A week full of surprise and delight

by Stephanie Gilmartin

This past week has been full of fun and treats, which is really just as well because I've had a horrible cold and was getting over a brutal Black Friday nightshift in Gap which has left me with a heap of work to catch up on. 

This week has been very much a be-kind-to-yourself week, so naturally I don't feel bad about our exorbitant adult's advent calendar that we get to start eating TOMORROW! But we bought it nearly two weeks ago, so it doesn't really count as part of this week...

What does count though? Well, 4D cinema! Basically the best thing ever! I didn't think it was a real thing, or that we even had it in Glasgow, but it's brilliant - you go to the pictures, stick on your 3D glasses and prepare to be underwhelmed and then... your chair moves, there's wind, and rain, and scents, and wee puffs of air - it's basically like being on a fairground ride, but for two hours. We went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it was so much fun that now we really want to go again! I don't think I've ever smiled so much in the cinema! Well worth the £15 admission price. Hurrah for being in a class with younger people who persuade you that 4D is not just something made to extort old people like us who don't go to the cinema very often. 

Last week I got to walk home under skies as pretty as this before Thanksgiving dinner with our neighbours Jeff and Nicole. They made the most delicious feast ever and had some amazing pecan-y things I'd never tried before, like pecans tossed in butter, sugar, cinnamon and clove and a dip with cranberries, herbs and pecans and cream cheese that I could have eaten for the entire meal. Seriously so good. It's lovely to have neighbours that you actually want to hang out with - makes a big difference from when we lived in the nicer part of Pollokshields and all our neighbours were terrific douchebags. 

When I woke up on Saturday after sleeping til 2pm James had bought me breakfast from Bakery47 and was out doing my job for me, cleaning the flat! :-) The croissaint was a Copenhagen croissaint (cinnamon, chocolate and marzipan) - it doesn't sound like it would work, but it was ah-mazing.  The millionaire's shortbread was pretty great too.

The best thing about breakfast was having the new Gilmore Girls revival to watch with it (after watching the first three on Friday evening). I feel quite ambivalent about it, as a whole - I didn't think Rory's character was unrealistic, I just found her utterly unlikeable - it seems like sponging off her family/boyfriends for so long has made her lazy and complacent. Some sequences were frankly annoying (like the dreadful musical) but all in all it was nice to have some new episodes to watch. I've also been getting right into The Crown this week - totally worth sticking with, though the first episode doesn't seem altogether promising.Looking for more Netflix recommendations so please send them my way!  

Sunday was my big sister's 30th so I got her these cakes from a company called Wee Cakes.  The lady who makes them, Jane, tailors them to the individual so they're all topped with Lindsay's favourite things. I can't vouch for how they tasted because Lindsay quickly snaffled them away...

Then there was the rosebud tea my lovely classmate Xiao gave me to help with my sore throat - I can honestly say, it felt a lot better afterwards. She's a wee treasure! It's also the prettiest tea I've ever seen. My other classmate Dominika also gave me some special 18-herb Polish tea (and some hazelnut vodka that tastes like Ferrero Rocher when you mix it with milk!) a few weeks ago - I'm pretty spoilt with my little team :-) We've had a strong snack-sharing ethic since our first week together which has led to some interesting lunchtimes (salty plum sweets? non merci) but also some excellent dinners together (dinosaur rice, pierogi and eight different Thai dishes whose names I can't remember but they were amazing).

We have also pretty much finalised our group project today so we went out for a celebratory Chinese hot pot at Xiangbala in Union Street, which is one of those restaurants that Chinese people know about but we westerners would never find on our own. It's a pretty unique experience and I was very glad to have Xiao there to teach us what to do! (Thanks Seunghee, I stole your picture! ;-) Basically you order a flavour of broth (we had Tom Yum Kung, Curry, Tomato and Hot and Spicy) and then a load of raw meat and vegetables and noodles which you cook in the broth then fish it out with a ladle and eat it. It's a really fun, sociable way to dine and means you get to have a big variety - there's also a little sauce bar with all the usual delicious Asian sauces (satay, hoisin etc) and free drinks refills on soft drinks. It's certainly worth a visit if you want to try something different! Certainly better than the time Nat made us try durian (it literally smells like bin juice. And tastes like bin juice).

I'll leave you with this, from a new subreddit called "Scottish People Twitter" - no wonder it's so hard to explain our sense of humour to the rest of the world. If you need me, I'll be snickering away at this for at least a week.