Sunday, 30 November 2014

To Make

tomato an aubergine curry in a rustic bowl

Recipe taken from the guardian

Serves 2
onions 2 medium
oil 3 tbsp
coriander 1 tsp, ground
cinnamon 2 tsp, ground
black mustard seeds 2 tsp
turmeric 2 tsp, ground
tomatoes 4, medium to large
ginger 65g
garlic 4 cloves
aubergine 1 large or 2 smaller ones
coriander a handful of leaves
pomegranate seeds of a small one
Peel the onions, roughly chop them, then leave to cook in the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan over a moderate heat. Stir them regularly so they don’t burn, letting them soften and turn pale gold in colour. Add the ground coriander, cinnamon, mustard seeds and turmeric, stir, and then continue cooking.
Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, chopped but unpeeled, into a blender or food processor with the ginger and the peeled cloves of garlic. Process to a thick purée then pour into the onions, stir and continue to simmer gently.
Slice the aubergine in half lengthways, then in half again and then into short lengths. Warm a griddle pan and let the aubergine pieces cook until they are soft and lightly charred in neat lines on all sides. Gently fold the aubergines into the tomato and onion and continue to cook for a few minutes, correcting the seasoning with salt.
Spoon into bowls or on to plates and serve with coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

#56 See 4 Shows at the West End

Number 2; Made in Dagenham. 

I really hadn't expected much. I really hadn't expected anything to be honest other than Gemma Arterton singing trills about feminism (It is so much more than that). So I was really happy when instead I found myself in a very British musical which made me laugh audibly (yep I'm one of those) and had me tapping my foot away at the motown inspired tunes, not to mention gazing admiringly at the incredibly intelligent set design.

A musical to like, maybe love, but probably not see or listen to any time soon again.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


Like chewing on a lovely gooey gummy bear...

#92 Speak Portuguese

In Portugal I was able to practice a few questions, mainly 'Onde e...', as in 'where is..' and 'Qaunto e....', 'how much is' but ultimately my Portuguese is still pretty terrible for most everyday scenarios. My most successful conversation was actually with the 9 year old daughter of my Mum's friend. We spent about half an hour on an off discussing Disney star Violetta and the Portuguese version of Polly pocket - Obrigada Violetta!

Friday, 14 November 2014


Finished Raising Arizona, one of Film 4's 15 films to see before you die, and I only realised afterwards it's one of the Coen Brother's earlier films *Hand to Face*

Holly Hunt, one of my favorite actresses, whose reverse lisp is literally the best thing to enter my ears EVER, is naturally great and even more so, dare I say it, is Nicholas Cage who gives perhaps the best performance of his career (there is no basis for this statement other than my faint memory of National Treasure). The film is really charming, to put it best, and has some really nice use of framing, costume and very brown or saturated scenary to create the twee hillbilly world of the Americana. Oh an it's got a very good soundtrack (which I noticed is now being used on Channel 4's Catastrophe).

Monday, 27 October 2014

#23. Buy an Art Book

I've been hungrily reading this week. So far I've finished Dan Brown's Inferno, John Fowel's The Collector and now I'm half way through Aaron's Rod and  Ai Wei Speaks (with Hans Ulrich Obrist). Ai Wei Wei is an artist I've been very aware of for the past few years. I was lucky enough to see his exhibition at the Tate in 2010 but I honestly don't know much about his work or writing. With this in mind I searched for a book on the artist and found this brilliant set of interviews, as published by Penguin.

Admittedly buying a book isn't particularly difficult. In terms of New Years Resolutions, or To-Do Lists, buying something to complete a task feels distinctly like cheating your way to victory. It's incredibly detached, requires little physical effort and is normally over quite quickly. I wish I could say that I spent months searching for this book, lured into the aromatic and dank corners of a back street café, in which an aging painter handed me the greying sheets of his ex-lovers monograph, but I can't. I bought it in a Blackwell's. But the sentiment was still there.

