Cooking (quite badly) time: Bhaji Frittata

I am on a bit of a health kick at the moment, with a mad amount of juicing and salads, and none of that Christmas chocolate I have waiting for me for an occasional treat. To be honest, I’m really enjoying it and isn’t that much of a change to how I ate before, although I have had to think about everything I eat a lot more. But now it is becoming second nature to grab the spinach rather than the biscuits and I am really trying to challenge myself to see how far I can go with this health kick. We even got almond milk.

Today, I bring you a recipe. I must reinstate I am really bad at cooking, and you probably shouldn’t follow anything I say, but this was a bit different and BY GOLLY I WANT TO SHOW IT OFF. So keep reading if you fancy a bhaji frittata…

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A scrapbook, some jars and a wannabe crafter

I live in a house of constant crafting. My dad spends his free time making wooden trinkets and recently got into pyrography; my mum has dabbled in card making, scrapbooking and sewing, and has the big project of decorating a bare doll’s house to keep her busy currently; and then there is me with my (terrible) paintings, drawings and general crafting. I have grown up making things, and I don’t think my creative streak will ever stop having its own way and causing me to start projects that take a ridiculous amount of time to get done. But I love it.

A Scrapbook for a Travel Lover
For Christmas this year, which now feels like a far away dream, some of my friends and myself took part in a secret santa. As soon as I found out which lovely person I had been assigned my brain immediately jumped to the creative side and I started writing down all my ideas of gifts I could give her because I have way too much spare time. My friend is very into travelling and as it is something we have in common I thought it might be a nice idea to create a kind of European city travel scrapbook. I know, I am like a ten year old who just wants to glue and stick things all the time (was that just me then as well?).

On a trip to Liverpool my friend helped me choose this lovely scrapbook from Paperchase and the rule is when you have bought the scrapbook you have to start filling the scrapbook – no backing out. Uh oh.

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So for about a month and a half, I slowly filled up the pages with a city profile for each two page spread. Some pages are pretty terrible (e.g. the first pages on Paris), but on a whole I was quite pleased with it. The idea behind it was that my friend could put her own photos in, check off the places she had visited and fill in her memories from her adventures, and her task is now to make sure she gets all those places ticked off and more. It isn’t perfect by any means – I am not actually that good at arts and crafting, I just really enjoy doing it. But it is full of lots and lots of love, because I am a walking cliché. Here are a few of the pages that aren’t too naff:

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I know, it is a bit of a weird present, but I think she liked it!

Gifts in a Jar
I also wanted to get something for the rest of my friends, but I as worrying about offending them a little if I gave them lavish gifts when the majority of them are living the student life I am soon to live. I know they wouldn’t be offended really, but I a ma bit of a worrier. So I decided if I went homemade-ish I could get away with getting them something. I had some jars lying about so I decided to utilise the jars and make 3 different types gifts:

1. Spa in a Jar
It rhymed so I had to do it. For the spa in a jar I bought various minature spa-type bits and bobs and quite simply… Put them in the jar! Each jar had one main product (e.g. body mist, body lotion etc…), a candle, a loofah/flannel, face mask, bath fizzer and rose bath petals. Then I covered the lid in purple tissue paper, made a label out of black card, and stuck it on. Easy!

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'Pamper yourself'... I sound like an advert

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Note: the mess

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Crammed it all in

2. Coffee/Tea Break Jar
It doesn’t rhyme, but it involve coffee and tea so you can’t go wrong. For these ones I actually found these jars that said coffee and tea on, and filled them up with various goodies – unsurprisingly, various types of coffee, various types of tea and then a load of chocolate and a few biscuits. I plonked some rope round the jars, made a label and again, easy!
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3. Cookie Jar
The final jar was quite simply full of cookies. Yum. My friend asked for he cookie recipe, and this is the one I tend to use for gooey, chocolate chip cookies.

