Wednesday, 22 January 2014

87. Buy a New Bag

Once again serendipity has played it's part in another seemingly mundane resolution, as last weekend I found myself faced with the always tempting urban outfitters 20% discount code - meaning one thing; even cheaper sale items. Proceed to checkout and purchase my new bag

I'm a pretty bad example of women kind for many many reasons, one being that I don't really own many bags (or shoes, or make up...).. I like pretty things, I just don't like spending money... but as sad as it sounds I now feel much more like an adult woman with this beautiful bag clasped in my hand. Thanks society. Still I love this bag. It's all a bit borderline disco but that's the point.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

#82 Have my physical cake and eat it (complete)

So it's back to the cooking resolutions as tonight I baked my actual physical cake - and ate it! 

I promise I will get to the more exciting resolutions at some point. It's just that baking, cooking and film watching are more achievable when you're still penniless from university.

I based the recipe on Sophie Dahl's Orange Victoria Sponge, which I had the good fortune of seeing earlier in the morning on BBC 2's new alphabetic cooking programme.Weekend daytime television in the UK is packed with a worrying amount of cooking programmes. I even clocked in an episode of the Taste which I think I may now love. I'm not sure exactly how but I suspect the British population are somehow being controlled en masse when they're at their most vulnerable. I mean the weekend is when our work frazzled brains will accept any television fodder - so what's with all the cooking lessons? What happened to Phil and Kirsty, or for that matter T4?

Anyway, the actual baking was less painful than usual which was a nice surprise. I was ecstatic when I heard chef Dahl exclaim "I used to hate baking". Yes! Me too! I hate how when a cake is ruined it's ruined and you can't simply mask it in icing...This puts a lot of pressure on me but at the same time I'm highly aware that it is simply a cake and that is all. Consequently, this strange mixture of nonchalance and neurosis equates to either a complete disaster or an acceptable attempt. This was definatly the latter so perhaps as Dahl also noted "practice makes perfect".

Here is the finished cake. Bit more homely than beautiful but hey.

I have to say I liked the orange and raspberry mix, and the finish with the orange zest. The only thing I would change would be the quantity of sugar. It was a bit too sickly. Ah well. Oh and also do not use organic self raising flour UNLESS you add baking powder or your cake won't rise (see above. I hate baking)

So... life changing. No. Life lesson, well, yes, sort of. I am now aware that I like Sophie Dahl and will probably use her recipes again. 

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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

#79 Make a sketch

 Yep, I also decided to sketch Keith Lemon. Bet you didn't see that one coming?

I started a new job which I thought would mean less time for resolutions but it's been OK. Obviously I don't have time everyday for the bigger ones but I got round to booking language lessons today and I've started my ebay sales. Next up watch Brazil I think, and hopefully this weekend have a fully realised pinhole camera!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Pin Hole Camera

Well I'm very excited about this resolution, especially since I started looking up on how to build a pinhole camera.

As it turns out the actual camera is pretty flexible in terms of what you use, but very specific on how you use it. Anyway at the moment I've found quite a few inspiring options.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

#25 Watch Withnail & I (Complete)

"Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day. And for once I'm inclined to believe that Withnail is right. We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell. Making an enemy of our own future. What we need is harmony, fresh air, stuff like that."

I now suspect that not laughing at a comedy can reveal a lot about yourself. For me the first 20 mins of Withnail & I was viewed slightly horrifically behind the filter of what perhaps was my own 20 something despondency to life viewing what happens when the rut is never ending. Almost like an adult fable. This was coupled by the fact that even behind the glowing sterile sheen of my screen the grit of the most terrifying flat I've ever seen, actually made me hide behind my duvet as I feared for the rat breeding piles of washing, yellow tongue inducing and drug infested lifestyle of Withnail & Marwood (I).

Watching Withnail, I quickly made a link with Black Books, one of my favorite comedies, and hoped it would carry the same surreal comments that only a raging selfish alcoholic like Bernard Black can produce. Happily, I can say, that was exactly the case. I can actually pin point when this happened which was when Danny leaves uttering the brilliant line of "I was leaving anyway. Have either of you got shoes??"

