Archive | December, 2010

Lemon out!

23 Dec

I’m feeling pretty festive.  My presents are wrapped, the Christmas food shopping has been done, and I have already eaten one of each Celebration (brief aside: Topics are the most underrated chocolate bar of all time,  except for maybe the Picnic).  As yet, my mince pie count is still zero, as I don’t believe the mini ones I consumed at the English Department Christmas party deserve the title, but I am sure I can remedy that in the next 24 hours.  Tomorrow holds miserable tasks like helping my parents clean and tidy the house, but also cookery based ones that I enjoy, like pre-preparing the chestnut stuffing and peeling the sprouts.  Until I became too cool/fell out with the other girls involved, I used to go carol singing for charity on Christmas Eve, but now I am not 10, I will be going to the pub, but not to get ‘faced,’ as the text inviting me proposed.  The notion of a hangover clouding my Christmas morning glee is wholly unfavourable.

I received a letter in the post from my sixth form learning mentor this morning, which really made my day.  I think one of my resolutions for next year is going to be to try to keep in touch with the people that have made a lasting impression with me, or gone to great lengths to help and support me throughout the strife of my pre-university life.  Who am I kidding? The strife is totally ongoing, but maybe somewhat eased.  Anyway, the delight of receiving a letter that wasn’t from one of my banks or from Virgin Media was wonderful, and I’d like to spread the joy a bit.

In less cheering news, if you like to feel your blood boil, read this article , entitled ‘Want to hold on to your husband? Give him a break!’ on The Daily Mail website (where else?).  Particular highlights include Mary Gold’s sympathy for the poor husbands asked to be present at the birth of their child (they find it ‘stressful), and the badmouthing of both her boss and sister for daring to ask their partners to do some household jobs.

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Just get through the Goddamn day.

21 Dec

(all pictures shamelessly taken from here )

A Single Man has gone straight into my top five films, even though it broke my heart and I sobbed for its duration.  If you’ve not seen it, you probably should ask Father Christmas for the DVD.  But maybe don’t watch it when you’re hungover and suffering from a happiness comedown on Boxing Day.

In other, more vain news, this Winter I have really been struggling with my hair.  I’ve been growing it for years after having a misguided bob cut in when I was seventeen, and I am finally happy with the length, but I am really not happy with how irritating it is when wearing scarves or coats with high collars.  The hair at the back of my head rubs on the fabric constantly and creates a huge knot throughout the day, which can only be combed out using conditioner in the shower.  I’m ashamed to admit I have cried over this more than once (such a wuss), when I was sure I was going to have to cut the matted hair out.  So, I have been experimenting with different ways of wearing my hair up, having become monumentally bored of ponytails/topknots.  I think I’m on to a winner with the Heidi braids I sported today; they have the added bonus of being able to accommodate a hat over the top of them, for added ear protection!

We can find new ways of living

20 Dec

Above are the remains of some festive baking I did today.  Yes, ‘I’ did, not my five year old relation, despite appearances. Also, I have no five year old relation to my knowledge, a point that I will address later in this post.  They taste better than they look, honest.

My time at home with my mum and dad has been wholly uneventful so far.  Whereas my friend Alice has been chronicling numerous hilarious parent antics, under the hashtag #livingwithparents, on Twitter, I am struggling to find enough entertainment to put off doing my copious university work.  God forbid I actually make a sensible start on it before the New Year, when I invariably turn to a book with a headache and a heavy heart.  I am thoroughly cheerful though, as heating and fires are roaring away, and we have an unreasonably large Christmas tree to provide constant festive merriment.  The only downside to the tree being that it resides in the lounge, which is bloody freezing.  We’ve taken to living like the peasantry of yore, and only using the warm kitchen, grumbling furiously when we have to leave to go to bed, feeling very jealous of the cat, who gets to stay where he is.

Speaking of whom, hello cat! Sam has been an excellent companion for the past few days, alternating between snoring or meowing at me depending on how awake he is.

