Another day, another pizza

How are you all this week? Hope you are well. This week for me has been pretty busy. Father’s Day was on Sunday, so I took both my parents out for lunch on Saturday to a local Italian restaurant called Padrone. It’s on Helensburgh seafront and makes the best mussels in white wine sauce I have ever tasted. I also had a Hawaiian pizza. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Me and the boy were on the seafront the following day to get ice cream after a disappointing visit to the Scottish Submarine Centre in the town. I had expected there to be more at the centre, but all it is is a small submarine hanging from the ceiling and a film about the said submarine which is projected on the wall. There weren’t any exhibits or anything else. Cost me a fiver, but it wasn’t a fiver well spent. I think you’d have to be a submarine fan to get any sort of enjoyment out of it. Sorry, but it’s a thumbs down from me. The ice cream, however, was sublime. We got it from Vanilla on the front and it was heavenly. Bang went the diet in favour of a three scoop tub for me (Scottish tablet, vanilla and raspberry ripple flavours) and a cone for the boy (can’t remember the flavours he choose, but it’ll be weird flavours like Irn Bru probably). Oh my God, Scottish tablet ice cream must have been made by the Gods because it is pure ambrosia. Happy sigh.

I’m still in the process of setting up my social media small business and have been out and about visiting local businesses with information about it. I have also sent out a mailing list, which went out last week, and this week have been concentrating on the second half of the mailing list. I will send that out tomorrow. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’m continuing to keep up with social media trends through lots of reading and training. My latest training passion is learning to use my digital camera properly – at the moment I just put it on auto and hope for the best. I’m going to learn what all the buttons are for so I can hopefully take more arty pics!! That’s the plan anyway.

Currently reading: Aloha Wanderwell’s Call to Adventure which is the story of how 16-year-old Aloha became the first woman to drive across numerous countries, including India and Africa, in the 1920s. It’s a fascinating read. As you may know (what with me writing about the adventures of a female archaeologist), I love a good adventure story. What makes this great is that she’s a good writer and the book is easy to read. It’s full of adventures and mishaps and just a good read. Am so loving it. Here are a few pics from her adventures.

TV I’ve been watching:

  • What We Do in the Shadows – bat cod piece! Hilarious.
  • Gentleman Jack – love this series.
  • Years and Years – still to watch the last one, will do so after I finish this blog.
  • Killing Eve – I binge watched the entire series last week, which is why I didn’t get any writing done, but it was so worth it. NB I am in the process of editing one book and writing another, so I am doing some work this week!!

Right, I am going to finish hear and wish you all a very good and productive day. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

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World Tapas Day

As a regular reader of this blog will tell you, I love food, so I am delighted that today is World Tapas Day because I love tapas. In fact, I love many of the Mediterranean foods we are so lucky to have access to today. Whether its chorizo sausage, beef, prawns, meatballs, rice or other foods, tapas is wonderful. Celebrate by eating tapas today.

German Chocolate Cake Day

Today is German Chocolate Cake Day. This cake was not invented by our good neighbours, the Germans. No, it was invented by an enterprising man called Samual German. Like the Black Forest Cake (which is German), German Chocolate Cake contains lots of chocolate, black cherries and coconut. Delicious. I am away to find a recipe now.

World Gin Day

As a late-comer to the wonders of gin, I am looking forward to celebrating today, World Gin Day, with a little gin and ginger ale. There are loads of great gins out there – some of which come from my own dear country, Scotland – so why not give them a bash?

There’s only one question I still need to ask though: when is World Vodka Day? I love vodka.

Shorn, vampires and Anne Lister

Hello my lovely followers. How are you all? Hope you are well. What have you been up to this week? Me? I’ve been really busy and there was a bit of sickness in the house – again! Brought in by one of the kids – again! But that’s what happens when you are a parent. They are little bug-meisters, kids are!

Anyway, over the last week, I have had my hair chopped into a bob. It was about time. Normally I wear my hair up and back away from my face because basically my hair annoys me. And I hate going to the hairdresser so a short do is out cos it would mean constant trips to the hair salon to get it cut. My hair grows like weeds. So, I keep it long so I can wear it up. However, as I am hurtling towards the age of 50 (next year), I wanted a softer hairstyle. Hence the bob. I quite like my new look. The pic below was taken a few days ago after I’d been out (on a wet and windy day) walking the dogs, so the style is not the best it could be.

What else have I been up to? Well, the girl was sent home last Wednesday after being sick. I had to go and get her and she was white as a sheet and green about the gills. Straight to bed for her. She was off the next day, but insisted on going to school on the Friday. By Friday, however, I was feeling exceptionally peaky and spent the day lying on the sofa catching up on television programmes and generally feeling sorry for myself. I should have been over at a friend’s house having lunch and drinking wine. Instead, I was feeling exceedingly sick. I was not a happy chappy that day I can tell you. Anyway, such is life!

Talking of telly, have any of you managed to watch What We Do in the Shadows? It’s a spoof documentary series following four vampire housemates in a city in America. It’s hilarious. Some of the things they get up to are incredibly silly, but silly in a way that’s really funny. Just watched the most recent episodes this morning as I was taking in my daughter’s dress (we’ve got a wedding coming up). I had to stop sewing to have a good old chuckle at it. Watched the original film (Australian vampires) last week and that was good too.

