Guardian Girl

Skillver foil

Posted in Fashion, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on August 3, 2011

Wore a dreadful pseudo-secretarial blouse/pencil skirt combo to work, got home, grimaced and sighed a lot, boyfriend took pity, looked at intended outfit, suggested kitchen foil, bought some, wrapped me up, took a photo. Beats the Phil and Ronnie Spector story any day.

Flash

Flash

Brash

Brash

Conclusions:

  • Today I actually gave advice on how to add images to a WordPress blog
  • May this act as a giant disclaimer
  • Why can’t I do a sexy face? IT’S A CONGENITAL DEFECT (designed to stop me spawning similars)

Coming up shorts on dignity

Posted in Fashion, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on August 3, 2011
Give your wardrobe an edge

Give your wardrobe an edge

Give your wardrobe a dredge

Give your wardrobe a dredge

This week I thought I’d try a new angle and channel the time and money I normally spend on following The Measure properly (hang on, do I normally spend time and money following The Measure properly?) into buying some of the clothes that are actually in the fashion shoots. This makes the comparison more direct. Also crueller for me but, as many of us may have twigged, avoiding humiliation isn’t on this lifetime’s to-do list.

These H&M shorts were only £14.99 and I managed to grab the last pair, which weren’t in my size. Using the considered judgement life skill, I bought them anyway – and they fit! So here we all are, peering at the photo and wondering if that actually counts as fitting.

They wouldn’t have been designed by, say, the Buttock Celebrating Society of Great Britain, but for H&M they’re not bad. As you can see, they look slightly different on me from how they appear on the model. Her legs are, after all, about the same length as my Prider when I saw the results of my ‘photoshopping’ (not TM) on this photo last night. ALMOST INFINITE. If you don’t have a Prider, you should either grow one yourself or quit raising your eyebrows at mine.

Don’t know what that’s about but I’ll leave it in.

All the new-found hours and cash that have been freed up by not having to buy men’s fair isle jumpers this week have also allowed me to do a bit of beauty experimentation, inspired by Sali Hughes’s column, which I’ve hitherto ignored on the blog but always very much enjoyed reading. She’s good, isn’t she? I think she must have finer body hair than mine, though, FYI. I got a tube of that Veet and it has left me feeling not like a silk scarf. I’ve sometimes tried to shave a Burberry check or some lightning bolts into my leg hair, but after trying several times I had to concede it doesn’t work how it does in my head. Thick stripes is about the best you can get, and it doesn’t really click with a pair of Robert Crumb legs, one of which is 1cm longer than the other (measured it with my Shamer).

Conclusions:

  • More of a confession actually: I didn’t wear the shorts to work. Maybe with opaque tights in winter. I’m not hating on my thighs or anything, it’s just they’re a bit extra-curricular, you know?
  • Did you get that Shamer thing? It made the Prider thing make sense in a way. LOLZ!
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That old nemesis again (no disrespect or anything)

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on July 26, 2011
All ages

All ages

All abilities

All abilities

This woman’s bone structure has now been haunting me for years. It might sound like I’m exaggerating but I’m not. I’d put some links in here but my lunchbreak is over so if you’re interested, click the ‘random post’ button on the right until you strike gold – there are very many photos of me attempting, and of course failing, to emulate her ex-ballerina glamour. Oh well, c’est la vie – I get to pick my nose and bite cheese straight off the block while standing at the fridge without it seeming out of character. Imagine if you caught her doing that! Her whole schtick would surely be ruined! Harrrrr, I clearly win this time, ole lady.

Incidentally my momentum for making cheese has definitely gone awry this week. If I wanted to faff about with hours of patience, muslin squares and thermometers, I’d just have a baby. Thanks for trying, Hugh, but you wasted your time and mine this week. You should think about it mate, you really should. Why you did it, how you’ll do better next time. Especially you should think about that rennet.

