29 September 2015

September At A Glance + Monthy Favourites

September is coming to an end, so that means that my birthday (20th October) is edging ever closer! And then there's Christmas, of course.

Judging on the length, this blog post should have been re-titled "September, the novella"...

We had just one movie night this month - a Horror Movie Night where we watched The Babadook and Annabelle. Love both of those! Have you seen any good horrors lately?
My friend Tracy and I had a lovely walk down to the old flour mill on a very warm, sunny day. I took the opportunity to take a few scenic snaps; there were people fishing in the River Stour and we also spotted a dragonfly. I've still never made it inside the mill, which is still functioning today.

One evening, we met up with another couple, our friends, Tom and Lian, for a meal at The Half Moon Inn, in Shaftesbury. It's a lovely pub with a great interior and plenty of seating. I had the cheese and onion potato skins to start, which were delicious and also came with a sour cream dip. I opted for the chickpea burger for my main, which came with coleslaw, chips and a side salad. The chips were lovely and crisp, but I found the burger too dense and it tasted unusually like chorizo. I went for the toffee waffle sundae, as did Lian, and it was really nice but I don't think the pieces of waffle worked! Popcorn would be a great substitute. A refreshing glass of elderflower cordial accompanied my meal.

Tracy and I met up again later in the month and visited the pretty market town of Sherborne in Dorset. We are hoping to check out the many markets which are regularly held there. It was the weekly general Saturday market which featured fresh fruit and veg, a jewellery stand, a pet food stand and a stand selling pretty plants.
We happened across Naturalife, a store selling wholefoods, natural beauty and eco-friendly cleaning products. It was a great discovery and I spotted many great brands. I can't wait to return! You can check out my mini haul in my up-coming monthly purchases post. Next time, I plan to pick up some Booja-Booja goodies! The shop also had a re-fillable ecover laundry products section which is a great idea! The staff were very pleasant and accommodating, and are happy to order in specific products for you. They also stock some lovely locally-made products such as fresh juices and food items.

Unexpectedly, Dean's sister and her new partner came to visit, so we ended up going out for another evening meal, along with his parents and brother. We dined at The Plough Inn in Manston. I opted for the baked brie starter, which was lovely. I chose the veggie pie & chips for my main. The good mood ended abruptly when I was unknowingly served a chicken & leek pie! We enquired if the gravy was vegetarian, and when the waitress returned, she explained and apologised that I had been given the wrong pie. In that moment, I felt somewhat betrayed and lost all trust in eating out. In that moment, my right not to eat meat was taken away. They quickly removed the dish and went to make a fresh, vegetarian pie. They explained that they would remove this from the bill. When my main finally arrived, everyone else was almost finished there's, so all in all, I was really put off and hardly touched the pie. I'd lost my appetite. No-one else wanted dessert, so we paid up and went home.
It was a horrible experience and made me realise that when you have decided to follow a strict diet (i.e. no eating of meat or meat industry by-products), there really is no place for naivety. You have to put your trust in others and you have to speak up for yourself. I'm now very weary of eating out and will have to slowly build up my trust in others to respect my diet choices.

If it wasn't for the fact that it had been planned for some time and was to celebrate Tracy's recent birthday, I would have skipped the next day out, as I didn't feel ready to face eating out again - the day after the bad experience. We met our friends, Tracy and Alex, at The Green Man in King's Stag. We all sat down for a Sunday carvery lunch. Tracy and I opted for the meatless option, while the boys piled their plates high with beef, turkey and all the trimmings! I really enjoyed my roast and felt more at ease. We all indulged in a dessert - I went for sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream, which was gorgeous and had plenty of toffee sauce! We went for a little stroll around the local area to burn off some of the calories.

We made a few cinema trips this month and went to see Mazerunner 2; it took an unexpected turn and was really good, Transporter: Refueled; not bad, but nothing new here and I must admit, I prefer Jason Statham, and Legend; a somewhat light-hearted (in some places) take on The Kray Twins, which was a really interesting and quite comical watch! On the evening we saw Legend, we went for a meal at Wagamama's beforehand. I opted for the Yasai Katsu curry (sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in an aromatic curry sauce served with sticky rice and a side salad) and it was pleasant enough, but became a little too spicy towards the end - there was a lot of sauce! I also had the banana Katsu (banana in panko breadcrumbs with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream) for dessert, which was really yummy.

As always, Dean and I watched lots of DVDs this month, including Wild BillBeasts Of The Southern Wild, It FollowsThe Harsh Light Of Day and Still Life. I also made my way through the whole Harry Potter series - I love these!

And onto this month's favourites:
I discovered The Great British Menu on BBC iPlayer (currently on it's 10th series) and loved it! Very interesting and inspiring.
I've been loving chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate - be it in the form of a chocolate bar, chocolate sauce on my ice-cream or a mug of it!
I'm also loving having fresh flowers around the house at the moment! Dean can get them at his work, heavily reduced and the lilies in particular last ages!
And lastly, I'm loving early nights in with the darker evenings and snuggling up in my PJs on the sofa!

Well done if you reached the end of this post! Today marks the proper start of our holiday, as my parents and their two spaniels, Fern and Bailey, are coming to stay this evening, for the remainder! I only see my family a couple of times a year, so it will be lovely to have them here. We are planning on exploring the local area and going for many dog walks! I'm hoping this will result in much-needed exercise, fresh air, new sights, oh, and some content for future blog posts, hopefully! I have many blog posts pre-scheduled for the coming weeks, as I will be taking a step back from full-on blogging while we enjoy our break, but I'll still be around in some form or other! Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of guest posts from some lovely bloggers!

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