Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Almost Bath Time

At the end of September I am heading to beautiful Bath to do a PhD, and I am so looking forward to it! I visited last weekend to finally sort out somewhere to live (mission accomplished! ), and it is such a lovely city. I did my undergrad degree there so I do know it quite well, although I seem to have a severe lack of tourist pictures in my photo collection, I think that will have to be rectified sharpish when I get back there. There is some amazing architecture obviously, and my favourite food market of all time, as well as plenty of good shopping, and the surrounding countryside is awesome too, and really accessible, my walk back from the university in my final year was through fields with spectacular views of this city (again, no photos?! ). Anyway, heres dreaming of Bath time !

Apologies for the obvious puns !

Monday, 22 August 2011

Free! Giant Blueberry Muffin! *

Haha that got you clicking didn't it?! Now you are here perhaps you would like to take a look around the rest of my blog, and maybe make a comment or two...

* Unfortunately no actual blueberry muffin available, although I do look forward to the day when cake can be sent down internet wires. In the meantime, here is the very easy recipe, modified from a regular blueberry muffin recipe : )

180g Plain Flour
60g light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 free range eggs
55g melted butter
175ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons marmalade
170g fresh blueberries (or equivalent frozen)

Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas mark 6
Grease cake tin/loaf tin/muffin tin

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together

In a separate bowl whisk eggs until blended, add melted butter, milk, vanilla and marmalade

Mix liquids into flour etc, but leave it a bit lumpy

Mix in blueberries

Put into tin, put into oven, cook until a knife comes out clean, it took about 45mins for the large tin, but is supposed to take 25 mins in a muffin tin.


Friday, 19 August 2011

A Week In Books (4)

More books! I have been making good use of the local library and got them to order in lots of books from other local libraries, so I had a good stack to work through.

More P.G. Wodehouse once again! This one is a collection of short stories, with lots of familiar characters. I raced through it in a day, very enjoyable as usual.

Bill Bryson's African Diary is pretty short, he did it for charity as a diary of a trip he was sent on. It was interesting and of course in his usual delightful writing style, but was very brief.

I have been thinking of reading Seeing Further for ages, and finally got round to it as the library could get it for me. It is pretty epic as you can see! It is a series of essays written by scientists and science writers, centering around the venerable Royal Society, covering a broad range of topics from the history of the Society to various historic and current science topics such as Darwinian evolution, quantum physics (brain hurt!) and global climate change. As all the essays are by different authors it is a bit variable-some sections are definitely more readable and enjoyable than others, but overall I definitely enjoyed it, and feel I came away with my brain slightly more full!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Big Skies and Wildlife

Just had a lovely walk, really missed having a good camera though, here is a poor attempt at capturing the beautiful sunset.

These would have come in useful tonight:

Need to read The Cloudspotter's Guide!

Dream Camera

The sky was absolutely massive and filled with dramatic clouds. It was a good night for wildlife too, I saw two barn owls and several deer, one at particularly close range. Sometimes I can see why this big green space is a nice place to live!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

How To Build A Bike Bag

A couple of months ago I acquired a fairly knackered Raleigh Twenty (20 inch wheels), which I will show you pictures of soon, found in a shed on my Gran's farm, and I have been bringing it back to life. It is a great shopper style bike and I feel the need to fit it up with appropriate accessories. I've got a wooden cheese crate to go on the back rack and I fancied experimenting and making a large bag to go on the handlebars. This is the material I picked! There are lots of amazing fabric shops in Cardiff near where I was living, so I got this lovely Cath Kidson-esque oilcloth for less than half the price of the genuine article.

This is the plan of action; I am going for a simple box bag shape with a lid. Hopefully when I have taped the seams it will be fairly waterproof, and I am going to fully line it and add some pockets on the inside too. the D-rings on the sides will allow a strap to be attached so that it can be taken off the bike and used as a shoulder bag.

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A week In Books (3)

I have at last been a little busier at work as the tourists have descended, so this stack more accurately represents a fortnight of books, but I'll stick with the title - I like it!
More P.G. Wodehouse! It is good escapism and works to alleviate the monotony that is my current job, although I might need to have more variety to my reading as although his books are thoroughly enjoyable, the stories do seem to be a little repetitive in their predictability! I will continue to work my way through the back-catalogue though.

The Wavewatcher's Companion was a brilliant read, written by the same author as the cloudspotter's guide, which I am yet to read, but which I assume follows similar form. As the title suggests, the book explores the ins and outs of waves, although not just waves of the sea but all kinds of waves; sound, electromagnetic, brain etc. I found it very interesting and also entertaining, Pretor-Pinney as a great sense of humour, and there are lots of diverting illustrations which simply explain the more difficult concepts. It did rather make me yearn for some wave-riding though, especially when he was visiting Hawaii, as I am yet to surf in anything other than our cold home seas.
Yes, that is me looking fabulous in a wetsuit!

Thursday, 4 August 2011


What could be better than a machine that can be used anywhere, doesn't used any electricity and cost £3?! Meet my lovely 1950s 99k Singer sewing machine, as found in the local tip last summer. This is such a nice machine to use, and is really practical, even though it only does straight stitch! I spent about £10 to get it working as a few bits were missing, and spent a bit of time sanding and re-varnishing the case, but other than that it was good to go with a little bit of oil. Here it is modifying a t-shirt for the boyfriend.

I'm pretty sure it helps the arm muscles too : )

Monday, 1 August 2011

Hometown Tourist (part three)

A brief one; nothing interesting to say so here are some pictures : )

Taken whilst walking the daft dog out in the middle of nowhere, where I used to live! It was foggy then a lot too . . .