‘Millie’s Style’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe by alice1211 on BBC Goodfood)

Ingredients:
125g butter, softened
100g light brown soft sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
200g chocolate chips

Method:
1. Get your oven on gas mark 4. Or 180°C. Or something else.
2. Get your butter and your sugars, sugar. Cream them, which I always find really fun.
3. Egg time. Beat it in. Then plonk in the vanilla, mmmmm.
4. Grab a sift and sift in the flour and salt.
5. Fold in those chocolate chips.
6. Make them into little balls, and put them on ungreased baking paper.
7. Bake them for no more than 7 minutes (believe me) and take them out – they will harden as the cool.

COOKIES! I cut them with a small round cutter whilst they were still fairly soft so they fit in the jar, and then plonked in some cinnamon star shaped biscuits as well.
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That was my creative Christmas splurge. I always like to read about other people’s crafting endeavours so I thought I would write about my own. Like I say, I’m not very good at it, but I don’t think you need to be. Especially if you have some jars lying about.

2014 – Time to Reflect

Weird year. It has been a very weird year. I really can’t quite say whether it has been a good or bad year overall, but I suppose that is because things are never just black and white. I have never set myself resolutions before, but I feel like I should this year . Here are some of my silly reflections about 2014 – Get ready for a lot of rambling…

Studying Pays Off.
I have always been a geek and enjoyed studying and learning, but I have enjoyed it more than ever this year and studied like crazy for my final A-Level exams. I started the year with 4 university offers which soon became 5 (WHICH WAS CRAZY COOL), and after a bit of a rough time at AS level, I was feeling a lot better about my second year and was learning so many interesting things in my courses. Geography really got me back into current affairs, English got me reading more than ever and discovering writers who have got me ridiculously obsessed with metaphysical poetry (fun fact: I got pretty drunk when celebrating my 18th birthday and tried to get all of my friends to understand why metaphysical poetry could change their lives – I’m pretentious I know but John Donne is my main man… After Mr Wilde) and I got so much more confident with my French and was introduced to philosophy and French film. College (I should clarify, college in England is the school system prior to University) in general was a very fun experience for me, and I did a lot of things I am very proud of during my final months of college; and opening my results to see 2 A*s and a B in my A-Levels , and A* in an extended project that I really loved researching and writing, was one of the most relieving and happiest moments of my life.

New Year’s Resolution: Read at least 12 books. This number is very low, but the reason behind this is I want to read a lot of Russian literature next year (wish me luck), and I feel like they are worth about 5 books each in length and difficulty, right? I am pretty certain I will surpass this number, especially when I get to uni, so to make this more of a challenge I want to read at least 5 books in French, because I really do not read enough in the language I will be studying.

I Just Need to See the World.
This year has been a pretty good year in terms of travel – I got go to Vienna on an orchestral trip, London twice, each time with people I love lots, Amsterdam which was one of the best trips of my life – maybe the best – along with an interesting family holiday to Pembrokeshire (another fun fact: Scarlet fever is NOT fun, especially when you are trapped in a caravan in south Wales with it…) and trips to Bristol, Durham and Cardiff. But now I just yearn to travel more than ever – I am dying to just get out there and explore. My obsession with Europe has rocketed, and I cannot quite get over how much I loved Amsterdam. Amazing, amazing city.

New Year’s Resolution: Travel more. Specifically visit at least 5 countries next year.

Friendships and Relationships.
I’ve learnt that friendships and relationships are sometimes very hard. I’ve learnt that sometimes they are very easy. I’ve learnt that sometimes they can go from one to the other and back again. I have gone from being best friends with people, to not quite knowing where we are, and I am still struggling a bit with that at the moment. Most of my friends have gone to University this year and it feels like nothing has changed with so many of them, but there are few friendships that feel a little different, and I find it hard to really know what to feel about that. I’ve also been in love this year, and with that trusted another person very deeply, but then see the cracks show and felt alone and seen that relationship weaken, and eventually come to an end. That was really tough, and if I am quite honest, still is at times. Trying to rebuild a friendship from that is a very strange experience. But that makes it sound like I regret it all, which I certainly don’t – I have some wonderful memories, and some are the happiest memories I have. My friends mean the world to me, and I hope they know that.

New Year’s Resolution: Some stuff has been hard this year, but I have friends who have always been there and I want to return the favour. Be there for them, and try to not let things get too hard – it will all feel okay eventually.

