Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter wanderings around York

So I finally bought myself a new memory card for my camera. My trusty 8gb one, which took me around Asia for four months, through two years of university and in and out of Morocco in eleven days, was sacrificed when I stupidly lost my camera (and housemate's house keys) on a night out. This new one isn't exactly what I was looking for, but I'm a little strapped for cash at the moment and cannot complain - at least I have the ability to take pictures!

Today's weather was glorious, the sort that makes you wish you had an excuse to cycle to town every day. Of course, if I had to and it was raining I'd be cursing the high heavens at my First World Plight, but not today. I had quite a few errands to run, which took me all around the city, and along roads I've never ventured down before. Or knew existed.

I had lunch at The Vanilla Cafe, one of the places on my list to visit. I chose the goat's cheese and caramelised onion sandwich, which came with salad leaves and crisps. I said no to a drink, but was eventually persuaded to a glass of tap water by the very lovely waiter, who later remarked on the fact that we had similar jackets (sheepskin, although mine isn't real). His did look a lot warmer though! At £4.80 it wasn't the cheapest sandwich, but I finished it at precisely 1:15pm, and didn't eat again until 6:10pm. Almost unheard of for me. And it was delicious - no scrimping on either the cheese or the onions, which is often the case...

I walked to the offices of our property agency to collect a key to be cut, and realised I'd never been down that road before. The city walls didn't quite conceal the minster spires backlit by the wintery afternoon sunshine; I'm a bit out of practice with my camera, so the pictures don't do justice to the beauty of it all.

A sign that amused me...

I wandered down a tiny road, just for the sake of it. It comes out at the side of the minster, next to Treasurer's House and I assume used to lead to the chapter house. I must go into the minster again, this time with a camera.

They're doing a lot of work on the minster at the moment: when I went during the summer they had an exhibition of the restoration that's going on. From what I can remember they're restoring the stained glass east window; the photograph of what it should/will look like is the largest photograph ever taken. Or something. Don't hold me to that exact record! This man is a stone mason. They've erected a stone masons' shelter, although it's real name escapes me: it's simply what looks like a huge bus shelter, under which the masons can work, allowing the public to see what they're doing.

Who can look at this and not be in utter awe of the work that went into this building? Every time I look at it I can't comprehend how on earth they managed it.

And there concludes my little adventure! 

Thursday, 29 November 2012


I couldn't decide what to to listen to this morning: last night I couldn't prize myself away from Metric, and I wanted something a little similar this morning, if a little bit less, well, angsty. Nothing in my iTunes library was jumping out at me, probably because I kept returning wistfully to my collection of Christmas songs. I can't wait until Saturday when I can finally blast them out!

Anyway, Christmas songs were not an option, so I went on the iTunes store to see what this week's Single of the Week was. I've been a bit lax at downloading them recently, and was pleasantly surprised at this one (they can be a bit rock-heavy for me some of the time!).

A perfect mix of melancholy and upbeat, I've had a happy (read: unproductive) morning of browsing blogs and drinking tea. I've not listened to anything by Beyonce's little sister before (I don't think she'd appreciate that labelling, I won't do it again!). Have a listen, and see what you think!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Delicious food makes my teeth hurt

A bit of an odd subject, I'll admit. I'll explain.

I'm researching cafes/eateries in York to review and blog about (really I just want an excuse to spend money on food) because there are so many amazing places to go to, and yet I always seem to head for Caffe Nero and Mr £andwich when I need food. Who can go wrong with a loyalty card and lunch for a quid?

I came across an article in One & Other which had various suggestions of food places in it, made a list, and now I'm looking at their menus. When I see descriptions of good food, my mouth waters and my teeth, well they hurt. I think it's just because they're itching to bite into whatever it is I'm reading about (there seems to be a lot of goat's cheese on offer in York) rather than an obscure medical condition, but neverthess it's enough to make me want to eat the entire pack of parma ham sitting in the fridge. No, bad, must savour and enjoy it bit by bit.

