Guardian Girl

Vietnamese pot-bellied pig

Posted in Fashion, Food, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on November 2, 2011

Turns out Hugh wouldn’t come out of the cellar so I untrussed Yotam instead, and he gave me a masterclass in salad making. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to cover Module 3: Julienning, but I passed Module 1: Putting Ingredients in a Bowl and Module 2: Frying Onions with hovering colours.

I cooked both Yotam’s salads, since one salad can never be enough. I personally found them both quite delicious although the beef contained large hunks of gristle (not Yotam’s fault).

My boyfriend was a little quiet during the eating of the salads, not making his usual appreciative snortings and smackings. It could have been because of the gristle, it could have been because of the abundant pomegranate seeds, which are not to everyone’s taste, it could have been because he was wondering whether he was going to pick up his napkin and find it full of yoghurt.

Warm Vietnamese beef salad
Warm Vietnamese beef salad
Blurry Vietnamese gristle salad
Blurry Vietnamese gristle salad

You can see what I mean about Module 2 here. I have an amazing book that tells you how to do everything properly in the kitchen, so no excuses on this front. Will read julienning section asap.

We didn’t get to eat this salad until something like 10pm because it took so bloody long to chop all the ingredients and fry and mix and peel and all that. Yotam is all about the prep. I dearly wish for a team of people to chop and weigh my ingredients for me, and line them up on the worktop in those little glass bowls.

The other reason dinner was late was that I had been up the Angel trying to buy cheap crombies. My workmate Sophie gave me a careful rundown of what did and didn’t constitute a crombie before I left the office, but by the time I reached the mall I was already confused. Something about wool, something about a collar. I texted poor Sophie a pic from the H+M changing rooms but unfortunately by the time my phone had actually got round to posting it (lazy iPhones) I had already reached the counter.The receipt was flapping victoriously in my hand when I received the response “No, I don’t think that counts as a crombie.” Anyway it’s a nice coat in a CDT teacher sort of a way, I needed one anyway, and it only cost £25.

Today’s outfit is not very see-through, thankfully. I thought about taking my bra off but my workfriendographer Charlotte and I decided the office corridor wasn’t the best place for it.

Spots
Spots
Acne
Acne

This dress makes lots of appearances on the blog because it’s one of the only lightish-coloured dresses I own. Light-coloured dresses in my experience are generally unflattering and impractical. However I might need to invest in a few more as this old maternity frock here (I have never been preggers, I just bought it because it leaves plenty of space for a pot belly after a large meal, and it was dirt cheap in a sale) looks like a crumpled snot rag on account of my never ironing it, and is covered in stains on account of my hopeful overestimation of the size of forks.

Conclusions:

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Hellfire and brimstone, beans, and other national priorities

Posted in Fashion, Food, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on August 13, 2011

Good day.

Last week never really picked itself up off its weekend-scuffed knees. Not much to show for it all. I did cook a few bean recipes, all of which were very tasty and one of which is represented here through the medium of unskilled photography.

Fresh borlotti beans with onions and garlic

Fresh borlotti beans with onions and garlic

Fresh not-the-right-beans with onions and garlic

Fresh not-the-right-beans with onions and garlic

Somehow it didn’t feel like International Consumerist Blog Week though, do you know what I mean? When you’re a few roads away from rioting and the shops are boarding up their windows around you, you don’t necessarily take the decision to hammer on their doors and ask them to stay open ten minutes longer so you can buy a punnet of fresh biodynamic borlotti beans for dinner. Hence tinned chickpeas and black-eyed beans above and hence last week’s general quietness on the Guardian-following front.

Not blaming all of last week’s failures on the distraction of the riots, mind. I also had a very busy, not-wanting-to-wear-leather-gauntlets-to-work kind of a week (we all have them, once a decade or so) and the Guardian life dropped off the bottom of the list somehow. So I just busied myself with other stuff instead, like having a job, having a relationship and other such inconsequential minutiae of daily existence.

For all its pain-in-the-arseness though, I have set myself this imprudent challenge and I must keep trucking along. This morning I begrudgingly resolved to get serious again with the Saturday dawning of the new issue, despite really just wanting to have a lie-in and eat a fry up before coming to the office.

