Sunday, 19 May 2013

Day 138 - The cake is a Truth.

19th May 2013

Today was attempt two at my cake. You remember. The ill fated cake. I had purchased myself a new mixer and was raring to go.
It's a pretty sexy mixer too.
Anyone else having deja vu?

Right, so here we have where I failed last time. I was taking this out of the oven with all the care that I bestow on my baby niece. I was overjoyed when the cooling time completed and I could take it out of the tin and it was in one piece. So happy.


I proceeded with the decoration I had had in the works for over a week. Starting with delicious Chocolate Fudge frosting. I hate using the word frosting, but I don't want to say icing. Such trials and tribulations. 

My stencil was in place and looked like it was going to do the job wonderfully.

I kinda wished I had another cake to do an inverted design with the stencil. Maybe next time (nope, never gonna happen). 

And here we have it! The cake I have been aiming for for so long! I'm glad the stencil worked, I'll have to try some more intricate designs and some new cakes soon. The cake is good, but it could be moister. Something to work on. It is tasty, so do try Sand Cake if you like yourself some cake.



Day 137 - LOUD NOISES.

18th May 2013

The Flood decided to come in and hang out with me today. Yay! Nich had been part of the plan originally but she has the lurgy and can't talk. What a relief, amIright? 

Firstly, apologies for photo quality. I took my battery out to charge and completely forgot to put it back in. Grrr. There are fisheye photos, but we don't know how they came out yet, so we just have my phone, which appears to produce really rubbish photos. 

We met in Waterloo and wended our way towards the river. Walking through the market we spotted some cakes that look amazing, entirely amazing. After much gazing and back and forthing, we both bought a cake, mine was Banoffee Pie. Mmm.

Not so mmm. Pretty disappointing actually. Even more disappointing knowing that we had walked past some godly looking brownies afterwards. They could have been in my belly! And they weren't! They weren't! 

We cheered up when we heard this band. They were fun, we wanted to join in a jig but we were the only two volunteers and we couldn't. Boo.

After watching the band for an insane number of songs we ambled further along to the Tate. After entering we realised that we had been there far too many times and it was all old news. Snooze. Planning on a visit again soon to see the Lichtenstein exhibit before it closes.

I had a huge amount of fun embarrassing my dear friend here. On one occasion I surprised her just as we were round the corner from a video...she made a fantastic noise and then had to enter the room with everyone knowing she had made it, as I was the one shaking and bent double with laughter. There were tears. I might have died.

After the Tate we headed towards Borough Market, but were stopped in our tracks by The Clink. We decided that we had walked past this on so very many occasions and thought we should go in and were yet to do so.

Here she is looking tortured.

Here I am looking sorry for my wrong doings.

Hunger well and truly set in and too late for food at the Market, we got ourselves over to Soho with the thought of Bodean's in our brains. Alas, it's too popular these days, sob. We tried in Slug and Lettuce and were told after being given a menu that they weren't serving food. Pah. 

Our final attempt was Bella Italia and it worked. With Clubcard vouchers we were able to get a meal for a tenner each, thank you Mr and Mrs Flood! I ate it all! After a delicious pudding ice cream from Haagen Dazs we went for a drink in Waxy O'Connors - apparently it's Samantha's favourite pub. She might have mentioned it before. Maybe. 

From there we were able to meet Tom, Naomi, Chris, and Tom's sister and her husband - Fran and James - who I actually knew as a teenager and were the first links Tom and I discovered. We were all going to an Anchorman Quote-along for Tom's birthday.

Now, I wasn't sure about this. Wouldn't it just be really rather completely annoying? Well, no. It was brilliant. Tom managed to win a DVD by drinking a pint of milk in 6 seconds, wahey! I really enjoyed myself and would definitely do it again - if you have the chance, go! 

After a long, tiring, and absolutely fun day, I got home, had a nice glass of wine with Naomi before succumbing to the lost momentum a trip back from Central always causes. 

Excellent day. 

"There were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident."



Day 136 - Picturehouse

17th May 2013

A few of us went into Notting Hill to see the Great Gatsby tonight at the Gate Picturehouse. It's an amazing cinema, I absolutely fell in love. It's beautiful inside, as you can kind of see, and there is all the leg room. 

