Archive for Film and TV

How to be a domestic goddess (I wish)

Friday morning

I’m feeling a bit smug this morning, all I’ve done is put some chicken portions in a plastic bag with some marinade ingredients ready to tip out and bake tomorrow or Sunday, and suddenly I’m feeling like a domestic goddess. Of course I still have to sort tonights dinner and do some food shopping instead of patronising Tesco Express every second we run out of something else. But I can’t help feeling smug and slightly organised, if only it was that easy! This meal in anticipation is all down to another of Nigellas recipes, this time from her new book Nigella Express, which Rick brought home unexpectedly as a surprise for me a couple of weeks ago. I expect you’re thinking ‘that’s very nice of him’ or maybe ‘ooo, how devious, maybe I  should buy my partner a copy of this and then I’ll never have to cook again’.  Ha ha, I know what you’re up to mate!

I do like how she thinks and writes too, as she discusses spending a few minutes in the day to prepare something that can marinade/freeze/cook slowly for a couple of hours while she goes and attempts to do what she calls ‘doomed jobs’ like trying to tidy her desk. I know how she feels, but really wish I could plan things on the dinner front a bit better than I do. Marinading meat, preparing meatballs and kebabs and generally being organised, as well as using the pasta machine we bought when we married eleven years ago were all things that I thought I’d do when I gave up working full time. However I had no idea I’d start a small business and end up busier than I ever was before self-employment. I don’t really think I could ever be a ‘lady wot lunches’. I also wonder how organised Nigella would be if she didn’t write recipes for a job, I mean, she’s actually working when she prepares a meal ahead. If I did that for a living I expect I’d be more organised, after all, my work would be planning and preparing food. Maybe I’m in the wrong business? Have a great weekend!

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Oi…slaphead! (He said this, Samuel L Jackson, not me)

Saturday evening

I’m sitting here on the settee again, enjoying ‘Swarovski Fashion Rocks’, unfortunately no white wine tonight as I still have my cheese headache (well, it’s more of a migraine actually). The fact that it’s fashion rocks again means that I’ve been blogging for 2 years now, oh yes, It’s my 2 year blogiversary tomorrow, yay! I have to say though about the fashion show, that I’m disappointed not to see the crystal catwalk, although this year they have crystal beaded curtains, glitzy.

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Bring out the Branson (Gi’s a job)

Thursday morning

I went out last night! I never go out, or at least hardly ever. We went and scoffed Pizza with a group of friends and then I stayed out and went to the flicks, yay! We saw Atonement, and I have to say ‘what a film’, it was a work of art, much nicer than the location of the pizza place and cinema.  It’s been ages since I last saw a film (I think it was Narnia) and I really love watching films on the big screen, but last night the whole leisure park felt so alien and bright. All the restaurants had bright lights, obviously to get you in and out really fast, and they all seemed so American and ……I hope I’m not offending anyone here, but you would have been forgiven for thinking you were not in England.

Don’t get me wrong, it was all good value and tasted nice, but where was the identity? What I mean to say is, everything has gone so global now, you see pictures on the news of people in other countries, and you’d struggle to tell where they are, and the same fast food places are seen the world over. Maybe I’ve just moved on in my culinary and cultural expectations? I like the differences you get when you travel around, and I like towns and shopping centres to feel different, but all the same shops are everywhere, which is obviously great for the chain of shops that is doing well, but one shopping centre or town centre could easily be confused for another. It’s the shopping mall and out of town stores thing.

Anyway, I am pleased we have a good cinema in Crawley, we used to have to travel to Brighton, or Lakeside to see films before Richard Branson stopped over in Crawley one night on one of his many trips to visit his Virgin offices (I followed him in to the Virgin Airlines office once, boy he was tall and walked extremely fast, which was unfortunate for me because I was going to tap him on the shoulder and say ‘gi’s a job’ only I couldn’t keep up and probably wouldn’t have been able to reach his shoulder) (that was a long bracket) and decided to go and see a film, only to find that we didn’t have a decent cinema, so decided he’d build one.

Talking of tall celebs I’ve seen on my travels, Chris Evans, he’s one, and he walks fast, also Jonathan Woss (sorry….Ross) and he talks a lot, I had to wait 20 minutes for him to stop yakking so I could get served in a fabric shop in Soho once. Trips to London are good places to see celebs if you like doing that, we used to spot at least one wild one each trip.

