Monday, 27 December 2010

Winter Sunshine

SO Christmas has happened, there's been lots of snow & coldness... Have some sunshine!



I seem to have a habit of photographing plants when in Bristol. You'd think I was from the countryside or something...

Photosoc Tea Social :)

Photosoc socials - best made of yummy tea, old cameras and warm laziness. The extreme contrastyness in this photo is down to a) the intense sunlight coming in through the glass front of the café and b) my cack-handed film skills. I shot a roll of 400 speed black and white film as though it was 1600 (on purpose) with the intention of "push" processing it (developing it for longer) to make it look more interesting and possibly contrasty. However I got it mixed up with another roll of the same film and accidentally developed it for the normal length of time only... So it came out *very* contrasty! I rather like the effect on some shots though, just a shame I wasn't expecting it.

All these photos were taken on my Pentax ME Super, click through to my Flickr for details/more :)

Monday, 22 November 2010

An Outfit, A Drink & Some Film

Click through on this link to see the photo I wanted to post. I'm not posting it because I don't want to be a bad person & nick a copyrighted photo. So it's more of my crap I'm afraid!
I just saw that outfit on The Sartorialist and liked it - lovely & bright but still smart. Less keen on the furry collar thing, but other people just don't conform well enough to what I like!
I'm brewing up a post on clothes you love to death, but decent sunlight and time are evading me. I've got two coursework deadlines next week, one of which I am yet to start. Gah.

On the plus side I've just bought Sainsbury's Light Hot Chocolate so I have something warm and indulgent to drink that doesn't require me to remember to buy milk!
So here I am looking cosy... two years ago!

52.7 How I like to live

Oh! This morning as I was walking down some steps on my way in to university I found a Polaroid picture nestled in a hole in this wall
Bokeh in your honeycomb wall

So I picked it up, and it looked like this

Mysterious... so I turned it over

Aha! Impossible CR.
A little light googling confirmed my suspicions: it was no ordinary polaroid, oh no! It was one from The Impossible Project!
Exciting stuff, it is. It sounds like some of the Impossible Project film hasn't worked brilliantly but it's a really nice project. Some ex Polaroid employees have got together & acquired a factory in the Netherlands where they're trying to invent and manufacture new types of Polaroid film.
Yes, there's still Fuji Instax, but there are a lot of Polaroid cameras about! 300,000,000 of them according to the Project's homepage. The page does strike me as a little overdramatic - it claims that they're saving analogue instant photography, neatly ignoring Instax. But oh well!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tiredness, betterness and pretty leaves

Feeling a significant bit on the rubbish side this evening. My back is achey from carrying my laptop around all day, it's cold (but I get too hot with coat & backpack on), it's wet, my house is cold, and I'm TIRED. Bah!

Wish I had some amazing cupcake bath bombs and a decent supply of hot water to go with them. Our boiler's fixed now (it'd been dead for a few days), but the bathroom is still not a terribly attractive prospect. For one thing it's always several degrees C colder than the rest of the house, and for another there's no extractor so we have to have the window open while we're in the bath/shower to prevent too much steam/damp.

Since I wrote the above the boy has arrived bearing chocolate, we've eaten pizza, been to a Photosoc talk and come home again. I feel much better now. Hurrah!
I've also found out that one of my friends from home is currently in Bristol, so I may get to have coffee with her tomorrow morning. I'm heading home for the weekend, mainly for a friend's 21st birthday but also to pick up post, see my family and watch the new Harry Potter film with them! I still have the problem of finding a good present for the person who almost literally has everything, but it should be a nice weekend :)

Enough wittering from me, bedtime! And a pretty photo.
It's pretty leaves time! I recently went on a Photosoc trip to Westonbirt Arboretum (more of which on my other blog at a later date)

Pretty leafiness :)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Much Needed Post

It's been just over a month since I last posted on here! Predictably I'm going to say that I've been really busy; mostly with University work and Photosoc stuff.
I'm not doing too badly at keeping up with it all, but I'm aware that there's a lot of time I'm not using to its full potential (like now, I've been reading RSS feeds for three hours). Gah. Add to this the fact that my current workload will double next semester and you'll see the problem... I may be heading for a fail.

Anyway, rather than witter on about how hopeless I am, I shall leave you with a few nice/interesting things I've found on the internets recently:
Some of my photos to finish with - I've been playing around with double exposure & cheap film. Yay!

