Sorry I’ve been a bit absent of late! I’ve been up to many, many things and so I decided to do a quick roundup of what I’ve been doing over the past week(ish) alone. I doubt this will be a regular feature, since not all my weeks are as interesting as this (I wish!) but here are a few things I wanted to share with you guys:
(Side note – this is not the “quick” roundup I had anticipated, you have been warned!! Oops.)
I had a few cake dates and also planned a couple more – so you can expect plenty of Pastry Pursuit posts in future! (Check that alliteration, yo.) I’ve also got a post coming up verrrry soon 🙂
I was very intrigued by the story behind Hidden Figures and ended up seeing it twice recently because it was that good. Before I get into the serious stuff, I want to point out especially that Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe (whom admittedly I didn’t actually even recognise without her quiff/suit combo – oops!) were all completely fantastic, I think I went through pretty much every emotion each time I watched it. I also read this cracking interview with Margot Lee Shetterly by Tobi Oredein in The Pool, and have plans to read the book!
Call it cultural ignorance, white privilege, or just being a bit of an idiot, but even though I knew about the struggles non-white people had (and let’s face it, continue to endure) in America and elsewhere in the 60s and of course before and long after that, I think seeing it in an everyday setting really brought it home for me.
Something as simple as using the same coffee pot as white people or being in the “white” section of the library was just a complete no-no for black people, and seeing bits like that in the film (and especially how they were spoken to by white people, even when said white people weren’t being overtly insulting) made me feel so sick. The fact that people did and still do treat *other human beings* like that – and worse, obviously! – because their skin is a different colour is something I will never understand.
As a straight, white, cis woman I can’t imagine what it’s like having to face barriers like that EVERY DAY just because of how you were born and I’m sure it was no coincidence that certain parts of the film mirrored what still goes on today. People of privilege need to act as allies for those who are not, and this is something I try and do as much as I can. When we see racism, sexism, homophobia, whatever – we need to call it out!
Bianca Del Rio
It’s no secret that I love (LOVE) RuPaul’s Drag Race and I’m fairly sure there will be a post on it at some point. I was never going to hate a programme featuring lots of sequins (and sequins dresses!) let’s face it, but I just bloody love it.
I was fortunate enough to snag one of the last few tickets for Bianca Del Rio’s “Not Today, Satan!” tour when she came to the Clyde Auditorium and I’m not entirely convinced my stomach muscles have healed yet from how much I laughed! With a lot of what Ms Del Rio says, you’re not entirely sure you should be laughing as she definitely pushes the boundaries, but you just can’t help it! I think the thing is that you know that deep down, she is actually a nice person (despite what she says) whereas a lot of other queens could say things like that and you know they’re just nasty! (Not naming any names… *coughPhiPhicough*)
I loved it so much, I’ve already booked up to see Queens of Comedy when Bianca returns in September, along with Katya and Ben Delacreme who are a couple of my other faves – plus the famed Lady Bunny! (The latter and I have the same birthday, doncha know, except mine is a *few* years later 😛 )
As soon as Bloc+ started talking about potential new creations from the infamous Mad Chef on social media, I was excited. I don’t think I’ve ever had bad food in Bloc+ as the things Danny and the team come up with are nothing short of incredible, plus the deals they have on different days are total bargains! (Burger and chips for £3 on a Tuesday? In ma belly!)
When they announced that the aforementioned chef of madness would be doing his own take on a Big Mac – the Mad Mac – I was waaaay past excited. I knew I just had to get myself one, so when I was going for a quick bite to eat with Mr Debs, we decided to head along! Our server informed us that the Mad Mac even looks like what Big Macs are meant to look like (but never do!) and I certainly don’t disagree with that:
It was so totally delicious, I crammed it in my face with no regrets, particularly since Bloc+ supplied a handy hand wipe which they obviously knew I’d be needing! I can say for certain I’ll be back to try the other new menu items very soon…because I’ve already planned it 😛 (Question is now though – do I pick the Irn Bru Boy or the Jack’s Back Brisket next…?)
Workin’ Out (Barbie…)
(Did anyone else have one of them…? It was my first actual Barbie as my first doll was Pocahontas, natch!)
I’ve made it quite clear in the past that I hate exercise…at least I did until I started going to AG Fitness Training. Turns out, I just don’t like the wrong kind of exercise (for me at least!) I first started going to Andy’s Ladies Who Lift sessions just under a year and a half ago (already?!) and pretty much immediately I loved it. I enjoy being able to lift relatively heavy things and I definitely enjoy seeing myself get better as I feel like I’m improving all the time.
After taking part in the first Bootcamp October-December last year, I’m now a full member of the gym and regularly go to Ladies Who Lift on a Saturday, followed by Body Conditioning and Yoga on a Tuesday. The Tuesday classes make such an ideal combo, as yoga helps stretch everything out properly and I definitely don’t feel as sore in the days afterwards as a result! Yoga’s actually something else that surprised me, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a go as it’s not what I expected. It’s Forrest Yoga (although not forest yoga as I initially thought, sadly) which focuses on breathing and being fully aware of how your body is feeling. The instructor, Saskia, is the absolute nicest and really knowledgeable about how the body works in general, she also puts an emphasis on having different levels of each pose – so you can do what feels best for you!