I’ve rambled on a bit this morning, but in true Sarah stylie I still have a shed load of ‘stuff’ to do (don’t I always?) so I’m going to get on with it and try to get past my cheese induced headache.

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Festival season rules OK

Saturday night

One event down, one bead fair sorted for tomorrow…that’s Barton Bead Day (see my events). Now I have to get my head down for the Artists and Makers festival (Open Houses) that starts in 2 weeks time. At least I actually feel like making jewellery now, my brains been on a bit of a go slow and acting like a temperamental artist, saying that I didn’t feel like being creative. I do now, and I’m raring to go. Chomping at the bit, me. And it’s lovely to sit here blogging while class acts play at Glastonbury.

Oh yes, it’s festival time again, and I just love how the digital channels on TV cover so many of the music festivals now. I’m in my element, and it’s so much more comfortable watching from the sofa (or desk as I am now). I’d love to go to Glastonbury but have heard so many tales of friends tents being removed lock stock and barrel, then there’s the mud bath when it rains, not to mention rushing miles from one stage to the other (and by that I don’t mean ‘the other stage’), and how do you decide what to watch? There’s 2000 acts this year on loads of different stages. I’d feel like I was missing out if I didn’t see everything, which is obviously impossible anyway due to the logistics of the size of the place. I’m off to get a glass of wine and a coffee and to put my weary feet up.

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The Sourcerers Apprentice

Thursday Morning

So far so good this week, I’ve been able to have 3 long sessions at my torch to make lots of beads, and I’ve cleaned most of them. (I know!) It’s a struggle to balance making beads to sell at fairs and in my shop, and to make beads for my range of jewellery, but I’m happy no matter what! Now I need to find time to make the jewellery….hopefully all the dinners I’ve been cooking in the evening this week will buy me some production time from Rick while he cooks.

Now for the hot gossip…what about Katie on the Apprentice last night? Now that was a turn up for the books, she actually looked genuine after Sir Alan said she was through and with her discussions with him after the offer. I’m pleased Christine is through, I’ve been routing for her for a long time. As for those interviews….they were enough to make anyone squirm. It was amusing to observe the looks of confidence on the candidates faces as they arrived for the day, and to compare the look of devastation and worry after their gruelling.

It amazes me that in the 3rd (or is it the 4th?) series of the Apprentice that some of the candidates appear not to have watched any of the previous series, or if they did, that they failed to learn some of the key points about Sir Alan and how he likes things done. Who in their right mind applies for a 12 week long interview away from home without doing any research about him or the companies? And who applies for a job without considering that a relocation would be a probability? It just goes to prove that however smart people think they are, there will almost always be things that let them down, we are all only human after all.

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How does your garden grow?

Wednesday morning

At last, I have a bit more time to blog in the morning…..well I don’t really, but the bench outside was beckoning and I didn’t want to let it down. It’s gorgeous out here, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing (the Cotoneaster shrub next to me is heaving with bees, they really go mad for the flowers when they come out each year), I can hear people about their business and the scent of the flowers is amazing. I could almost be on a Greek Island in the sun, especially with the occasional sound of scooters.

I think I could really do with a parasol out here as I can barely see my screen, it’s sooo bright. Mind you, we all know what happens when I get involved with parasols, tea and my laptop! It’s a lot sunnier in our garden at the moment too as we still have 5 fence panels missing, I can’t get the bits I need to repair them for love nor money. This could make the job a bit tricky when we do get the bits as our neighbours shrubs next to the fence are just exploding with leaves and branches. I just LOVE this time of year in the garden as everything grows so fast, if you blink then look everything’s doubled in size.

We also have the pleasure of enjoying coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, supported by Marshalls (tee hee). Isn’t it funny how the non-advertising BBC have to get their presenters to say this every time the show starts or ends on TV? I just wish they’d show more of the other gardens when they do these programmes, as I’ve noticed from my trips to the Hampton Court show that they seem to concentrate on the same few gardens each time when there are many other good displays to be seen also. Maybe they’re trying to leave something new for those who visit the shows? and OK Heather, I know I’m talking about TV again. Gotta go, as much as I enjoy wittering on to you lot I’ve stuff to do.

