Summer is almost here

16 May

It feels like it will be Summer soon. The next few days are supposed to be nice, sunny and mid-teens to twenties, which is always nice! It makes me wish that I had bought my deckchair a while back, rather than waiting until I have no money! I’m going home next weekend and the tickets were much more expensive than normal, so that’s £26 less for me to spend.

Chocolate Button Biscuits

5 May

Having finished and handed in my last undergraduate essay ever, I’ve been left with some spare time before I have to start revising for my exams. Naturally, this is being spent usefully lurking on the internet, but on Sunday I decided to take a break from this exhausting pursuit to make some biscuits! This recipe isn’t suitable for vegans, although it would be pretty easy to adapt if you were to substitute the egg and use vegan cocoa powder. I got the recipe from a very cute book called “1 Dough, 50 Cookies“, which I picked up in a publisher’s clearance bookshop for only £2.00 as I needed something to bulk up my purchase so I could use my card. This recipe seriously makes a lot of cookies, so you could halve it or freeze half the dough and still have plenty.

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The Final Term

25 Apr

It seems so weird that this is my last term as an undergraduate. In about two months I’ll have finished my final exams and nervously awaiting the results, and in three months time, I’ll be graduating and have a shiny set of letters after my name! andgreyskies BA(Hons) has quite a ring to it. I’m still ridiculously nervous about not getting into my master’s course, and I think I will be until I find out the mark for my dissertation. For now though, I have one more essay to write and another horrendous Greek exam on Monday, which although I’ve been revising for, I’m almost certain that I will do badly in. Hopefully just not as badly as before… if I can get 60% (a 2:1), which I will honestly be overjoyed, so today will be spent trying to hammer in what I’ve ‘learnt so far’.

I’ve also got my exam timetable, and it is horrible. My twenty-first birthday is on the 16th of June…
17th June 9:30 Greek Language
18th June 14:00 Greek Tragedy
19th June 9:30 Art and Architecture
The last exam is irritating as it’s on a Saturday, so that means I’ll only be doing half a day at work (or maybe I’ll miss it altogether!) so will get paid less.

Talking of work, I worked three afternoons last week and Saturday, so I shall be enjoying a nice fat paycheck to go along with my student loan coming in and the start of the month (when my living expenses come through). I’ll feel so wealthy until the rent comes out. I’ve also been asked to open the shop on the 23rd of June as Kate (the ‘supervisor’) is away at Glastonbury then. This is exciting because it means that I’ll hopefully be given more shifts next year. Emma, who also works with us on a Saturday and will hopefully be staying on for a master’s, also wants more hours next year, but is not in the bookshop’s good graces at the moment. She missed a lot of shifts in the holidays, apparently, and has also been annoying Kate with her constant boyfriend drama and moping around not doing any work.

Vegan Scones

28 Mar

Vegan Scones

I thought I’d upload my recipe for vegan scones, which were very popular with the Vegetarian Society! I’ll upload a photo tomorrow when I can use the card reader on the family computer, as I sadly forgot mine. I thought the scones were much tastier than non-vegan scones from a supermarket, so I was pretty happy!

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In which I swear all I ever write about is work and food…

28 Mar

Firstly, the good news- it’s now the Easter holidays, my dissertation is handed in and I got an offer for my MA course! Just have to get a 2:1 and over 65% on my dissertation, which is achievable (I hope) if I slog away at my next essay, revision, and Greek. So things are a lot better than when I last blogged! It felt so good to hand in my dissertation, all bound and ready.

I’ve been hanging out with Giles last weekend, and this week I worked three days in the bookshop, so I didn’t manage to get much done. I also cleaned my house from top to bottom (excluding my housemates’ rooms) throughout the week! Now I’m back in London, which is good so far, although I already miss Giles, and I won’t be able to see him for two or three weeks- probably the longest time we’ve ever been apart for. Yesterday, I went out shopping and found some bargains in Gap- I bought an grey trench-coat style jacket, reduced from £69.50 to £34.99 which was quite the bargain, and some half-price pyjama bottoms. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the new season’s stock in yet, but you can’t argue with half price! I also bought a book that I’ve wanted for a while, Vegan with a Vengeance. Irritating that it’s reduced by a lot on amazon, whereas I paid full price, but never mind, that’s how bookshops manage to stay open. It was recommended to me by a friend at work, and so far I’ve seen quite a lot of recipes I want to try making! Although I’m not vegan (I eat organic dairy and free-range eggs), I don’t eat cheese so most vegetarian cookery books are useless to me! It also means I can share the recipes with my vegan friends, which is a plus. I’ll have to post on here the recipes that I try, and the results. I think I shall make a (non-vegan) cake later in the week from one of my mum’s awesome old-fashioned cookery books so I’ll post photos of that as well. This is such a food blog.

