Guardian Girl

Spot the difference

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on November 17, 2011
Boots

Boots

Wellies

Wellies

Have you ever seen anyone look less like someone else?

Conclusions:

  • Let’s not bother today
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Just a small slice then

Posted in Fashion, Food, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 15, 2011

It’s been a very unsuccessful few days in terms of Guardian-ness. Also in terms of being a reasonable human being. My phonecam keeps breaking, it keeps getting dark before I’ve had me photo done, I keep getting a bit ‘merry’ before my work with caraway seeds has been successfully completed.

The sum total of this week’s cookery attempts is a half-burnt, half-raw cake that contained no caraway seeds at all because there weren’t any in the corner shop and I had drunk too much gin to make it to the supermarket.

I took a slice of this cake to the pub for my friend Jess’s birthday. It was an attempt to win her trust back after last year, when I promised to bake her favourite cake as a birthday treat. As she left the house to meet some friends, I was mixing the ingredients. When she got back, I was in bed with a tummy ache. Something happened in between that I can’t exactly explain. All I know is, all the cake went in my tummy.

One year later and I’ve not really got a handle on this rapacious impatience around baked goods. You can see below there’s a fair amount of crust missing where I’ve removed the cake from the oven and picked off the nice bits before the middle has finished cooking.

Caraway and orange seed cake

Caraway and orange seed cake

Carried away with greed cake

Carried away with greed cake

I put the rest of the cake in a tupperware container in a cupboard, thinking Jess wouldn’t want the whole lot (that’s generosity for you). Later that night – after 10 hours in the pub, it must be said – I was found squirreled in the corner of my kitchen with the remainder of the cake in one giant piece between my paws, gnawing away while belligerently refusing to go to bed. Next morning, the internet told me that I had been hounding my long-suffering manfriend with nonsensical instant messages while he was trying to work; my memory told me that I had been monopolising the conversation in the pub with incessant talk about vaginas; my stomach told me that jagermeister, red wine, gin, rum and cider ‘don’t go’. Miraculously the words ‘it’s over’ didn’t crop up, so I’m going to do it all again next weekend.

Fashionwise, in contrast, I have managed to keep up appearances in the form of flattering, glamorous outfits and dangerously seductive poses.

Stripes sight

Stripes sight

Partial sight

Partial sight

Conclusions:

  • Know your sensible limits

    Know your sensible limits

Long poos, long face

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 11, 2011

The final two days of pouting, quiff-sporting male model impersonation are nearly over.

Studio life

Studio life

Student life

Student life

Clothes rail, clothes horse – same difference. My quiff got a bit of performance anxiety when it saw the camera.

Lightning move

Lightning move

Lightning struck

Lightning struck

And today, a touch of the finger-in-the-electricity-socket. Just never got the hair right, did I.

The food was more successful. Yotam’s fishcakes came up trumps for Wednesday’s dinner and last night Dan Lepard’s bonfire sticks incited the oohs and ahhhs we missed out on by being fireworks night scrooges. That’s a naff analogy and a half. Oh the clevernessless Fridays of the weary blogger, tired of the sound of her own tone of voice.

Bonfire sticks

Bonfire sticks

Bonfire logs

Bonfire logs

You know I’m not talking about wooden logs, don’t you?

Never mind. All the tastiest dinners look like turds.

Conclusions:

  • I’m very busy at work today so there’s not a great deal of time for drawing conclusions
  • Instead, please accept this TOWIE-style catchphrase, which I’m hoping will catch on: “Have fun til Mon”
  • It’s supposed to be a way cool way of saying “Have a nice weekend”
  • Doesn’t really work, does it

Blowbergine

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 9, 2011
Baigan choka

Baigan choka

Choked-up bile

Choked-up bile

It was scary making Yotam’s baigan choka. You had to put aubergines actually ON the gas hobs. It’s easy to forget that just because hobs are in your kitchen and you switch them on and off, doesn’t mean they’re not actually real little fires. We should use them more imaginatively – maybe sing Native American songs around them, roast micropigs above them on miniature wooden spits, jump over them at Beltane.

As for the dip itself, we thought it most palatable. I bought two other aubergine dips to taste test it against and personally I put the homemade one in the middle. My boyfriend, with the generously goggled taste buds of the live-in lover, decided mine/Yotam’s was the winner.

Also yesterday evening, in the name of eating honeycomb on fireworks night, I gobbled half a bag of Crunchie Rocks on my way home and then we waved some tiny indoor sparklers around in the garden while pretending to have fun. It was fun really, just not exactly fireworks-night-level fun.

