first thing you notice when you arrive is that it doesn’t look like an ordinary restaurant. It has the look of a cross between a sushi bar and a comfortable Cotswold restaurant but with a modern shop like front.

As you walk in you immediately feel comfortable. It’s warm, inviting and straight away a smiling face welcomes you and offers you a seat.
The layout is a centred open plan kitchen with a high bar around it offering places to sit and watch the food being prepared before you and also tables around the edges. It’s not a huge place, yet it’s not too small either, put simply – it’s just right, a size that strikes the perfect balance of cosy and roomy.
The menu was straight forward with what I call ‘real’ food and offered up as a simple sheet of card. I don’t mean that to sound cheap in any way, it’s just that the simplicity actually has a real quality about it.
Having not had one for a while, the person who recommended the place also recommended the steak – I needed no further prompting as I’m not a fish eater etc. and love my steak!
The atmosphere is hard to describe, everything was casual and inviting; the lighting was just right, the guests were simply enjoying the food and chilling out with a newspaper, laptop or friend. But the standard of customer service was brilliant; helpful, non intrusive and everyone smiled in a nice way – not the usual type of fast food ‘Hi happy happy’ way. 
I think the best way to put it is that the service was of the type you get in the most expensive and exclusive restaurants, without the pretentiousness that unfortunately is typical of that calibre of service.

I watched my rare steak being cooked by Bob while I drank my Latte from a tall glass (which I must add was the perfect strength) and was interested that he cooked if for longer than I would have, yet he had far better results than I ever had.
I don’t quite know what he did, or how he did it, but I was stunned at the result, it melted on my tongue, full of flavour and left me with a huge broad smile.

Later I spoke to Bob about how he cooked steaks and how I had come to be sitting his restaurant. He told me about a new website being created at present.
In the process I said “Don’t get me wrong, the place has an atmosphere all of its own, but it isn’t where I’d bring someone for a meal in an evening”, he smiled and said “That’s good, because we shut at 6:30pm”.
Throughout this conversation he continued cooking away and what was almost surreal to me (not knowing anything about being a chef) is how he did so many things at the same time, cooking, preparing and talking.

I left ‘Made by Bob’ pleasantly surprised and with a full tummy and a big smile. My wallet had not been emptied. I had been treated and spoken to nicely, with respect and served perfectly. I had eaten alone and had not felt self-conscious at all (though with my face, I got over self consciousness shortly after birth) and how much did I pay for my large steak meal and copious coffees? £21.40!

So, if you’re in or near the Cotswolds, in need of sustenance, care and the kind of service you would expect to find in only the most expensive establishments – then I can heartily recommend ‘Made by Bob’. It is one of the best places I have ever eaten and most certainly the nicest food and customer service I have ever found in the UK!
Made by Bob: Friendly, down to earth, reasonably priced with absolutely no compromise on quality!

Special thank you to Bob and his great staff, not to mention the food. And of course Dom Joly who directed me to and insisted I try Made by Bob – I didn’t regret it at all.

Made By Bob, Unit 6, The Corn Hall, 26 Market Place, Cirencester. Tel: 01285 641 818.

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