It is now the final month of the final decade! I can’t quite believe. I have so much to do in December I am practically drowning and will definitely end the year by limping over the 2019 finish line and into 2020. I’m hoping in 2020 I can manage my time a little bit later and not try to run myself into the ground as I run from my neverending fear of failure (who said you can’t run from your problems?!) and just breathe a bit.
Life has been so busy in November and after the failure in October to not read one single book I am pleased to announce I did read in November, hurrah!
Greatest Crimes Of All Time: I wanted some background noise for my Friday morning admin of life, The Monday Project and university work, so a quick scroll of Amazon Prime for a true crime documentary brought e Greatest Crimes Of All Time. It is not as good as Cold Case Files (which I binged and loved) and I had heard of pretty much all of the cases covered, but the second episodes on hostage situations was brand new to me. An interesting watch if you’re looking for a true crime fix. Watch on Amazon Prime. ***
Holiday In The Wild: One hangover Saturday I watched the Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis’ holiday romance Holiday In The Wild on Netflix. It was shit, cringe and the storyline was typical but I LOVED IT. Watch on Netflix. ****
Let It Snow: During the same hungover Saturday as above, I watched another Christmas film on Netflix called Let It Snow. It was only about halfway through when I realised it was based on a book John Green co-authored and it was perfectly rubbish and silly, making it the ideal Christmas film. Watch on Netflix. ***
The King: There was a lot of hype about this film and whilst it was good, I wasn’t that enthralled by it. I did enjoy Robert Pattison as the Dauphin though and the overall styling of the film was really good. Watch on Netflix. ***
His Dark Materials: If there is one thing I care about in November, it is watching His Dark Materials on a Sunday night. I absolutely adored the books and after the letdown of The Golden Compass film, I was excited to see another take on it. It is perfectly magical and couldn’t do better when doing justice to the storytelling of Philip Pullman. I am just so excited to see the series through. Watch on BBC iPlayer. *****
The Crown: I watched all of the new season of The Crown in one day and I’m not embarrassed in the slightest. I laughed, cried and cried some more but mostly spent it smiling like an idiot at the tv as this is one of the best tv shows I’ve ever seen. It is difficult to explain why but it truly is a masterpiece. I can’t wait for season 4 as the season 3 cast were fantastic. Watch on Netflix. *****
The Young Offenders: When I was visiting my parents, they mentioned a new season of The Young Offenders was out, so when I got back to Glasgow I started watching. Six hilarious episodes following Connor and Jock on their adventures in Cork, it was just as good as the first and left me wanting more. Watch on BBC iPlayer. ****
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator: I’ve done Bikram yoga once in my life and I found the whole experience pretty unpleasant. There was a discussion about this new documentary on Netflix at yoga class on Friday morning, so I watched it on Sunday evening and it was really good, albeit very disheartening. Definitely a watch if you’re interested in Bikram yoga/practice it and very eye-opening into Bikram as the predator he is. Watch on Netflix. ****
The Knight Before Christmas: This Vanessa Hudgens Christmas film dropped on Netflix one November weekend so I watched it twice in one day, obviously. It was rubbish and cheesy and definitely in the genre of ‘shit Christmas film’ but damn it was good. Watch on Netflix. ****
The Report: I saw a tweet about this movie on the Amazon Prime US’ twitter page and was intrigued so decided to watch it one hungover Saturday night. With Adam Driver starring as Daniel Jones, this film covers the true story of Jones’ and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into CIA use of torture following 9/11. It was really thought-provoking and critical history to observe so I really enjoyed the film. Watch on Amazon Prime. ****
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter: She did it! She read a book guys! She finished another book! After not reading once for pleasure in October, I finally finished Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter and it was so good. I love Slaughter’s writing and this was another fast-paced and confusing thriller with plenty of questions needing answering throughout. It follows Andy as she uncovers her mother’s brutal and disturbing past after a freak incident hurtles her into the spotlight. ****
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams: I am not one from romance novels but I do like Laura Jane Williams’ memoirs and her Instagram page. I was intrigued by Our Stop as it received so much hype over the summer as the must-read holiday book so when Leigh offered it up for borrowing, I took it. It did take me a little while to get into it and stop rolling my eyes but by the end of it, I was heavily invested, desperate for resolution and sobbing into the happiness aura it had created for me.