In any case I valiantly shambled off to the newsagent to buy the paper, tears of self-pity in my eyes, followed by a trip to Whole Foods to buy buttermilk and sumac () (this is a bold ellipsis to signify a a weighty pause of some kind). The ‘hugelyirritated’ person complaining about Yotam’s failure to explain halloumi here really ought to try swapping places with me for a week. I’ll show ’em hugely irritated. (Seriously though, leave Yotam alone! Get a dictionary!)

I cooked the buttermilk soup for lunch, following the recipe fairly carefully but not doing quite as much cooling as I might have done had I not been in a bit of a rush. The taste was happy. The photo, which I will display to you tomorrow after 24 hours of no doubt unbearable suspense, is sad.

Out of conscientious obedience towards The Measure, I am listening to The Drums/Money on Soundcloud as I type this. Muuuurrrrhh. If I want chittering beats, I generally listen to those of yesteryear. If I want to be cheered up, I generally listen to Peter André (a personal hero – so kind, so tolerant!). If I want mediocrity, I will at least gravitate towards a more gratifying melody than this. It’s all right and everything but it’s not one for the record collection. Or even a Spotify playlist, in all honesty.

Tomorrow I might buy those jodhpurs. Not sure yet. Can’t quite give a fig. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up all full of the joys of sourdough soup and new clothes, eager to spank a few hundred quid on the sort of garment Lorraine Kelly might wear in a photo shoot to celebrate her recent weight loss in Take a Break. I dunno, maybe they’d look cool on, like, Daisy Lowe or someone, but I bet I look like a bloody horse-obsessed Blyton-envisaged dyke in them. Or Tess Scabius how I imagined her in the book version of Any Human Heart. Worth a poke, but generally just too deliquently equestrian to be any kind of role model. I see they made her quite pretty on the telly programme. Didn’t watch it – Googled it.

OK, well beyond time to stop.

Fondies, then x

Conclusions:

  • Deary me, so morose today, slumped at my desk, now listening to Aerosmith (I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing) with a dramatic air, a belly full of posh chicken soup and the prospect of a new pair of designer jodhpurs seeming so tragic.
  • Deary, deary me.
  • Ah well.
  • Boyfriend just texted me to say soup was nice. That should probably incite some kind of ‘ahhh, that makes it all worthwhile’ response.
  • Nothing makes buying buttermilk before noon on a Saturday worthwhile. LEISURE TIME, rudely interrupted.
  • Foot stamping, lower-lip sticking-outing.
  • Really bye.

Back after all this time

Posted in Fashion, Food, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on June 27, 2011

I have barely thought about Guardian Girl for the past year or so. Recently, though, I keep bumping into people I haven’t seen for a while who ask me if I’m still doing it and why I stopped. I always tell them it cost too much money, freedom and vascular health, any one of which would be a good reason to stop a blog. Yet despite repeatedly going over the reasons why this is such a stupid idea, just thinking about the subject planted evil seeds of temptation in my mind.

On Saturday I finally got to thinking that it really has been too long since I’ve had a legitimate outlet for my third-rate puns and crushingly unflattering photos. I used to think that reading blogs was only for idiots, so I had no idea of the benchmarks when I first started doing all this business. Since I’ve been away I have read quite a few, which has allowed me to realise that blogs are rubbish, bloggers are morons and I don’t actually have to worry about being a good writer, saying anything clever or having any sense of dignity at all. This realisation has spurred me back into action.

So, here we are.

Happily for posterity’s sake, we begin again with pies and swimwear! As you will shortly see, not that much has changed in the past year.

(We actually began with soup, but my photo of it has got stuck on a different camera, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say that making soup out of salad ingredients is actually nice, even if you still can’t be bothered to chop vegetables small and therefore end up with an actual salad floating in some hot water.)

Glade tidings

Forbade hiding

Forbade hiding

A bad start on the formatting. A bad start full stop, maybe. I did put a skirt on before I left the house. Don’t really know what the caption means – is meant to capture a general feeling, I think.

So that’s swimwear covered for the day; now on to the lard.

I should mention at this point that in the time I’ve been away I have managed to shack up with a man whose appetite for a good pie matches – and possibly even exceeds – the indiscriminating gusto with which I cook them. This is a great relief because although eating two portions of pie for dinner isn’t ideal for a person, eating four is very much worse.

