Guardian Girl

Remarkable serendipity

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 19, 2012

Geometric

 

Geoduck

I left home for my friend’s birthday party on Saturday night wearing a jungle-print two piece, a leopard-print bodysuit and silver stilettos. I had also added a very large parka and a prayer – a prayer that the gods would make it cold at the party so I wouldn’t have to take that parka off all night.

To my enormous astonishment, upon walking into the party I found myself surrounded by a jumbling great crush of sparkling headdresses, gold beaded leggings and wild jewellery. What on earth had I missed when I didn’t read the invitation properly (apart from the directions, which unfortunately meant I was many hours late after spending much of the evening walking round and round a nearby roundabout)? I had missed the dress code, which turned out to be “Totally tropical/getting lost in Pat Butcher’s wardrobe in the dark.” I was perfectly attired after all!

A remarkable act of serendipity and a warm welcome back to my favourite dressing-up game.

PS If you don’t know what a geoduck is, Google and enjoy.

 

Advertisements

Are you there God? It’s me, Guardian Girl

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on July 19, 2011

GOD: Hello? I don’t remember giving my blessing for any human child to be called ‘Guardian Girl’.

ME: I’m not actually called Guardian Girl, I’m called Jody. I have only referred to myself as Guardian Girl about three times, exclusively on this blog and always while clenching my buttocks. I can’t even remember why I called the blog Guardian Girl. It’s a bit embarrassing when I think about it, but I guess it’s quite catchy and a bit late to change it.

GOD: OK, so why were you writing to me anyway?

ME: It’s because I’m struggling again this week. Not in any ideological sense really – just because I’ve been busy. I went to a wedding on Saturday —

GOD: Oh good, I’m glad to hear that.

ME: It was wonderful. It wasn’t really your type of wedding though, God – they didn’t mention you at all.

GOD: No, that’s OK, I’m still glad they got married.

ME: Great. And so I was away all weekend, driving around Norfolk, eating loads of amazing foodstuffs and that. I couldn’t really start hijacking the hotel kitchen or turning up to a wedding in chinos, and I couldn’t really dye my hair grey or be booking myself breakfast at the Paris Ritz or anything either. And when I got back to London I didn’t want to rush straight home and start cooking Johnny Borrell’s salmon recipes and so on. I wanted to drink cider and eat pizza and watch the Apprentice (yay Tom!) like all the other humans. And this week I’m dead busy at work, and last night I still couldn’t cook Johnny bloody Borrell’s bloody salmon recipe because I’d lost the magazine in the pub and the stupid recipe is some interactive thing using Flash and I can’t get it on my iPhone so I just didn’t do any cooking at all, and —

GOD: OK, look, here’s what I suggest. You don’t need to say anymore about this, IMHO. Just upload the photos from last week and the one you did last night, and leave it at that.

ME:

Orange

Orange

Borange

Borange

Information: ‘Borange’ is a new word for someone who is both boring and orange. Many people who are the latter are also the former; a considerably smaller proportion of the former fall automatically into the latter. Don’t like it? Don’t use it.

Be a bright spark

Be a bright spark

Borange

Borange

You didn’t used to think it was a catchy new word, but now you see it applies to almost every situation. You’ll be saying it soon enough, trust me.

Sunny gym

Sunny gym

Borange

Borange

I did write a different caption followed by a joke about jade eggs here but I deleted it because it make me feel uncomfortable (the joke, not the jade egg).

Conclusions:

  • Tonight I will be home late, but I will slightly try to try Bozzer’s salmon

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?

Last week’s outfits

Posted in Fashion by guardiangirl on July 11, 2011

I went on a little holiday last week, which made it impossible to do any cooking. I did, however, stay true to the cause via what I wore.

Here’s the evidence:

Danger

Danger

Minger

Minger

This one actually could’ve been far worse, and the outfit was perfect for attracting the attention of many species during a trip to the zoo. The make-up, which you can’t really see clearly in the picture, was another matter. I looked like I was trying to pick up business – not the natural choice when spending the day among French school groups and pygmy monkeys. The pygmy monkeys, by the way, were the most perfect thing I’ve seen in a long time. They are everything you could want from a being. That’s pretty high praise.

High voltage

High voltage

Low IQ

Low IQ

If you go down to the beach today

If you go down to the beach today

You're in for no surprise at all, just a woman in a bland outfit. I guess the stain on the skirt is kind of mildly interesting.

You're in for no surprise at all, just a woman in a bland outfit. Although I guess the stain on the skirt is kind of mildly interesting. Christ.

We actually did go down to the beach on this day, but I changed into jeans. It was pouring with rain, and I know from excruciating experience that a white skirt is not the right thing to wear in the rain. Note the Clarks Tibetan Art sandals, which I was instructed to buy by last week’s Measure. Very nice actually, and comfy. A good result.

