Sherlock advent drabbles :D
Today's word is: Rollover
Sherlock advent drabbles :D
Today's word is: Rollover
I've been on a bit of an early-20th century kick. This is mostly because I've been watching too much Downton Abbey and looking at too many Edwardian photographs while at work.
So this morning I found a rather nifty-looking Edwardian hair tutorial and gave it a go.
It's a bit more matron than marchioness but I'm still rather chuffed with the way it turned out.
Maybe tomorrow I'll try for the full Lady Mary.
Today, I would also like to give a shout out to my blanket :D
My Mum knitted this thing years ago. I first got it when I took it away to university with me and it's been my companion ever since (it even came to New York for six months!) There's nothing like a blanket to snuggle into when it's cold. I tend to feel the cold each winter, no matter where I'm living, so this blanket gets an outing each year.
Apparently my current flat is normally a warm place, but at the moment THE HEATING IS BROKEN D: So today I've been rocking it with my blanket, my hot water bottle and copious amounts of hot chocolate. It's been pretty good, all told.
Sherlock advent drabbles :D
Today's word is: Skeezy
Sherlock advent drabbles :D
Today's word is: Umami
Hi guys. I came over all funny this morning and decided that I was going to try to do something for advent. And that something is write Sherlock themed drabbles.
Whether I stick to it or not is another matter, but I think the writing practice could be quite fun.
The theme for each drabble comes from the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day.
Today's word is: December
I've been consuming lots of things this week, both literally and figuratively.
Firstly, Deborah and I attempted to make sushi yesterday.
It was lots of fun even if the results didn't turn out quite as we'd hoped. (I think maybe the decision to add sour cream, dill and honey was a strange one. IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME.) But we finished the meal off with profiteroles so it was all ok.
And we watched The Third Man. I love this film, guys. The cinematography and the music and the setting of a bombed-out Vienna all come together to make something quite wonderful. For example: stake-outs are best when you have balloons.
Other things I have been consuming include:
The new series of The Killing is on! Woo! Let's hope it gets as exciting as the last one, although I'm still feeling a little fraught after SPOILERS in the first series to be honest.
Handy hint: You know you're looking forward to the new series of The Killing when you start singing the words 'the killing' to the theme tune of The Sweeney. Yes, I am that cool.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
I started reading this book about three years ago and stopped half-way through because of my anxiety. Now I've gotten over all that, I decided to give it another go.
The verdict? This is a great book! Seriously good. I love the way it's written. The first-person POV is very well done and astoundingly fascinating. And the story's a pretty good yarn too. If you haven't read this book yet, go and do so. It's worth it.
Also, when I started reading it before, I hadn't quite realised how many Sherlock Holmes references there were in there, which is quite surprising given the title. In fact, I didn't realise the title was a reference either until very recently (right now, I am making my 'I feel like an idiot face').
Speaking of which.
As much Sherlock Holmes as I can fit in my head in any one time
Guys, did you hear the news? January. JANUARY. Soon we will have more episodes of Sherlock and it will be A VERY GOOD THING.
But, that also gives me a deadline. I am determined to have read The Final Problem and The Hound of the Baskervilles by the time the new series airs. The only problem is that I am also determined to read the stories in chronological order of publication and I've still got quite a way to go.
That's sorted then. Every day from now on will be Sherlock Holmes day and no regrets :D
So this weekend didn't go according to plan.
It was Deborah's birthday and she'd booked a table at a swanky club in Mayfair. Claire came down to stay at mine yesterday and we toddled off to Mayfair for some fun times.
Turns out though, that Claire and I were 10 minutes late so Deborah's table was full and apparently that meant we weren't allowed into the club at all; no table, no entrance. NOT IMPRESSED, SWANKY MAYFAIR CLUB. If you are going to have a super-strict entrance policy, please make it clear before people travel all the way here from Southampton.
To be honest though, I wasn't that disappointed. I was sad that we couldn't celebrate with Deborah, but I wasn't really looking forward to going to the club anyway. Don't get me wrong, I like dancing, but if you're an establishment that charges an exorbitant entrance fee plus a rather ridiculous minimum spend for each table plus plus a dress code along the lines of 'all girls must wear heels and tiny dresses and nothing else is acceptable' I tend to think you're a bunch of knobs and I'd rather not waste any of my money on you. Just for the record.
Anyway, all wasn't lost. Claire and I found a very nice Sicilian restaurant in the West End. We sat at the bar and drank cocktails and felt very classy. We also had a great chat, which is hard to do in a club setting.
