Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Pretty Flowers and Pancakes

Things I love about Spring: all the lovely flowers growing. Pancake day.
I thought I would write a post about them both.

Every time I walk through the Meadows and George Square these days there are more crocuses springing up.
The purple ones are my favourite! I'm loving the super-macro function on my camera, which lets you take close up photos like these. The colours are so good, and I love playing with all the different colour and exposure settings, just to see how they turn out. I also really like the way most of the shot is out of focus, like in this one. And then all the tiny details of the veins and stuff that you can see in the petals.
It rained last night, just a light shower, but enough to make me all wet and to make my hair go curly, on the way to the library. It was worth it though, because this morning everywhere was covered with flowers and it was sooo lovely!

The other great thing about spring is of course Pancake Day! Its traditional in the UK to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, to use up perishables, like eggs, milk and butter, before the fasting period of Lent. These days people don't really fast in the same way much, because the church isn't so important to them, its more about giving up chocolate or smoking or something. But we still like to make the pancakes because they're yummy!

This was my first Pancake Day that I haven't been at home, and I nearly didn't make any, but then I saw people talking about it on Twitter all day and it made me pretty hungry for them, so I went to Tesco's on the way home.
We didn't have a mixing bowl, so I used a lunch box, and we don't have a measuring jug or scales either, so I was guessing really.
I used 6 rounded dessert spoons of self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 and a half dessert spoons of sugar, and 1 egg, and some milk. Seived everything together, added the egg, then kept putting in a little milk at a time, stirring with a fork, until it made batter that looked like my mum's! I greased the frying pan with some oil on some kitchen paper.
They were pretty good. The first few were rather brown because the pan was too hot, and a little soft in the middle because I made them too thick, but I got the hang of it eventually! Also, I think I should use a spoon next time, rather than a fork, because they made a lot of bubbles. Or maybe they're supposed to. Comments please?

The last two really tiny ones were meant to be heart-shaped but I'm not sure that really comes across... Marsailidh really liked them, which made me pleased because before she said that she didn't like pancakes :D

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Wordle: Twitter
Love this word cloud I had made of my Tweets on twitter :)
I find it quite funny that the unique tinyurl code for my psychology project comes up as a word (down on the right hand side). Do you use twitter? I'm hiccup42 there as well :)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Kisses From God?

So yesterday, I was having a really crappy day. I'd been home to get something to eat, and I'm going through the meadows on my way back to the library and what do I see? Crocuses!
Spring appears to have sprung! And I was just delighted, they were so cheerful, these sprouting flowers amongst the muddy debris of winter.

Their colours were simply gorgeous! Bright yellows, rich purples and pale lilacs, its was really beautiful.
Then when I got into George Square I saw that the daffodils had sprouted too, although they weren't flowering yet, and it all just made me so delighted, with all this amazing new stuff when a week ago it was miserable and cold and wet. Snow is great but its got nothing on Spring!
It reminded me of a book I'd read a while ago called Captivating. It was a Christian book, and the woman writing it talked about kisses from God. I never really got how great those were until today. I was miserable about my photos and there were these gorgeous new subjects all fresh in their beauty for my eagerly awaiting lens! Every flash of colour, every fresh green stalk was another loving kiss.
And the other photos? Yeah I'm sad, but I'd rather have flowers than snow. And the other ones of my friends - we were just messing about at the pub really, it was nothing special. It wasn't something that we would only ever do once. I'll never have the same photos again, but in a couple months time I'll have so many more that I won't even remember that I'd lost these ones!

So Happy Spring everyone! And I hope you get some kisses from God too! :)

P.S. Still looking for Questionnaire Participants!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Really Really Sad

I was going to post a lovely blog entry with lots of photos of the snow there was a couple weeks ago. I just transferred all my photos of the last like 3 weeks from my camera directly onto my USB drive, because my university drive wasn't big enough. Then my big fat idiot brain deletes them all from the camera. Then I go to reorganise the photos in the folder on the drive and discover that every single one of them is corrupted and won't open. I hate my life.

Here is the link to my questionnaire
But I just got a text from Chris to say that it isn't actually working properly. Maybe its just him - you could give it a go anyway

Having the worst day like EVER

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Psychology Project

Hey everyone,

Not much interesting to share recently. I'm working on a project for my psychology report, and haven't been doing much else. I can't tell you too much about it because I will want you all to participate. Its an online questionnaire and some games to play, and I will post a link when it is ready. I would really appreciate your participation, we're trying to get the largest and most varied group that we possibly can.

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

I bet you wish you'd told me who you were now!

I bet you wish your name was here... Why? Because this is a map of the coolest people in the world! The ones who read my blog. Oh wait you are reading my blog! Why are you not here!! You should tell me your first name and where you live. Then I can add you to my wonderful map. It would make me feel good about myself and that is always a good thing! :D

Friday, 6 February 2009


Last weekend, Chris took me on a surprise trip! We went into town, and I was totally under the impression that we were going to the cinema (which, by the way, is why i'm not wearing any make up in the photos!), but in fact we went to the station. I was really surprised and confused, but then I guessed that this was the surprise that Chris had mentioned earlier in the week (and later told me it wasn't going to happen!). The York train was standing on the platform so I knew straight away where we were going and got really excited.

We walked along the city walls from the station, in towards the town. The first of my treats was that I was allowed to take as many photos as I wanted with Chris in them. This was a treat because he usually gets annoyed by me wanting to stop every five minutes to take photos of stuff. He gets even more annoyed usually if I want him to be in them but today he just agreed happily and made silly/happy faces as required :)

Our walk along the walls took us to the bridge over the River Ouse, which runs through Yorkshire. There were these fancy lamp posts on either side of the road, at the middle of the bridge.

We wandered around a bit, and went into a few shops, then Chris told me that my next surprise was that I could choose any food and any restaurant I wanted for us to have lunch in. Being the imaginative type, I chose Pizza Hut. Although this was largely because I could smell pizza at the time, coming from Pizza Express, and I knew that Pizza Hut is better AND cheaper - so it made sense to go there!

On our way there we walked up the big pedestrianised street (I have no idea what it was called or anything) and there was this York Residents Festival, or something, going on. In the middle of the street there was a brass band playing - a really good one, so we stayed and I took a couple of photos and we listened a while. We had to queue to get into Pizza Hut but not for too long, and the pizza was great :)

My next surprise was probably the best one - I got to pick anything I wanted and Chris would buy it for me! Naturally I chose carefully, and looked in lots of shops. In the end Chris spotted this lovely little dress, and the necklace as well, in a little shop called Echoo. I tried it on and it was just brilliant, and not too expensive either (he didn't mind but I would have felt guilty if I'd spent much more of his money!

After shopping we went for a drink in a pub called Lendal Cellars, which was underground!

Then we went for a walk around the botanical gardens

and down to the river.

We saw a ruined watch tower or something on the shore,

and we found the ruins of the abbey as well.

Evensong at the minster began at 5.15pm so it was getting pretty dusky by the time we got there (at about 4.45, to make sure we got good seats). The music was really lovely, although I had a small issue with the tenor soloist. But he didn't really spoil things. The sound of the choir girls and the male choristers just sent shivers up and down my spine!

Our train home was a 6.30, and I slept most of the way. I'd had a really lovely afternoon, it was a great surprise and a day I will remember for many years to come.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Anyone from the U S of A??

This is my visitor map from the USA. If you think one of these might be you, then give me a shout! Comments are still being moderated, but unless you tell me otherwise then I'll post them when I get them (I like to show them off!)