Embracing the Unexpected.
If you had said to me a year ago that I would not be going to University in September 2014, I think I would have thought you were mad – and a bit creepy for knowing my future. If you had also said I would be teaching a GCSE I think I would have laughed in your face (mainly because the thought of a job after applying to hundreds seemed a bit impossible). I have been really lucky this year. For a while I felt very unlucky because of my rejection from Durham and the accommodation mess up in Bristol, but I don’t see it that way at all anymore. I am not someone who believes in fate, but I do believe in trying to make everything that is thrown at you an experience to learn from and try to make as positive as possible. I personally think being rejected from Durham and not having anywhere to live in Bristol this year was one of the best things that could of ever happened to me because I love my job, I love teaching and I feel like I have been thrown into a challenge that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I have also got a bit healthier recently (yeah, that is probably more to do with the fact I had no money for gym membership until a few months ago, but still) with going to the gym, DRINKING SO MANY SPINACH BASED DRINKS BECAUSE WE GOT A NUTRIBULLET AND IT IS AMAZING (I’m so obsessed with it) and thinking about what foods I eat a bit more.

Oh, and I started a blog.

New Year’s Resolutions: Keep going to the gym, staying healthy and feeling positive about myself – I haven’t felt good about the way I look properly for a long time, and I really want to be more positive about my body. Embrace whatever is thrown at me; I’ve already proven to myself that I can do that, so I don’t want to let that stop. Write at least 2 blog posts a month. I might fail at this, but I want to give it a go because I do enjoy it a lot.

Well, wasn’t that a journey? If you got through all that, I am very impressed and if I could give you a biscuit I definitely would. It really has been the weirdest and most emotional year of my life (aw, bless). Let’s hope 2015 is a fantastic year – I have a feeling it will be a very interesting one!

Happy New Year! 🙂

Up, up, up… Down?

It has been an up and down kind of week.

Last weekend a lot of my friends returned from uni, and I’ve been like an excited puppy. An afternoon of coffee and catching up last Sunday got me wishing the week at work would go much faster than usual. Which of course meant it felt slower than usual.

But that was okay because I had plans to fill the week up – so many plans! Too… Many… Plans…

Tuesday, I went into Liverpool with my mum to get some Christmas bits which mainly meant I needed clothes for parties. Need. Want. Okay, I wanted clothes for parties. I usually don’t spend loads on one item of clothing, but I felt like treating myself a bit and headed to topshop. For about 2 hours. Phewf. I did leave with a playsuit and ordered another online that they didn’t have in store in my size but I loved. But I was exhausted. I then treated my mum to a meal at TGI Friday which I’d never been to before (Highly recommend, apart from the extremely loud music. I’m such a party pooper).

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Wednesday was a super busy day at work, which I wasn’t quite expecting. So then when I went to Nandos and the pub with my friends after work, I subsequently fell asleep in the pub. It wasn’t even late, oh dear. So by the time I got home, I felt pretty rubbish and then had a rubbish conversations with a friend and ‘bluergh’ sums up how I felt to be honest.

So after all the excitement, it went a little wrong and I got ill. Well done, Rhiannon. The next morning involved me slowly trying to get ready for work but when it hit 7.45 and I still was sat on my bed feeling like death I decided I best call in sick. Which completely sucked as it was the Christmas concert and my general studies class, and I felt pretty bad about letting people down. I did, however, go see the Christmas concert and it was very nice, even if I felt ridiculously ill afterwards. The pupils even got me a little Thornton’s chocolate with my name on to thank me for my help, even though I ended up doing very little, which was very unexpected and very lovely of them.

Sadly I had to take today off too, which was sad as it was the last day of term. I’m also stressed about marking now as I didn’t see my general studies students to get all their work off them and also set them homework over Christmas. I’m trying not to stress. But I’m a little stressed. Phewwww. To top it off, is the fact it is the work Christmas do tonight and I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage it. I’m hoping I’ll be okay-ish, but currently I’m not so sure. Sob sob sob.