So far my list consists of:

  • Vanilla Cafe
  • The Perky Peacock
  • Xing
  • Henshelwood's Deli
  • Filmore & Union
  • Mannion's
  • Stonegate Yard
  • Kennedy's Bar
  • Harlequin Cafe
  • LICC (I STILL HAVEN'T BEEN AND THIS UPSETS ME!) (Intentional caps as well)
Has anyone got any thoughts on these? Or anything they'd like to add to my list?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Make it, eat it: cauliflower pizza bases

When it comes to junk food, I'm definitely more of a savoury person. Sure I like cakes and ice cream, but in a toss-up between chocolate and crisps at the vending machine, I'll take salt and vinegar crisps every time. Give me chips, pizza, burgers and all things dough and salty, throw in a little grease and lashings of mayo, and I'm a pretty happy bunny. The way to my heart is through cheese, meat, and anything on puff pastry.

You'll see I mentioned pizza. I love pizza. Doughy or thin crust, meat or veggie, as long as there's cheese and a tomato-y sauce, I'm happy. I recently ordered a large pizza, and chicken wings, AND potato wedges from Dominos, all for myself. I was utterly disgusted at the fact that I couldn't eat the last slice - I pride myself on the sheer amount I can eat! Three hours later, I wasn't so disgusted. In fact, I was disgusted at how much I had eaten. Lying in bed, clutching my bulging stomach, trying to find the best position to lie in so that my stomach was neither squished nor squishing every other organ in my body, and breaking my spine. I'm not getting myself into that position again.

Nevertheless, I still love pizza (I ate the remaining slice for breakfast), but I wish it wasn't, well, quite so unhealthy. I'm not the sort of girl who can eat a quarter and leave the rest for other meals, it will all go in one sitting. Which leaves me feeling happy, satisfied, and not at all guilty. I don't have it that often, after all.


For I have found the answer to the nation's, nay, the world's, pizza woes. *Spoken with an awed, hushed voice* CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BASES. Yes, you read that right. Cauliflower. That slightly gross-tasting (unless smothered in homemade cheese sauce and followed by a heart attack) and water vegetable transforms, with the help of an egg, a little cheese, and as many spices as you like, into a pizza base that actually tastes like dough. Italicised because even I, who was so sold on this concept, couldn't actually believe what my tongue was telling my brain. 

It might not look like much here, but that's because I used the cooker
light to take the photo. Like a pro.

Not only is cauliflower low in everything, leaving room for extra cheese and delicious toppings, the recipe also uses no flour. Gluten-free pizza, here we come! 

This is how we make it:

  •  115g cauliflower florets, frozen or fresh
  •  2/3 of an egg, whisked (annoying amount - if you want to use the whole egg I'd up the cauliflower to 150g)
  •  30g cheese, grated
  •  small clove of garlic, crushed/garlic powder
  •  mixed herbs/oregano/any spice you want your base to taste of
  •  1/2 can tinned tomatoes
  •  your favourite toppings

  1.  Heat the oven to 220 degrees.
  2.  Put cauliflower florets in a microwave proof container and cook for 5 minutes. Do not add water.
  3.  Using a stick blender/food processor/grater, pulse or grate the cauliflower until coarsely shredded, until slightly smaller than the chunks in cottage cheese.
  4.  Mix the cauliflower, garlic, herbs, cheese and egg together. Cover a baking tray will greaseproof paper or spray liberally with oil spray (this base tends to stick a bit!).
  5.  Spread the cauliflower mixture into a 1cm thick base. Put it into the oven to cook for 20 mins, check and leave for a further 5 if necessary - you want the base to stay together when removed.
  6.  Meanwhile, cook any toppings that cannot be eaten raw. Either make your own pizza sauce by cooking tinned tomatoes, finely chopped onion, oregano and pepper until it has a coarse, dry texture, or buy some. Too much liquid, however, will make the base soggy.
  7.  Spread the pizza sauce onto the base, and cover with toppings. Don't put too many on, as the base is quite fragile. If you've used mature cheddar in the base you don't even need to put it on the top!
  8.  Put the pizza under the grill for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye out for burning.
And there you have it. A delicious, healthy, incredible piece of cuisine that should work, but really, really does.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Make it, eat it: croissants

I've got rid of Sunday Cooking, after its very short life. I cook too sporadically for that! Instead, welcome to 'Make it, eat it'. Pretty self-explanatory, really.

