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Showing posts with label cambridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cambridge. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A walk in the countryside

Autumn country walk

I could get used to this country lifestyle. No amount of mooching about in Hyde Park, or frolicking in the greener parts of South London can really replace the fresh air and sense of infinite freedom I get from donning my biggest, clumpiest Dr Marten boots and trudging through some mud, taking in huge lungfuls of cool, clean air. Hampstead Heath comes close, but even that doesn't quite hit the spot.

Late Autumn is my absolute favourite time for country walks, because there's nothing in the fields that would give me hay-fever, and it is the perfect temperature outside to bundle up in lots of knitted layers to keep warm before coming home rosy-cheeked and windswept to a toasty house and something hearty to eat.

And that's exactly what Dan and I did last weekend. We set off through the churchyard, and up the lane past the local farm equipment, before winding our way through some woods and along a little stream. We stopped by the side of the stream to sit with a flask of tea, watching the crows peck around the fields. And do you know what? I think we might go for another walk this weekend!

Countryside horizon UK
Cosy autumn outfits
Cambridgeshire fields
Cambridge stream walk
Ginger woman in England
Scary sheep gangland
mushroom hunting in Cambridgeshire
shrivelled leg woman
Autumn sunset England
Autumn knitwear fashion
A lovely walk in cambridge

Jumper and scarf - Both H&M


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Cooking for the in-laws

food for husband's parents

The first time I cooked for my husband's family was when we'd only been together for about six months. His extended family were coming over to his parents' house and I offered to make a tiramisu for everyone. I hadn't considered the fact that they were Italian and that there was no whipping cream in the house for the topping. I managed to substitute cream cheese, single cream and a lot of whipping to make it, and it seemed to go down well, but I'll never forget the panic and horror that overcame me when I realised that I was making tiramisu for the first time, for my Italian in-laws.

Since Dan's parents are allowing us to stay with them rent-free, we're taking on a lot of the cooking duties. I've probably made it pretty clear from my previous posts about this whole moving fandango, but we're actually really happy with this arrangement because Dan's parents have a beautiful kitchen! On Friday night, we drafted a meal plan for the week, focusing on things that we would have had trouble making in the tiny kitchen in our old flat, as well as some of our favourite recipes that we really wanted to make for the family.

Last night's dinner was planned to be a butternut squash and chilli soup with freshly baked bread, and a rhubarb crumble for pudding. Any of you who follow me on twitter will know that the bread ended up off the menu as the yeast I used was a sachet we'd brought from our flat, which was lonnnnng dead. Sad times. Aside from that, everything went to plan. Cutting up butternut squash is always a hassle, but the soup was shaping up to be silky and flavoursome. Then Dan's sister dropped the bombshell that she didn't actually really like butternut squash or rhubarb very much. I want to please everyone all the time, and I hated the idea that I'd be making food that she wouldn't like! It's always a struggle to cook for people whose palates you don't know fully, I think. Plus, there's the added pressure that I really want my husband's family to love me and to like the things that I make for them!

Soup with creme fraiche

In the end, Dan's sister really liked the soup, which made me almost cry with relief! Dan's mum said "mmmm" a lot, and his Dad was very impressed with the concept of a butternut squash. My personal goal for the next few months is to improve my food presentation skills (for eating and photographing!) and this was my first time garnishing a soup with olive oil, and everyone said it looked pretty! (PHEW!!!) The rhubarb crumble didn't look as beautiful but it tasted good, and apparently Dan's sister is now also a rhubarb convert too. I'm pleased with how that went. Now to continue this positive streak for another two months worth of evening meals!

