Ice Breaker

blog, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, Uncategorized, wellbeing

Ahhh it’s been a while hasn’t it?

Like in all honesty, I meant to take a break over Christmas, and then before I knew it, the end of January was nigh and then after that, the longer I left it the more fearful I was of posting again. It’s weird the things we roast ourselves over in our minds. This little old blog of mine is nothin’ but a hobby, so I’m not sure why I feel all this pressure. The weirdest thing is I actually love writing. I didn’t minor in English Literature for the lolz. And let me tell you, it’s a good thing I didn’t, because that course is very sparse in the lolz department.

I dunno man. It’s sort of like when you’ve been in a decent fitness routine, and then life flips you off and you fall out of it and skip a couple of weeks. Going back is always so, so hard. But the longer you leave it, the more intimidating it seems and the guilt seeps into your pores and then you’ve gained half a stone and you hate yourself and OMG WHY AM I SO TOXIC TO MYSELF SOMEBODY HELP.

Just me?

So this is entry is to say hi. I’m writing again. Expect food porn and life ramblings once again.

Also, I’m 27 next month and it seems as though I’m supposed to be all ‘omg I’m getting older, I’m a real grown up, I just wanna be 19 and not look like a sore thumb in those pictures that club photographers take.’ But I’m really not. I’m kind of enjoying the transition into mid-late twenties. It feels…calm.

Mind you, I was so convinced I was all wise and shit when I was 21, yet I look back now and realise I was an absolute turd of a human, so I’m sure when I’m 33 I’ll look back and cringe all over again.

Ice officially broken.

These are a few of my favourite things…

blog, creative, festivals, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, reviews, Uncategorized, wellbeing

I’m not going to say anything that will shatter the earth in this blog, because it’s all already been said. I think maybe my generation are starting to listen a little bit more too. I believe it’s so important to support independent business/creative ventures. I am lucky to have a bunch of friends that are INCREDIBLY talented.

My friend Karen is the owner of a papercut company – she makes the cutest art work, but there’s such an in depth process behind it. She uses card and a scalpel to cut out her designs – making greetings cards, prints and even the blog header at the top of this page. How she has any finger tips left, or any patience for that matter, I’ll never know. Her Gilmore Girls, Stars Hollow map was recently featured on a buzzfeed list of items every Gilly should own. Her stuff is intricate and so, so cool.

My friends Scott, Ben and Carl are in a band that satisfies every ounce of my endless desire to experience the beat era. Their band is called Lucille, named after BB King’s guitar, and if that isn’t the coolest thing in the world I don’t know what is. I first saw them play when my sister was bartending at an open mic night and she recommended them. Since then I haven’t left them alone, and have essentially forced them into being my buddies.  But it’s just that honestly, their music makes me SO happy. It takes me out of 2016, and into 1958, where I’m partying with Jack Kerouac, standing up against oppression and ‘fighting the good fight’. I struggle with the mundaneness of adult life sometimes. I try really hard to make it not mundane, but sometimes, in order to keep the bills paid and the wolf away from the door, it kind of is. Lucille’s live show isn’t a complete departure from the roots of reality, it’s more like an acknowledgement that it exists, and then says fuck it, let’s dance.

Since getting to know Lucille, Ben, their drummer has also joined a band called Cold Water Souls. CWS create music that is heavy but melodic, dark, moody and has these insanely powerful but beautiful vocals that will permeate your bones and sink in for days afterwards. Their live show is an atmospheric haze. Whilst Lucille allow you to dance your troubles away, CWS lift them out of you and burns them into a cloud of navy blue smoke that swirls into patterns above your head. Metaphorically, obviously. Please do not smoke indoors at CWS gigs, this has been a public service announcement.

Whilst I also love my iphone, starbucks and Beyonce, I just think if you want to really customise your life experience, you won’t find that richness at the bottom of a Christmas red cup which you specifically bought to pad out your instagram feed. For me at least, it’s found in those independent creators who haven’t been polished to the Nth degree, and don’t have a huge marketing team behind them.