Going solo

Going solo

Going loco

Going loco

Conclusions:

  • I would recommend that anyone with a gas hob tries cooking aubergines this way. It tastes nice, but more importantly it lets you feel primal in the kitchen, which saves much cash that previously had to be spent on black market placentas to stew up
  • Unfortunately the Guardian lifestyle dictates that I now spend that £200 of freed-up placenta budget on a T-shirt, which will have to be for my boyfriend, since it would probably look rubbish worn with hips. I have a deep suspicion that this T-shirt, although wickedish printwise, is made of quite a sheer fabric, which probably isn’t going to go down too well at the unwrapping stage
  • The Measure is also decreeing that I get rid of all my v-necks. This seems like a waste. Oh well, someone might want them. Someone incredibly impoverished. In taste if not resources
  • On the plus side, salmon fishcakes tonight
  • Back on the minus side again, I’m not even going to say anything about the fashion/photo today

Quiffhanger

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 8, 2011

Last night’s rabbit stew was bunny free because I couldn’t find the Sainsbury’s lagomorph fridge. I used a couple of bags of mixed game, waited a torturously long time for it to simmer fragrantly atop the stove (luckily, throwing verbal spears at Junior Apprentice distracted me from a whole hour of boiling time and enabled me to feel I’d earned my dinner), and then very much enjoyed eating the result. There isn’t a photo because there would be nothing with which to compare it, and besides it looked a lot like raw sewage.

Am mooching through this week’s fashion with a knitted brow and a distastefully There’s Something About Mary-ish quiff. I’m not much good at hairstyling – I have always been one of those whose hair just grows there. Every now and then I might scowl at it in the mirror or cut a fringe in with the kitchen scissors. I occasionally dye it, but only ever as the centrepiece of a thrilling social event. Dyeing your hair alone is boring as hell. I have been to hairdressers before – hell I’ve even found one I really like and who doesn’t try to make me look like Atomic Kitten, but even so the awkwardness about tips and deciding whether to conversate with the hairdresser’s face or the hairdresser’s reflection makes the whole thing seem generally not worth it.

But yeh, the outfits.

In the crowd

In the crowd

Off the lead

Off the lead

Think I still need to do a bit of work on my pouting, which is continuing to come across a bit… let’s say… umm… I can’t quite think of the right word for it, but it makes me think of zoo admission fees somehow.

For This column will change your life, I have signed up to iftt but have yet to work out how I can really use it in a useful way (also I keep not bothering to confirm my password. That’s the Blitz spirit for you). The idea of texting yourself an umbrella reminder depending when rain is forecast is very exciting – until you remember that you couldn’t give a crap if your quiff gets rained on and that you think umbrellas are, broadly speaking, for idiots who seem to be under the impression that a few drops of rain will disfigure them forever. Get OVER it. It is WATER. You stand in it every day to get clean, then you run around screeching because a drop of it touches your forehead out of context. Stupid humans except me, as usual.

For the Measure, I have moved one small step forwards by throwing away a pair of holey thigh-high socks I like to wear around the flat.

I cannot find Prada’s crocodile earrings on the internet.

I will have a fake bonfire night tonight, complete with honeycomb, since I was poorly and house-bound on Saturday night when everyone else was doing it. I have to quickly say, though, that I don’t approve of the phrase “sweet-cum-canape”. Sounds like something you get handed off a silver platter at Elton’s white tie and tiara ball.

Conclusions:

  • Juniper over – now on to grilling aubergines over the hob while boyfriend hits smoke alarm with baseball bat (not exaggerating)
  • Can you still buy indoor fireworks? Where? May as well let the smoke alarm have all its whippings in one go

A cold weekend

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 7, 2011

Not like ‘Baby it’s cold outside, it’s so wintry and romantic, let’s crunch through the leaves, let’s wrap up in lambswool scarves and gasp at the fireworks.’

Like ‘Baby I’ve got a cold, I’m so weak and irritable, let’s stew in our own mucus, let’s wrap up in stinking, moth-eaten jumpers and gape at the telly.’

I will start by wincingly addressing the past three days of fashion.

On Friday I arrived home from a long day of business-tripping and met one of this blog’s most long-standing patrons, Photographer Cari, at a large shopping centre in East London.

Shirt

Shirt

Shit

Shit

Will someone give this wretched beast a Lemsip?

On Saturday I broke free of my bunged-up, washed-out shackles to emerge looking like a radiant supermodel.

Street scene

Street scene

Crime scene

Crime scene

Only kidding.

Then, on Sunday, things got even more terrifying.

Step out

Step out

Step down

Step down

If I was married to a CEO, he’d no doubt have this picture in a silver frame on his desk.