Be sure to look cool

Be sure to look cool

Be sure not to look at the fool

Be sure to look a fool

Again, I had to put jeans on for this one. We had graduated to quite a posh hotel by the last day of our trip and I saw no real need to go down to breakfast in my bikini.

A quick note on the poses – I forgot this week that the Guardian online people like to use different shots of the models for the web version of the All Ages shoots (does that make any sense to you?) The result is that my poses end up being wrong because I am still doggedly copying the ones in the magazine, the pages of which photograph very badly, hence my preference for pasting the online pictures here. This might be the most boring paragraph of the blog so far but I really feel the need to point that out lest anyone should think I’m so stupid that I can;t tell the difference between standing with my hands in front of me or behind my back. Although to be fair… etc etc etc, blah.

To return to the reality of this week, after several days of back-to-back fry-ups and a not exactly frugal approach to accommodation, I bought Saturday’s Guardian with some sense of trepidation, and rightly so: this week I am due to fork out for a perm, bake various chocolate/cream/pie recipes and flash either my bum or thighs or both or something even more embarrassing in the daily photo.

Forgive me Father, for I have slightly been pretending not to be doing the blog ever since I saw this latest issue. I conveniently forgot to mention the perm while at the hairdresser on Saturday, then somehow didn’t quite get around to cooking the chocolate pie, and ‘couldn’t’ track down the Eastpak rucksack. I have yet to attempt to force my boyfriend into a cocktail trousers and rhinestone get-up, and am experiencing a certain amount of hesitation in asking my employer if I might paint a sunlight trompe l’oeil effect on the office ceiling.

I am clenching my fists at this point and willing myself to continue bravely in the face of my doubts.

Oliver Burkeman’s column might help me.

Perhaps I will be able to face the cherry and chocolate tart/swimwear shoot combo tonight…

Mmmpppphhhh.

It will all be OK.

Conclusions:

  • My capacity to switch overnight from thinking this project is the most hilariously fun, horizon-expanding, life-improving idea I have ever come up with to thinking it is in fact the most ridiculously irritating, horizon-shrinking, ruinous idea I have ever come up with is astonishing.
  • This project is surely the most ridiculously irritating, horizon-shrinking, ruinous idea I have ever come up with. And that includes the time I tried to replicate seven days in the life of Bruce Forsyth while I was a student. All those back massages nearly bankrupted me.
  • Feel the ‘ugh’ and do it anyway.
Tagged with: ,

Non merci

Posted in Fashion, Food by guardiangirl on July 4, 2011

THE HIGHEST FORM OF NO.

Totally tropical

Totally tropical

Totally horrible

Totally horrible

Conclusions:

  • What further conclusions does a person really need to draw? This is a time for being kind.
  • Hugh’s sage and cheddar scones were incredible – really like eating the feeling of getting in a winter bed – and only took half an hour to make, all in. Everyone should give them a go (and you too could look like a model!)
Tagged with: , , ,

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!


World of Interiors

Posted in Fashion, Interiors by guardiangirl on July 1, 2011
This summer

This summer

That bummer

That bummer

I did actually get the pose down better than that, but the dang Guardian went and used a different photo online from the one in the mag itself. I feel obliged to use this one for image quality reasons. Don’t say anything but I could tell my boyfriend discovered a new level of intense lust for me when he saw my feet today.

And now, from homo style to home style. Yep, it’s time for my first interiors photo shoot in more than a year. All the furniture had to be rearranged in order to recreate the look of a Parisian former merry-go-round workshop. (I’m doing something Gromit-like with my eyebrows just typing it, let alone trying to do it.)

Vintage

Vintage

Skintage

Skintage

Charm

Charm

Barn

Barn

French

French

Merde

Merde

Merry-go-round workshop

Merry-go-round workshop

Rehabilitation workshop

Rehabilitation workshop

Paris

Paris

Pratts Bottom

Pratts Bottom

Quirky

Quirky

Dirty

Dirty

Apartment

Apartment

 

Afartment

Afartment

Mixes

Mixes

Mix-ups

Mix-ups

Finds

Finds

Losses

Losses

Industrial

Industrial

Imbecile

Imbecile

Surfaces

Surfaces

Social services

Social services

Conclusions:

  • There’s so much to say at the end of my first week back
  • It’s Friday night and I can’t be bothered to say any of it

 

 

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

Hot date cake

Posted in Brain & heart, Fashion, Recipes by guardiangirl on April 30, 2010

My goodness me, Mr Lepard was underestimating this cake when he said it was in the running as one of the best date cakes around. I’d nominate it as one of the best cakes full stop.

