Dinosaurs. I don’t know about you but ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been fascinated by these creatures. I remember my first dinosaur exhibition, I was 8 years old and we popped over to Edinburgh for the day so I could see all the giants in “real life”. I was mesmerized and 25 years later, I’m still in awe.
So when this new touring exhibition from New Zealand popped up at Kelvingrove Museum here in Glasgow, I knew I had to check it out. Luckily, I’m not the only one in my family who loves dinosaurs. My little nephew Oliver, who is 3, is currently fascinated with them. He watches cartoons, collects little figurines and books all about the creatures. He also loves trying to scare you with his rawr. He can be scary when he wants to be!
Hatching The Past: Dinosaur Eggs & Babies toured the world before debuting in the UK at Kelvingrove Museum. While making your way through the exhibition, you can learn about dinosaur families, how they lived and cared for the young, excavate your own dinosaur eggs and fossils, see skeletons of a Tarbosaurus and Probactrosaurus and also get up close to two dinosaur models which look so realistic, you don’t know whether you should run away!
I loved how family friendly Hatching The Past exhibition was, children could touch near enough every exhibit, get their hands dirty and educate themselves at the same time. Oliver certainly loved being able to stick his head in the mouth of one of the dinosaurs and had the fright of his life when my dad, who popped over from Paris, came up behind him and screamed rawr. The poor little boy jumped for his life! It was hilarious. Yes, we are evil, but Oliver was laughing his head off a few seconds later then tried to scared the dinosaur himself. It’s all good.
I look a lot of photographs on Sunday, the Hatching The Past exhibition is in Glasgow until 16th August 2015 so make sure you check it out! It’s a fun afternoon out for everyone and if you are really evil, why don’t you try scare someone yourself?
Whilst the majority of people like their homes to be highly personal places, locations where one can hide away and relax, far from the hustle and bustle of the outside work, there will often come a time when old friends, family members or even well-meaning strangers will come into your home, demanding a place to stay! If you’re not sure how to cope with this new found intrusion, or want to make your guests’ stay all the more amazing, here are a few top tips to make their stay all the merrier!
If you went to stay in another person’s spare room and were presented with a lumpy, creaky, worn and stained bed, how would you feel? Would you sleep soundly? We’re guessing that the answers to both of those questions are “no”, so make sure that the guest bed is up to scratch before letting someone stay. Space saving divans can be a great choice for guest rooms; they’re compact and can act as a form of storage; and can be bought for a surprisingly low price at online bedroom furniture retailers such as Bedstar. So much better than that old worn out piece of junk…
Make Their Room Welcoming
Walking in to a bare, unwelcoming room (much like the one pictured above!) is not a sight guests are going to be enamored with. The solution? Spice up the guest room with patchwork or woollen throws, rugs, interesting reading material and art. Even if your spare room is never used for any specific purpose 99% of the year, you should still put your artistic mark on it in tune with the design of the rest of the home.
The Finishing Touches
This tip is definitely for the hosts that want to impress their guests, since through adding a number of fun, useful little things, one can recreate a near hotel-like feeling in their home. Think about providing towels and mini toiletries – laid out at the end of the bed, naturally – and adding things like fresh flowers to brighten up the space. If your guest is staying for a while, think about popping a television in the room, especially if they’re going to be inhabiting the house whilst you’re out or at work. Finally – and this is the most important thing for you to make sure you do – clean the room! Thoroughly. Waking up in a room only to notice damp, spiders’ webs, grime etc will only make your guest want to leave!
In my never-ending bid to start eating healthier and knowing what goes into the food I eat, I decided to try to re-create one of my favourite curries, Cape Malay Chicken Curry, that I’ve been known to have for brunch on a Sunday afternoon at Papparich in Melbourne one vacation one day and never forgot.
Traditionally called Bunny Chow, the dish was created by Indian immigrant workers in South Africa during the 1940s as a way to transport their food to the plantation fields as they were often banned from cafes during the apartheid.
Don’t worry, no bunny rabbits have been harmed in the making of this tangy, sweet and wonderfully fragrant curry. It is perfect for those who love a curry but dislike some of the overly spiced curries that are sadly served to us around the city.
Typically a mutton, chicken or bean curry, a roll or loaf is hollowed out, the curry scooped in and then you break off the crusts and dip them in the curry as you eat. No plates or cutlery needed. Perfect.
My recreation is served with turmeric rice instead of the bread as I’m trying to cut down on my bread intake. I also used skinless and boneless chicken thighs as I hate dealing with chicken bones (unless in wing form!) and everyone knows the skin is where all the fat is (and is sadly the best part!).
If you want to eat this dish with a big roll, go ahead. Trust me when I say it’s one of the best ways to eat it! You may need a bib though.
1 thinly sliced large red chilli (optional to deseed)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp mango chutney
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 chopped sweet potatoes
For the Tumeric Rice
2 cups of basmati rice
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 crushed cardamon pods
Pinch of ground cinammon
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan (I used a wok) under medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and fry until golden brown. Stir in cloves, garlic and ginger, continually stirring for a few minutes.
Add the remainder of the spices along with the chilli and chopped tomatoes. Crumble the stock cube into two cans of water and mix thoroughly into the wok along with the mango chutney.
Add the skinless and boneless chicken thighs ensuring they are under the liquid and cover for approximately 30 minutes. Add the chopped sweet potatoes (the smaller the better) and cook for around 15 minutes under they are soft.
Just after the sweet potatoes have been added, prepare the rice by putting the rice into a medium sauce pan and add some boiling water until it is approximately an inch above the rice. This is generally calculated as 2 cups of water per cup of rice, so within this recipe, 4 cups of water is needed. Add in the ground tumeric, crushed cardamon and ground cinnamon and stir once.
Bring to the boil without a lid until the water starts to bubble, reduce heat and cover for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take it off the heat and let it steam for a further 5 minutes so that the rice is soft and fluffy.
Serve the curry with the rice or a hollowed out crusty bread roll & enjoy!