October was ok, and hence my misspelling of this word in the title. I spent it catching up with friends, focusing on work and generally having ‘me time’. I guess over the past year to date I haven’t given myself really any proper time out just to relax, unwind and refocus on my priorities – so all in all a great month.

However, it wasn’t a month without its trials and tribulations! I spent the first part at least in quite considerable pain following a complicated and prolonged wisdom tooth extraction at the hospital; which many people close to me will know didn’t go according to plan by any stretch of the imagination. Plus it involved me going back later in the day, just as they were closing, to address an urgent complication. But my many thanks to the chief consultant and on call dental surgeon for your resolve in fixing the problem. So for about two weeks I was very much feeling sorry for myself – so mum, dad, my apologies for the umpteen phone calls that I made to you during that period.

However, I had Kris to cheer me up with drinks so the self-pitying self came to an end, for one evening at least, having drinks and catching up in Browns Bar and Brasserie at Canary Wharf. Have to say always a great laugh, and his hubby is very lucky to have him, as is Kris to have him! Spending time with Kris is always entertaining, and its like a game of lucky dip…you never know what to expect! So thanks Kris for the drinks, the chat and of course generating more work for me! Lol. The migraine wasn’t induced by the alcohol, let’s put it that way. (Only joking Kris…or am I? 😉 …..hahaha you decide…you’ve known me long enough now).

Mid way through the month, despite being able to open my mouth properly, I had a lovely meal at Terroirs Wine Bar with a dear friend. I chose a great wine (even if I say so myself), not too acidic, nor too mild, delicious in fact. So if you go there, I’d definitely recommend a bottle enchantingly titled ‘Carbone 14’ (Stephane Morin, Banyuls 2009 VdP des Côtes Catalanes). It is a mixture of Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc, and is sensational on the palate, packed with plenty of fruity flavour, and is easy to drink. It is a medium bodied wine, so if you find that you don’t like the harshness of a Cabernet Sauvignon, then this is definitely one that you should try. Also, it try Côtes du Rhone as well if you find that you are picking up bottles that are too full bodied. But if you do have a strong red, solution is to balance it out having a cheeseboard.

A short while after I caught up with Khai, a friend I made in London just over two years ago. A very wonderful guy… and he will make that special someone a very lucky person indeed, and I look forward to seeing it. We ended up having a burger just off from Southbank before heading to Mad Hatters, which is a pub just off from Blackfriars in the direction of Southwark Underground Station. I like this place as it’s like going back in time with the wooden beams in the ceiling and their selection of beers, wine and other alcoholic delights. Definitely a place to go if you don’t want to be in a modern trendy bar and would like to retreat a little.

The penultimate weekend I spent a day with Samantha, a very special lady indeed. Having lived together at university, we have become very close friends and appreciate the time we have chatting over coffee, wandering around the shops, having wine and dinner. Such a great catch up over pizza, before wandering the shops (window shopping), before an afternoon scone and tea at Patisserie Valerie (PV) and then a bottle of Cabernet Shiraz at All Bar One. PV was great, and whilst they do have a huge array of cakes to chose from, I can recommend the pot of tea and scones – and no one order will serve two. If you ordered one each two scones well, is too much and you’d have too much tea!

And amongst all this, I managed to fit in a few good films, Taken Two and Sinister. The latter made me jump several times in the cinema, and made me laugh at the same time at myself; making myself jump at the sudden boom on the screen. It was a good story all the same and I can sense a further film coming out of this, but how they can build on the story I do not know. As for Taken 2, it was like an abridged version of an action film, cut all the unnecessaries out and get straight to the point. It contrasts to Taken, and have to admit I was left with mixed feelings once it had finished.

Well hope I haven’t bored you that much, and be grateful I gave you a snap shot into the month that was Oktober!

Best wishes, Benjamin