Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

This is something I heard about over at Meg’s Sew Liberated and decided I need to be a part of. Currently we shop at a farmers’ market and I have dithered with the idea of vegetable box delivery but it doesn’t work terribly well when you work 5 days a week and live in a second-floor flat with no safe spot for a box of greens to wait until you come home to munch them. I like the idea being ‘forced’ to eat more seasonally though and synching with what’s growing well and what’s tasting best.

I’d love to have an allotment too (and am very envious of a certain Knatter that does) but I have zero knowledge about vegetable growing and the waiting list for a plot is Glasgow is years long just now. Plus I have no real time to dedicate to it which is glum-making but true.

The gist of a CSA project though is that instead of a farmer growing produce and selling it on at a price of £x per kilo, or even £x per vegetable box filled with available produce, the farmer sells a ‘slice’ of each season’s produce. So, for example, several families (or couples or individuals, obviously!) pay a monthly standing order, or a lump sum for a ‘season’ and get a share of the goods harvested (or it could be dairy and meat too). The farmer has a dedicated base of custom which affords him a bit of secure income to develop and improve quality on the farm, which in turn means better, happier, local food for supporters. Information on how the system works can be found here , a list of Scottish CSA projects here  and a case study on a project near Edinburgh here.

I love the idea of going to pick up my food from someone I know has grown it ethically, that that person and my diet and my community is thriving on it all. There is a real emphasis on community, supporters are encouraged to visit the farms to learn about the way livestock and produce live and are grown, even to participate in some cases – there are also social gatherings meaning you can forge a relationship with your farmer, your fellow supporters and your food. What more could a food-obsessed girl want?

Sure, sometimes the strawberries will fail and I’ll have to forgo my Eton mess but that’s the way it works, isn’t it? I can always make apple pie instead!

 I’m gutted there’s not currently a project in place anywhere near me – I’m going to start speaking to some people to gauge interest and see if something can be started up though. Happy food, happy growers and happy eating for Glasgow!


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Figs and Pigs

Cheeseburger. Supreme of chicken in rosemary and garlic. Rocket salsa verde. Chips. Wine.

It’s been a good 24 hours, gastronomically, here at badsparklythings Towers. Three days into my 101 in 1001 challenge and I’ve ticked two (of five) new Glasgow restaurant visits off my list. The Two Figs was the better of the pair, the chicken and rocket salsa verde were perfectly cooked and much more flavoursome than you might expect from chicken and leaves. Really great service too.
The Blind Pig was also good, albeit rather chilly (nowhere isn’t cold today, I suppose?), and the burger was a bit on the greasy side. And the bun, oh the bun – not the best. Make good buns. Seriously, a burger is not a good burger without an excellent bun. This one was too fluffy and fell apart. And buttered. WTF?
The Two Figs’ chips were also superior, although that was a close (and very happily-researched) call.

The lovely Laura chummed me to Byres Rd today, as dining companion as well as shopping assistant, helping me plough my way through the little treasure trove, Vintage Guru.
A delightful way to spend the most freezing afternoon since 1962. There may also have been some ‘just because’ gift purchasing but that’s for another day.

And finally, number 42 of the list was neatly ticked off – dentist duly visited, chompers are looking very shiny! Quite a productive day all in!

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So was Santa good to you? I can only assume he got my list mixed up with some stray-cat-adopting, blood-donating, vegetarian soup-kitchen volunteer as I certainly haven’t been good enough to deserve the delights given to me.
Le Crueset dishes aside (just for the moment, I’m afraid they will be back with a vengeance as soon as I start cooking in the new year!), I also got this beautiful antique jewellery stand. This was a ‘wee extra’ from the excellent MrT but I adore it. He also bought me the Dawson’s Creek boxset (I know he struggled with this – teen angst overload begin!), a gorgeous necklace, some sewing books, 12 Lush bathbombs and other trinkets. And this New York purse I’d been dreaming of. And finally – an IOU for a clothes shopping spree in London in the last weekend in January! Whoopeee, Anthropologie here I come! (I think this shop warrants its own post. Will do that soon.)

I also got Eve Lom cleanser. It is so good. I’ve read about it in magazines for a few years but always balked at the price. My rather brilliant mum plowed right in and got me it though and I’m forever grateful. My skin is as soft as a baby’s bottom – a baby that has been using Creme de la Mer at every nappy change, that is.

And, hello there – I am the proud owner of these rather fabulous Vivenne Westwood boots. Surely the prettiest rubber boots ever to prance the land? I think so. I think they are either love ’em or hate ’em though so feel free to be a hater. I won’t notice, I’ll be too busy admiring my new boots. Cheers Mum!

Filling up the rest of my stocking(s) was some cosy PJs, a gorgeous leather handbag, some skirts and tops, a bracelet, cupcake lipglosses, some books, leather gloves, a beautiful Cath Kidston knitting bag, candles, perfume (Euphoria by Calvin Klein – v pretty), the biggest scarf that could possibly exist, much Soap and Glory joy, more chocolate than I care to mention, an enormous pannettone (now all gone…) and £20 from my lovely granny.
I will buy fabric with that – the gift that keeps on (and on and on, as I’m a slow seamstress) giving.

Thanks everyone! x

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Last weekend Tony went climbing in Glen Tilt, near Blair Atholl and I made the emminently sensible decision to drop him off at the bottom of the hill and head into Aberfeldy for the day.
You have to, have to, have to go to Aberfeldy – which is a pretty little place in itself – but , more importantly, it’s home to Homer, one of my new favourite shops. Full, seriously crammed, with vintage furniture, linens and tablewear as well as new pieces – sections for bedding, kitchen accessories, ribbon, garden things, candles, glassware. Suffice to say it’s about the size of a two storey garage and yet I managed to pass over an hour in there. Looking. Picking things up. Putting them down. Picking them back up to smell them. Taking them to the counter to add to my speedily increasing pile. I got a beautiful slate chalkboard, many candle holders, proper grosgrain ribbon in deep red and buff colour, card, hand-blown glass baubles (no, I will not mention the Ch-word just now…) and more. Just go!
Above this is the Watermill, a really excellent bookshop, stocking some lovely titles on the area, as well as a great philosophy and world affairs section and a cosy children’s nook.
Their busy cafe stocked me full of carrot and courgette soup and lemon drizzle cake before I tripped merrily off to Dunkeld for further shopping and general mooching, but I believe that’s a story for another day – go forth and shop and browse, my lovelies.

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My friend, Gillian, told me about a new gift shop in the Southside, specialising in locally produced crafty delights.
I decided to test-run the place with the intent of finding a birthday present for my oldest friend, Laura. (She’s young, by the way – the friendship is old. Just to clarify, for my sake.)
When it comes to trinkets, temptation vs futile resistance = objet du désir finding its way into my bag hence my haul of  a badge for Laura — in fact, I’m going to call it a brooch. I think it’s decorative enough to be deemed brooch-worthy, no? — And so, my haul of a brooch and a purse mirror-compact and a flattened wine bottle. Here we are.laura gift I want one badly (a champagne one for use as a cheeseboard, just in case people are desperately scouring this blog for gift ideas for moi. Hello, by the way!)
And a doggy birthday card that made me smile. I’m sure it will make Laura smile too as she’s been bitten (not literally, I hasten to add, for fear of tarnishing an innocent pooch’s name) by the dog-lover’s bug with the acquisition of the very fabulous Dino, the (black) goldendoodle!
Gifted has only been open for a few weeks and will no doubt be  tempting me with more lovelythings in the run up to Christmas. I’m not complaining.

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