Anyway the book is great. Ai Weiwei is funny and intelligent. The book not only gives you a great insight into Ai Weiwei but the struggle for all artists and people in China at the moment (or at least at the time of the books release). Highly recommended.

Monday, 20 October 2014

#34 Go to Portugal

So I actually got off my arse, booked a room, then the flights and got on a plane to Portugal. (Lisbon to be precise). I have actually been to Lisbon before, but it was ages ago and all my Portuguese lessons would be wasted without more trips to Portuguese speaking countries (plus it's so cheap!).

Quite sneakily the trip incorporate a few resolutions so I'll try and split up the posts, but otherwise I've also taken my Mum to Portugal. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

#35 Learn the best way to wear my hair

I've definitely havn't solved how best to wear my hair, and I'm not sure I ever will, but I've found these great tutorials on which are perfect for 4c hair.

1. DIY vintage hair

Thursday, 16 October 2014

32. Try a new a)Chinese b) Japanese c)Italian d)Greek restaurant

I have actually completed trying out a new chinese, japanese and italian restuarant slowly over the year. The only one that remains is now to try a new greek restaurant.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

#86. Attend A Film Festival

I attended the London Film Festival for the first time this week. It was very different to how I think most people would imagine a film festival, and yet at the same time I sort of expected it to be how it was. By this I mean the film festival is organised in a very informal manner. You buy your tickets online, like when you see go to the cinema normally, and then attend the viewing. We ended up going to see Excuse my french (a sweet and funny egyptian film) and '71 (a thriller set in northern island during the start of the troubles), but were late for the start of both films. Luckily (for me anyway) neither of the films had a red carpet. Some during the festival actually do, making the event slightly more than your average screening, but the great thing was we did get to see the director, screenwriter and actors at the end of the film for an interview and Q&A. All in all the whole experience was brilliant.

Deste Semana eu assistiu o London Film Festival. Foi a minha primeira vez. Foi mutio informal de que imaginava. Comprar os seus bilhetes online, e ver o filme como normal. Vimos Excuse my French (um filme de egypcio, fofo e engracado) e '71 (um suspense decorre na Irlande de Norte durante 'the Troubles'), mas nos estavamos atrasados para ambos.Felizmente (pra mi) nenhum dos filmes tiverem um tapete vermelho, como alguns filmes. Contudo, no final nos vimos o diretor, roteirista e ators. Foi brilhante.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

#114. Attend 4 Art Exhibitons

#108 Read an Arthur Miller Play

"Every man does have a star. The star of one's honesty. And you spend your  life groping for it, but once it's out it never lights again...I live in the usual darkness I can't find myself; It's even hard sometimes to remember the kind of man I wanted to be" Jim

I finished 'All my Sons' last night, after prolonging it for the past month. I've been a bit lazy with my reading lately, considering how much free time I've had for the past few weeks, but I'm glad I made time for this play.

I've been watching a lot of Mad Men too, which I think resonates with the America which Arthur Miller portrays, especially when considering how masculine the world appears, despite both stories use of strong female characters. I thought it was interesting that in the introduction to the play it is noted that, the character of Chris Keller was based on a real woman from a story Miller had originally heard from his mother in law. Miller changed this "because I didn't know much about girls then.".

The story itself does that wonderful thing of bringing making the audience question their decisions, and draws you in pretty intensely by the second half. I won't give away too much but the story starts quite innocently, yet still profoundly, at the house of an American family who've lost their son in the war, it then shifts into a complicated tale of law, family and truth.

"he had ripped apart the structures that support life and society...He has killed the possibility of a society having any future, any life." Arthur Miller

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

#56 See 4 shows at the West End

I Went to watch 'Once' the musical at the Phoenix theatre last month on a slight whim. If you haven't seen the film I highly recommend it, but I have to say seeing it live is almost better. So if you haven't overplayed the entire soundtrack already then it's probably an even better idea to see the musical first because hearing the instruments and voices right in front of you will always beat any stereo (in folk's case anyway).