There are times when I hate the cinema purely based on leg room. My legs are long and my hips suffer. Here I was able to relax entirely and enjoy the film without shifting about almost constantly and trying to surreptitiously stretch my legs out under the seat in front. Bliss.

The film itself...hmm. I enjoyed it, but it was very Baz Luhrmann. There was no escaping that fact. I know that directors have a style, but this felt so much like Moulin Rouge at points that I wouldn't have been surprised if the scene segued into the Can Can in Montmartre. Good way to spend an evening though, and if you get the chance to go to the Picturehouse, do.

I took this with my phone, having decided to take the Fisheye out. I love this camera, but it does leave me having to wait for a film to develop before seeing any photos. I think I'll do a post whenever I develop a film for any photos you miss out on from these days - though I'll also try and take a photo with my phone or camera as well. I don't like you to miss out. I'm just kind that way.



Day 135 - Belgo

16th May 2013

Today is both Claire's and Tom's birthday. May really is the birthday season in this group. Claire was rather selfishly in Belfast, so we couldn't heap love on her for her birthday. Some people eh? Pfft. 

Tom thought things through and handily decided to live here so we could all celebrate together. We were all to go for a meal at Belgo in Covent Garden. I had been here about 4 years previously, whilst at uni, and had been looking forward to going back. It has an insane array of beers available, and some yummy food. The speciality is mussels which is a shame, because I'm not entirely sure that I can eat seafood. The last few times I've eaten it I've been ill, and though I really wanted to try the mussels I also really didn't want to spend the night revisiting them, so a burger it was. The burger was merely ok...but the beer made me happy. It was peachy...and yummy. Mmmm.

I don't know if you've met Chris before. This is Chris. Hi Chris!
I really need to get over thinking I look like an idiot if I use my speedlite in public. I always feel that everyone watching will think I'm being a pretentious "ooh look at me and my simply ENORMOUS camera" idiot and get funny about using the flash even when I desperately want to and the situation demands it. The photos from tonight really suffered, as although I did eventually attach the flash I had it set too low and pointing in pretty much the opposite direction to what was needed. 

The next few photos are from Tom. He stole my camera, threatened not to give it back and then emptied my battery. Thanks guy.

She actually licked my ear. What. The face you can see here is me realising she's not smiling next to me. She's licking my ear. 

Here I'm saying "Tom, that won't work, the table is too long, the lens is too short...." and he is clearly ignoring me. Prink.

Fun night, adequate food, delicious beer. Really wish it hadn't been a Thursday, they were just too yummy. 



Day 134 - Bathtime

15th May 2013

Today was long. It was a "I can't believe it's still only Wednesday" Wednesday. Couldn't wait to get home and make bedtime a reality.

As I returned Lynsey was in the bath, and I had to postpone the shower I was planning on taking before getting pyjama'd and sleepy. I put on the kettle and thought for a second and decided, actually maybe a shower wouldn't be too relaxing, I too would partake of a bath. Lynsey finished her bath and I ran mine, collecting all my standard bathtime accoutrements: Tea, candles, kindle, music and, of course, towel and pjs. 

I love me some bubbles. The photo shows the bath after I decided the bubbles that had already appeared were not sufficient and more would need to be added. It did look rather pretty in its swirly red pattern, but by the time I had got my camera it had dissipated and started on its all important job.

It was a highly satisfying bath. Very very hot, excellent tea, interesting book. This is, as they say, the life. 

Or it would be...if it was also a standalone bath in a beautiful bathroom and I had a flake to eat. would be the life.



Day 133 - Tropical Zoo

14th May 2013

We had a Tropical Zoo come to school today, it was a brilliant opportunity to take my camera in and get some fun photos of some of the animals as well as the creatures brought in for the Zoo, HAHA.

Of course, I cannot show you those photos, which is a shame because one of them is perhaps one of my favourite photos I've ever taken. But I have a couple that I can show you, yay!

