Fish Day - Making An Average Thursday Evening Fun

Coming home from work, cooking dinner and discussing your day gets a bit repetitive doesn't it? That kind of thinking is how I found myself sat crossed legged on the floor in blue light cutting out cardboard shapes the other week.

I had a bit of spare time on my hands and didn't fancy doing anything ... so I planned dinner. I love cooking and one of my favourite meals at the moment is Thai salmon. It's basically a massive salmon fillet cooked with green curry paste and coconut oil then served with garlic leeks, courgettes and grilled cabbage. Okay, now I'm hungry....

As I begun preparing the food I started humming the song from the Little Mermaid and a theme started to develop in my head. Before I knew it the fish was in the oven, I was scouring the internet for songs about fish and adding them to a playlist aptly named Fish Day. And so Fish Day was born. After putting a few of my favourite songs on including The Salmon Dance by Chemical Brothers, Car Wash (the theme from Sharks Tale) and Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid, I realised that there weren't actually all that many songs about fish. I branched out a little to a wider theme of the sea and added on Seven Seas of Rhye by Queen and I'm on a Boat by Lonely Island and a few others.

With fifteen minutes to go until Charlie arrived home the race was on to complete the now, self proclaimed, best Fish Day the world had ever seen. My attention turned to the lighting and more specifically the Philips Hue bulbs, my trusty alley in all themed evenings, I set all the lights in the house to a deep blue colour and was satisfied. This did make checking on the food incredibly difficult but it was for the good of Fish Day.

Time was ticking as I dashed out into the hallway remembering the cardboard I'd set aside for recycling. I spotted the cutting mat and a scalpel left carelessly on the workbench and got to work cutting out fish shapes and threading them through some string. With a few minutes a to spare I created my final addition to Fish Day, a fish mask. Cutting the shape, adding in detail with felt tip and attaching it to my face was done with lightning speed.

Music? Set. Lights? Set. Costume? Set. I was in position and ready to see Charlie's reaction as he came through the door. His initial confusion was apparent. I soon realised that he had no idea what we were having for dinner so his wife waving bits of cardboard around whilst wearing a oddly snapped piece of cardboard on her face which had apparently been coloured in by a toddler made very little sense.

Overall though, the first annual Fish Day was a success. The atmosphere was alive with fishy vibes and it was a lot of fun for a seemingly average Thursday evening. How did you celebrate fish day 2017?

Secret Cinema

My guide to Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge? Errr yes please! As soon as I found out this was the next instalment of Secret Cinema I booked tickets for Charlie and I as Christmas presents. On Christmas Day I gave him a box which contained a suspended belt (hilarious to open in front of his family) and a pretty rubbish photoshop of our faces as Satine and Christian. It's one of our favourite films so we were super excited but didn't know what to expect.

Moulin Rouge

Everything to do with Secret Cinema had been thought out thoroughly, from the detail on the various websites, the back stories to our characters and even their social media presence. So what do you need to expect and prepare for a secret cinema event? Well, I'm not going to spoil the surprise by going into too much detail (that's the whole point isn't it? the secret) but these are some general tips for preparing for an immersive event.

Stick to the rules

Part of the appeal of Secret Cinema is that it's secret. Don't go and blab about it afterwards on social media as you'll ruin it for everyone. If you had a great time then post a pic of your outfit and say that you had an amazing time.

Immerse yourself in the experience

Embrace the immersive aspect of Secret Cinema and get fully consumed by your role. If you are supposed to be a confident character then play that, if you're supposed to be pretty shady then play that too. If you're asked any questions whilst inside then make sure you reply in character. Trust me, you'll enjoy it a whole lot more.

Plan your outfit

A month before our booking we were emailed a secret code and assigned our characters, I immediately jumped onto my laptop to plan my outfit. I spent a day at my nan's house with her and her sewing machine creating my skirt. It was a lot more fun than buying one off the shelf and I got to make it look exactly how I wanted. I forgot to plan my hair and makeup until the day though which meant I spent the entire afternoon playing around with it. Make sure you think about your whole look as hair and makeup makes a biiiiiig difference to any outfit.

Plan your travel

When you get the top secret location make sure you plan your route! Especially if you're wearing slightly strange clothes. I had two options to get there and although walking to the overground was a few mins quicker, I didn't fancy walking down the street alone wearing a corset and can can skirt, so I got the tube instead.