Have you ever cooked a meal for someone else? Did you find it at all stressful? Was it a disaster or did it all go to plan?

vegetable love

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Friendship after university

white people on a log
Leaving university means it is much harder to see your friends. It’s one of those sad facts about growing up, and like all of the sad facts of adulthood, whilst you know they’re going to happen, it still comes as a bit of a shock.
That said, you soon realise, once you no longer live in the same house as all of your friends, that you can still love them and be close to them even if you live far apart. For the last three years, we’ve all either lived, or spent a lot of time in London, so despite the initial shock of not living together, we’ve not been all that far apart. But by the end of the summer, we are all going to be living in different towns, and that’s kind of scary. Still, think of all the housewarming parties, and mini-roadtrips we get to take in order to visit one another – got to look on the positive side, right?

We went on a little trip back to Cambridge to bid farewell to a few old friends and professors who are moving on to bigger and better things. While we were there, we took a lovely trip to the Botanical Gardens to frolic among the flowers and pose on tree stumps and so forth.
Sunny Cambridge
UK Women Short Hairstyle
Pinecone hunting fun
Sensitive man with animals
daisy Cambridge Botanical Gardens
Save the bees Cambridge
Reservoir Dogs in Colour
Some of the photos in this post were taken by the legendary musical and photographic polymath, Francis Knights. Some of them were taken by my dear friend Dr (OMG!) Dyer. The dress I’m wearing is from Joy, and the cardigan is from H&M.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Last-minute Champagne Chic

Quick Champagne Party
Sometimes, you've just got to be a bit decadent, am I right? I mean, whatever decadence means to you in particular, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing something for the sake of it from time to time. Even if decadence is just a bar of chocolate or putting on an old party dress to do the dishes, frivolity is important, if you ask me. Which you didn't. But there you go - I'm telling you anyway.
This weekend just gone, Dan and I took a last-minute trip to Cambridge for a lunch at my old college at university. We met up with lots of dear friends and it was lovely to catch up with everyone in a familiar but somehow alien setting... I feel odd being in Cambridge without feeling STRESSED! Anyway, as well as catching up with friends, we spent the night at Dan's parents' house because they live in the middle of the beautiful countryside nearby, and we fancied crashing the garden party they were holding in the village. I hadn't really brought any appropriate party clothes with me, but I found that I actually had some clothes that I'd left at their house, including this black pencil dress that I bought for a funeral many years ago. Since the theme of the garden party was 'Champagne and Jazz', it seemed vaguely appropriate in a sort of "last minute Champagne chic" kind of way... And really, there are few events where a 'little black dress' would be wildly inappropriate, don't you think?
Little Black Dress Cambridge
Sunny Cambridge Party
When we arrived at the house, it was only about twenty minutes before the beginning of the party, so as soon as I found the black dress in the wardrobe amongst Dan's childhood clothes, I chucked some gold eyeshadow at my eyes and hoped for the best. I find that as a glasses-wearer, you can get away with a fair amount of error, especially if you have really enormous nerd glasses with thick ol' lenses in them like I do! Sometimes, I put on eye makeup that I think is really bold and statementy, and then when I put my glasses back on, it barely looks like I'm wearing any at all. Do any of you have this problem?
Gold Makeup ideas
English country garden
No party would be complete without some little nibbles on sticks. I can claim no credit for these, as they were all made by my mother-in-law, whose philosophy on cooking emphasises flavour over fuss - an excellent food philosophy if you ask me. These simple canap├ęs are made of little cubes of good quality feta cheese, topped with a generous sliver of sun-dried tomato, all skewered together on a dainty little cocktail stick. There was another plate with olives instead of tomatoes, and they were delicious too. Everyone at the party thought they were great, and what with the glorious weather and the Champagne flowing, it seemed that the party was a real success.
Easy Canape Idea
Bourgeois ridiculous
Have you ever been to a party unexpectedly? It's a lot of fun to embrace some unexpected decadence, and to feel fancy with limited resources. I think it's really important to remind yourself every once in a while that you are capable of being a classy mofo if you need to be. Life lessons, guys.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Update for you!