Mackerel and lovage tarts

Mackerel and lovage tarts

Mackerel: a lovely start

Mackerel: a lovely start

It hurts to be so positive, but this really did come out good. A great recipe Hugh, ta mate. I used cheat’s roll-out puff pastry obviously, and ready cooked and smoked mackerel. Most of my potatoes had turned green and sprouted like so many limited-edition Shrek Mr Potato Heads (? quip too forced? and also why use ‘so many’ like an american when you from england?) so I chucked those out and just used the remaining couple that were just squidgy, not deadly. Are you supposed to save green potatoes to polish your silver and clean your windows with? I need to ask that woman with the big weird plait who turned out to have buried her stillborn child in a park. Anyway I am digressing into offensive territory here. The pie was delicious, all agreed.

Second outfit of the week and it has been a sweltering day. Needless to say, the blanket only stayed on briefly while Miguel (photographer of the day) took this distracted iPhone shot in which I can’t even keep my eyes open. That’s being wrapped in blankets for you. The rest of the day I resorted to the most pink and blanketlike dress I own, which is just a pink dress.

The wrap

The wrap

The Mummy

The Mummy

Measurewise, I have got on the case in astoundingly conscientious fashion and purchased myself some leg make-up, so as never to stray into the sheer-infested territory of Pippa M’s fashion mishaps, and a collected works of Jane Austen so I can understand what this whole Anna Wintour parallel gag is about. Totally with her on the smileys though.

I have neglected to purchase any Stella McCartney eveningwear (guess why), drink a G&T with cucumber (taking it easy on the booze at the mo) and am not yet sure what I’m going to do about this issue of the Orrefors crystal tumbler or HBC modelling for Marc Jacobs.

Will update.

Off to cook courgette and not-lovage pasta now. Has anyone managed to track down any lovage this week?

Conclusions:

  • Too hot for blankets, too public for bikini bottoms
  • Hooray for pie sharing
  • Salad soup, who knew?
  • Sorry about blurry and malformatted photos etc. One day I will neaten all this up.

Maxi-ed out

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on May 5, 2010

I’m not very good at maxi dresses. I have only one. This week’s All ages is going to be tricky as a result.

The lengths

The shorts

A rather unpleasant photo today.

I am also supposed to be doing something ridiculous with my hair in the manner of someone from Glee, says The Measure. Achieving this hairstyle would mean having extensions put in my fringe, the red colour stripped out, and the whole lot bleached platinum and cut short. Just thinking about it gives me split ends and a migraine. I do however have this vaguely snarling picture of myself in a blonde wig, so that will have to suffice for today’s effort. Lame, I know.

Sue Sylvester's Vogue

Me being grumpy at a fancy dress party

I apologise. It’s the best I can do. I don’t even watch Glee, even though The Measure’s been telling me to for about six months. I tried once and it just seemed to be full of bad jokes. Maybe I need to give it another go. But when one is trying to cook like Hugh F-W, dress like Jess C-M, be as wise as Oliver Burkeman, live in a show home with a perfect garden, earn enough money to buy the necessary accoutrements and exercise enough to maintain the required dress size, where does one honestly find time to watch television?

Back to dinners, I had to work late last night before going off to a gig and then running home, leaving no time for cooking. I bought me some crisps and some chicken drumsticks, and downed a few pints of cider at the pub. That was as close to papas arrugadas with grilled meats and aperitifs as I was going to get. What I did get was loads of grief off my mate Charlie for being fat. I think I might actually have to go on a proper diet and lay off the baking for a while. AGAIN. Jeez.

Conclusions:

  • It’s always the same – I come back to a Guardian Girl stint with a vengeance and by the second week I’ve totally lost enthusiasm. How do I always forget how hard it is to make life work in this way? Stoopid damn cooking.

Canoes, ponchos, pub dinners

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on May 4, 2010

This bank holiday I canoed along the River Stour with a bunch of lovely people, several angry swans and no pairs of tailored shorts.

At the precise moment I was supposed to be in River Island (according to the Measure) I was instead on a river, poking affectionate fun at an extremely small island (it was my insecurity that made me do it). A far better use of time, we can all agree – especially when you see the pair of shoes I would otherwise have been buying. For £85. Why?