This weekend I made croissants. I love croissants: when I was little we had them every Sunday, winter and summer. Or so it seemed. I used to COVER them in butter (I have a huge soft spot for butter. In everything) until it was dripping out of each end, and it was heaven. As the years went on, fry-ups and croissants for weekends breakfasts branched out: french bread and jam, boiled eggs and kippers, continental brunch. Croissants never totally disappeared from breakfast, but just as the routine changed, so did my croissant eating. I replaced the pat of butter for dipping it in coffee instead, and having made croissants and seen what goes into them,  I realised that was probably a sensible thing to do!

The recipe is from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. It belongs to my house mate John, and when I saw the recipe for the croissants I knew I wanted to make them. They're fairly time consuming - I started making them on Saturday afternoon, and we ate them about 24 hours later. Time it right, and they'd be perfect for breakfast. Don't be put off by the seemingly endless instructions, they're really not hard to make!

Ingredients (makes 12):-

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 10g instant yeast
  • 300ml cool water
  • 300g chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg to glaze
  1. Put the flour into a bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl, and the yeast to the other. Add the water and mix on a slow speed with a dough-hook for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for 6 minutes. The dough should be fairly stiff (although mine didn't feel particularly stiff, and they came out fine!).
  1. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Dust with flour, put into a clean plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to a rectangle, about 60x20cm; it should be about 1cm thick. Flatten the butter into a rectangle about 40x19cm by bashing it with a rolling pin. This rectangle of butter should cover the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Make sure that it’s positioned neatly and comes almost to the edges. (Mine wasn't really the neatest positioning ever, and neither were my rectangles particularly rectangle-shaped. It turns out fine, don't stress.)
  1. Fold the exposed dough at the top down over one-third of the butter. Now cut the remaining exposed butter very gently, and place it on top of the dough you've just folded over. Fold the bottom half of the dough up. You will now have a sandwich of two layers of butter and three of dough. Pinch the edges lightly to seal in the butter. Put the dough back into the plastic bag and chill in the fridge for an hour to harden the butter.
  1. Take the dough out of the bag and place on a lightly floured work surface with the short end towards you.  Roll into a rectangle, once more about 1cm thick. This time fold up one-third of the dough and then fold the top third down on top to make a neat square. (Once again, mine didn't turn into a square. I just went with folding the bottom third onto the middle third, and then the top third onto that. Not sure that there's much difference between it being a square and a rectangle.) This is called a single turn. Put the dough back into the plastic bag and chill for another hour. Repeat this stage twice more, putting the dough back into the fridge for an hour between turns.
  1. Your dough now needs to be left in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight, to rest and rise slightly.
  1. When you are ready to shape your croissants, line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper, or lightly grease them.
  1. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle, about 42cm long, 30cm wide, and 7mm thick. Trim the edges if they aren’t neat, although I didn't do that because I didn't want to waste my buttery dough.
  1. Cut the rectangle into two strips lengthways, and the cut triangles along the edge of the rectangle. These should be about 12cm wide at the base and about 15cm high. Once you have cut the first triangle, you can use it as a template for the rest. One of my triangles was a bit stunted, but hey. A stunted croissant still tastes awesome.
  1. Starting at the thick end of each triangle, roll it up into a croissant. You will have 12 medium-sized croissants. For a traditional crescent shape, turn the ends in towards each other slightly.
  1. Put the croissants on the baking trays, about 4 to a tray, leaving space in between for them  to expand. Place in a plastic bag and leave the croissants to rise at room temperature until at least doubled in size. This should take about 2 hours.
  1. Heat your oven to 200C.
  1. Lightly whisk the egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash.  Brush the top and sides of the croissants with the eggwash.  Bake for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown. If they start to look burnt, put some foil over the top and carry on cooking.
  1. Cool on a wire rack, and eat whilst still warm. They taste incredible.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Books, books, glorious books

I was in town the other day, trying to escape the monotony of the house, the library, and the short but painful bike ride that comes between. I really wasn't supposed to spend any money, but I came over all creative in Paperchase and before I knew it I was at the till with a basket full of fun and an emptying purse. More on that in another post, though.