I never realised how much I used my left thumb…

A sad food related story, now. A few weeks ago I bought a new, sharp, knife. My knives before this cost something like £4 in Ikea for four, so were not the sharpest although they served me fairly well. I was dicing (?) some spring onion, pushing it forward with my thumb, when -chop- I realised I had chopped into my thumb! With all the blood (fingers tend to do this), I couldn’t see how injured I was, and because the knife was so sharp I didn’t feel how much it cut me. Luckily, it turned out not to be too bad, and the worse I had done was cut through my nail and into the nail bed a bit, hence the blood. Where I’ve cut into the nail is so irritating though- meaning I have to keep a plaster onto it, or it gets caught on just about everything. Hopefully it will grow enough soon that I can cut the damn thing off without leaving the nail bed exposed. I did read online about putting superglue on it to hold the nail together, but it seems like a very bad idea when I have a cut under it.

I have learnt in this time, that my left thumb is the one I use the most- it is my yoghurt lid opening thumb, my shower-gel opening thumb, my texting thumb (fail iPhone only recognises actual fingers, not ones with plasters on), my bottle-lid undoing thumb, my helping-to-pick-things up thumb. Poor right thumb, I never appreciated how left out you must have felt!

14 Mar

I guess I’ve been feeling generally demoralised and disappointed in myself at the moment.

I really fucked up with taking Greek. If I could turn back time, I seriously wish that I had just taken a normal essay based module that I would have enjoyed and done well in. If I don’t do better on the next test and in the final exam, I will have most likely ruined my chances for a 2:1. I’ve resolved that throughout Easter I’m going to try to revise every day, try to do better in the hopes of clawing my marks back up. I got 49% in the last test. If I get a 70% this time, that should compensate for the last two tests where I got thirds. I just hope that I can do it. It’s Latin all over again, but this time it matters.

I was feeling okay about my dissertation (despite time running away from me…) until last night. I sent my second chapter off to my tutor and received it back with loads of comments about things I’ve missed, and I’ve realised that what I’ve written just isn’t dissertation quality. I wander through facts, citing other people, but as Dan wrote “Full of interesting facts, this chapter, but what is your argument? What questions are you trying to answer? Which myths are you trying to debunk?”. Although the feedback is really valuable, I don’t feel like I’m doing well at all. I guess all I can do is make corrections and add onto what I’ve already written. Today, I intend to write my final chapter and conclusion and send those off to Dan as well. I’ll never have been so glad to have finished something in my life. I’m still worried about what mark I will get for it. I’m just hoping for a high 2:1, so that even if I get a bad mark on Greek, I can hopefully persuade them to let me onto the MA course.

The MA course is another issue. If I don’t get a 2:1, I won’t get onto the course. I don’t even know if they’ll even give me an offer yet, but hopefully I’ll find out soon. I think that getting offered a place and then failing to get the grades required would be inestimably worse than not getting offered a place. At least if I don’t get offered a place from the start, my hopes won’t be raised and then dashed. I think the next few months are going to be hell.

I guess my point is, I don’t feel like I’m doing well. If I don’t get a 2:1, I’ve effectively wasted three years of my life and almost £20,000, not to mention all the good marks that I’ve got, all because I thought it was a good idea to take a subject I’m hopelessly bad at and far too lazy to do all the work for. I’ve got nobody to blame but myself if I fuck all of this up. Of all the things I’ve ever hated myself for, this would be the worst.


26 Feb

I went swimming, for the first time in more years than I want to think about, yesterday. I’m actually really glad that I went, and I don’t know why I spent so much worrying about it! I’m going to go again next week, maybe on Sunday or Monday. I was lucky when I went, as the pool was really quiet- half of it was given over to some kind of club, and there were only five or so people in the part that I was in. Unfortunately, I managed to forget my new, overpriced and cheaply made, goggles, so I couldn’t see much, and swam with my head above the water for half of the time.

I had feared that in the years that I haven’t swum (beyond splashing around in a pool on holiday) I would have forgotten how to! The old wives’ tale is true, I guess- it’s one of the things you don’t forget. It took me a while to get used to breathing while in the pool though, and I swear I have never ingested so much water! The pool is smaller than the one at Hornchurch Sports Centre where I used to swim, but it’s much nicer. I think a lot of that must be because it’s newer and not really for general public use. I’m going to try to keep up going swimming as it will be good for me! I did fourteen lengths, which isn’t bad for a first time. I’m aiming for twenty next time, then increasing them gradually. I had to measure in lengths, rather than time as I couldn’t even see where the clock was, let alone what time it showed!

After swimming, I went to the Animal Welfare and Vegetarian Society meeting and elections, of which I am not Vice President/ Secretary, which is quite exciting! We then went out for delicious noodles from the Coventry Noodle Bar. Probably tomorrow I’m going to write a blog about all the food I have eaten with them, but it will have to wait, as I have a 10am lecture tomorrow, and it is now 02:15. >_>