The cast from the original film What We Do in the Shadows.
Some of the cast from the tv version – it’s so funny.

I have also been hooked on the BBC’s new drama Gentleman Jack which is based on the life of Anne Lister. Suranne Jones takes the lead role as Anne with Sophie Rundle as her love interest, Ann Walker. It’s brilliant drama and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s also a fascinating story about Anne Lister – what a strong minded, independent woman she must have been to live the way she did at the time.

Suranne (right) and Sophie (left) as the lovers Anne Lister and Ann Walker.
The real Anne Lister.

Anyway, now I am going to have to buy a book about Anne Lister. I want to know more about this interesting woman who lived her life on her own terms.

What else? I have nothing else to report at the moment. I haven’t been writing recently. Been too busy with various social events, so I am getting back into it this week – I have scheduled it in! I’ve also been too tired to read anything when I go to bed at night. I have a growing bundle of excellent books by my bed, so I’ll be getting back into that. I know – my life is SO rock ‘n’ roll – not! I like it though.

Right, I am going to finish up here. I have a young man to pick up from school and another cup of tea to drink when I return. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Go Barefoot Day

This is something I don’t do often enough (mainly because I live in a cold country and hate having cold feet), but today is Barefoot Day where you are encouraged to scamper about without any socks or shoes on. I don’t advise doing this at work, particularly if you suffer from stinky feet, however, why not get your tootsies down to the beach or a nice grassy area and let them enjoy the sensations of being bare?

Biscuit Day

Oh yummy! Today is Biscuit Day (and by ‘biscuit’ I mean the type of goodies you see pictured and not the American idea of biscuits, which look like our scones). To celebrate, bake your favourite biscuits for family and friends or pop down to the local shop to pick up a packet of loveliness. Now where is that shortbread recipe? (shortbread, btw, is a type of incredibly gorgeous Scottish biscuit)

Tiara Day

There are very few women (and some boys) who would give anything to try on a real tiara. They are just lovely and today is Tiara Day.

So, if like me, you love a bit of bling in the form of a tiara, why not invest in a wee tiara and wear it with pride today? Or, failing that, if a tiara is just too fancy for the office, today is not just about wearing something sparkly on our heads. It is in fact about women feeling good about themselves. So, today treat yourself to a massage or facial, buy a new thing to wear or simply put your feet up and watch your favourite tv show.

I’m making Empanadas and other things

Today I’ve spent a happy few hours in the kitchen cooking. My parents are coming for dinner on Saturday along with a couple of friends, and I’m doing tapas for our meal. This afternoon, I have made the sauce for meatballs, empanada fillings (not strictly tapas, but who cares? – spinach and ricotta, and chilli), the base for strawberry shortcake and Bolognese sauce for tonight’s dinner.

Spinach for the empanada filling.
Chilli for the empanadas
Strawberry shortcake mix. That’s butter being mixed into the batter.

I’ve still got to make potato cakes, garlic prawns, tortilla and some fritters. My mum is providing arancini (she makes the best arancini I have ever tasted) and I will maybe do a paella as well. Can’t wait. It all looks nice.

As I’ve decided we’re doing a cocktail taste test for an event I’m holding in August, we’re also having cocktails. So, today I also made sugar syrup and my own grenadine (which is surprisingly easy to make!):

Home-made grenadine…delicious!

I have a list of about seven cocktails I want to make to see which ones I will serve at the aforementioned event. Will let you know how I get on.

I have really enjoyed this afternoon. I used to really love cooking, but over the past few years, as the kids turn their noses up at my always-delicious-meals or I am too tired to cook, that love has diminished. However, with the radio on and the dogs looking up hopefully every time I walked past them (see below), I found myself really enjoying it. There was no stress, no worry, just me and my chopping board and a tonne of garlic!

Give me cheese!

How can I resist that wee face? Well I did. Cos it was butter I was chopping up and not cheese!

So, how are you all today? Hope you are all well. What’s been happening in your life. I’ve had a really nice week this week. On Monday, I met up with my editor, Graham, for lunch. We went to Zizzi’s in Royal Exchange Square and talked for ages. We had a good laugh and it’s always nice to see him. I also sent off my final assignment for this current uni module on Tuesday – phew. Once I sent it, I was finally able to relax. Have been stressing about it a wee bit. Don’t know why because I’m doing this course just for the sake of it and not for any other purpose. My future career doesn’t rely on it. However, I want to do really well in it, which is why I’ve been like Stressed Eric recently. Do you remember Stressed Eric? I used to love it.

Yesterday, I took the morning off doing any work (well, I deserved it) then went to Zumba in the afternoon. When I came back, I did a bit of gardening and shocked myself by actually enjoying it. The garden looks a lot neater, but still needs a fair bit of work on it. I’ll get that done over the coming weeks. That’s my current plan anyway!

Right, I am going to love you and leave you now. I am away to vote. Not sure why. Doesn’t seem like there’s any point really what with Brexit coming up (again), but I’ll do it. Til next time.

Dawnxx