There was a beautiful lovely lizard hanging out watching us the whole time, hinting at poking his tongue out the whole time, gazing longingly at our butterflies. Next to him on a different perch was a snake, a Boa Constrictor, who watched over us, slithering slowly and just hanging out, maxing, relaxing. We all had him around our necks and I would have been happy never to give him back, discovering that I really quite liked snakes and lizards, completely different reaction to one I had to spiders. Glack. I had to be the adult today, assuring uncertain kids that holding the tarantula would be ok, whilst being unspeakably glad that I had my camera to hide behind.

Fun day, even doing it twice over.



Monday, 13 May 2013

Day 132 - Lomo

13th May 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, the girls got me a Lomo fisheye camera for my birthday. I had had my eye on one of these since uni, and never got round to buying one. I took a photography unit and our tutor had one and it looked like a whole lot of fun, but it was never enough in the forefront of my mind to treat myself to one when I had the spare cash.

So I was extra excited and happy to unwrap one from the girls on Saturday, and couldn't wait to get stuck in. There was a slight mishap however. I found myself a battery, loaded up my film, wound it on and let the flash warm up. I took my photo aaannnd....nearly blew my eyebrow off. Not exactly sure what happened, but after this extra loud bang the flash wouldn't fire. We took it off round town anyway, hoping that natural light would be enough for the most part.

Today I took it into Westfield to swap for a working version and get photos developed - the novelty! It's been a long while since I spent an hour wandering around a shopping centre waiting for photos. Better than the Pentagon by far.

Sadly, the exact camera that the girls had bought me wasn't available anymore, but I was able to replace it almost exactly. It's still a fisheye, except now it's black and white instead of bright pink. Rather annoying that they couldn't just take my camera and give me a working one, it was a huge faff of returning the money to a gift card and then starting all over again as a new transaction for the new camera, but at least I've got one and it's done. Maybe I should have feigned eye problems after my watch the birdie experience, got them fawning over me? Sigh. I wish I were more callous.

When I finally ambled back into Boots, eagerly awaiting some fun photos, I was told that only 3 of them had come out. Good for Boots, they only charged me £2 for them instead of the £8 it was supposed to be. Here are the ones that came out...

The girls

Carnaby Street
Lomography store
Not entirely great. But I imagine this camera will require a lot of experimentation (is that a word? It doesn't feel like a word) and hopefully having a flash will make some difference. It's certainly strange to go back to not knowing what my photos look like straight away. I am certainly going to have to invest in some film, I feel that I'm going to get through these fairly swiftly.



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Day 131 - PJ Day

12th May 2013

I didn't do too well with my promise not to leave it so long between updates. In my defence, it was my birthday weekend and bank holiday on top of that. 

The girls left fairly early this morning, and I've had a productive yet relaxful (deal with it) day. 

First things first, deflated the airbed. Check. Then had a bit of a sit down, cause that was pretty strenuous. Then I started importing my photos and finally upgraded the RAM on my little Macbook. It's been sitting in my drawer for about two months, being put off over and over again. Today was the day. A whopping 2GBs, just watch me flash by. 

Photos finally imported and laptop in faster working order I settled myself down to write some points. This has been my view for awhile. On the left you can see my lovely new fisheye camera. Might pop into Westfield tomorrow to try and sort it out, and maybe process my first film! Excitement!



Day 131 - Birthday take two

11th May 2013

Kirsty, Gemma and Alison came to see me, YAY!

These are my SJF buddies, and now we're slightly scattered about, so seeing each other isn't always very easy.

We managed to find a weekend with us all in the vicinity and they came up to see me and I was happy. Like this....:-D

Gem and Kirsty arrived first, and we enjoyed some Pimms before going back to get Alison and pick up bags. After a little relax at the flat we wandered into Central to go and get Bodean's.

I've been trying to go back to Bodean's for an insanely long time, so when they said we would have to wait two hours we only faltered for a second, before deciding that it was worth the wait.

The lovely amazing girls had got me a Lomo Fisheye Camera for my birthday, so on top of taking most of my photos with that, we went to the Lomography shop in Carnaby Street for a wander. Unfortunately I can't show you the photos as yet - it's a film camera. Retro and a half. Another unfortunate, the flash bulb appeared to blow on the first exposure, it was a real "Watch the birdie!" flash. Phew. Have to head in and see if I can replace it soon.