I've managed to collect an absolute tonne of photographs and things to write about, to the extent that it has all become rather overwhelming! I have a fair amount of inane news to share, so buckle up, and let's take a trip into Candy's exciting life!
Dan and I went back to Cambridge to his old college, for a May Ball. It was really nice to relive a slice of the old student life; quite possibly the best slice, if we're going to be honest! I wore a dress that I bought from Camden market, although I've seen similar dresses all over the place in cheap market-stall shops. My necklace is a family heirloom of sorts although I don't think it goes back particularly far. The matching earrings don't actually match the necklace at all; I bought them for my Dad's wedding back in 2007.

The dress was floor length but there aren't really any satisfactory pictures of my entire length! It sort of looks like I am indicating my ovaries in this photo!
I made this rainbow cake for my lovely friend Tara, and I also took lots of photos during the making process, so at some point, you can expect a tutorial of sorts! It weighed over 3kgs and I brought it all the way from London to Brighton in once piece (oh ho ho, cake humour).
Here's a sneaky peaky at our wedding venue! We've set a date, and so very soon I shall begin the flurry of sending save-the-date cards! Obviously, I am very excited, but there's still a ton to do!
On the day we visited our wedding venue, we also took a brief detour to Brighton where Dan and I both got new ear piercings at Punktured (my favourite piercing place, and the only one I will ever recommend to anyone! I've had four very joyful piercing experiences there!), and then had incredible cake at Marwood which has fast become one of my favourite coffee shops in Brighton, which is saying something!
Wonderful Tilly and I made some super saucy cherry pie for our Twin Peaks marathon, which was enjoyed by all. I am probably already ready for another Twin Peaks marathon... Let's not lie, I'm ALWAYS ready for a Twin Peaks marathon! Here's our pie in EXTREME CLOSEUP.

I also attended two weddings and celebrated a couple of birthdays. Tomorrow I am off down to Brighton for my gorgeous friend Eleanor's birthday, at which I shall dress up as Suzy Butler from Moonrise Kingdom, and then on Tuesday we are off to Paris for a little jaunt! I can't wait to discover some vintage shops and patisseries in Paris, as well as visiting some perfume houses. Eleanor is 'becoming a woman' and thus must choose her signature scent whilst we are away!

Toodle pip pip pop poop. x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Minty Sailor

Donc Alors...

A couple of weeks back, Dan and I went to Arigato, a Japanese supermarket near Picadilly Circus, to pick up some supplies. We get most of our Japanese ingredients there, and almost always overspend! Recently, we'd seen okonomiyaki on the youtube channel Cooking With Dog and Dan decided that he HAD to make it. At times like these, a trip to Arigato is always mandatory.

On our way home, Dan took some photos of me because the light was nice.

I had been dreaming of minty teal tights for a long while, and finally bought some for my friend Sharon's wedding. They are from H and M, and are slightly too minty for my liking, but they go with the outfit quite well, je pense!

I had my baritone ukulele with me, because I'd been to a rehearsal with Robin Grey, who teaches me the ukulele, when we aren't rehearsing.
This was Dan's finished okonomiyaki. He even prepared the octopus from scratch. It was extremely tasty, and very filling. That one wasn't very big, but we still couldn't finish it! The best way I can describe it is as a sort of Japanese Spanish Omelette/Tortilla... Ours had octopus, bacon, spring onions, and other joyous things, but the joy of okonomiyaki is that you can include almost anything! See also, our Korean food adventure to Seoul Bakery in Central London.

Jumper: Traditional Breton Clothing shop in Vannes
Skirt: Home-made, fabric from FabricLand in Brighton
Tights: H&M in Cambridge
Shoes: Dr. Martens. 

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Things Happen

It has been all summer, and once again, I have been awful at blogging. Why do I do these things? Why do I try so hard to be one of those "I have such an awesome life, and I blog about it" kind of people, when I clearly do NOT have an awesome life, and as you can see, I obviously don't blog about it!

Possibly, if I had more of a specific focus for this blog, then I would be better at maintaining it. Who knows.