Anyway, as I say, this isn’t really anything earth shattering. Partly I was just thinking about all the awesome things my friends are up to, but also I just think people expect creativity for free too often these days. If like me, you have attachments to independent creatives who enrich your life, show them some love. Support them. Don’t expect shit for free. They might do what they do for the love of it, but sacrificing time to create, when you’re a grown up, can be hard to manage, and they deserve mega praise for doing it.

And if you are purely a chain consumer, oh my god look around! Try an independent restaurant, watch an indie film, go to a local gig. Not saying this to preach, I just think it’ll make you happy 🙂

Anyway, go and check out what the guys I spoke about above are up to:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OhCutItOut

http://www.facebook.com/thebandlucille

http://www.facebook.com/coldwatersouls

 

And in a directly opposing note, i got a new phone and a new lipstick today and i’m v pleased about this.

Peace.

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Baresca – Nottingham

blog, dinner, food, Life, naughtiness, nottingham, restaurant reviews, reviews, tapas, Uncategorized

 

In our house, the 4th of July marks the anniversary of Andy becoming the luckiest human on planet earth, when I blessed him with the opportunity to be my boyfriend. I know. He’s very lucky, and I am VERY humble. I’d done a bit of ground work, researching a potential destination for our anniversary dinner and had heard rumblings about an amazing tapas place called Baresca, situated in the Lace Market region of Nottingham city centre. Baresca has recently picked up a couple of awards in the 2016 Nottinghamshire Food & Drink Awards: Best Newcomer and Best International, so I was eager to try it out. I think great tapas is up there with the most inconceivably awesome culinary experiences a person can have. Granted, it’s probably more magical when being consumed in an exposed brick and terracotta clad hide away on a cobbled side street in Barcelona, but we can’t have it all, now can we?

On the 4th of July, I whipped out the red lippy and cat eye liner and Andy….well. Andy removed his beanie, which is essentially his version of wearing a full tux. As soon as we set foot in Baresca, I knew it was my kind of place. It just felt so chilled. I can’t tell you how important that is to me as a customer. My self-confidence has peaks and troughs much akin to Oblivion – the vertical drop roller coaster at Alton Towers. Some days I want to propose to myself; and on others, I feel so rubbish I’d prefer to stay under the duvet for the rest of my natural life. Yay mental health. Pleasingly though, Baresca is the kind of place where you can get great food, without feeling self-conscious about what you’re wearing or whether you’re ordering appropriately. You go Baresca!

I ordered a virgin apple mojito, and Andy had a homemade lemonade – neither of us really drink, so the mocktail menu was much appreciated. I love a Pepsi Max as much as the next aspartame addicted white girl, but it’s nice to have options, you know?

mojito baresca

I am a fancy lady.

And then the food. We ordered 6 tapas dishes to share:

  • Buttermilk Fried Squid
  • Chilli and Garlic King Prawns
  • Mushroom Risoni
  • Halloumi Fritters
  • Chorizo Patatas & Fried Egg
  • Chagrilled Beef Skewers

Unfortunately I was possessed by a greedy, food obsessed gannet when the first wave of food came out, so I didn’t manage to photograph everything. If we’re talking highlights though, I will say the halloumi fritters were life changing. In a sort of ‘reduce your life expectancy by about a decade’ kinda way. I can’t even lie though, I reckon the 10 year loss would probably be worth it if I could have those bad boys every day. Think rectangle sticks of halloumi, coated in a light tempura style batter, super crispy on the outside and buttery soft on the inside. Jesus, I’m getting slightly aroused thinking about them. Don’t mind me.

prawns baresca

Another highlight came in the form of showing off my prawn shelling skills to Andy. Whilst he was slightly concerned about the fact the prawns on our plate still had their heads on, I was a fearless woman. You see, in about 2003, my parents took us on a family holiday to France, where we stayed in a stationery caravan. My parents are the kinds who like to get out and experience the culture when abroad, and had somehow come to acquire about a kilo of king prawns that they planned to use for that night’s dinner. Being 13, I was thoroughly unimpressed by literally everything, but for some reason had no objection to sitting on the caravan deck, shelling prawns for 45 minutes. Going for a nice stroll along the beach in the evening? Christ no. Removing the heads from a bag of shellfish? But of course, no problem! I was a weird teen. Sorry Mum! The prawns Baresca served up were no disappointment. The chilli and garlic were just powerful enough to wake the prawns up (not literally, obvs, they were dead), without overpowering their flavour completely. Definitely recommend!

choriza patatas baresca

Chorizo Patatas with Fried Egg. In.Sane.

