Weeks 47 and 48 of the Doodles: Take #2

Ah its Friday again and your current news update from Lincoln. There is a strong smell of damp in the outside passage corresponding with a large damp patch on the ceiling, thought to be a leaking bathroom next door on the basis of a similar issue last year when the passage ended up with a inbuilt waterfall feature. The microwave in the kitchen last night attempted to explode and succeeded in melting part of that plastic thing that turns the glass dish inside it. It was quite a display of fiery lighting that erupted beneath the bowl that had just gone in – and no we weren’t stupid enough to put anything metal in there, I know we’re students but we’re not complete morons. All that went in was a bowl that’s been in many times before and chocolate chunks that were in for less than three seconds before the attempted explosion. And then there was a very horrible smell of burnt plastic in kitchen for ages. And finally…I made another cooking fail. This was a pretty spectacular fail actually and it involved a recipe I found on pin interest. A recipe for “Outrageously Chocolatey Cookies” that were purported to be a cross between a brownie and a cookie I was taken in by the picture I think because this is what they are supposed to look like

Lying cheating cookies!!!

Lying cheating cookies!!!

And this is what I ended up with.

Cowpat a la crisp

Cowpat a la crisp

Readers of a delicate disposition please look away now. Brownie-Cookies my arse! Was my thought as they came out the oven.  And now you may look back again. Thankfully my drunk housemate who’d just come back from a night out was very partial to the crispy slab. Some of it is edible at least, other bits rather too crispy for words. This mixture makes a very thick batter, not a cookie dough and we waited ages for the melted chocolate to solidify a bit before adding it to the egg and sugar mix as the recipe suggested otherwise the cookies would just spread out. I put on the cookies as quite thick dollops of batter and the moment they got into the oven my careful placing of them all went for nought and they turned into a liquid not unlike primeval slime. Your pair of doodles on happier news are themed, somewhat out of season with the first one and somewhat late with the second one. Also my scanner has decided it doesn’t want to play anymore so I apologise for the grainy and blurred quality of these images.

Christmas Festivities

Christmas Festivities

Okay I admit VERY out of season, its Spring I know and I give you a Christmas themed doodle, but I just finished it on Wednesday and I started it the end of November. It had taken so long that I felt it needed a little spotlight on the blog rather than wait for next Christmas and be forgotten about.

Good News Arrives on Stage - Will's Birthday Invitation

Good News Arrives on Stage – Will’s Birthday Invitation

I am only late by a day for this one it was Shakespeare’s birthday/deathday yesterday I know, but I post the doodles on a Friday it can’t be helped sometimes. At least this one is in season. au revoir Elinor

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When vegetables TURN!!!

I’m having a bit of bad day concerning vegetables. For lunch I thought I would have avocado on toast I knew it needed eating up but when I cut into it the majority of it was going that weird brown colour. I tried cutting out some of the good sections but then a bug chunk of it flipped off the knife onto the kitchen counter top. You might think well just pick it up – 3 second rule and all that I live in a student house even after we clean the counter tops we don’t pick up food off them and eat it. And then when I cooking my dinner my sweet potato turned out to be the grave of some creature.

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Hmm…at least its organic

I knew from the top of it that there would be something a bit bad on the inside but it essentially extended nearly halfway through my small sweet potato. Luckily, the courgette and the pepper I was also cooking with were unharmed.

On the plus side my lettuce and rocket have sprouted!!! I’m very excited I finally got the lettuce seeds planted last Thursday having bought them in January. I’m just waiting for the strawberry seeds to sprout now.

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I have a very good windowsill for plants this year I think.

au revoir

Elinor

P.S. I did eat the remainder of the sweet potato for dinner by the way and it was very tasty, I didn’t do what my housemate suggested and order out for pizza. I was good and healthy.

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Weeks 45 and 46 of the Doodles – Take#2

I considered doing the backlog one a week but then it would eat into more time for other things (I sound like I have projects in the pipeline, I don’t – sorry very bad blogger)

Week 45 is a little piece that I originally doodled during a guest lecture entitled “Prison Breaks in Late Medieval France” which was very informative and amusing. But I had a resonance of Chicken Run in my head and this was the overall result. I think I had intended to post this when I was about to hand in my dissertation but I forgot.

Prison Break!

Prison Break!

Week 46 is the very first drawing I did after I’d handed in my dissertation, sitting on my bed watching the TV mini-series of Sense and Sensibility and drinking a Harvey Wallbanger. It was well nice; unfortunately I had to get up in the morning for a lecture but still you can’t have everything can you? I really want to find this place now it seems so fairy tale I don’t really think its actually there.

