An Akash Birthday

In 2008, Emily chose to celebrate her birthday at the Akash restaurant at 500A Edgware Road. Of the several posts that have featured this, my favourite over four decades, places this gem in perspective.

I had remembered this splendid family occasion when speaking on the phone to Heidi yesterday. This morning I received a Facebook message containing two of

my daughter-in-law’s photographs of the event. Both focus on Emily and Oliver. The first includes Majid, the manager; Cath and Amy in the background, and my hand in the foreground. Majid had produced the splendid cake.

Today the weather was wet, windy, and decidedly dingy.

During a slight lull in rainfall Jackie photographed the crab apples because she doesn’t know how long they will last before the blackbirds have finished them off.

Immediately after lunch, peering through the rain-spattered windscreen, we drove to Pennington to deliver an acceptance letter for his decorating quote to Nick Hayter, and to make a booking at The Wheel Inn for Thursday evening.

Much against my better judgement, I allowed my Chauffeuse to cajole me into photographing waves from the clifftop at Milford on Sea. In order for me to disembark without the gusting winds tearing the passenger side door from my grip, Jackie needed to leave her own comfortable seat to hold my door. This was only fair, really. My cheeks were then pierced by ice cold driven needles. These were the rain, not the eponymous appendages to the Isle of Wight, because

the Isle, its Needles, and the lighthouse, as can be seen from these two pictures, had gone AWOL.

It is true that I couldn’t see what I was doing, but I know I was pointing my lens to where the island used to be.

I managed to photograph more waves

and rocks before I sank back into the Modus

and focussed more easily on empty benches through the front window.

Although it lacks the horns, Jackie’s beef pie would definitely be appreciated by the Dandy comic’s Desperate Dan. Packed with tender steak, succulent onions and firm chestnut mushrooms the Culinary Queen’s speciality is what we enjoyed for tonight’s dinner. This was served with tasty boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots; cabbage and green beans, with which she finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank more of the Barbera D’Asti.


  1. “The sea was angry, that day, my friend.” (Seinfeld reference) I LOVE the picture of the benches – it looks like they are standing there together discussing the furious ocean.

    It must be wonderful to have a restaurant that you love and that loves you back.

    1. Thank you very much, Jodie. Once, when I was struggling with needing s hip replacement, Majid insisted on driving me back to where I was staying – two bus rides away.

  2. I enjoyed reading all about your long love affair with curries – though I didn’t know you cooked and am terribly impressed with that. It sounds like winter has truly arrived at your place now, stay warm!

  3. Beef or no beef, I share the Culinary Queen fondness for Sauvignon Blanc, regardless of accepted wine etiquette.
    Incredible wave photos, Derrick, and courage while taking them is appreciated by your readers.

  4. The photo of the rocks shown just before the paired benches is wonderful. The rocks reminded me of a huddle of seals or sea lions waiting out the storm.

  5. What a wonderful memory of a birthday with your beautiful DIL’s! πŸ™‚

    Wowza! Your rocks, waves and surf photos are fabulous!

    β€œI walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.” – Leon Levinstein (And I might add…”I suffer”. Ha! Sometimes a great photographer has to “suffer”, or endure tough conditions, to get that perfect photo! πŸ™‚ Glad you were safe! πŸ™‚ )

    Jackie’s crab apples photo has a lovely Christmas-y look! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…Your description of your dinner has me suddenly hungry!

  6. Your comic streak is always much fun (with perhaps a drier or darker undertone at times, of course)–but perhaps you might become a food writer, too? πŸ™‚ I can nearly taste your scrumptious meals! (And my cook is not here so must make do with salads, sandwiches, soups and eggs and such…)

  7. Those are wonderful photo memories of birthdays past, Derrick. Emily has a beautiful smile, and that is a lovely cake!

    The sea looks like a rough beauty, wild and cold there today.

  8. How wonderful to have a restaurant like that. I’m very fond of Indian food, too (as you probably know.)
    We were at a British-style pub last Friday, and there were many curried items on the menu.
    I’m impressed by the lengths you will go to in order to get a photograph! They’re splendid, as always!

  9. Quite a rough day out there. Hope today is better for you.
    We’ve been having outstanding weather recently, but this morning the rain actually woke me up. So, I suppose I’m in for rough weather today.

  10. I have only once visited an Indian restaurant, and that was more years ago than I care to remember. I was uncomfortable throughout because the smell of the spices made me feel sick. The smell of a curry when walking past restaurants and takeaways still turns my stomach.

    I have been known to eat the occasional takeaway Korma at home, if someone else delivers it so I don’t smell the cooking process.

    I never had the problem with Greek or Italian or with the spices in Chinese food, in fact we used to own a takeaway with one of my son-in-laws. One of my daughters used to own a Sushi restaurant, I found couldn’t eat sushi either!

      1. Been a few years since we have had a stifling Christmas, at least on the east coast. The temps are so changeable at the moment; 38’c one day, 22’c the next. Our biggest problem, though, is lack of rain, causing severe and prolonged drought, creating loads of fuel for bushfires, which are also fanned by strong winds. All in all, a perfect place to live right now πŸ™‚

  11. My birthday is coming up. It’s on February 23rd. I’m thinking of going to see frozen the musical and then have buca de Beppo Italian restaurant dinner. I love that restaurant.

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