Be prepared to feel a bit silly

From the second you walk out the house. I talking about the fact that I had to get the tube, alone, in rush hour. One woman couldn't stop staring at me and shooting me the evil look before she moved to the other side of the tube.

Enjoy it

I paid attention to eeeeeverything that happened to make sure I could remember it all. As soon as we got inside we walked around everything and took it all in. I wanted to make sure I'd seen everything and explored it all before I let go and enjoyed the night. Those memories will stay with me forever. Everyone was so happy and friendly!

That's everything I can say on Secret Cinema but trust me, it's amazing. If you get a chance to get tickets then do so! It's well worth it.

Secret Cinema

Zero Eggs Pancakes

Everyday for the past two months I’ve been eating the same breakfast. Obviously my body wasn’t as keen on it as I was and I became allergic to eggs. Annoying. I’ve cut them out of my diet completely with the hope that I can re-introduce them later on but, it’s left me struggling for breakfast ideas as most things contain eggs or carbs or milk (which I didn’t want to eat/ I don't like). It was a little tricky until I found chickpea pancakes and then, a few days later, lentil pancakes. #Winning

These recipes have been adapted from a Jamie Oliver one (chickpeas) and Healthy Little Foodies (lentils). As usual I didn’t have all the ingredients so I made a few changes. You’ll notice that they are pretty similar recipes but both delicious in their own way.

Chickpea pancakes

Ingredients

  • 300g dried chickpeas soaked overnight
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • olive oil

Toppings:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • salsa
  • guacamole

Method

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight or for a minimum of eight hours. The next morning drain them and pop in a food processor with the herbs and around 100- 200ml of water. I tend to add this in a little at a time as I don’t want the batter to be too watery. Blend until everything is nice and smooth.

Heat olive oil in a small frying pan or wok. Make sure it’s nice and hot before turning the heat to medium and adding the batter. You’re supposed to add this in batches but every time I’ve made these I’ve just added it all in at once and made a giant pancake.

Swirl the pan to make sure the liquid is spread evenly and leave to fry for around three minutes. Then it’s time to flip it! Sometimes it breaks apart a little but once flipped it’ll stick back together. Leave to fry for a few minutes whilst in a separate pan you fry off a red onion, tomato and spinach to serve on top of the pancake alongside guacamole and salsa.

Chickpea pancakes

Lentil pancakes

Ingredients

  • 300g dried green lentils soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • olive oil

Method

Soak the lentils in water overnight or for a minimum of eight hours. The next morning drain them and add them with the herbs and around 100-200ml water into a food processor. Again, add the water in slowly as you don’t want it to be too watery. Blend until smooth. 

As you heat up some olive oil in a pan, chop the spinach. Add in the batter and sprinkle the spinach on top. Leave this to fry for around five minutes on a medium heat. After five minutes/ when it’s less watery on top, flip the pancake and leave to fry for another five minutes on that side. I’ve made this twice and both times I’ve got a bit distracted doing other things so have ended up leaving it cooking on a low heat for an extra five minutes, this is good if you want the outside slightly crispier.

I served mine with bacon and salsa and a rather large cup of coffee.

Lentil pancakes

The Girls

A trip to the West End to see The Girls

I try to live by the idea that I will say yes to things more than no and that I’ll try anything once. This thinking is how I ended up at the theatre this week about to see The Girls, a musical I knew next to nothing about except that it’s based on the real life story of Calendar Girls, a film I am still yet to see, and it’s a ‘musical comedy’ written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth. On paper it sounds a bit too girly for me but in reality I really enjoyed the show.

Turning up I felt a little out of place. Everyone seems to be on the other side of thirty onwards and I started to wonder if I should have brought my mum along instead of my mate! As the first act begun those thoughts evaporated and I found myself tapping my feet to the music, giggling at the jokes and having a really lovely time. It was a very girly show but it was light hearted and a feel good musical that can easily be enjoyed by anyone, especially the gentleman behind me who was in hysterics throughout the performance.

I haven't been to a musical in ages but I forgot how much I enjoy them. The music didn't disappoint either, there was a mixture of sad, funny and uplifting songs which got the balance just right. Also, I love it when an actress stands in the middle of the stage alone belting out lyrics. Power ballad anyone?

The standing ovation at the end was very well deserved. The cast were so happy to be performing and you could tell that they enjoyed every single minute of it, they were all in such high spirits. If you’d like to see The Girls for yourself then it is on at the Phoenix Theatre until 22nd April and you can book tickets from the Box Office.

The Girls