The Ramblings of the Excited 2nd Year

 

So, in light of my rather terrible installation troubles, i.e. no internet for the foreseeable future, posts will be even more limited than they are at the moment. Of course, I will do my best to abuse the uni WiFi, and will squeeze as many insightful and interesting thoughts out of my head as I feel I can. A new term of new books and new lecturers will surely provide me with ample material for posts. I started this blog as an outlet for this material, and so it will be nice to return to the original stuff, even though I’m sure you find my culinary updates just terribly exciting.

Now, I can’t sit still. That’s the main problem. Because I’m just so very excited. Sitting in the car tomorrow for the six-hour drive will just about push my patience to the limit I think, because I’m already itching to unpack everything, clean cupboards, and get really, really organised. I’ve even roped my little sister into staying with me for the first night; she’s really good at cleaning things and so I guessed she’d be a useful pair of hands for the evening. I will have to concern myself with trying to cram tonnes of clothes into my wardrobe, and negotiating homes for my ever-expanding shoe collection.

It’s the waiting that I hate the most about moving from place to place. I love the excitement of finding somewhere new to live, and I like having a clean slate; you can make it look as lovely as you’d want to, and I have a fantastic collection of fairy lights that somehow make any given room far more inviting than a simple ceiling light. I have shelves, and I couldn’t have asked for a better house. I even have a garden with a greenhouse; not that I’ve ever gardened, but I like to entertain a fantasy that I could.

I’ve also managed to create a collection of comfortable and yet attractive clothing this summer, thus dispelling the need for baggy track suit bottoms around the house. Instead, I’m going to head down the ‘jegging’ route, and whilst I hate the word, and used to despise the idea, I’ve come to realise that they are in fact quite comfortable, but look marginally more presentable than tracksuits. I also spent a vast amount of money on an original Rolling Stones tour sweater, but I’ve decided it was just completely, and utterly worth it.

Anyway, I have to try to sleep tonight, because tomorrow is going to be long and exhausting. So for now, I’ll leave you to stare at the screen in a nonplussed sort of way, trying to work out what I spent the last four hundred words talking about. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come back, but I’ll do my best to make it soon!

(:

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Sarah Alice Becomes a Domestic Goddess

 

Lately, I’ve decided that due to my new house, and to a certain extent, my Mum goading me into learning how to cook, I will have one of those houses that is always full of people, and food. I’m not an amazing cook; see the episode with the brownies. But with a degree of vigour, I decided to make learning some recipes into nothing short of a revision session; note writing, studying. Like I would study for an exam.

And so, like any British woman in times of great culinary trouble, I called on the services of Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater. I now own a wonderful volume called ‘How to Cook’, written by Delia Smith. And Delia Smith is my new domestic inspiration. She honestly has me believing that with a turn of the hand, I could summon up a casual three course dinner for eight people with homemade chutneys and apertifs to follow. The power of the woman is simple unbelievable.

Nigella Lawson as well, is just as inspiring. She doesn’t exude the same wholesome air as Delia, but she gives of a kind of naughty aura, as though cooking can be rebellious and exciting. I suppose that she wasn’t christened the queen of food porn for nothing. I always thought that this was more to do with her love of silk dressing gowns, as opposed to anything else, but I’m starting to think the connection here between food and sensuality extends beyond her choice of nightwear.

I’ve also been caught on several occasions lately scouring shops for place-mat sets and coasters (I’m happy to announce that I’ve found the perfect set). I seem to enjoy searching the internet for casserole dishes, something I never realised was a necessity. But according to the biblical writings of Delia, Nigella and Nigel, I think I’ll have to invest in one specially for my ventures into the culinary sphere.

I look like this everyday whilst I’m preparing dinner. (1)

So, last week, all this inspiration was going admirably, I was plodding on with my learning, and planning grown up dinners, and learning recipes for things like aromatic shoulders of pork. And then the unthinkable happened. I was struck down, (and down I did fall), with some kind of horrible stomach complaint. Everything hurt; the sides of my tummy were agonisingly painful, and the space between the bottom of my ribcage and my bellybutton felt horribly full, for want of a better word. I spent much of the morning facing the bottom of the toilet bowl. And after a distressing trip to the doctors, I had a shot of whatever they give you to halt the spontaneous volcanic eruptions, and things improved slightly.

However, all the resultant lying around in bed gave me plenty of time to ponder casserole dishes, and chocolate rum cake. And once I started feeling better a couple of days ago, I continued on my mission until I needed to take another nap, or eat another dry cracker. Which happened every two minutes. But then again, I suppose the path to perfection never ran smoothly.

(:

(1) http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/10/21/article-1322394-0BAEDB03000005DC-542_468x376.jpg

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A Day Spent with a Bottle of Bleach

Today has been a day of cleaning, sterilizing, bleaching, and so on. I want to leave my flat sparkling and tidy before I come home for Christmas, so I can come back for new years refreshed, and with the attitude of “tidy flat, tidy mind”. Which is always helpful when you are drowning in a quagmire of essays, essay preparation and the never-ending list of compulsory reading. And then there’s the list of suggested reading. And that is also, a never-ending one.

It’s interesting to consider how important environment is in relation to one’s ability to be productive. Living in chaos consistently makes it impossible to achieve what you wanted to, because you can think about nothing except the clutter around you. It’s depressing to live in a dirty, untidy environment, and it starts to take over your world, becoming a little game, of which mug is the cleanest out of these mouldy ones, or can I eat without having to actually use cutlery? That is really no way to live.

Personally I like to plan how I’m going to decorate my house when I am older; what I will do in terms of colour schemes and flooring. Will I have carpet, of stripped wood? Will I have plenty of blankets or will the house be minimalistic? It will be a mixture of these things I think. And it’ll use many pastel colours and have pretty floral prints. It’ll be beautiful largely because it will be my house. My very own place. I’d also quite like Kenwood kitchen appliances in pop art pink, too.

For now however, I’m living with an oven that is temperamental at best, a microwave that regularly turns into an incubator for all that is bacterial and viral, and a kettle which sits next to the hob, next to the only plug socket, causing it to collect grease on top of it. The worst part though, without competition, is the extractor fan. Which drips grease. Some would ask why buy cooking oil, when it is freely dripped, quite literally, from above. I’d argue it’s revolting and could persuade a person to avoid eating altogether. But that’s just my little quirk.

(1)

I thoroughly enjoy student living though. It’s humbling, to remember that luxury is not normal, and smart-price everything is perfectly acceptable; look on the bright side, at least all your store cupboard items will match! It’s nice to keep it clean anyway though. I reject the premise that students are all pigs, rolling around in their own mess. I think that if you want to enjoy university, you have to make an effort; house mates do not like the untidy species of student, in the same way that they don’t like the one who steals the cheese.

So I shall keep persevering with my bottle of bleach and J-cloths, because then we all get to be in a nice clean flat, and be productive and happy people. Besides, the ability to see the table surface means that we can use it to play poker and monopoly.

(:

(1) http://hookedonhouses.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/babybluesblinds1.jpg

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