26 January 2016

My Lecture Smacked Me In The Face

I had a real smack-in-the-face moment today.

Over here in at uni in t'North West, I study a module on language in the media and the title of this afternoon's lecture was 'Blogs'.
Towards the end, my lecturer read out the following 'prototypical quality of blogs':

"Many become inactive owing to the pressure of constant maintenance"

Aaaaaaaaaaand consequently for the last ten minutes of the presentation I couldn't think about anything else other than logging back into Blogger and getting back on the horse. THE BLOGGING HORSE.

I imagine it's rather like this
Yes, I have stuff to do and write and read and file and highlight and sign and tie pom-poms to but doesn't everybody?!?!?!? (okay maybe not the last one, you're excused) (but seriously they do improve everything)
I need to blog to make sure all the cool/weird/wonderful things I'm thinking up in my braingarden go somewhere where I can find them again in times of need. I can't be the only one who got/got bought a diary and wrote incessantly in it for three days and then forgot about it and ended up buying a brand new one because it had a nice sheen to it and a pagefinder thingy and occasional inspirational quotes and then lost that one and the cycle continued on until this very day.
One thing I have kept up is my little jar of good things which I've been keeping since mid-December. Every night (or most often, absurdly early morning) I climb into bed and write down something good that happened that day. When the page (very ironically, OF MY DIARY) gets full, I cut up my papery good things and pop them into the jar. I recall seeing this on the interwebs somewhere and I thought it would be a really nice idea. Might need a bigger jar though if I'm going to keep this up for an entire year! What I like about this challenge as opposed to writing a diary is that it barely takes up any time and simultaneously makes me appreciate my life more. Also because it's a GOOD things jar full of tiny squares of paper, I can't dwell on any negativity or write pages and pages of worries and nonsense (I used to do this in my diary and got so caught up on things I felt très poopoo).

So oui oui, mes amis, I have returned and this time I shall remain vigilant in my quest to blog my way to the top of the blogging mountain upon which there is a pool of a silver oat-based smoothie which they say contains a smidgen of the secret fruit of longevity.

I have had a lot of coffee.

Images: via via

15 December 2015

Questions I Have For This Week

Every month, every week, every day of my life I have questions. Questions that are maybe not important to everybody but are to me. This week's questions have already started emerging and I want to know the answers:

  • How is it that it takes me one hour to dust and hoover the entire house yet two hours for me to write a mere 400 words? 
  • Who invented the word 'procrastination'? (research could be a worthy form of the word itself)
  • Where did the snake go in last week's episode of Peep Show? (this question was born immediately after I watched it and still stands)
  • What are all the alive turkeys thinking at Christmas time?
  • Will I ever be as cool as Tavi Gevinson? Or Iris Apfel?
    those shoes though. oh, and EVERYTHING ELSE
  • Will there ever be a time when the price of a ladies' haircut costs less than 27 things from Poundland?
  • Am I 10% Brie yet?
  • Does Will Ferrell actually like the colour burgundy?
  • Who came up with Marmite rice cakes? Can I marry them?
  • What colour am I going to dye my hair for Christmas? (ok this very much relies on just me)
Questions, people. QUESTIONS. I wrote that last sentence in French but you can't tell because it's spelled the same. And I missed out 'les'.


Images via via  via  via  via  via

02 December 2015

3 Reasons Why... student radio is so good

Anyone who's got me on Facebook/Twitter and reads what I post on there will know that I have my own show on my university's student radio (Bailrigg FM). I thought I'd make a snazzy 'lil list of 3 main reasons why it's such a fab thing to do if/when you get the chance, so here they are *DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLLL*:

  1. You can play WHATEVER songs you want. (I would follow this with WHENEVER you want, but you do usually have a timeslot, so 'whenever' applies to an hour or so okthxbye)
    Yes. This is not some pre-drinks party where people sip from cans opposite you, constantly judging your musical taste and waiting for the 'acceptable' 1 minute mark before they can wail "THIS IS **** GIV' IT 'ERE I'LL PUT SOMETHIN' DECENT ON." Oh no. This is your time, you can play out your music to people across campus (maybe even town) and no-one can stop your personal playlist of greatness. As long as this playlist has no/bleeped-out swearing involved. Like Megadeth? Play that. Like Kelly Rowland circa 2002? Play that. Think 1930s dance music is the absolute tippity-top? Guess what.
  2. It helps you organise yourself... and learn the art of spontaneity.
    Sometimes your free time comes along in abundance. Other times, it feels like you barely have enough minutes in the day to relax, even just a little bit. Due to this rather common palaver, a student radio show is either planned and ready, or going to be a little bit like when you have no access to a recipe and you don't really know what ingredients you want and you just throw it all in a bowl and mix it around and cook it. Usually turns out edible though.
    The fact is that student radio doesn't have to be perfect - in fact, some of its best moments are unplanned and it's good practise for having a good go at something you're not totally prepared for. You could even put it as a skill on your CV saying something like "I'm great at turning situations around and adapting to issues". Yeah.
    The majority of people who go on student radio l-o-v-e music, most likely l-o-v-e talking about music & all of them are students. There you have it: BOOM, instant things in common = conversation starters. Of course, there are often a lot of people contributing to one student station so you won't be able to get to know everyone (we're all human in the end). But, potential friends are always a good thing and chilling out in a radio station full of awesome people passionate for tunes/the tech/radio banter is too.
Oh and of course, you get experience in the media and don't have to be all serious about it (but that's a given with student-esque radio).

