With Julez

Glasgow / London based blogger - events, travel, music and sport


Dubai Travels

A few weeks ago I went on a girls trip to Dubai which, when my girls are involved, always leads to an eventful and memorable experience and this was no exception! It was my first time in the middle east and my first time in heat which can only be described as a real life sauna. Seriously...it was really really warm!

Dubai is great for a girls holiday - ladies night, ladies brunches, ladies drink offers… basically being a female tourist can be all kinds of fun, despite misconceptions/scaremongering in the media. I mean who doesn’t love 2 for 1 cocktails all night long!?

There are too many highlights to write about so I’ll just mention a few:

1.     A dessert safari, one of the best things I have ever done in my life! We went with Ocean Air Travels who were perfect but there are loads of companies to choose from! You can go sandboarding in the desert, ride a camel, have bbq, watch crazy dancers spin round and round (you’ll know what I mean when you see it) and of course the obligatory dune bashing in the Land Rovers which makes you both happy and incredibly queezy at the same time. Definetely worth the trip!!
2.     Lock Stock and Barrel – a really good bar/club we went to which was just really fun! Lots of expats, lots of good music and all kinds of cocktails, definitely go.
3.     The waterpark. You are never too old. (wear factor 50, seriously)
4.     China Grill – my favourite dinner that I had in Dubai. Maybe my favourite dinner ever. Again if you’re a lady, ladies night is one not to miss!!
5.     Dubai Mall. It’s massive and you’ll never get around all the shops in one day but it’s worth a visit and there is a pretty fountain show every 30 minutes. Such pretty fountains.

I wont bore you too much but I definitely recommend a trip to Dubai if you ever get the chance. Don’t be put off by the media it’s a great place to visit and the people are very friendly.  Respect the culture, respect their values and you’ll be absolutely fine! The Hotels in Dubai are just like anywhere else you'd go on holiday, except a lot fancier, so don't worry that it's going to be completely different to what you are used to. They let us in so you'll be fine!

My favourite fact that one of our drivers told us is in Dubai people genuinely spend more money  per month on drinking water than they do on petrol. What!? Crazy! Also, taxis are so cheap... I miss them :(



Team GB in Trafalgar Square

Now you know me, I love the Olympics and everything that comes with it, so of course I went to the Team GB homecoming parade in Trafalgar Square this week. Well, they called it a parade but there wasn’t actually any parading… more like walking down some stairs and sitting but still, exciting none the less!

It was a chance to see the Team GB Olympians and Paralympians with their medals and also a chance to leave the office all morning and be out in the fresh air with my work pals so I didn’t have to be asked twice! There was also free coke and giant foam fingers, what more do you want!?

Anyway, seeing everyone come together to celebrate Team GB’s success reminds me of why I love the Olympics and why I love working in sport. It’s an industry like no other and I know we will be just as proud after Tokyo 2020!!



Christina Bianco 'Me, myself and everyone else' UK Tour

Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending Christina Bianco’s UK tour of her show ‘Me, Myself and Everyone Else’ at the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow.

Now if you don’t know who Christina Bianco is (where have you been hiding!?) then check her out on Youtube –  she only has over 20 millions views! Christina is an American musical impressionist/comedian and a damn good singer in her own right. She’s also very small which coincidentally plays a big part in the show!

The show was a musical treat from start to finish, with some cracking comedy thrown in for good measure. In fact, the guy next to me laughed so hard during a television themed skit that his wine came out his nose - true story. Stay classy Glasgow! From Dolly Parton to Adele to Celine Dion and everyone in between, Christina covered it.

Highlights of the show included her A-Z of musical impressions, her famous dramatic reading of Barbara Streisand’s interior design book (has to be seen to be believed!) and a fantastic duet with Scottish singer Jai MacDowell. However, in typical Glaswegian style, the biggest laugh of the evening came from Christina’s impression of Shirley Basset singing the classic – ‘You canny shove yer granny off a bus’. Only in Scotland. Needless to say it went down a treat with the audience, which included none other than the infamous Scottish singer Susan Boyle aka Subo.

