Scones…all of a sudden!

Something I’ve wanted to eat, so desperately, every time I read an Enid Blyton book.

Scones, warm and buttery, shared over an evening tea.
Scones, warm and buttery, topped with strawberry jam and a dollop of cream, shared by friends in their garden shed.
Scones, warm and buttery, filled with the goodness of blueberries, wolfed down by hungry girls after a lacrosse match!
Scones, warm and buttery, relished while perched on the strong boughs of the Faraway Tree!

As a 12-year-old living in Trivandrum of the late 90s, scones were something that could only be savoured in my imagination! I imagined the taste, the texture, the softness, the pure joy. I imagined it to look inviting and appealing. I imagined having it at one of my school parties after final exams. I imagined unpacking a box of scones during a school excursion. I have imagined a lot of scones, in short 😀

After about 7-8 years, I found something in a bakery, which the owner told me was a  Cream Scone. I jumped at it, bought one, bit into with much joy and immediately spat out and threw from my hand 😀 Yuck. “These aren’t scones“, I told him indignantly. It was just something shaped like an ice-cream cone, filled with sugary cream. Uuuugh. It was not warm, not buttery, and definitely not soft. And, did not look in the least fancy!

In time, I forgot about them. Then, after the Internet age dawned and flourished, every time I came across the word scones, I always meant to look it up, but never managed to.

Until last Thursday,  11th October 2018 (yes, verrrrrrrrrry late, I know!), when I opened my blog, saw a reply to a comment I left in another blog on Enid Blyton books and was hit by the thought of warm buttery scones! I immediately went on Google to look for images of scones and went “EH!?”

Scones

I guess despite telling the shopkeeper what he gave me wasn’t a scone, I might have expected scones to actually be shaped like a cone and have jam and butter filling 😀 Or, at least to look more fancy. These pics did not look fancy at all! Well, not the scones by themselves (though the accompaniments made the whole photograph pretty colourful and bright). They didn’t look warm or buttery or soft. Maybe I imagined it all wrong and simply craved for the wrong thing all these years. Blow Enid Blyton and her art of converting the mundane into yummilicious awesomeness!

Yesterday, Sunday, a colleague returned to work from his 3-week Canadian vacation and told us how he learnt from his aunt to make…yes, scones! What a coincidence. To this, another colleague went “Oooh, really? I’ve always wanted to taste a scone.” And, there I interjected and dashed her dreams using my new-found knowledge on scones, saying it’s not as fancy as it sounds, it is a flat, squarish thing and “looks more like an egg puff with no egg inside” 😛 And she goes “Really? I thought it was like a cone-shaped something, creamy and sweet“. And then, accompanied by nods from the new scone chef, I proceeded to tell her how it’s made and how quick and simple the whole process is, and most importantly how it is not shaped like a cone.

And today, Monday, I ate my first ever scone! And, while it looked exactly as scones look, the dear little thing definitely lived up to every bit of my imagination.

It was warm, buttery, soft and oh-my-good-lord-delicious!

And now, I feel like an entire era has come to an end 😉 The Age of the Scones is officially over!

8 on 10.10.2018

Pumbaa_8th

Pumbaa, I mean. Eight! And, he has not a clue!

I made such a fuss of him in the morning before leaving to work, which surprised him fully well. His tail was wagging at 60 miles an hour, shaking his entire body and he kept circling me like I was some kind of God 😉 And I kept asking him, in my most energetic tone, “Today is your happy birthday Pumbaa…do you know?!” and each time he got more and more excited. I stopped only when I began to worry his tail may break off 😛

In the evening, I went home with some goodies and the two furballs had a little “Pumbaa Party” — with carrot cake, half a doughnut, chewsticks, biscuits and a bit of kibble. The surprise on Khloe’s face at this special meal was a sight in itself! 😀

Pumbaa_8

❤ ❤ ❤

A month ago, we took Pumbaa and Khloe to the vet here for their annual shots. The vet smiled, seeing Pumbaa in his hyper-energy, unable to sit still even for a minute, wanting to jump all over me, lick my face, put his paw around my shoulder, etc. And all this, in front of a perfectly calm, quiet Khloe who seemed to wonder what the boy was up to. The vet, after administering her shots, turned to Pumbaa and said “So, how old are you, my boy? Two?” He’d just been told that Khloe was 11, so I suppose he saw the hyperactive Pumbaa and assumed the boy must be a pup 😛 His eyes nearly fell out when we told him Pumbaa would be 8 in a month.

