Dining in Scotland (4)

30 08 2011

Where did August disappear to?!

It’s not that I’m complaining, it’s just… wow…two-thirds of the year seem to have vanished. And three months ago I was getting ready to go back to work after such a lovely (history enriched!) honeymoon.

We’ve reach what will be the last entry in my Dining in Scotland ‘series’. We did a lot of walking around, saw how the streets were always busy – and the bus system d*mn efficient! – and generally just relaxed… perhaps already steeling ourselves for the long flight home.

I never want to spend 13 hours (excluding delays) on an aeroplane ever again…

…unless, of course, I have the opportunity to go back to Scotland. Then we’ll have to save our pennies – or cents, here in South Africa – and book into business class. Sleeping pills/ tranquilizers/ morphine would also be welcome.

Fourth, and final, stop: Aberdeen!

[PS: what made this stop special in its own way was the fact that my Significant Other bought me the two Simon’s Cat books. Hurray for honeymooning, beautiful Scotland, nyummy treats… and, as always, cats!!! Even if it’s only the antics of a cartoon kitty.]

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: garlic bread

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: salmon fillet for my Significant Other

@ The Caledonian's restaurant: curried vegetable soup -- this was oily & disgusting. Forced down almost half, then couldn't anymore :-/


From The Caledonian's restaurant: woodfired pepperoni + salami pizza -- after lunch, my Significant Other ordered this to take up to our room...& he finished it pretty quickly!

Cappuccino at Costa

Casa Gabriele: complimentary bread -- my Significant Other was sooo happy, because he LOVES bread

Casa Gabriele: Lasagna al Forno

Casa Gabriele: Risotto ai Funghi -- this is the best risotto I have EVER had, and most definitely my food highlight while dining in Scotland ❤

The sweet treats we bought at Peckham's - a slice of lemon cheesecake, and a raspberry + white chocolate tartlet


Dining in Scotland (3)

23 08 2011

Life. Love. Scotland. How I wish I could go back already *sigh*

I initially intended to do the Dining in Scotland ‘series’ on Mondays, since I managed to do it for the first two ‘episodes’ anyway (halfway there!), yet things don’t always work out as planned.

Mundayn/ Mondayn (because Monday = mundane) came and went so quickly, by the time I had a look at the hour-minute-second tickers on my watch, it was already ten after five in the PM. And when you get home, there are so many other things to do (while also thinking about work), that the evening goes by just as quickly.

So here were are at Productive-Day (aka Tuesday). I’ve been nice and busy, but at least there are still a few minutes of our designated lunch hour (1 – 2) left and I can share more of the great… and not-so-great… food we had while traveling abroad for the first time.

Third stop on our honeymoon: Inverness!

[I was hoping to spot the Loch Ness Monster, but unfortunately it wasn’t ‘Nessie weather’.]

Arts (the Ramada Jarvis' restaurant): The Club -- sandwich

Arts: The Club (2)

Arts: broccoli soup

Arts: bacon bap -- soft roll

The Corner Grill: sirloin steak

The Corner Grill: half pound homemade cheese burger

Johnny Foxes Pub & Restaurant: crumbed mushrooms

Johnny Foxes: classic fish & chips -- very oily, according to my Significant Other

Johnny Foxes: ovenbaked lasagne -- oily, disgusting... and there was something that looked like a small chunk of raw chicken, as well :-/

Dining in Scotland (2)

15 08 2011

Good morning, everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I didn’t sleep very well, woke up at ungodly hours, and was plagued by an iffy headache most of the time.

Also, I felt extremely hungry late yesterday afternoon (a rarity in itself, as I never seem to be hungry), and immediately thought of posting more food pics on my blog from our time in Scotland.

While there, we bought a DVD that has three short ‘documentaries’ (if one can call it such) of the three castles that are a must-see when visiting Scotland:  Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle. Yesterday, just to pass a bit of lazy Sunday time, we watched the 20 minute film about Edinburgh Castle… and I found myself wishing that we could go back as soon as possible. Maybe next year…? *sigh* What a lovely place.