In conclusion, it is g-r-e-a-t. Try it out if you get the chance.

 Images via via via

10 October 2015

54 Thoughts I Had Watching GBBO - The Final!

  1. Mel and Sue, I would say get on the Glastonbury train but you're literally IN BAKE OFF, the biggest (most competitive and highly-watched baking) party in town.
  2. THEME TUUUUUNE. Is it sad that I'm going to miss bopping along to that.
  3. Answering myself: no. No it is not sad, it is perfectly reasonable.
  4. Flashback clips not helping me cope with this being the final episode. Update if you've not caught up but you're keen to just know about the final: it's Ian vs Nadiya vs Tamal.
  5. "Just cooking another thing." Most likely in Ian's case (not taking various slip-ups into account), this 'thing' will be incredibly creative, innovative and generally just flipping brilliant.
  6. Challenge numero uno: Iced Buns. Absolutely classic bake, chaps.
  7. Tamal's chosen flavours sound simple yet perfect. Kind of like his lavender t-shirt.
  8. OH he's knocked over all the weird kitchen tongs! Nadiya now asserting her babe status by helping him pick them up.
  9. Now Ian's flavours sound good! Elderflower and lemon, apple and cranberry - honestly I don't even like cream cakes but I would buy all of these.
  10. Mary on top jacket form, I see. "Just because it's the final, it doesn't mean you can turn down the stylometer," said Mary Berry never.
  11. Tamal! Do not panic about not flavouring your doughs. Be yourself, dude. Make those doughs personal and true to YOURSELF 
  12. Nadiya's heading away from what's expected by making round buns and Paul just can't resist the doubtful look. You know - the one where he tries to make you get lost in his oceanic eyes and to question yourself as to why you can't escape them even after he's left your cooking station.
  13. Choppin' up dem clementiiiiiiiiiiiiiiines.
  14. Sue can we hang out please?
  15. My crème pat don't. My crème pat don't. My crème pat don't want none unless you got iced buns.
  16. Challenge 1/3 done! *tense string music*
  17. Ian didn't have enough sugar...yikes.
  18. That challenge was a weird one.
  19. "Tech Chall". Milles feuilles! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes oui si.
  20. So much pastry knowledge flying around.
  21. Bake Off aren't even telling them what the sugar syrup's for?!?! 
  22. "Half an hour left," says Mel.
  23. "I can't even do Key Stage 1 Maths." But it's alright, Nadiya, because you've made milles feuilles.
  24. Judging time! Tamal hasn't done so well this time round.
  25. Ian's syrup was not thick enough apparently. Pastry isn't done either!! Nadiya - please save the day you wonderful being.
  26. YES YOU HAVE! Wooooooo. First in the tech-ni-caaal *dances with lots of arm movements*
  27. Challenge 3/3 - a classic British cake. C'mon guys, get dat cake on.
  28. Hopefully the rain isn't pathetic fallacy (getting my GCSE English knowledge in here).
  29. Ian's making a 5-tiered carrot cake, while Tamal and Nadiya are make a cake of three tiers.
  30. Paul's face when Ian announced that his final bake is called "Ian's Colossal Curvy Carrot Cake" is a golden moment of the series.
  31. Ok Ian's kids are sooooooo cute. And the state of his kitchen makes me feel super alright with the state that ours sometimes gets into.
  32. AWH NADIYA. Making her own fondant for her lemon wedding cake. A wedding cake, guys. I can feel an overwhelming cuteness coming on.
  33. That was close, Ian. Maybe not a great idea to drop your cake layers.
  34. And he forgot to put the oranges in! Argh!
  35. The more I watch this show, the more 'Going to the Bake Off Picnic' emerges on my bucket list. Which either means that someone I know needs to apply or I do. Hahahahha, yeah right.
  36. Half an hour to go and Tamal is incredibly nervous.
  37. I wonder if they have any music on in the tent.
  38. Aw Ian's tearing up! Bless him.
  39. WHAT. Tamal, what are the physics of your cake. Seriously.
  40. Oh. My. Royal. Poop. Nads' cake looks like heaven.
  41. Tamal did amazing as well.
  42. So did Ian! Woah, really thought he'd messed up somehow because of how anxious he looked.
  43. Is there any way of requesting delivery of these cakes...to my own house?
  44. All out in the garden now! With beautiful flowers.
  46. ...............I cried.
  47. But so did Mary Berry so it's fine.
    and this one's a tough cookie
  48. Now the people progress section at the end of the programme.
  49. RNM had a baby!!
  50. Flora's doing History of Art and Maths. YESSSS.
  51. Ian made the Dalai Lama a birthday cake, say what.
  52. Tamal's kicking baking and medical butt.
  53. Lychee cheesecake? Yes please, Nads.
  54. And that's the end. Until next year!