I was really impressed by the whole set up. It's very simple; simply one set, a few props and about 20 actors who pretty much remain on stage either as the 'orchastra' or characters, but it was heightened obviously by the music, but also the intimate lighting and use of the stage. For instance, at the beginning of the show, and in the interval, you can actually go onto the stage which is a working bar, order a drink and watch the actors as they perform - like a real pub (minus the performance part for me anyway)! It was really strange watching the audience suddenly become the 'main stage', and because it happened so subtly, the actors and audience were indistinguishable. All this people watching also made me realise how many people actually go on dates to the theatre.

I'm enjoying how the list is encouraging me to do the activities I normally leave for other people to organise. I hope I can keep this up as I really love going to the theatre, and it is possible to get quite reasonably priced tickets. So here's to more plays!

image via confessionsofatheatregirl
No mês passado, eu fui assistir Once, o musical, no teatro Phoenix. Eu recomendo ele, se você não  nao ainda viu o filme. No entanto, vendo a performance ao vivo,  é ainda melhor.  Entao, se você ainda não ouviu a trilha sonora mais e mais ainda, depois, é melhor para ver o musical primeiro, porque, ouvir os instrumentos e as vozes ao vivo, sera sempre melhor do que o radio (para folk) .   

Thursday, 25 September 2014

#103. Grow Something to Eat

I have never been a gardener. My poor memory and lack of any routine mean that my plants always end up decidedly grey and drooping. However, this was made a whole lot easier by my choice to grow mushrooms with this helpful kit.

The box was a bit pricey at £18, which is alright considering I'll get another 3 crops, but it still works out at £4.50 a crop. Considering I've never grown food before though, and the fact that I can use the soil as compost later and get a 15% discount next time, I'm not really too fussed, but this is probably not a buy for any experienced gardeners. If you live in the city or don't garden, however, this is actually quite fun and rewarding.

The mushrooms grow over a period of two weeks but this crop actually took around 9 days before the caps began to turn. The beginning stages were pretty gross. That said the finished mushrooms were DELISCIOUS and I was pretty happy with the final amount.  

Eu nunca estive um jardineiro. Meu memorario ruim e minha falta de rotina significa que minhas plantas sempre tornar-se cinzas e caídas. Contudo, este kit util, tomo tudo mais facil.

Esta um pouco caro para £18, mas eu vou obter outro tres a quarto colheita (Embora, isto é £4.50 para uma colheita). Considerando que nunca cultvei comida, e o facto que eu posso a usar o solo reutilazado como compost organico, e terei um desconto de 15% de proxima vez, tudo bem. Contundo, se você está um jardineiro regular é  provalmente não para voce, mas se você vive na cidade ou não jardina, isto é muito diversão e gratificante.

Os cogumelos crescem por perido do duas semanas  mas esta colheita crescera em nove dias. No inicio estava bruto. Contudo, os cogumelos definitivos estava DELICIOSO e estive muito feliz com o quantidade definitivo.

Friday, 19 September 2014

#52. Speak Portuguese

I have a plan. After watching a video on TedX Talks on 'How to learn any language in sixth months', I've decided to put it to the test. I have to say that the video wasn't really revolutionary in explaining how to do this, however, it was encouraging, and it emphasised the fact that it is necessary to use it for relevant tasks. So this got me thinking; Why don't I use my blog to do exactly that! It's common for bilingual blogs to include a translated version of their text, normally below the posts. And so over the next few weeks I will attempt to translate my old posts, and any new posts that follow.

Depois de ver o video da TedX Talks (Aprender qualquer idioma em seis meses), Eu tenho um plano.  Devo dizer que o video não é muito revolucionário de explicar como a aprender qualquer idioma, porém, ele foi encorajador, e é destacado o facto de que é necessário utilizer para relevente funções. Então, eu pensava; porque não uso meu blog para exatamente isso!
É comum encontrar bilingue blogs a tem o texto traduzido (normalmente debaixo). Então nas próximas semanas farei o meu melhor para traduzir meus antigo postagens de blog, e os novos.


