2018: A Year In Food
In 2018, my gym coach assigned me to keep a food blog so he could track my meals. Through developing healthy eating habits to satisfy all of my nutritional needs and a rigorous exercise programme, I lost the 21 kg between January-August 2018 I'd gained on anti-depressants.
I wanted it to be somewhere more private rather than being shoved down people's throats (literally) through Instagram/WhatsApp. Hence I've posted my culinary creations here.
Being vegetarian and/or vegan always presents a challenge in terms of hitting the protein target so this was particularly the most interesting challenge for me.
I made a conscious decision to stop food blogging in 2019 (due to time restraints), but it's useful to have a year's diet documented as a reference and a source of inspiration!
Lead singer Ana Bachalau is as much an actress as she is a vocalist - bringing to life a range of moods, colours and flavours - from delicate, bittersweet saudade to cheeky imitations. As a performer, she is extraordinarily individualistic and charismatic, bringing comic melancholy, wavering wantation and the humourous streaks of slapstick and irony to the stage, enflamed in the heat and warmth of the Portuguese song form. Her delivery is confident, not to the point of overdoing it, but with the downright defiance and sweet girlyness of a diva whose eyes and facial features draw you right in and fool you into thinking that you're being seranaded in a bar, pub or fado house in Lisbon (or, at least, that you're receiving a private performance). Her voice has so many different facets and characteristics, with its melismatic slides and wavering vibratos, its gutsy projections and almost recitativo outbursts, which are executed with jaw-dropping control, beauty and authenticity.
The band as a whole gave a dramatic performance, almost like a pantomime or piece of musical theatre in itself, for it delighted the eyes and mind, as much as it did the ears and soul. You don't have to speak Portuguese or know the lusophonian world to appreciate this music - it speaks in its own heart-warming vessel that trickles playfully around your heart and draws you into its curious little conundrums. With each song, I was enchanted by its magic. The songs tell tales of loved ones over the ocean, smiles that can transform the lowest of moods and charicatures who boast false, exaggerated claims but who are actually very small, insignificant people (she sighs, crouching right down so that she is on her knees).
The accompaniment of guitar, cavaquinho and bass with intricately interwovan around the lilting vocal style, immaculately finished with the little stops and pauses, held chords, rallentandos and even some backing vocals, giving the texture its own breath and movement. Deliciously devourable.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have their reward.