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Voice!

Click through this link to find a clip of Neil Nunes, a continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4, who has the most amazing voice. Really. It's sort of deep & fruity. <3

Also,  here's a better view of my background photo:

That's all for now, back to work!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Plymouth & London

Last weekend I took a combination of trains and lifts with friends down to Plymouth for a friend's twenty-first birthday. The theme was The Inbetweeners (a popular TV comedy series about schoolboys) and we raided Primark for glasses, ties and knee-high socks. It was a pretty fun night, home and university friends were mixed pretty successfully and not too much money was spent. We got rained on very thoroughly on the way home and ended up with soggy chips :(
In the morning we went out for breakfast to an amazing place called Goodbody's, which is a pretty ironic name considering they specialise in vast calorific breakfast and pints of pudding! One of my close friend's boyfriends managed to polish off a large breakfast, a bacon sandwich and two drinks. I made do with one normal sized breakfast and a coffee.

On the menu there were many weird and wonderful types of breakfast including "Devon Breakfast" - a full English plus a deep-fried scone, "Cornish Breakfast" - full English + a pasty, and "Indian Breakfast" - full English plus curry & naan. Bizarre in an amazing sort of way.

 On Tuesday the lovely Niall drove the two of us to London to see Darren Hayman & the Secondary Modern play at The Luminaire in Kilburn. We stayed with and took the OS who lives in London. We had a nice afternoon wandering along the South Bank before the gig and had supper at Wagamama (the first time I'd been there). The second support act were Dan Michaelson & the Coastguard, who were really pretty good. We were tired so we sat on the sofa at the back and enjoyed their chilled-out sort of sound.
T'was a nice evening.

This is the video for Calling Out Your Name Again, which has Emmy The Great on it too and is rather lovely. The video's good too, he can really draw!

The next morning we had brunch before heading back to Bristol. Yay.

Sunday, 10 October 2010


The lovely Poet has given me a couple of awards! Thankyou very much indeed!
Make sure you visit Seamstress Stories, she's got a wonderful way with words :)
sunshine award:
No strings attached, just post the flower picture on your blog, enjoy, and share the goodness with 12 others (or as many as you choose). We can all use a little sunshine on this rainy day..
So this one's going to Lupin, Tilly, Leah, Jess, Florence, Helen, Jools, Beth, Jen, Lulu, Jith, and Adam.
A Blog with Substance award:
Thank the blogger who awarded you and sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation and experience in 5 words (that's a lot for 5 words!)

Trying not to be boring!

The Blog with Substance award goes to: Adam! He's been a Flickr contact of mine for several years now and anything he sets out writing is guaranteed to be interesting :)

Monday, 4 October 2010

I'm still alive!

I'm pulling myself back from the verge of Blogfail. I'm feeling somewhat busy now, and lectures haven't even started yet.

Last weekend I popped up to Bristol and went on a lovely six and a half mile walk with Niall and some of his family. It was downhill to the edge of a lake and then back up but we went at a nice pace and there was stopping to admire the view/cows/lake. Niall has already had his films developed and has written a little photoblog about it here. The weather was really good; bright sunshine almost the whole time, but not too hot at all.
We had a picnic lunch along the way, watched some planes land at Bristol airport, ran away from cows that charged toward us, met a rather cute wobbly puppy, and finished the whole thing off with an excellent meal at the Bear & Swan in Chew Magna. H'rah!
The next day we had brunch at The Primrose Café in Clifton, then I drove home in time to take my sister to Asda to buy helium balloons. (and for me to buy the roses in the previous post)

After a few days of sitting around at home not achieving a great deal I came back up to Bristol. We drove up in pelting rain; the spray on the motorway was so bad I could hardly see! But we made it, lugged my stuff up to my flat, and had a delicious selection of salads for lunch at Papadeli, with Luscombe lemonade, ciabatta & oil, and really tasty manchego (Spanish sheep cheese). Followed, of course, by coffee and cake. I was actually too busy eating to take photos, but it was delicious.*

Since coming back I've been to the pub with Photosoc, seen one of my friends who's a singer/songwriter play a gig, drunk tea with computer scientists, run away to rainy Plymouth for a friend's birthday and had Photosoc meetings to organise all manner of new year stuff.

