Sunday, 27 June 2010

Off On My Jollies

To St Davids in Pembrokeshire 
I'm going with my parents and a friend to stay in a remote cottage 5 minutes from the sea. We're there till Thursday, and our visit happens to coincide with Pembrokeshire's Fish Week. I am hugely looking forward to sandy, coastal walks, nice food and a homely cottage far away from anywhere (pretending i'm Keira Knightley in 'The Edge of Love', see previous post). What i'm not looking forward to is the 6 hour train journey to get there which clashes horribly with a rather important England v Germany knock out match.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Italy vs Slovakia

Unless you've living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you will probably be aware that the world cup is going on. Yesterday afternoon me and a few friends from work (two of them Italian in fact) went to watch the Italy vs Slovakia match in the city centre. It was being shown on a big screen that had been put up on a little grassy area surrounded by office blocks and restaurants. It was a must win game for Italy and there was a fair bit of tension building between our Italian boys and the Slovakian fans. At half time Italy were losing by one goal, so we decided we needed something 'rustic' to perk us up. There was a deli nearby and we bought balls of mozzarella, black and green marinated olives, salami, bread and cup cakes. It was such a lovely sunny afternoon, and we drank beer from plastic cups and ate mandarin sorbet from little tubs. The only thing that could have made the afternoon better was that if Italy had won.
Food was all bought from Carluccio's Deli

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Degree Show

The Man Candy and i went to look round the degree show for all the art department at uni. We went on the opening night, however that was more a social occasion, so we decided to go on a quieter day to have a proper look round. I absolutely loved going round the photography and illustration sections, as well as the graphic design one of course. I've been having a bit of a creative slump recently and the show really helped  spark some ideas. There was one piece in the 3D Design section that we both loved, and had we a) money and b) the space (but mainly the money), we would have purchased it on the spot (see picture). There was also a vase that i really would have loved to buy but naturally it was from a collection of pieces that had no name left by it, so it was a bit of a non starter. The show's on till the end of this week so if you are a local person and have some time to spare, go and have a look round and get some ideas.
We thought this rocking chair library was rather good.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Spice Jars

One of my favourite things about the flat i've lived in this year is that in the kitchen we have a spice cupboard. It has pretty much everything in that you'd ever need. I decided a while ago that for my new flat in September, i would continue the spice cupboard. As my first little project for the summer, I'm going to get some little food storage jars (like the one below from Bodum) and create some letterpress labels for each different spice. I found the image above quite a while ago and rediscovered it this morning, i think i'd like my labels to look a bit like the granola ones. 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Photogenic Food

Whilst stewing in a bath with a magazine, i read a piece about a new way of making sure you eat healthily. The idea is to photograph everything you eat and drink in a day. The thinking behind it is that you are less likely to want to photograph (and therefore eat) food that doesn't look good for you (think bags of crisps, processed food etc) and so you feel more compelled to eat 'photogenic' food like fresh fruit and veg. For the last few days i've thought before eating, 'would i want a photograph of this?' and it actually has worked quite well. On a slightly separate note, how nice are these egg cups? They're from Lakeland and have been left unopened in the kitchen for quite a while, so i thought it was about time they were unpacked and put to use.

Playing Catch Up

(my bar)
It feels like an age since i've done anything blog related. I've worked 5 out of the last 7 nights, which is a bit of a shock to my system, and seems to have rendered me useless to the blogging world. I work behind the bar at a big Italian restaurant near home. I've worked in restaurants part-time since i was 16, and have dealt with a huge variety of interesting customers, who i'm sure will one day feature in my future best-selling novel. I do enjoy the work because you meet such a wide range of people and get to watch how they react in social situations, whilst having the physical barrier of the bar to separate you from them. I also love guessing what dishes people will go for, depending on the company they're in. The awkward first dates are my favourite to watch, as the couple run their eyes over the menu and look alarmed at the amount of spaghetti and 'messy dishes' on offer.
I think another reason i've let regular blogging slip is because i've been going back and forth from the family home to the flat. I haven't had the time to sit down and think, which sounds odd because i've finished my course for the summer now and all i have is time. I've decided to set myself some little projects over the summer to keep myself busy. I don't like not having something to get up for in the mornings.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Bed Linen

