What makes Christmas for you? The gifts? Bad jumpers? Family? Well for me, it’s cheese. Cheese, and Die Hard. Die Hard, closely followed by the Muppet Christmas Carol (and in recent years, Arthur Christmas), is my favourite Christmas film. Argue all you want about how it’s “not very festive”, mate he covers that guy in fairy lights and everyone is constantly humming carols. It’s a Christmas tradition for me to get into my awful Die Hard Christmas sweater, watch the film and feel all fuzzy and festive inside. Underground Film Club (The winter incarnation of Rooftop Film Club), in partnership with LG, are running in the arches under Waterloo station.
So as anyone that follows me on Twitter & Instagram knows, I went veggie for October. It was partly as a “solidarity” type effort as some people at work were doing Stoptober and giving up cigarettes so the wider team gave various things up, and partly because I just wanted to know if I could. I used to be a very picky eater. When I was a kid I’d snub basically all veg and it took me moving out to really realise that I needed to start getting veg into my diet. Fast forward 9 years and here I am, in a much more open minded place and I just generally love to eat most things (apart from the odd thing, looking at you cucumber and banana).
I have been contemplating a monthly run down on what I’ve been cooking and where I’ve been eating for a while now and thought that a slightly more unusual month was a good place to start. So here goes. If you hadn’t already guessed, food is the reason I am poor as all hell. I have my own spreadsheet google doc which I keep update with places I want to try and where I have.
I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times over the years. It’s always been one of those places I’ve said “you know what, I fancy living there”. This last time around, just last week (after my visit to Mull), I was there on my own. Walking around the streets, exploring new eateries, coffee shops and generally just immersing myself in the city, made me realise that I don’t just fancy it, I’m going to have to do it. If I don’t end up abroad, then at some point in the next year or two, I’m gonna pack my things up (again) and move north of the border to Scotland.
Tube strikes. They’re the bane of many people’s lives (whether you support them or not they are disruptive) and when the last one was announced it fell across my last couple of days in my old job. This chucked up the issue of “working from home” which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t have happened. So my old job put me on gardening leave for the last couple of days and I suddenly had a whole week off between jobs. I jokingly tweeted about taking the chance to sleep on twitter and my friend Rae of Love From Berlin intervened:
@BeardedBakery … OR you could come to Berlin. *nudge nudge*
— rae tashman (@lovefromberlin) August 18, 2015
I quickly checked some flight costs and made sure she wasn’t actually joking and booked a last minute flight to Berlin to hang out with
Rae her cats, eat loads of food and explore a city I’ve heard a million good things about. So that’s how I found myself on a coach at 4am on a Sunday morning on my way to Stansted airport (I can get the coach from basically outside my front door, that’s dangerous for me to know) and an adventure in Germany.
A few weeks back my parents came down to visit! For many of you that wouldn’t be all that much of an event, but now they live on a Scottish Island I don’t get to see them all that much. I mean, I’m planning my next trip up to see them and I have to break it down to London – Glasgow (coach, train, sleeper service, plane, car, cannon) , Glasgow – Oban (train), Oban – Craignure (ferry), Craignure – Pennyghael (bus or pick up by parents). It means that if they are coming down you need to do more than just hang around and it likely means they’ll need a hotel. I’m apologising now for a very photo heavy post.