Friday, 27 April 2012

I would stay and chat, but I moustache...

So this is what I've been up to for the past few weeks, among moving back into university and getting back into work, preparing for our college arts week! I am so damn excited about it (my job is producing a play and hosting a Mods and Rockers after-party, so much watching of Rookie's tutorials has been happening)Our logo is a moustache, which has been so much fun to work into everything! And one of the amazing committee people has put together this trailer. I am so in awe of people who can do that, and this is a thing of beauty. And therefore is a joy forever.
Oh and the feet in the puddle? That would be me..

If you are in England, and can get to Oxford fairly easily, have a glance at what we've got on! I'll be ambling round with a huge grin and a camera most probably.

More Washington and New York to come, I promise

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Damsels in DC: Blissful bookshops...

I don't quite know why all my posts require alliteration at the moment, but they do. You could not take two rather geek-loving literature students on any holiday without expecting some bookshop trawling. Armed with some insider advice, we went a'hunting. And were not disappointed, there were so so many little independent or secondhand shops everywhere(although we did also have to go into a Barnes and Noble)Here's some of our favourites...enjoy!

Day One - Kramerbooks
We somehow managed to be staying literally a minute away from this one, bookshop and cafe by day, bookshop and bar by night. We never ate here, but went in there several times to browse and the shope design just made me happy 


 On the first day we also ran into a brilliant basement secondhand bookshop near the crossing of Wisconsin/Resevoir Avenues (?) just called USED BOOKS. Sadly I didn't get any photos in there, it seemed like an Aladdin's Cave, and a mysterious place...Next time.

Day Four - Capitol Hill Books
I've seen some packed bookshops in my time (Moss books in Cheltenham for example) but this was insane. Every nook was crammed with things, and what was even more amazing was the fact it was actually in alphabetical author and genre order. Very impressive.

 Day Nine - Politics and Prose 
A real thinker's scene this one, there was a rather intense political talk going on when we went in, so me and my friend went searching for literary wonders (there are many, MANY, photos of us with our favourite finds, but I won't bore you even more with them) instead of paying attention to that. You had to talk a busride a bit out of the centre to get here, but it was obviously well known and well worth it. Especially for the pizza and pingpong that followed. But that's a tale for another day. 

So I said I wouldn't post a photo of a book...but we were so excited to find the book of one of my favourite procrastinatory sites ever Hark a Vagrant which I've never come across before in print. Brilliant.

Sorry for the long post and poorly aligned photos. Happy Easter to all! And many commiserations to the poor rowers today, what a crazy race!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring Adventures #1 : Damsels in DC...

Part of the reason I didn't fill the first few weeks of my holiday with manic procrastinatory blogging and flickr-ing is because I was swiflty jetted off to spend 10 amazing days in Washington DC to stay with my lovely friend Rachel and a few of her relatives. I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to go, the weather was beautiful and it's an incredible city full of art and books and cakeshops and history and everything that I enjoy. We spent the first few days just wandering the city to get to know it a bit rather than heading straight for the sights. And so glad I did as it is such a gorgeous place! We both fell in love I think. Doing homage to the holiday requires a fair few posts, so I apologise in advance, but here is Blackberry Horse's 'Best of DC'

Although this took place on the 6th day of our trip, I feel like I have to start with our tour of the Cherry Blossom round the Tidal Basin, as this is apparently a big deal. Due to the unseasonably good weather (hurrah!) it was all out early on Sunday. It was packed by late afternoon, but it was lovely to see families (and the odd politician) enjoying the sunshine and the trees. 

Friday, 30 March 2012

Welcome back Brownies?

It has, again, been a while. But in the interim, I promise I have been doing exciting things, and so hopefully will once again fill this blog with photos and thoughts, rather than leaving it to the silent wastes of termtime. Before I launch into that though, here's finally a recipe! Hurrah! This was one that I adapted for a student newspaper feature I did last term, so if you've seen it, many profound apologies...but look again, because these are goooood.

Dark Chocolate Brownies
These are adapted slightly from my sister’s recipe, and are thick, dark, dense and rather gorgeous. Perfect warm with berries and cream, or munched on cheekily straight from the tin. Obviously try to buy good dark chocolate, but I’ve made these with half 70% and half Tesco value plain chocolate and can’t complain of the result. Also if the mixture seems a strangely gloopy one, do not worry

200g dark chocolate
250g butter
100g plain flour
80g hot chocolate powder, mine was slightly raspberry flavoured because that’s what I happened to have around and it was lovely! (or cocoa powder if you’ve remembered to buy any, and increase the sugar a bit to taste)
100g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs

Preheat your oven to 180º (or 160 º for a fan oven) and grease or line a baking tin
Break the chocolate into a bowl with the butter and microwave on 30 second bursts, stirring in between each, until all melted together.
Add the flour and cocoa powder gradually and mix in, then the sugars. Sprinkle the baking powder over and give that a good mix as well.
Crack eggs in one at a time and mix in till you have a viscous thick chocolate-y mess (feel free to add in any nuts, fruit, chocolate chips in here)
Gloop the aforementioned mess into your baking tin and bake for around half an hour, until cooked but still a bit gooey. Keep an eye on it, the top does catch quite easily, but this has yet to be a major problem to the taste! Leave the brownie to cool completely in the tin, or as long as you can bear not to eat it. Enjoy! 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A rose on any other day....