And we were finally able to meet up with Deborah this morning to give her our presents. She felt a little bad about yesterday so treated us to hot chocolate and some rather delicious muffins, which was very nice of her.
Claire and I also went to Petticoat Lane market AGAIN and found a stall where they were selling jewellery for only 50p each :O Yes the quality does feel cheap, but I'm rather chuffed with my new necklace all the same (Claire got it for me because I had helped her purchase some new shoes minutes beforehand.)
So the weekend turned out rather well in the end, I think. God, I need to sleep now though; we were up cocktailing rather late last night.
I went to the Natural History Museum with Emma, Helen and Susan today :D:D:D:D
We all proved that we knew how to act our age by running straight into the dinosaur exhibition and then going to play with the toys in the gift shop.
In our defence, dinosaurs are pretty cool.
I loved the shadows that the skeletons threw on the walls.
I think these were velociraptors? Maybe? We indulged ourselves in many Jurassic Park quotes before we realised that the film is nearly 20 years old and promptly shut up.
Ok. So the animatronic T-Rex is there to scare the kiddies. But, gosh, it does move well.
I was scared myself. I WASN'T SCARED I SWEAR.
So fascinating though. I've just been watching a programme about dinosaurs on the TV, and I've also just finished reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. The TV show was a little low-budget and the book was a little dry, but, man, there isn't anything that fascinates me as much as evolution. Seriously. Seriously! When the book started talking about how organisms may have evolved in the first place, oh oh oh. Stuff that used to be there but isn't there now, oh my! Natural selection, oh, Mr Darwin!
And I will leave my beard on. GAZE.
After all that excitement, we went for lunch. And we just happened to pass by the Hummingbird Bakery. I'd heard a lot about this place, so I decided to go get myself a cupcake.
It was on the expensive side, but worth it to try it once, I say.
It came in a very cute little box.
Carrot cake cupcake for me. And it was very tasty. I normally find large amounts of frosting to be quite trying, but this one wasn't sickly at all. If I wasn't a person with bills to pay, I'd go back for more!
In other news,
The Three Musketeers
I read the above. In my opinion, it wasn't as good as The Count of Monte Cristo. Mariya begs to differ, and I will admit that it has all the fun and adventure and ridiculous storylines of Monte Cristo. But I found that the plot tended to meander a little and it was very much a boys' adventure story. Swordfights! And moustache-twirling! And deeds of derring do! For no apparent reason! Why all the fighting, guys!? Yes, maybe that's what heroes do if you live in the nineteenth century, but I can't help feeling that D'Artagnan and his friends spend most of the book wandering around acting like dicks. So much so that I was tempted to rename the book, The Three Dicks.
Then again, it is so ridiculous that it's almost charming. (It's the sort of book that should be read while listening to this tune.) And I wouldn't object if Gonzo decided to turn it into a pretty animation about blue space vampires :D
And then, SEWING
You may remember me saying that I bought a couple of dresses for super cheap but that they needed some alterations. I spent all day yesterday sewing, pricking my fingers, tying myself in knots, and lamenting the fact that I didn't have the foresight to actually learn how to do this before giving it a go. Still, I think the results are passable.
Seven pounds for the two of them! (I'm sure shouting out the price makes me seem ever so classy.) SEVEN POUNDS!
I've been all kinds of busy recently. Sorry about that. Have a very speedy run-down of what I've been up to.
1. Went shopping in Petticoat Lane market with Claire and bought two dresses for a grand total of £7. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for and I'll have to do some sewing before I can wear them.
2. Had a bit of a wander around the V&A with my parents. One of the most interesting parts was seeing a load of statues all trussed up ready for an exhibition to be refurbished.
2. There was a sale near my work and I accidentally spent £10 on condiments. Condiments! But they're posh stuff and it was exciting because I got a free box of crackers too :D
3. Went to Norfolk for a bonfire party at Theresa and Colin's house. Then we went geocaching, which meant walking around in the mud. I was a smoky, muddy, windswept person by the time I got on the train to go home. Lots of fun though! Next time I see Theresa and Colin, they'll have a little baby. Goodness me!
4. Online Christmas present shopping ohohoho. This is a particularly fun game, which costs far too much in shipping fees.
5. Guys, I watched Life in a Day. I was worried it was going to be boring but it really wasn't. It's a fascinating fascinating glimpse of people being people the world over and I cried so hard it's embarrassing.
