Saturday, 10 November 2012

Mad as a Hatter

Feels so good to be back! Can't stay for long, I'm afraid I'm still more than a tad snowed under with work in a multitude of forms - however I really really couldn't resist taking a moment out to show you this:

Sixth Years at Knox dress up for Childern in Need and go around the classes to collect donations (threaten younger students). I've spent a good part of today snooping around Edinburgh - eating cake - in search of a TOP HAT for my Mad Hatter. Thanks specially to Papa and Sylwia, who set me on the path to hat sucess (not making sense entirely but hey-ho)!

Normally I would refrain from inflicting a photo of my mug on anyone, however I'm rather pleased that the face-painting wasn't an entirely botched job and thus the Theatre Art course I bled and sweat over *winks*  all last year must finally be paying off.


After sitting at my desk some while I completely forgot my conspicuous apparel and took an emergency stroll to the newsagents...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Fruit Situations

Some fiend keeps buying oranges...

I can't dispose of them fast enough. The pressure is unbearable.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Well, aside from some last minute progress with Personal Statements (don't get me started, oh ok, maybe later), today has proved a depressing waste of time...

HIGHLIGHT: Clearing Tesco out of greek yogurt. Bit of an acquired taste but I highly recommend it.

In related news -largely to add excitement to an otherwise very dull few of hours- my imaginary pet goldfish died in tragic circumstances. The Great Lord Sauron will be sorely missed. Funeral held at the Aubigny pool after school on Wednesday, everyone invited.

I must say, I'm somewhat loving typing in a unsophisticated, probably incorrect (but I haven't checked! :D) and certianly terrible fashion. Having to overstrain my less-than-capable grey matter as to the best way to phrase every miniscule segment of my Personal Statement (more stuff for Wednesday, no rest for the wicked) has done my head in. Observe - if you will - the text I have just reeled off (<--- "reeled off" being an inacurate expression to use considering I am neither writing by hand nor speaking. Yet there is no necessity for me to find a better one. Isn't it wonderful?! *grins manically*) is clumsy and generally badly written. Under normal circumstances I would go over this and edit, chop and change, generally improve etc. Today however, I shall revel in leaving this as it is. Muahahahaha!

Goodbye people.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

It's alive!

These past four years, I have been the proud owner of three beautiful fuschia plants. However what at first glance may appear a pretty idyllic situation is in fact bittersweet, tinged with sadness. For these last four years, though wonderful and green, the fuschias have yielded up not one single flower.

It has always been a great source of anguish to me. Was it my system of feeding leftover green tea to them every morning harming their chances of ever sprouting a bud? Were they perhaps in need of more sunlight, larger pots, more space? I felt I had tried everything.

Then this morning, everything changed.

This morning, I first saw Joey.

The excitement, was unreal.

Finally, I feel we can move forward in our relationship. There is a tanglible shift, a new stage has been reached! New possibilities and a fresh life together!

Celebrating the first bloom and looking forward to many more!

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In oOther News: I stepped on my rice cakes this morning :(

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Yuck

Well, it seems I'm not the only one experiencing a particularly uninspiring day. Just scrolling through my feed on twitter and an unusually larger chunk of the posts are expressing a similar sort of sentiment.

"Hate Wednesdays feels like the weekend is ages away"

"Today has been a completely and utterly shit day. "

"Today was a pathetic fallacy if there ever was one "

"It's been one of those days where I just want to curl up and eat a load of crap this evening to make it better"

"What a rubbish day :( "

"Shitty day. Food to make it better. "

"Chest infection, great. :'( "

... among others, in the last three hours. Definite theme going on here.

I would just like to echo all of those sentiments. Except about the food- more discomfort is all I need at the moment.

It's also raining, in case you're interested.

Whinge over.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Higher Results EEEEEEKK!

I passed I passed I passed I passed I passed I passed!

*Dons Indian Headdress and starts victory dance around the room*

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah relief!!

... ignore the Hockey bit.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Last of Oxford

So back in the Magdalen Auditoreum, I dove into the morass of people shuffling to reach the student holding their subject plackard. Myself, I had a choice between the Classics sign, and the Classical Archaeology and Ancient History one, since although it was CAAH which was of particular interest, yet I had a sneaking suspicion that I had in fact been booked in for Classics.

Never mind, I did some shuffling of my own to reach the CAAH-wielding person (they also had the Ancient History lot). There were about fifteen other people standing there and I had no idea how it would work, so I was pleasantly suprised when, having dropped us all off in a classroom, the student suddenly asked it there was anybody actually interested in CAAH hanging about.

Just me.

I was taken to a separate building (hang on, I have a photo). I think it's 17th century? A bit later than all the others. But please don't quote me on that, it's probably wrong.


And then up the stairs to a room. The student (afraid I've forgotten her name) was reassuring me that the tutor was lovely and that there was no reason to be terrified (can imagine that I looked it, certainly feeling not a little apprehensive), then knocked on a door which swung promptly open to reveal the CAAH Professor, Dr Alfonso Moreno.

He was good enough to put up with me for -I think it was- over an entire hour. Among other things he told me about, I was shown a genuine, bona fide squeeze brush (used to bash squeeze paper into inscriptions, naturally) and meanwhile managed to excellently display my complete and utter lack of anything resembling a notion on all things archaeological. Ah well, suppose you can't have it all. Somehow I still found that I enjoy myself... at any rate I recall walking out with a bit of a buzz.
Having reached as far as the base of the stairs, I promptly (and almost literally) bumped into the Classics Professor whom I had been molesting earlier at the Centre for Classical Studies and was lucky enough to be able to chat to (interrogate) him for a further fifteen or so minutes.

At this point I had to sprint away to catch Papa and Lyov, whom I think I was already a tad late for... they were both waiting patiently outside the Auditoreum from which we lugged my bags to our B&B for the night (well, I did some lugging, then legged it off to snoop around some colleges and left them to it. Good strategy.).

I've lost track a bit but I might have mentioned already that I had poked a nose briefly into Corpus Christi, I now returned to the scene of the crime and although it was almost packing-up time, they were nice enough to let me slip through, even lending me a thoroughly knowledgable guide.
It's such a beautiful little college, I'm sad that I didn't take any pictures, however Papa tracked this down over youtube later, and I would quite like to share:


This is a thing to aspire to.

Following this, I toddled along the road to Merton, to be shown around by a Classics student. The gardens are incredibly beautiful and first year student's accomodation at the bottom of those. They also say they are the oldest college, from 12somethingsomething (should probably be looking this up).
Everyone was very friendly and it was with a reluctance that I finally made off in the direction of dinner- a thing I never thought I'd say.

