In my school days, all I could afford, occasionally, when it came to ice cream was an orange bar, which was basically a small block of ice with flavouring. There was a certain joy in sucking on an ice lolly on a summer day as it dripped all over, leaving you with sticky fingers and an orange tongue. As a grown-up, I found popsicles overly sweet—orange bar became a thing of memory. Recently, though, I gave in to the temptation to order tender coconut and roasted hazelnut cream pops from Popsicle Culture (@popsicleculture.in on Instagram); they claim they don’t use preservatives or stabilisers. Both are indulgent treats but the tender coconut hit the spot. It has a subtle sweetness, you can taste the coconut meat; it’s best when it thaws a bit and is soft. I ordered again—there’s a thrill in knowing there’s a cool treat in the freezer for a rainy day.
The YouTube channel Alt Shift X has been around for nearly a decade. In that time, it has become one of the best places to do deep dives into the lore of a number of popular science fiction and fantasy franchises, especially that of George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire books. In fact, starved as us fans have been of the long-promised The Winds Of Winter, the channel is one of the best places to remember why we fell in love with Westeros and its denizens in the first place. It is especially fun to do a deep dive into fan theories about the book series. Did you want to know about “Euron Greyjoy’s Eldritch Apocalypse” or “Who is Azor Ahai?”. Well, find all your answers here.
Goa is paradise for craft beer lovers. While it’s fair to say you can’t leave the state without trying the likes of Eight Finger Eddie or People’s Lager, you certainly can’t miss Susegado Microbrewery’s brews. You are spoilt for choice with Susegado: There’s the Vanilla Porter (with hints of chocolate and vanilla), the floral American IPA, the malty English Ale, the Tropical Wit (spicy and fruity notes) and the Kokum Gose. But the perfect brew for a monsoon afternoon is their Dortmund Lager. This medium-bodied beer is light on the palate. It stays quiet on the malty notes. But at 5% ABV, it still has enough kick. If you are walking into any of north Goa’s well-curated wine shops and stores, I recommend picking up this lager.
It was a quote on love and grief on Instagram that introduced me to Nick Cave. The sensitivity contained in the lines left me curious enough to find out all I could about the veteran Australian rock musician. And that search led me to The Red Hand Files, Cave’s popular website, which he started in September 2018, to answer questions from his fans. In the years since, the website (www.theredhandfiles.com) has fielded all sorts of queries, from the simple to the profound. The beauty lies in how Cave responds to them—weaving nuanced responses in his sublime writing style. Or, as he puts it, “Lightly, and with a smile.” For me, in a world that’s quick to take offence, the website feels like you are having an intimate chat with your best friend and can speak your heart out without any fear of judgement.