So it wasn't the rapture yesterday. Well, shit. I thought we were all going to get sucked up into heaven to have a super-dance-party-fun-time with God? But then I remembered that it's only the good people who believe who get sent up to heaven. The rest of us dirty, cynical, heathen scum get to stay down here in real life. So maybe all the good folk really have gone up to heaven; I wasn't really counting. But if that is the case, then it just leaves all the more for us down here then. Until we're consumed by the burning fires of hell and brimstone and hellish brimstone that is.
In related news, I watched Holy Flying Circus yesterday. For those who've not heard of it, it's a comedic dramatisation of the furore that was sparked by the Monty Python film, The Life of Brian. Jesus, I love The Life of Brian. And, for the most part, I loved Holy Flying Circus. Some parts were a little eeh, but the self-referential in-jokes were fun and it contained a sketch about the head of BBC4 that made me laugh for about 10 minutes straight (as soon as I find a clip of that part on YouTube, I'll post a link to it for you). Confusingly, it also seems to have brought back my crazy girl-crush on Michael Palin, even though it wasn't even him on screen. What?
My verdict: not super-great, but definitely still worth watching.
Oh, look. But none of that is the point of this post. Nor is this next part:
I do love catching random parts of other people's conversations. I was going up the escalator at a tube station the other day, and I overheard this from two guys who walked past me.
Guy #1: [...] smell of piss.
Guy #2: Like piss?
Guy #1: Yeah.
WHAT. Suggestions on a postcard, guys!
No. The point of the post is this:
I have realised that living in London, with Oxford Street and all its shops, is rather dangerous. I went to New Look after work the other day to buy my Mum a cardigan for her birthday... and while I was there I thought, 'I may as well just try some things on.' AND THEN I WENT HOME AND ACCIDENTALLY DID THE SAME THING THE NEXT DAY TOO.
Have some pictures. (I apologise for the 'ahoy-thar-matey' poses. IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME.)
Red cable-knit jumper and denim short-shorts from New Look.
Scarf is a present from Mariya.
Brown cable-knit dress, belt and leggings from New Look.
Necklace is a present from Mariya.
I'm sensing a trend here! Honestly, I didn't realise I'd gone solely for the cable-knit until I got home. Help. I think I may be channelling John Watson without realising it.
And finally: I went on a walk with my ex-work-mate Lisa today. We walked from Regent's Park to Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the streets were exceedingly posh and the risotto was tasty. Good fun all-round :D
Apparently it's THE RAPTURE today.
And I'm glad.
Because I bloody love this song.
(I don't know what everyone's worried about. They're just a band, guys!)
I made a curtain!
Ok, so all I did was put a lining on it, but that's the most sewing I've done since I left school! I don't have a sewing machine either, so I had to sew this beauty by hand. (Shhh. Don't look at the stitching up close, otherwise you'll see how much of a novice I am.)
I feel so proud of myself right now. I was planning on buying new curtains because the ones that came with the room trailed all over the floor and were very annoying. But then there was a sale near work, where I saw this fabric for super cheap so I decided to DIY it instead :D
As I was sewing, I watched some of Stephen Fry's Planet Word. In this episode he was talking about swearing, and there was a scene with Brian Blessed which was superb. I could happily watch Brian Blessed swear all day.
Here's the clip (the scene with Brian Blessed can be found at 1:48-10:26) but be warned, there's some bad language about:
Hi guys. I'm really sleepy after stuffing myself full with a Sunday lunch, but I will try not to fall asleep as I type.
In exciting news, I ran into Steve and Heather on the tube. THIS IS CRAZY. They don't even live in London and yet we just happened to get on the same tube line, on the same train, in the same carriage, at the same time. The chances are slim, but there you go. I spent the whole journey with a face like this :O
Hooray for nice surprises!
In other news, I read a book. Let me review it.
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
I didn't know much about Caitlin Moran before I read this book. My knowledge of her amounted to this:
- She is a Sherlock fan.
- She wrote that fascinating Lady Gaga interview.
- Ergo, she must be some kind of journalist.
So, when Susan recommended that I read How to be a Woman, I wasn't super-duper enthused. I thought, 'Oh, that Sherlock fan has written a book. I wonder if she mentions Sherlock in it?' (She doesn't, for the record.) But, I have to say, the title put me off. How to be a Woman sounds a little didactic. 'Oh God,' I thought. 'Is this going to be some kind of book about shoes and romcoms and Strictly Bloody all the Dancing that girls are supposed to like but I don't? Apart from the bit about Sherlock, which will be good, obviously.' (For the record, there really really isn't a mention of Sherlock in the book.)