Pumbaa never got over his habit of jumping on people when someone walks in the door. When he was young, to make sure he wouldn’t nip us during those joyful jumps, we always asked him to quickly go fetch his toy. Poor darling, he now thinks anytime someone walks in the door, he must first fetch his toy and then welcome them and jump all over 😀

In his defense, we never got him trained to “be a good boy”. He’s a free-spirited dog and I have always been of the opinion that dogs be allowed to be themselves. To be like humans, we have human children to train, don’t we? 😀 I’ve never felt the need for him to know how to roll over, beg, shake hands, etc. That’s not what dogs are meant for. Well, he does know the words sit and stay (and sometimes I do wish he knew to heel) — but whether he obeys those commands depends on whether we have anything edible in our hands at that moment. 😉

Pumbaa has still not gotten over his love for toys. You give him a toy and he is on top of the world. You give him another toy expecting him to abandon the first one, but he is just a proud owner of two toys. On hindsight, we should never have named Khloe so, for initially, every time we asked Pumbaa “Where is Khloe?“, he used to immediately fetch his toy 😀

Pumbaa has still not gotten over his mad energy-spending rushes around the house. It’s one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen, and remains so every single time. The way he loses control, runs helter-skelter, bouncing off furniture and walls alike. And then settles down with a toy, ending the drama as abruptly as it had begun.

In all these 8 years, most things I’ve written about him have not changed. And I hope to God they don’t. For, even when the entire Universe is conspiring against us, Pumbaa is a constant, loyal support and source of unlimited joy: always welcoming, loving, treating us like his favourite cake in the world (and that’s saying a massive lot!) 🙂 I wouldn’t change a thing about him! 🙂 You’re perfect as you are, Pumbaa…no matter what others might say. In any case, you don’t care a bit what others think/say about you, do you? Aren’t you like me in that matter? 😉

Don;t change a thing, darling. Be Pumbaastic, forever. Love you loads!

My first circus…

I remember seeing of circuses in movies – The Bombay Circus, The Gemini Circus and some others – and wondered when I would get to see one. Then I grew up some more and would hear friends talking about having seen a circus or two and what fun it was…and I wondered when I would get to see one. Then I grew up even more and got all passionate about animals and their welfare…and absolutely HATED the idea of a circus. I was glad I never saw one ever!

Then on, any time I saw of a circus via movies, all I could see was the pathetic looks, body language and the absolutely broken spirits of those animals. Each time we saw of it together, I’d always tell Hobbes I’ve never seen one and I don’t want to…and the discussion would end in animal abuse, how human aren’t humane and what not.

So, when Hobbes suggested we go for a circus, my first thought was “Errr…what!?” And then I went on to the link he shared and it looked good. I grudgingly agreed, stating “I hope the animals won’t be abused”. To which he said, there aren’t any animals, just a couple of horses…and they all look well kept!” And I got all excited because I looooove horses.