HOWEVER. I’m moaning, but it is Christmas, my friend’s are nearly all back home and when I’m feeling a little under the weather I know my friends will pick me back up again ^_^
I’ve had such an interesting year; not all good but definitely not all bad. In the grand scheme of it all, missing a couple days of work and maybe a party really isn’t a big deal at all.
I have a post coming up on something I’m making for my Secret Santa gift and the gifts I’ve done for the rest of my friends, but I won’t be giving them the gifts until at least the 28th I think, so you will have to bear with me on that one.

Hope everyone is well and I’m sorry my life isn’t particularly interesting at the moment!! 🙂

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum

I’m really feeling the Christmas spirit this year. Whether that is because I’m running a Christmas ukulele club at work, or I’ve got my Christmas shopping sorted, or my friends are all back from uni soon and I’M VERY VERY EXCITED I don’t know (I do, it is mainly the last one).

Whatever the case may be, I’m loving making tacky paper chains, singing Christmas songs and of course, decorating the tree.

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Blame I'm a celeb for this

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Our tree decorating consists of Dad putting it up and sorting out the lights, then sticking on the Christmas music, working out our colour theme and finally my mum and I going to town on our lovely (artificial – believe me, there were many debates about getting one a few years ago) Christmas tree.

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The album of choice

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Croation hearts

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My mum made this little fella

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And the whole time Harvey was like this…

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Boring pup.

Last to go on the tree is of course the angel, which has been my job ever since my dad used to lift me up to reach. Aw, cute.

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And the finished thing?

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Our lovely little tree!

Other than getting all christmassy I’ve been fairly busy; teaching my friend violin, going to town and maybe losing my debit card (wooops) and presenting the school’s talent show for the lower school (so many mic problems but the students are very talented!). Life is good. My friends are home soon. Woo.

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I got all fancy

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Mum made these cuties

Rambling about travelling, not travelling and possible weirdness

For a blogger that claims to be ‘obsessed with travel’, I rarely have ever mentioned travelling, other than my few trips round the country, which makes me seem a bit of a naff travel blogger.

To be fair, I’ve never claimed to be a blog solely talking about travel, and thank goodness for that because as some of you may know, I’m working in a school until next summer – and as much as I’d love to get more travelling out of this year, my job and my students now come first. Which is totally cool, as one; loving the job (you know that one already) and two; without it I wouldn’t have the funds to travel.

Cause I spent all my funds. This year… On travelling…

What!?!? You spent the money on travelling yet have never mentioned your travels? Yes, yes you are right imaginary astounded person. Thing is, the main trip I went on last summer was to Amsterdam with (I’m sure he won’t mind me saying) my now ex-boyfriend. Now when I started the blog, I actually starting writing about my trips to Vienna, London, Amsterdam and the Lakes, but because we broke up during this I was a bit too sob sob sob to be talking about what an amazing time we had in the Netherlands. But we’re still mates, and we’re good, so now I feel like I can finally write about it all. I’m the weirdo who writes about the trip with my ex, but I really just want to talk about HOW AMAZING AMSTERDAM IS. I dunno, bit weird, bit weird. Is it weird?

I know writing about where I went earlier this year doesn’t really fit the whole gap year theme, but the thing is I really want to write about travelling, and while I can’t travel but my wanderlust is still strong, it feels like a good time to relive the lovely trips I’ve been on.

Okay. Phewf. So I’ll start with Vienna and get that up, which was much earlier in the year than the rest of my trips, and I can’t believe it was this year…. It feels so far away! So get ready for some actually travel posts. It feels nice to say that even though it literally has nothing to do with my gap year.

Bonsoir! (see I can French. Side note: I was tempted to write a blogpost in French as I miss writing in it but then I realised people wouldn’t have the foggiest what I was on about and I would look more pretentious than ever. Such a tough life I lead, right?).

The Full(ish) Story

So I think I have only touched on why I am on a gap year very, very briefly in my first post many moons ago, and I feel like I want to explain what happened just a little further, now that I can look back and think, in a very weird kind of way, I’m so glad that it did.

Today, (I am writing this on Saturday, just to confuse matters) I finally sorted out where I was going to live in Bristol next year. If you don’t know already, I will be heading off the Bristol University next September to study French and Russian, and wow, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve know I wanted to study French and Russian since I was about 14 and I was introduced to Russian for the first time, and to be honest, I’ve never really considered any other degree after that. Yes, I momentarily thought ‘ooh, well I am much better at English and Geography, maybe I should do them‘, but as much as I’m sure I would have loved studying them, they both just lacked something for me. I love both those subjects a lot, but they didn’t feel as flexible as a language degree, and I also have always found languages that bit trickier, which is something I personally enjoy.

I know it seems a bit strange that I would choose to do a degree in something I find harder than the other things I study, but I just prefer the challenge. Even my A-Level results show that I’m not as strong at my French, which is partly why I’m not at uni now… Nice segway there.

I actually applied to Durham University as my firm choice for uni (firm basically means top, insurance is your second choice if you don’t get into your firm you go there provided you have the grades). It was a tricky decision as I was set on Bristol for a very long time, and had fallen in love with the city, but after a second visit to Durham, I decided I wanted to push myself to the slightly more prestigious University, with the, in my opinion, better course and more traditional feel. But luckily, I would have been happy with Bristol, because I actually preferred the city itself much more than Durham (although Durham is stunning, don’t get me wrong).

A-Level results day came, and I opened my UCAS Track to find I hadn’t got my place at Durham confirmed, meaning I hadn’t got the grades. Immediately I was sad and worried about what my grades would be, and with my friends all posting that they had got into their top choices (two of which actually going to Durham), I was feeling pretty rubbish. I presumed I’d got really bad grades as my AS grades hadn’t all been what I wanted the year before, so my confidence was pretty low about achieving good grades this year even though I felt my exams went really well.

So I opened my results, and I was surprisingly over the moon. An A* in Geography (from a C at AS, I don’t know either, I sold my soul to Geography), and A* in English Lit, and a B in French. I was so happy with getting two A*s that the B didn’t feel like too much of a disappointment, I mean, how could I be sad with grades like that? I was incredibly lucky and proud. My placed and Durham may have not been confirmed, but it also hadn’t been rejected, so there was still hope on the Durham front.

So after coming to terms with my results, I went off to my college to get some guidance on what to do next. I called up Durham, and they told me that I was on a ‘near miss’ list, and they were still deciding whether I would be accepted and it could take up to a week. Which was awful, but ho hum. I was optimistic, as my offer for Durham had been AAA and A*A*B was technically higher in UCAS points. All proud and happy with my results, I went out partying and clubbing the night away with my friends, not too worried about the fact I still didn’t know where I would be living when September came.

The next day was a bit tougher, as it sort of hit me that I might not get into Durham. I chatted to lots of other near miss students on a Facebook group, and loads kept getting in with lower grades than me, so I stayed hopeful and positive. Next thing I knew, my track updated and it was a rejection.

I cried like a baby, oh my word.

Thing is, if I had just been rejected the day before and not had that wait, I think I would have been okay. I just had got my hopes us; everyone had said that I would definitely get in, and I kind of thought, well yeah, if they think so, I am sure I will. But I didn’t and it felt like I had completely failed, especially with my two best friends both getting in – I felt like I was silly to have even tried.

I got over it though, because I knew that Bristol was an amazing uni, and I still was, at the end of the day, so so proud of my results. I really couldn’t complain with two A*s and a B, again, I felt so ridiculously lucky to have such good results. So I got onto applying to accommodation for Bristol, that was guaranteed for your first year by the Uni.

The way Bristol work is, you can only apply for accommodation when you firm it, so as I had to wait extra time to firm, most of the accommodation had gone, and what was left was not ideal. It was all so expensive, but I thought, oh well, I’ll just have to see what I get and hope for the best.

What I got, however, was a vague email from the University, saying I would be put in a ‘temporary share’ possibly for a whole term. I had no idea what was going on, and I got this email on the way home from a camping trip to the Lakes with my friends, so I was worried and told by my friends that it wasn’t the worst thing ever and just to see what is was all about.

Turns out it meant I’d be sharing someone else’s single room, with no wardrobe to myself, possibly no desk and a bunk bed. I’m fine with the idea of sharing with someone to be honest, I could cope with that. But after everything, and getting grades I was proud of, I just felt like I shouldn’t have to compromise, and I live many hours away from Bristol, so being told I should ‘travel light for the first few weeks, then pop back home to get the rest of my stuff’ was kind of the final straw.

I was told if I deferred my offer, I could have my first choice accommodation next year and after quite a lot deliberating, I thought, let’s do it. People have asked me why I’m not retaking my French and applying to Durham again, or somewhere else, which is a fair point, but to be honest, my heart is back with Bristol. I’ve got so excited about living in such an amazing city, and I think going back from that again would just mess me up.

So now, my accommodation is chosen, and it is actually the accommodation I visited earlier this year on my second visit to Bristol, when I wasn’t even considering Durham. It is so stunning, and is also where they filmed the wedding in BBC’s Sherlock, so has a bit of a claim to fame.

Everything seems to have just worked out for me, and I feel so so so so lucky. It didn’t feel like it was working out well for a while, with the unis seeming to not want me at all (sob), but I’ve ended getting a job I would have never expected at such a young age, got the dream accommodation that is notoriously tricky to get and I’m feeling super happy and positive. So thanks for rejecting me Durham, and thanks for messing up your accommodation Bristol… It has lead me to some amazing experiences, and my gap year has still really only just begun!!

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*I definitely don’t own any of those pictures! 🙂

NT Live: Frankenstein (Spoilers)

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I went to see the NT Live production of Frankenstein at my local cinema the other day, and phewf. It was intense, it was stunning, and it had me crying through start to finish.

I am a big fan of the Nation Theatre productions, and have seen a few screened at the cinema before (Othello, She Stoops To Conquer – both amazing in very different ways) and I encourage you to just go and see something if you ever have the opportunity, because they are fantastic.

This version was a Danny Boyle production, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller swapping the roles of Frankenstein and the Creature between shows. I chose to go see the version where Cumberbatch played the Creature because I heard he was better at the extremely animated and movement-driven part, but if I’m honest, I really want to see the roles reversed as well now, purely out of curiosity.

The first 10 minutes or so are the most interesting 10 minutes of theatre I have ever seen. The Creature is born, and like a child out of the womb, he slowly adapts to the world around him. Words can’t describe how brilliant this first scene was, because words were not even used. It was purely movement. I can’t imagine how much work went into choreographing this scene, because to act like you have no idea how to use the body you are in, and then to act that you are slowly learning how to move, and stand, and talk… It is like nothing I have ever seen before.

You could definitely tell it was a Danny Boyle production, because it was pretty weird. It breached into the realms of being a tad too strange at moments, I felt, but then it quickly pulled these moments back with the wonderful acting from Cumberbatch.

The play focuses much more on the Creature’s journey, over Frankenstein’s viewpoint. But this made it the opposite of the gothic, dark and abusive themes we often associate with the Creature, and definitely pulled onto the light and innocence that the Creature begins with. Which is why it is so heartbreaking when it all goes wrong for him.

I really liked how this version made it seem like the real monster was Frankenstein, not the Creature, because when I read the book many years ago, that’s how I saw it, and I think that is what Shelley wanted us to see. Of course, the Creature does not stay so innocent, and Cumberbatch again presented this darker, tormented side of the Creature in such a heart-wrenching way. I just wanted to give him a hug, but also run away from him screaming. Much like Elizabeth, I suppose!

The final scene left the play perfectly for me. It left that fear factor in, but it still made you sob in empathetic pathetic-ness for the Creature. Johnny Lee Miller deserves a mention too, because he carried off the cold, cruel and broken scientist so well, that the only reason I have properly mentioned him before this is because I hated Victor Frankenstein so much. Which is exactly what I did when I read it, so props to Miller there.

Overall, this was one of the most stunning pieces of theatre I have ever seen, and I am desperate to see it again, with or without the roles reversed. If you are a fan of Frankenstein, or if you have no idea what it is about, I urge you to try and see it, because to me, this is both the perfect introduction to the story, and also a brilliant new take on the classic.

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*None of the images I have used are my own (naughty, naughty)

Southern Fun; London, Halloween and Italian Food

I said I would do, so I did it. Here it is; my trip down south (*everyone applauds, fans screams, people faint etc…*)
The day after I got back from Cardiff, I was back on a train and marked my third trip to Birmingham New Street in 5 days. This time, however, instead of hopping on a train to the land of the Welsh, I hopped onto a Virgin train (ooh fancy) which headed towards London, as I was off to visit my ‘lavely’ friends and their ‘lavely’ dog. How ‘lavely’. Mel, Dave, Max, Leah and Willow. Can you guess who the dog is? (no, it isn’t Dave).

Here we go again.

Here we go again.

On the way to b'ham. Upper Crust and I are good mates.

On the way to b’ham. Upper Crust and I are good mates.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Isn’t she gorgeous?

The first full day was very chilled. Max, Leah and I went into the town centre for a bit and met up with Mel, but the miserable weather scared us off a little, and we headed back and made plans to see a film. So off to the cinema Max, Leah and I went, and we saw ‘The Maze Runner’. I haven’t read the book, and the only thing I knew about the film was from a book YouTuber who recommended the book – so basically I knew very little than the fact people are stuck in a maze. Needless to say, it was pretty good. Definitely was following that dystopian feel that we have seen through other franchises like ‘The Hunger Games’, but it was pretty different, and I quite liked it (I don’t like reviewing films too much, feel silly, let’s pretend that didn’t happen).

The evening we headed to Prezzo, and I was treated (thanks, guys!!) to a wonderful meal. I was very impressed with myself as I ate a whole calzone, then hazelnut covered ice-cream. Be proud, guys. Be proud. (Thank goodness I joined a gym, is all I can say). We went back, and Dave introduced me to Spaced. (I like it a lot. We watched a fair amount of Spaced whilst I was there.) I also wore my new heels that I got for a bargain and didn’t break my ankle, so it was just a night of successes really.

Sharing platter of yummy breads

Sharing platter of yummy breads

Phewf

Phewf

I don't like olives...

I don’t like olives…

The next day, we went to London. Ever since I went to London with some of my friends over the Summer, I have been dying to get back. I always liked London, but that trip just made me fall in love with the city. With it only being a twenty minute train journey from where my friends live, I had to go. So Max, Leah and myself got on that train and headed straight to Camden Market to have a wander. I really like the feel of Camden So many different people there, but all pretty chill. It is wacky and wonderful, and as someone who loves Affleck’s palace (which is just afflecks now apparently, who knew?) in Manchester, Camden feels like the ultimate extension of that, with it’s Gothic stalls and vintage corners. It is hipster central, but that’s probably why I like it so much. You can judge me, it’s okay, I just like kooky places (it is a well known fact that I am this ‘hipster’ of my friend group, I mean, I’m going to study French and Russian, I had no chance).

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Iconic, right?

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What size would they be?

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Pretty cool

Once we’d spent a little time in Camden, and I’d bought a scarf for me and my best friend, we decided to head for lunch. This meant catching a few tubes to Baker Street, and heading to Ask Italian. If you have never been on the tubes before, they can be summed up quite easily; hot, stuffy, sometimes very claustrophobic but incredibly fun and the best game of dot-to-dot ever. I really love working out which stations to hop on and off and what lines to get – I could ride around the tubes for hours if I’m honest. Plus I’m a nesh, so it is one of the only places that I am warm (the tubes and the staffroom at work).

Baker Street is such a wonderful station. It is ridiculously Art Deco and feels very grand, and you just want to take pictures of it and pretend all tube stations in London look like this (spoiler; they don’t). So here are some photos of Baker Street which is TOTALLY like all other tube stations. Definitely.

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Indi33

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There is also a really fat pigeon in this picture.

I thought I had more pictures than that. Awkward. You get the idea though, right?

Ask was, not surprisingly, fab. But that isn’t a shock, because I just love food a lot. I’m sure you’ve realised that by now, considering I talk about it so much. I’ll just show you pictures this time though, because I still have a lot to talk about, and FOR ONCE food isn’t my priority (is this still Rhiannon writing? Who is this imposter?).

GRAB THE DOUGHBALLS

GRAB THE DOUGH BALLS

Lasagne for Leah, yum.

Lasagne for Leah, yum.

Lasagne for Max, yum yum.

Lasagne for Max, yum yum.

They are the best.

They are the best.

Carbonara for me, yum yum yum.

Carbonara for me, yum yum yum.

After we had stuffed our faces, we decided to go see the poppies at the Tower of London, as we were lucky enough to be there for the run up to Remembrance Day. For some reason, I had it in my head that it wouldn’t be that busy. Half term. London. Once in a lifetime event. Really, Rhiannon? Needless to say, it was absolutely buzzing, which was lovely to see. The only downside is we didn’t get very close to the poppies, nor did we stay for very long. But it was truly stunning and such a wonderful tribute to those who died in WWI.

Poppies

Poppies

Busy at Tower Hill

Busy at Tower Hill

:)

🙂

After a lot of tube journeys (the circle line is the only line that confuses me majorily. IT ISN’T EVEN UNDERGROUND HALF THE TIME?!?!), our final stop of the day was Leicester Square, where we ate a lot of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Phewf. Leicester Square was, as usual, busy and full of life, and was the perfect end for little day trip to London Town 🙂

Circle line has the modern tubes. It also doesn't stay underground. Circle line is so weird.

Circle line has the modern tubes. It also doesn’t stay underground. Circle line is so weird.

ice creammmmm

ice creammmmm

(I didn't finish it)

(I didn’t finish it)

And that concludes our little trip to London. Ah, I love London.

Later that evening Max and Leah went out to explorers and I spent my evening with Mel and Dave, where we went to the very swish hotel that Dave works to get a pumpkin (don’t ask). We actually ended up getting Cosmos. Pumpkins. Cosmos. It was a crazy night.

<3

Best selfie ever!

Best selfie ever!

My final full day was Halloweeeeeen. That apparently entailed Max and Leah sleeping in until the mid-afternoon, but I got a lot of my book read (you lazy fools). But as soon as they were up and ready, we headed to Tesco to buy lots of baking goods as we decided to spend our day baking some Halloween themed cupcakes. This had to be my favourite afternoon of all. Music on, us three in the kitchen making a bit of a mess (we cleared it up, don’t worry), singing loudly and making some slightly naff cupcakes (bar Leah’s)It was just a good laugh, and reminded me why we are all still friends after all these years. We all just get along so well.

Voilà

Voilà

Ooooh

Ooooh

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh

The rest of the day consisted of preparation for Halloween parties. Which, for me and Max, mainly involved sitting around wearing moustaches, and then a lot of weird white paint (I am so, so sorry, Max). Then I went to a party with Max and his friends, who were all very lovely. They were all a bit younger than me, so I felt like that “cool, older person”, but I’m not that cool, and I’m not that old. It was good fun though, and nice to just have a laugh at a party for a change 🙂

Serious business

Serious business

"I look like Keith Lemon"

“I look like Keith Lemon”

Getting there

Getting there

DAT POUT. How cringey.

DAT POUT. How cringey.

hehehehehe

hehehehehe

bloomin' terrifying

bloomin’ terrifying

And that is it! That is my few days away… I FINALLY WROTE IT!

I really had the best time seeing them all, and I can’t thank them enough for having me there. Miss them already, and I hope I see them much sooner than another year (love you guys! x).

Aw, soppy.

The cliché blogging round up of the things I’ve learnt, or at least feel are notable enough to bullet point (because who doesn’t love a good list?):

  • Spaced is weird as heck, but a very good TV series.
  • You can NEVER have too much Italian food.
  • Naively thinking that just ‘a few’ people will go to see the poppies at the tower will lead you to be very surprised by the very full tubes and heavy security at Tower Hill.
  • Willow the dog is smaller than I remember, but just as lovely and cute.
  • Playing Ring of Fire with southerners is highly unfair when someone pulls a 9 and chooses the word ‘grass’ for me to rhyme with.
  • I really like travelling alone on trains.