Somewhere off in the not so distant future the buds will return to Glasgow parks and gardens.
The world remains in tact (as much as it was before at any rate) but hopefully we can take away the message that it is time for a new less wasteful, less hateful period to begin - let's get cracking!
I had a lovely and fairly eventful December. Rocking Roy and I visited friends who live in Paris for a few days and I managed to whisk him away to Amsterdam for a birthday weekend, it broke our banks a bit but after not leaving this Island for 4 years I decided that now is the time to go where we can, while we can.
Paris. I can't help but love it. All cities have their grimier sides but Paris has such a wonderful sparkling side. We made it the Musée d'Orsay which houses some of my favourite Impressionism pieces and visited the Louvre which is free to enter on the first Sunday of the month. I would advise entering the Louvre via the subway entrace, we queued for no more than 5-10 minutes (I waited longer to use the toilets there) while the queues outside by the main entrance coiled around the courtyard like an endless human ribbon. Even if you are familiar with the art work from books it just blows your mind in real life. You can take pictures inside the Louvre (no flash) but NOT inside the Musée d'Orsay. We also visited the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop. It is opposite the Notre Dame and sells English language books, keep an eye out for a box outside the shop which has free books for people to take. It's a cavern of words with books stuffed in every corner and upstairs we found an author workshop in one room and American students gambling cigarettes on a poker game in the other. I recently watched a documentary about the author Jeanette Winterson and how her friendship with that particular bookshop really helped her during a difficult time. They offered her books and food and that helped her to keep body and soul together. I have been to Paris before and will go again - it's a tough place to exhaust.
In Amsterdam our hotel was very close to the red light district. The area has a lot of great coffeeshops, general shops, bars and interesting places to visit. Also if you are a graffiti fan there is lots of vivid street art about which is worth checking out. We had a very chilled experience at Basjoe Koffiehuis. Both the Chai Lattes and joints were top notch. We tried the pure grass joints with White Widow which resulted in an intense mellow high with a small side order of giggling. The place has a very old school relaxed diner vibe about it. There was jazz playing in the background, basketball on the TV, a nice mixed mature crowd and some cartoons on the walls next to the red leather booths. The menu (as with most coffeeshops) is laminated on the bar and the staff are pretty helpful if you have any questions.
We were also fortunate enough to eat what may be the finest burgers available in Europe at Getto. If I lived in Amsterdam this place would without a doubt become my regular haunt. The menu is extensive but the burgers are incredible! All the burgers are named after drag queens. The cocktails were also fantastic. I also adored the decor, very cosy. If you are craving a burger or just a really nice place to hang out and have a drink, give it a whirl! And relax - Getto is an attitude free zone.
So now we are into 2013. I'm not sure what this year will hold. Oh Happy Day! (bookmark the site, you won't regret it) creator Jordan said she 'loves the idea that you can make a plan and work hard to become happier' in a recent post so I'm taking that as my inspiration for this weekend - time to cook up some schemes! What are you looking forward to this year?