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Some pictures from our after dinner exploits.







Here abruptly endeth the text.

Monday, 23 July 2012

We Have Hostages! (I mean 'Visitors'! 'Visitors'!)

Sarah, Belinda and Honor have arrived at last! A day later than expected (today is Belinda's 9th birthday. "Happy Birthday to yooou, Happy Birthday tooo yoooou!") but still enough time to be able to bug them properly.

I'm back on the sofa. What can you do.

It's late. Over and out.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bombay Bicycle Club

I've just been typing up the last bit of the Oxford trip (pretty sensational stuff), but because it's rather a solid bit of writing I'm not quite finished. By way of a break I thought you might appreciate this video, I really like the music at the moment (although actually probably isn't the favourite of Bombay Bicycle Club songs) and the dancing in the video I think is really something.


I'm very suprised that it doesn't have more views. Do hope you like it.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Running Here, There and Everywhere (In Oxford) cont.

I was a tad worried heading up for dinner in the college hall. You've probably already fathomed that I'd arrived on my tod and since then had spotted a couple of other potential Open Day visitor-y-like people wandering about, mostly in groups.

I think I prefer organising/turning up to these sort of things (most sort of these sort of things) on my own. Not from any vaguely anti-social feeling in fact rather the opposite. It strikes me that arriving in a group is not particularly conducive to any form of social interaction with fellow Open Day-ees; they are hardly more likely to attempt the approach of a rather threatening looking crowd of Almost-Scots, whilst there is far less motivation to put in the effort trying to chat to anyone whom you don't know at all yourself.

Returning to the narrative.

Making sure to be on time, cleaned up and everything, trotted down to the hall if anything five minutes early and louged about in a casual manner with the two or so other people cool enough to have turned up. One of the organisers meandered over to where I had based myself and began trying to wheedle an intelligible conversation out of me. Needless to say this was an effort doomed to failure; two minutes in she chanced to mention the dinner ticket which had been doled out at our arrival.


Said ticket was naturally now languishing on the desk, all four floors up in my at-the-other-side-of-the-considerable-college-grounds room.

People were trickling about. The atmosphere, intense.

With the dire prospect of a ticketless plea for dinner now looming I did the heroic thing, I made a break for it.
Leaving the poor unsuspecting girl in a state of near-speechless shock, I strode away, reaching as far as the archway at the end of the hall which I was counting on to conceal the undignified sprint I immediately broke into.
____________________________________________________
 A Brief Interlude

Just discovered a dried up contact lens beside the mouse-mat. How'd that get there?
____________________________________________________

Self  in a slightly sweatier state ("eeeeewwww!". Ok, ok, calm it Janet.), safely sauntered into the serving space, secure in the assurance of the certainty of supper*. A lot of tasty looking stuff gets swifly piled onto my plate, then the daunting matter of a loner locating a socially acceptable seat.

A couple of girls who undoubtledly noticed my blank demeanor and misinterpreted it as having some meaning (possibly lost, not sure. Sorry! Too much parenthesis.) had the decency to beckon me over. They had acted in a sedate fashion in the queue so I judged it safe to draw near and deposit myself in their locale.

The remainder of dinner (which I feel I'm probably dwelling a bit too much over. It's simply to set the atmosphere.) passed relatively unremarkably. One of my newly introduced co-Magdalen-habiters was called Alice. Wrack my insignificant grey matter though I might, I can't remember the other. Megan? Susan? Ahh. :(
We indulged in idle chatter, marvelled at the unexpectedness of the flavour of a lime/lemon tart, discussed our present situation... and considering that I'm in danger of going off on a serious tangent, I shall take the opportunity my 'dot dot dot' affords, and skip ahead.

They generously consented to my presence for the rest of the evening. It was about 8pm, we tried to grab a quick tea from the local Starbucks, found that a group of their associates were roaming the town, dropped the -idea of- tea, linked up with said associates, grabbed a quick tea from the local Starbucks**, did some more roaming in the direction of acommodation and finally settled down to some pretty tense games of cards***.
Having alternately won and failed miserably, I slunk into bed with the comforting assertion that perhaps I wasn't an utter social pariah.

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* Enjoying some spontaneous alliteration. Minimal Thesaurus use *winks*.
** You haven't just gone back a few lines. Retain the will to keep reading.
***Snap not least amongst them.


 Starting on a new day and therefore -wait for it- an entirely new set of footnotes! Which I am now substituting in place of more disruptive forms of parenthsis.

After getting up distressingly early for a seriously devout jog, breakfast passed quickly in the presence of Alice and MeganorpossiblySusan*, we sat for a while contemplating a stray, drifting plastic bag, then bade our unintentionally last cheerios and headed off in various directions known only to ourselves.

Dumping my bags in the auditoreum and procuring a program of Magdalen college events, I set my sights on some rumoured Classics/Archaeology/Latin lectures/events and started to draw up a general mental plan of the day.

There were four C/A/L talks on the menu, of which I had thought only one would apply. However when I got there, I found the tutors so infectiously enthusiastic I sat in for three, spending my last sat in the hall with numerous bits of paper drafting up a finalized version of 'things to do' and torturing a number of students/tutors.

The first lecture was a basic introduction to the different courses on offer and a bit on admissions.

Following that, an incredibly enigmatic chap launched himself into a speech on Herodotus, by the end of which I was positively mourning my intention to embark on another course. I was experiencing a moment of black despair when a mere ten minutes from the end I heard him pull up suddenly, and apologise for his lack of concentration on the second part of the course, Classical Archaeology.
I profess myself elated.

The final talk was interesting, but not the stuff I am into myself. I'll press on.

The silly thing was then having to cross central Oxford to pick up my money -else go lunchless-, since I ended up back pretty much next to the Classics Department at one of the few quieter cafes left to Oxford this day. This did though provide the chance to stick my head into a couple of colleges (mostly Corpus Christie) I was hoping to take a shufti at but wasn't able to at present due to the impending interview with subject-you-are-interested-in tutors I had been automatically booked into at Magdalen*.

Then, as I said, lunch. And a sprint back to Magdalen.
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* But I think sadly neither.
** And one of which I had been fortunate enough to have met already at the Classics thingy (technical term).

Owing to it being nearly 11.15pm, my having had an early (6.30am) start, and an escalating headache, I'm going to have to call it a night.

This is very frustrating, there is so much happening NOW and I still have a fair-ish text to type on this!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Running Here, There and Everywhere (in Oxford).

When We Arrive.
I signed up to the Oxford Open Day newsletter aaaages ago. In fact I was getting a tad worried, it would have been very possible and typical of my luck to have accidentally sent it to the 'DELETED' folder in one grand sweep of my inbox.

