Catfish and the Bottlemen at Aberdeen P&J arena.

Hi guys, as promised, an update on how our evening at Catfish and the bottlemen went last Thursday night, the second night in a week which we had an actual night out and stayed up past 9pm. Man, it was good but so, so tiring and I am fully suffering this week.

We booked tickets back in July after seeing them play trnsmt Festival in a muddy, and very busy Glasgow park which was glorious! As an anniversary treat to ourselves, we decided to get tickets to see them play their set once more at the new arena. So,here we are.

A Cold November night, we dropped Eleanor at Grandma’s and went for a drive to the arena for 7pm as doors opened at 6.30pm and it was set to be a busy one. Upon arrival we grabbed a drink, a gin for myself and a cola for Euan and just stood around people watching. We watched by the entrance as the masses arrived, loud and showing plenty of skin. Do I sound old? I’m no prude, and I often show a bit more flesh than what the normal standards are, however on a cold November night, fishnet cycle shorts and a thong bodysuit doesn’t exactly seem comfortable nor practical. What do I know?

Back in my gig hey day, we would wear our skinniest jeans, converse and maybe a crop top but certainly never had bums or boobs hanging out freely. It’s safe to say, we had an interesting spot for people watching as they entered the arena and ran frantically to grab and hug friends.

I wrapped up in my beloved house of sunny coat and wore a gold mini dress with a high neck underneath, no tights.. Ooo eeeer, but certainly no body parts other than some knobbly knees were on show, at best you’d catch a glimpse of my calve if I happened to allow my coat to become undone, as it was freezing, that wasn’t really an option. For a big arena, it was stone cold, a little heat wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Anyway, soon after getting the drinks in we were approached by a staff member who invited us to join the vip lounge area with warmth and a mini bar to ourselves, obviously we skipped the crowds and ran up the stairs. Slightly disappointed in the atmosphere I must say, there was perhaps four others in the area, the bar staff were a little slow and there were no snacks. What do you mean no snacks? Underwhelmed and hungry we went back down to battle the crowds and queue thirty minutes for a portion of stone cold, stale fries with a miniature helping of ketchup. If I wasn’t disappointed at the vip area, this really upset me.

It reached 9pm and we welcomed the guys to the stage with Helter Skelter blasting, awesome. We stood near the back to avoid any drinks being thrown over us, mosh pits and the inability to see due to having people surround us. At 5ft, it’s not hard to tower over my Husband nor I. We had the perfect spot to watch and enjoy while being comfortable.

Though the bass was a little off to begin with, we got cracking and into the full album set lists. Catfish and the bottlemen belted out classics such as Kathleen, seven, cocoon, twice. I’m not sure what my favourite was that they played, perhaps seven. I’ve always loved that, or maybe twice? Argh, it’s impossible to call. I enjoyed it all, okay??

My legs were going and my fingers tapping along to the beat, I was in my element. Live music, my best friend, I was feeling at peace actually. Its nice to let go and forget about the world for a while, to listen to live music and become so wrapped up in the moment you actually have a chance to forget the bad stuff.

Each song was to perfection, every move was in time to the music and there was little I could fault about the music, or the atmosphere when the music began to play. Just as they were at trnsmt, brilliant. I can’t fault these guys really, I’m bisaed but I love them and each and every song from both albums. We may have waited a whole for this but it was an anniversary night out worthy of waiting for, so much so that we stayed the whole set and didn’t even run off early to beat the crowds, though we were quick to it and got to the car before people started staggering off out into the night. If there’s anything I hate, it’s drunk people in large groups. Yep, I’ve confirmed, I’m old.

Obviously, as it would be rude not to, we stopped past the McDonald’s drive through and picked up a late night dinner and Im delighted to tell you, the chips were great and absolutely not stale or cold. Amen. Next up, a night of recovery followed by a family wedding on Saturday with our mini me in tow. Stay tuned, I’ve lived the week to tell the tale at least.

Keren.

An evening with Bombay Bicycle Club.

Hello all,

I’ll admit, this is unusual, it’s late. Tuesday night, okay.. Wednesday AM, just gone 12.30 in truth. Can you believe this? A Tuesday night I’ve managed to stay up past 8pm, Geez. Let me tell you a little about this magical evening.