So, I was wary, but Susan was all 'READ IT READ IT READ IT OMG READ IT IT'S SO FUNNY.'
To be a good friend, I decided to give it a go.
Guys, having read it, let me say: this book is brilliant!
Susan wasn't wrong, the book is hilarious.
I was the one who was wrong. It just goes to show: don't judge a book by its cover (or its title).
This book is not the flippant, preachy trash that I thought it was going to be. What it is is part-autobiography and part-feminist manifesto. And Caitlin Moran is a very funny writer. The number of times I burst out laughing at inappropriate moments. I would give you a quote, but the book has already gone back to Susan and been loaned out to another of her friends.
But the book is not just funny, it's also got some very sensible feminist ideas in it. The stuff you don't realise until it's told to you, even though it's obvious. Like: it's ok to never have kids. It's ok to get wrinkles and grow old. And this. Some of the stuff is ruddy empowering.
Now, I'm not saying I agree with everything she says, but most of it is tip-top good stuff.
So yes, if you haven't, I highly recommend you read this book. It is fun and clever and fun.
READ IT READ IT GO ON READ IT
I've been quiet for a bit because I went on holiday! It was the first holiday I've had in ages and I really feel like I needed it.
I went to the Lake District with my parents. Ah, Cumbria. Home of Kendal mint cake, a million walking shops,
and irate charcoal burners.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we got upgraded from a 2-bedroom flat to a 5-bedroom farmhouse! It was very luxurious and I miss it quite a lot.
One half of the living room. The other half contained a piano!
There was a waterfall in our back garden! This sounded impressive, until we realised that in the Lake District, there a basically waterfalls EVERYWHERE.
The whole place was filled with:
Small winding roads. (Most of them ridiculously steep. One in the town we stayed in was called 'The Struggle'.)
Waterfalls. Waterfalls. Waterfalls.
Little stone bridges. Straddling waterfalls.
Gorgeous scenic views.
But at the end of all that walking, on the days when there was a little chill in the air, it was nice to end up with one of these.
All in all. Very nice place. Full of tourists because everyone knows how nice it is. A+ would go again.
But, despite being that far north, I didn't see the Raven King once :( Saw lots of crows, but I don't think that's quite the same.
In other news...
I finished Miles Edgeworth Investigations
Out of all the Ace Attorney games, this one seemed the most shabby. Mostly because the English translation was littered with typos and spelling errors, but the actual content of the game didn't feel that slick either. Still fun to play though!
Here's a handy summary of what it's like.
I also went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
In terms of atmosphere, design, and generally capturing the bleak cold war feel of things, this film is great. The whole thing is cold, grey and austere with peeling paintwork and modern architecture. A pleasure to look at. In terms of storytelling though, I think the film could do better. It really doesn't pander to the audience, which I normally like, and you do have to work to follow along. But I must have taken a wrong turning somewhere because I was left feeling very underwhelmed by the climax. I had no idea what went on in the last quarter of the film, and I didn't even realise it was the climax until it was over. Hm. Maybe I'm more stupid than I think. (I blame the heat: go to an un-airconditioned cinema on one of the hottest days of the year? GOOD IDEA.)
While we're on the subject. Weather, what the hell do you think you're doing? It's OCTOBER and I'm sitting here BOILING in a SUMMER dress! I'm all for a bit of good weather, don't get me wrong, but this is just PERVERSE.
So I am all moved and settled into my new flat in London. I am so happy to be living in the big city again. There's so much to do! And I can actually go visit my London friends without having to sit on a train for ages!
Also, my new commute takes less than half the time of my old commute, which means I have evenings again! Although I've kind of forgotten what evenings are for. It gets to 9 o'clock and I find I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my time D:
Don't worry though. I'm sure I'll work something out :D (drawing a picture right now ohohoho)
So, do you want to see my new room? It is smaller than my old flat, so has more furniture squished into a smaller space. Also it is 10x warmer than my old flat (srsly, it's like a sauna at the moment). All of which means it feels very cosy. Which is good. I like cosy.
Sorry for the dour lighting. It's pouring with rain at the moment.
Also, I went to Helen and John's wedding on Friday. It was all rather lovely. The weather was gorgeous (the last fling of a summer we never had, apparently). And the roast lamb was to die for.
I did learn an important lesson on etiquette though.
Things not to say at a wedding #1
After eating a lovely concoction of fruit, cream and meringue: Hey, do you think an Eton mess sounds a bit like a euphemism?
It does not go down well, let me tell you.