Happy little Victories| November 2016.

‘Tis the month of magic and mayhem. That’s not the lesson learnt this month, but there has been much sparkle.

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First and foremost, let’s just get this off of my chest, OHEMGEE FANTASTIC BEASTS. I was and remain a huge Potterhead. I was just the right age for the books and films, growing up alongside the characters. It was literally my childhood and my comfort. I found absolute solace in that world when nothing else felt stable enough. Personally, I’m so glad that another corner of J.K.Rowling’s world is being explored and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I mean, I called all the plot twists from the off, as soon as even an ounce of info dropped, I called the ending, but that’s because I’m a geek who basically has a degree in plot development and continuity. No spoilers though. I’m a nerd, not a turd. (For anyone who has seen it though: I have a  feeling we’ve heard of one of these cases before, but with the initials A.D.)

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I also saw Disney’s Aladdin: the Musical in London and what I would love to know is how many bedsheets the guy playing the Genie has had to throw out due to unremovable glitter. The man is completely covered. Honestly, the show was beautiful and a complete spectacle. There’s a few of our animated faves missing (bye Abu and parrot Iago) but they are replaced by some fabulous incarnations that are almost a match for their originals. Almost. The costumes and SFX are a sight to behold. Bravo to the crew and the wardrobe/seamstresses/tailors/dressers who take on this mammoth of the production. Theatre magic at it’s best.

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Try new things, kids. That’s the real motto for this month.

Drop the fear of the unknown and explore a little, even the smallest adventures outside of your comfort zone can be exhilarating and uplifting. Most of mine have been food related I have to say. I mean, other than an obnoxious obsession with calling everyone ‘mate’, food has been my biggest weakness this month. I can’t help myself, food and the ironic use of slang that becomes less ironic and more commonplace in my vocabulary as time goes on are genuine problems I have.

This month I tried my first vegan desert, a chocolate, coconut cheesecake and oh, my, Lord. I get the hype. I’m with you vegans, your deserts are delicious! I didn’t take a photo, instead I just devoured the bloody thing in a moment of intrigue and greed. Om-nom-bloody-nom. You’ve got to try these things.

I also popped my Wagamama cherry. That’s right, little old me tried thai food for the first time and man, I loved that too. I was all OVER that chicken katsu curry. Next time, I think I’m going to go all basic and try a pad thai, but I also had the steamed, pulled pork dumplings with a soy and ginger dipping sauce and I would 100% reorder. I even went for desert: a wasabi chocolate fudge cake. It wasn’t spicy but there was definitely a little kick to it.

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My friends and I diverged from our normal, Nandos-esque path and tried a few indie restaurants, rather than sticking to tried and trusted chains. Whilst it was slightly more expensive, it was nice to try somewhere new with a different vibe. The first was a little bar and grill tucked away, in amongst the local co-ops and funeral parlours. It was a spur of the moment decision, having already set our sights somewhere else but it caught our eye. The food was beautiful, the service was wonderful and that barman, I’m telling you he had the gift of the gab. He managed to sell three Baileys cheesecakes to us when we were completely full of steak. Ok, it wasn’t a hard sell because cheesecake is bae.

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The second restaurant I tried out was an authentic, little, Italian, street food restaurant that was so small you could blink and miss it. I didn’t even know the place existed, but by golly was their lasagne a gift from the pasta Gods. Everything was served on boards or in boxes with options to take away or eat in, or eat in and take your left overs with you. It was so cosy and so good. Ugh. I’m in love.

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Food and friendship; they’ve brightened many a dreary day this month. And glitter, glitter helped too. Anyone else try anything new this month?

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