For my Birthday, my Husband purchased gig tickets for bombay bicycle club (score). Tonight was the night, at Dundee’s Caird Hall so after Eleanor’s swimming and drop off at Grandmas for the night, we embarked on a quick change, a tin of cola – for fuel purposes, and drive down the road.

70s playlist all go, fireworks lighting the sky, and good spirits, the night was set to be a good un. When we arrived at Dundee we had a quick scan of our location and the food available, because that’s the most important question of the day, what’s for dinner? Am I right?

We opted for a Chinese buffet, quick, convenient and all too satisfying. A greasy mix of noodles, chicken and chocolate desserts, perfect. After having our fill, it was time for Caird Hall. I’ve never been but was genuinely surprised at how lovely the building is, both inside and out. Just what you would expect from a Grand Hall, with just enough pink walls and vintage interior to get me excited.

I had a gin and tonic, Euan a juice before finding our way to the wrong seats. OK, we was guided there incorrectly but no biggie. Eagerly awaiting the guys to arrive on stage, ready for what was to come. We missed the support, but that more was a deliberate act, rather than accidental. We haven’t had much success with support bands previous and food seemed the better option.

As expected, they hit the stage, lights flashing, jumping around and some loud ass bass, maybe even a little too loud. Am I allowed to say that? I am twenty seven after all, no longer a teeny bopper.

They played a set which included their newest album and of course some classics which everyone was sure to know and had everyone bouncing around the stalls and dancing on the floor. I was fully entertained and really glad to hear the classics from previous albums, carry me, luna and a few others which I’m sure you’d know if you are a fan.

Having previously seen these guys over ten years ago at a festival which I may or may not have a recollection of, I can fully say that it was a great show, full of good energy and happy vibes. At not one stage was my ears disappointed, Bombay Bicycle Club seriously committed and boy, those guys can move! Phew.

We headed home mid way through the last song of the set, carry me. Feeling satisfied and buzzed with energy, we got to the car after a short walk and headed back home. As it was dark, and nearly 11pm the roads were super quiet and we sailed home happily listening and singing away to some Spotify. I’m going to be so tired in my working day tomorrow but I’ll certainly not have any regrets, I’ll be a blissful tired.

Continue reading

Lemon Drizzle cake

Hey you lovely bunch, having recently made THE BEST lemon cake yet, I thought I’d share my recipe and method – don’t say I’m not good to you. Here’s one all the family can enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon

For the Icing drizzle…

  • juice 1½ lemons
  • 85g caster sugar

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  2. Mix together 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add 4 eggs, one at a time.
  3. Sift in 225g self-raising flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and mix until well combined.
  4. Line a loaf tin – I don’t line my tin but I put butter all around the inside to make it easy to remove. Spoon in the mixture and level.
  5. Bake for 60 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 ½ lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle.
  7. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.
  8. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve.

My inspiration was from the BBC good food website and I have chosen to share this recipe as I have found it to be the best yet for baking lemon drizzle with, a real tasty treat for a Autumnal day in. Love, Keren.

Lunch at Miller and Carter.

Hello all, I thought since I’ve slacked so bad on my blog, I will catch up with approximately one hundred posts just so you all can be assured that I am in fact, alive. I say I’ve been busy, I have but I have also got to have some fun filled weekends in the haze of the busy days and long nights.

For my Mothers 51st birthday on the 14th, I decided to treat her to a special lunch out, often my mother is the one who treats me, takes care of me and takes me out for lunch or a coffee trip, so I thought for a change, I’d do the treating. I booked into a local steakhouse and arranged to meet with my Mum on the Saturday morning following an eyelash appointment.

True to form, we had a browse of the shops and arrived earlier than expected for lunch – we were actually locked out. I knew we should have had a fly cup before headed, damn. Anyway, a short walk after, we were allowed access and greeted by friendly staff members who took our coats and had us seated at a window table.

