I settled into a little cafe, first off with a huge latte, and then I switched to loose peppermint tea. I started reading Fifty Shades of Gray. Now that the hype around it is over, I felt free to read it! I'm still not sure what I think about the book. I have by now finished the first one, and am on to the second one. I find Ana's character a bit annoying as she never seems to stick to her guns, and gives in far too easily in my opinion, and I dislike how everything seems to revolve around Christian and how controlling it is. I think what keeps me reading is the anticipation of what he will do, rather than what he actually ends up doing, but I also want to know more about his background. However there is something about Christian that I can't help being attracted to, damn you fictitious character! I think its that feeling of frustration, that I want to dislike him, but I can't, that keeps me reading. By now I am also finding the sex scenes very boring, I find myself skimming through those scenes, it is just more of the same! Anyone else read the Fifty Shades trilogy? What did you think? (Just don't giveaway the ending!)
I thought I was being very discreet reading the book in this tiny little coffee shops, full of old women coming for their daily panad. That is until the waiter asked me if I was enjoying my book in quite a suggestive manner, ha! I promised him that as that point nothing 'dodgy' had happened!
Finally Iestyn finished work at lunchtime, I grabbed a quick salad from a local deli (sorry no picture!), and then we were off towards Manchester. We did the same as last time and parked our car in Stretford and then we got the Metro.
As some of you might remember, when we went to Manchester in October we had a bit of a mess up with our hotel , but we made sure to double check our booking this time, and we stayed at the Britannia hotel .
I'm sure it used to be a very grand hotel, but it was a bit dated by now! Our room was very flowery, was windowless, and you could tell that it used to me a smoking room. It did the job for us for one night, and is very central!
We went for a wonder, and I grabbed my first Christmassy Latte: Gingerbread. I wasn't a huge fan of this one, I don't think I'll be getting it again. I have to say I was very disappointed that the Salted Caramel and Pumpkin Spice where no longer available, I kept my eye out for them all weekend!
We went around a few of the shops, but it was soon time to find somewhere to eat before the gig. We looked into a few places, but as soon as we saw Wagamama, we knew that is what we really fancied!
I had Teriyaki Chicken, with white rice, carrot and watercress: I forgot how good white rice is! Iestyn and I also shared some Sake as we had never tried some before: that stuff is strong!
Then we headed across the road to the Manchester Arena.
Where we saw Bon Iver! This was a great gig, every song seemed to have a different arrangement to it: they were the songs I love, but even better. If you're a fan of Bon Iver, I massively recommend you go and see them live. If you don't know who Bon Iver are, go check them out! I've also written before about my new found love of seated tickets: it meant I could drink my red wine in peace with no fear of spillage! It's been nice that we've managed to go to quite a few gigs this year, its something we used to do a lot of, but I do feel like I'm chasing my 'youth!'
We then met up with a few friends for drinks in the Northern Quarter, and then it was back o the hotel room.
Waking up the next morning I was pretty disorientated, I didn't believe it was 9am when Iestyn told me, that's what a windowless rooms does to you!
We got up and ready, and went out in search of a late breakfast, and we had the best breakfast: bagels!
I can't even remember the last time I had a bagel, mine had cream cheese and bacon, and I had a large tea and apple juice on the side. And this kept me full for hours, all I had between breakfast and dinner was a banana, mango slices, and yet another latte!
And then it was around the shops again! After awhile I said goodbye to Iestyn and left him shopping in Manchester, as I was heading 'ooop north' to my second home of Leeds!
I spend the train journey there readings some more 50 shades while not making eye contact with the girl next to me: awkward!
Ahead of me was a weekend of dancing, drinking, eating and laughing: it was a good one!
Sunday was pretty low key: we went for a pub lunch and I ate the biggest steak and ale pie, and I also visited my friend and her little baby boy. It was nice just being able to chill out in front of the TV without feeling guilty because I should be doing something else.
On Monday I had to entertain myself for the morning before my train back home, but due to it being a miserable wet day, I spent some time just drinking tea, and more reading! I then decided that instead of getting the train or a bus, I would walk the three and a half miles to the station, as I felt I could do with some exercise after all the indulging over the weekend! It was nice being able to walk, and being able to see all the old places I used to live, and were I used to go. However it did end up taking longer than expected and I ended up power walking towards the station, with no time to pop to the toilets or grab some lunch, so I had to do that when I changed trains in Manchester!
