Birthdays and Porsches galore!

Before your mind wanders off to lands unbeknown to me full of wealthy partners and luxury goods everywhere you turn, despite what the title of this post says, I can relieve your mind now by announcing that no, I did not get a Porsche for my birthday. What was meant to be a quiet day turned into a full weekend of meals and Porsches. By that, I mean 90 classic and modern ones, to be exact!

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Classic and modern Porsches at Porsche in the Glen, Calderglen Country Park

The event itself, Porsche in the Glen, was a joint event held by Porsche car clubs, The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club (of which my partner is a member) and Porsche Club Great Britain at Calderglen Country Park in East Kilbride. It was definitely a sight for sore eyes, the entire grass area was full of Porsches. To give you an idea of turn out, normally approximately 15 Porsches turn up to each respective car club tents for classic car shows – there were 75 Porsches who RSVPed attendance and 90 showed up on the day!

My own enthusiasm for the car itself comes from my OH owning a classic one himself. I’d never been a big fan of sports cars or any kind of fast car, but the sound of the classic 944 engine come to life with the turning of the ignition resignated with a part of me that developed a new appreciation for the enthusiasm of these car owners for their babies. Not only was it a great day for the public to enjoy, it was also an informal Porsche history session as well. Some of the earlier models also turned up which was a treat for Porsche owners and the public alike as not many of the earlier models can still be seen on the road today.

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Porsche 911T

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Porsche 914 from the 1970s

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Classic 911 Carreras in silver and red next to a modern Carrera (right)

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Porsche 356 (Speedster)

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Porsche 911 Turbo

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A modified Porsche 944

It really was a day out for the family to suit every one. Cars for the boys and the dads, food and coffee at the cafe for those who wanted a bite to eat and a chat indoors, and for those who were showing their cars there was also free entry to the zoo and conservatory at the park.

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Guinea pigs at Calderglen Country Park Zoo

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Burrowing Owls, Calderglen Country Park Zoo

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Scottish Wildcat, Calderglen Country Park Zoo

That was only yesterday to kick off the last day of my birthday weekend! Friday was spent with my OH watching Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa at the Filmhouse (which was a great laugh if you like his sense of humour) after a Japanese dinner at YummyTori nearby.

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Yakitori (octopus balls) starter at YummyTori

I would definitely recommend going here if your experience of Japanese cuisine consists of only sushi and green tea. Japanese food goes farther than that and YummyTori shows you that there’s more to what the Japanese can offer by way of food than just sushi. Bento boxes are great if you want a decent sized box of rice with meat and vegetables while you can also choose from an assorted variety of ramen noodles in soup which is quite a prominent dish in the Asian diet. Having been without for at least 2 years now, the chance to order yakitori here was definitely worth the visit.

Saturday evening, after receiving a recommendation from one of the OH’s work colleagues, we decided to try the 7-course taster menu on offer at the restaurant of Whitmuir The Organic Place.

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First course, Whitmuir The Organic Place

According to the waiting staff we spoke to when we were there, it was a chance to offer customers samples of what the farm grows and picks from the wild, all organic of course. Each dish we had tasted better than the last and there were definitely dishes I would love to see become a starter or main course dish on the menu! Some of the dishes we had included:

– Marigold hummus with flatbread
– Smoked bone marrow with pickled vegetables
– Fillet tartare with greens and hay ash
– Different cuts of lamb with potato
– Goats cheese with red and yellow beets
– Blackcurrant and milk ice cream

I’d never had fillet or steak tartare before, but was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked it. I would definitely recommend trying this menu to experience different ingredients you might never have thought of trying before now.

The taster menu (when this is posted) is only £35. Call 01968 661 147 to make a reservation and ask for the 7-course taster menu.

To end the weekend, we went to Jamie’s Italian last night with family and friends. If you haven’t been before, Jamie’s restaurants, I find, normally try and source local produce to support local suppliers. Every time I’ve been, the service has been fantastic and the food is amazing. As a Gold Club Member, we also received a free bottle of Prosecco to celebrate my birthday meal and a free taster appetizer before each meal – last night we had Jamie’s ‘music bread’ with lovely Pecorino and sweet chilli jam.

As far as presents go, one of my favourites to receive is a gift voucher to spend on whatever I fancy from my long wishlist on Amazon UK. I decided, with this gift certificate, to finally get a dressmaking mannequin which would help a lot when it comes to starting new projects. At the moment, I’ve been pinning pieces together, trying them on before taking it off again to making adjustments then trying them on again till I get it right. With a dressmaking mannequin that has approximately the same measurements as myself, it would mean I can pin the materials onto the mannequin and having a final fitting before the project is complete.

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Female Tailors Dummy White Dressmakers Fashion Students Mannequin With A Beech Wood Base, £22.40 from Amazon UK

While it’s not a proper dressmaking mannequin that professionals would probably use, the durable polystyrene means that it’s good enough for my own personal use until I feel the need to invest in a better one.

Another thing I decided to finally purchase was one of the books I posted about before.

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Magical Metal Clay Jewellery: Amazingly Simple No-Kiln Techniques for Making Beautiful Jewellery by Sue Heaser, £8.70 from Amazon UK

I decided to put part of my gift voucher to good use by getting Magical Metal Clay Jewellery: Amazingly Simple No-Kiln Techniques for Making Beautiful Jewellery by Sue Heaser. One of my birthday presents is enrollment into the silver jewellery making course offered by Edinburgh Council. I can’t wait to start, but I thought while I will be learning the basics from my class, everyone wants to be able to make their own pieces in their own time and Sue Heaser’s book will definitely guide me on the path to making my own jewellery to suit my personality.

Another great present I received was a little pick me up reading material from a friend:

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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin, £6.69 from Amazon UK

Everyone has their down days and sometimes a little bit of inspiration can be just the thing to help you get back onto the right track. I’ve realised there are times when my own thoughts become so negative that it starts to affect the people around me too. Breaking that cycle of negative mentality is also an important step towards achieving happiness, in yourself and around other people. With a background in Psychology, feeling a little bit geeky, I couldn’t help but get myself this book as well using another bit of my gift voucher:

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Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Chrisine A Padesky, £15.00 from Amazon UK

While it might not be as lighthearted a read as The Happiness Project, this book was recommended to me out of interest in the way techniques in psychology really help to shape the way your mind works and how to break free of those destructive cycles that may be affecting your mental health and wellbeing. The basis of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the approach which this book adopts, also shows you how employing techniques can help you cope with stressful situations or aspects of your life which is affecting how you think.

As I’ve mentioned before, what I’ve been discussing about releasing pent up tensions from expressing your unspoken thoughts and what goes on in your mind are just aspects of things I adopt to further my knowledge and ways in which I’ve previously adopted to put my own internal thoughts to pen and paper. By no means should these be seen as methods to help cope with more serious issues that may require a professional’s opinion. If you are in any way experiencing stress that seems to be getting the better of you, speak to your GP as soon as possible.

What are your thoughts on the classic and modern Porsches? What are some of your favourite birthday presents you’ve received so far?

Have you read The Happiness Project or Magical Metal Clay Jewellery: Amazingly Simple No-Kiln Techniques for Making Beautiful Jewellery? What are your thoughts on these books?

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