What was best, the wine came fast, just what we needed to wind down and chill out on a Saturday with. My Mum is my best friend so most things we do together and I like it that way. We shortly ordered mains – I opted for a steak burger and Mum went with schnitzel. Both immediately impressed with the food and the service, I knew my Mum was feeling good and that is exactly how I wanted her birthday to be. A day just for Mum to feel loved and appreciated as unfortunately, often we forget to say how much we love our family and appreciate them. There is no excuse frankly, but all too often we take those we hold close for granted.

Since becoming a Mother myself, I am determined to treat life with more gratitude, be more sure of my surroundings and try to be more focused on those close. Time is short and life can pass all too quickly. I think taking time out to enjoy and appreciate those we love is the most important gift you can give to someone as after all time is precious. Anyway, enough soppiness. Following our mains we were kindly offered the dessert menu which we glazed over with awe but truthfully couldn’t handle as we had full tummies from our mains and were patiently waiting our daily flat white.

Much to my surprise, and Mum’s for that matter, our lovely waitress very kindly returned with a Birthday profiterole plate for my Mum, complete with chocolate sauce spelling out ‘Happy Birthday’ – a lovely gesture and only added to the excellent service which we had received. My mum was delighted if slightly embarrassed and I was just glad to see her smile so widely, a lovely treat and proves that the little things go a long way. Miller and Carter , I will always look upon this trip out fondly and will definitely return in the near further.

Euan?…it is my Birthday soon.. hint, hint.

After lunch we met with my sister and went for a further browse before calling it a day and grabbing our long sought after coffees. It’s pumpkin spice season after all. I headed home early and left my Mum and Sister behind so that I could spend time with my own family, soon after arriving home we all snuggled up and had a rare old snooze, just what was needed after a long day touring the town and socialising. The older I become, the more unable I am to cope with long periods of social affairs, the days of going out and probably not even coming home for a day at a time due to having too much fun partying with friends are truly over – give me family naps and 9pm bed times any day.

As I finish up my post my eyes are escaping to the back of my head, true to form before 10pm. These 5am starts, long days on your feet and Mother duties really take toll. This girl needs a magic face serum, some anti ageing pills and oh, how about energy? What is that? Ashamedly, I can’t even stay up and have a wee gin with my Husband – he is probably rolling his eyes in the next room at my poor social abilities yet again. Anyway, not to pass my internal curfew, I am off to catch some sleep. Your girl has a hot chocolate date with her Mum tomorrow, better catch some beauty sleep.

Sink or swim; swimming lessons with my Two year old.

I’ve chosen to wrote an update about swimming lessons I attend with my two year old each Tuesday – or rather on the Tuesdays we feel like going. It has taken me two rounds of lessons, and a whole lot of practice to finally feel comfortable attending group swimming lessons. Why? because I myself, hate the water and cannot swim.

You can imagine how that looks as I try to tell my Daughter she is doing great and begrudgingly duck my head under the water, acting as cool as can be when inside I am on fire and my anxiety is screaming.

I guess the reason behind this post is to suggest, if I can do it, so can anyone. I know in the long run the swimming will benefit Eleanor greatly, it is after all a life skill but that doesn’t make it any easier to face each week. I guess, I don’t worry about it the night before anymore and I go to class knowing I am in this for my Daughter but it doesn’t mean it comes naturally. You best believe me, when the half hour is up – WE ARE OUT.

I was never great at swimming, I have poor coordination and my parents never once came swimming with me, sure they had taken me to class but it was often stressful and my Dad never liked to hang around which didn’t really give a great confidence boost. Perhaps had I had more interaction with my parents and better confidence boosts I’d have been a natural, or at least I’d not want to well up any time I edge near a pool.

I am doing this for my Daughter and actively making lessons fun and exciting for her, only in recent weeks has Eleanor come round to the idea of swimming and began to join in with the class, be happy to get under the water and even attempt to jump in. A great success, especially from weeks ago at the beginning when it was just tears, outbursts and awkward pulling down on my swim top leaving me part exposed. Nice.

We once again joined the local council swimming lessons, the first time was perhaps too soon following on the newborn stage. A swimming lesson in a lukewarm pool in November with a crying eight week old was never going to work, but..we tried. Nowadays, We work together as a team in the water and if Eleanor doesn’t want to join in with an activity, I encourage her to watch the class and often after some time, she is then happy to join in and grins with glee knowing she too, took part in the group activities and could do it with ease.