I have spent the last few days researching PGCE providers, frantically. Applications have now opened for the Postgraduate teaching qualification that I want to take, and so I have to choose the four to which I would consider going, and then start to work on my application. I can't physically send the application until I have some work experience under my belt, so today has also been spent e-mailing the local State secondary schools, asking them if I can sit in on some English lessons... as if I haven't already sat in enough English lessons.

This year, my feelings of anxiety are overshadowing my excitement to go back to university, in a big way. I can't stop thinking about how big the workload is going to be, and how I have to improve my grade on last year, with an even bigger workload. I also have a dissertation to do, and a course to apply to. I have to read several Greek Tragedies, and Moby Dick, by next week, and I haven't even started the year yet. On top of that, it is potentially my final year in Cambridge (unless I decide to take my PGCE here too), and I want to make it amazing. Last year was distinctly underwhelming in parts, and I have been rather unhappy. There are so many things I want to see, do, cook, read, and take part in this year. How on earth am I going to balance that with my academic work? This is a major worry to me.

I will finish by linking to some of the blogs I have been reading recently:

Smitten Kitchen - a wonderful food blog, that makes me want to be a food blogger.

Pencil Case - the blog of my dear friend Sharon. She writes wonderfully, and she knows about science and shiz. I like her blog. It dwarfs mine.

Fazed Girl
- this blog makes me smile all the time. The best fashion/life blog I have read in a long time, and I like it because it is so understated. Maybe I can just relate to the 'perpetually trying to get dressed' thing.

Sushi Bandit - I don't even know why I look at this blog, but I find it addictive.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Exams!

So, it is exams...

And so the only thing I can think about is a list of things I WANT!!!

Here is a list. Hahahaha materialistic...

  • Bonsai Tree! I really want a bonsai tree, because we aren't allowed pets at uni, and a bonsai tree is a bit like a pet because it is small and cute and you have to look after it!
  • iPod Nano. I am so annoyed with my broken silver shuffle. It is really irritating not to be able to choose music, and plus it is all dented and old. But can't decide which colour I like best! Anything but silver or black really.
  • Bento Box. For some reason I have become quietly obsessed with Bento culture, and have been trawling JBox for Bentos that I like. They are so cute, and such fun! All the little accessories are adorable too
  • Holga camera. My photography obsession is getting slightly out of hand, although I failed the 366 project after a measly 12 days... The problem was the day I was working all day, so couldn't take a picture, and then I got really drunk playing the Eurovision drinking game in the evening, and didn't take a picture then either... Fail.
  • Kitten. But that's just not happening until Dan and I leave uni.

My exams are over on Tuesday, but it is Hebrew which is the worst exam in the whole world. I have got Dan a really exciting present for his after Exams treat. When Ben and Emma saw it, they went crazy! Ben turned into Samuel L Jackson, and Emma was like "you are the best girlfriend in the world!!!" I was happy. I am not telling what it is though, in case Dan reads this. Even though he knows what it is really... :)

So far, the exams have been variable. The Old Testament module was okay, although having stood around in the rain for ages waiting for a taxi that never came, to take me to the exam that morning, I was very damp all the way through the exam. Sociology was okay too, but I did talk about Garlic at one point which was wholly irrelevant. Philosophy was crap crap crap. St Anselm of Canterbury can go fuck himself. GARRRR! So just Hebrew to go. i know that Hebrew will drag my grade down mightily. I should be revising now. But apparently I am not. Oh heck.

