Guardian Girl

Catching flies

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on October 28, 2011

Have received quite a few compliments on today’s outfit. If you want to know why, don’t expect any clues from the below photo.

Old favourite

Old favourite

Least favourite

Least favourite

Next week I’d like to be wearing swathes of crispy autumn leaves crafted into red-carpet ballgowns, flashing pumpkin-head bikinis and chewing-gum balaclavas. I’d like to pose jumping into fountains, leaping off bridges into waterfalls and laughing into pensioners’ twinkling eyes on park benches. Bit of variety, none of this sitting around looking pretty lark, which is HARD.

I’m getting really tempted by returning to the whole hog again. Last night I put all the ingredients for Dan Lepard’s pasties into my supermarket basket, then returned them all to the shelves one by one, chiding myself for not being able to keep up this moderate, outfits-only approach for more than three days. Not sure how much longer I can hold off. It’s the autumnal recipes and the irresponsible spending and the all-consuming unexpectedness of it all – so damn inviting. Thing is, it invites you in, hands you a glass of sherry, compliments you on your hairdo and then whisks your coat off into the hallway and secretly wees all over it! It does, I seen it. So I don’t trust it opening that door no more.

Conclusions:

  • While I was off I did actually buy Dan Lepard’s book and bake one of his cakes for my birthday. It was bloody amazing. I do miss all that. Thing is you think “well, I can still bake the odd Guardian recipe even without living the whole life.” But then unless you’ve got a blog resting on it, you just go home, eat lemon curd on toast and think you won’t be arsed after all.
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Oh knitwear

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on October 27, 2011

It’s a recurring theme in this cul-de-sac of the blogosphere that in order to wear a certain type of garment fashionably (which is so different from just wearing it), you have to have a certain type of something. Sometimes that something is a hairstyle, sometimes it’s a body type, sometimes it’s the right shoes.

For most knitwear, it’s birdy bones – unless you’re doing Joan Holloway sweaters and playing the ‘curvy’ card (which much of the British mainstream media seems to think is a strategy women deliberately play, as if we wake up in the morning and think ‘what bracket shall i fall into today?’ and then decide to be plus-sized, Girlfriend, feel sexy and wear it with pride! With our heads held high!

Ta Gok.)

Anyway I believe it to be true of most knitwear that it does help if you’re a bit diminutive around the wrist, bust and hip areas. This delicateness helps you avoid looking like an aftershaven Chingford builder out for a pint of Fosters of a late summer evening.

It wasn’t just my cruel internal bully that suggested I might be looking a bit masculine in this get-up yesterday. A man directing queues of people through metal detectors at the Hindu temple I visited out of Diwali-related curiosity called me ‘Sir’!

OH GOD, WHAT’S THE POINT OF HAVING BOOBS THEN?

Fashion staple
Fashion staple

 

Fashion paperclip
Fashion paperclip

The fashion paperclip does a less effective job of holding a wardrobe together.

Conclusions:

  • Ladies, what’s that failsafe garment you always feel fabulous in, no matter what the occasion? Tweet me!
  • Harrrr, only kidding.

Doing things by halves

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on October 25, 2011

Is there anything to be gained from a moderate approach?

Unlikely, but we all have to give something new a go once in a while (or at least that is what ‘Cassandra’ told me in a Spanish bar in Florida five years ago). [??????????! CHRIST.]

That’s why I’m back to do the whole Weekend mag fashion shoot schtick, but this time without giving the Guardian control of my kitchen, my purse and my diary as well. Just the wardrobe, just the wardrobe.

I’ve tried this modified approach before and lost interest after a few days because it didn’t scratch the itch hard enough. It was all boring and un-all-encompassing, and what are you going to do with all those spare hours anyway if you’re not baking saffron cakes, re-rearranging your distressed knick-nacks and buying revolting, overpriced clothes and pretending to yourself you like them and pretending to yourself you don’t feel guilty and pretending to yourself this is a gallant and productive way of spending a lifetime?

Anyway at the moment I’m doing rather well without the towering triumvirate of Fearnley-Whittingstall, Cartner-Morley and Burkeman-Lepard dictating my every move but hell, I have to get dressed in something in the morning and heavens, it is fun writing all this down and looking at the photos all lined up next to each other, feeling as if something has been achieved.

So for an unspecified while, please find at this address daily-ish photo-bulletins with less quinoa and more chin.

I do realise it seems a bit non-committal to keep chopping and changing like this, doing the whole hog, then giving up, then starting again, then just doing the clothes, then saying this, then saying that. Consistency is, according to social media experts and other types of expert, supposed to be the first rule of blogging. If you don’t post regularly and let your reader/s know what to expect, they will all lose interest and then won’t buy your miracle hair-growth tonic after all because you might seem untrustworthy.