I popped into Urban Outfitters on my way to the bus stop, because while I rarely buy anything from there, I do love a bit of a browse. Especially in their homewares section. And that's where I found this:

This little baby, printed by Taschen, was a mere £8.99. How could I not buy it, at that price? I love coffee table books and have a couple of Vogue ones at home, so this will fit nicely on my bookshelf. One day I'm going to have room for one of these gems in my house...

Anyway, the girl in Urban Outfitters said that Taschen had published a 25th anniversary series, trying to provide people with their books at the slightly more reasonable price. So I had a browse of their website, and of Amazon, and have added a few to my Christmas list.

Books, books, glorious books

Books, books, glorious books by serenarudge 

I'm not a huge art lover, but Degas is beautiful and unbeatable when it comes to his dancers. The interior design books are more for just looking at than for getting ideas from, as the Amazon reviews say that to make displays similar to the ones in the book would just mean a lot of clutter. And a LOT of dusting. But hey, I love clutter, and a bit of dust never hurt anyone, so... 

The other books are either ones I've had my eye on for a while, or I just found in the 'Recommended for you' section. All except the Kate Mosse book. I read Labyrinth about five years ago now, and loved every page of it, and the same can be said for Sepulchre, so I'm excited to see what Citadel is like. I'm a huge fan of books that have different stories within them, and the fact that one thread is always set in the past is a massive winner in (Couldn't resist that!) 

Books, books, glorious books

Friday, 16 November 2012

A hipflask is not just for Christmas

A hipflask is not just for Christmas

If anyone wants to buy me a present, one of these would be lovely...

On the other hand, if you're looking for a relatively(ish) cheap present for a friend, there are loads on the Urban Outfitter's website. I'm not suggesting that one needs to take a hipflask round at ALL times, but they're quite fun, and you never know when it might come in use... 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Let the sky fall, we will stand tall.

Let the sky fall, we will stand tall.

Let the sky fall, we will stand tall. by serenarudge 

I have a really hectic week this week. Or rather, I just need to spend some time in the library. The jeans/white top/cardigan combo is so easy to decide on and wear, and comfortable for sitting in the library all day. The accessories are quick to grab, but pull the outfit together, making it a little less casual. Simple and chic (no, I'm not turning into Mark Francis...), and who can deny that feeling put-together definitely helps productivity? I've started deciding what to wear the night before so that I have time to make a rational decision in the hope that I look normal... And the coffee? Sometimes it's just necessary...

If I owned all of these clothes I'd be a very happy bunny, especially the Burberry trench. Someone I sat next to on the train at the weekend was wearing a beautiful one, far more gathered at the waist than this version. I can't find a similar one on the website, so I can only assume it was from a past season. Even though I'm on a bit of a spending ban this week/month/the rest of my life, I might have a look for a burgundy cardigan tomorrow when I head into town. Burgundy, or oxblood, as some shops are calling it, is everywhere this winter. I do like red, but sometimes it's a bit cheerful/gaudy for the rest of my outfit. Burgundy, however, is perfect for brightening up a look whilst keeping a darker, grungy edge. Am I sounding pretentious? Is unkempt hair the closest I usually get to grunge? Yes to both. But honestly, what's more fun than talking about clothes you desperately want and will probably never have? Nothing? Correct.

My parting words are very simple: If You Haven't Mastered Polyvore, Do It. It doesn't have to just be clothes, anything goes. Even if you don't want to actually create sets, there's SO MUCH TO LOOK AT.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Things I would rather be doing than writing an essay

I have a problem. A serious problem. I am a prolific procrastinator. I know that most people like to procrastinate (please, if someone reading this DOESN’T like to procrastinate, give me tips on how to get over this. I’m begging you!), but I think this goes beyond most people.

Give me an academic deadline, and I’ll leave to the last day. Apparently I work so much better under pressure that my brain is physically incapable of writing an essay before the day before the deadline. Most other things I can get done before time, unless there’s no deadline in which case I sometimes need a bit of prompting, but when it comes to essays I’m a mess. I enter into a spiral that goes something like this: no essay topic > self-hatred > desperately chose useless topic > more self-hatred > hate self/topic too much to research > more hatred > give up on essay and life and watch 90s television programmes on the internet.