I’d decided canoes and cameras probably weren’t happy bedfellows so no photos exist of my rivergoing unfashionableness. Even for someone who publishes large amounts of awful photos of themselves on a daily basis, this is a great relief.

On arriving back to London I got back to my rightful duties and cooked up an enormous bowl of potato salad à la Fearnley-Whittingstall for me and my mate Charlie. I used more potatoes and more bacon than the recipe called for and yet we still polished off the entire thing, plus a family sized bottle of chocolate milk each. It was a bit sick but very enjoyable really. Coincidentally we also watched Easy Rider, which is (very nearly) the name of the fashion shoot this week, so in some roundabout way I feel I’ve achieved a degree of success. You may think otherwise. Here’s the evidence.

New potato salad

New potato salad

Huge potato salad

Huge potato salad

Today I woke up early and attempted the shorts/mac/belt ensemble dictated to me by my papery friend. Unfortunately, despite all the miles I’ve clocked up running around London and paddling around Suffolk, there’s no escaping the fact that I enjoy a pint of Stowford Press and a good yorkie more than the next lass. The shorts I was wearing last summer do fit me again, but that’s where the relationship ends. After staring at today’s fashion for a further ten minutes with my mouth open, I realised I was about to be late for work again, put a frock on and ran for the door.

Easy riders

Easy riders

Easy on the ciders

Easy on the ciders

Conclusions:

  • Canoeing is the don of exercise, and River Stour Boating are the dons of canoeing. A weekend to be recommended.
  • I’d rather have the cider than the shorts anyway, so that’s OK.
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Unbold, unsmoked, untasselled

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on April 27, 2010

Yesterday’s outfit was tempered for the office and then reconstructed when I got home and had access to my housemates’ wardrobes for photographic purposes. Strictly speaking this is cheating, as my rules are that I must wear my own clothes where possible, and that I must wear the outfits out and about like a brave person, not just piling them on for the photos and immediately casting them to a corner of Room 101 when the lens is put away. However on this occasion I knew my housemates to own the perfect garments for the job and there was no way I was going to tramp through a rainy day in Nin’s beloved Opening Ceremony wedges and Jess’s vintage Stephen Marks ikat jacket. Come to think of it I didn’t actually ask the girls if I could wear them for the photo either, but I know it’s OK. I really know it’s OK. If either of you is reading this, I hope it is OK.

The posing is very difficult when no one’s in, as the iPhone camera has no self-timer and using a reflection is tricky. The result is altogether buffoonish.

Tread lightly

Tread lightly

Unsightly

Unsightly

I worked late last night so dinner was actually cobbled together from the vastly expensive shop next to the office and eaten at my desk, meaning Hugh’s mackerel roll had to play the part of a bedtime snack instead. A rather indulgent snack, admittedly, and not home-smoked in the least. But why smoke it at home when Sainsbury’s had done such a great job of smoking it for me? It was their Taste the Difference kiln-smoked stuff, which I’d never tried before – unbelievable, I promise. I do seem to sound like a Sainsbury’s ad sometimes, which I’m not proud of at all, I can tell you.

Hot smoked mackerel sandwich

Hot smoked mackerel sandwich

McSmoked mackerel sandwich

McSmoked mackerel sandwich

And now I turn my attention to The Measure, whihc has already caused me untold heartache this week. And to think it’s only Tuesday.

For logistical purposes I tend to divide up the various tasks in The Measure and assign them to different days of the week, partly so that I have more chance of being able to achieve them, and partly to give myself an excuse for wriggling out of something if I don’t really want to do it. Saturday was a case in point. I YouTubed the band Hurts as suggested and found them to be pretty brilliant. Their song Wonderful Life is amazing and I can’t quite work out how they’d passed under my radar. The video did make me scoff a bit but black and white stuff usually does, especially if no one is smiling or moving, especially if there is a girl doing pretty dumb dance moves. They seem like funny chaps in their interviews anyway. After watching all this happily it dawned on me that The Measure hadn’t mentioned just their music, but their hair. By my rules, whatever The Measure says, I am supposed to copy. There was no escaping it – this meant going out and getting a crew cut.