Things to look forward to after the exams include:
  • Music society Garden party. Am singing at this, and hopefully Tilly can come!!
  • Emmanuel College May ball. My dress is epic, and it should be an awesome night.
  • Trinity Hall June Event. Ooh I need a dress for that! I want some sort of sparkly cocktail dress... Hmm.. OH GOD MATERIALISM!
  • Cheese Party. I am planning to have a cheese party with my new Raclette (my dad got it for €3 at a car boot sale in France), and baked Camembert, and cheese on crackers.
  • Going home with Dan to get all his Warhammer, and having a warhammer painting day with the lads (and Emma). Recently all of my friends of the penis-wielding persuasion have got back into their teenage obsessions with Warhammer. The painting looks really quite fun actually!
  • Making Sushi with Dan. We are a bit Sushi mad at the moment.
  • Going to France to see my Dad with Dan. Hurrah!
Just need to get a job...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A Thousand (nearly) Things.

Oh Lor'.

I have a trillion billion things rushing around my head but none of them seem to make enough sense for me to commit them to paper, whether in my essay, or on other random scraps which I might happen to write.

It is quarter to three, and I ought to be about half way through an essay by now, but I am so not. It is really quite upsetting actually. The essay is meant to be about Plato's Phaedrus, and his attitude towards Sophistry and Dialectic in this dialogue. But at the moment, I can't even get my syntax right in this blog, let alone in an essay.

The thing is, the essay is due in on Thursday. Thursday!? You might be saying. But that would give you the whole of today and tomorrow night to do it. But no. Tomorrow I have to go back to Brighton. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to see Eleanor, but this does mean I am losing out on a LOT of vital time which I need to write my essay. And Eleanor SO won't understand my need to get this essay in on time.

All I am hoping for is that Dan manages to get another ticket to the Caius Super Formal Hall on Thursday evening, because that would actually give me something to look forward to. I suppose I do have the T.O.D.S. meeting to look forward to on Thursday after my supervision. T.O.D.S. is a society a few of my friends and I formed. It is the Tea Or Death Society and our main aim is to consume every type of tea which we can get our hands on in the local tea emporium. We have other aims, but this is by far the principal aim.

Pleasepleasepleaseplease let Dan get another ticket to the Formal. This is basically what is getting me through my week. On Friday, I have to go back to Brighton AGAIN, for our school Prizegiving ceremony. I got the music prize which I am hoping beyond hope is moneys, but I have a sneaking suspicion it is book tokens. Which wouldn't go amiss, but aren't as good as CASH! haha!

It will be really nice to see some of my friends again, but I am not really looking forward to certain members of staff going "I always knew you could do it" and expecting me to tactically forget that they told me not to even bother applying to Cambridge at all... Such is the hypocrisy of the world. I bought a University scarf today, even though this week is going to be bloody expensive.

This has been a somewhat depressing post, but there is this thing at Cambridge (I think that those at the Other Place have it too) called "5th Week Blues" which I and all of my friends seem to be experiencing at the moment. To combat our misery, we murdered a piece of toast, and drowned it in washing up liquid, before leaving it on the kitchen floor like vandals. Because that was a really good use of our time. As is this...

Don't get me wrong. I am having a fantastic time here.

This week just passed has been one of the best weeks ever. The election of Barack Obama was amazing. We all partied all night long at the Union, and when Obama's election was announced, the place just ERUPTED in this Bacchic, ecstatic, euphoria, people kissing, embracing, cheering, laughing, waking the sleeping few to tell them the news... I will remember that night forever. And I have met Dan...

I have never felt so at home before. I have met some amazing, wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, likeminded people. I truly believe that I am at home here. But right now, I feel like death.

I think that the only thing is to go to bed. And post a much more optimistic post at the weekend, when this hellish week is over. Because inevitably, whatever happens this week, there will (hopefully) be another week after it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cambridge!

Well, here I am in Cambridge...

I have been here for a week, and a bit. So much has already happened. It is actually ridiculous! I have eaten my weight in cheese toasties. Toasties seem to be the "in" thing here. That, or I am just unaccustomed to the mysterious nuances of student life.

