Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"I feel a strong persuasion, this morning, that I shall soon be abroad"

I have booked my tickets for travelling to the UK!! I leave in less than a month and will be there until the end of January. I am half apprehension, half excitement, I hope all goes well as a lot rides on the trips success. I had been putting off booking the tickets and thinking about the trip for weeks, but now I have bitten the bullet, I hope it will be alright. I will miss Christmas and my birthday as well as an Opera and two plays. Though I will spend it with my Nana, I am particularly sad about Christmas, as I have really gotten into it the cooking side of things, and will miss baking and cooking all the Christmas food. On the upside, my cousin has offered to take me to the Lake District for four days which is very exciting! I will have to take appropriate reading material. Now if only I had previously met, been proposed to and rejected a wealthy member of the gentry so that I could fall in love with them and subsequently marry them, the trip would be even more exciting!

In baking news, I made Mars bar chocolate Crackles yesterday and the lightest scones I have ever tasted today. The crackles were from the woman's weekly cupcake book and the scones from Domestic Goddess. I followed Nigella's suggestion and ate them with cream and treacle and was overwhelmed by how good that tasted!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Occasionally forming into a little knot of the navy

Things are a moving along very slowly here. I did get a good bit of work done last friday and made a relatively exciting discovery. My Captain, who I have written about before, knew Jane Austen's brothers and went to the Naval Academy with Charles. It was there all along in Brian Southam's Jane Austen and the Navy, and I just looked it up by chance when adding a bit about Jane Austen to my chapter. I found this very exciting, and though no one else really did, it didn't matter. It is little things like this that keeps me going at times.

I have however been baking my heart out, particularly on Sunday when we had high(ish) tea for a friends birthday. I made Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon (from Nigella Express), Caramelized Onion and Feta Tarts, Mini-Lamington Fairy Cakes (Women's Weekly cupcake book) and Mini-strawberry shortcakes (Domestic Goddess). All worked really well, I would like to try the strawberry shortcakes at their full size and the Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon were great, Nigella used instant mash in the cakes so they were nice and light and delicious.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

the obstinacy which could resist such arguments as these

Production levels here are still remarkably low much to my disgust, though I seem to be able to fit in everything else, other than my thesis! Not the way it should be and I will seek to address that soon.

I had a meeting with my associate supervisor, now main supervisor, and he put me on the spot by asking me straight out, what my argument was! However I managed to rally and told him something about how family was an important, guiding force that was competing with patriotism and the nation. He was quite pleased with that, and pronounced it to be an argument, and more importantly not mad!! He is quite young, though already slightly jaded with the system which leads him to have interesting insights into the whole research progress. He said new ideas or arguments are either wrong, potentially right and will shake things up, or completely mad. Mine, thankfully he feels falls in the middle category. Excellent, I am one up on the week!

In other unrelated news, I went to the Swans match last night which was rubbish! Poor effort from the red and the white I must say.

Also I am watching North and South today, so in honour of that and Mr Thornton's long association with Lint Intense Orange Chocolate (now Orange Intense) I made some 'Intense Orange' Chocolate Shortbread for the occasion.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the credit of inspiring such reflections

Things are at a bit of a standstill here. With my supervisor gone, I have lost a lot of motivation but I hope this has changed after a weekend in Tasmania for a masterclass. Though so far, not yet. Perhaps change comes slowly. Another funding knock back has put a spanner in the works little, and while I didn't let my self hope for this one as I did the last one it is still a kick in the teeth. Perhaps the funding universe is trying to tell me something? I hope not.

I feel best when cooking, which doesn't help the thesis or my hopes to 'obviously lose 20 pounds'. Inspired by foodycats Blackberry Jelly I made Nigella's Slut-red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jellythe other weekend, which was amazing, delicious. I am now thinking how I can make a pimms and lemonade jelly as I think that would be amazing.