Black Pine: One of my favourite spots in the west end for a coffee, I nipped in one Friday afternoon to do some uni work (developing Wine Diaries) and it was a very productive session. Two oat flat whites later, I’d written a new blog post, started my social media calendar and finally felt like I had my head screwed on the right way. This place never fails for a cosy coffee and chilled out atmosphere. Find Black Pine at 518 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8EL. ****
Zizzi: Whilst exploring a little bit more of the west end one Saturday and re-visiting some of my favourite spots, we popped into Zizzi on Creswell Lane for some late lunch. We had arancini and calamari to start with some olives which I followed with a pizza and a large glass of white wine. This is one of my favourite Zizzi’s in the city as it is always cosy and the interiors are so cute. Find Zizzi at 8 Creswell Lane, Glasgow, G12 8AA. ****
Platform: After popping to Sacha’s Swap Shop with Charlotte, we headed to Platform in the Argyle Street Arches as I was hungover and hungry. It has always been on my list to visit but something I’d never actually got around to doing. I had a delicious bao from one of the food trucks and there was plenty of choices and so affordable. Definitely somewhere I’ll be heading back soon. Find Platform at 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL. ****
Kothel: I went for lunch at Kothel one Wednesday lunchtime with Cat and Thea. It is quickly becoming one of my favourite cafes in the west end for grabbing lunch as the food is so good and well priced. I had a prosciutto and brie focaccia with cranberry sauce and walnuts and a little side salad followed by a piece of lemon curd cake. It was so good to see Cat and Thea after way too long and we’ve made plans to catch up again in two weeks. Find Kothel at 536 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 EDL. *****
Wilson Street Pantry: One Sunday I headed to Wilson Street Pantry for lunch with my friend Anya who I hadn’t seen in a wee while. It was so lovely to catch up with her, especially when I was feeling a bit low. The food at WSP is sooo good and I had the avocado and poached eggs on sourdough with an oat flat white. It is pretty busy all the time so you might have a wait (we nipped to Tinderbox for a quick drink for half an hour) but it is so worth it. Find Wilson Street Pantry at 6 Wilson Street, Glasgow, G1 1SS. *****
Bloc+: I have not been to Bloc+ in years but popped in on my lunch break to see Bekah and Alisha, who was up from Bath visiting. It was such good food and even though the chicken wings were the deal of the day and I don’t like wings, I really enjoyed my haggis poutine that was such good value for money. Find Bloc at 117 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 2SZ. ****
Santa Marina: When I was in the Borders, I went to Santa Marina in Hawick with my friend Shelby and her baby Quinn. The food in Santa Marina is so good and the staff are super nice. The restaurant is spacious (enough room for the pram) and afterwards, we popped into B&M Bargains which was good fun. Find Santa Marina at Teviot Crescent, Hawick, TD9 9RE. ***
The Cobbles: I used to work at The Cobbles many years ago so even though I feel a little weird about going back to eat there as a customer, it is still my favourite restaurant in Kelso. The food is delicious and it has such a cosy atmosphere. The potato skins starter is to die for. Find The Cobbles at 7 Bowmont Street, Kelso, TD5 7JH. ****
Cafe Strange Brew: I went to Shawlands one Sunday morning with my friend Cat to barter a jacket and we headed to Cafe Strange Brew for brunch. We waited 25 mins for a table and both had baked tomato eggs with a side of avocado. It was absolutely delicious and I just love Cafe Strange Brew so much. Find Cafe Strange Brew at 1082 Pollockshaws Road, Glasgow, G41 3XA. *****
GrosvenorCafe: Sam, Rachel and I went to Grosvenor Cafe one Wednesday for some food and to do the pub quiz. I went for three of the small plates (3 for £13) which was far too much food but no one wanted to share on my third. The halloumi fries were good (not as good as the Old Schoolhouse ones though) and I love the jerked fish tacos but the nachos were amazing. Great value for money as the small portion is huge and they are proper tortilla chips as opposed to crips and come loaded with toppings. Find Grosvenor Cafe at 24 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ. ***
Potbelly: Before heading to the Hell Yeah Christmas Market at Loks Bar one Saturday, Rachel and I first went for lunch at Potbelly. Potbelly is one of those south side eateries I’d heard so much about and it was amazing. I went for one of their famous hot cakes – the pineapple one – whilst Rachel had the poke bowl. Both were really tasty and well-priced plus Potbelly is really snug and the staff were lovely. It is pretty small though and they don’t take bookings so turn up and try your luck! We were lucky and there was a table free. Find Potbelly at 38 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, G41 2AN. *****
Kelvingrove Cafe: I went to this trendy Finnieston staple one Thursday for a meal with my parents before they saw a show at Hydro. It was okay – I definitely wouldn’t write home about the place and the staff were okay but it was easy to feel ignored. I did, however, love the interiors and cosy, Parisian cafe vibes and I think it would be a nice spot to grab a drink. Find Kelvingrove Cafe at 1161 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8TB. **
UK True Crime Podcast: Before settling down for a big afternoon of life admin and university work, I searched Apple podcasts for something to listen to and came across the UK True Crime Podcast. Focussing on less well-known true crime cases from the UK, it makes a good listen if you’re a true crime fiend but always hear the same cases. Episodes are pretty short from 20-40 minutes making it an easy listen whilst cooking, cleaning and studying. ***
Lizzo: I went to see Lizzo during Cuz I Love You UK tour at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on the 8th November and SHE WAS INCREDIBLE. I am 100% a Lizzo stan – I was almost crying when she was speaking at the end. It was an amazing gig; she’s an incredible performer live with her DJ and the Big Girls dancers. It was a great way to spend a Friday night, the only frustrating thing was how pushy and rude the crowd was. It’s such a shame when bigs groups of people are pushing past ‘to get to their friends’ at the front all the time instead of just dancing and enjoying themselves. *****
Rachel’s belter playlist: After we got tickets for Gerry Cinnamon and special guests The Snuts and DMA’s at Hampden next July, Rachel made a playlist of all three that I’ve been listening to non-stop. Seeing three of my favourite artists in my favourite city next summer will be unreal and this playlist really gets me in the mood. God, I’m just so excited – and if you’ve seen me in real life recently you’ll know because I’ll have probably told you. *****
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