These purges are conducted periodcally.

I digress. Long and short of it is, one fine morning as I was perusing my daily inflow of mail, it was with delight that I found myself scanning information regarding dates on which to show up for these Open Days. Speedy as a ninja (and having first confirmed with Papa that this was all well and good and truly ok) I pounced on the University website, following some deliberation carefully selected Magdalen and applied to stay overnight on the 26th/27th.

So, it was settled that three of us would go down on the train, Lyovka, Papa and I. I, because necesse erat, Papa because it was a nice idea and Lyovka because the nice idea extended to him.

I must say, the southward journey passed in a relatively uneventful fashion. Actually, I can't really remember it. Hmph.

The fun began on our arrival. Since I was staying over in Magdalen we first scooted over to where the other two were to be kipping down. One of the brilliant things I quickly rediscovered were the Latin inscriptions, everywhere! I realise that maybe some people think this is less than thrilling, but personally I find it a tad like being (at least partially) in on some sort of secret language, covert messages spread throughout the city. In other words, really quite exciting.
They were staying in a hall originally housing monks. As this had been mentioned to me already, naturally it slipped my mind. So whilst they were upstairs stowing their stuff I sat downstairs spotting more and more religious-y thingymigummies and finally declaring to Lev when we got outside that I thought the place had some religious connection. A disbelieving stare was quite rightly my reply.

All three of us then trotted along to Magdalen. We were sent to chat to the porters who very helpfully gave me a key and in turn sent us on in the general direction of accommodation.


My room by night. Shoes already planted firmly in the middle of the floor. It was good while it lasted.
Say hello.

Having done a bit more dumping of stuff, we had tea (the appropriate thing to do considering the circumstances), following which we split off, went our separate ways, generally said 'toodles'... & etc. I had a prior appointment with dinner (in collegium) and I suspect that they had something similar.

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Need dictates that I must sleep now. Cheerio 'till tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Further Procrastination

I have to write about Oxford tomorrow. After three days of perfect idolence, I can't put it off any longer. Remind me please.

There, I've told you, now I have to do it.    >.<

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 Update (13th July): Well that worked. Ouch.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Visit of the Lama (or 'Lama Strikes', Part Two!)

This is a tad later than I envisaged making this post, due to some unforseeable delays in getting back to Haddington of which I shall be informing you all in immense detail, presently.

Meanwhile, we pick up our Lama where we last left him, of the verge of addressing our congregation (unruly mob)...

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After about an hour and a half of intensive photo snapping, Bethie informs me that “By the way, I would be careful, you do realise we're not allowed to take pictures.”.

Before setting him loose on us, a chap pops up briefly to reassure us that our Lama, is a Good Lama.


His Holiness is informed that that is a flowerbed. He says that it reminds him of Tibet and goes on to address us, his “brothers and sisters” telling us he is happy for the chance to be able to share his views with us. I'm still getting over the fact that I'm in the same room as OUR DEAR FAVOURITE LAMA! Bethie thinks he is “cute”. The chap sitting immediately behind the podium glances back at the Big Screen, spots himself on it and starts grinning.

I'm now seriously considering learning shorthand.

The talk begins with the subject of respecting all religions. This is somewhat ironic and amusing to me since coincidentally enough we had a speaker in our Advanced Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies class just the day before, who had a similar personal stance on the existence of God (broadly speaking Buddhists believe that since we cannot know it doesn't matter, and this chap was a humanist, which effectively means “don't know, don't care”- so both are more or less agnostic), and yet with regards to organised religion their attitudes couldn't be more different. The attitude of the humanist was really rather dismissive.

It strikes me that the Dalai Lama is doing a sterling job in a foreign language. Poor fellow, this must be exhausting. He is managing to talk quite eloquently about trust and friendship, the importance of positive emotions for health. Every so often he rotates around to address those people sitting on the stage.


I've been told before that the more important ('important' not being exactly the right word) the Buddhist leader, the less self-important they are (not that Buddhists in lower circles are at all, I'm oversimplifying in an attempt to get my muddled thoughts across) and brilliantly enough this appears to be very true of the Lama. At one point he turns and asks the boy sitting behind him;

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Update 1st August: Well, that cuts out abruptly! I have honestly no idea what happened there. I distinctly remember writing more. I am sorry!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Visit of the Lama. (Part One)

This takes up roughly thirty miniature pages of notes, in a similarly miniature scrawl, and essentially I'm just transcribing and improving my notes. 

In consideration of this, I am splitting the post up! Hopefully get the next bit in by later on today. If not, I'm off 'till friday, so tough cookies. Here goes:

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Waiting For Lama

Up bright and early for a spot of Lama viewing and... ick, already it's raining.


A sizeable host of people greeted us as we approached the Usher Hall. The doors were at this point still shut against us and we found ourselves filing into some sort of pen. After a few minutes spent gazing around with idle interest we observed the doors to the side entrances swing inward and a general move in that direction. It was not so much of a queue as a morass of people, but we did our best to join it anyway.


Following a few false leads, we find ourselves in the far left of the Gods or “Upper Circle”. From behind I overhear one of my cohorts mumble that he's not so good on heights. Worse luck mate.
An observation is made that the farther down you go, the comfier the appearance of the seats. I suppose that traditionally, the more “common” you were, the less you could afford to pay for a decent vantage point, the less they cared how unimpressed you were with your perch.

A small legion of Buddhist monks and nuns were scurrying about below. These brought forth exclamations of wonder from younger members of the group and some delight from those of us who were already experienced Samye Ling campaigners, past Buddhist encounters already securely under our belts.

There is an inexplicable drum kit on stage. This could turn out to be very interesting indeed. For all I know, the Lama is a drumkit-bashing NINJA.


Mrs arrives trailing Torquil in her wake. He promptly relates his horrifying two-day experience at Edinburgh High (ambushed and embraced by a some girl he had never before met) finishing a tad abruptly with quote “...so I left and been playing golf ever since” unquote.
At this point, I discover that the rubber band which I been using on my hair this morning was still restricting the blood flow to my wrist. It is tempting to ping it somewhere.

So far, so eventful.

A curious mix of people file in to fill the several rows of chairs on the stage, foremost amongst them a guitar-wielding quartet. Currently we remain ignorant of what this may portend, but I am confident that all shall be revealed in due course. Our Lama is no where to be seen.

Lights go down, everyone shuts up.

Some chap sporting a jaunty purple turban creeps awkwardly in.

