I was surprised at how fun this game actually is and kind of how difficult it is to win. You pick out what you think is the funniest (often worst) card but then someone always trumps it! It's all down to the feeling in the room at the last minute...
It was really nice to catch up with some friends I had not seen in ages. Shout out to Lidl's Oriental party pack of food - amazing spring rolls! Pleasantly surprised at how good they were for quick easy party snacks.
We also attended a friend's surprise birthday do and I am delighted to say 'Happy Birthday Rockin' Roy!" this month. We unleashed the birthday breakfast and birthday vinyl and birthday jaffa cakes and went to the Rum Shack for more birthday fun.
"The original Hutchesons' Hospital was erected in 1660 after George Hutcheson of Lamb Hill left an endowment stating his wishes for a hospital to be built for sick and old men. His brother Thomas Hutcheson later added to the endowment that the new building should also accommodate a school for orphaned boys. The hospital stood at the Trongate until it was demolished in 1795 and in the same year the Patrons of the Hospital purchased grounds on Ingram St." - See more at: http://hutchesonsglasgow.com/venue/history/
This year we did about 90 percent of our shopping at charity shops, second hand shops and local independent retailers. We basically completely avoided the chain stores with the exception of Lidl for our food shop. This was a great thing to do as we found awesome stuff for everyone and avoided the crowds and queues. Price wise it probably was much cheaper than a high street shop too although we spent more on some special vintage items because they were one-offs we were still spending less than we would end up doing in somewhere like HMV. It meant we chatted to the shop workers (often the owners) a lot more and had a nicer, quicker, and more 'Christmassy' experience. We're maybe lucky that second hand shopping is an area I excel in - inherited from both my parents who are absolute champions of creative thrifty but generous gift giving. For example this year they gave me all of the Outlander books! All sourced from second hand shops. So delighted, I only just discovered Outlander when the TV show started and quickly fell in love with the story so I can't wait to read them all.
For this year's present haul we hit up the West End mostly, including - CHAS, Oxfam Music, Vintage Guru, Starry Starry Night, City Centre Comics, Ruthven Mews Antiques, the Sentry Box, The Hoodie Stop, The Nancy Smillie Shop, Bella Napoli and online - King Tuts Shop, Banquet Records.
The secret to second hand/indie shopping is to know your person well but have no pre-fixed idea about what to get them and be a bit creative. Also go to charity shops in posh neighbourhoods. If someone wants something really specific for a present then of course sometimes you have to hit up a specific chain store or organisation and that's fine, but if you get someone something really cool and they turn their nose purely because it's from a second hand store then you should probably just stop getting them presents altogether...! Local shops and artists are good too as you can connect with them directly and get additional info on the gift. And it's a bit more eco-friendly! Yeah, ok, I'll stop hammering this point now.
We also ducked into Hanoi Bike Shop for lunch on our shopping afternoon as I can't resist it. This time we tried the fish cakes and the amazing sweetcorn & coconut fritters - delicious!
I also live in Glasgow, which is one of the finest cities in the world and continues to demonstrate how amazing it is on a regular basis. People Make Glasgow is spot on.
On to 2015 - now is as good time a time as for a fresh start and a celebration of the small and big things that bring joy - Happy New Year everyone!