05 October 2015

My Sunday

I spent today at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, hanging out with a friend, the cold sea air, rollercoasters and some delightfully greasy food. I spent the evening hanging out with other friends, drinking cider & black and answering quiz questions I knew approximately 5% of the answers to. I spent the last hour researching which books I need to read for my first term modules, the last half hour making a list of things I need to do tomorrow and socials/events I need to attend this week in order to be a well-rounded social human and the last ten minutes watching the first ten minutes of About Time, which has just popped up on Netflix. Thank you, Netflix.

This week, according to my overly-Sharpied calendar, I'm busy. Reaaaal busy. But busy is good, right? For so many weeks now I've been floating around and doing some well-deserved chilling out but now I can deal with busy. Today tired me out to the absolute max so after a good old lie in, I'll get on with my things to do. Mind-splurge over.

02 October 2015

52 Thoughts I Had Watching GBBO - The Semi-Final

  1. Semi-final. SEMI-FINAL. "Let's get the semis on." - Sue Perkins, 2015.
  2. Tamal vs Nadiya vs Flora vs Ian. Let the baking games begin.
    Knew I'd find a cheesy picture at some point
  3. I did not know it was chocolate week. There has never been a worse time to not have chocolate in the house.
  4. Mel saying "chocolate" is my favourite thing from September.
  5. Challenge Uno (signature bake): chocolate tart. I've never made one of these before, maybe because I prefer to eat an entire large bar of Cadbury's.
    *drools uncontrollably*
  6. Tamal + praline = heaven in a tent.
  8. Nadiya's tart plan sounds t-o  d-i-e  f-o-r. In fact, she just received the Mary Berry Wink of Approval.
  9. Sarah's sat next to me and she's not sure about Ian's bay leaves. It does sound like an odd idea, but Ian has proved himself to be a bona fide genius so I have faith.
  10. *applauds Flora for sticking to her over-complicated ways*
  11. *applauds Flora for sticking to her freeze-everything-in-the-freezer technique*
  12. I find Paul scary too, Nadiya. But in a more ridiculously-blue-eyed way, and less in a judge-y way.
  13. TART TIME IS UP. Says Mel (sorry Mel, I stole your line).
  14. Tamal's tart is top Instagram material.
  15. Yaaaaaaay! Paul likes it!
  16. Drat, Ian. The bay leaves didn't work. Am actually excited about Ian potentially not winning now, though.
  17. Nadiya kicking butt once again. Paul Hollywood handshake received. You heard.
    Nads nerding out about that handshake. Probs. Maybe.
  18. Flora, those macaroons are as pretty as a very pretty thing.
  19. BUT PAUL DOESN'T LIKE THEM, arrrrrrr. Oh gosh. This is unnerving.
  20. Oh lord what is going on now?! Flora is making a chocolate soufflé on her own in the tent. So that's Challenge numero dos. And they all have different starting times.
  21. She's never made a souffle. OH POO. Why are they so mean.
  22. Ian's face. Ahahahahah. 1 hour and 15 minutes too. I used to envy these people and now I really reeeeeeeeally do not.
  23. Crème pat sounds like the French version of this guy: 
  24. Tamal's in last. Ok - they're all in the tent. Nobody has ever made a soufflé before. GUYS.
  25. Nadiya having a slight breakdown. All thanks to Mel pointing out the paperclips.
  26. Let the blind tasting commence. Flora's up first. She did guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurd.
  27. Ian also did ok. Not as good as Flora though.
  28. Nadiya, no! It didn't work! How has Flora never made one and yet it's perfect?! Only conclusion I can come to is that she's a magician.
  30. The results: Nads in 4th. Ian in 3rd (say what). Tamal the babe in 2nd. Aaaaaand as predicted, Flora in 1st!
  31. Right - Nadiya almost made me cry. 10 seconds of her tearing up was more effective than the entire of Titanic in terms of tear production.
    SO SAD
  32. Challenge numero tres: anything with white chocolate in.
  33. Tamal's making a bell tower. Out of chocolate and biscuits. Can this guy get any more perfect.
    Just found this - yes, yes he can
  34. Flora's making a carousel with chocolate dorses (dog horses).
  35. I can sense Nadiya's nerves from our lounge.
  36. Extremely excited for the peacock. The chocolate kind. Just to clarify.
  37. Yeah - I can't remember what Ian's making. I'll try and work it out from what he's saying and get back to you.
  38. Nadiya's blue/green tail feathers are my favourite colours of all time. I think my eyes just exploded with delight.
  39. 100 feathers, yes, but who wants a chocolate quail when you can have a peacock. Exactly.
  40. Ok, Ian's making something round. This doesn't help me massively, as that's the general shape of all cakes.
  41. RUN SUE RUN!!!!!!! There's an edible carousel disaster at the back of the tent.
  42. Done. Over. Vamoosh. Smoosh. Ploosh. etc
  43. Tamal. Yes.
  44. So I take it back. Ian has made something quite amazing. "Is there enough chocolate work?" says Paul. "HE MADE A BL**DY WELL," says Sarah. Sadly the show is neither live nor interactive. 