Right now, I’m sitting at my bizarrely tidy (explanation later) desk, books open, Word document staring hopefully at me from the screen, and yet I can’t bring myself to actually do any work. Instead, I’m going to compile a list of things I’d rather be doing. Just because it’s better than doing this essay.

  1. Tidy my room. This from a girl whose childhood bedroom had paths cut through clothes/toys/books to get across the floor.
  2. Clean the kitchen/bathroom/stairs/windows. I'm not fussed about things being that clean. Dust? Shmust. It just keeps coming back. And yet, right now, my fingers are itching to use every single cleaning product we own on some part of the house.
  3. Plan every meal until the end of term. They say planning what you're going to eat for a week saves you money. You buy ingredients for specific things and don't end up throwing anything else. I've tried this and it doesn't work for me, I prefer to throw caution to the wind and chop a few things up, cook them in any way possible (acceptable/non-acceptable, whatever takes my fancy), and eat them. But right now I'm thinking that planning all meals until the end of term would be a good idea. Hello, roast duck, foie gras, crab and gourmet burgers... 
  4. Take out the recycling. We have a large plastic box in the kitchen that all recyclables get thrown into, which then has to be sorted through into separate types so that the bin men actually take it away. A tedious/revolting/mind-numbingly relentless job that right now is incredibly appealing.
  5. Write a reading plan. So that all my reading will be done on time. This never works, since the plan doesn't take into account hangovers, tiredness, and that Big Bang episode that I've seen five times but just HAVE to watch again. But I think I'll do it in case.
  6. Iron my t shirts  I hate ironing with a passion: I once spent twenty minutes ironing a shirt, twenty minutes of my life I'll never get back. I don't actually need to look put-together everyday. But I think I'll iron anyway. It'll make me feel more collected, clever and professional when I come to writing my essay.
Reading the meters, doing the washing up, sorting out the tangle of shoes that is the bottom of my wardrobe, organising my dresses into colour order, and working out how to adjust our heating (the thermostat/timer is the work of the devil) also comes to mind. But I don't want to distract you from your work.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sunday cooking: healthy baked falafel

On Sunday I promised a falafel recipe. I'm aware that it's now Tuesday, but hey, good to keep people on their toes! Now I'm not sure why exactly I wanted to make my own falafel - I think I might have seen a recipe for falafel burgers on the BBC Good Food website. Regardless of the reasons, I'd never had falafel before, so I thought they'd be fun to make.

I had a browse of a few recipes, and this is the one that I based my falafel on. I say based, because I didn't actually have many of the ingredients. But taking inspiration from my lovely mother, who likes to look at a recipe and then pick and chose ingredients and quantities, I substituted a few ingredients, using up leftovers, and this is what I came up with:

150g drained and washed kidney beans (Chick peas are the traditional ingredient and can be used, as can almost any type of bean)
1/3 red onion
1 large tomato, without seeds
1 small carrot
1/2 clove Garlic (more can be used, I just had a half clove left over)
1 tbsp Corriander pesto (but if you have fresh corriander this might be better!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground corriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Small handful of basil, chopped
Small handful of mint, chopped

1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees, and grease a baking tray

1. In a food processor, chop the onion, tomato, garlic and carrot into fine pieces. Add the kidney beans and chop until the beans are only roughly chopped, not too small.
2. Put these ingredients into a large bowl.
3.Combine the remaining ingredients, either in the food processor or in a small bowl.
4. Mix everything thoroughly together, and put pingpong sized balls on the baking tray.
5. Pat each ball slightly flatter, and put in the oven.
6. I wish I could tell you how long these should take to cook, but it depends whether you used chick peas or a bean, and how wet your mixture is. I checked mine at 15 minute intervals, turning them each time; mine took 45 minutes because my mixture was quite wet. Don't be tempted to turn up you oven unless you want a slightly burnt outer layer.

My falafel baking in the oven
The leftovers
Looking at the ingredients, you could put pretty much anything into these falafel and they'd still taste great. Add more cayenne if you like food super spicy, or leave it out completely. You could, of course, follow Picky Eater's recipe,; I just wanted to show that it doesn't matter if you don't have everything a recipe asks for, unless you're making something very technically specific you can pick and chose, depending on what food you have.