Também, se você fala Português, não hesite em contactar-me nos commentarois.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

#113 Stick to a Skincare Regime

In the spirit of new years resolutions I've decided to set myself the type of challenge that works to improve myself in a realistic manner.
I've been really interested in a lot of beauty blogs on and off for some time. My favourites ones like, a model recommends and thewanderlustproject often go into depth about the importance of a good skincare regime, so I've decided to follow suit and set up my own, which I will attempt to stick to.
I may try and splash out later for some serums, masks and so on, but for now I've stuck to these basic products:

St Ives Apricot Scrub; Dr Bronner's Baby Soap Bar; I've used the liquid version of Dr ronner's before and found it worked as a good basic cleanser. The baby product is meant to be a lot gentler, which is great because it's still quite drying. The girl at the till also said she used it on her dog so I guess that's another plus!; Simply Pure Refreshing Toner by Superdrug; Garnier Pure Toner, for oily days; Garnier Moisture Match; Carmex Lipbalm

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

#99 Make a Magazine Holder #47 Make a Pouch

Book Holder, Lemonade Vase and Lavender Pouch in Place

I had a free afternoon today so I decided to put it to good use and start making some things from the list. I ended up; making a book holder, a phone charger holder, a lavender pouch and recycling an old lemonade bottle, in attempt to prettify and organise my room.
I found a tutorial for the phone charger from makeit-loveit. In my case I got an old fairy detergent bottle and use bright fluorescent yellow spray paint, I'd bought earlier, to decorate. The book holder was much easier and simply involved cutting and folding an old cereal box. Heads up to anyone attempting this, cereal boxes are not generally A4 in size.
 To anyone reading this hope you're having a good week, and I highly recommend prettifying your room with flowers, bright colours and haphazard book holders.
Before and After

Saturday, 13 September 2014

#5 Own a Pair of Dr. Martens

Because sometimes

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Explore Creativity in the Digital Age

Made You Look documentary trailer from Look and Yes on Vimeo.

#112 Come Up With A Working Work Wardrobe

So I've completed a somewhat workable work outfit after trawling around quite happily on pintrest and lookbook for inspiration. The whole look is centred around some autumn winter staples; jumpers and boots, with my favourite kind of basics.
After having finished my collage I felt rather sick with myself. Not that I don't like a good polyvore, in fact I love a good polyvore which is probably why I've attempted one, but it was more the fact that to actually now stick to this regimented clothing shopping list seems slightly shallow, and yet now that I'm looking at it, it's not, it's just good old fashioned obsessive organization.

From left to right: 1. Blue and Red MuJi pens 2. MuJi A6 hardback notebook 3. Monki Cardigan 4. Uniqlo dress 5. Uniqlo shirt 6. Original 8 hole Dr. Martens 7. BZR mohair jumper 8. Black MuJi Pen 9. Denim Uniqlo Shirt 10. Black Uniqlo Long Sleeved T 11. Monki Earrings 12. 6 Hole Dr. Martens 13. Uniqlo Dark Grey Cardigan 14. New Look Tights 15. Monki Scarf 16. Monki Mittens 17. Monki Beanie 18. Asos Gingham Skirt 19. Pink Mohair Jumper and Gold Watch (yet to be found)


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

#26. The Usual Suspects

So back to the business of completing my resolutions, I watched the Usual Suspects last night, Number 4 in my list of 50 films to see before you die. I came to the film thinking I knew nothing of this 90's neo-noir crime thriller, which tells the story of a complex heist gone wrong. In reality though, the film is altogether too familiar, in what could be described as a tapestry of this classic American genre. 

Maybe it was the fact that being born in the 90s I've grown up with what has probably been a series of films inspired by the style of films such as this, which meant that every tense flashback paired with the boodum of synths had my eyes rolling, or maybe it was that I'd already known the twist, alluded to in later parody films and so spent most of the film shouting at kevin spacey's face, but ultimately I felt that what was probably a great film of it's time just became simply good.

A good movie for a night in, but certainly not the kind of film I'd ever fall in love with. 
Next up, Brazil I think.