Reader, I couldn’t do it. I simply didn’t have the gall. I’m not proud of my head shape at the best of times (too flat at the back, and other complaints no person other than my own self would bother to spend much time noticing), my jawline is not looking its best at the moment, what with still being less distinct than it once was after the previous run of baking adventures, and my skin, sadly, could never be described as ‘best’, ‘better’ or even ‘good’. It seems to me that these three things are the key deciders in whether a woman looks good with a crew cut.

It’s all very well bravely cutting off your hair for a blog and making it all into an interesting experiment. But what if you change your mind about the blog a few weeks later (as has been known to happen) and end up spending all summer in tears, and a wig, incapable of looking anyone in the eye, particularly members of the opposite sex, and dear God what if you are thirty now and are supposed to be becoming more confident in such situations.

So in the end I let the mental debate drag on until I could tell myself all the hairdressers would be shut and the day was over, meaning the task didn’t have to be done after all. My chest is constricting just thinking about it.

Today I am experiencing yet more heart freezing. The post office nearest my office, despite being in Primrose Hill, doesn’t stock French Vogue. However I managed to find the Measure-beloved curtain tassel-wearing Vogue interview on a website so I could see what I was aiming for. Fine, I thought, these tassels ain’t that crazy, they make kind of good accessories, I’ll go for it. So I logged on to the Guardian’s suggested source of such items, Pret a Vivre, selected the recommended tassels… and discovered that my order was going to come to £88 plus £12 for delivery. That’s £100 on tassels.

I have just spent 15 minutes grappling in genuine anguish over this matter. It might seem like a nobrainer but I promised myself this time I would give it a proper shot, keep the project entertaining, be subversive about it, play it unsafe. But I also promised myself that, as ever, I wouldn’t sacrifice my own physical health, financial stability or personal relationships in the process. It seems this is already proving an impossible combination. I looked at the tassels. I looked at the checkout total. I looked at the tassels. I looked at the checkout total. I decided I’d spend £100 on a nice bit of jewellery, at an enormous push, so why not on the tassels? I filled in my details. Then I thought of my mum reading this blog (as she often does, to keep up with my news) and I imagined her discovering I’d spent £100 on curtain tassles to put around my waist and neck, and in my mind’s eye I saw her shoulders sag under the weight of responsibility for having spawned this tortured beast and I heard her exclaim “Ohh, Jody!” with saintly exasperation. And I decided not to buy the curtain tassels.

My heartbeat has just about returned to normal.

Is this simple purchase anxiety? It might be, but there is definitely an extra level of torture added by the fact that I don’t even want the ridiculous curtain tassels anyway and I’m only even considering spending my money on such an absurd outlay because the Guardian told me so. But presumably there are legions of people out there who buy all sorts of things for exactly thast reason, although it might be Grazia or Glamour instead of The Guardian. To me it almost feels more guiltifying to buy something you like instantly. It seems too easy. Is this a wider psychological phenomenon or is it just me? I’m not sure.

Cripes almighty, I’m going to make a cup of tea.

And so, with tea drunk, here is today’s outfit, looking nothing like the picture. It is now very late and I must literally run home to cook a duck.

Floral dance

Floral dance

Awful stance

Awful stance

Conclusions:

  • It’s all just a blur of tassels and heartbreak and flaked mackerel and dramatic shadowy music videos and Oh! I am all a-faint.

Baking for instant gratification #3,766

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 11, 2010

I liked the idea of Dan Lepard’s How to Bake recipe this week, being an enthusiastic fan of cider and bread. Unfortunately though, I insist on having dinner on the table within a few hours of buying the ingredients. When it comes to food preparation, I don’t do overnighters.

Instead of trying to change my ways and learn the indubitable joys of properly risen bread from an expert, I took the decision to make this cider loaf my own way – the instant gratification way. I was willing to suffer the consequences, which turned out to be fairly minimal. Luckily I have a deep appreciation for the sort of airless, dense baked goods that wouldn’t make it past the car park of a church fête, so opening the oven door to what looked and felt like a wheaten quern stone didn’t faze me in the slightest. Liv was over and she enjoyed it too, straight from the stove with melting butter and posh raspberry jam. The best bit was the base, which I’d left stuck to the bottom of the tin when cutting the top, softer bit into slices. I managed to jemmy the base off the tin in one piece with a knife and we ate it like a giant cookie. It was pretty rad.