One of the other reasons I love going to my gym is that everyone is really nice!! I’m actual friends with a lot of people who go, but even if there’s someone I don’t know at a class, I am pretty much guaranteed they won’t be horrible. I feel like everyone is really supportive as well, there’s no looking down on other people because you’re “better” than them or whatever – it’s a good environment to be in!
Admittedly, I’m not as dedicated as I maybe could be, but I do quite a lot with my spare time outwith gym time (as you can see!) so I’m definitely not going to make myself feel bad about it.
Blogging The Rubicon
I was excited and honoured to be invited to a blogger event at Crossing the Rubicon, a relatively new eatery on Great Western Road, specialising in Indian tapas and craft beer. We were treated to a selection of starters, mains and a dessert from their menu and it was so good! Admittedly, free food is always good but I can assure you their offerings really are excellent!! My faves of the night were the chicken pakora (YUM) the carrot and sweet potato korma (probably the best korma sauce I’ve ever tasted) and the dhal makani which was amaaaazing, so very moreish! The chocolate pot at the end was also a lovely surprise, with delicately balanced flavours of orange and chilli, it was so warming as well! I also managed to eat pretty much everything without being killed off (I had to admit defeat when it came to the venison madras, sadly!) as I am usually rubbish with spicy things, so I was pleased with how well I handled the dishes – the tasty raita definitely helped with that, too.
What a selection of beers they have! I went for a flight containing actual Crossing The Rubicon from Drygate, as well as their Disco Forklift Truck (a mango IPA I chose because mango but also for the name, I’ll be honest!) and a Lakeland Lager from Hawkshead Brewery – which I ended up getting a full pint of as it was right up my street.
It was a great event overall and also nice to catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen properly in a wee while. #BloggingTheRubicon ended up trending on Twitter, so I feel proud to have contributed to that 😛 Check out that hashtag for some other cracking photos from the night!
(Side note: the event was organised by the lovely Briony, formerly of Yelp fame. She now has her own consulting biz now for marketing, social media and events so you should definitely check her out if you need help with any of that!)
After my second Hidden Figures viewing with the parents, we grabbed some food at CAU (Carne Argentina Unica) which has definitely cemented itself as one of Father Debs’ favourite places to eat. I had a highly delicious choripan sandwich which was basically like a fancy chorizo sausage sandwich, but was sooooo so good! The staff in there are always super lovely as well.
Now, there is this strange misconception among people that (former and current) Yelpers don’t and won’t eat in chain restaurants. This opinion is held pretty much only by those who have never actually used Yelp, because if you use or used to use it then you’ll know – and I’ve said this many a time before – just how many check-ins there used to be to McDonald’s on a daily basis!
I do like chains – *good* chains! CAU is definitely one of my faves; see also Miller & Carter, Wagamama, Nando’s and Pizza Express, to name but a few. (Obviously I enjoy a Maccas as well, but I’m not sure if that really counts as a “good” chain…) There’s a difference between being a restaurant that serves good food but just happens to be a chain, and a boring chain restaurant that serves mediocre food – but will continue to get custom because it’s a chain. Obviously I like (and prefer!) giving custom to smaller places who could really do with it and deserve it, but that doesn’t mean I turn my nose up eating at a chain restaurant! (Rant over.)
Pretending to be Cultured
My best pal Kathryn fancied a trip to the Alphonse Mucha exhibition at Kelvingrove before it finished today, so yesterday we headed along for a peek – and it turns out I know a bit more about art than I thought, huzzah! Granted, I am basing this mostly on the fact that I was overjoyed to find the Rossetti painting I couldn’t see when I was in Kelvingrove the other week (the rework of Regina Cordium with Alexa Wilding instead of poor Lizzie Siddall) and I correctly identified a Toulouse-Lautrec piece, but still.
I found Mucha’s work with actress Sarah Bernhardt particularly fascinating from a marketing perspective (saddo!) since he basically created a brand for her with his posters and that was one of the reasons she was so successful – according to a short clip we watched as part of the exhibition. The style and even the shape of his posters made her adverts stand out from others created by other artists in Paris at the time, which was what caught people’s attention. My favourite piece was definitely Zodiac and I was hoping to maybe get a wee postcard/print of it, but a lot of things in the shop were sold out since the exhibition was so close to finishing. I’m pretending that this t-shirt I just bought from Qwertee today makes up for that, even though it’s based on Théophile Steinlen and not Mucha. Yep. (Completely unrelated, I also got this tee because they gave me a 2-4-1 voucher, squee!)
We also made a stop at somewhere close to Kelvingrove which will be featured in an upcoming Pastry Pursuit post as it’s definitely deserving!!
PHEW. So there you have it – busy, busy times recently! I’ve therefore spent today having a total chill-out: sleeping in, watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (recommend!) and eating, yay 🙂
Til next time,