Tonight I am going to something called a 'College Family Superhall' which is indeed as weird and confusing as it sounds. It is basically a fancy dress dinner. I have also joined a society which simply calls itself the 'Sheila and Her Dog Society'. I must say, the people are the strangest and cutest people I have ever met in my life. They sit around in their dressing gowns, playing Charades, and eating lumps of cheese. It is all rather quaint, but yet so lively! I have also auditioned and been accepted by the College Chapel Choir, which aside from the God stuff (which I will be getting enough of during my Theology course for the next three years), should be really good fun! And it means free food on Sundays!

I am still considering whether or not to get into rowing... Do I really want to be a boatie? Do I need that in my life? I am not sure... But it is something so inherently 'Cambridge', you know?

Have made some lovely friends here too, which I am very happy about.

Sorry this is such a quick post. Here is a picture of some of us on Matriculation day. (Laura, Emma, and Me)

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Summer.

Well, this erratic blogger is currently in Australia!

The summer has been... eventful, to say the least! I did my exams. Some were harder than others, and that showed in my results. But all in all, I got three As! Hurrah! I am going to Cambridge!

I went to Italy with my Orchestra for a week, and we also played in exotic Birmingham.



I also went to France to see my Dad and I spent two weeks there. It seemed to fly by to be honest. My sister was on her way to taking her first steps, and my brother was... cheeky as ever! I went on bicycle rides in rural France, and did all sorts of picturesque French things...

So, results day was emotional, and the day after, even more so.

I did manage to watch a film called 'Penelope' though, which I can't work out. Is it a new film? Has it been out for a while? Christina Ricci looked really young, but Reese Witherspoon looked the way she looks now... Anyway, it was a lovely whimsical film, and it had James McAvoy in it, which I would never complain about. I also made friends with a lovely woman, whose name I forget. I don't think I will ever forget her though. It wasn't as though she was particularly remarkable, but we had a bit in common, and she was very friendly. We both wept when we saw the Australian sunrise from the aeroplane window...

Since I have been here, I have swam with sea turtles on the Coral Ree
f in Queensland, walked over the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, seen the chimney in Port Kembla, touched various animals, got a new watch, got some sunburn, broken a lamp, and cut my foot, and eaten a LOT of Thai food!


So, I am home in a week, safely in the arms of my loved ones. But I am also, orphaned in my own country. My mother has just flown out to Australia for at least ten weeks, and my Dad has moved to France...

But I suppose I am going to Cambridge, so I shouldn't complain! I don't know what to expect! I am so excited but so... nervous. Stepping into the unknown! Gosh.

Well, here ends another post from possibly the most irregular blogger ever...

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

stress!

wow, things are really hotting up at college.

there are two more days left of term, and everyone is very very stressed out. the upper sixth always write a sixth-form entertainment, parodying all of the teachers, and the school in general, for the last day of term, and so dutifully, we spent the last few weeks writing it, only to find today that it has been heavily censored.

tension is running high.

i have been away at my cambridge interviews, on monday and tuesday, so today was my first day back. i met some amazing people, and had some really interesting debates with fellow undergraduate interviewees about the terror limit (there was a right winger who was against, and a leftie who was pro! i was sat in the middle of them enjoying the debate washing over me!), and of course there was the whole Richard Dawkins debate. I think that everyone should at least look him up if they can't read some of his work. he is certainly fascinating to debate about!

anyway, the interviews themselves were actually quite interesting! i got asked some tricky questions such as:

Christians have been made to feel like they must apologise for the crusades. Do you think that modern Muslims have anything to learn from this?

so, that was quite a difficult one! everyone seemed nice though.

nice, what a word. but sometimes it is the only word that will do! i don't know if anyone else finds that, but some things are just nice.

in my next post i will start to attach photos and things like that! so there is something to look forward to. my band had a photoshoot today. i make it sound so glamorous! but really it was us in a basement with our friend Kathryn taking photos of us in togas against a tin foil backdrop! still, if she has sent them to me, i will upload some!

the band has some pretty cool songs. we just wrote one called 'Sinister Ears'

anyway, that is enough for now; i have a really horrible, big essay on sylvia plath in for tomorrow!