Christmas has taken on a previously unknown level of stress in the Sinclair house this year, as my uncle has had to go into hospital, and is only being let out on Boxing Day.  This wouldn’t be an issue if my family wasn’t ridiculously small (I have two 90 year old grandmothers and the aforementioned 60+ uncle, who is unmarried and childless), but the issue of care has fallen to my parents, who are fretting about chaotic journeys to Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and making sure both grandmothers have enough food to survive in their housebound states.  May this be a lesson in always having more than one child, and not marrying only children!  Unfortunately, I have been similarly provided with no siblings; I plan to marry someone with plenty, then have a multitude of ginger children to ensure that there is at least one who loves me enough to care for me when/if I reach old age.

Get behind me, Santa!

19 Dec

Red lips, Christmas decorations and Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas.  It’s nice to be home.

Recollections

18 Dec

I just came across this scan of a photobooth strip featuring my friend George and me, taken in Berlin in 2008.  I want to go to Germany again so badly; it is #2 in my favourite country rankings, second only to Switzerland.  I went to cities last time I was there, namely Berlin, Munich and Nuremberg, but next time I go, I want to walk along the Rhine or go to the Bavarian Alps to explore Gothic castles, then finish off the trip by drinking beer by the litre in the Hofbrauhaus with a giant, salty pretzel for nourishment.

Speaking of nourishment (poor link, sorry), here is the cake I made Mike for his birthday. Happy 24th Mike! It is  good job he has me to keep him young.

Cold forever

17 Dec

The thermometer in my kitchen (that Mike won by filling a survey in about recycling bins) has yet to leave the zone marked ‘Discomfort,’ since it assumed its place on the worktop at the beginning of the week.  No wonder I’m such a rat bag.  Oh student budget, how wonderful you are (and that’s before cuts and increased fees…).  Mike and I have started to check BBC weather with an obsessive regularity, and collectively shudder when we see any minus signs.

Luckily, I have discovered that Heinz’s Lentil Soup is my favourite food ever, so I have been eating copious amounts to keep my internal temperature at one that does not allow for ‘risk of illness.’  I’m pretty sure that it is nigh impossible to die of hypothermia when full of a steaming paste-like substance that is apparently a mix of potatoes, lentils and carrots (and copious amounts of pepper and chilli flakes added by me (no offence Mr. Heinz) for an extra warmth kick.

Please note my The Pursuit of Love mug, which my friend Aimee bought for me, for my 21st birthday back in April.  It is a prized possession, and particularly apparent, as I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh.  My fascination with the Mitford sisters knows no bounds; maybe I’ll write about it another time.  And it was only spurred on by my recent reading of the fact that J.K.Rowling based the Black sisters (Bellatrix, Narcissa and Andromeda) on three of the six Mitford girls, Unity, Diana and Jessica, the latter of which is one of Rowling’s key inspiration figures.  I love it when passions collide!

Guilt Trip

16 Dec

I forgot to mention, either on here or to the individuals in question, that Facebook tries to shame you into not removing your account by revealing a list of your closest friends and telling you they will miss you, accompanied by a photograph of you together.  The only thing that could have made me stay is the image above; how did it know about my love for the photograph in which we all pulled our best Dobby faces (George, having never read/seen/listened when we’ve talked about Harry Potter got it wrong)?  I was thinking though, what if these little warnings popped up in real life when we were about to make a decision? ‘Stephanie, Helena will miss you if you move to Japan’, ‘Hair, Helena will miss you if she cuts you off’ or ‘Folder of work, Helena will miss you if she leaves you on this wall, outside, never to be seen again’ would have all come in very useful at one time or another.  Then again, I didn’t heed this one: there’s always Skype.

I will just end this post by repeating a quote from the film I watched in bed last night when I should have been very much asleep.  It’s from The Wackness, which is less dreadful than its really horrid name, but not amazing all the same.

‘Never trust anyone who doesn’t smoke pot or listen to Dylan.  Never trust anyone who doesn’t like the beach.  Never, EVER, EVER trust anyone who says they don’t like dogs!  You meet someone who doesn’t like dogs, you alert the authorities IMMEDIATELY and you sure as shit don’t MARRY THEM!’