The Reverend Donald Reid now gives an introduction. A jingle starts up amongst the audience and heads turn to glare. The tune finds itself prematurely cut off.
Apparently the Dalai Lama is going to be presented with a scarf in the 'new tartan of world peace'. Could this be the start of a new Buddhist trend? Out with red, we're having tartan.
The Reverend pauses reflectively for a moment and somewhere, somebody begins to clap. Again this ceases abruptly.

The 'World Opera for World Peace' stride into centre stage. The solo singer, Martin Aelred, whom they are accompanying bursts heartily into the 'Canto Della Terra' to a World-y montage being played behind him on the Big Screen.


The Lord Provost -Rt Hon Cllt Donald Wilson- of Edinburgh put in an appearance, telling us that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had not yet arrived (thank you) but that fortunately he was not very far away.
Next up was the Tinderbox Orchestra and I have to admit- pretty spectacular stuff. The moment they began I almost expected them to be twirling their cellos and jumping about the stage. Indeed I wasn't far off. The conductor bounced about, gesticulating wildly, created quite an impression, and I confess myself quite impressed.
We have a new conductor for the second piece. Far more tame.



Now on the verge of panic; I have already filled out approximately twelve miniature pages worth of notes and the reason for out visit, the Dalai Lama, has not yet put in an appearance. Happening to glance up from my notes in what I thought was a lull in the musics, I catch the last vestiges of our energetic orchestra being hastily cleared away.

Some Tibetan dancers appear in exotically colourful skirts, performing to 'express their joy at the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama'. Presumably this is anticipatory, since they are not actually feeling the benefit of his presence yet, as such; but hey, it's interesting and pleasant enough. They're doing a wonderful job of being synchronised.
They exit and something sounding suspiciously like Homer Simpson's throat-singing precedes some chaps dragging a v. comfy-looking chair into the room. 

Meanwhile our friend Martin Aelred has strolled back in.

I'm presuming that the chair is for the Lama. Beside it a table trembles under the weight of a dozen water bottles.

And at last, the long awaited moment. As the Lama wanders he is greeted by a standing ovation, he walks to the front of the stage and bows to the audience and still everybody is clapping. With nearly every seat filled, it's quite a clamour. Two minutes and he is already cracking jokes.



To be continued... :O

Friday, 15 June 2012

Edinburgh Open Day

So, back from the Edinburgh Uni Open Day.
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Quotes of the day:

Ailish:

*Gazing absently up at the second floor of our double decker bus as we drive along the A1*
"It would be a bit awkward if the second floor came off..."
*Everyone stares in speechless amazement*.

Ian:

*Discussing the Philosophy course*
"They give you a degree for spending four years thinking...?!".
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As you can tell, Knox Academy intelligentsia was out in full force.

And following yesterday's beautiful sunshine, naturally it began to rain. Began, and has still to stop. That particular brand of oh-so-familiar vertical rain, which causes the wielding of an umbrolly to become not only futile, but positively a hazard.

I made use of some campus maps we obtained, allowing them to take the worst of the weather (and I say "them", since I worked my way through quite a few). This left me... oh, still pretty wet.

We were forced to return to the school in time for some people to return to their multifarious jobs. This meant working our way back to George Square for pick-up at half past twelve- thereby missing all evening talks. For myself, this cut out Archaeology, Japanese and English. I did however contrive to show my mug at the talk on studying Chinese. Apparently Edinburgh is the only Scottish university to offer an undergrad Chinese course. Despite the emphasis the lecturer placed on the difficulty and dedication (the horror!) involved in learning the language, it actually sounded really rather enticing.

More than anything, I would love to understand 'House of Flying Daggers' without the need to revert to subtitles.

Something to consider.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Amount of Icing In Cupcake Recipes is INSANE!

My first cupcake attempt. It was a 12 cake recipe... how I've ended up with 34 is lost on me.

This was after having spread cupcake mix all over the kitchen (lifted up the arm on the kenwood beater, adjusted the dial to rotate the thing slowly in order to get lumps off the far side, turned the silly contraption the wrong way and whola! Flying cupcake hits the cupboards. Who feels silly now?).


Actually, it was two recipes. I wanted to make some reasonably plain ones to start off with, unfortunately such an outrageous recipe doesn't appear to exist. Instead I used separate ones for the cake and the icing, tweaked both because I am always incabable of sticking to the things, ended up with something entirely unlike either... meh.

In the event that someone does give a damn:

Used this one for the icing: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/530300/rose-and-pistachio-cupcakes
(added some cream cheese in place of about 30g of the butter, didn't put the full 120g butter/cheese amount in, still ended up with far too much for my near-tripled number of cupcakes. How much icing does one cupcake need!?!)

... aaaaand this one for the base: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/469242/Karen-Fraser-s-vanilla-cupcakes
(used the margarine for a bit of variety- already got butter in the icing. Sifting the flour is a waste of time. I didn't. Turned out just fine.)


Recipe:
(As now appears in my notebook. Only considerably more neat.)

Ingredients

175g    SR Flour
175g    Caster Sugar
175g    Marge
1.5tsp  Baking Powder
3          Large Eggs (beat them!)
1tsp     Vanilla Extract

For Icing:

 200g   Icing Sugar
90g      Softened Butter
30g      Cream Cheese
2tsp     Milk

Method

+ Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
+ Chuck everything into a bowl, mix until it is no longer necessary.
+ Shove into the oven for 18-20 mins.
+ Hey Presto! Cupcakes.

Icing

+ Chuck everything in. Mix everything up.

Decorate at own discretion.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Elderflower Champagne

When I was chatting to (Auntie) Sarah on the phone about some Olympic tickets which she thought she might be able to get (but more on that later), she mentioned that (Uncle) Michael had just been brewing (not being used in a technical sense) some Elderflower champagne. This struck me as rather intruiging, and after he kindly sent me the recipe, I tried some brewing of my own.


A copy of his recipe:
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To make the elderflower champagne - which by the way is essentially a soft drink (maybe 0.5% alcohol like ginger beer or shop bought shandy) - it is crucial to use imperial measurements.

[There is a separate affair altogether which is elderflower wine (using 2½-3 lb sugar plus yeast and fermenting in demijohn with airlock for several weeks) which can be quite strong; later on if all flowers are not plucked elderberry wine which can be very strong indeed.]

Day 1

Collect 7 heads of elderflowers – cut or snap off the stalk before it divides up into multiple stalks and keep them whole in a loose bag or bucket.  If they are small heads or not all flowering take more.   Ideally they will be dry, fragrant and flowering, sans bugs.  Pick and use – don’t squash them or leave them lying around all day.

Use 1 gallon of clean water.  A clean plastic bucket is probably best for the job.

Take 1¼ lb normal white sugar or caster.  Not brown but pale gold will be OK.  Boil some of the water, say 2 pints, and dissolve the sugar.  Add the cold water.