Well, let me clear this up right now by telling what to expect: jack sh*t.

Bonza. That’s $79.99 for the Follycreme please. Now we all know where we stand, here’s a photo.

PS having said that DO expect especially bad jokes for a while as they have to get out of the system before the good ones can emerge, a bit like having a colonic irrigation, which I’ve never had but somehow imagine might beget bit torrents of ropey, sputtering effluence before you pass a real shiner of a golden egg a few days later and feel the lady/tube/all fours embarrassment was worth it after all. Do you go on all fours for it?

Jumper

Jumper

Munter

Munter

Don’t have many nice jumpers so it’s a stupid place to start really.

Also, cannot WIAT (yes, that’s right, WIAT) to get my new phone soon, with its new better camera, and with its lesser suggestiveness of poverty and negativity and doom and malignity, no exaggeration.

Conclusions

  • People will actually trust you no matter what, as long as you have a bullet point at the end and don’t try to bullshit them.

 

 

Gone fishing

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on September 28, 2011

Apologies for the extended pause in posts.

Let’s pretend Guardian Girl is an oil rig. When you’re at work, you are always at work, up there on that rig getting oilier and saltier and dirtier and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ as you stare out to sea and ponder the distant memory of your real life back home, where you are really you. Yet you keep telling yourself this is your one, albeit it quite odd, purpose in life at that time. Then, just as you’ve read the Safety Rules notice on the toilet door one too many times and cracked surely your last one off over your precious but faded picture of Keeley Hawes, it’s finally time to return to the homestead. Once again you can buy fresh fruit at 11pm, manage your own film-watching schedule and squeeze a real pair of nipples with overzealous relief. You don’t have to report back to the line manager every time you take a crap. It is heavenly. Once you’re off that rig, you get into the leisure vibe and you’re certainly not going back until you know it’s time.

The analogy fell apart right at the start. I don’t even know what is this compulsion to put nipples in everything. I know nothing of oil rig culture other than my probably mistaken prejudices.

It was however a good illustration of why I’m having a break from blogging at the moment. No one needs to read this kind of thing on a daily basis.

I will be back when I feel like it, maybe in a week or a year or never or whatever.

FONDIES to one and ‘all’ until then.

x Emoticon(s)

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.

Tell me why I don’t like Mondays

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on August 8, 2011

Is it because:

a) lately they seem to follow two days of solid drinking, resulting in a sense of less-than-superhumanity before one has even started compared oneself to a fashion model and trying to recreate vegetable recipes when all one really needs is a selection of things someone else has fried and put in front of you

b) can’t be bothered to write this one

c) can’t be bothered to write this one

d) can’t be bothered to write this one

e) all of the above?

Here’s the week so far.

Saturday: at Field Day, not in sheer tights. Ate a salt beef bagel for breakfast, a hot dog for lunch and a burger for dinner. By the time I got home it would’ve seemed inconsistent to eat anything that wasn’t a lump of meat between two bits of bread, so I didn’t cook a bean salad yet.

Sunday: did cook a bean salad yet, with the help of Friend Anne who was staying for the weekend and who’s a proper gourmet cook person. We had a BBQ for a bunch of mates (didn’t wear an orange velvet suit) and made a potato salad as part of it. Anne actually did that cooking programme thing where you chop and prepare the extra ingredients and store them in a small bowl while the potatoes boil! Meanwhile I ‘toasted’ a load of walnuts, resulting in a pan of half-raw, half-blackened husks looking more like charred rodent brains than something you’d eat. Tipped them on top of a pile of beans (which Anne had cooked for the right length of time [I all the time lurking in the background, cocking my head squirrel-like at these fascinating new concepts in cookery happening around me while swigging from a variety of cider bottles and trying to look capable] ) and then crumbled over a load of feta. Couldn’t be bothered to read rest of recipe by then – guests arriving, rain pouring all over BBQ, cider kicking in – so just poured on some other likely-seeming ingredients, took a quick snap before anyone could clock what I was doing and gracelessly whacked the plate down on the buffet table. Never got to taste any so can’t report on success. Suspect minimal.

French beans with feta, walnuts and mint

French beans with feta, walnuts and mint

French beans with fetid tagnuts and dill

French beans with fetid tagnuts and dill

Cutlerial positioning clearly not a priority at the time. Apols.

Today I have a two-day hangover, a general feeling of shame and inadequacy, no desire to eat anything other than constant junk, and an awful outfit. What a crap Monday. Oh misery. Am now trying to divide day into two-hour chunks and see if that helps any. Will let you know tomorrow between 2 and 4.