I've got to organise a photographic scavenger hunt! Eeek. It involves sending teams of people off around Bristol with a list of things to take photos of, they can be specific things, vague ideas or concepts. The idea is to have fun and meet people. I've got a few ideas already but suggestions are welcome!

Here's a video of my friend Mikey aka asinglebiteofcherry playing at The Croft in Stokes Croft last Thursday.

You can hear samples of and buy his album on his website!

I'm off to London tomorrow for a gig, excitingness! Expect photos etc in the next few days...

*You may be able to tell I quite like food

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Stop-motion Kindle

Isn't this advert cute? It's for the Amazon kindle.

I'm not sure what I think of the Kindle yet; I think it's good for people to have easy access to so many books, articles, journals & magazines, but
a) the physical feel of a book is irreplacable, would I want to read from a kindle?
b) how many books does one have to read on the Kindle for it to pay for itself?
c) people who buy them are likely to be those who read lots anyway, and would buy the books they download. What it needs is some sort of feature like Flickr's Explore or LastFM's Recommendations to introduce users to new things (although of course LastFM gives me more music like what I already listen to...). It may already have this?
d) how soon before copyright of books becomes an issue like that of music?
e) will it live as an idea? Why not have an app for the ipad/ipod/iphone or even read them on your laptop?
Yes a kindle is smaller than a laptop, but it's still nowhere near as convenient as a foldable, batterable, lovable paperback. You spill your tea on it and at best you've got a smeary screen, at worst an electricity-meets-water write-off. With a book it'll cost you at most the cost of another copy, substantially cheaper than a whole new device. And a smeary screen will never be as endearing as a brown splodge in a well-loved volume.

I'm not pretending to be a well-informed reviewer. These are just a few thoughts I've had after seeing the advert. I should probably research it a bit more as I'm sure there are some clever people behind the scenes who've thought it all through. We shall see!
Still a nice advert :)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Vase Love

All Three

So after posting about banning myself from buying anything new next month, what do I do? Buy old stuff this month. It makes perfect sense?!

Anyway, yesterday I took my younger sister to Asda to buy exciting helium balloons for a friend's birthday party and found these lovely(if slightly battered) orange roses reduced to a mere 24p! Twenty-four of my English pence!
So of course I couldn't leave them there; they came home with me and I put them in this lovely slightly bubbly blue glass vase which belongs to my Mum. Here they are in detail:

Asda Roses

Mum's vase
Isn't it a lovely vase?

Later on, on my way back from dropping the YS off at said party, I took a slight diversion in the hope of catching the lovely evening light on the reservoir above my village. Sadly it'd gone behind the hills by the time I got there, but as I was coming through the village I spotted a collection of furniture by somone's gate and stopped to have a look. It was a sort of garage sale with an honesty box; there were tables and a ceiling fan, a lamp and lots of picture frames. I was tempted by a washing basket but what really caught my eye was a box of vases priced at 50p each. I picked out the blue and white one first but only had a £1 coin so I went for the glass one too. It's an interesting sort of shape, like a conical flask with an open top.

Roadside Vases

I'm rather pleased with them :)
I don't often have flowers when I'm in Bristol but I always look longingly at the beautiful ones at the florist nearest my flat. They're really quite reasonably priced, I bought a little bunch of daffodils from there for 95p in March or so which ended up living in a milk bottle for want of a vase. Now they could have a much better home!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Buy Nothing New Month

So apparently October is Buy Nothing New Month, so say the Salvation Army in Australia*. As a student and someone who isn't good at lasting will power & self control I feel this might be a good thing for me to try. The idea is to go for the whole month of October without buying anything new aside from the necessities (food, medication, "feminine hygiene products"). This is a little like the no-new-clothes months which people like Lauren at Blooming Leopold have inflicted on themselves, only a little stricter.
Now one of the problems I have is charity shop shopping (the others being eBay and sales), which isn't banned under this. I seem to mentally not count any charity shop purchases, which is decidedly unhealthy I think, especially given the wonderful cluster of them on my route to and from lectures... Therefore anything I *do* buy from a charity shop/car boot sale/friend/eBay during the month of October will be appearing on this blog. I wouldn't have much to document otherwise, would I?
So today is the twenty-fifth of September, that's 5 days left before the shopping diet kicks in...