Withnail & I, will first draw you in with it's beautiful sad shots that rival any remake of Wuthering Heights, but in the end it's the most incredible writing, and beautiful coupling of Etonian prose with frank hilarious utterances, which will make you fall in love with this clever and funny film. 

I should also mention I was ready to go to sleep and flick over to catching up on 8/10 cats before I watched this film. So, in case you're like me and don't want to invest your time in what looks like (and is really) a meaty film -do! You will never be bored and you will be glad you did.

images source: myreviewer

Verdict; well since Withnail & I acted as an effective fable of the quarter age crisis (even if it was on speed), I would say this was a very good resolution for 2014. That and the fact that I now have these beautiful lines forever stored away;

stained with the butter drips of crumpets

the sky is bruised

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Learning to live with 2013

Part of my reason for starting this blog after finding 'the list' was that 2013 had been a bit of a rubbish year for me, for many different reasons. I've suffered from panic attacks since about sixth form, but last year they were at their worst again and this led me to stop doing things.

Anyway, as an avid rookie reader I found this wonderful webzine by writer Arabelle Sicardi on how she survived when things also got shitty for her this year. If you're reading this as someone who's perfectly comfortable in your life these posts and zines probably seem strange or maybe even melodramatic, but honestly reading it from someone else can be comforting and in the case of survival empowering thanks to Arabelle's outlook of life. it's good not to feel like the only weirdo (sorry) and I'd be surprised if there is actually anyone who's felt comfortable their entire life.

So I will listen to Arabelle and "learn to be my own hero" but also be prepared to experience both the joys AND pains of life. Sounds fun.

Also "don't fuck with dream killers". Couldn't agree more.

If anyone's reading this and is going through panic attacks I would recommend reading Zoella's post from a while back on her experience with panic attacks. I found her youtube video at the end of last year and it was really encouraging to hear her side of it, especially as someone who also had troubles approaching doctors etc.

Sorry for the emotional splurge (although it wasn't really, was it?). The next post will be purely filled with fulfilling resolution content!

Friday, 3 January 2014

#12 Learn how to make brocoli and brie soup (Complete)

So tonight I completed my first resolution

Learn how to make broccoli and brie soup

Obviously being the least taxing it's hardly surprising, but it's the sort of thing I know I would've put off for ages had it not been for the list (see it's already paying off :D) 

 (also includes potatoes and lots and lots of butter)

When I wrote the list I had not yet realised that I was lactose intolerant; hence the inclusion of brie; my favorite cheese. However, I felt it was wrong to change the resolution, especially since my family still eat cheese so I made a lactose free alternative for myself with goats cheese in place of the brie. I can tell you now it was definitely not as good as the brie, but worth it anyway.

Has this improved my life? Yeah, in a very small way.

So next up Withnail and I

Thursday, 2 January 2014

#79 Make a sketch every time I get bored/upset

Agreeing to sketch every time I'm upset/bored has so far actually been very successful.

I decided this would be one of my main resolutions this year after another day of feeling shitty and thinking 'these feelings are doing nothing for me. Instead of using them for bad, or just doing nothing, or listening to the frozen soundtrack again, why don't I use them as a sort of cue to do something'.

Who knows maybe I'll develop some sort of Pavlov dog response to my emotions - I really hope this doesn't happen since my employment really depends on my ability to draw, some of the time anyway. Which is sort of why I extended it to boredom. That and I didn't like the idea of the internet knowing about my mental ups and downs. here is the first of the years sketches;

I should probably mention most of these will most likely be of people. My life before university I was really into figurative art. Since starting a design degree however, I don't really get a chance to draw people that much (for projects anyway). Also this should be good practice for #63's life drawing class,  which I will hopefully be attending this friday! 

#4 Buy a designer piece of something

So, this is probably one of my more questionable resolutions.

4.Buy a designer piece of something


As a design student I quite often find myself sat in a coffee shop wearing a breton tee, listening to belle and sebastian and realising I've become the embodiment of a typical nob, or hipster, if you're into that sort of thing (i'm not, hearing the word makes me shudder, just say nice-probably-equal-parts-introverted-to-eccentric-creative person). So this resolution leaves me feeling slightly self-conscious of that fact. Luckily my lust for beautiful things outweighs all that. Anyway, the dictionary defines a new years resolution as;


  1. a promise to yourself or decision to do something, especially to improve one's behaviour or lifestyle in some way, during the year ahead

I can't promise this will improve my behavior but let me just pretend it's a beneficial lifestyle change. Anyway I haven't got any sunglasses. Also I promise you when I have bought the sunglasses I'll let you know how much of an impact they've made on my life. So here's to saving up! (hopefully by summer).