NB I couldn’t find pure rye flour so I used a wholemeal multigrain seeded bonanza I found down J Sains.

Cider rye

Cider rye

Slightly wry

Slightly wry

I didn’t do a good job of this aesthetically speaking, but I did enjoy the eating. Bravo.

I also ought to address the matter of Topshop trophy jumpers. I am still living on cash because of a banking problem. I forgot to put money from my stash into my purse yesterday morning as I was in a rush to adorn my wrists with gold cuffs. I realised this at 5.30pm as I contemplated setting off to Topshop. No Eiffel Tower sweater. Not enormously disappointed. Ends.

And on to today’s outfit, about which I have no complaints. Miraculous!

Spring

Spring

has sprung

has sprung

I guess every photo’s going to be pretty much identical for the rest of the week.

Conclusions:

  • Today’s post was brought to you by the Society for the Preservation of Overlooked Tools.
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Macsimum relief

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 10, 2010

Phew! Not only have I finished the last of the nude tones and suet puddings, but I get to make a terrible pun as well! A heavenly day so far, wearing relatively normal clothes, with my hair down and messy, just how I like it.

Last night I powered off to Sainsbury’s in search of 1kg of parsnips, my heart soaring not only at the prospect of eating vegetables but because I was listening to 1Faith FM’s uplifting tunes. I’m not Christian but I do like to conduct informal experiments on myself, as you may have gathered, and at the moment I’m finding out what happens to an agnostic upon listening repeatedly to Christian pop hits. I find this particularly interesting because few people seem to choose to listen to music they don’t like, so I imagine it to be relatively uncharted territory, which makes me feel like a true pioneer. Last year I spent one week listening to Placebo for 8 hours a day to see what would happen. What happened was I developed a crush on Brian Molko. Weird. I haven’t spared a thought for that dear little goblin since. Maybe I’m on my way to developing a crush on Jesus. Actually, have you seen Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazereth? Anyway, this is veering dangerously off course.

The parsnips. I followed the recipe pretty closely, boiling them in milk (interesting idea I thought), whisking up a dressing, roasting a load of veg, all that biz. It was very nice, very nice indeed. I’m getting a bit bored of saying how nice all this food is, but really – there hasn’t been a duffer for ages now. Oh, except that soapy, insipid steak pud. That was on Sunday actually.

ANYWAY, concentrate girl, what are you trying to say? Keep on track… Oh yes, Flavie was just taking my outfit snap for today and she pointed out that although I got in an almighty grump about suet week, it yielded two of my favourite meals so far, so yes. I am grateful to Hugh. Thanks Hugh.

Here are the pics.

Creamed parsnips with roasted winter veg and walnuts

Creamed parsnips with roasted winter veg and walnuts

I just wrote a really distasteful, uncouth caption for this and have deleted it

I just wrote a really distasteful, uncouth caption for this and have deleted it

Super

Super

Blooper

Blooper

Not a very pretty picture but we’ve seen worse. At least it’s something I’d choose to wear. Failed on the coat-colour front but, as Flavie pointed out, I can’t be expected to own five spring macs in varying shades.

Had a look at the jumpers recommended in The Measure this week and wasn’t angry, just disappointed. Couldn’t see any swan jumpers on the Topshop website, which is a shame as I thought that sounded quite good. I could do with a new jumper but can only afford one, so it was a toss up between Topshop’s Eiffel Tower one – sort of nice-ish I guess – or Oasis’ blue shoe design – absolutely hideous. I will not be purchasing this foul garment, particularly not at more than £50. Might stroll over to Toppers after work and treat myself to a new knit before baking rye bread. But I reserve the right to decide not to.

Conclusions:

  • The parsnip recipe is another one I would recommend people to actually try at home. The end result really is tasty and I don’t usually like parsnips much.
  • Favourite baby-Jesus-related lyric so far: “I love your baby blues / your golden curlicues”

Game on, game off

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 8, 2010

Oh GOD, when will nude shades go out of fashion? They’ve been on trend for long enough now – it must be at least a month or two since I first had to clothe myself in unsightly pastels. It’s high time we went back to black, please.