Wait for the sugar and water solution to reach room temperature. DO NOT ADD THE OTHER INGREDIENTS UNTIL THE WATER IS COOL NM

Add to the liquid:

-       The elderflowers

-       2 tbsp white wine vinegar

-       2 lemons sliced thinly

Cover with a clean cloth and leave in peace 24 hours

Day 2

Use bottles that have had fizzy drinks in them.   Bottles that have had still water in them may not be strong enough.

Strain the liquid through a cloth in a funnel into the bottles.  Leave 2 inches gap at the top.

Screw lids on well.

Leave in a cool place for approximately two weeks.   Longer in cool weather so maybe more like 3 weeks for you!   London heatwave weather does it in 8-10 days.

Test by slightly unscrewing – it should be fizzy like champagne with lots of froth.   If it is not fizzy screw up and wait a few days.   If it is extremely fizzy (and/or you see bottles swelling up) release some pressure and drink it asap!

When it is ready drink it cool within a few weeks – it doesn’t last well although keeping it in the fridge may preserve it by stopping/slowing the fermentation.

Enjoy!

Kind regards

Michael
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I was doing the straining with a tea towel in th bath tub. Funnily enough the towel is printed with information about the making of Cider. Still, it also managed to be useful enough for champagne.


It's now sitting outside the back door, doing a poor job of carbonating.

Ah well, only a first attempt.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Pulling Hair In Despair

Well it's been really quite toasty over here for these last few days.

In a way it makes this sudden frenzy of Latin and Physics revision all the worse: studying at home has never really been a viable course of action (a myriad distractions to be encountered), studying in the inexplicably stifling atmosphere of the library has become oppressive and study outside is now a physical impossibility, unless a person wishes to have their work alternately blown away and trampled over.
Whilst the wet weather has been subdued, the same cannot entirely be said for the wind.

But I just enjoying complaining. Truth be told an unexpected materialization of the sun is nearly always welcome and the main cause behind my mini-rant is that it is likely to vanish again the moment my exams are done (Tuesday, for your information).

And before anyone begins to worry, yes, I am still beavering away ('to beaver'; lovely verb) at the work for the impending exams- the sudden post does not mean a cessation in study but rather is being written as means of a break and an outlet for pent up anxiety (my fingertips are fairly flying over the keyboard. Spellcheck shall have it's work cut out.).

Talking of breaks, there is going to be quite a reasonable one between R.M.P.S finishing on Tues and the end of study leave. I fancy I shall be passed out for most of the time, but if anyone has any interesting plans I am open to suggestions. Hopefully it won't always be quite this sunny, or I'll be a tad screwed for running. Gave it a go a couple of days back and managed maybe twenty minutes... after which I promptly collapsed in a sweaty heap for a couple of hours before I could be peeled off the bed. Though willing to make an effort, I'm far from suicidal.

Anyway, back to work. Pray for me.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Odd Things Found

Strolling around The (Edin)Burgher.






They forgot to tell him you don't eat the skin.

Upstanding citizen turned highwayman. Hmmm....

Poor chap. People were being singularly unhelpful- he's probably still there.


Inspect this seemingly ordinary scene. Please pay particular notice to the windows.


Now inspect closer. Way to relax. Spotted courtesy of P&S. The raised window is looking painfully precarious.


And finally, the Oddest Thing of all. Witness papa's expression.
Copy away, people. He's not going to thank me when this goes viral. 
*evil gleeful grin*

THATS ALL FOR TODAY FOLKS. I'VE A RIGHT TO FEEL LAZY.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Multicoloured Gatsby

Right, seeing as it's exam leave, and technically I'm meant to be doing a spot of revision, I thought I'd kill a couple of birds with the same keyboard and type up my English revision notes for Gatsby.

Obviously a bit different from the stuff I usually find myself writing, but I found that when I was revising for Prelims it really helped to read through other people's notes and essays on the internet, so hopefully this might be useful to someone.
It's just some very basic notes on specific quotes which could be useful to talk about in the exam, linking them back to and showing how they represent parts of the overall text.

N.B. The two videos (both SparkNotes) are different; the first is a summary of Gatsby's life, the second is a summary of the book.

___________________________________________________


GATSBY


Characterisation Arc
(chronologically according to Gatsby's life)

  "...his parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people, his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all.."
  • He views his parents as failures and hopes for greater things.
  • He is dissatisfied with his place in society and does not feel as though he belongs there. Even as a child he tries to 'better himself'; we are shown his list by his father.
  • His parents are representative of the social group he is trying to escape.
  "Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his platonic conception of himself."
  • J. Gatz invented his ideal person, then worked to become that man.
  • Juxtaposition: Jay Gatsby is the opposite of J. Gatz.
  • His aspirations and dreams are the American Dream; to become whoever he wants regardless of his past. On a superficial level, he attains this.
  "This fella's a regular Belasco."
  • Belasco was a film producer renowned for the realism of his sets. This is the first real indication we are given that Gatsby is not who he seems- his home is an elaborate set, and Owl eyes has the insight to realise this.
  • Even though the set and background Gatsby has created is realistic, there is something about it which feels fake. Hence all the rumours circulating about him.
  "Can't repeat the past?... Why of course you can!"
  • We discover that Gatsby's only aim in to win back Daisy.
  • Not only is he out of sync with society, he is out of sync with time itself. He is living in the past and usingit as his source of ideas for his future.
  "...tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther..."
  • Gatsby is trying to run towards his dream. He doesn't realise that it is in the past, behind him.
  • Every day has a "tomorrow". This quote gives the impression that some dreams will never be within our reach, since each day only brings resolve to do better the next, never a conclusion.
  "He was never quite still."
  • Gatsby is restless, within his time, place, position, situation. He was only fully content when he had Daisy. Now that part of her life is shared with Tom, Gatsby cannot fully recreate that contentment, even when he is happy.
  "...he had committed himself to the following of a grail." 
  • He is not in love with Daisy herself, but rather with the social position she represents ("She was the first "nice" girl he had ever known." where "nice" is synonymous with "upper class"). Becasue of the differences in their social standings she is unattainable, his high ideal, therefore comparable with a grail.
  • The Holy Grail was never found. This shows that what Gatsby was attempting to obtain was in fact unobtainable. Due to the attitudes of 'Old Money' towards the 'New Money' trying to encroach on their society, the social barriers of Gatsby's apparently shady background are impossible to overcome.
  ""Jay Gatsby" had broken like glass against Tom's hard malice."
  • I believe that this really is the point at which 'Jay Gatsby' dies. The sole purpose of Gatsby's existence was to win Daisy. Now finally even he realises that she is out of his reach, and he has broken.
  • The only thing left for him is to physcially die, which happens when he is shot by Wilson. 