I ate mine in a pitta bread with lettuce and cottage cheese. They were good. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Man v. Food

I was watching Man v. Food this afternoon, and I've decided I want to be him. It's no secret that I love food, and a lot of what Adam Richman eats looks incredible (if loaded with oil, fat, and everything so chemically bad that my body would hate me for months to come). Eating out makes me happy, as does being full of delicious food, but unfortunately (a) I don't live in America, (b) I don't have enough money to eat out every day, and (c) I would be grossly obese within a year, if not dead with a ruptured stomach. So there goes that dream.

On the other hand, I also like eating healthily. I do start to feel rather ill if I don't eat enough vegetables, and have too much fried food; last week I ate an entire large Dominos pizza to myself (I'm 5'5 and not completely overweight) and three hours later I was still in pain. But sometimes I find it difficult to combine eating healthily, eating delicious food, and affording it. I'm a student, I live off steamed vegetables and soup.

I don't, however, agree with stupid diet fads. Eating only raw vegetables might be what some people like to do, and I like a crudite platter as much as the next person, but if eat nothing else I go a little stir crazy, hate everyone, and eat the entire bakery section of Tesco. I think that too many people don't understand that you can't live life without eating absolutely no fats. There are good and bad fats: cooking with a little olive oil, or eating a boiled egg or peanut butter on wholewheat toast for breakfast will do more good than harm. These fats actually stop cravings, which is why after eating  porridge with milk for breakfast and a salad for lunch I'd want, in the words of my friend Sofie, to 'steal the vending machine'.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this post; food has just been on my mind for a while, and after watching Man v. Food I wanted to write about it. Food takes up a lot of my thought space, mostly because my head is usually in a constant battle over whether I should be healthy, or enjoy the tastes. I can sometimes get too caught up in it, which is never a good thing.

So my new idea is to make the effort to cook something delicious, healthy and new every Sunday night, so that I can look forward to having something nice for lunch in the library the next day. I'm going to try to save some money throughout the week to buy the ingredients, and hopefully cook something successful.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Balancing Act

Recently I've been struggling to balance my social life with my studies. This has never really been a problem before - in First Year I went out whenever the opportunity arose, since my marks didn't count. Of course, I did the primary reading for my modules and handed in essays on time, but going to the library was a rare occurrence for me. In Second Year I became slightly disillusioned with going out. Switching from halls to a house, and so seriously reducing the number of people I lived with, changed the whole dynamics of our nights out; coupled with going out a lot in First Year, and also suddenly being unable to tell my limits, I got bored of the whole scene and happily went for a couple of weeks with going out.

And then we come to this year, Third Year. The year when the work gets that little bit more intense with the ever-present dissertation looming over my shoulder and the thought that this is my last chance to get it right and graduate with a decent degree. The year when I should really cut down how much I go out, and instead sleep at a sensible time and spend every day in the library. The year when...I seem to be spending far too many days hungover?

I realised a few days ago that the reason Second Year was a bit of a dry spell in terms of going out is because of the people I knew. I spent First Year wrapped up in the people I lived with in halls, never feeling the need to get involved with any societies because (a) there was nothing I was desperate to do, and (b) because I lived in a building full of lovely people whom I got on incredibly well with. Subsequently, in Second Year, when we all split off into different houses, I had a much smaller circle of people around me. I started getting involved with a few things on campus, but not quite enough to really get to know people properly.

This year, though, I hold positions in societies. I've been in seminars with people often enough now to decide we're all going to go out. After two years at this university, I finally know people outside the four walls of my house. This revelation logically leads to having more groups of people to go out with, and explains just why I've spent more of this week shivering and exhausted than in the library reading about eighteenth century women.

It's a hard thing to turn down the offer of a night out when there's the possibility of so much fun, something I hate to admit that I missed last year, but it's something that I'll have to learn to do. I'll just add it to 'module reading' and 'dissertation research' on my to do list, along with working on a petition to reduce the amount of work in Third Year. Go on, admit it, it makes perfect sense.