10. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Hello! They post is going up a little later today as I was just casually running a 10K! Phew! Was a pretty tough one today as I got a bad stitch around the 3/4K mark which made me slow down in an attempt to get rid of it but afterwards I blitzed it. The course was challenging with a mix of country back roads, residential streets and a building site? Medals are stacking up now. Will need to find a new place for them. Not sure if you all would like a post about my running journey and how I started running for all those interested?

This week has been a tiresome week. Hearing about a few redundancies floating around the place at other freight forwarders in the city has put me a bit out of kilter. Lots of restless nights!

I have also moved gyms to one closer to me and by golly it is impressive. New machines and new kit makes me a happy Orchid. I'm looking forward to the different variety of classes and working out with new equipment. Will need to step up with the fitness regime!

That's all from me folks. I hope you all have a brilliant Sunday evening and a lovely week :) Has anyone done anything exciting this week? Tell me about it :)


30 before 30 Challenge - Art Exhibit

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

I think I've always been an arty and creative kind of person. I loved art at school and would have loved the opportunity to continue it in some way or another into further education. Of course, life got in the way and I found myself in academics and in a 9-5 job. It was only until last Summer that I decided I wanted to do something at the art school before it's too late.

I signed up to a printmaking course and I instantly fell in love with it. I was a bit rusty with my drawing but I soon picked it up and enjoyed researching ideas and learning different printmaking techniques.

On Sunday 13th March 2016, the art I had been working on for two semesters was finally displayed in the RGU Short Course Exhibition. 

There were so many pieces of art displayed from ceramics, jewellery, kilt making, painting and drawing to printed textiles and photography. I felt so inspired and in awe of all the pieces of art and astounded by the artistic talent of all the students.

I had left some of my prints with my tutor and let her choose which ones were to go into the exhibit so I had no idea which ones people will see. I'm so happy with what she chose and she displayed them in a fantastic way. On a side note, my tutor was brilliant and so helpful. Any ideas I had, she would help me develop them and showed me different techniques. She's also a very talented printmaker herself :)

I'm hoping to be back for intermediate printmaking for the next academic year but after looking at the work of the other students, I'm slowly drifting towards drawing or ceramics? What do you think?



0.9 The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Happy Sunday Orchids! The sun has been shining in Aberdeen and I have been filled with such happy vibes this week.

It was Brother Orchid's birthday this week and we went out to eat at a local barbeque eatery. You can read about it on my foodie series here. He's going on his adventures again next month so I gifted him with some currency to spend when he is abroad. Lucky boy!

I hit the gym hard this week - Barcelona in June is looming and I need to get this beach body under control! I did two Les Mills classes back to back and I think I broke myself. My legs were out of order for about 2 days whereby I ran a 5K today and made a mess of them again! That being said, the run was essential, I am running a 10k next Sunday and my running partner in crime is getting fast. Serious fast!

Today was the day of my art exhibit. As some of you dedicated Parisian Orchid readers would have read, I have been doing a short printmaking course at the art school at one of the universities. Today was the day where everyone's art was being exhibited and they are amazing! So proud of my classmates and so astounded by some of the talent from the other courses. I've decided to do another art class this year but having trouble deciding. Ceramics or drawing? This was also on my 30 before 30 challenges. Keep your eye out on the blog for the post...

I hope you have all had a happy week. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content....



A Foodie Eats: Cue Barbeque Aberdeen

Saturday, 12 March 2016

We all love a bit of American Deep South Barbeque food right? Something a bit hearty with smokey meat that's been cooking away for hours resulting in the most tender and juicy piece of meat? I'll stop for a moment whilst you wipe away some of that drool...

Talks of this new barbeque joint that recently opened in Aberdeen got everyone into a frenzy. We decided to try this new restaurant out and we made the excuse to go to celebrate Brother Orchid's 28th birthday. Booking the table was a bit of a logistical nightmare - even though I do logistics as a job! I couldn't get through to anyone on the telephone so I decided to turn up one evening to book a table. Call me old fashioned but I like to speak to someone on the phone when making bookings. Gives more of a personal touch. After they took my name and number and said they would call me to confirm; no-one ever did. The next thing I did was email them and again, no response (I actually received an email back on the day of the booking!). After some chats with my colleagues, they pointed me in the direction of the online booking system which I duly followed in order to secure us a table. Anyway...enough of the life story round up.

The restaurant itself is quite small but jam packed full of tables. You could tell they wanted to utilise as much of the space as possible. The menu was vast and had a good variety of meats, burgers, tacos and interesting sides. I had studied the menu for a long time leading up to the meal and decided on the fried chicken, fries and macaroni on the side. For the purposes of reviewing it all of course!