My first circus was not when I was 3, not even when I was 13. It was last week, I was all of 33 and I was just as enthralled as I would have been if I were just 3 or 13! 🙂

My first circus was The Golden Age Circus, and what an incredible experience it was! It was sheer magic, some of the acts. Some of them sheer beauty. And some, just downright dangerous-looking-adrenaline-rising acrobatics! Two hours of an evening well spent! 🙂

TheGoldenAgeCircus

And those horses…my goodness. They were absolutely shining, with lovely flowing manes, and looked extremely well fed and looked after! ❤ Granted, their training might include some harsh times, but I could see no broken spirit in them. And, the acts were simple and fun…nothing earth-shattering that the horses would have had to go through hell for. I would like to believe they haven’t gone through any mistreatment the way we’d expect bears and tigers and elephants to be in a circus, because horses are like dogs, aren’t they…ever ready to please their human partners. And they do love a bit of dance themselves! Very evident in the “Dancing and Prancing” video below…look at that beauty, just loving the “first one leg stretch, then other leg stretch” walk! ❤ Loved, loved, absolutely loved them. I reallllllllly wanted to follow them backstage and tell them how amazing they are!

Words won’t do justice, so I won’t attempt to write about each show/act. Here are some videos I took.

Double Chocolate Treat (Horses)   |    Somersaults on a Horsie   |   Dancing and Prancing (Horse)
Motors in a Deathly Bubble   |   Four Floating Fairies   |   A Super Scary Balance

There were several more, which I did not capture on camera. If these guys ever come around to where you live, please do book yourself a ticket! You won’t regret it.

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My first circus was an experience I’ll remember for a long time to come.

****** ❤ ******

Below’s what the website for the circus had, as an event description. I’ve copied it verbatim, for I believe after March 31, the page might no longer be accessible.

Since its earliest days, the circus has stood as a symbol for the world in which we live. A fantasy land where imagination knows no bounds and where frontiers simply do not exist, it is where tradition meets innovation to weave together a colorful tapestry of artistic creativity. It speaks a universal language that has captivated and enthralled audiences around the world for well over a century.

The Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) and Cirque Madona Bouglione invite you to take a magical journey through time and space, to see the beauty and wonder of our world through the eyes of the circus.

This spellbinding spectacle will feature more than a dozen of the world’s finest circus performance acts, who will set out to captivate your senses with a breathtaking medley of circus art, music, technology and sheer fantasy.

This is the circus reimagined; an entertainment extravaganza created exclusively for Kuwait.

This is “The Golden Age”.

The fabulous world of Le Cirque Bouglione
The Cirque Bouglione has a long history in the proud and whimsical tradition of the circus.

The story originally began in Paris in 1907 with the four Bouglione brothers. Driven by their passion for creativity and performance arts, the Bougliones were true pioneers in the circus world, creating audacious, mesmerizing and completely captivating extravaganzas that enthralled audiences for decades.

Today the Bouglione legacy lives on through Madona Bouglione, daughter of the eldest Bouglione brother and founder of the circus. Although deeply rooted in the time-honored tradition of the circus, Madame Bouglione also has a profound fascination with innovation and technology.

With a clear artistic vision and a true love for the performing arts, Madona Bouglione brings together the enchantment of the past with the thrill of the future to create her one-of- a-kind spectacles. Each show features a true menagerie of artists and performers; from acrobats and dancers, to singers and actors, to mimes and the beloved clowns that symbolize the very-essence of the circus.

Welcome to the new era of the circus.

A journey through time…
an experience to enthrall the senses and dazzle the imagination…
The circus has always held a special place in the world of entertainment. A fantasy land where imagination knows no bounds, it has long enthralled audiences.

Yet, what many people do not know is that the circus has always been a birthplace of innovation and new discoveries. From its earliest days, it served as a magical window into fascinating worlds and new experiences. In fact, it was at the circus that many people first came into contact with electricity, or first saw the magnificent and magical creation that is film, or even first discovered an elephant or a giraffe.

In “The Golden Age”, Cirque Bouglione and TEC invite you to take a journey through time and space, to live through a brief snapshot of world history…as told through the eyes of a circus. It is an entertainment extravaganza created exclusively for Kuwait.

This spellbinding journey will feature more than a dozen of the world’s finest circus performance acts, who will set out to captivate your senses with a breathtaking medley of circus art, music, technology and sheer fantasy.

This is the circus reimagined, for an experience unlike anything Kuwait has ever seen.