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Balintore Castle Scotland

As an added bonus, in case you’re curious about what history students do in their degree (other than copious amounts of reading and note taking) they make posters do discuss their ideas for essay questions. And also caused one of my friends to comment that I might be in the wrong degree, my tutor chimed in “No we’ve go hold of you now” and I commented that I just had a really expensive hobby. Somehow I think that’s going to be a whole other blog post.

Mice at work or is it play?

Mice at work or is it play?

au revoir

Elinor

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Well As Long As They’re Reading

P1140599Hello blog readers,

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Some time ago a certain YA book came out by a certain famous person, and there was a bit of a whoo haa about it because, well, it may or may not have been ghost written, which is a ghastly concept for a lot of people; a breach of trust, a cheep trick, a way to cash in on the celebrity brand. And apart form all that the book may, or may not have also been, a huge pile of poo.

I never read the book. I read the blurb, and I flicked through it in a shop, but I judged it not my bag so I didn’t bother. No big deal, but I can’t comment now on it’s utter poo credentials, or indeed, it’s brilliance. But the point it this. Throughout the debate, and through others of a similar nature there is a phrase that continually popped up; “well, as long as they’re reading that’s what matters”.

And I wonder does it? Does it not matter WHAT we read, as long as we read? If a book is a grammatically incorrect, badly written story which puts forward unhelpful, even immoral ideas and values (and I’m not referring to a specific book here) does that matter?

Even allowing for taste, do we have to throw out all debate on the worth of what young people-of what we all read-simply because it’s  better than doing drugs? and better than vegetating on your  beanbag, playing xbox and turning into a huge pixel.

Or, is turning around and saying “that is utter book tripe and I rather wish you weren’t reading it”, is that pure and simple book snobbery that should be abolished?

I’m not too sure. But I think of it this way, if my 10 year old  sister was reading heat magazine I wouldn’t leave her with it just because she was reading. I should probably do the same for a book I judged to be equally damaging.

What do you think?

Gwen

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The Return of the Doodles! (Week 44 – Take#2)

A message from the Author 

Dear Reader,

This service is now resuming for the final nine instalments. We again apologise to the disruption of this service on the blog, but somebody (unfortunately myself) parked a ruddy great degree in the way.

Yours in doodling

Elinor Dashwood (former enslaved degree worker)

I wished to do something thematic given the Easter season and I had this idea an awfully long time ago. By degrees this has been completed at last and now for you delectation and delight I give you “The Saga of the Hot Cross Buns” featuring Munchies, Smudge, Sweet and Walnut.

 

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Please forgive the grainy bad quality I took a picture on my phone of the page I’d drawn these on because I am without my scanner and then cropped it down to specific pictures – apologies I had not the sense to draw these in order.

Here it is in full because I really don’t like how grainy the pictures have gone

Saga

au revoir

Elinor

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Spring has Sprung!

Regardless of the weather being absolutely glorious the past few days (to which I am certainly eyeing with apprehension waiting for the weather to turn like a wounded tiger and give us another biting encore of viscous cold winds) or the official date that marks the beginning of Spring or even of Easter Sunday itself. Today Spring has officially and irrevocably sprung in the Dashwood Residence. What makes me declare thus – why because our Drunken Apple Tree has finally produced buds!

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This to me has always been the official beginning of Spring the Drunken Apple Tree tentative nod to Summer by feeling that now is the right time to put forth new growth this is always solidified by the fact its officially Spring when I can see these buds from the kitchen window. That way means I can be assured that we’re definitely-maybe into spring enough for it to be called spring. If you live in England you’ll understand this slightly garbled sentence, you know how easily Spring can show its face then become a turncoat and open the door for Winter again.

And to make it even more official the Well Apple Tree at the bottom of the garden has also got in on the act. Now we can start to hope for the crop of apples.

What denotes the sure arrival of Spring to you gentle reader?

au revoir

Elinor (the rather happy)

 

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Is It Too late To Say Happy Easter?

I forgot to post this on Easter Sunday,but here is the chocolate cake I did for the family.

I hope you found many eggs ‘seek and ye shall find. Hide, and ye shall melt chocolate in your own slippers’

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Gwen

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I’m Back!!!

Just a heads up this is a rather long post, but there are pictures – I tried to make them pretty.

Ooh! I say what ’tis this foreign country I have stumbled into? Could it be the Blog!? By jove it is! I’d recognise that type writer anywhere.