The chicken was served in a bucket and had 4 pieces of chicken thighs - I'm an 'eyes bigger than you belly' kind of person so I had to share out some of my food in order to finish it all! The chicken was tender and the coating was very flavoursome. The fries were deliciously crispy and the seasoning on them was amazing. The let down was the macaroni cheese side which arrived at the table only slightly warm. It wasn't at the stage where it was cold enough to complain about but in hindsight, I probably should have asked for it to be re-heated. I wolfed it down to prevent it getting any colder.

The boy opted for the house burger which came towering and jam packed with two beef burgers, cheese and bacon. He said it was very flavoursome and throughly enjoyed the crispy fries on the side. Mama Orchid had the beef brisket and Brother Orchid had the jalapeƱo and cheese sausage. All were very well received.

Overall the food was very tasty and well cooked. You could tell they had thought a lot about the concept of the restaurant and everything was very meticulous - the service was also very good. The prices of the dishes are on the slightly higher side and they don't offer sides on specific dishes so the price of your meal automatically increases once you start adding additional items. It was nice to try for a special occasion but will be less likely to pop in for a bite to eat any other time.



30 before 30 Challenge - Bennachie Fail

Thursday, 10 March 2016

If you remember last month, I made a 30 before 30 list of things I want to achieve before I turn 30. You can read it here if you missed it. Although I want to document all the successes of the challenges on this blog, I also want to document the lows. And this is one the lows. Me and the boy had a day off work and with the best intentions of heading up to Inverness, we decided to stay in Aberdeen and do some hillwalking. Being pretty new to the hillwalking scene, we wanted to go back to Scolty Hill in Banchory which was one of the first summits we did together. Thinking about kick starting my list, we decided to tackle Bennachie instead.

Bennachie is a range of hills situated in Aberdeenshire and many people I know have climbed it but I have never had the motivation to do it hence why it is on the list. Waking up in the morning we were greeted by snow and ice in the city but decided to head to the hills to see what the weather would be like as it was starting to warm up. After assessing the conditions we decided to head up the hill.

Isn't it beautiful? I love living in Scotland with all its nature and the fresh air was amazing. Although I have done a lot of running and gymming; I struggled with the incline up to the top but was determined to breathe through it and try and get as far as I could.

It was nice and warm for the first half of the walk and the boy was beside me the entire time rambling away with me about the world and our thoughts - I swear; I will never get bored of him talking. Our footprints were the first in the snow and showed we were the first ones to head up the hill - the Mither Tap route anyhow! Sounding promising right?

As we cleared past the forest, the wind picked up and the terrain got more snowy and icy with the rocky steps being more challenging. I got as far as I could without being blown off the hill and even had to climb on my hands and knees to a safe area. I managed to turn round and snap a quick picture before having a chat with the boy about whether I could get to the top. We saw a couple come up close to where we were and decided to turn back. The boy decided it would be a good idea to head back down slightly and find a more safer route.

I stayed put in what can only be described as 'Everest conditions' (ok - slight exaggeration but it was really windy!) whilst the boy scouted the area. He managed to summit to the top and called down to me. I watched him as he slowly made his way down. He had said it wasn't a good idea for me to head up as the rocks were covered in ice. I trusted his decision not to put me in danger and with a heavy heart we went back down the hill - sliding down the rocks on our butts as we couldn't do it upright!

We talked about heading back in the summertime to do it when it was less treacherous. Later in the evening - and the next day chatting to my work colleagues about it; there is an alternative route round the back of the hill which is more like a path and takes only about 45 minutes to summit! Turns out we took the long way taking almost three hours to complete the round trip. Hearing this however hasn't made me want to take the easy way round and I'm even more determined than ever to get to the top of the hill.

So this is the reality of life challenges. Sometimes you finish them, sometimes you don't. It's made me more motivated than ever to do this and the other challenges with everything I have.

Bennachie. We will meet again.



0.8 The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Oh hey there! Guess who chopped off all her hair and is loving it? I've been looking at getting a bob for a while and decided that now was a good time. My hair was all straggly and not in very good condition so my hairdresser literally took a pair of scissors gathered up my hair and cut it off at the neck. It was scary but it's been a nice change. Still getting used to feeling the air on my neck!

I hope you've all had a lovely Mothers' Day and have been spoiling your Mamas. I cooked Mama Orchid a nice dinner last night - homemade Chicken Katsu Curry...yum in my tum! Today I went to see her and brought her some tasty treats to have in the daytime.

I've also been trying to get back into my running. I've got a 10K race in 2 weeks and with the weather gods being unfavourable I have been running in the gym which I absolutely despise. Staring at the same scene for half an hour is not my idea of fun. Still ploughing along though. Damn that treadmill.

I have a day off work tomorrow and me and the boy are planning on climbing Bennachie which is one of the things from my 30 before 30 list. I'll obviously document it here for you :)

What have you all been up to this week?