My bedroom at home (family home rather than uni flat) is being painted. For the last few years it has been a dark purple, painted not so expertly by yours truly in a moment of teenage angst or something similar. The new colour is to be a clean off-white that will hopefully lighten the room and make it look a whole lot bigger. I have been given the great responsibility of finding myself some new bed linen.I think i'd like something floral, but not over the top, I also have to consider the blue carpet and blue curtains. So far i've not found anything that has jumped out at me. I've browsed through a lot of Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley but everything looks a bit too OTT. I'm now wondering whether i should just get something plain like white or cream and then have a load of floral mixed cushions. Know of any nice bed linen suppliers?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Muse of the Day

Or muses actually. I watched 'The Edge of Love' last night with an old friend. The film itself wasn't groundbreaking but at the end we both agreed that Keira Knightley and Seinna Miller are both spectacular beings. April Ferry was the costume designer for the film, i would like her to design my life.

I'd like to surround myself with cable knit cardigans and wooly knee high socks with wellington boots. It's a real shame i can't wear that shade of yellow without looking unwell.
I think the most striking feature throughout the film was the red lipstick Knightley's character wore. I may have to treat myself to a Tom Ford one, although i imagine there's an art to applying it so flawlessly. I don't know how well i could pull off the loose curls, but they may be worth a go too. I absolutely loved everything about the design in this film, costume, set and music.

Monday, 7 June 2010


My Saturdays usually pan out something like this: Wake up around 10am and wander into the kitchen. Automatically fill up and switch on the kettle, regardless of whether i feel like a hot drink or not. I always feel like a hot drink really. I'll then plonk myself down on the sofa with something to nibble on and switch on Saturday Kitchen. It's a very soothing way to bring yourself into consciousness, it's not demanding and it makes you want to go out and buy lots of fresh food. I usually switch off at the end of the programme and hop in the shower, however for the last few weeks i've stayed put for an extra half hour to watch the next programme. It's called 'The Delicious Miss Dahl' and is Sophie Dahl's latest venture, and i can't help but fall in love with her. The six part series focuses on a different mood or emotion each episode. The show's received a lot of criticism already, saying she's just a Nigella knock-off, but i think there's definitely room for two doe-eyed chefs on TV. I'm not actually sure chef is the right word for Dahl. What comes through most strongly from the show is her pure enjoyment and delight for good food, not necessarily ground breaking new recipes. I think what i like most about her is that she associates food with memories, and it's the little anecdotes and story telling throughout the show that i get caught up in. The show's definitely worth giving a chance. Once you realise she's not trying to be the next Heston or Ramsey, i think you'll really enjoy getting caught up in her little culinary world.
I think i may purchase a copy of her book (which looks beautifully designed).

Friday, 4 June 2010

Summer Reads

Now that the weather seems to have pulled up its socks, my thoughts are turned to the task of choosing a select few books to read over the summer. They must fit a certain criteria; not too heavy going, must end happily-ish, must involve some form of humour etc. Last summer i chickened out and re-read a book i love called 'Sun Dog' by Monique Roffey (read it, you will love it). I was waltzing aimlessly round a bookshop yesterday and saw what i think will be two main contenders for my summer reading list...

Any and all book suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

House of Tea

I was taken to the wonderful Tchai Ovna on my visit to Glasgow. It's a little tea house tucked away in a corner of Glasgow that you'd only find if you'd been taken before. The menu boasts over 17 pages and 80 varieties of tea along with a nice selection of vegetarian dishes. I had one called 'Fairies Blood' which was deep red in colour and tasted of strawberries, kiwi, mint, camomile, raspberry flower & honey, it was delicious. It's not a chain venue which makes it all the more special, however you can purchase a selection of the teas from their online store
We ate: aubergine, bean & mushroom calzone and falafel with salad, pita bread & baba ganoush. 

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Bank Holiday Breakfast

strawberry milkshake & a peach and raspberry smoothie
I had a brie, bacon & cranberry melt with spinach & chips whilst the Man Candy proceeded in wiping out a couple of species with his 'Royal Brekkie', which was enough to feed a small village. A good late start to the day.