Textural failures

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on July 13, 2011
Take the steps

Take the step

Take the hint

Take the hint

 

Apricot mousse and apricot tuiles

Apricot mousse and apricot tuiles

Apricot slop and apricot stodge

Apricot slop and apricot stodge

I got the colours, I got the taste. I ain’t got the textures.

What can I say? I forgive myself.

There are 40 minutes left of today and I’m going to spend about several of them trying to buy Luxtural moisturiser online, as recommended by the Measure (and Paula Abdul by all accounts).

Conclusions:

  • I could’ve waited until the mousse set properly, but if I’d done that, I wouldn’t have been able to spend the waiting time eating mousse. Catch 22.
  • I also could’ve made the biscuits all dainty and tuile-like rather than cumbersome and oily, but the baking sheet still hadn’t been washed up after last week’s scones so I had to use a muffin tin. And who wants dainty biscuits anyway, apart from maybe Kate Middleton or the person who does Kate Middleton’s hair or the person who grooms the person who does Kate Middleton’s hair’s dog or some such person?

Who ate almost all the pie?

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on July 12, 2011

Yeh, me. This pie underwent a four-day gestation period in my brain while I mainlined Mullerlights and saved up for a better quality girdle. By the time the pie emerged from the oven at 22.04 this evening, I had serious plans for that glossy little tyke. And my oh my, it was worth all the aspartame in the world. Between the eating of the pie and the writing of this post, however, I have generally found myself to be pacing the flat distractedly while experiencing mild headache and nausea, and harbouring sinister maternal feelings about the pie. Why has this happened? Sugar is a powerful drug, I guess.

I know Hugh would argue that ‘a little goes along way’ and my Mum would say ‘oh lovey, couldn’t you just have one slice?’. In riposte, I would say ‘know thyself.’ Or more specifically: ‘know thyself to be a greedy tyrant who sees no virtue whatsoever in a little of anything going any distance at all if you could just yam a load of it in and see if that goes any further.’

Well, here’re the snaps. Whether I will pull my sooty little socks up another notch and allow myself to be photographed leaping about in a bodysuit tonight is anybody’s guess (tip: do not actually bother guessing, because I can guarantee it is not going to happen. Nobody needs it. Just leave me alone! Leave me to digest! Go on, naff orf!)

Conclusion:

  • I said GO.
  • Unless you can help me resize my photos properly.
Cherry and chocolate tart

Cherry and chocolate tart

Cherry and chocolate in dark

Cherry and chocolate in dark

Addendum –  two hours later:

  • Boyfriend’s comment on tasting pie: “Holy shit. Fuck me. Is this a Lepard pie? This is in-fucking-credible. FUCK!”
  • So, quite a successful pie.
  • The only fitting end to the evening was to head into the garden and get this other thing over with:
Wise one

Wise one

Wide one

Wide one

Any number of options would’ve worked for the caption tonight.

Pie comedown just setting in. Off to bed. Nighty night.

High-maintenance fashion, low-maintenance food

Posted in Fashion, Food, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on July 3, 2011
Reading palms

Reading palms

Bleeding palms

Bleeding palms

Today I spent so long trying to recreate the glamorous look of the Guardian model that I missed my friend’s entire birthday picnic in Lewes and ended up spending six hours on public transport in return for one hour of celebrations. By the time I got there, all that heavy-duty Sam Fox make-up had dripped off my face anyway, so I may as well have turned up fresh from my bed. Oh well, you live and don’t learn.

Dinner wasn’t much of a looker either.

Pasta with brown butter, sage and capers

Pasta with brown butter, sage and capers

Maggots with brown butter, sage and capers

Maggots with brown butter, sage and capers

Today my friend Sarah described the food photos on this blog as looking like a “wetter, less well-photographed” version of the Guardian’s recipes. I’d like to add “wan” to the list. Why does all my food look so damned wan? Why, for that matter, do I always look so wan? It struck me that actually that’s exactly what life is, really. A wan version of a magazine.

Happy Sunday!


Pork products, prancing in pink (me, not them [the pork products])

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on July 2, 2011

What a week it’s going to be in Guardian world. I must say my heart sank a little when I saw the fashion shoots this issue. I could list the reasons but if you take a look for yourself, that shouldn’t be necessary.

