Guardian Girl

Pleather/stew

Posted in Uncategorized by guardiangirl on November 21, 2012

Grandeur

Grand mal

The iPhone auto-enhance did something terrifying to my eye, which I’ve left in for good cheer.

Fish and chorizo stew

Fish and chorizo stew

Fish and chorizo spew

Fish and chorizo spew

The stew was delicious, although the photo’s colour balance is protecting you from that fact.

If you don’t know what a grand mal is, Google it while you’re Googling Geoduck.

The pleather sofa comes with the flat, so quit your judgin.

 

 

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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.

 

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.

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.
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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

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.