Emilio’s – Arnold, Nottingham

blog, depression, dinner, drinks, Fish, food, lifestyle, nottingham, restaurant reviews, reviews

During my day job, I work in an office

During my evenings and weekends, I desperately try to build my own identity using scraps of traits that I love, but are originally owned by Nigella Lawson, Rory Gilmore, Kristen Stewart and Hayley Williams.  But tales of my ongoing identity crisis are really besides the point.

Going back to the office day job: once upon a time a few months ago, I volunteered to be in charge of our social calendar. That’s right, I am the most insufferable human you have ever come across! As part of my role as ‘social secretary’ (nobody calls me that); I plan an office night out every other month.

This month, we went to Emilio’s in Arnold, Nottingham for a mezze night. I’m still relatively new to Nottingham, having lived here just over a year. Apparently Emilio’s is a long standing establishment, which has been described to me as ‘great for a cheesy night out’. The words Butlins and Hen Do were also thrown around with this description, so make of it what you will. To be honest I thought it sounded like a laugh, so I booked us in.

We’d ordered the set mezze in advance, which cost about £18 a head. Let’s get one thing straight, I fucking love mezze. I love Greek food and most days I have the appetite of a 6’10 rugby player. Mezze caters to all of this. We started with a Greek salad, pita, tzatziki, and taramasalata. As it turns out, I still hate taramasalata. It tricks me every time. I see a pink food in front of me, and it immediately reminds me of tubby custard from the Teletubbies and I feel compelled to eat it to reengage with my childhood. Take that adult life! The salad was awesome though. I mean granted, Greek salad will never be quite as good experienced in the midst of an October chill in Nottingham, as it would be sat, gazing out to the stars settling above the warm, softly lapping waves of the Mediterranean sea. (I genuinely just had to google to which sea borders Greece to check that was right. Jesus.) But yeah, this was still pretty bomb.

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Next up was calamari, and some garlicky prawns in a sort of tomatoey, caper type sauce. I’m not going to lie, neither of these were exactly to die for. The calamari was definitely not home made, which I thought was a shame, as it had that inevitable chewiness of frozen calimari. Weirdly, the best calamari I’ve ever had was at Ask Italian. Who knew? The prawns were definitely the kind of baby prawns you buy in the freezer section in Asda for about £3 a kilo, which would have been fine but sadly, they’d been a little bit overcooked. I will say though, that the sauce had a really lovely flavour to it.

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I swear, this was actually tastier than it looked!

Now from here on out the evening gets a bit blurry. After 2 years spent as a none drinker due to it exacerbating my depression to an unbearable level (mega lolz), I’ve recently started having the odd boozy night out again. I’m generally a bit happier these days and I thought I’d revisit my old frienemy, Merlot. In all honesty I’m not sure it’s a decision I’ll stick with because when I have one sip of alcohol, that’s it. Party Lucy is out to play. I recently watched all 3 of Iliza Shelsinger’s comedy sets that are on Netflix, and she refers to this as her Party Goblin. One sip of liquor and the Party Goblin takes over and bad decisions will be made all damn night. So at this point in the night I’m a glass and a half of red wine in and the Party Goblin is gearing up to do some dumb shit.

I know that the next things that came out were mini spanokopita – filo pastry parcels stuffed with spinach and feta. Mine was actually a bit burnt but I mean, come on. It’s feta and pastry, like I give a shit. There’s not much you could do to that combo to make it taste bad. There was also vine leaves stuffed with lamb and rice, meatballs which I really enjoyed, and a weird triangle of fried halloumi which was definitely reminiscent of a McDonalds hash brown. Again, I’m not complaining. I like halloumi, I like McDonalds hash browns, I see no problems here. Chorizo was the main player for me though. I bloody love chorizo and this one didn’t let me down. Typically, this is the one thing I didn’t photograph.

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To be honest, by the time we’d done with these I was 2 large glasses in and getting to the point of drunk where I wasn’t that bothered about food. Shockingly, that is occasionally something that happens to me. Weird things huh? I just seem to reach a level of buzz where I just get excited and want to exert some energy. Like when kids have been forced to sit through a car journey and then a tedious browse through the kids menu at pubs with play areas; and 1o minutes later they’re tearing around a ball pit with the look of the devil in their eyes. That’s me after a couple of drinks. So of course for some reason, myself and two other members of our party decided to have a plank off. Yes. A plank off. Because what goes well with drunkeness and an abundance of greek food? Ab exercises. I swear to God…

So at some point in the timeline, some chicken kebabs came out. I want to call them souvlaki, but I’m not sure if they technically have to be in a pita with salad to truly be called that? If any Greek’s happen to be reading, please alleviate my ignorance? It’s a shame I was so toasted by this point, because I reckon if I hadn’t been, the kebabs would have been the high point of the meal for me. They were (from what I remember) marinaded beautifully, juicy and tender.