My enchantingly intuitive and crurally balletic friend Emily came over to share it with me and, although she described it as “very nice, comforting, warm and old-fashioned tasting”, she did leave the crust on the plate. The fact that there was a crust to leave may, I concede, be part of the reason it was discarded. I didn’t particularly go out of my way to weigh any of the ingredients at all, but I did use my lovely measuring jug and my keen eye for a teaspoon to make the mixture. I used the right sized tin for once but the cake only took 30 mins to bake, not an hour. Maybe I put in too much sugary stuff and not enough flour.

To ring the changes and wrestle a bit of profit from the conglomerates I had done my shopping at Mother Earth this time, and I couldn’t find any tamarind paste in the shop. But no matter – I had foreseen this eventuality and thought of the sort of substances I might use to replace it. I don’t know if you’ve tried it but there’s this delicious pure fruit spread stuff called Sunwheel that’s a bit like molasses, but made of just apples and pears. In my experience of tamarind paste, this Sunwheel thing isn’t completely different, and it did add to a nice, moist cake. The walnuts didn’t even sink! The icing was a disaster, of course, but I don’t mind that much. To me it seems entirely natural that I would be able to bake a tasty cake but get the icing wrong, in much the same way that I can choose myself a lovely frock but my accessories will always let the whole thing down. Details or something. But who wants to be good at icing, anyway? That’s just a rubbish skill. Be good at cakes.

Here it is:

Tamarind date cake

Other kind of date cake

Other kind of date cake

I was intending to do a home styling shoot last night but, what with running, bathing, entertaining and putting the recycling out – which somehow seems to take me hours – I never got round to it. The dahlias also remained in their packet due to the heavy rains my neighbourhood was experiencing at the appointed planting time.

Other updates: the final outfit of the week has me replicating this young lad’s vibe. I’m sure you’ll agree my success is uncanny.

Checks

Vexed

Vexed

I think that pretty much rounds off the week, other than to say that I have carried in my heart and mind Oliver Burkeman’s words, as always, to test out their life-changing abilities. This week’s column had quite a positive impact on my daily life, as it happens. This Column WIll Change Your Life is often among the pages to capture my imagination the most when I open the magazine on a Saturday, but it barely gets mentioned in my blog. I think that’s because I’m so utterly rubbish at writing about it. I just had to delete a whole paragraph I’d written about this week’s because it made me feel nauseous. I seem to go extra pompous sounding as soon as feelings are involved. I think I’ll try to work on this. In the meantime, I trust you’ll find my writing lovably imperfect.

Copy the little children

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on April 28, 2010

Last night’s dinner was supposed to be smoked duck with pak choi but, due to a late night at work and a lack of desire to jog further than necessary to reach a big supermarket, it became chicken with cabbage. Since there was no photo to copy anyway, this struck me as no great shame and I soon managed to get to sleep without having failure nightmares.

Today, however, things have taken a distinct turn for the worse. I am concerned about my fashion karma. Is there not something very wrong about copying the style of a four-year-old? It’s widely considered misguided to wear one’s hair in pigtails to the office, so going one step further and directly aping a toddler’s outfit – complete with pinafore, kiddy hairgrip and pull-on plimsolls – must be thought of as a full-blown mistake at best. Amazingly I’ve already received several compliments on my hair today – but haven’t quite been able to bring myself to reply, “Thanks, I got the idea off a baby I saw in a magazine.”

Stripes

Stripes

Cripes

Cripes

I think the conclusions for today ought to be promoted to the level of disclaimers.

First, I’d like to apologise to the model’s parents, who I’m sure aren’t reading this but who I imagine might find the above photographic episode rather chilling if they were.

Second, I’d like to apologise for still not being able to get left and right right, and for therefore scrunching up the wrong hand.

Third, I’d like to apologise deeply for having my shirt outside the pinafore instead of underneath. I had it on under the dress this morning and it was billowing out everywhere in a most ridiculous fashion. I knew it was a busy day at work today and I wanted to look vaguely credible when required.

With all that sorted, it only remains for me to report that today I clawed back the ground I lost yesterday and followed The Measure to the letter by buying a pair of Asos navy tailored shorts (only £25 and I need a pair that fit). They are meant for men and yet I bought them big because I find it humiliating when menswear is too small for me. This means I run some risk of looking like Uncle Buck in them, but that could potentially be no bad thing.

Now I get to think of it, I’m not sure if Uncle Buck ever wore shorts, but I’m pretty sure he went fishing. Also, I think it would categorically be a bad thing if I looked like Uncle Buck, but I don’t like deleting thoughts after I’ve gone to the trouble of typing them. That’s why I’m going to sign off now before things get out of hand.

Au revoir x