Monday, 6 December 2010

Jumanji unmasked! Also where I've been

Hello anyone still reading this despite my absence. (Should that be Hello Mum?) Sorry about the long weekend of silence, it was due to a chronic lack of internet (except last night, which was caused by laziness and eating too many roast potatoes), which I have thankfully solved by returning to Woking.

First off, all the snow is gone! Just about, anyway. I can even walk on the pavements without grumpily slip-sliding everywhere, which is a big help when you're late in the morning. I'm impressed by how fast it all disappeared. I returned to a different town, a better town, where drivers can speed again and old people once more meander about the streets with their shopping trolleys. It is still extremely cold, however. On the way to the station this morning, my hair froze. Quite literally. It was one of the oddest experiences this winter. I hadn't had time to dry it, just slapping on my new hat (more on this anon) and dashing out the door, and when I was halfway down the very long road that makes up a big chunk of my walk, I happened to touch my hair and found it brittle and frosty. At first I thought I had a leaf stuck in it, but it turned out that each individual strand of hair had frozen. Very strange. On the plus side, I now know what I would look like with tiny sparkly dreadlocks. 

Now on to the big news! I have a new hat! The hat, in fact, mentioned in this post, a long, long time ago. (In fact, I am also the proud owner of a new cardigan, just as whinged about in the selfsame post! I got it in the Jane Norman sale on Saturday, and people who know me are going to be seeing a lot of it. It is grey, thick-knit and has lovely jangly buttons on it. I'm wearing it right now, in fact! Spooky or what?) Jumanji gave it to me for my birthday, having noted my desire for it on this blog! If anyone's reading this with similar intentions, a Mulberry handbag would be much appreciated! 

To demonstrate the awesomeness of the hat, I had Jumanji take a picture:

My zombie clone seems to like it (the eyes! The eyes!)
I then took a picture of her, and now you can see the face of one of this blog's most mysterious characters!

Jumanji in a hat, looking like some sort of bakery-related Fixer
I later helped make brownies and made her very, very sparkly, which demonstrates why you should never let me into your house. Jumanji complains a lot when you are frosting her eyelids. This just goes to show that Buddhists have no Christmas spirit. 

All this was on Saturday. Later that evening, I went to Normandy's (it's nearby... she's the Canadian, OK?) birthday celebrations and met a lot of her friends and ate a lot of pizza.

Saturday morning was also rather busy for me, so I probably should have written about that first (oh well, the hat is more important anyway). I had a big long list and managed to get through almost all of it. Still haven't had a haircut, though... I managed to buy and post a birthday present (unwrapped, alas!), find that cardigan, stock up on Beauty Essentials, acquire medicines to dose myself with, miss a bra fitting appointment, decide there was very little I liked in most of the clothes shops on the high-street, restrain myself from buying a waffle in Bond Street, paint my nails blue and meet Jumanji before heading to a somewhat remote Pizza Express. Pretty impressive, I think. 

To go even further back in time, after leaving Journalism School on Friday straight after posting my last exciting entry (the shorthand exam, remember?) I did a bit of shopping-til-I-dropped as well, and bought a lot of thermal underwear from Uniqlo (well, two pairs of leggings and two long-sleeved T-shirts), fighting my way through crowds of shivering tourists to do so. Word's got out about the Japan Technology, evidently. I also finally went to see the latest Harry Potter film, with Lady Zorro and her boyfriend (I say with, we were rather different degrees of late and so didn't find each other until afterwards, but we were in the same cinema, which is what counts!) and rather enjoyed it. Although some of the more emotional scenes fell a bit flat, due to over-egging the pudding rather. You can have a slow pan (who says I'm not learning anything from Video Journalism?), affected acting or inspiring music. Two out of three at most. Come on, guys. Also the death of the midget Vladimir Putin left me rather cold (thanks to Lady Zorro's boyfriend for pointing that one out! If he's good, he might even get his own nickname!), when it was supposed to be the dramatic climax of the film. Still, good fun. Apparently the next one's going to be a Wizard War Film. I look forward to it. 

To leap ahead to Sunday (yesterday!), I made my triumphant return to Woking on an undelayed train (reports of Rail Chaos seem to have been somewhat exaggerated), walked home as briskly as my rather heavy bag allowed, and then nipped straight back out again for baking ingredients. Jumanji had inspired me, and I decided to make the brownies from my brother's cookbook (I have a brother! Have I mentioned this before? You can call him Hodge (I do, for no adequately explained reason (this Random Nicknames thing had deep roots)), he's 20 and studying Chemistry in the Far North. Sometimes news filters down from up there, but it usually involves wolves), the recipe for which he very kindly texted me the other week (his thumbs are probably still recovering). The boyf and I made them several times over the summer, when we were no-good beatniks lounging around the Edinburgh Festival watching lots of free comedy and confusing Ed Byrne, and they were amazing.

This time, I had somewhat mixed results. I'm blaming a lack of pecan nuts and baking parchment, and a Scientologist conspiracy. They turned out a lot chewier than usual, a bit dark around the edges, and with no nuts to counterbalance the richness, you can really taste the fact that they're basically 500g of melted chocolate with a few other ingredients thrown in.

The baking process was delicious, however:

Baking! Melting, rather
The picture is of lots and lots of chocolate and butter melting together. I think that's how they make melted chocolate super-shiny for the telly-box. 

Anyway, the brownies were eventually finished and boxed up, and then I went and forgot them this morning. I would have brought them in for my poor fellow-magazinies (that's now the technical term) to make subbing a little easier to bear. Now I have lots and lots of brownies on my hands that I can't take into Journalism School because there won't quite be enough for everyone and that would be unfair. What on Earth am I going to do with them?

Just look:

The final result - rather dark and chewy, outlawed by the Geneva Convention
Two boxes' worth! Oh me oh my.

We went to Yo Sushi for lunch today, which somewhat made up for it (and took the longest lunch-break yet, which was very exciting for Lady Zorro, who never truanted despite going to school twice (she's done a fair whack of teaching)), although Blondie (seriously need to get that girl a better name) was feeling the ill effects in the afternoon. Blue Mondays are a good idea (when you're finally seated), but the sushi is perhaps a little dubious.

On the plus side, we've got the exam on Friday and then no more subbing, ever.

On that note, I'm off to make supper. I've got my Newswriting exam tomorrow, wish me luck!

P.S.: A very happy birthday (in advance) to my father, should he be reading this. He should really be getting tomorrow off! Xxx

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