I feel like I have been letting the side down recently when it comes to working on things like my blog and YouTube Channel.
The culprit here is nothing new; work has been insanely busy. Probably to a level which I have never experienced before. Whilst I'm not complaining, as I love what I do, it does somewhat reduce your mental capacity to come home and sit down to write, or talk.
I started off the month will the full intention of completing Vlogtober, but as the weeks have gone on, a combination of not really being able to show what I'm doing (commercial in confidence blah blah) and just not having the literal hours needed to record and edit have left me unable to work on this.
I will hopefully be revisiting this concept in another form, so do keep your eyes out!
Anyway, there are at least a few things from the last week that I am able and very excited to share! Here is my summary of "things" from the past week! (I use that word to mean anything really; occurrences, facts, items, ideas.)
1. Thinking about Christmas far too early
Whilst I must admit this was a few weeks ago now, I could hardly miss out attending the launch of this year's Christmas Book by Booths.
For those who have not come across what is now a traditional staple in my house, each year the Northern supermarket, Booths, releases the MOST beautiful Christmas book-come-catalog. It's usually filled with all of the Christmas selections, plus recipes and meal suggestions for the big day.
Basically it's like a Christmas bible.
As someone who has one every year, I was of course delighted to be invited to the Christmas launch over at my closest store, which is Ripon!
Throughout the evening we were given far too many samples (goodbye healthy eating regime) and met some of the fabulous producers behind cult products such as Mason's Gin and Truefoods of Harrogate (You need to try their Pate selection FYI)
On the back of this, I have now chosen my Christmas day menu. The spreadsheet for which I am currently compiling. I take no shame in saying this.
2. Pie time
On a rather crisp Wednesday evening last week, Des and I took the quick walk into town to check out the opening of a new butchers in the city centre, Appleton's.
Now I make no secret of the fact I love a good pork pie as adopted Northern lass and all that, so I'm happy to report that Appleton's version of this Yorkshire classic certainly lives up to my expectations!
The pasty was crisp, the jelly balanced and the meat well seasoned and of good quality. The rest of the selection looked rather enticing and I have a feeling I will be back to try a fair few things over the next few weeks...
As Master of the York Guild of Entrepreneurs, I'm also always happy to see new independent business spring up in the city! Especially one which has been family run since 1867 (!!!)
3. Feeling Jazzy
After two weekends of practice with my band, you would think that I would be all jazzed out for a while! (I sing, badly, the rest of them cover for me.)
If anything, I'm loving the classics more than ever. Especially this song by the absolute legend, Ella Fitzgerald.
If you're reading this and feeling a bit blue, press play. I guarantee this song will life your spirits, though I must warn you that you will be singing it for days to come like me...
4. Exploring Manchester
As Des and I usually head over the Pennines for band practice, we thought we would take the time to do a little bit of exploring around south Manchester.
First up was a thoroughly enjoyable tour of Altrincham's Belgian beer bars. I'm sure you can imagine why I will not be sharing images of this night...
Secondly, I must mention the fabulous meal we had in Sale at Masis' Armenian Restaurant. Having never had Armenian food before, I was delighted to try something new.
We decided to go for the banquet, which at £17.95 per person was extremely good value. This included a selection of starters and mains which can only be described as the best of both Eastern European and Mediterranean cuisine!
Think lots of hummus, bread, marinated lamb, chicken, koftas, falafel, rice, okra and many other delicious vegetables.
The only downside was the fact that I was unable to eat any breakfast the next day due to stuffing my face on this feast the night before...
5. A rather expensive purchase
After a rather long period of deliberation, I decided that it was time to indulge myself in a Barbour Waxed Utility Jacket.
Barbour have always been a brand which I have felt invested in, even before they became ridiculously trendy a couple of years ago.
I remember pawing over issues of Vogue back in my childhood and falling in love with the adverts for the Biker range.
Now I know £200 is a LOT for a jacket, but my reasoning on this is:
- It will last a lifetime (you can send jackets to be repaired and re-wax them every year to extend the lifespan)
- I will probably wear this every day, at least in winter
- It's smart enough to wear to work, casual enough to wear at the weekend with jeans
- It has a ridiculous number of pockets.
- The jackets are made in Britain, so it's *extremely* unlikely any child or slave labour has been used.
- I have just thrown away a jacket. So I'm following my one in, one out principle.
- I like it and I have saved up for it.