Yes I am alive and kicking – well crawling, I’m not really recovered from the last term of uni and Holy Week. But first things first, I have been thinking about this for months now my grand return to the blog (at one point I was going to do an animation but I realised that was a lot of hard work and I don’t know anything about it) but this I think sums it up now and the soundtrack pieces of definitely one of my favourite films of all time helped to keep me sane in the final stages of everything.

Ahah! I have finally put this on the blog! And when I finished off the Dreaded Dissertation, I celebrated thusly: 

Note: I didn't eat the ink, that was just to stand the walnut whip on ;)

Note: I didn’t eat the ink, that was just to stand the walnut whip on ;)

Unfortunately it wasn’t quite freedom, in the month that was March I had five deadlines, in the last week I wrote approximately 6,000 words for two essays. So I didn’t have any opportunity to really rest, and I caught up with it immensely over the last week. But other things have occurred which I attempted to keep photographic evidence of and give you a sort of run through of some of the…incidents…that have occurred in my life that I wanted to tell you but was too fettered and chained to do so.

First things first we’ll start just after Christmas, and the kitchen units broke, we had a drawer that was too heavy with cutlery that twisted on its rollers and became wedged but that got fixed before I could photograph the damage. About a week after the drawer had broken this happened:

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I opened the cupboard door and it tried to fall on my foot. One of the screws had come loose and the hinge came out, which led to me propping up the door on tins and bags of rice, (luckily the stuff that’s in that cupboard anyway) until Dad came home and then we fixed it. It’s just like new now. Except still a very old and slightly creaky new. Curiously enough the other drawer on the other side of the kitchen broke for Easter. Same thing, we had too much rubbish in it – we probably really rather ought to do a kitchen clean up or complete blitz.

I covered the kitchen at uni in banana bread batter. I was pouring it and there was an awful lot of batter for the bowl and I being me managed to get batter all over the nice new table cloth and down the chair leg all on the floor, not mention myself. Banana bread went down well, even to me despite still being rather wary of banana. Also our oven which is really old, and heats from two rows of flame on the bottom, means that the banana bread burnt underneath and then the middle wasn’t cooked properly because of how thick the batter was. Though it did give a wonderful ombred colouration to the outside of the loaf.

           

About two weeks before I needed to hand in my dissertation my bathroom ceiling leaked, quite badly. The sealant on my housemates shower directly above mine had gone and the result was about an hours worth of water pouring through my ceiling and my light bulb fitting which might explain the brown staining that is now getting better curiously enough…

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My response to the matter whilst waiting for my land lady

My response to the matter whilst waiting for my land lady

Then just after that, I went out for one of housemates birthday, which also required us to blow up a ridiculous number of balloons to try and fill his room. But we went out to the pub called The Green Dragon, (which I love for this song from the Lord of the Rings)

At this pub they do hot rocks, which I had heard about and really wanted to try. The Green Dragon also did a selection of really exotic meats.  and  on the lunchtime menu you could get zebra steak on it. It was great fun cooking on the rocks, although slightly painful as well mine started spitting at me. They also did sweet potato fries which were delicious, I wish more places did sweet potato stuff as its a really nice flavour and is a vegetable. Not very healthy when you have it as fries I grant you but its tasty.

omnomnom

omnomnom

My housemate also went out one night nearer the end of term and went to McDonalds on ordering the happy meal, she got one of the Shaun the Sheep freebie things, and so outside my door when I got up was the Shirley cereal bowl, and the whisk with one of the other sheep on. I found an immediate use for Shirley but not for the whisking sheep, maybe as a cocktail whisk or an egg scrambler. I did try it in tea and after the spoon had been in to fish out the teabag it was a bit superfluous.

Breakfast with Shirley

Breakfast with Shirley

I also discovered the one thing my housemates cannot resist, if you ever want to capture one of them use lemon drizzle cake, it lasted less than 36 hours both times I made it.

Ah the Trap!

Ah the Trap!

And I found a new favourite cider to have with food, especially spicy chicken wings…

Lovely giggling juice

Lovely giggling juice

I bought daffodils as well to brighten up the ol’ room, and had great fun putting them into the empty ginger beer bottles in my room which I’ve been saving for just such an occasion. This time of year you can’t beat a daffodil, there is just something about them.