  45. Argh, Paul and Mary can taste rising agent in Flora's bake. Aaaaaaaaaaand it's fallen down.
  46. Awwwwwwwww Nadiyaaaaaaaaaaa. The peacock looks so cool.
  47. IT TASTES GOOD. IT LOOKS GOOD. YESSSSSSSSSS. Nadiya can't leave now surely.
  48. Now it's the strangely intimate meeting between P, MB, MG & SP.
  49. Ian vs. Flora for the bottom two.
  50. YAY NADIYA! Star baker!!! I'm so proud :D
  51. And Flora's gone. It's sad, but not as sad as it would have been if Nads had left.
  52. There's no preview of the final. How can we prepare?!
Images via via via via via via via via via & last but not least via

29 September 2015

Dryathlon Days 26 - 28

YESTERDAY WAS HARD GUYS. Super tricky. I actually found myself at a bar contemplating whether or not to get a drink because the atmosphere was the exact type of atmosphere I thought one needed to be inebriated for. Why? Because it's now the one week in the year where everyone at uni drinks about 3 times as much as they did throughout the whole summer: Fresher's Week.

Luckily, I possessed enough willpower to say no to the fishbowls and yes to several OJ & lemonades. Huzzah! After all, only two days to go now.

Something I noticed is that when you're in a club full of drunk people dancing crazily and you're sober, you can dance as crazy as you like and no-one will bat an eyelid because, for the most part, everyone seems to assume that everyone else is on the same level as them. This means that you can break out all of these moves repeatedly to your heart's content:

Even this one I found in the depths of the Internet:

In fact, the more moves you have the better.
I'm writing this on Tuesday evening (tonight is 'The Big Night Out' and it's still September! Argh!). This will be the last night I cannot drink at all (I plan to possibly go out on Wednesday and drink post-midnight). So yes, the last night, yet I believe it will be the toughest of all. I'm determined to get through this. Any last few days/minutes donations would be incredibly fabulous of you: https://www.justgiving.com/soberRaz-2015/

Another thing happening in my life is that I've decided, in order to get more veggies into my diet, to be vegan 3 days a week. Monday - Wednesday. As today is Tuesday, I'm on my second vegan day and it's actually quite fun making meals. F-U-N I tell ya. I've been having almond milk on my Weetabix with banana for breakfast, fruit and nuts and vegan chocolate for snacks, little chocolate soya drink cartons, Doritos Chilli Heatwave (totally vegan!), and Party Rings (also totally vegan!). Last night for tea, I made vegan 'meat'balls & spaghetti following Wholefoods' recipe (which I found a link to on KimmiKillZombie's blog). The 'meat'balls were interesting - quite crunchy, but they were super healthy (made from ingredients including pulsed sunflower seeds, black beans, baby spinach, onion, and garlic) and made me feel good, which is the main thing:

all baked and ready to be spaghetti-d
I had these with Sainsbury's spaghetti (the cheapest own brand version) and tomato & basil pasta sauce:
 I did however have to use my blender, which resulted in a lot of washing-up:

Today, after super-rad vegan cereal times at the hour of 2pm (I was tired ok), I made a sandwich filling. A vegan one at that - mashed chickpea salad....

.... and I wacked it in-between two slices of bread smothered with Vitalite (vegan butter, available at all supermarkets hidden in the butter section). Tonight, I was planning to make vegan spag bol, but seeing as it's now 7pm and I want to get ready to par-tay, I may just craft a meal that doesn't require peeling potatoes. Honestly, it takes me hours.

Rhi x

Images via via via via via via via