So, on to the second stop on our honeymoon: Glasgow!

[Incidentally, three months ago about this time, we were spending our last morning in Glasgow before heading on to Inverness.]

Elements (the Novotel's restaurant): vegetable soup

Elements (the Novotel's restaurant): Elements burger

Breakfast -- fruit salad drizzled with honey

Paperino's Ristorante Pizzeria: Papperdelle alla Carbonara

Paperino's Ristorante Pizzeria: Penne Contadina

Elements: complimentary olive bread

Elements: vegetable broth

Elements: panfried rump steak. This was quite a pricy bit of meat... and when I say 'bit', I'm not exaggerating

See, tiny! It's not even visible due to the onion rings on top of it!! My Significant Other said it was nice, so I'm not going to argue

Dining in Scotland (1)

8 08 2011

I’ve been married for three months already.

And exactly three months ago this time, we were on our way back from the wedding venue to check that we had everything packed and ready for our flight later that day.

I’ve been meaning to share some photos from our trip, so what better way to kick things off than by looking at some of the food we devoured consumed?

Scotland was amazing – a place I’ve always wanted to go (something I can now tick off of my list of things I want to do/see/etc. in life). And it wouldn’t have been possible if my Significant Other hadn’t turned it into a reality for me us (love you, Sweetheart!) It’s a place I fell in love with, and I would definitely like to go back there someday.

So, first stop on our honeymoon: Edinburgh!

Pizza Express: Al Tirolo

The Scottish Café (@ the National Gallery of Scotland): ham, cheese + tomato sandwich

Arcade (haggis & whisky house): original haggis, neeps & tatties

Arcade: grilled chicken Creole & portobello mushrooms salad

Uggs: tapita del dia -- chef's complimentary seafood soup starter

Uggs: Arroz / Risotto

Uggs: Lubina / Sea Bass

Uggs: Chocolate -- mousse

Ai haz a sad :-(

27 05 2011

Things haven’t been going so great lately.

Actually, they’ve been a bit ‘off’ since we got about midway through the honeymoon (not that the sadness/ unhappiness is related to the honeymoon or my Significant Other). Let’s just say that things got a bit out of control, people attacked and accused other people, but then everything was put onto me as if I myself had said bad/ mean things, and accordingly I have lost a friend (and, incidentally, probably the whole group of friends, since nobody has contacted me since; I’m too ‘afraid’ to contact them, because it feels like they’ll ignore me/ hate me/ completely scrap me as a friend…)

So yes, I’m feeling sad…

…because what happened wasn’t my fault…

…because I didn’t make any accusations…

…because I’m not the one who hates anybody else…

…because, because, because… :’-(

I can hardly wait to start working again next Wednesday – staying nice and busy during the day, then preparing supper and reading every evening. Life doesn’t need to be complicated, right?

It’s good to be home

26 05 2011

After spending over 12 hours on an aeroplane, with absolutely no sleep to be had (and feeling in need of a shower/ looong bath and some rest), we made it safely back home on Sunday. Not that I didn’t enjoy our time in Scotland, but coming home after two weeks just felt so… I don’t know… so right.

What can I say? I missed Smudgy a lot. I even cried one evening when I thought about her.

I'm not sure who was more excited - me or Smudgy

It made me very sad to think that mommy’s poor little kitty cat had to be closed up in the apartment all day, only getting some attention when my older sister went to feed her at night. At least my younger sister stayed over for three days, which meant that she was able to play outside, sleep on the bed knowing someone else is actually there, and get lots of love and affection.

She was so happy to see us when we arrived at the apartment that she now constantly checks up on us, just to make sure that we’re here!!

Not that I’m complaining, of course. Although I hated leaving her behind, it’s nice that she’s a bit more lovable now that we’re back. The fact that I only start working again next Wednesday is an added bonus – giving me more time to love, cuddle and play with my special little ‘furbaby’.