 Setting
(contrasts & symbolism)

  "This is a valley of ashes- a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat..." (The Valley of Ashes)
  • Ashes are dead and crumbled remains: these are the dead, broken remains of ambitions and hopes.
  • Everything is grey, sick and lifeless.
  • It is both a literal and a social wasteland.
  • Symbolic of the plight of the poor and the failure of the American Dream.
  • Ending up here is the result of financial and social failure (possibly in New York?).
  "...the city seen for the first time, in all it's first wild promise..." (New York)
  •  Symbolises hope: this is meant to be the place where people's dreams, the American Dream, has the potential to be realised. However we learn that the American Dream is hollow and corrupted, since it is now based soley on material wealth and gain.
  • ^ Therefore people such as Nick go to New York to work, selling bonds, which are money, and Meyer Wolfsheim is based here.
  • This quote discribes will have first glimpsed America 'the Land of Promise' as they came over by boat. However few truly found what they were looking for.
  "I lived at West Egg, the- well, the less fashionable of the two," (West Egg)
  • This is where successful 'New Money' are based.
  • ^ As 'New Money' attempt to emulate 'Old Money', so West Egg is a feeble immitation of East Egg.
  • This echoes Gatsby's aspirations to become 'Old Money', but the facade he is playing out is also fakery.
  "...the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water," (East Egg)
  • East Egg is home to all the 'Old Money', the rich, well established families who made their money in the old industrial America.
  • Emphasis is placed on how fashionable East Egg appears as it is viewed from (and therefore in contrast with) West Egg.
  • Fashion is the setting of trends, therefore people endeavor to copy the 'Old Money' families of East Egg.
  • The word "palaces" implies not only glamour, but royalty- East Eggers are the American equivalent of royalty. Just as with royalty, their society is exclusive.
  • Physically, Gatsby is only across the water from East Egg. This demonstrates exactly how frustratingly close he is to his dream. Yet he is still not accepted.
  • He is seperated from where he desires to be by a physical barrier (the water of the bay, the break between the islands), which is symbolic of the non-physical, yet in it's way far more substantial, social barrier.

For other notes, explanations etc., I found this really useful; SparkNotes: Gatsby , and as a very good source for quotes when reading through the entire book isn't really practical; 'The Great Gatsby' Quotes.


I've tried not to rip off any one else's notes, which is quite difficult having read through loads of essays as a way of revising. Ah well, done my best!

Monday, 7 May 2012

In the recent absence of any nice, big, colourful pictures in the blog, I feel that it is necessary now for me to  add one in.

Not the most impressive thing to cook, but one of the tastiest *grins*. Just finished making florentines.


I have also aquired a sudden bug for knitting. And coincidentally suddenly run out of the right sort of wool. Sucks. =/

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Muck-Up Day

The main characteristic of S6 Muck-Up day, is that no-one touches anything.

Naturally each leaving Year at least contemplate attempting something altogether unique and special as their last parting farewell to Knox Academy, however there are some basic traditional practices which simply can't be dispensed with.

Superglue on bannisters
Syrup on doorhandles
Laxative in drinking water
Itching powder on toilet seats
Flower Bombs in corridors

... to name a few.

Consequently, all us hardened veterans of half a dozen leaving years treat survival on this day as a near-military operation. Plastic gloves are obtained as basic necessities, gas masks coveted, and if you're not lucky enough to swiftly make friends with someone living within sprinting distance of the school and don't fancy spending the day squirming in discomfort it's highly unadvisable to drink anything before lunchtime.

Unwary First Years are offered up as easy prey.

Friday, 4 May 2012

WHOA New 'Dashboard' Layout

.... And suddenly I can't find anything. This will take months to get used to...

On the bright side, apparently I now have approximately two thousand more views than I was previously aware of. Most likely the efforts of one enthusiatic clicker during my blogging absence. Or, now I come to think of it, my own handywork; I can well imagine having clicked the 'preview' button a couple of thousand times in my endeavours to maintain aesthetically pleasing standards.

Okay *deep breath*. 

Since I ceased bothering anyone for the past month or so, there is now a backlog of events to be typing about. Sort of hoping that in mentioning them now I can guilt-trip myself into actually writing up the posts (oh the horror). At the moment I find myself having a lot of energy for sleeping, cooking, reading... and not much else. In the interests of changing this some gentle intellectual excersises are being embarked on, such as; resuming some sadly neglected piano practise, refreshing a stagnating knowledge of Italian, an intrepid 'whapping out' and brandishing of paint brushes and of course, writing.

I have some images to accompany the tales of my recent adventures (few and far between).

There has been a spot of Walking (scrambling/falling over). A tad bit of Archaeology (being blown into a trench). A smidgeon of Self-Sacrifice and associated Fear (attending school on S6 'Muck-Up' day). A general Making of Things (pricking myself repeatedly with a needle). And a lot of Complaining (this bit is true).

Incidentally, whilst I think of it I might aswell say that I have booked myself into Edinburgh Uni open day as this was easily enough done http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/undergraduate/visiting/open-days and am just compiling the conclusive list of open day events elsewhere.

A temporary 'Cheerio' from me. P&S and Alisha (henceforth referred to as 'A'; S's mum) are arriving NUNC.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

...And Here's One I Made Earlier.

I was having a 'Baking Period' toward the end of March. I'd picked up a cake book from Oxfam (that's an entire 60p, well spent) so I finally got round to baking a Strawberry Roulade (long time ambition), which was a lot quicker/easier/more successful than I had dared to imagine... and this, a 'Lemon Slice'? I think.


... we'll ignore the big burnt patch at the top... (ignore it!).

Didn't last long. These things never do.



This is on a constant loop on my IPod at the moment. Well, this and Walk Off The Earth 'Gianni's 'Jammin' A Hammock'... they have to be some of the best lyrics ever; "ging-ging-ging-ging-ging-ging-ga-ging-ga, ging-ging-ging-ging-ging-ging-ga-ging..."

Friday, 13 April 2012

Hullo, Papa, Sylwia!

Please remind me to give you A) Your long, long overdue birthday presents, which are still languishing in my 'Give To P&S' draw and B) Sylwia's mother's day present, currently swinging from my doorframe.

I NEED YOUR HELP. Or I shall continue to forget :'(.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Look where I've been...

OF Mice And Men

Last tuesday saw Dodie, Percy, Lyovka and myself pressgang poor Sylwia into a trip to the Lyceum theatre. It had long previously been decided between us that our visits to such cultural venues were become too infrequent, and some action must needs be taken!


Lyovka appears bemused. Nothing new there...