If my feet look inordinately large (although I imagine you may have averted your eyes by the time you got as far down as the hair) it’s because I am wearing size 12 DMs – they were the closest match in the house. However I fear that is the last thing about this photo I ought to be making excuses for.

And now, from muffin topped monsters to heavy-bottomed pans, it’s on to this issue’s food.

It has been a weekend of juniper. I do like juniper, but I’m not sure if I need it on my tongue three days in a row.

Chicken with rosemary and juniper

Chicken with rosemary and juniper

Chicken with rickets and anaemia

Chicken with rickets and anaemia

I love the way the colours really pop in my photos, don’t you?

Sunday dinner was delicious (ate it with roast duck breast) but by now the juniper was starting to get on my wick.

Potato and celeriac gratin with juniper

Potato and celeriac gratin with juniper

Potato and celeriac with the juniper grating (harrrrrrrrr!!!!!)

Potato and celeriac with juniper grating (harrrrrrrrr!!!!!)

Yet again my photo looks like it’s been puked out of a cat. A non-IAMS cat I should think.

As far as the Measure goes, it’s been an unsuccessful weekend, and I thank the Lord for that. I can’t summon up as much as a suggestion of a girl crush on Pixie Geldof any more than I can grow a Fu Manchu moustache. There’s not a lot I care to do about the former failure, but to address the latter I bought one of those fake moustache selection packs. I did it to show commitment, but I did it grudgingly. I know it’s Movember and all, but aren’t moustaches just so over by now? I mean, have one on your face if you like, but you don’t gotta put one on your T-shirt, your local bar, your necklace and your profile pic as well, do you?

The Henry Holland pants may potentially arrive upon my bottom courtesy of my apparent three degrees of separation from the man himself but I think that’s the only way it’s going to happen, since they don’t appear to be in the shops yet. Likewise the Carhartt/APC apron, but minus the degrees of separation scenario. Shame – an apron is one thing I could actually do with having.

Well look, this post is getting progressively boring, even for me.

Adios.

Conclusions:

  • It is all to do with how you feel about your food tasting of gin. I personally do not eat potato gratin with the intention of being transported back to the precise moment on a warm summer’s night when, straddling the fence to Regents Park, I realised I had relinquished control of my bladder – and that I was crying and laughing at the same time – and that I was wailing something about a bus stop in Headington – and that I was being watched with increasing horror by someone I was trying to seduce
  • No, I didn’t really do that
  • I didn’t!
Since I’m on the back foot already, here is today’s exercise in visual offensiveness. I am supposed to have my new coat off for the pic, but in the end I left it on to illustrate that I actually really do look like a CDT teacher in it. Safety goggles at the ready…
Walk this way

Walk this way

Dork this way

Dork this way

There’s something missing here…..
Hmmm. Quiet a lot in fact. Hmmm.
Must try harder tomorrow. Right, really off now, gotta boil up some more bloody juniper.

More invisible polka dots

Posted in Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on November 3, 2011
Honey nut banana muffins
Honey nut banana muffins
Honey nut banana cinders
Honey nut banana cinders

Witness the results of last night. They could’ve done with five minutes less in the oven, but that is a vast improvement on most of my previous baking attempts, which could’ve generally done with two hours more in the airing cupboard – or a lifetime in the bin.

This recipe was highly agreeable in its easiness. I got an extra sense of satisfaction from already owning both wholemeal and spelt flour (CHECK ME!). Lord, I even felt a bit like some kind of warm-hearted wife who does things properly, opening the cupboard and perusing my flour arrangement diligently. Couldn’t be further from the truth of course, but all the invisible spies in my kitchen weren’t to know that, so I managed to impress them at least.

I added salted peanuts, toasted almonds, a bit of lemon juice and muesli for that wind-in-your-hair reckless sensation we all crave when baking, whether we can admit it to ourselves or not, and splodged the mixture into my six-muffin tray because I don’t have a 12-muffin one (what kind of fool… etc).

I thought they were delicious. I ate three. I brought one in for my workmate and she was very grateful before she ate it and quite quiet after she ate it. Not sure if muffin-related because I don’t dare ask.

On to today’s outfit, which is really perturbing for contextual reasons.

A new spin
A new spin
A new low
A new low

The problem is not so much that I look like a nob, which I’m used to by now, but that I have to look like a nob at a gig tonight. Never in a million years would I wake up and think to myself, “I’m going to see the Melvins – yay, I’ll put on a pencil skirt and a shirt, then sling a t-shirt over the top – it’s a fast track to WELL rad!”