The rest of my week was pretty quiet, I was back in work on Tuesday, with my usual drawing class in the evening. I wish we had quality pastels to work with, as the ones I had would not blend at all! It was nice using a different medium fro a change though.
Wednesday and Thursday were both gym days for me, and as I quite enjoyed what I did on Wednesday, I decided to repeat! It basically consisted of twenty minutes of HIIT on the cross trainer, and then various kettle bell moves, which I did three sets of.
On Thursday after getting back from the gym and making dinner, I couldn't relax for the evening as I usually do as I was back out again for the midnight screening of Twilight! Yes I know I am much too old for this kind of thing, and I wasn't too bothered about going to the midnight screening, but my sister convinced me it wold be a laugh, especially as it was the last one.
I have to say that the film blew my expectations away, and I really enjoyed it, quite a few unexpected twists! Only things is, I didn't get to bed untill 3.30 am, which isn't ideal when I have work in the morning, I'm sure that took all weekend to recover from! That's my crazy, 'why am I up this late?' face!
Anyway enough of acting like a teenage girl, back to being a responsible adult (?!).
Breakfasts have included bacon quite a lot, which is lovely, but I don't like consuming too much bacon, so I think I shall be having a break for awhile!
Obviously I am still obsessed with raspberry banana soft serve. Although I think I might break the blender soon, I only have an immersion blender which isn't ideal, but I broke my blender while making soft serve, oooppss! Anyone able to recommend an affordable blender that can deal with semi frozen bananas, dates and nuts?
I've also been snacking on bowlfuls of warm apple chunks with cinnamon, with almond milk pored over, and a dollop of apple and pear spread.
On Friday I rang my mum on my lunch break asking if she would take salmon out of the freezer for me as I had forgotten to take it out that morning. It turns out that gammon and salmon sound very similar to each other as we ended up having gammon for dinner! Its not something I usually choose, but it made a change! I also had an egg (we didn't have any pineapple!), as well as some onions and peppers, and I also made celeriac root chips. I'd never made these before, but they were a huge hit, these might even take over sweet potato chips for awhile!
This weekend has been all about the pancakes.
I started off Saturday making pancakes! Iestyn had gone to get his hair cut, so I though they would be good as I have some time reading and drinking tea, plus a nice surprise for his return. to make one pancake, I mashed up one banana, added one egg... and thats it! Just mix them well, heat some coconut oil in the pan, and cook on a medium heat. Mine did brown a bit too much, but it wasn't bad! I topped mine with apple and pear spread, plain chobani. half a pear and cinnamon. Yummy!
They were so good, we fancied them again on Sunday. This time we wanted two each, so for each pancaked I mashed up half a banana and added one egg, this time I added cinnamon to the batter, spread the bottom one with almond butter, and heated up some frozen blueberries for the topping: lovely!
On Saturday afternoon we walked down to the local art gallery for a wonder, popped into my Nain's house for a quick chat, went to the shop to grab some dinner, and then it was back up the hill.
I love the leaves!
Dinner was a curry made with plenty of veg, chicken thighs, spices and coconut milk: I love coconut milk!
Sunday was also pretty laid back, I went to Bangor with Iestyn and my sister, grabbed a coffee, and did some food shopping.
For dinner we made some burgers, which were just lean beef mince, a few spices and fresh coriander. Instead of a bun we had a mushroom, topped with spinach and onions, and then topped off with an egg!
And just to end, today's weigh in. I would like to thank you all for all the comments I had on last weeks post: does the scale matter? I liked reading all of your insights. One of the reasons we went to Bangor was to buy a fancy new scale, and so I weighed in this morning to see a gain of 0.4 of a pound. Have I actually gained weight, or is it just the difference in the scales? Who knows! I'll never know, so I'm not going to waste my time worrying about it. All I know is that it is onwards and downwards from now on! :)
Incase you've missed them, here's the past week in blog posts Barcelona: Day 1
An Introduction to Peruvian Cuisine
Does the scale matter?
Review: Twinings Christmas Tea
So as you can see, I have been relatively busy! What did you get up to this weekend? When was the last time you went to a gig?