Dodie wrangled us the loveliest seats. First balcony, slap in the middle and for Lyovik, Sylwia and myself, also at the front. The only problem came in the form of peril faced by those seated below, in the very probable scenario that I uppend the ice cream balanced a tad precariously on the ledge...


This my real reason for attendance. I have priorities.

Pebles

Over the past few weeks I have been terrorising Scottish natives by turning up unexpectedly all over the place, under the pretence of the fabulous pursuit which is Rambling. This Sunday my attention was turned on 'Pebles & Surrounding Area'.

They had no warning. There was nowhere to run.


Roughly 30 miles away (or so I'm told), we were so high we could spy Edinburgh. And through a gap in the hills, across to Fife and the Lomond hills we scaled the previous week. The ascent was 680 metres. Oddly enough, I really feel it for the first 5 or so minutes, but after that it's mostly almost like walking over level ground. Our route took us all along a horseshoe-shaped ridge. I had prepacked cheese and tomato sandwiches. They were yummy.

Good thing I had prepacked them, actually. So Sunday was mother's day, therefore I reckoned I would get up niiiiiiiiice and early, in order to prepare everything and not have to rush. I had nearly, nearly been late to the Ramblers the week before, and was not planning to repeat this!
From the 'Trail' guide for Ramblers, I read the previous night 'B Walk... blah blah... 9.00am... blah...' Ok. It seemed reasonable to set the alarm for 8.20.

The following morning:
*Smiling unconcernedly, gets up, stretches, yawns, etc.* 
"I know. I'll just double check the booklet, see that I haven't missed anything...."
Booklet: 'B Walk... blah blah... 8.30am... bl-'
"NOOOOOO!"

I made it.

On time.

____________________________________________________

In Further News...

Following my epic excursion (which I began to appreciate properly after recovery from my nasty shock that morning), I hitched a lift into The Burgher from a kind (and very patient) fellow Rambler. I proceeded to terrorise P&S (or did they terrorise me? This does get awfully complicated.) for a number of hours.

As a unit we all decided to terrorise a studio, which worked well, since it meant that I could stop worrying about which of us were suppose to be the terrorise-(ors?ers?ists?) and terrorise-ees due to us all being able to terrorise an innocent third party together... but I digress.

There was a reason behind the madness this time being that Sylwia, in her capacity as a photographer, perhaps understandably seemed to fancy a spot of photography. I was to be a guinea pig. Or hamster, if you like.


Now if that doesn't look threatening to you, I don't know what does.

Then again, it could possibly be this. Whenever Papa looks this happy, you can be certain that something singularly terrible is going down.


... and finally a photo of myself, looking just as angelic as ever (although the halo does tend to help a bit).

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Rambling

I've started going, well rambling, with the local Ramblers (walking) group every sunday. It's great stuff- previously, all my solitary rambling  has been pretty much confined to Haddington -which is not a little limiting- however having tagged along for a mere three weeks already I've got to see some amazing places I didn't even know existed. It's really great finding out about all these little, obscure, beautiful places roundabout.

This sunday I went on my first 'A' walk (in the Northberwick/Haddington group they're graded 'A' down to 'C'), so I admit to having been a tad apprehensive; having been along on the 'B' and 'C' walks (not picky, I just take whatever's going) I'd heard a lot about how the 'A's were much further, steeper, faster and -oh the horror!- with fewer tea/coffee stops. Also not helping my confidence was the fact that it seemed everybody going along on the walk were those people who had clambered over most of the Monroes an odd dozen times...

We headed for Fife and the Lomond hills. This is a terrible quality map, but really the best I could find- ignore the blue line, nothing to do with me. T'was really great , the other ramblers are a wonderful lot, the walk was incredibly exhilarating and oh so beautiful... even the more developed sections such as the reservoirs we passed towards the end were really quite something.



A funny thing was the number of gliders we spotted. Especially at the top of the hills (West Lomond particularly) they would really creep up on us. Their being so silent, you could turn around and find one... gliding... not fifty metres away. We saw them getting towed up by small planes aswell. Tell you something it looked not a bit fun; that's something else to try now...


That's the view from the top of West Lomond. You could see all the way to Dundee. Really quite breezy though- fortunate that we were coming up the west side of the hill at the top because we were practically blown up the entire way. Falling backwards was not an issue.

Something I think Sylwia will like specifically (but am unable to put up on twitter) is a wee video I took. One of the ladies (my ride) brought Zoe along. Meet Zoe:


'Tis a bit shaky, I know, sorry. Having quite a time clambering along at a speed and trying to keep the camera aimed in roughly the right direction. But I think you get the general picture. It was so funny watching Zoe bouncing over the bracken.

One of the best pictures I got was near the end of the ramble when we passed Drumain reservoir. I took a couple of angles on this, but reckon this is the best.



I haven't changed the image at all. It was such a beautiful day (if a tad breezy at points), that all these amazing colours were right there naturally.

N.B. That in the background is West Lomond.
I don't think this was even the most beautiful part. Quite difficult to tell from the photo I reckon, but it's only little. Ten minutes after this we entered a small wood which has to be one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been.

I've been trying to think where it reminds me of, and just realized that it looks awfully like the description of Mirkwood in 'The Hobbit'! We didn't find any wood elves... ='(

Unfortunately though I couldn't halt long enough to take a really proper photo and the light wasn't always great for the camera. Still this photo reminds me oddly of a tapestry of a forest hanging in the Datcha (Babushka's house), so I quite like it. The only thing missing is a bear.


I do intend on going back.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

New Library

It's opening tomorrow (that's the John Gray Centre). Rosie and I happened to be passing so I waved in at a librarian I know. A minute later she pops out of a side doot and invited us to take a shufti! First 'members of the public' *proud*.

I have pictures!



All new books apparently. There are absolutely tons; it's quite a bit more extensive than the old library (though that was nice too). Which reminds me, I have some books out at the moment; maybe I'll be able to keep them?... Possibly not.


And there are lots and lots of comfy chairs and stuff too! A coffee/hot chocolate machine! They're gonna make a fortune off me... And opening every day of the week- I don't think I'll ever leave.

Wow, heading for geek overload.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

One Year Down

On the 6th of March.... Exactly one year ago... I began terrorising people via the Internet.

In other words, This blog is now a year old!

Yaaaay. Woohoo. Woop.

I think that's all there is really to be said on the matter. Along with my sincere apologies for dragging it out this long.

... I shall leave you in the very capable hands of these cool singing Aliens.


In case you wish to sing along, here are the words *winks*:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear *awkward silence*...
Happy Birthday to you!

... I'm nothing if not thorough.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sabotage!

