Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Scottish Asian Woman Awards 2013

Apologies for taking so long to report back on this! I meant to last week but got caught up with relatives visiting and then this week I've been choked up with a really horrible headcold which has knocked me right back.

Anyway, enough of that, we survived! We weren't forced to make a speech, our work was shown at the iMax, we got a (mostly) free meal out of it and I won some cakes in the raffle. Excellent evening! 


 When we were told that we had been granted free tickets to an awards ceremony a little part of my brain started panicking and never more so than when I looked on the website and saw 'black tie' listed as the dress code.

As a rule, I don't really do formal. I don't even wear skirts, let alone dresses, it's just not my thing. Unfortunately for me, mother insisted that I get something so I was marched off to the shops with my significantly more fashion concious cousin and came back with...nothing. Everything was either really short, with straps or big OTT ballgown type affairs that were never going to suit me even if I wanted them to. So, in the end I ended up with this. (apologies for the 'facebook profile pic' type photos. XD)

Hardly haute couture: the trousers were from M&S, the top from *somewhere*, I'm not sure, mum found it and donated the scarf and the necklace? £1.99 from the charity shop! XD

That was all well and good but when it came to the jacket I was stumped. My only good jacket, a lovely suede one I got at a lovely bargain price in TK Maxx has a ripped pocket and I was hardly going to turn up in the purple hoodie I wear to college every day!

Mum came to the rescue again and gave me her coat. It's a bit big for me and I couldn't take myself seriously in it. All I needed was a trilby and a magnifying glass and I'd have been ready to start solving mysteries!

Still, it did the job and I didn't freeze to death en route so it was all good.

I met Liam at the station then got a taxi to the Science Centre where it was being held. Although I've been there plenty of times for the iMax and once or twice for the Science Centre itself, this was the first time I'd been there 'after hours' as it were and I have to say, the function people had done a great job as it looked stunning.
Upon getting out of the taxi, there was a tunnel-like construction that led to the entrance, lined with a red carpet. As we walked up, one of the official photographers stopped us for a shot so somewhere, someday, there'll be a horrendously awkward photo of the pair of us freezing to death with me in my big DCI Sutcliffe coat. Oh well, if I ever find it, rest assured it'll be put up here for the lols.

After a slightly worrying moment where we thought we hadn't been invited at all (upon handing over the tickets, the people at the desk looked through several books to find our names only to go 'Oh, you're the students' and waved us through) we were handed a programme and lo and behold, what was on the cover but one of our awards!


We'd arrived in plenty of time but we hadn't realised just how LONG we were expected to mingle and it was at least an hour before anything started happening. I wasn't wearing particularly high heels but they weren't converses which is what I'm used to so after about fifteen minutes my feet were absolutely killing me and there was nowhere to sit down. (Well, except for a seat an older woman was sitting on. Liam suggested that I should kick her off if I really needed to and I have to admit, I was a little tempted towards the end. :P) We didn't know anyone there and neither of us really knew what we were supposed to do so we just wandered about, grabbed a few nibbles (beetroot soaked smoked salmon on little mini pancakes - yes please!)  and spent the next 40 minutes just standing around looking awkward.

Finally, the crowds started shifting and we rejoiced - food time!

Oh, wait, no.

Turns out we were having the awards first and they were going to be held in the iMax cinema itself! I hadn't expected that and I certainly didn't expect to go in and see our awards blown up to supersize either!


As always happens with your own work, we could see all the flaws in it and kept cringing whenever people started praising them. 'Oh it's just like a real Oscar!' had us squirming. XD

I tried to get photos of all the recipients but there's too many to show here so I'll just leave you with this one. All of the women were so deserving of them but she especially left a big impact on me for the way she broke through the taboos of discussing breast cancer and getting more people aware. She also looked absolutely stunning and I wish I could have photographed her headscarf as it was really beautiful with lots of gold and shimmery bits.


