Friday marked my uncle's 60th birthday, so we celebrated with a barbecue over the weekend. 

It was really lovely. As a grown up, I find myself able to truly appreciate some of the cultural nuances about these gatherings: the community vibe and everyone bringing something to contribute to make up a feast. The smell of jerk chicken sizzling, the heavy baselines fizzing across the floor, my aunties and uncles rocking away to those songs it would be sacrilege not to play. Cups of rum punch to warm the belly, followed by fried dumplings to soak up the potent mix. 

I feel that's a part of my culture that's slipping away from me. For my generation, we go out for brunch and take pretty photos of our instagrammable food, which is all well and good. But for so many years, this is how we've done community: in the home, with food and music and dancing amongst family and friends. And with laughter and stories peppering the air as night time falls.



Wednesday

#262 // Making Memories: The Birthday BBQ



So, last night was optimum winning time at Sainsburys.

I arrived just in time for the reductions and as well as picking up a very large amount of bread for one person to eat in one weekend, I also spied some white chocolate chip cookies in the bakery section for 50p. The joy. The. Joy.


And then this morning, having eaten two already, I thought about a way to mix it up. This was an experiment, but one that worked oh so well and is oh so easy. I've come to learn that while I like being in the kitchen, I enjoy quick wins. And this my friends, is a very quick, very delicious win.

A cookie from the in-store bakery
A (very generous) scoop of vanilla ice cream some might say that my version of generous, basically means two scoops, not one
Milk of your choice
Vanilla
Cinnamon (if it takes your fancy) I'm sorry, I put it in everything.

Shove it all in the nutribullet (sacrilege, right?), or a liquidiser. Pour and serve immediately, delighting heavily in the wonderousness of this two minute make.

Saturday

#261 // White Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake (aka the one for easy indulgence)

I made a You Tube video while I was on my epic eighteen-days-off-for-the-price-of-nine stint from work. And it felt good. Both the break and the video creation!

I've wanted to make videos for a while now. I took a course of making videos for Instagram at the end of last year and really enjoyed it. I love words, and I'd like to explore bringing them to life more through the medium of video. 

It's just a short two minute vid, so have a look and let me know what you think? It might end up being something ongoing, or a small series I explore just for play. Either way, it's another itch I'm scratching, another thing I'm doing instead of just thinking about. Which can only ever be a good thing.

Wednesday

#260 // Notes To Self


I am 31 years and 247 days old. And today, I passed my driving test. 

This has been 13 years in the making. THIRTEEN YEARS! I started at 18 when my parents gave me lessons for my birthday, and promptly stopped when their generosity ended. I went to uni, and it just fell off my list of priorities. I moved back home at the end of it, then to London, and who needs a car when you live in London? It's a 24-hour city, I paid more than enough for my travel card, so I was going to make the most of it!

But then someone suggests a road trip, or a driving holiday. Friends move away. Family disperses. And having to rely on Sunday service trains becomes very arduous. I started up my lessons again, but couldn't get a test date secured before both my provisional and my theory test expired. 

Then Uber came along, and it helped me to put it off for even longer.

But I've had two weeks off, I've been doing lessons every day, and even though it's taken a very long time, I can say that I passed first time.

When we got back, my instructor suggested he take a photo with my certificate (sidebar: Yes, that he knows about that social media life). So I got one and popped it up on Facebook, as you do. I didn't think much of it, but a couple hours later, my dad has sent the photo to his entire phone book, and I've had so many congratulatory comments, likes, calls and messages, all lovingly, if not unexpectedly received.

You see, in my mind it seems so undeserved, because I'm sat here thinking, "should you really be congratulating me for something I should have done ages ago? Isn't it more "finally!", than all the hand clapping emojis that are warranted here?

But actually, no.

It's times like this, when you see who your biggest cheerleaders are. When you see who is really happy for you, no matter if you've taken a giant leap or a pigeon step in a good direction. And no matter how long it takes you to get there, those people will always meet you at the finish line with the exact same energy and gusto. 

Friday

#259 // Cheerleaders

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