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The photos on my phone suggest there was also a dish of rice with something that looks like chilli in a separate dish, but who can be sure? Not I, that’s for sure. I definitely didn’t try whatever it was, as by this point, I was stuffed to the brim and ready to get my dancing shoes on. Which I did. With gusto. And that my dears, is something nobody need hear about or mention from now until the rest of eternity.

Thank you and goodnight.

Christmas Confession Time

depression, drinks, exercise, fitness, Health, health,, healthy, life,, lifestyle, london, london marathon, mental health, running, Uncategorized, wellbeing

I feel like beginning this post with a ‘Forgive me Father, for I have sinned’. Although that seems daft, because apart from flirting with a bit of Buddhist meditation, I’m not of a particularly religious persuasion. So I suppose I’m writing this post to start afresh, regardless of potential hell fire that may or may not await.

Around mid December, I was adamant that the festive season would not interrupt my training schedule. But then things happened. Amid the jingle bells and tinsel, I decided to have a few adult beverages at my work Christmas party. I wrote a blog post a while ago about my decision to stop drinking. It’s been probably a couple of years since I stopped, having realised that alcohol was a terrible catalyst for bouts of depression and self loathing. But on the night of the work do, I felt like I was missing out on something by not drinking. I can’t quite define what it was I felt I was missing out on, because  I can usually act the fool whilst stone cold sober just as well as any drunk person can. Occasionally though, when my confidence isn’t quite as tip top as I would like it to be, it’s nice to have the option of using the ever so effective social lubricant that is a G&T over ice.

The Obligatory Christmas Do Selfie

So I got a bit drunk. I sort of thought that since I’m now more ‘settled’ in life, living with my lovely BFG boyfriend and in a job I enjoy, I might not be quite as prone to unexplained sadness as I previously have been. Turns out, depression can still give you the finger even if you do live an otherwise comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle. Over the two days that followed I don’t think I got dressed or showered, I cried for no reason other than to let out a bit of the sadness and branded myself an unworthy, blundering idiot for failing to put together a flat pack bed. It wasn’t my finest moment I must say. So that was the block that initially threw me off track.

 

The Devil’s Play Thing.

Almost immediately after recovering from that,  I was struck down by the evil bastard that is the winter lurgy, and thought that death was upon me. I had the whole nine yards –  chesty cough, blocked nose, headaches, sore throat and sinuses that seemed to have gone into melt down. So in the week I wanted to get back on track, I was having a hard time trying to y’know, breathe and stuff. You know what they say. An object at rest, wants to stay at rest (or something like that). Once you’re out of your fitness routine, getting back into it can be so difficult, particularly when the festivities are nye.

So here I am, on January the 2nd, having not trained since December 18th. I’m not exactly proud of it, and I know I’ll have to train extra hard over the next few weeks to make up for it, but still. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. I’m using this blog post as an opportunity to draw a line under my training indiscretions and move forward. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

Before I go, I have to say that having my depression take me down again for a little while really did bring home how debilitating mental health struggles can be. My depression is so mild in comparison to the issues faced by others, and yet it still has the capacity to knock me onto my arse. I’m lucky. My friends and family are generally very understanding of mental health issues, and I have people to talk to and rely on. But the fact is that even in 2016, mental health issues are still so wildly misunderstood and treated as a taboo, which means god knows how many people are still going without any help. The charity I am running the VLM for, Mind, are there to help these people. Please go and look at their website, and if you feel able, donate using the link below.

Here’s to 2016!

Mind’s Website: http://www.mind.org.uk/

Donate: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lucy-titterton 

LDN Marathon Training: Weeks 3 & 4

blog, depression, fitness, food, Health, health,, healthy, Life, lifestyle, london, london marathon, mental health, running, Uncategorized, weight loss, weightloss, wellbeing

 

Week 3 of my marathon training is when I promised myself that I would never, ever run less than 3 hours after eating dinner again.  Tuesday was a 4 miler. I was working at an event in a different city on Tuesday, so I had no opportunity to run before work, which is always a bummer. I prefer running in the morning so much more. Apart from wanting an extra hour in bed, there aren’t really many excuses to not run at six in the morning. At 5pm however, you’re tired, you’ve had a long day, you’re hungry, you’ve got to get dinner started, you’ve got a tonne of chores to do, the dog needs walking, the hamster cage needs cleaning, you’ve got to dust the skirting boards, the silverware needs polishing, the cd collection needs alphabetising!! Ohhh the excuses are abundant! The problematic thing about marathon training though, is that you sort of have to just take those excuses and shove them away, because 26.2 miles don’t just happen out of nowhere. Or at least, not for me, Lucy, Penguin Runner.