I wouldn’t wear what the model’s got on, but I particularly wouldn’t wear what I’ve got on. I have taken off the shirt so it’s now just a pencil skirt and a t-shirt, but still. Maybe if I just plaster on a lot of black eyeliner I can aim for some sort of office-goth angle. Yeh. Just what I’ve always wanted to dress like.

Conclusions:

  • You just find yourself in these stupid situations

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:

Halloween, a day late

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 1, 2011
Dots

Dotty

Psychopathic

Psychopathic

I just gave my workmate the fright of her life when she came round the corner and saw me standing in the corridor (my dear photographer was out of view) looking like a waxwork out of the London Dungeons a few hundred years in the future. I think she thought something inside me had finally snapped.

Where do I even start today? The hair is part mullet, part alopecia. The make-up looked OK at 10am but, three hours later, has slithered off into obscurity. If you unbuttoned my blouse you’d see a ghoulish visage glaring back at you, waxy and eyeless, its glossy pink mouth grinning with navel-hair teeth and a wobbling tongue of cellulite. I’m frightening myself… I’m clawing at myself…Get it off me!

Already bored of my new fashion-only regime. How many new things can one think of to say about one’s dim corridor lighting and thick ankles? I think tonight I’m going to have to invite Hugh back into my kitchen.

GG: Hugh? Hugh? Huuuuuugghhhhh?

HFW: (echoes) Hello? Hello? God help me! Hello?

GG: You can come back up now!

HFW: Huu… urghh.. I can’t…. climb the…. ladder – you broke my legs…. with a rolling pin…. in case…. you’d forgotten! Hell I…. I can’t even see the…. the ladder in this pitch… fucking… black, you freak…. you fucking psycho….. you bitch!

GG: It’s OK Hugh, just calm down, I’ll help you up using these ropes and you can show me how to cook chickpea pancakes – it’ll be just like the old days Hugh!

HFW: (Sounds of imminent death)

On a less repressively violent note, I have been reading Oliver Burkeman’s column and taking it very seriously.

I have carefully copied out all the quotes he mentions on to bright orange Post-it notes and stuck them to my monitor at work. Because this has made me feel like such a detestable moron, I have drawn small penises all over the Post-it notes to subtly indicate to any passing colleagues that I don’t really take all this claptrap too seriously. I’m not sure if it exactly helps matters – why would the quotes be there if I didn’t take them seriously? How does drawing pictures of genitals in the office ever help people respect you more? Why do I do it so often then? – so I might cut those penises off.

Heheh.

I’m off to Pritt Stick up some ransom letters. I will see you tomorrow, farting through a diaphanous dress while hitting the keyboard arbitrarily and hoping something funny comes out.

Conclusions:

  • GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS!
  • I must also remember to use these ransom note scissors to cut the Peter Pan collars off my clothes
  • Also looks like I’ll be popping off to buy a cheap crombie after work. If I buy a cheap crombie, will a tree fall somewhere in the Brazilian rainforest? It literally might, mightn’t it?

Where are the fountains?

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on October 31, 2011

I prayed for opulent backdrops this week, I got white. I prayed for leaping and leaning, I got standing. You can’t hide behind standing against a white background – that makes it just you against the model, your clothes against the designer clothes, your iPhone against the photographer’s camera, you against the Guardian. With you still losing. That’s you meaning me.

In reality this made a good-enough Sunday outfit, apart from the torn and blistered feet having tramped around town in heels all day.

I did also spend all of Saturday in the requisite pencil skirt/heels/skin-tight polo-neck combo, having copied the first picture in the fashion shoot, but I never got a photo of it. That’s because I spent the day drinking white wine and double whiskies, then lost most of the evening to all manner of highly questionable activity of which I have little to no memory. None of that activity involved having my portrait taken, which is probably an extremely lucky thing in hindsight. I won’t describe the gory details but suffice it to say that my boyfriend put his hand in his jacket pocket on Sunday morning to find it was full of yoghurt, which I turned out to have spooned in there as a spiteful act of rebellion against some imagined, general crime of the heart he had apparently committed (probably ‘being against me’ or similar.) He later found a quantity more yoghurt inside his woolly hat – and something inside me suspects that won’t be the last we see of the toffee Muller Light either. Bloody white wine.

Polka

Polka

Bulkier

Bulkier

Conclusions:

  • I can’t exactly describe why yet, but I slightly blame Saturday night’s bad behaviour on the pencil skirt. It would never have happened had I been wearing jeans. The more tailored the outfit, the more gruesome the behaviour. That’s how come bankers are always in strip clubs snorting coke, trying to break free from all those seams and darts
  • That’s how come the financial crisis happened