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Numpties rule

Thursday night

I do love The Apprentice. What a bunch of numpties! They’re supposed to be the creme of the crop and yet they make such basic obvious mistakes, like trying to design a product for a specific group of consumers without doing any market research first. Don’t you just love it? I feel that I’ve learnt so much more about business since I’ve been running my own very small business, and I do get a bit frustrated when I have loads of ideas and know what I need to be doing to achieve my targets but do not have enough time to do everything. So it’s very reassurring when Sir Alan Sugar makes mincemeat of these guys and teaches them stuff that I had worked out for myself. I wouldn’t really want to go back into the workplace now, especially one like the potential apprentices are in, it’s a shark pit!

I love the way they all back the project leader when they win the project, and attack when they loose. They always try not to say what they think until they know whether they won or lost, just so they don’t loose face….and the lies they tell..what whoppas….we do have video evidence you know!

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Is there life on Mars?

Wednesday evening

It’s all over, the wonderful series Life on Mars ended last night, and now we have Ashes to Ashes to look forward to, the spin off featuring our favourite Gene Hunt. I have to say I was confused last night, they certainly kept the twists coming, but I’m all clear now having read this blog.  And I thought I was sad blogging about TV and film I’ve watched. Now the only sureal TV I have left is Lost, and scattered repeats of Father Ted.

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Sorry…Dr Who?

Monday lunchtime

Well, it’s started again….school hols and Dr Who. I don’t know about you but we’re big Dr Who fans in this house, and wasn’t it a cracking start to the new series on Saturday? The question I have today is, what makes David Tennant so yummy? He’s just soooooo, you know, attractive. We knew he’d make a great Dr Who after seeing his winning ways on Cassanova a couple of years ago, even before we knew they needed a new Dr. He’s just so twinkly, even our daughter loves him and she’s only just 8. Roll on episode 2 I say.

As for the school hols, I’ll be dipping in and out for the next 2 weeks but I’m really supposed to be taking a break. If you want to email me regarding tuition enquiries please feel free, but please be aware that I may take several days to get back to you. Happy holidays.

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4th time lucky

Friday evening

The school Easter holiday is upon us, 16 days of child at home (mind you she’s been at home most of the past half-term). I’ve just been out to my studio to collect the afternooons work and the bunch of beads that I batch annealed with them. The batch that I annealed today had already been through the cycle about 3 times but every time something went wrong, and now they’re done, woo hoo. Now I have to clean them…..yuk. I still have another 4 skewers of beads to anneal, but I need to remember not to swtich the strip light on or off in the studio or the programme will go nuts (the kiln runs now but goes wrong when the leckle tricity spikes).

I’ve got so many jobs on my list that need doing that sometimes I feel like Earl Hicky on ‘My name is Earl’. It’s just so nice to be able to cross items off sometimes. I managed to knock 4 things off this evening while Rick cooked. Maybe he should cook every night and I should use that time to catch up?

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Always take the weather with you

Monday tea time

What is it about weather forecasts? It doesn’t seem to make any difference how hard I try to concentrate I always switch off. Take last night, they did a forecast for Sunday up to Tuesday evening, I think I made it to Sunday evening before I drifted off and it was Tuesday morning before I realised that I’d gone again (not literally….lol). I found my self watching the new graphics and pondering the bumpy bits called Exmoor and Dartmoor. I noticed that it was rather flat where I live and that there was a blob of blue that is probably a reservoir. Then I got to thinking that the new graphics could make you a tad seasick the way they twist and turn and woosh from one side to the other at jaunty angles, and maybe they were a bit distracting rather than helpful. It was at that point I noticed that yet again I’d missed what the weather would do.

Don’t get me wrong, I know discussing the weather is a national pastime here in the UK, but I am actually quite interested in it. So much so that I requested a book about clouds for Christmas so that I could identify them when I’m out, you know, what are the Simpsons clouds called, and what does it mean when the sky looks like it’s full of delicate orange coloured fish bones? So what’s my problem with weather forecasts? Maybe I should try and study my new book hard so that I understand what they’re going on about and can try my hand at predicting the local weather for the next hour or so?

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A new use for my kiln?

Thursday morning

Ah I had a laugh last night, then a really insane idea. I watched this chef acting like a scientist and trying to recreate the perfect pizza, as he’d eaten and had a go at making in Napoli I think it was. One of the most crucial parts of cooking said pizza was the oven temperature of 550 deg C. He tried various ways to raise the temp of his oven, including cooking the pizza on a stone with the grill on (not marvelous but the stone retains a bit more energy than a tray), cooking it on a stone in a circular coal barbeque – the inside reached over 600 when he put a fan underneath to add more air to the burning coals – unfortunately the base cooked and the top didn’t, which was very evident when he lifted one edge to show us the base and the topping slid off.