On Tuesday afternoon I drove home from the event I’d been working at and was starving. I decided to try eating dinner and then run a bit later in the evening. I managed to have dinner cooked and eaten by about 5.30, and by 8pm I was in the gym. Within about 6 minutes I knew I’d end up throwing up before I reached the 4 mile mark. I tried changing my run-walk patter, I tried running at a slower but more consistent pace, I tried distracting myself by changing the treadmill TV screen to a New Zealand ‘run through’ setting. As it turns out, when you’re knackered and trying not to vomit, New Zealand’s surroundings are actually just really annoying. Why are there so many trees?! I think I made it to about the 2.5 mile mark before I tapped out. At that point, it wasn’t just feeling physically sick that was getting in the way, I was so hyper aware that I was having a terrible run that my mental toughness was about as sturdy as a birthday jelly. In fact, I was so frustrated that I ended up going home in a huff and having a massive cry, like a big ole’ sweaty baby.

Thank GOD the rest of the week’s training went to plan, and without any notable trauma. There were a couple of 3 milers and on Saturday, my long run was 6 miles. I did that at a 13 minute mile pace, so believe me, I’m no Mo Farrah, but I felt good. I mean, relatively good. I didn’t have to crawl to the car or anything, so that was nice.

Week 4 surprised me. I hadn’t really looked ahead at my training programme in detail, so I was very close to doing a cartwheel of joy when I realised week 4 was almost a ‘rest’ week. My longest run was 3.8 miles, and the shortest was 2, with a few 3 milers sprinkled into the midweek mix.  I was quite chuffed with how easy the 3 milers were starting to feel, so I used the shorter distances to try and improve my pace. As I said, I’m definitely not going to be breaking any records speed wise. I take walk breaks, because otherwise running just isn’t fun for me, and I won’t make the distances. I am noticing that the further I get into my training plan, the easier I’m finding it to reduce those walk breaks. I’m currently walking about 2-5 minutes every mile, and running/jogging the rest. It seems to be working alright.

As always, if you would like to sponsor me and help raise money for mental health charity, Mind, click through to the link below.

www.virginmoneygiving.com/Lucy-Titterton

Virgin London Marathon 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 25: Runners pass by the University of Greenwich during the 2010 Virgin London Marathon on April 25, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

 

Teen Suicide & Childline

childline, depression, Health, mental health, nspcc

I’m writing this post because I want more people to encourage their children to contact Childline. Today the body of Amber Peat, a 13 year old girl from Mansfield was found. She died from hanging. I can’t justify with words how sick this makes me feel. I’ve always been a very empathic person, but I don’t think it takes that much empathy for this kind of story to attack your heart.

I can’t help but question what the hell was going on in her life and mind that she felt that suicide was her only option. My imagination plays out. I wonder if she ever spoke to anybody about how she was feeling or what was going on. I used to be a counsellor at Childline, which for anybody who doesn’t know, is a free service for children and young people who need to talk. They operate via telephone chat, instant messenger and email. This is exactly what I used to explain to any contacts I took at Childline:

Childline is a completely confidential service unless:

  • Your life is in immediate danger
  • You are hurting other young people
  • You are telling Childline about somebody who is hurting you, who is in a position of authority (i.e, a teacher, a priest, a policeman/woman)

This means that unless you are abusing your child to the point that their life is in immediate danger, you 100% will not find social services or the police at your door under Childline’s direction. I say that because I want you to understand that you do not have to be afraid of your kid contacting Childline. I know when I was a preteen, I’d sometimes threaten to call Childline, like it was a sure fire way to get my parents in trouble, in an attempt to get what I wanted. It’s just not how it works.

I don’t know if anybody reads this blog, or if any of you that do have kids. But I urge you to encourage your kids to use Childline. Please be aware that there are probably going to be circumstances in your kids life that they just don’t want/feel able to talk to you about, no matter how open you encourage them to be. It’s not your fault, but you have to accept this is a very real possibility. The issues kids go through are vastly more complex now than they were as little as ten years ago. Kids will often feel like they don’t want to upset their parents, that their parents will be ashamed of them, or they will get into trouble – regardless of how much you tell them otherwise. Childline can ensure that they have a safe, understanding voice to turn to at times like this. They don’t give advice, they just listen; so you don’t have to worry about anybody from Childline steering them in a way you don’t deem appropriate. You don’t have to be afraid of your kid using the service.

Childline can be contacted on

0800 111 111

http://www.childline.org.uk