 Clubmaster Ray-Bans;

Two Thousand and 14 Resoltuions

So it is now 2014 and the list is 4 years old (although I've only just started completing it). In light of the actual new year I think I should be allowed to add some new resolutions. So here's my 2014 list;

75. Start some sort of exercise class/club and attend once a week
76. Go rock climbing
77. Finish reading ALL Game of thrones books
78. Finish a hard copy of my portfolio
79. Make a sketch every time I get bored/upset
80. Go to confession
81. Get my driving license
82. Have my physical actual cake and eat it
83. Attend a film festival
84. Cycle in London
85. Attend a Secret Cinema
86. Buy a new coat
87. Buy a new bag
88. Paint a picture
89. Roller blade in public
90. Ride a horse
91. Speak french, to a french person, in france
92. Speak Portuguese, to a portuguese person in brasil, portugal, mozambique, cape verde, angola etc.
93. Cycle around town in the early hours of dawn
94. Walk to the next village
95. Drive to the seaside

to be continued...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Two Thousand Resolutions

In 2010 I wrote a list.

 Last week I found this list in the cover pages of an old diary I'd forgotten I'd kept. Whilst being very entertaining I soon realised the potential to bring some excitement to my otherwise quite boring life. Consequently the list has become my list of resolutions to try and better myself for 2014.

The List:

1. Read all of D.H. Lawrences books 
2. Go to New York in A)winter b)summer c) spring d)autumn
3. Drive in a foreign country
4. Buy a designer piece of something
5. Own a pair of Doc Martins
6. Learn how to cut hair
7. Travel to Australia
8. Watch a horror at the cinema
9. Work for 3D animation studio
10. Kiss a french man
11. Go to a poetry reading/club
12. Learn how to make brocoli and brie soup
13. Travel to South America
14. Get to 200 followers on tumblr
15. Travel to Ant Artic
16. Date a Gregory Peck or Dominic West-a-like
17. Complete my violin grade 5
18. Go to Russia
19. Make £100 on ebay
20. Design and make jewellery
21. Train my dog how to wait for food on his snout
22. Complete Times crossword
23. Buy an Art book
24. Meet Dylan Moran
25. Watch Withnail and I
26. Watch 4 (now I say 15) films to see before you die
27. Bake a cake for my brother
28. Become a carpenter
29. Speak/ converse in a foreign language
30. Attend church for 3 months in a row
31. Get swimming lessons
32. Try a new a)Chinese b) Japanese c)Italian d)Greek restaurants
33. Fall in Love (cheers 19 year old me)
34. Take my Mum to France or Portugal
35. Learn best way to wear my hair
36. Wear Eye shadow
37. Live in London
38. Catch a bus to a random place
39. Catch up on Mad Men
40. Buy/ receive a Polaroid camera
41. Buy/ Receive nikon or Olympus camera
42. Make a pinhole Camera
43. Subscribe to a science magazine
44. Own a games console
45. Wear red lipstick
46. Bake and Ice a Cake
47. Make a pouch
48. Attend a Russian baths or salt sauna
49. Swim naked
50. Be naked on a beach (really?)
51. Pack up and go somewhere for the day
52. Get a photo with a celebrity
53. Text in to the Adam and Joe show BBC radio 6
54. Do 3 black squadron tasks
55. See Edith Piaf tribute
56. See 4 shows at the west end
57. Watch 3 plays
58. Live in a flat by myself
59. Work at a Patisserie
60. Work at a shoe shop (?)
61. Illustrate a book or a blog
62. Learn how to develop colour film
63. Enroll in a drawing class
64. Start a photo albumn of old buildings
65. Start a personal photo albumn
66. Go climbing in the lake district
67. Go to Japan
68. Go to Portugal
69. Climb a mountain
70. Go to Cornwall
71. Do the splits
72. Run a marathon
73. Visit my Aunt and Uncle
74. See a football match