He achieved his goal by heating a cast iron frying pan for 20mins on a hotplate, then putting it upside down i.e. base upwards under a hot grill in a small oven that had been preheated as high as he could get it. He then assembled the pizza on a peel as quickly as possible and slid the pizza onto the base of the already positioned frying pan. The pizza cooked to his perfection in 2 minutes (which was his goal).

Now a girl can’t help wondering……hmmmmm, I love pizza…….and I also have an appliance that can go up to 550 deg C and higher……..I wonder if I could try this… would I get it in?……what shape would it have to be?……would it get covered in kiln brick dust?……what would I cook it on?…..more absurdly, would it be a bit silly to buy a round hobby kiln to cook pizzas?………………………….hmmmm………

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The Perfect Christmas Housewife?……..not me

Friday lunchtime

You know how I was feeling jaded on Monday? It so happens that I came down with a cold later that day and have been suffering since then. Just what I needed in the run up to Christmas. Never mind, I’m enjoying swigging back the fizzy orange flavoured Vitamin C tablets while attacking the enormous mess that needs clearing in our house. Speaking of which we watched Anthea Turners perfect Christmas last night. That was a laugh, goodness knows what she’d make of our house and front garden, still it was worth watching just to see one of the contestants bond with her turkey that she named Jeffrey and weeping while she stuffed it.
Wednesday was enjoyable at least. I had my stewarding session at the Guildford House gallery and met 2 more Guild members and the lovely staff at the gallery. This was my second ever visit to the Guildford shopping streets and I had the unenviable delight of queing for about an hour waiting to get into the car park that I was recommended to use.

The part of the High Street that I quickly explored during my short break looked lovely, and I managed to get a couple of Christmas goodies…..still haven’t done the cards yet!

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Coughs and sneezes spread diseases

Wednesday evening….

…..already, and half term is supposed to be a break! I’m helping run a holiday club for kids every morning this week and it’s very difficult finding time to blog and fit in bits of work…suffice it to say this is the first chance I feel I’ve had to blog. Of course this time last year we were recording songs for an album, and getting choir sounds with 4 people. That must mean my blog is over 1 year old, so woo hoo, and happy birthday (belated) blog. There’s lots of stuff happening that relates to my business at the moment (even though I can’t sit and make beads or jewellery at the moment), and I hope to reveal all soon.

On another note Rick and I had a good laugh watching one of Fanny Craddocks old cookery programmes last night. You don’t realise how far things have come until you watch the old stuff. She was very chatty in her delivery, and constantly mentioned saving money and being economical with ingredients. All the food looked grey (black and white) and it was soooo hard to be inspired by anything she presented. But the funniest of all was the way she kept coughing into her hands in turn, then handling the food she was preparing and had prepared! She was a smoker by what I gleened watching the wonderful Julia Davies in ‘Frightened of Fanny’ the other night. Classic TV.

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We’ll always have Parrots

Monday morning

I’m back. I haven’t really been away but it feels like it, having had my head down getting ready for Harrow. It was manic last week, spending every hour possible in my studio making new beads (yipee), cleaning them (yuk) and then Saturday photographing them (thank you Rick) and pricing them up (boring). I made several new favourites last week, and it was lovely to see them sell early on in the day, always reassuring that but also a bit sad that I can’t enjoy looking at them this week. Oh well, I do have my photos. Or should I say we’ll always have photos…….we watched Red Dwarf when we got home last night, the episode called Camille where Kryton falls in love with what turns out to be a blob, then they go on to reenact Cassablanca. Sorry, rambling, but I would recommend Red Dwarf (series 4 episode 1). I’ll be putting the new boxed set All the Shows 5 to whatever it is on my Christmas list. Although I didn’t like the last one so much cos it got all posh with film type production instead of the low budget, wobbly set, naff sound I loved at the start. Not at all like Blake 7 wobbly sets that they took so seriously….but oh, I’m starting to sound like a sci fi geek.

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Noooooooo….not again (why am I not surprised?)