I felt very adult buying these

I felt very adult buying these

And I built my desk! My desk that we bought in the summer of last year, on one of the many trips to IKEA. I finally put it together, almost all by myself, and then when some of my friends came over for curry and meeting about the Triduum Masses I hijacked them to come and help me turn it over because you build it with the top on the floor. I have finally now moved into the desk completely, eventually I will figure out where I prefer things but really like how much space I’ve now got and how bright my desk space is now, its white and I’ve got my fairy lights in the corner section so all the light gets reflected back. I just await moving the old desk to mums office and then moving that table top desk into dads office, then I can get into my wardrobe. I currently have a rather limited selection of clothes which was my last load of washing. In the process I made a huge mess of my room, because not only did everything had to come out of the desk but the two shelves that it would have covered up had to be cleared as well.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

And the mess

And the mess

As with all Holy Week’s there are a number of shenanigans, some of the more curious are me an hour before Vigil Mass on Saturday, when we have a fire, abusing an old flathead screwdriver and a block of wood that used to be part of an arch section holding up a shelf as a hammer and chisel because we forgot the axe for chopping the small sections of wood we had into smaller kindling. I got some interesting looks from early parishioners and other altar servers as they came into the sacristy and found me beavering away in quite an odd manner. But you can tell I am my fathers daughter, my first thoughts on discovering we had no axe was I know there was a flathead screwdriver now if I can just find something hammer-like…

Then we had takeout curry for the older servers in the hall, which was great but unfortunately when we were leaving at about half 11 at night dad came back across the car park and completely forgot that there was a curb and subsequently tripped and fell on his face. Quite a panic moment to which I am still eternally grateful that Alex and Anna were still there because I was quite freaked when dad got up and there was blood pouring from his eyebrow. He was fine, given everything that could have happened, and we were a bit worried he’d hit his head because of the blood but that was actually his glasses taking a gouge out of his eyebrow. The bit that actually hit the floor hard was his cheek that did graze quite badly. After we got a dressing on it he went and found his bandana and started making pirate noises because he looked rather pirate-ish. I kept on asking him times table questions at random and he got them all right and kept reminding me that I didn’t know the answer because he remembered the attempts to teach me when I was younger. But he was fine and got up this morning and went to do the other masses looking like the phantom of the opera who had out grown his mask.

Other reason this was an odd Saturday, I had to make a fake paschal candle. Or more accurately I had to make a fake transfer of the symbols that get put on the paschal candle. We have two parishes because of the shortage of priests, and last year we ended up with two paschal candles for one of the parishes, so we only ordered one this year thinking ah we have that one from last year. Unfortunately that one got put somewhere very safe (lost in other words) so we had to find a candle about the right diameter and as white as we could get it which was the easy bit, then there was the problem of this close to Easter Vigil where do we get a transfer? The transfer is the same stuff that you put on airfix stuff  but for this its a rectangle with a cross on it and the alpha and omega signs. So my dad says to me ah you still have acrylic paint don’t you, you can just paint it on. It actually worked a lot better than I’d expected I got an oval shape printed off on normal paper and then just drew on it pencil the shapes we needed and then you tape that to the candle and go over the lines with a pen that’s run out of ink. Then just paint between the lines, the difficult bit comes when you have to use the border lines which I painted on to straighten up the other shapes that have gone quite wobbly. And I made two, one practice one in the afternoon and then at two o’clock this morning I started the actual one and finished at 3 am. 

Before

Before

After

After

This is what happens when you are a deacons daughter, its making a makeshift hammer and chisel in place of an axe and painting candles with acrylic paint in the small hours of the morning.

So that’s what I’ve been doing now how about you dears?

au revior

Elinor

 

 

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I’ll Tell You This Now, So You Remember It Later

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Even for a moment,
That glimmer of light through the canopy,
Unstrung together thoughts of beauty,

Hold it,
Press it to your cheek and don’t let go,
You are not in a pit,
You are in a state of mind,
And states will change,

Even for a moment,
Live for more than that,
Do not despair,
Sorrow is only joy inside-out,
And you will see the other side again,
Even for a moment,
Even for a lifetime,

No cloying sense of panic can imprison you forever,
All light is bright enough for you to see,

And if you cannot feel it now,
Then you will,
It is within you to do this,
Even for a lifetime.

Gwen

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A Bit O Lincoln

M’ Colleague Elinor is oft a distant figure in a faraway land, studying studiously as she does, in Lincolnshire. A pleasant, fertile (I’m talking about Lincoln now) land, with wobbly streets and historic nooks and crannys. We brought the distant figure that is Elinor into sharp focus last week when we took three trains and two and a half hours to get close to her, and give her a good look. We also talked, ate and watched Sense and Sensibility a great deal.

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