Topshop knickers are a weakness
Topshop knickers are a particular weakness, can you tell I used to sell Lingerie?

*I know I'm not in Australia but it's still a good idea :)

Friday, 24 September 2010

A Brief Introduction

As I start this blog I am:
- At the start of my twenties
- About to start the second year of a degree in Maths & Computer Science
- Living between my parents house and a student flat in South West England
- On the committee of the university photography society
- In posession of a shiny new compact digital camera
- Rendered unable to work at my desk by the vast amount of junk I own
- Listening to BBC Radio 4
- Supposed to be sorting out my room
- Sitting at the kitchen table with my hair wrapped in a towel and eating grapes

Things wot make me happy include:
Things which make me happy
(click through to Flickr for annotations)

I don't have any followers yet so I can't very well ask them what makes them happy, but if you're reading this the comment box is down there *points*

Courgette* & Cream Cheese Tart

*or zucchini if you're American

This post comes to you courtesy of Facebook. While it was down last night I spent a while discovering the Smitten Kitchen blog, which several people I follow had mentioned on their blogs; one of them was definitely Helen of Afeitar who makes me thoroughly jealous of her baking.
I bookmarked far too many recipes to try (they're sorted into those that I have tried and those that I haven't and, unsurprisingly, the latter folder is much bigger)and I decided to have a look in the fridge and see what I could make; I ended up with an adaptation of Zucchini and Ricotta Galette.
Courgette & Cream Cheese Tart
It was an adaptation because I had to use what I had, which means swaps: yoghurt for sour cream, Sainsbury's Basics cream cheese for ricotta, flora for butter, more cream cheese for mozzarella etc.
The pastry coped with the yoghurt fine, it was just a tad on the sticky side so I'd use less water next time. I also stuck some dried mixed herbs and chopped sundried tomato in the filling to make up for using inferior cheese (although I'm not sure I put enough in as I couldn't taste either). Also I'm lazy so I didn't rest the pastry, salt the courgette or brush egg yolk on the pastry as she does. It's bodge cooking but it seems to have worked.
One silly mistake I made was adding bicarb to the pastry because I decided that it needed to rise. I think that's what's responsible for the slightly odd taste of the crust and its spongier texture. I'm a baking n00b.
I quite liked the pastry really, it didn't require a vast amount of mixing or anything, just the extra flour at the rolling-out stage. I'd like to make more of these in the future I think! Possibly sweet ones with apples from the glut we have at the moment.
Courgette & Cream Cheese Tart

7 Rules for Happy Blogging

I'll start off by saying that I'm by no means a blog virgin (ancient and current attempts: 1 2), but I (somewhat naively) intend to make this one a success. That's success judged by whether a) I stick to the rules I'm going to give myself b) I keep posting c) people actually read it.
I'm willing to give myself some slack on the last one as expecting the rest of the world to find my ramblings interesting might be asking a little much.

Anyway, I shall:

1. Update at least once a week for at least a year from today (Friday 24th September 2010)

2. Keep it succinct. Fewer rambling descriptions of the minutiae of my life. I won't feel obligated to blog about something, or go into great depth when a brief sentence is fine.

3. Have no rules about posting a certain thing. I've failed at Flickr-based 52 Weeks projects because I just don't have the ideas (or Strobist skills) for 52 interesting self-portraits. (see said attempts here: 1 2)

4. Not worry too much about explaining who relates to who in my life. The boy shall be the boy, the older sister shall be the older sister (or OS) and the younger sister the younger sister (or YS) etc.

5. Include at least one photo in each post, doesn't matter what of, or if it's old or new. My other blogspot blog is full of photos, mostly in chronological order.

6. Not "abuse commas" as my OS is always saying I do. And spellcheck before I publish (I can spell, it's normally just typos).

7. Regularly re-read and remember these rules.

I was torn between publishing here and on Tumblr. Tumblr is nice in a sort of bubbly, enthusiastic, easy way but I think I prefer the more permanent feel of blogger/blogspot/Google and the fact that it already supports comments!
Things I blog about may include: cooking, clothes, charity shops, photos/photography, jewellery making, the occasional bout of Maths/Computer Science geekery, books, knitting/crochet, my love of train journeys, and anything else that crosses my mind.


52.16 - FlickLgraphique!

Oops! Almost broke Rule 5.