Poolside thoughts

Poolside thoughts

Suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts

“Who’s that in your garden?”

“Oh, don’t worry, that’s just my Aunt Jody. She dances around out there sometimes – thinks she’s at a Fleetwood Mac concert. As long as you keep her away from the rat poison, it’s OK. Mum and Dad say it’s best if we just let her do it.”

Dinner was a more dignified affair. Earlier on I swallowed my pride and went to my first London farmers’ market to buy sage plants. Sometimes you look at yourself from the outside and you just think “what a c*nt”. Sorry. Walking around the farmers’ market with a bag of sage plants, a copy of the Guardian under my arm and a self-satisfied spring in my step, I had one of those moments. It felt pretty good in a way though, like “yehhhhh I’m one of those c*nts, yehhhhhhhhhh.” Total immersion into Guardiandom, right down to putting the thought-apostrophe in the correct place while contemplating the farmers’ market.

Anyway, if I was trying to avoid becoming a Guardian-reading cliche, this blog would be the wrong path to follow.

Green beans with sage and pancetta

Green beans with sage and pancetta

Frozen beans with sage and bacon

Frozen beans with sage and bacon

Having nearly being consumed with excessive wellbeing earlier, I nevertheless managed to find room for a bit of the Kerry Katona in tonight’s dinner. Phew. Gotta keep it real.

Conclusions:

  • It’s going to be a week of tragically unattractive photography
  • Pancetta and a farmers’ market would’ve been too much for one day

Thighs, prawns and blue jeans

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on June 29, 2011

What a combination.

I’ll begin with yesterday’s outfit. I didn’t go to work in a swimming cossie – just didn’t fancy it yesterday – so I wore an orange and cream dress instead and then changed into the proper, risque version when I got home. The closest I could get to this look was an unruly get-up involving tying an orange vest over the top of a white one. It looked completely ridiculous – not so much an outfit as a portable pile of dirty laundry. To add insult to injury I tied the vest over the wrong shoulder anyway; there’s something about my brain that just cannot compute which way round things should go in photos vs real life vs mirrors. My friend Adam came over for dinner and responded very patiently when I opened the door in this outfit. I think the words ‘That’s interesting, poodle’ might have been used.

Take a dip

Take a dip

Take a dipstick

Take a dipstick

Whereas the model looks like a glamorous nymph emerging from the foliage ready to plunge into an icy bathing pool, I look like a bedraggled, unidentified lunatic who’s appeared out of the undergrowth without warning, only able to speak two words of Russian (“земснаряд” and “поймать”) and play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 15 in D major on the harpsichord. That’s why I’m not a model I guess. Well, that’s probably simplifying things a bit.

Today I received the glorious gift of being allowed to put some clothes on, in a return to a familiar old chore: trying to look like a bearded man. I don’t have mint green jeans so today’s clothes are pretty dull. There’s no pleasing some people I guess.

Guys

Guys

Gal

Gal

Even with thorough art direction and a decent camera courtesy of my workmates Miguel and Amar, I can’t get the pose right. ‘Tilt your left hand. NO, your LEFT hand. Your…oh, forget it, that’s fine.”

Things are progressing nicely on the food front, though. The other evening’s courgette and lovage pasta contained no lovage but a great many courgettes and niceness. Last night the preparation skills moved up a gear as I made Yotam’s green tea noodles with grilled prawns for Adam. I was nervous about the sea vegetables, never having understood why you’d want to make food taste like algae, seagulls, barnacled old rope and rusty flagpoles, but actually this was pretty nice. Should’ve dried the noodles on a tea towel like Yotam suggested, but these details always seem so pointless until you realise the point (in this case to stop the noodles feeling slimy and entrail-like in the mouth. Mmph.)

