Thursday, 28 November 2013


Beautiful lady. Art. Bubbles. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Lazy / Potter

I gave myself a well earned day off today. I initially had plans to do some reading but somewhere along the way I decided to sack that in favour of a lazy/potter kind of day. 

  1. Watched the finale of Bates Motel in my dressing gown over breakfast
  2. Watched an episode of Alcatraz eating my lunch
  1. Was a dutiful housewife and put some washing on to hang out to dry in the (cold) sunshine
  2. Started my Christmas shopping with a quick visit into town and a couple of cheeky online purchases
  3. Baked some cereal bar out of my new Rachel Khoo book (love her!)
  4. Made some butternut squash and apple soup
  5. Made appointments with both the plasterer and the electrician in our continuing sorting out the house quest
Not too lazy, and just the right amount of potter. It has been a most pleasant day.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Great British Baking Class

For quite a few months now I have been attending a regular baking masterclass. Mary Berry and Paul Dodgy-goatee-wood are nowhere to be found but who needs them when you have your very own baking guru who is certified and everything.

My first lesson was in piping so that I could make my cupcakes look pretty. Since then we've done all sorts of things including fresh pasta and French Madeleines. I was really looking forward to today as it was fudge making! YUM! I rolled up with my apron covered in flour (I contemplated the other one but it had a large chocolate smear on it that resembled baby poo which is not really that classy to take to someone else's house) and my box of ingredients and away we went. We started off making chocolate nut clusters - digestive biscuits, brazil nuts, stem ginger, mixed up with white chocolate and coated in dark chocolate - oh hello calories, oh hello tasty. I think I'm becoming addicted to ginger, seriously, I have it in everything now from food to drink. Next up was the fudge master class. 

Heaping on more calories we melted tonnes of sugar with barrels of double cream, threw in some alcohol just cos we can, and waited for it to magically heat up before adding pounds of white chocolate. It was topped off with even more booze and some cranberries. Delicious! I've not decided which version I will be making for gifts yet but I'm excited to get started. 

Our final task was honeycomb. Totally awesome. I was very much looking forward to the part where it would "fizz up like a volcano" - it really did! And once it had cooled? Sticky, crispy, yummy delightfulness. 

I've got lots more ideas for my gifts and I can't wait to get them all started now. I've just ordered a baking thermometer with some free gift vouchers I was given - love free stuff! So exciting. 

The day was made even more lovely by catching up with another friend from the old work, drinking tea, and eating chocolate and banana muffins. I should probably concentrate on eating fruit for the rest of this week but the box of chocolate nut clusters keeps on calling my name...

Friday, 22 November 2013


After a crazy couple of weeks where I've spent most of my time sat in a freezing cold 'corner' of the university, I got to spend a day at home today. Sat in front of my laptop of course. What's that? Do no work? I wish! 

I've just got round to catching up on all my emails and literally every single one I opened was about Christmas! It's fair to say that I love Christmas, I am in no way, shape, or form, Scrooge-like about it at all but all those emails were just a wee bit too much. Maybe it's because this year, when I don't have so much money, I'm really feeling the commercial overload that it has become. Buy this for a million pounds and we'll give you a £5 off coupon! Spend £650 on this handbag just cos it's from a posh shop in Chelsea (how did I ever get on that mailing list?!) What is this madness? Even from lovely skincare people that I respect massively for their ethics, emails are coming every day with offers. It's literally bonkers! What is going on? 

For the past few years we have been lucky to receive homemade gifts from the lovely Fizz. These gifts are always so special and unique and so perfect for us, I have found each one very touching, even the utterly crazy glove scarf! We recently started to return the favour, although not with quite as much skill or talent. I am completely stealing the notion of homemade gifts this year and will be spending a lot of time getting crafty in the kitchen. We're telling people who normally buy us gifts that we are scaling down and going very low key, and hoping that they understand our homemade gifts are not us being mean with money, nor are we making any sort of statement about commercial overload. It just feels like a low key, no fuss kind of year. 

And I'm making gifts out of chocolate, enough said really.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

On the other side

Something really strange happened today. I was in the library, as I am quite often, it's kind of necessary when you're in assignment deadline lockdown, and I saw the big boss. This in itself is not that unusual, I quite often run into people that I used to work with all over campus and when I go in the library I always end up talking to someone! This time though, the big boss told me to "come on through". As in through the glass doors. Ooooh it was SO WEIRD going back through there. For 12 years of my life I walked through those doors and looked out of the glass and day-dreamed about what life outside there was like. Well, 8 months later I know exactly what life is like and it's bloody brilliant!

Back through those doors today? It really felt like I was trespassing. Don't get me wrong, it was good to see people and get hello hugs and look at Christmas countdowns but all the while I was thinking, when can I get out, back out there, to MY side. I'm pretty sure I spent most of the conversation glancing over my shoulder towards the glass doors, which is actually pretty rude, but I really couldn't help it, I felt so claustrophobic as soon as I was back there, like they were somehow going to make me put my incredibly heavy bag full of laptop and books down, go back to my old seat, and get on with some work. Ugh the horror! *shudder* 

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that all of this is real. I don't have to go back there when I'm finished with my course, I really don't have to go through those doors again. Good job too. I like it so much better on the other side.  