Our time wandering around/drinking some wine ended very quickly, and before long we were sat in Bodean's devouring meat. It was everything I hoped for and more.

We left, had some insane fun taking endless photos of Gem on the tube (I was crying with laughter), and got home.

Excellent day girls, thank you!!



Day 130 - Sand cake

10th May 2013

Got home and decided today would be the day to make my sand cake. I'd been reading about it for awhile, and threatening it for awhile. Today was to be the day.

I got my stuff out, and sieved my flour. Nice new sieve with no holes in it or anything. I looked for my next step and saw eggs had appeared on the list where I had never seen them before. Gah. Off to the shops.

Back from the shops.

Everything ready to go, including my super fancy, extra nice, including the little seedies, vanilla extract. It smelt amazing at this point, I was pretty excited.

I found the mixing to be particularly pretty. Unfortunately for me the mixer gave up the ghost after about 2 minutes of mixing. Brand new. Going back to Argos asap methinks. Go a step up from the £5.99 maybe...

I had this plan. I don't have a stencil for decoration, and I don't particularly want to buy one. I thought I would be able to make a much more individual creation with greaseproof paper and a craft knife. 

I decided to start off with something fairly simple. I can try more once I see how this one turns out....and this one is going to turn out.....

....a mess.

Going to take the cake out of the oven the shelf slipped off it's slot and the cake slid slowly and surely off the side and upside down onto the floor, accompanied by me screaming "NOOOOOOO!" in slow motion.


It still tasted good, but went stale very quickly. Alas. I couldn't try again as the mixer had packed up and I'm not sure I could manage that by hand. It's a very dense mix.

Wish me luck next time.



Day 129 - Wagamama

9th May 2013

Today, as Lynsey is off to Austria with work, we headed down for food. Originally the plan was Hare and Tortoise, mmmm. However Lynsey didn't think booking was necessary/possible (ahem, Lynsey..) so when we got there we found we had a wait of an hour at least for a table. Ack. I had the hunger as well man.

Instead we managed to find space in Wagamama. It opened in Ealing fairly recently, so I don't think as many people are aware that there is a branch open.

I highly enjoyed my soup, and may have to go back for more soon. Or have it delivered. The problem with Wagamama is the seating, I felt very hunched over and far away, leading to a distinct indigestion feeling dans my belly. I think this would be much improved by me being on my sofa in pyjamas. Just Saying.

I took my camera with me and of course forgot all about it. I had to stop by at Nichola's on the way home to pick some stuff up, and then she offered tea and like I'm gonna turn down tea! Pshaw.

So a photo of my tea will have to do.



Day 128 - Lucy iv

8th May 2013

After school I went, once again, into Ealing to pick up my phone. Feel like I'm spending my life there at the moment.

I managed to get a 4S as a replacement for the 4 which was good, but 16GB as opposed to the 32GB I have always favoured. I decided that I would go for the slight upgrade to be marginally closer to the 5 that I'm paying for. It still stings man.

This is Lucy iv. Original phone was Lucy, then Lucy ii, Lucy iii and now we're onto the Vs. Let's hope her reign is a little longer than her two predecessors. Eep.



Day 127 - Flip Flops

7th May 2013

I have a nightmare with shoes. They rub all the time, wearing in new shoes fills me with terror. Getting new sandals or flip flops is a nightmare, finding a pair that won't kill me. Primark once did a good set that were foamy and didn't rub at all. They have, of course, not sold them since.

In Asda today I had a look through what was around and decided to give these a chance. They're the best hope I have. Wish me luck.



Day 126 - BBQ


6th May 2013

It was a bank holiday - we had a barbeque, I was able to wear sandals. End of story. Just gonna caption these photos, feeling lazy. 



 Is that flame really bright enough for sunglasses Ben?
You've not lived until your sauce is totally moisturising
Clearly having a lot of fun...
That's not where you cook them! Silly Ben.
Lollies! YES!
Burgers were delicious in all ways.
Pimms o'clock just kept coming back round and must be broken.