One thing I’m not looking forward to, however, is sifting through the hundreds (or thousands, rather, and that’s no exaggeration!) of photos in order to decide which I should post on Facebook.

Just work with me Facebook, okay? What do you say?!

Since last we met

23 03 2011

Since the last time I blogged…

* …we received our Visas with no problems whatsoever – and the whole process took only three days! I was (and still am) very impressed with their quick service and efficiency. Scotland (i.e. honeymoon), here we come!

* …I found out that there will be a new DARK TOWER book coming out next year 😀 King’s latest novel will be available on the 8th of November, which is probably why the DT book will only be published next year. No matter – happiness all around!

* …my Significant Other and I were treated to dinner at a nice restaurant by his uncle and aunt. I had an exquisitely delicious bowl of tagliatelle with courgettes, mangetout and spring onions in a gorgonzola sauce topped with pine nuts. It was great to spend time with part of my future family – the meal was simply a bonus.

* …I’ve become a bit riled up with the religious nuts out there – more so than usual. I watched a video where this girl was saying that a group of them were praying over Lent for something to happen to the atheists in the world, and then two days later their ‘prayers’ were ‘answered’ when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. What is the world coming to?! It just sickens me… this is why I’m not religious. Some people (I refer to them as the ‘Bible Crazies’) are messed up to damn others for their choice of religion/ not being religious. Who are they to judge others and say that a natural disaster was a good thing?! F*ck.

* …I got into one of my cleaning frenzies again (something I blame on my obsessive-compulsive tendencies, especially when it comes to cleanliness). Instead of singing mice or birds a la Cinderella, I only had Smudgy watching me as I scrubbed the one bathroom’s floor, toilet bowl and basin. Perhaps I could teach her to meow on key…?

* …one of the neighbour cats came in, ate Smudgy’s food and threw up on the carpet twice! I have reason to believe that it’s That Darn Cat (yip, Dusty) since he’s the only one who comes in here for food. He also managed to spray/ pee on some of my books… Yesterday morning, I found him asleep on one of our balcony chairs. Something must be done.

* …our electricity was out from 8AM until 4PM one day for the 5 year maintenance service, or something like that. This gave us a ‘reason’ to go out and have coffee, plus I could ‘validate’ the purchase of the new Scarlett Thomas novel, OUR TRAGIC UNIVERSE.

* …we bought an exercise bike – a Trojan elliptical trainer, they call it. It doesn’t have a seat, so you stand and pedal on the thing, mainly exercising your legs, although you can feel it working a bit on your abdomen (I’ll have to do crunches or something to exercise that section more). In the long run, the ‘bike’ will be worth it, despite the fact that I’m currently still in the ‘no pain no gain’ phase of it all.

* …we took my younger sister, Addy, to Stellenbosch in order for her to do some research for a few projects she has due. On the way there, we had to stop for petrol, so I bought a cappuccino for my Significant Other and some hot chocolate for myself. I normally don’t buy myself hot chocolate anywhere, since they make it with milk and it makes me feel extremely nauseous, but today, the stomach ache and increased headache are absolutely worth it, because that hot choc tasted wonderful!

* …I’ve started to become really annoyed with my inability to ‘get into’ the books I’m reading. Take this Scarlett Thomas novel, for example. It took me four days to read 425 pages, and why? Because the ‘novel’ seems to be a lot of theory trying to pass itself off as a novel. I’m all for intelligent discussions and talking about science and hypotheses and so on, but if the whole book is going to be like that, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed and not ‘into’ it. I want to read for enjoyment and relaxation, not to feel like I’m in a lecture hall.

* …Smudgy has been having a ball playing with all the bugs around here. She’s even brought in two crickets (on separate occasions, of course), and been curiously puzzled about a praying mantis that looked more like a giant grasshopper or something. I love my kitty, even though she’s a bit ‘weird’ sometimes – like when she grabbed my hand, smelled at it fervently, and then went on licking herself as if I wasn’t even there. ❤