Overall the food was delicious. The only thing I was a tiny bit disappointed by was the churros I ordered for dessert. Once, at Download Festival, I had the MOST incredible churros. They were warm and fresh and coated in cinnamon sugar. Nothing like the kind of food you imagine finding at a metal festival. They were hands down the best churros I’ve ever had, and ever since then no churro has ever quite measured up. Like a modern tale of a thwarted, dough based romance – *sigh*. But honestly, even a bad churro is still great, so I wouldn’t let this sway your opinion of Baresca.

churros baresca

I reckon I could eat at Baresca once a week for the next year and I highly doubt I’d be sick of it. As with all good tapas places, you get what you pay for. Eating at Baresca wasn’t dirt cheap, but I’d have been concerned if it was. The cost of 2 mocktails, a garlic bread starter, 6 tapas dishes and 2 desserts was around £55. If it wasn’t a celebration we probably would have just had the tapas and drinks, which would have obviously brought the price down. We visited on a Sunday, and I noticed their specials board advertised a roast dinner sharing platter which I’d love to try too; but I already had my heart set on tapas that evening. I suppose I shall just have to go back!

Ambience: 10/10

Food: 8/10

Bang for Buck: 8/10

Would I Go Again: Oh hell yes.

The Pudding Pantry – Nottingham

blog, brunch, food, lifestyle, nottingham, restaurant reviews, reviews, Uncategorized

I’ve now lived in Nottingham for just over 15 months and I’ve been meaning to try The Pudding Pantry for about 13 of those months. I’d heard a few things about TPP. My work wife, Kerry, had mentioned how great the waffles at TPP are. To be fair though, her sweet tooth rivals that of Augustus Gloop. I’m pretty sure she’d recommend a tub of shop bought cake frosting with a similar level of enthusiasm, so her opinion might not be the most trustworthy one.

tp2

Reserved from 3 for Afternoon Tea 🙂

On a rare, sunny Sunday morning, Andy and I went into town to try the place out for ourselves. We also needed fuel for a day of pokemon hunting, so you know. Two birds, one stone. I ordered a plate of courgette and sweetcorn fritters, which came with smashed avocado (as according to 2k16 instagram brunch laws) and a finely chopped salsa and sour cream. I also ordered some smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, because damn, if I’m having breakfast and lunch in one meal you’d better believe I’m ordering up. Andy opted for the typical  bloke option – The Pudding Pantry’s version of a full English. Bacon, garlic fried mushrooms, 2 pancakes, baked beans, scrambled eggs and a sausage for good measure. Oi oi.

tpp

TPP’s scenery is lovely. It somehow made me feel like I was relaxing in a little seaside town, rather than slap bang in the city centre of landlocked Nottingham. I really enjoyed the experience, but If I’m being entirely honest though, I think the food could have been better. The fritters were a little bit heavy and bland. For me they were missing that kick of flavour, that slap around the chops that makes you want to keep going back for more. They were pleasant enough, but lacked the violence I apparently desire from my food. Even the fresh salsa didn’t save the cause, which I’m sure was intention. A sprinkle of smoked paprika or the tang of feta cheese – just something that makes it stand out would have helped the dish pop so much more. At a cost of nearly £30 for brunch for 2, I kind of just expected a bit more oomph to it.

Ambience: 7/10

Food: 6/10

Bang for buck: 6/10

Would I go back?: Yes, but probably not for brunch. (I do wanna try one of their insane looking freakshakes!)

 

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)