Tuesday evening

Oh that’s too funny. The last 2 episodes of this season of Lost, and more questions! lol. Although I have to say that several questions were answered and my suspisions regarding the cause of the plane crash were confirmed, that is if anything on the show is to be believed. I can’t believe it’s all over again! Now I have to go and do a packed lunch and toddle off to bed. I’m attending a seminar for artists tommorrow about making art work (as a business that is, not making ‘artwork’) so I need to get some zzzzzzds. Poor Rick has to work from home to make tea for the roof people, although I think he’s relieved. He was hoping to tweek the TV arial this week, but chickened out this evening after he viewed the street from the eaves! lol.

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Cold fish

Tues night (late)

oh dear, how cold hearted am I? I’ve just finished watching next weeks episode of Lost on E4, where someone dies, and I don’t feel a thing. I don’t get it, I love the show, I have to watch all the repeats and get more information, but when it comes to the emotion, I feel nothing, rien, nada. Everytime some dies, I feel cold. Maybe it’s me or maybe they don’t lather on the slushy stuff like some shows do. Is it more about the mystery and the history? Oh but it getting so intrigueing, and we only have 3 more episodes to go this season. I can’t wait, but I also don’t want it to end. Off to bed now. Nightee night.

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Return to sender (address unknown)

Tuesday afternoon

hiya peeps. I’m popping in to say hi, before I do a bit of work towards the GBUK bead fair, I’m not sure if anyone running their own business ever feels that they’ve done enough and can sit back for weeks on end with a big gig looming (or maybe it’s just me?). I have my GBUK bead challenge bead or set or jewellery to make on the theme Egypt. I’ve mulled over lots of symbols and Egyptian themes, but I’m not yet sure which direction I’ll be going in, time to play later I think.

What I did want to say was, what’s with the Post Office? I received a postcard with a huge sticker over the picture, telling MR Postie that the address was wrong, and then I got one the other day, well a card from the PO saying they had something for me that didn’t have enough postage paid on it. If I didn’t collect within 3 weeks it would be returned to sender, I asked the office about this when I went to collect, and they said that if it didn’t have a return addy it would be sent to Belfast to be opened and then returned to sender with an invoice. So maybe I’d never get my post. How fair is that? I suppose if they didn’t charge then people would cotton on and do it on purpose, but as it is, the recipient is the one who looses out, which would have been me this time as there was no return addy inside – I’m just relieved it wasn’t important.

All this reminds me of a wierd Australian film I watched earlier this year about people working in the underground warehouse where incorrectly addressed and ‘Lost’ letters went. It was an unusual film, but strangley haunting, I wish Icould remember the title. Needless to say they had stacks of letters and sometimes tried to find out who the real recipient was.

I’m still on limited computer time, and am working my way through your emails, so please be patient. Have a lovely week.

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0118 999 881 999 119 725……….3

Friday morning

Oh the joy of having E4+1. What a great channel, all the fab C4 programmes and repeats of wonderful comedies like ‘The IT crowd’. It’s like Faulty Towers and Father Ted all rolled up in one. Last night’s episode was very memorable, the long phone number for the emergency services “well that’s easy to remember”, the stress tester, a fire extinguisher that catches fire in an office fire, red shoes that are way too small and the ‘ah, made in Britain’ joke. Also we saw Moss testing his stress levels as he had his hand with fingers spread open on the desk and stabbed in the gaps with a screwdriver back and forth for about a minute without getting his fingers – amazing. Pure genius. Roll on next weeks episode.

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Oh, the shame of it!

Wednesday morning

Oh the shame of it! We watched a repeat of Top Gear last night, very funny, they really laid into Caravans and their owners. It was great watching these car buffs being so incompetant with the caravan they bought. They managed to drive it into a bollard, reverse it into an awning, failed to turn it around in a lane, forgot to hitch up again and drove off without it, then set fire to it. They had the police then a fire engine out. Now whether it was all set up I don’t know, although I suspect it was, a salutory lesson on how fragile they are, and how quickly they go up in smoke.

here’s the shame of it….we have one! And I always feel shame when we set off, cringing about the people that might be stuck behind us, thinking about how we as a family when I was a kid always used to mock caravan owners….the shame of it. Still, they uped the speed limit to 60mph for towing, so for most A roads there isn’t such a problem now, also with motorways you can tuck yourself in on the inside lane while everyone shoots by at 80mph…..but oh, the shame of it.

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