How Christina remembers all the words/dialogue/impressions is beyond me – if you want to see real talent and laugh until you cry get yourself to Christina’s tour! Standing ovations all round and even my notoriously hard to please grandmother had a ball so you know it must be good….

Find her on twitter at - @XtinaBianco1



#blueCMcampaign with Christian MacLeod

Last night I was invited to the Corinthian Club in Glasgow for a charity event hosted by designer Christian MacLeod in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. The theme for the evening was the colour Blue with the hashtag #blueCMcampaign. The entire venue had been transformed into a blue palace – blue lights, blue drinks, sweets which turned your tongue blue and even some blue hair! It was a smurf’s dream.

The event was quite the affair, beautiful people in beautiful outfits in every room. It was Glasgow’s answer to a Hollywood premiere, well minus the A listers and the paparazzi, but glamorous none the less! There was champagne, a saxophonist and enough hairspray to destroy the Ozone layer.

Most importantly there were many opportunities to raise/donate money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. There were some excellent raffle prizes including a holiday to Dubai, a diamond necklace and rather bizarrely an oven. Unfortunately I did not win any of the prizes, not even the oven, but my money did go towards a good cause so I’m not bitter. Much.

Overall it was a great evening for a great cause and it’s nice to get dolled up every once in a while. It’s not every day you get to put your ball gown on in Glasgow! Congratulations to Christian MacLeod for hosting the event, I am sure the money raised will make a big difference towards supporting and helping those affected by cancer. 



The Edinburgh Festival

As mentioned in my previous blog, now that I have moved back to Scotland I am trying to make an effort to go to new places and see all the exciting things that my country has to offer.  With this in mind I took a trip to the Edinburgh festival this weekend to experience some culture, support the arts and appreciate the work of poor performers etc etc..

If you don’t know, the Edinburgh Festival is an annual celebration of arts and entertainment taking place during the entire month of August. Artists, comedians, dancers, singers, and general creative types (hipsters) from all over the World descend on Scotland’s capital to showcase their work. The Royal Mile in Edinburgh turns into a chaotic runway of bizarre and wonderful street art and the whole city is buzzing. I’m pretty sure the Edinburgh Fringe is directly responsible for the deforestation of the rainforest with all the leaflets that are handed out, but we will overlook that because why support the trees and ecosystem when you can support struggling performers who have dedicated their life to ‘art’.

There is something for everyone at the Fringe. From well known celebrities to up and coming performers plus every single drama student in the UK you wont be short of things to do or see. Generally tickets for big well known names sell out pretty quickly but if, like me, you are just there for a day out there are plenty of free shows to choose from. In fact there are so many shows that it’s literally impossible to see everything. There’s also a lot of ‘contemporary’ street art which you won’t understand and various promoters trying to get you to come to their show, just keep your head down, avoid eye contact and you’ll be fine. You don’t want to be that guy who gets peer pressured into the 1 hour poetry reading about the life cycle of an orange, trust me, it’s not pretty.

We spent the majority of the afternoon in Cabaret Voltaire, where there are several rooms all showcasing up and coming talent, usually of the stand up comedy variety. Everything is free and I can honestly say I enjoyed every performance that I saw. Like I said, this was only one venue of the hundreds to choose from, you really need a good few days if you want to experience the festival properly.  If you are strapped for cash take a look at http://www.freefestival.co.uk which lists all the shows that are completely free. I would recommend buying tickets in advance if there is anything you really want to see, then spend the rest of the day visiting some of the free/cheaper shows which are still of a very high standard. (mostly..)

I might return to the Fringe this week so please let me know if you have any suggestions of things to go and see. If you are thinking of going but haven’t quite got round to it yet – do it!! You will love it and there isn’t long left!

© With Julez

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