Green tea noodles with grilled prawns

Green tea noodles with grilled prawns

Slimy noodles with grilled prawns

Slimy noodles with grilled prawns

Christ, this iPhone photography is really letting my presentation skills down. This dish took quite some time to compose, yet the picture just looks like a load of vague cat anuses piled up in a swamp.

Before dusk today I must buy those Clarks sandals out of the Measure. They look OK and are probably good quality/value. My other sandals are breaking one by one. All seems to add up to a reasonable conclusion for once. Talking of which…

Conclusions:

  • One must always dry one’s noodles on a clean tea towel. The difficult part of this is having a clean tea towel – mine seem to get bamba clad within a week, never again to return to that Shane Ritchie-worthy whiteness we (allegedly) all strive for in our lives.
  • No other significant learnings for the day

Rupert Grint

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on June 24, 2010

When my friend Adam announced years ago that he had a crush on Ron Weasley, I felt fairly disgusted with him. These days I’m coming round to the idea.

Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint

Pupa's grin

Pupa's grimace

Fashion magic

Fashion magic

Fascist magnet

Fascist magnet

Conclusions:

  • I’m always a fan of dressing mannishly in blazers, jeans and shirts, except when it’s 30º and completely airless in the office.
  • It’s 30º and completely airless in the office.
  • Rupert Grint has sneakily become guapo, and what’s more he apparently owns a micro pig.
  • Tracey Emin’s jaw.

Notice of resumed, but reduced, service

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on June 14, 2010

You know it’s been nearly a year since I began this project. My latest adjournment (of many) has lasted a while and it’s done me the world of good.

Waving goodbye to Dan Lepard has meant saying hello to my old clothes again and I feel returned to balanced human form, rather than the grossly consumptive, Little Otik-ish marionette of capitalism I had become. My tendency to use melodramatic language might not have changed, but I have.

I have, much to my surprise and pleasure, been doing some growing up. Life in the shared house is happy and serene as I enjoy a lack of pressure to rearrange the furniture once a week. My bank balance is far healthier and this weekend I was able to treat myself to some new clothes in preparation for Sonar without feeling guilty – because they were what I actually liked and needed, not what the Guardian liked and thought I needed. My running regime and healthy diet have left me feeling energetic, much fitter and quite right in my body. It’s not about being skinny, I might add – it’s about being how you’re meant to be – neither starved into this season’s frock nor still bloated by last year’s pie recipes. I knew I needed to take myself in hand rather, and I have.

The increasingly heaving bandwagon of other good folks embarking on this style of blog project has contributed to my shrinking back slightly, probably for some distasteful reason related to delusions of inventiveness. But most of all, as has always been clear to everyone else, my original plan to follow everything in the Weekend magazine was just far too ambitious – financially, temporally and psychologically. You can’t sign over all responsibility for your daily life to a magazine, no matter how tempting that may be for all sorts of quite dark but no doubt common reasons. I’m 30 years old and, while it’s fun to experiment and push one’s boundaries, it’s also an important time to exercise some free will and enjoy becoming a proper woman. It’s impossible to do that when you have to consult Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall each time you feel a bit hungry.

So all things considered, it’s definitely time to accept that the Guardian Girl project as it was once conceived, is over.

Yet I have missed, as always, the ritual of trussing myself up in harem pant combos, taking photos with friends in office toilets, updating the blog with mindless anecdotes and tittering over captions. That’s why I’ve decided to carry on with a reduced service, copying the fashion stories and leaving it at that for a while. I’ve shed many tears of self-pity over shelling out for clothes the Measure recommends and preparing the pricey fare of the recipe pages, but I’ve never really minded getting dressed up in something a bit odd and prancing through the park in it, indulgently gauging people’s reactions. The fashion shoots, while often mortifying, have been far and away my least tainted pleasure. And they’ve actually contributed to my wellbeing: I take my appearance (if nothing else) far less seriously than I used to.

So here’s to the new phase, and long may it continue, in glorious simplicity and mild blushes.

X

GG

PS sorry, that was all a bit ceremonious, but it felt nice.

PPS you might notice there isn’t actually a photo for today. Be realistic will you?