I am happy with the confidence my girl shows recently and I know if we put our minds to it, we can achieve anything together. I am working to give her the best possible future and pass on as much skills as I can to make her transition through the years to a Woman as easy as possible. You can’t ever have enough skills, enough knowledge and I firmly believe every little helps , no matter the costs or the fear. A better future for my child is what comes first and if I can pass to her some life skills and confidence to be her own person , I will know I have done the best that I can as a Mother.

We are skipping swim class today as it is pouring rain and we are opting for cuddles, dancing like crazies and movies. Oh, and of course noodles for lunch but next week we will get back to it and work harder than the last. It is nice to have a break once in a while and reflect, it isn’t failing if you choose to take some time out and actually, it can do more good than bad. For now though, I’ll not feel guilty about choosing to cuddle on this awful rainy day. These moments pass too soon to miss.

Keren.

Starting our family allotment journey.

Hi everyone, I can only start this post with an apology for my delayed absence. I’d give a great excuse but the matter of fact is, life. Yep, life. It gets in the way sometimes, with a toddler, work and a whole lot to do, I’ve been slacking, Sorry. Anyway, I thought I’d get back to it with some environmental friendly news – Hello activists.

At the beginning of Summer, My Husband and I applied for an allotment at an local area, we decided now would be a good time to source a plot of land of our own to nurture and grow. A hobbie for us both and a great way to teach Eleanor about the environment, nature and where food comes from. After some months waiting , a few dud garden plants on our anniversary, we finally got the news of an allotment plot available to us. it was meant to be, right?

After work we plodded over and picked our plot, a shabby looking 15A with not much going apart for some overgrown roots and left behind potatoes. We had our work cut out nut were excited for a project over the coming months. We purchased some tools from gumtree with a £20 we found on the street – Ching, Ching! All set to get digging,

Having done local research, we have decided through the Winter months to churn up the soil, remove the weeds and have a general tidy up of our new land before planting some winter veggies in planters. I’m looking for peas, bean spouts and of course potatoes and rhubarb to begin with.

Yes, we have far to go yet but with some time off in October and nursery days to cover childcare we throughly can’t wait to get stuck in and get planting. The plots have a local market monthly where you can sell your produce and meet locals which is nice, I’m not expecting any show stoppers from our first effort of planting but I am hopeful that this can become the start of a self sufficient livelihood and becoming more environmentally aware.

My hope , our hope, is to teach our Daughter, Eleanor the importance of food and where it comes from and to teach her to be kind with Mother Nature and all that surrounds us all. There is something quite fulfilling about having grown our own produce from seedlings and presenting it as meals, as home bakes to enjoy as a family together.

Never did I see the day that I’d develop green fingers – not literally and a taste for digging up weeds and frolicking around in the mud surrounded by bugs and wasps, you name it but here I am. The great outdoors rarely disappoints come rain or shine and to be out there creating our own part of the world is quite magic. I’ll update you all soon when I have some photographs to share and some seeds sown. Until then, take care.

Keren.

Homemade Rhubarb crumble recipe.

Hi guys, after plucking some rhubard from a local market, we decided to get our hands messy on a Sunday afternoon and bake a crumble. I mean, what better than an after dinner dessert made by yourself?

I’ll make this short and easy to follow, the recipe itself for the rhubard crumble is straight forward you don’t have to be experienced to bake this.

Rhubarb crumble

Ingredients

500g rhubarb, chopped.

100g golden caster sugar

3 tbsp port (optional)

For the crumble topping

140g self-raising flour

85g butter

50g light brown muscovado sugar

Method

  1. Tip 500g thumb-length chunks of rhubarb into a saucepan with 100g golden caster sugar and 3 tbsp port, if using. 
  2. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want. When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.
  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  4. To make the topping, rub 140g self-raising flour and 85g chilled butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping.
  5. Now add 50g light brown muscovado sugar. Mix together with your hands.
  6. Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.
  7. Serve with custard.

and Bob’s your uncle. Enjoy!