So my university is having our Valentine's party tonight (cue lots of silver facepaint for our little gang's Wizard of Oz costumes) and I was still in a work haze on today is the new Valentines, enjoy! The rose was a lovely little gift from a good friend, and has been cheering me through the week. Hope everyone's feeling simply marvellous, keep an eye out for more snow photos (and recipes!) soon. Love to you all! <3

Sunday, 12 February 2012

No business like Snow business...

That title took me a while, so hope you appreciate it. 
It has been a fair week or two since my last post, so I do apologise. Also this isn't the recipe post I'd promised myself either; so apologies for that too! Somehow, the weather has taken a decidedly wintery turn this week. Not so good for getting anywhere (read: out of bed) but lovely if you want to take some time out your weekend and go on a morning photo walk, as I did last sunday, or an afternoon photo walk, as I did yesterday. No wonder I'm getting no work done...the snow cleared up a bit in between and is mostly gone now, but I have some lovely snow picture to share. Far too many in fact. Here's a few, and some more instants, but no doubt there'll be another post or two. In the meantime, there's more on Flickr for you to peruse at your leisure. Have a wonderful, hopefully warmer, week!

Christchurch Meadows
Wintery walk, Christchurch Meadows

Port Meadow, Oxford

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Wait a minute Mr Postman...

Just a very short one tonight, because I can't resist showing you some of the lovely things that have arrived in the post or by courier (aka my lovely parents) this week. There'll be a nice long post on the IMPRINT exhibition from Friday coming up, so watch out for that. Such a brilliant day, full of inspirational art and lovely people, so a huge thank you to everyone. 
Until then; the Topshop Dalmation Coat arrived from my parents on tuesday, a complete and fantastic suprise! The film is for more instant snapping with my Polaroid 300, so I now have 50 more potential shots, thank you ebay. And that floral saddle bag was from the gorgeous Tieka at Selective Potential from a Christmas giveaway, perfect for little jaunts when I don't need to take the world and all its books with me. Just waiting for the rain to let up a bit for all of these beauties to be put into action...Hope you all have a lovely week, mine's shaping up to be quite exciting. Also I promise there WILL be more baking related posts soon, Don't know about you but I've missed them!

Mmmmmmm nice warm faux-dalmatian

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The work of an instant...

Goodness it's been a while. But I've decided to make myself have a breather and accept that Paradise Lost is not going to get read in the next hour or so. So important to take time over these things is it not? I actually had some other present posts lined up, but to stop this blog being too 'Look at my new things!' I'll intersperse them with these pics. I've been meaning to scan these in for a while, they're from a Polaroid 300 (Basically a Fujifilm Instax mini) which my mother won and I promptly adopted. I'm still working out how to guess the light properly, but I still love these shots. And they make rather nice tags for personalised presents, if I do say so myself, which is why I only ended up with four to scan in here...

Christchurch Meadows Oxford on the left, though it was not that dark! And blackberrying on the right in Cheltenham

Also, again if anyone is in the London area THIS FRIDAY then do please come along to the Centre of Possible Studies for the Fabelist IMPRINT festival, it's going to be an incredible day, and hopefully my beautiful camera will be there too, as I've just had 50 more instant film sheets delivered. Waiting is overrated.Have a lovely week everyone..hopefully there'll be a new post soon, I have some very exciting things to share!

Rococo Gardens, from my post here
Scanner cut off the border....also turns out close up doesn't work so well.  A lense is on my wishlist!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Farewell to festivity, byebye to baubles, toodlepip to tinsel...

You'll have to wait for the explanation, I'm afraid I couldn't to share the photo

So, today (or yesterday, depending on where you start counting from) is Twelfth Night, the traditional day on which decorations must come down, and so the official end of Christmas. Sigh. Drawing close to the end of my holidays as well, which means last minute work rush, packing, baking and fare-the-well-ing. But to cling onto the festive period as long as possible, I thought I'd share some of the lovely lovely things I was given (Birthday posts to follow) an idea shamelessly copied from the equally lovely Anna (apologies.) It was such a good holiday, and I'm so grateful, that hopefully you'll allow some self-indulgent sharing of the gorgeousness. Note the several themes that seem to be appearing here, highlighting some of my favourite things; Austen, GBBO, collars, red. And my hunt for the perfect satchel is at last over! Merriment all round! 

Also the new Fabelist Journal 'Imprint' has been released, please do take a look at it, once again some very talented people have produced wonderful things! And if you're in London (or fancy a trip) there's the Imprint Festival on 27th January, come and see what this art community is all about. 

Just in case you can't quite see; The Great British Bake Off book, The Boy who Bakes (year before last's winner Ed's book) a Jane Austen biography and her Juvenalia, bow bag, mittens, collared blouses, SATCHEL, and Topshop pearl collar.Perfection.

There may have been a few tears shed at the beauty of this bag...

Nice little collection of collars i think

Sunday, 1 January 2012

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ..

 by Edith Lovejoy Pierce (I'm going to confess I do not know much about this lady, apart from that lovely quote and that she was born in Oxford 1904, what a happy coincidence!) 

 Just a short post to say a big HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope 2012 brings much love, friendship, happiness and success to you all...and if that sounds cheesy, then who cares. It's the New Year. I have been a very poor poster recently, and have a lot of lovely things to share (mostly cake and birthday related, and some gifts I simply have to show you as i'm so pleased with them!) But for now here are some mini firework shots from a friend's gathering last night. It was a quiet event, but ever so much fun. A cup o'kindness to you all...

(plus if anyone can help me with the ever so slight skewing of the pictures I'd be forever grateful!)