On the prowl

On the prowl

From the bowel

From the bowel

Conclusions:

  • As for the Measure, I’ve read it. That feels like enough of an achievement so far.

Kneel, tenant

Posted in Fashion, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on August 4, 2011

Sometimes it seems this blog is really just a bucket into which I urinate directionless puns.

Today’s outfit had to be tweaked for practicality once again as it was raining and I’d just applied the anti-Pippa Middleton leg make-up of yesterweek, which I don’t believe is waterproof. Not a day for shorts.

After a week-long break from recipe copying, I’m looking forward to getting back on the hungry horse next week. Cooking, yehhhhhhhhhhh. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Precious metal

Precious metal

Vicious knid

Vicious knid

Conclusions:

  • This was the last day of photo-colouring glory
  • Do you need a tissue?
  • No, not in that way
  • If you remember the vicious knids with as much fondness as I do, would you like to be pen pals?
  • No comments on facial expression/limb size today. Getting too boring.
Tagged with:

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!
Tagged with: ,

The torpedoes that broke the glutton’s back

Posted in Fashion, Food, Recipes by guardiangirl on August 2, 2011
Cheddar torpedoes

Cheddar torpedoes

Cheddar corrr-pedoes

Cheddar corrr-pedoes

The final report from last week’s issue, rather late because I’ve been off having a free will again (it keeps bursting through) concerns these cheddar torpedoes. Yes, mine looked like Iceland garlic bread, but they tasted…they tasted…so good that my boyfriend and I polished off the lot (minus one torpedo we physically couldn’t fit down our gullets [I tried]) in about 10 minutes. It was 11pm by the time I’d got home, mixed the ingredients up in a bowl, allowed the dough to rise in various stages, brushed over the egg wash and all that biz, and by that time you tend to get an appetite for The Thing in the Kitchen.
But check it out – I used an egg wash, and measured the ingredients again! That’s like two recipes I’ve actually followed in the past two years! I really might be turning into someone who does things properly, and it might be almost entirely down to Lepard and Ottolenghi, whose instructions I must finally concede do tend to have reasons behind them. This whole lesson has raised the question: exactly what battle do I think I’m winning by halving rising time, chopping veg three times too big, not peeling stuff, not cooling stuff, not melting stuff and so on? I’m sure it’s not so much laziness as a sort of impotent rebellion. Which leads to the question: are these scenarios the most appropriate way to channel impotent rebellion or should I set my sights higher? Perhaps measuring flour could be a cure for political apathy? Christ, I’ve discovered all the answers!
In the meantime, back to the eating. It is nobody’s fault but my own that I am fervently greedy. Looking at this week’s tart recipe out of the corner of a weeping eye, for example, I didn’t think ‘I could have a slice of that with my Sunday cuppa.’ I thought ‘That’s one step closer to a mobility scooter.’ The only way to get around this is by avoiding the stimulus all together – some people just got their synapses arranged that way. So I’m taking this week off cooking while I go for a few runs and eat a few chicken breasts, maybe drag my crucifix around for a few hours if I can find where I left it.
Outfitwise, last week’s fiction special and resulting lack of the usual two fashion stories meant I ran out of models to copy and had to ape (?) Jess Cartner-Morley instead. This has happened a few times before and it tends to infuse the day with an uncomfortable sense that JC-M is about to walk round the corner in the same outfit and give me a withering look. The fear isn’t helped by the fact that she actually lives round the corner, apparently. Anyway let’s just pray for plenty more fashion pages in future.
Scalloped edge

Scalloped edge

Over the edge
Over the edge
This week’s fashion is, so far, causing a persistent bad mood. Can’t they just have one fashion shoot inspired by Trog or the Sammiad instead of all this Dallas-ish spangle? Filtered through my pathologically unglamorous world, golden vestments and sultry pouts just seem to turn into orange Primark hand-me-downs and gormlessness. It generates a great sense of dejection, it really does.
Golden nuggets

Golden nuggets

Borange muggins

Borange muggins

Conclusions:
  • Doing this thing, there are weeks of great elation during which I genuinely feel I’ve attained a higher level of capable existence, pottering around with sage plants in my manicured hands and wearing accessories. But when it falls down, usually because life can’t always be organised around gold lamé and plum tarts, I feel the lack. Lord knows I feel the lack.
  • Better lighten up a bit.
  • Isn’t it incredible what you can do with an iPhone app these days? Just check out those colour-filling skills on display above. You’d think it’d been done by a professional artworker.