20 January 2020

Blu Hydrangea, RuPaul's DragCon UK

Blu Hydrangea

Following the debut season of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, January saw the launch of RuPaul's DragCon at Olympia London, in which fans of the BBC Three show had the pleasure of meeting a star-studded line-up of home-grown queens and their American sisters for photo opportunities, panel talks and live performances. Among them was my favourite queen of Drag Race UK, Blu Hydrangea, who demonstrated her makeup magic on reality TV star Harry Derbidge for a panel sponsored by MUA Cosmetics. Even when the Belfast queen was throwing friendly shade at her Essex bezzie Cheryl Hole, Blu had cast a spell over DragCon in pixie princess regalia by Call Me Sophia, featuring blue ostrich feathers, diamante heels and a mint green wig. 

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1 January 2020

2020 Vision

Joseph Kent

Here we are, 2020. It sounds excitingly futuristic, but today is just another day on the Gregorian calendar. At the time of writing, it's the middle of the afternoon on New Year's Eve. At the time of publishing, I'm likely half-asleep, perhaps hungover from the midnight revelry, although one would hope I celebrated responsibly. It would make a pleasant change to wake up on New Year's Day having not attempted to compensate for the annual anticlimax with excessive inebriation. I'm sure I'll update you accordingly.

The month of January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings, transitions and time, for which he is often depicted as having two faces that gaze simultaneously into the past and future. If one such face were to look back on the previous decade, it would see ten years in which I transitioned between two seemingly different people. The seventeen year old Joseph at the start of 2010 was shy, socially awkward, confused by his identity, and possessed a questionable taste in fashion. Today however, twenty-seven year old Joe has a loud personality, he is ambitious, an extrovert, certain in himself, and I'd like to think he has a superior sense of style (even if some have raised an eyebrow or two at the blonde hair).

That being said, some things haven't changed. I'm living with my parents again at the same address, although my bedroom has been reallocated three times since, and our kittens are very much large, fluffy beasts. And I'm still playing Pokémon SoulSilver on the very same Nintendo DS, albeit I'm committed this time to finishing the game, thanks in part to a level 56 Espeon. Ladies, form an orderly queue.

We then turn to Janus' other face, the one looking towards the decade to come. It's anybody's guess where I'll be in another ten year's time, but I can say with some certainty that 2020 is going to be special. I was recently appointed a director at Amasia Architects Ltd, the practice for which I've been working for more than six years (check out our shiny new website!), and in March I'll have joint responsibility for managing the business. Not long afterwards in September, I'm then hoping to begin a part-time post-graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning to complement my profession. To that end, blogging and my social life will be taking a back seat for the foreseeable future, but it will be all the worthwhile by the time I reach my thirtieth birthday, when I hope also to have bought myself my first home.

Although today is just another day, a new year and a new decade is as good an opportunity as any to begin afresh, or to make steps towards changing our lives for the better. So however 2020 pans out, I hope it brings everybody happiness, success, and - if we're lucky - slightly fewer hangovers.

2 December 2019

Homage 2 Fromage

Homage 2 Fromage

If there's one food I associate the most with Christmas, it's cheese. Sure, you can buy cheese all year round, but as soon as November comes knocking, supermarket fridges are suddenly stacked high with wax-sealed truckles and special varieties not otherwise available during the remainder of the year. (Unless your town is blessed with an independent cheesemonger, in which case I am truly envious.)

It therefore seemed fitting that I were recently invited to the London launch of Homage 2 Fromage, an all-you-can-eat cheese party perfect for the heartiest of turophiles. The premise is simple: eight tasty wheels of cheese following a monthly theme, albeit none are labelled, allowing guests to experience each cheese on senses alone. Later in the evening, the names and origins of the cheeses are then revealed to a satiated crowd.

The event was founded in Leeds in 2011, and has since become a popular club for cheese enthusiasts across the North of England. The launch night at The Bull in Westfield Shopping Centre was co-founders Nick Copland and Vickie Rogerson's first offering to a southern audience, who were just as eager to tuck into the mouthwatering selection of fine British cheeses, laid out like a banquet with accompanying breads, wines and chutneys.

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Although I'm largely dairy intolerant and making efforts elsewhere to cut down on animal products, cheese is without question my kryptonite, and as such I returned to the table on several occasions to fill my plate with my favourites of the eight cheeses, including a black charcoal cheddar, a Brie-style Baron Bigod, and a Hebridean Blue which claims to be the bluest cheese in all of Great Britain.

Run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, Homage 2 Fromage lives up to its title. The atmosphere is friendly, informal and without pretension, in which the objective is to introduce guests to lesser-known cheeses they are almost guaranteed to enjoy. The monthly club nights commence properly in the new year, exploring all manner of European cheeses (Alpine, Irish, Portuguese and Scandinavian to name a few), culminating with the ultimate Christmas cheeseboard this time next year. If you love your cheese as much as I do, this event is certain to put a smile on your face - say cheese!

Tickets for upcoming Homage 2 Fromage events in London, Leeds, Manchester, Harrogate, Sheffield and York are available online, priced £14-£16 per person.

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Disclaimer: Myself and a guest were generously invited to the launch night of Homage 2 Fromage by its organisers, however all opinions and love for cheese are entirely my own.

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

All photographs are subject to copyright law, and must not be reproduced without express permission.

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