Right, well this year I've convinced myself to make some sort of sacrifice for lent- not because of any sudden religious impulse, but rather in solidarity with Bethie who each year appears to be suffering alone for a solid forty days.

Admittedly I'm not prepared to go to quite the lengths which she is. My self-denial will be that of chocolate, whereas Beth is abstaining from chocolate, sweets, in short practically everything except sponge cake. As I don't really eat sweets anyway giving them up seems a tad pointless and also deprive me of anything on which to binge in the case of an emergency.

Now roughly a week and a half in and I have been pushed to the edge of endurance. With no chocolate around my task is really quite easy, however people have been attempting to sabotage me right from the off.

____________________________________________________

Wednesday (Day 1)
Percy and Dodie buy a Thorntons Chocolate cake. I am under the misconception that Lent does not being until tomorrow. It does not end well.

However since this is clearly the fault of Lent for starting before I was aware of it, I'm studiously ignoring this small discrepancy.
In short, it doesn't count.

Saturday (Day 4)
Percy buys a packet of Revels. I immediately exit the house, insisting that they be gone when I return. No fear on that score.

Wednesday (Day 8)
I return home from school absolutely knackered, only to find that Dodie has saved me a blindingly gorgeous chocolate chip cookie. I go to eat it, then realisation hits. Hard.

Sunday (Day 12)
Having walked c. 7 1/2 miles with the Ramblers I come in truly desperate. Dodie offers me the chocolate cake she has just baked, which Lyovka and some friends are halfway through consuming. I point out my problem. "Okay then, well have some Celebrations instead. Oh...". Yep 'Oh'.
I substitute with a scone. I am envied by no-one.

____________________________________________________


Despite this I am resolutely holding firm. Only 28 more days....

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Fantasia

My new piano piece. As of today.


Very much looking forward to all the scales, but some of the stretches going quite hard on my hands at the moment. Ouch =(
I must say though, I enjoy tryng to play it slightly more vigorously than whoever is doing so here.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Taking Advantage

I'm very busy taking advantage of all the music concerts in the Town Hall on a saturday. The notice makes me gleeful;

"Insert Composer Name"
"tickets £12"
"students free"

Students free? That means meeeeeeee! =D Who would have thought, it would seem that school does have it's uses after all...


...all for now.

Monday, 27 February 2012

I Have A Big Fat Guilty Feeling =S

Several people have pointed out recently that I have rather neglected my blogging lately.

I have, of course, been painfully aware of this for the last oh... approximately two months- it's just taken me this long to actually do anything about it. To Babushka particularly, I'm so very very sorry (although admittedly quite pleased to have been missed *grins*).
In my defence, I have been pretty knackered from a spot of rather intense revision (blatant exaggeration! She's just lazy ;) )- and also I have noticed that, the more there is happening, the less I tend to write. There is a direct negative correlation (woo maths!) between the two, and rather a lot has been happening.

Item One:
I am not going to be able to settle down to write anything else until I have introduced everyone to the song Lyovik just told me about (it's currently playing on 'loop'- has been for about two hours, and probably will be for the next two).


As the title rather suggests, it's a cover- but if anything I prefer it to the original although both videos are really quite quirky and amazing I think I like the voice of the first chap singing to the one in the original song, and the second chap singing in the video creates quite a nice contrast and the girl has a lovely voice... basically they're all amazing. I'll shut up about it now and let you listen yourselves.

Item Two:
Okay, everything I'm saying is already in a very random order (in other words, no order), so imma just gonna go with it and mention anything that pops into my head as it does so. Aaaaahhhh, the death of chronology. Oh well.

Rosie has (finally!!! ;) ) mailed some of the photkis from the second to last (the last being this friday) Gig we went along to at the Bridge Centre. It was pretty awesome stuff.


A lot of hat swapping/stealing/confiscation/appropriation going on. N.B. For most of the evening I only wore one (not mine. No idea where that went.) at a time. This was a bit of a high point.


I'm the lion on the bottom. Lion having a seat would be Lex (Alexa, Lexie). We work together to be tall!

The music is something great, most of the bands are people from Knox (Academy), able to start playing because of the Bridge Centre and getting quite far. Diamond Rush were the opening band on friday, playing both their own music (ex Knox pupils and progressing hugely every time I ear them... just remembering when they were in 4th year), and Sweet Home Alabama to finish, which is always good.

Item Three:
What else? Well, I joined the Ramblers ('walking charity') for a casual 8 mile stroll up and down a couple of hills yesterday. This is a first, one I've enjoyed so much I'm looking forward to another next sunday! I suppose it kinda goes with the running, only you have more breath to chat. Not that I'm ever short of that... (people will testify).

Being the numpty that I am, I intended to bring a camera but naturally forgot it. In the immortal words of Homer (Simpson); "Doh!".

I also had the best-ever-in-the-entire-world-during-the-history-of-man assorted green-stuff sandwich.
I made it.
I didn't photograph that either. ='(

... (It's gone now *sobs*).

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I Love Getting Mail...


...but this for two contact lenses? Seriously? Someone is taking the mickey.

Overkill doesn't quite cover it.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Detox

Strangely enough this holiday is leaving me utterly shattered. Not entirely sure that this is the general intended effect of holidays, but hey-ho.

So, I have taken it upon myself to embark on a pre-Prelim detox.

This involves;

~ Up early, bed early. Pretty basic stuff here- but perhaps not so easy to maintain... Particularly if you happen to be a budding insomniac- but we'll see how it goes!
~ Tea. Lotsandlotsandlots of tea. Non-icky-milky-tea, mind. For the next couple of however-long, I'm making it my business to binge excessively on tea and water.
~ Reading (plenty of): again something which proves a difficulty to keep up amidst homework, exams, etc., etc., etc., yet necessary to my mental wellbeing (what's left of it). Note To Self; Physics notes don't count.
~ Oranges, apples, kiwis, bananas, grapefruit, pears, peaches, blueberries, plums, mangoes, strawberries, pineapples, sharons, raspberries, grapes....
... broccoli, carrots, watercress, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, sprouts, aubergine, radishes, beetroots, lettuce, parsnips, swede... mmm 'nuff said.

~ Regular running (aspire to twice a week every week and not just sporadically).
~ Piano/Guitar practice (more of!). I get bouts of this, then drop off a bit. A habit I would like to change.

I'm starting by re-reading 'This Is All- The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn'. It's a tick against the reading box, and never fails to get me in the mood for actually doing stuff.

Need a room/wardrobe clearout, chucking out unwanted things and rearranging everything else. An Ipod clearout is also necessary- times and tastes have changed! Needs refreshing.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Tuesday, 3 January 2012