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Baby it's cold...inside

Don't get me wrong, it's not like we are in dire straits and can't afford to put the heating on but when energy prices are rising by 12% and I'm at home all day that has potential to cost a rather large sum. So I try to resist as long as possible. I don't quite go to these lengths but I can definitely use some of the suggestions. Take today for example, frost on the ground outside, me stuck inside all day with looming deadlines, so very tempting to put the heating on but I am resisting! 

I've tucked my vest into my jeans. 

And I'm wearing a long sleeved top, a hoodie, and some fab woolly socks that Fizz made for me last year. And jeans obviously...

I've made 3 cups of tea and counting. 

I've wiggled my bum around a few times on the chair, a bit like chair dancing, to move around a bit.  

My fingers are flying across the keys but I think that's more out of sheer panic than keeping warm. 

I'm a little bit nervous though, it's only November and it's this cold. I have to make it all the way through to next June working between uni and home. That's a whole lot of cold days ahead of me. But I am a student after all, I should live like one! When I was a student first time round we often came home to no heating and no money to add some funds to the card. I'm pretty sure I just used to go to bed back then and I'm almost certain I wore a woolly hat indoors. I don't think I'll go that far but I'm not averse to the idea of a granny blanket over my knees. Sheesh, this student life is tough! 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bad hair days

We are only 12 days in to this month and I already know of three other people, and myself, who have suffered at the hands of their hairdresser. After a 1950s style housewife effort was done to mine I am still trying to make it go back to how it was but so far, no good. I don't know what my hairdresser did. I've been going to the same person for years and years but this time? Massive epic fail. Maybe she wanted to sabotage me now that I don't get my colour done with her, but in my defence m'lud, student-dom and no job means not that many pennies for the luxuries in life. Plus now I am in control of the colour myself it means I can buy natural dyes made with oils and plant extracts rather than harsh chemicals that I (finally!) realised were not helping my hair at all. 

But oh, the woe is still me over this bad cut.  I wonder how long it will take before my hair gets over it. It's been almost two weeks now, surely it has to settle soon? At this point I would embrace the mad bad frizz over this prim and proper any day! I'm mainly throwing it all up into the same old up-do each day to hide how awful it is *sobs* You know what got me the most? How much it cost for this bad do. I know that in real life terms £18 isn't all that much but when you don't have any money coming in it's like a fortune! And to throw it away on the Doris haircut? Nooooooo! 

It doesn't end there though does it? Now I feel like I can't trust my hairdresser again which means trying to find a new one. It's the hair equivalent of shopping for jeans... My hair is thick, barmy, voluminous, and not easy to control. It takes a brave hairdresser to tackle it and make it look good. In a way I'm chickening out big style as I'm growing my hair long again I think yeah, I can go for months without a cut, but I know this isn't true as it grows out and out and out before it grows down and needs to be tamed along the way. Arrrrggghhhh! I think there should be a law against bad haircuts and then you could sue for severe trauma! 

Pass me that headscarf/hat - I'm in hair hiding... 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Le weekend - a quiet one

Compared to last weekend this one has mainly been centred around home. Wavey is away a lot at the moment, like a whole lot, so him coming home is definitely something that we both look forward to and anticipate as the weekends crawl closer. I guess what I'm trying to say is that a few weekends spent just being at home ain't a bad thing. 

Saying all that we started the weekend by going out on Friday night. We love a bargain we do, so who could resist a bargain food voucher within our own village?! Can I say bargain again as it truly was. For a crackin' £4.50 each we enjoyed: a bowl of chili, garlic bread, cajun chicken, chicken wings, BBQ ribs, onion rings, bit of rocket for some green stuff, yummy dips, and all topped off with a glass of vino. Steal! We couldn't stop there though and added a delicious ice cream sundae and a cheeky bottle of beer to the mix. All that and we were home in time for S.H.I.E.L.D. Yay!

The foodie-ness continued as we headed to theatre for a bit of painting everything white whilst enjoying a slice of cheese and ham pie (brought along by Stormin') and a lemon cupcake (homemade by moi). Then I joined Cat for a bit of vintage rummaging and Wavey played in his much loved loft (beginning to worry he might be moving up there soon, he seems to heart it so...) The pottering continued this morning as we topped up our vitamin D levels and played out in the garden raking up huge piles of leaves:

Now I'm doing homework (and blogging, ahem) and Wavey has gone to the tip with many bags from the huge piles of leaves. In my car. Only slightly worried that my car will look like a tree...

The weekend will end with some yummy dinner (spinach and potato curry), perhaps a glass of vino or two, just for keeping warm purposes obviously, and a bit more quiet time before Wavey packs his bag and goes off again for another week in the land of badly dubbed tv and we start the countdown all over again.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Squash: pumpkin VS human

Clearly I am using my study time well. Today I bring you squash: pumpkin versus human. Cast your votes now...


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Happy weekend dance

I know it's not quite over but so far, what a cracking weekend! Maybe it's because it started on Thursday for us, that could be the key. We carved a pumpkin, then ate pumpkin and apple soup. We literally went to a piss up in a brewery. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel that had a GIANT bath, and we only had to pay to park because we are honest. We ate yummy handmade chocolates in the shape of penguins (not by me I hasten to add). We walked up a local landmark and enjoyed views of our entire region at our feet, whilst trying to stay upright in the very windy conditions. We intend to top off the weekend by making a yummy roast dinner and lighting the first fire of the season. Hope you have all had equally fabby times, and here's some visuals: