Saturday, 28 February 2009


This is a landmark post (helpfully hinted at by the title). This is-wait for it- my fiftieth post on this blog. Can I hear you cheer? This is a mark in my love-hate relationship will blogger, and this blog has been with me through the best of times, and the worst of times. Well, it never really got that bad. This post will hopefully incorporate a few of the things this blog has come to be known for. Take this opportunity to look at some of my older posts. Perhaps the one that started it all, Books and Big Brother; or the one from Paris, Surviving...just; or perhaps my favourite, Interactivodular. So knock yourself out.

Talking of knocking yourself out, I had quite a close call today. Rose and I went to explore the shore line under Constitution Hill, with the cave I went to last Sunday. The rocks, being slate, do not provide the best friction, and I tried to cross a particularly slippery bit. Also, due to the general tectonic activity the slabs of slate are all at an angle. I slipped, fell on to all fours and the struck my head against another slab of slate. Oh the blood, oh the gore. No, there was no wound, unfortunately; making this tale rather dull. But Rose found a propeller, and we saw some anemones in the rock pools. So it was all good decent fun, despite slipping over a total of three times. We saw a mother with her young daughter who was doing better than me.

Recipe time! Tonight I cooked a vegetable stir-fry which was quite nice. It contained spring onions; snap peas; green pepper; mushrooms; and carrots which I shredded with a potato peeler. I added some soy sauce and about half a teaspoon of ginger. It was quite nice, but I cooked it too long (mainly because Rose was on the phone to her mum so I had to wait to dish up).

I went to Oxfam again. I have inherited a love of charity shops from my mother. Every time we pass one we have to 'just pop in'. But I'm always amazed at the things they stock. They have notepads made from elephant dung. Elephant dung! Sorry, that was a random aside. You'd think they're paying me or something. Only nominal expenses.

Recently I've been trying to recycle better, and I saw this video on facebook. Well, I found it funny.

Sorry that this post was a bit of a miss-match. I tried to make it entertaining yet informative. Fail. Just one note, it was brought to my attention (well, actually, I thought this too, but I failed to mention it). The Green Granny's advice about buying a product from a developing country, despite it not being fairly traded, is perhaps not the best idea. We don't know who is getting the money, so it is best in these cases to buy more locally.

Friday, 27 February 2009

No Meat March

I'm disappointed by my lack of imagination. The amount of rubbish egg related puns I could have made on my Easter Egg Excitement post was outstanding. For one, my post should have been called Easter Eggcitement, and could have used eggspensive, and could have probably slipped the word eggspecially into it somewhere. What a shame.

My motivation skills have not improved over the last few hours, and still have yet to do any work today. But I have actually done quite a bit, which wasn't work though. I had a Bible Study with my friend Jenny on prayer (focusing on Matthew 6:5-15), then read quite a bit of Proverbs as a part of my 1 hour a day scheme, written two posts and made a vegetarian alternative to a shepherd's pie. Rose and I have dubbed it 'the three-bean fart machine'. We shall see whether it lives up to its name. This is the preparation for my 'No-Meat-March', and the recipe inspired by the Green Granny. I featured one of her videos a while back, and shall do so again.

I used baked beans If there are any vegetarians out there, please send recipes my way. I must get on with some work but really cannot be bothered.

Lethargy and lasagne

I've been feeling really lethargic lately and really unable to motivate myself. The only positive thing is that I'm not the only one. I think it must be end of degree syndrome or something. It seems the closer we are to finishing the harder it is. Maybe the sense of anticipation has worn off, or the end wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Or it has just been too long.

Anyway, enough of ranting. Wednesday was quite a good day, despite a pervading sense of stress and anxiety I felt for most of it. I went shopping in Lidl, where I was slowly losing faith in humanity and just about everything, when I nice lady let me go in front of her at the checkout. I nearly cried. No, actually I wasn't even really close, but it made me feel a lot better. I had to go to Lidl because I was cooking for some friends, Josh and Rachel. I made lasagne; my original intention was a chicken pasta bake but the chicken was way too expensive. They came over and we ate, played Kerplunk, and generally chatted. We did chat about blogging though, that's how sad we are. The lasagne below is not the one I cooked on Wednesday, but one I made a couple of weeks back.
On a random aside, Stephen and I are currently racing each other to see who can complete their post first. I'm sure rewards will be given for quality. Obviously Stephen will win on that front.

I have no ethical ramblings or cooking recipes to think of at the moment. If you do need your fix, Rachel's blog abounds in those (well, ramblings is less applicable to her blog than mine).

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Easter Egg Excitement

Now lent is here, we are into the Easter Season. This year around £500 million pounds will be spent on Easter Eggs. Yes £500 million, that's £500,000,000 or 50000000000 pence. That is a lot of money. Everybody gets in on the Easter craze. Giorgio Armani Dolci last year made a 60 euro Easter egg, but that wasn't even the most expensive. The most expensive was the 'Maison du Chocolat Oeuf Tresor', made by Harvey Nichols. Only five were made last year, which was a shame, as costing £550 you could have bought just under a million of them with the money spent on Easter eggs each year. The picture above is the £50 Hotel Chocolat 'Seriously Dark Ostrich Egg'.

This year I do not want a crazy amount of money to be spent on Easter Eggs for me. So, unless you buy a fairtrade one, just give me some money (the average Easter Egg costs £3-5) and I will buy something special with it. I will go to my local Oxfam and get an Oxfam Unwrapped Gift. So:
  • £6 (an Easter Egg or two) can provide Health Check Ups;
  • £9 (so the cost of 2 or 3 Easter Eggs) can buy safe drinking water for 12 people, or 100 bars of soap that will increase hygiene and reduce illness;
  • £8 can buy 8 school books for children;
  • £18 can buy a house and food for livestock;
  • And for the price of a Maison du Chocolat Oeuf Tresor, we could stock a library, and build a grain store, and give 120 people clean water, and buy a goat, and buy 5 bags of seeds.
I will probably be giving out Oxfam Unwrapped Gifts this Easter also. If anybody wants to join up with me, we can see how much we can raise. If you do buy me an Easter egg, whatever you do, DO NOT BUY A NESTLE ONE! I'm afraid to say that I will refuse to eat it.

I will be buying at least one Easter egg this year though. A few years back I bought around 18 Easter eggs for friends, and I was only given three. I complained to my Granddad about the unfair ratio of given gifts to those received, and he simply replied 'Well, that happens to me every year'.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


Tomorrow is the beginning of lent. If you haven't decided what you're giving up you have nine hours and thirty six minutes at the time of me writing (GMT of course). However, I have been thinking about Lent and what it means and why you should do it.

The forty days of Lent is due to Jesus being in the desert for forty days before the start of his ministry. Here is was tested in various ways by the devil. If you want to read what the Bible says then you can click here. In the days of old they use to give up all luxury foods and fast like Jesus did, but now we mostly give up chocolate or something like that. My question to you is why do it and what should a fast be like?

Well, Jesus did it to prepare himself and to be tested by the devil. We learn that you cannot just live on food alone and need Jesus, but also that we should serve the Lord only. During this time we should not, as Rachael put it, 'get rid of the Christmas weight', but sort out our priorities before God. If there is something that we put above serving and worshipping God this is the time to sort it out. For me, it is time. I'm always thinking 'I haven't the time to read the Bible, etc.', when I do. So I'm dedicating an hour every day to spending time with God.

So I want to know if you're giving up anything, what it is, and why.

Facebook, friends and folly

First: if you're reading this from my facebook page, click 'view original post'. I've set up this facebook thing to make it easier to let people know if I've mentioned them by tagging them. If I haven't mentioned you, keep reading though. Second: it is Sam's birthday, so happy birthday. Woo! (Sam's just been tagged)

It is quite scary as to how many people have actually read my blog without me knowing. I'm making it sound like some duplicitous act, but I don't mean it like that. I just assumed all of about 4 people, including my brother, my housemate Rose, Rachel Maynard and my parents (they've all been tagged, despite them already reading it). But it seems more people than that have been reading it. My aggressive marketing campaigns have been working. However, I didn't know this because they haven't been leaving comments. To try and promote comment leaving, a while back I instigated 'The comment game' where you had to leave comments on uncommented posts. It wasn't that effective. Most people took my self-deprecating comment about ego-boosting seriously and didn't do it, or did it grudgingly. Stephen won with about 35 points though. Rose came second, no one came third. That's how successful it was.

When I was in the Glengower Hotel on Friday (not Sunday, when I had a roast), a friend named Lydia (who has now been tagged) mentioned that she has read my blog after me putting up as my facebook status. Another guy, not quite getting the point, has said previously 'I clicked the link in your facebook status and got to a random site about trains or something' (he's been tagged). Then yesterday I was facebook chatting with a friend, Karen, who said that she reads my blog quite often. So for everyone who has stumbled on my blog, reads it often, or thinks it's just a site about trains. COMMENT. Now, if you don't have a goggle/blogger account, you can a) get one, and even better, start a blog of your very own with it; b) comment on my facebook note.

Now to the facebook folly. I put up a status about how I have a picture of a dog being sick as my desktop background and gave people three guesses as to why. No one got it without my help. More worrying still (well, the first bit was not actually that worrying), was that most of the guesses involved accusations of mental perversion. If you left a comment on my status like that, you've been tagged.

Not only has this tagging thing useful for letting people know about my blog and that they've been mentioned, it's also become a vehicle for naming and shaming. I'm liking this.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Week of madness

Okay this is what my week has been like. On Wednesday I did a guided tour; Thursday, Friday and Saturday I did children's work each morning; Saturday afternoon I did another guided tour, then got an Indian takeway and had an evening in with Rachael; mixed with the CU Annual General Meeting, and the CU main meeting. The guided tours and children's work are actually more tiring than people think they are, so by Sunday I was exhausted. I decided that I would have a relaxing day of fun. So after Church I went to the Glengower Hotel with Rachael, Rachel, Abi and Sean for lunch. Afterwards, everyone except Rachael went to explore a cave at the base of Constitution Hill, which meant climbing over a gungy ladder and then up the cliff a bit to get into the cave. Rachael couldn't do it because she was wearing high-heels and went home to change them, only to find that she had forgotten her keys. It was made slightly more annoying by the fact that Rachael lives with both the other Rachel and Abi, and they had their keys on them.

We then went to the brasserie in the pier to have some dessert, where I discovered that I do actually like creme brulee. We set off to go for a walk just before the evening service, when I was pooed on by a starling. Every day at sunset thousands of starlings flock to their pier where they roost under for the night. It looks a bit like this:

So I went home to have a shower and therefore missed the evening service. So I read my bible on my own. By the way, that photo is my own. Impressed? There are more like it, and you can find them if you click on the 'My photos' link on the sidebar.

Because of my busyness I'm a little behind on my dissertation timeplan. However, it does not mean that I am behind, in fact I'm very far ahead compared to most, but I'm just not where I intended to be. So I'm rectifying it by writing this post instead of about how May is a virginal victim somehow.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Weddings and the like

The Saturday was Valentine's Day, as you probably knew. Rachael and I didn't actually do anything for it, mainly because we were 186 miles apart, or 300 km. Rachael was visiting friends and I was at a wedding. My cousin Holly was getting married and I probably would have been lynched if I didn't come. It was quite nice to see loads of family members, and Holly and Chris (the groom/husband) were obviously happy to be married. In fact, Holly was teary for most of the ceremony, with joy that is.

Sunday I came back to Aberystwyth, after a 7 and a half hour journey. It was quite relaxed though, and I find trains far too soporific so I slept for most of it. Monday I had an hour of prayer with my friends Harriet and Lizzie, for 24 hour prayer week. The concept is that there is someone praying all the time for a week, night and day. Then I went up for a seminar an hour early to do some preparation only to find it was cancelled. That is my only seminar of the week, so I have had 0, zero, no, hours of the tuition I'm paying £3,000 for this week.

Tuesday I had another prayer slot from 8-9am, and again, Lizzie joined me. Lizzie and I quite often do bible readings and prayer sessions together, but we haven't really done it this semester. So it was quite nice to do it with her. The person doing the 9 o'clock slot didn't turn up, so I stayed to fill it, as I didn't have that much to do. Lizzie had to go as she had a lecture at 10. So I continued to pray, which was quite nice. Then the 10 o'clock person didn't turn up. I was in the prayer room for three hours. The first two and a half hours were fine, and went by quickly but the last half an hour was quite hard. I was sure that God was trying to teach me something. But, in the end, I went away feeling really blessed by the whole experience, which was good.

The rest of the week sets to be busy. I'm doing guided tours for the English Department open day today, Thurday and Friday I'm doing childrens work, and Saturday I'm doing more guiding. I also have to fit in dissertation work somewhere (don't worry, I've planned my week quite well, as long as I don't have any more surprises). I can't wait until Sunday, because I think I'll really need a day of rest by then.

My internet is down at home, so I probably won't be posting for a while.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Presents and stuff

In my last post I mentioned I'd turned 21, but didn't write what gifts I got. So here they are:

  • some art supplies
  • the first of the Jeeves series
  • some 1950s CDs (which I'm listening to)
  • the Harry Potter Box set

I'm meant to be getting a new phone too, but Vodafone didn't like my credit report. As a matter of fact, as I've never had a credit card or anything like that, I don't think I have one. So my order got cancelled, and there was a really good offer, and I hope I don't miss it or I'll cry. Well, not cry.

Today I was a bit cruel to Rose. I filled a bottle with water and sort of poured it on her crotch so it looked like she wet herself. Well, she did pour a glass of water over me a few weeks back so it's all a part of the course.

And lastly, isn't she just lovely!

Monday, 9 February 2009


I've got about 15 minutes until I have my St John's Ambulance thingymajig. So I shall quickly update you on what is going on.

First, my brother and I turned 21 on Friday. 21! Friday was quite a quiet afair, I had breakfast at the Carlton, then Sam baked a (pink) cake and a group of us got together and ate it in the Art Centre. Then Sam and I went to the music rooms for some light hearted ensemble playing. It sounds a lot more sophisticated than it was.

Saturday Rachael and I went for a date (its a word I hate, it sounds so corny. But that's what it was). We went to the Olive Branch and then to Scholars. Fun was had by all.

At the moment I have a lot of friends and aquaintances that are going through hard times. Some are having problems with families, others are just unhappy. It is difficult to know what to do in these situations, and often there isn't anything you can do yourself. However, I will continue to pray, which is the most vital thing you can do.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Today I've been uploading my photos to photobucket. And I published this post with a slideshow. But, it would never load. So, I will put a link here for my photobucket album, and some of the pictures below.

In other news, I've had to make a few expenditures today. My faithful bag broke on the corner of Grey's Inn Road this morning, so I had to buy a new one. My new one is nice and everything, but quite expensive. I've also bought some longjohns. Yes, longjohns. After standing on a cold field for four hours on Sunday, I decided that if I were to do it again I'd need some thermals. I'm doing it again tomorrow.

I also made some soup. Its primarily leek and potato, but has some celery and carrot thrown in. That's Thurday's dinner sorted.

Saturday, I'm doing a first. I'm going to a rave. Yes, a rave. It's not one of those illegal-in-someone's-barn-that-could-fall-down-any-minute raves. It's in the Art Centre, so it's all above board. Apparently it was really good last time, so I'm going to give it a go.

Monday, 2 February 2009

In the library again!

After complaining that it doesn't snow here, well it has. It's a paper thin dusting, but enough to make me happy. I have my camera up here in the library with me so I can take photos around campus, I've been a bit of a photographer lately, but haven't got round to actually uploading them yet. I will do soon.

Yesterday I spent four hours stood on a cold, cold field watching people in shorts run around. I was cold and I had two pairs of socks, a t-shirt, a polo-shirt, a jumper, a hoodie, a thick hi-vis jacket and gloves on (obviously with a pair of trousers on). Admittedly they were running around and I was standing pretty much still. And I'm doing it again on Wednesday. I'm going to have to buy some longjohns. I forgot to mention what this was in aid of: I was doing a first-aid duty. Within the first week of this semester I would have done 8 hours of first-aid, more than some of our society have done all together. Mind you, I'm by no means the most dedicated.

Saturday Sam was back. So I cooked for her and Rose, and we all watched The Other Boleyn Girl, which was quite good. Although I think Mary Boleyn and Catherine of Aragorn were a bit to saintly.

Back to work, and hopefully I'll have some photos up soon.