Oh and here's the overall 'winner' if you can call her that - they were all winners in my book, even those who didn't get an award. There's a photo of her with her statue -here-. :D


The awards lasted ages but despite going into them feeling really hungry, it was so nice and informal that it didn't really feel like a long time. There were some really nice speeches and a song by a girl who had never performed live before which was pretty good considering she looked really nervous!

Once it was all over we were ushered over to the dining area which looked beautiful; all shiny lights and glittery bits.


The First Minister stopped to greet someone at our table so I took the opportunity to snap a quick photo. I may not be an SNP supporter but still. XD


It was a set menu and the food took forever to arrive but the starter (Fillet of smoked salmon with balsamic vinegar and salad) was worth waiting for despite it barely being more than a mouthful.


For the main, there was 'Five spice chicken with sesame roast potatoes, wilted pak choi, sugar snaps and green beans served with coriander and tomato sauce' which, truth be told, I didn't really fancy.


 I thought I'd have to put up with it as there didn't appear to be the choice of a vegetarian or alternative until literally as they were bringing plates to the table, at which point we were asked, rather carelessly if anyone wanted a veggie option. To be fair, it being the Scottish Asian woman's awards, there was a rather strong likelihood that there would be a lot who didn't eat meat so it seemed rather unprofessional to have not asked around the tables prior to serving them as there were a few people I noticed who had a plate of chicken put down in front of them only to have it whisked away a minute later once the servers realised! (Apparently the chicken wasn't even all that good anyway. XD) I managed to get the alternative of spinach and ricotta cannelloni which is one of my favourite foods so that worked out well.


The dessert ('Milk chocolate tort with orange jam and poppy seed biscuit') was really nice, if a bit rich but I could have quite happily eaten the biscuitty things by the handful, they were so nice!


While we weren't paying for the meal, drinks cost extra and oooft, were they pricey! I just had a couple of orange & lemonades but even then it was pretty steep.

After the meal there were a couple of speeches and a bit of comedy from actress Elaine C Smith who was absolutely hilarious. She started her routine by thanking everyone who came, starting with the first minister, then all the award winners, esteemed guests, sponsors, waiting staff, toilet attendants...politicians...Scottish politicians and finally...bankers.It was worth going just for her, honestly. XD

Most of this probably isn't that funny when removed from context (one of those 'you had to be there' moments I think) and and me not remembering things properly but here's a few memorable bits. One of my favourites was this brilliant number about a woman going for a mammogram.

'So she goes into the place all worried but at the end the doctor said 'oh, you're fine but I must say, for a woman of your age (late fifties) you have the breasts of a twenty year old!'
With that in mind, she goes home and tells her husband who laughs at her and says: 'aye, sure but did he say anything about your sixty year old arse?'
'Oh no' she says 'He didn't mention you.'

There was a brilliant story about a famous Scottish variety singer being given the worst introduction on stage after the host had given the audience a telling off for making a mess in the car park the previous week. Something along the lines of:
'Your behaviour last week was an absolute disgrace - using the car park like a public convenience so all the council workers had to go outside and clean it up - and it wasn't just piss either, there was shite 'n all! So...I give you...Dorothy!'


 There was to be a charity raffle so I put in a fiver, not thinking for a minute that I'd actually win anything but you know, it was for charity so it was the least I could do. When 'Table 15, Christine Sutcliffe' was called out I genuinely didn't know what to do - I never win anything!
I couldn't even remember what it was that I'd won so when I walked up to the stage I had to ask Elaine! I ended up going home with a massive basket of cupcakes and chocolates with a voucher for 'tea for two at 'Eats' at Heavenly Treats'


Although some of the cakes got a bit bashed en route home they still tasted amazing and the red velvet ones, gah, SO GOOD!


Finally, I asked one of the security people if he could take our photo next to the huge cardboard cutout of the awards. We both don't seem to know what to do with our arms or feet but hey, we don't look too bad I suppose. :P 

So yeah, an interesting night out to say the least!

 The next post will have all the 'behind the scenes' of how we made the awards..

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