Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Argh, Sisterly Nicknames.

Another quick post before I go home for Halloween - but just to leave you with an idea of how lovely, literary obsessed, and er, quirky my beloved sister and I can be, I thought I'd relate this anecdote for you.Back in the days of yore, when I was a more extreme Holmes fangirl aged thirteen (ie, idly doodling scenes of Baker Street, imagining a backstory for Mrs Hudson - my brain wave was that she's a sweet little Scottish Presbyterian from Edinburgh who has four daughters, all married, and one son (spoilt rotten) - and she has slightly adopted her upstairs lodgers as errant sons - to Watson's amusement and Holmes' terror, etcetera, etcetera), and endlessly forced my sister to play Sherlock Holmes with her Barbies. Zoe was mostly Watson, I was(coughs, embarrasedly) Holmes. There was generally a sparkle princess Mary Sue Barbie thrown in there too. Unfortunately, it was more 'Without A Clue' than Conan Doyle.
But there you go. Until *mutter, mutter* she got old enough to watch the Jeremy Brett series. And, in the Jeremy Brett series, the episode 'The Greek Interpreter'. Featuring Mycroft. The older, somewhat lazier, and er... stouter brother.All younger Holmesian credibility went straight out of the window. Zoe rather smugly assumed the 'Sherlock', whilst, being five years older, I was left with the nickname 'Mycroft.'Funnily enough, we've kind of grown into the nicknames. I'm often horribly, horribly lazy, occasionally have fits of energy - joined a sci-fi obsessed Diogenes Club in miniature, complete with misanthropic members (and ended up becoming secretary of one of the 'oddest clubs in Manchester'). The only thing I'm lacking in is numeracy and deductive skill.Whilst Zoe excels at maths and science - because she's good at it - can hold a tune (admittedly not a virtuoso violinist, but she can sing!) , is often so energetic it hurts to watch, and we have an affectionate game of one-up-man-ship that never gets too serious. Er. I think. Maybe. Yeah...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Food, Glorious Food!



Just thought I'd share a little something Reagan and I did this afternoon. It's getting to be essay deadline time after Halloween, and both of us were feeling overworked, sleep-deprived and daunted by the amount of work ahead of us (Note to self: when you start actually using the antiquated expletives you stick in Tus Salus Fidelium, it's time for your friends to gently prise your hands from the keyboard and from the Medieval Literature essay - lest you unwittingly submit a chapter of fanfiction to your school tutor, and then post an academic essay on medieval sexuality on FF.net.)


So, we made Lemon Bars! Sent to us by the ever-lovely Megan - thanks, buddy! Although at first we were a little hesitant (being confused as concussed ducklings when it comes to food), the yumminess of the recipe soon converted us - and one shopping trip and a few doodles later, came up with this-

Yummy! Though at first I was terrified I'd got it wrong because the measuring system is different and we took the Victor Frankenstein 'let's guess and then pull the switch' attitude - that sums up all our cooking ability. But it was absolutely gorgeous, and reminded me of the way my granny's lemon drizzle cake should have turned out when she made it! Shame my family wasn't there - I'll make them some more when I go home at the end of this week. Since the Plastic-Tray Melting Incident of 2002, my parents have looked faintly askance at anything made by me. Hmm, wonder why? Anyway, here's a picture of me with the Lemon Bars, just in case you're wondering whether I've sneaked a picture off the Internet...
Hmm...that washing-up liquid wasn't an ingredient, I swear. Reagan and I devoured half of it before wondering whether our flatmates would maybe like some of it...
So, a belated thank YOU , Megan, for providing such a delicious set of recipes! Mockdonald Muffin, I think, for my next assignment...

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Becoming Jane...

Ah, my University clothes....







Heh, not really. The local theatre that I do voluntary work for had a promotional event where they wanted to really push the costume hire - so I became their 'rent -a-Jane Austen' for the day. The theme was 'Inspirational Women Throughout History', so I was really quite flattered when they asked me to do it! If only they'd have let me keep the dress....

*sigh* I fell in love with that dress. It was a lovely pretty brown printed cotton with flowers and very comfortable - compared to the crinolines and heels other luckless 'Inspirational Women' were wearing! I think they were pretty lucky I didn't end up hunched in a corner stroking the dress and hissing 'Preciousssss!' at anyone who tried to take it away from me...

I was less keen on the bonnet. It was a last minute addition, and I felt like a horse with blinkers on in it. Bonnets cut off your eyeline so you can only look straight ahead - glancing sideways is almost impossible in them!


I had a few pictures of the event, so I thought I'd show you something of it...


Can you guess who's who? We're an odd assortment. Amongst my fellow lovely volunteers are Kylie, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Coco Chanel, Emmeline Pankhurst, Queen Elizabeth I, and Marie Antoinette. Elizabeth I was a Blackadder fan, so we spent all evening swapping quotes. Teehee, meeting fellow nerds is always fun! She was managed to groove at the disco afterwards despite being trapped in a Tudor gown, proving that she had the heart and stomach of a disco babe inside that weak and feeble body of hers...



Marie Antoinette's wig was amazing. I was very envious - until I found out professional wigs are made up of yak hair, and then I kinda went off the idea....

This is Marie Antoinette. Isn't she gorgeous? Her costume was from She Stoops To Conquer. Luda, my Polish boss at the Royal Exchange, tells me the fabric ALONE for the dress cost £800 - so I was very glad I didn't have to wear it in case I spilt coffee down it!



This is me walking around the Lady's Evening floor. We were in a hotel just a little way out of Manchester, and they ran a craft fair showcasing women in business on their own. We were part of that, and we all had to walk slowly around the floor - oddly enough, to the tune of Bella's Lullaby from the Twilight soundtrack! It was very odd to do that dressed as Jane Austen... I felt a bit smug recognising it. Elizabeth I was a Twilight fan, so she had a 'fangirl' moment when we heard it played. You can just about see the make-up stand at the back where we had our hair and make-up done! I'm not sure whether we actually gained many more customers from this event than we would have done in the normal run of things, though. We're a pretty locally known business in the UK, and we don't get much exposure being the North (all the best costume places are in the South, dammit! Damn you London, with your huge stage wardrobes... *shakes fist*) But we had a huge amount of fun while we were there all the same, and the ladies running the stalls were very admiring and appreciative, which made us all feel great. One lady even asked for a picture with me and Queenie! (my nickname for her by the end of the night - her nickname for me was 'Janey')

All in all, it was a fun night! Hmm, now if only I can persuade my medieval literature department to have an 'inspirational women from history' party.... could an Eleanor of Aquitaine costume be coming my way? Or even a Sybilla? Hmm, hold your breath, Helen!