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.

 

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?

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.

Maxi-ed out

Posted in Fashion, Recipes, The Measure, Uncategorized by guardiangirl on May 5, 2010

I’m not very good at maxi dresses. I have only one. This week’s All ages is going to be tricky as a result.

The lengths

The shorts

A rather unpleasant photo today.

I am also supposed to be doing something ridiculous with my hair in the manner of someone from Glee, says The Measure. Achieving this hairstyle would mean having extensions put in my fringe, the red colour stripped out, and the whole lot bleached platinum and cut short. Just thinking about it gives me split ends and a migraine. I do however have this vaguely snarling picture of myself in a blonde wig, so that will have to suffice for today’s effort. Lame, I know.

Sue Sylvester's Vogue

Me being grumpy at a fancy dress party

I apologise. It’s the best I can do. I don’t even watch Glee, even though The Measure’s been telling me to for about six months. I tried once and it just seemed to be full of bad jokes. Maybe I need to give it another go. But when one is trying to cook like Hugh F-W, dress like Jess C-M, be as wise as Oliver Burkeman, live in a show home with a perfect garden, earn enough money to buy the necessary accoutrements and exercise enough to maintain the required dress size, where does one honestly find time to watch television?

Back to dinners, I had to work late last night before going off to a gig and then running home, leaving no time for cooking. I bought me some crisps and some chicken drumsticks, and downed a few pints of cider at the pub. That was as close to papas arrugadas with grilled meats and aperitifs as I was going to get. What I did get was loads of grief off my mate Charlie for being fat. I think I might actually have to go on a proper diet and lay off the baking for a while. AGAIN. Jeez.

Conclusions:

  • It’s always the same – I come back to a Guardian Girl stint with a vengeance and by the second week I’ve totally lost enthusiasm. How do I always forget how hard it is to make life work in this way? Stoopid damn cooking.

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.