The constant belittling of Spacey's crippled character will also keep you shouting at the screen (perhaps intentionally though)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

#112 Come Up With a Working Work Wardrobe

Admittedly, the whimsical nature of a new years list often becomes a vehicle for less whimsical goals for the year. Life is made up of so many boring moments that paying your bills, buying toilet paper and wasting a third of your life on tedious commutes becomes part of the rhythm of any life, no matter how exciting. 

All of that said, there is nothing more enjoyable than pretending to transform yourself through the medium of clothes. And so I will approach another necessity of life, the buying of one's uniform, and hopefully make the most of one of the more enjoyable mundane activities. Here's to fashion.

Friday, 8 August 2014

#57 Watch 3 Plays

I was a bit surprised when my family announced that they wanted to watch the latest Jacqueline Wilson play, or as far as I know the only Jacqueline Wilson play. However, as a childhood fan of the books, and also a theatre lover, I was happy to agree and went off with little knowledge of the story or production. 

The play is a about red headed feisty girl, given away as a baby to an orphanage, or rather a foundling hospital, during the Victorian era. There she is given the name Hetty Feather and sent to live with a provincial kindly foster family, before returning once again to the Hospital where all notions of love and family are abandoned. Hetty fights against the harshness through her own determination to be reunited with her family and to find her mother.

The presentation of the story was incredibly impressive. The choreography is based on circus acrobats and this is married happily with the set which is built up of scaffolding, ribbons and trapeze. Using these the actors are able to describe everything from trees, to elephants, classrooms and of course circus's.

I'm happy to say that even if you're past the age of 11 Hetty Feather is still heartwarming, beautiful and sweet. The music, on stage acrobats and intelligent set design all create a beautiful piece of theatre which push your imagination  in the best possible way. Maybe one to go with your Mum.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

#111 Sew a Top

Completed. Sort of. I still need to neaten the edges as they're still very raw (incredibly proud of my sewing usage terms there) and I will hopefully post a photo up soon.

Monday, 2 June 2014

#84. Ride a Bike in London

Surprisingly easy, wonderfully cheap.  NTS: Best in traffic free areas. London in traffic is still to be conquered. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

#57 Watch 3 Plays

Having become a member of Secret Theatre's mailing list was perhaps one of the smartest things I did last year. After receiving an email about their latest production, a mysterious, modern tale about the life of an artist, I grabbed a friend and headed off to east London, with a terrible mixture of fear and pure excitement.

Similar to secret cinema, Secret Theatre holds events in london whereby the customer is told only a few specific details about the show, what to wear and where to find it. In this case we were invited to the gallery opening of Dominic Datchio in East London, which was located by the canal inside what we found was a pretty nice bar with a gallery beside. We were also told to dress for a gallery opening.

Apart from English literature, I have little knowledge of theatre and the nuances of acting, something I've found other members of the audience can be very vocal about at these events. However, I personally found it to be incredibly enjoyable and as far as I could tell inventive. I liked the immersive nature but never felt overexposed (something that had caused the fear). Afterwards we sat in the bar reflecting on the performance, which had ended quite dramatically and sadly, and found ourselves slowly surrounded by the cast who happily mingled in with the crowds. It was completely the opposite to a big formal production, making it an even better experience. 

Finally, sat by the bar drinking our whiskey and cokes, we were greeted by a woman holding a brown envelope. "Take this", she said. Inside were directions to an after party, "tell no-one". 

Monday, 7 April 2014

112. Swim in the Olympic Park

I've spent the past few weeks forgetting what it feels like to be stressed. Not normal stressed, I get that at work, but whatever you call the kind of stress I normally endure on a bi-monthly basis. Yet it doesn't mean I've been happy, in fact I've been decidedly despondent, or simply put unsatisfied. I still haven't figured out adult life, but it's getting better.
Anyway, I realised recently I need to learn to let go. The whole point of this year was for me to do stuff I honestly want to do. I spent a lot of last year going through and doing a lot of things I felt I had to do and it never made me happy, and I never learnt to properly get on with it.
The problem is I don't know how to do that, so the key is the do little things to remind yourself how lovely it is to enjoy life, even if it's just for a moment.