I’m determined to pull myself out of my fit of ill humour today but it’s not easy. Last night’s pudding was far less successful than saturday’s leek and bacon delight because I underseasoned it, undercooked it and overwashed the saucepan with this horrid ‘pink petals’ washing up liquid that makes all my food taste of a scene out of Bambi. Yeuch. I think it’s actually got under the skin of the pan.

After a late dinner of suet with a dripping garnish and a side dish of cream, I went to bed early and lay awake until 4am worrying about beige clothes.

Today I feel tired, grouchy and corpulent, so backcombing my hair into a sort of sub-Sarah Ferguson up-do, covering my eyelids in purple shadow and pulling on a crumpled sack of a skirt from the bottom of my wardrobe wasn’t quite the morning routine I’d hoped for. Mind you just putting ‘morning’ and ‘routine’ into the same sentence is something of an achievement for me so I’ll cheer up a bit at this juncture. There.

I’ve got it pretty close with the t-shirt, which is an old favourite my ex screen-printed for his former band, but funnily enough I don’t wear it that often these days and I noticed on the train to work – sadly too late to change – that it smells of the Jorvik Viking Centre. I haven’t been to the Jorvik Viking Centre but I spent much of my childhood in the Oxford Story, and everyone is always banging on about how they smell the same. ‘Blah blah, Jorvik bloody blah blah Oxford Story’ every bloody day. So boring. We get the point!

Hue beauty

Hue beauty

Warren Beatty (?)

Warren Beatty (?)

Conclusions:

  • Not feeling it AT ALL this issue. Request black shift dresses and salads.
  • Measure: hoop earrings are deemed quite wonderful this week, which is fine by me as I have many pairs of right big’uns and wear them all the time. At least I used to, before I started doing this Guardian Girl jape. Have you noticed they rarely put earrings on the models in the Guardian? In fact there’s often no jewellery at all, aside from a few gold cuffs lately.
  • More pudding tonight. It’s painful the amount of suet I’ve ingested over a three-day period. Psychically painful. However that leek pudding was probably the tastiest thing I’ve cooked for the project so far, and it was pretty easy.
  • I really am going to stop complaining now.

Weekend

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure by guardiangirl on February 7, 2010

Sad to say a slightly morose wash has tinted this weekend, for no very good reason but that these things happen occasionally. Nothing has gone wrong, but I did feel a little lurch of the soul upon seeing the suet pudding recipes. It’s just the way it goes. On one page, a willowy blonde draped with finely woven pastel sports attire. On the next, 1001 great things to do with lard. It hardly seems fair.

Appropriately enough this week’s model’s expression happens to translate seamlessly into a sulk when I attempt it.

Last night Elin of the Crazy Mouse, her man Ed and Best Liv came over for roast beef with leek pudding. My gosh it were good. I forgave Hugh for the high stodge factor the moment that suet melted upon my petulant lips. A finer taste and texture I have rarely revelled in. NB have been reading Herodotus so excuse the narrative tone – it is Sunday, the day of self-indulgence. Also, don’t hate me – next to Herodotus on my shelves are the autobiographies of Jason Donovan and Kerry Katona.

I am at this very moment preparing beef pudding, although with a disappointing lack of kidneys due to a monumental Sainsburys oversight. I’m also drinking the red wine that hasn’t gone into the pudding filling, and listening to old Love records, so signing off quick before the wistful anecdotes come out to play. Please find below the photographic depiction of two outfits and a pudding, with no captions until I return to full desktop computer functionality tomorrow.

Have a grey day

Have a black mood

Leek pudding

Bleak pudding

In the pink

On the blink

Conclusions:

• This isn’t a conclusion but a footnote. I make the rules on this blog so pipe down. On Friday, instead of cooking Yotam’s fine recipes, I went to the first Department S gig in 20 years. It was well good. I beseech you to find a Youtube clip of them performing Is Vic There? on TOTP and marvel at their coolness. Byesie bye x
• Actually one more thing: The Measure. My hair needs growing, not cutting, in order to incorporate a Brett Anderson fringe. Also Natwest continues its ploy to make my life miserable and difficult by blocking my card without prior warning this week. For this reason I’m surviving off a stash of cash and find the idea of buying a sequined jacket from Whistles to be not very sensible. Over and out.

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