This week I read an article about the opening of Zaha Hadid's olympic swimming pool in London. I realised quite quickly how awesome an experience swimming in that gigantic pool of light, warmth and chlorine would be. I think I like anonymity of swimming, but also it's very natural and tactile. It's also £4.50, which is ideal for a small worldly treat. So I'm adding it to the list 112. swim in Zaha Hadid's pool.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

#26 Sexy Beast

Surprisingly surreal, surprisingly real, definitely good

Sexy Beast was not the Guy Ritchie gangster affair I thought it would be.

I began expecting a bit too much hard man violence, oddball characters and a load of dialogue I'd find hard to follow if it wasn't for my sophisticated cockney linguistics skills (I have none). After watching number 32 on film 4's list of films to see before you die, I actually found that Sexy Beast did deliver all of these traits but was a different beast (eugh, really not intentional) altogether.

The film starts with the iconic scene of the greased up reddening body of  Gal, played by Ray Winstone, baking in the sun. Brilliantly, like Muriels wedding or a Mike Leigh film (my favorite filmic references), the film has a pleasant aesthetic realism which creates charming and funny scenes of gangster life in England and Spain. You catch yourself smiling rather than cringing at the open shirts, pink wedge sandals and red english faces which make up a brilliant pastiche of the middle aged expat glamour. What is great though is when this realism is punctuated with the surreal inner workings of Gal's mind. The whole thing is crafted so well and written so well that it feels more theatrical than a standard film.

The best thing about the film though was the unexpected element of a love story. Throughout the film you get an insight into one of the sweetest on screen relationships I've seen since Bruce Willis and his pot bellied girlfriend in Pulp fiction.

This is definitely a film I'd watch again and a dark but warming tale of a side to gangster life we never see; retirement.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

26. Watch 4 (now I say 15) films to see before you die

Film 4's '50 films to see before you die'
  1. The Apartment
  2. Citizen Kane
  3. North by Northwest
  4. Chinatown
  5. All about Eve
  6. Casablanca
  7. The Wizard of Oz
  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  9. Black Narcissus
  10. Apocalypse Now
  11. Withnail & I
  12. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 
  13. Alien
  14. Pulp Ficiton
  15. Back To The Future
  16. Fanny and Alexander
  17. Double Indemnity
  18. The Usual Suspects
  19. Trainspotting 
  20. Touch of Evil
  21. Three Colours Blue
  22. This is Spinal Tap
  23. The Shawshank Redemption
  24. The Ladykillers
  25. The Ipcress Files
  26. Secrets & Lies
  27. Scarface
  28. The Royal Tenenbaums
  29. The Terminator
  30. This Sporting Life
  31. The Silence of the Lambs
  32. Sexy Beast
  33. The King of Comedy
  34. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  35. Mulholland Drive
  36. Princess Mononoke
  37. Pan's Labyrinth 
  38. Fight Club
  39. Dr Strangelove Or: How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb
  40. Dawn Of The Dead
  41. The Breakfast Club
  42. Cabaret
  43. Brazil
  44. Aguirre, The Wrath of God
  45. A  Night At The Opera
  46. Donnie Darko
  47. Up
  48. Heavenly Creatures
  49. Pink Flamingoes
  50. Raising Arizona

26. One flew over the cuckoo's nest

What a film.

Watched One flew over the cuckoo's nest, a film I've been meaning to watch for ages and which is number 12 on channel 4's 50 films to see before you die. After watching the film I've come to many conclusions about mental health, state control and life in general, but I think the most important, or rather pertinent, is that empathy, is the best form of therapy and it's a shame that is not ingrained in many of the practices of healthcare and society even today. As you can probably imagine from a film about a mental health institute in the 50s, the tale is not a very happy one. However, the moments of joy and determination are worth a watch, and incredibly moving.