Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Xenopus Trip

We're ( that I mean the Frogging Crew!) on BBC's iPlayer! Find it here, you only need to watch the first 10 mins or so.

It's a bit of a shame that Albert and Gemma don't get much coverage, considering they're the ones piloting this! =(

Monday, 23 November 2009

November bits and bobs!

So, I'm now the grand old age of 23.... and the day before and on the day, for the first time I felt old... weird feeling yah. People always tell me they feel so old when they hit 20... didn't feel it, til now. I think it's partially to do with the fact that the majority of my pals and people who I grew up with have graduated?

So... what I mean is... I'm 23 years young ... maybe :)

I spent a bit of time dossing around in London during study week (and much filtering - Chiswick to Holborn in 25 mins is a record), and YES, some work was actually done that week. And boy was it awesome. So I met a bunch of strangers.... strangers? I've been corrected: "friends you've never met" and boy, what a good description that is. Going up to London again at some point in Dec. to meet them again.

So, whilst I was there, I bought some mushrooms... Girolle, Oyster, and some other type that I forget the name of... Porcini? These all went into my lovely mushroom risotto. £4.54 poorer on fresh mushrooms later and a ride back to Bristol, did my risotto taste any better?

I had Tara and El over, the week after I was in London, and DAMN!... Tara cooks up some fine pizza. We had a pizza stone to work with, too... Supposedly they're good as they heat up the pizza properly. ... did it make much difference?

Here's my risotto, early stages.

El was having a nap (long day, eh?) so we'd just woken her up... and I think at this point, her cavegirl instincts came out... watch out there!

This picture needs no description:

Gertrude was looking rather scary. Thankfully, the oven sorted him out, and he was charred by the end of it. That'll teach him to look scary!

So, did the mushrooms make a difference? Yes and no. There was a light bit of mushroominess to it, it tasted marginally more mushroomy, but considering I ain't a conoisseur, I ain't one to appreciate it. For now I'll be sticking with the dried stuff, which is marginally cheaper, Tesco's do a pot for £2-3 I think, the fresh, equivalent amount from Whole foods is roughly £4-5. (The fresh stuff was bought out of novelty). As for the pizza stone, I will say Yes to it, having made pizza in the past on a metal tray, I think this heats up the base properly and ensures thorough, rather than doughy cooking. Even slightly soggy pizzas weren't so soggy when they would have normally been. The only thing about the pizza stone, is that it needs to be heated at 230 degC for 45 mins, which means you need to plan ahead. I got it for £5 in Oxfam.

On another note, I've been getting out and listening AND seeing live music acts! 3 in the last 2 months or so I think? Hopefully I can top that around Christmas or after. Live music is an awesome night out imho. I need to remember my earplugs though... my ears suffered lol. Here's "This is my Normal State" - Non's and Adam's band playing at The Croft, in Stokes Croft.

Crazy folk in Redland on this strange contraption...

Anyways, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll have some more interesting updates, and sorry no pics (still) of travel. Boo. You guys know how 3rd year uni is... bloody hard.


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Deadlines... not mine though.

I really like this poem...! I'm never a fan of poems, and for that reason the "Poems on the Underground" thing never appealed to me - but this one caught my eye.

Well, here I am - I've been toiling over coursework along with El and her pal Sara's dissertations. A number off all-nighters and late nights later, they get their work done... only just..... Picture of the deadline day, about 2 hours before hand-in. The room is a mess lol.

I always forgive. Forgiveness is important in life and to me.

I am forever wondering whether I've done something really crap to deserve what I am getting in life these days. And for that reason I am in London at the moment - to have a bit of fun. It will be mega-depressing to leave on Sunday. I'll just have to come back here and there and make it a more-regular thing. I've met up with some pals and some nice people. Later today, I am going to meet some people in Chinatown... that'll be good. I need more stuff like this to take off my mind. I am going on total friend-zone friending. I remember this is how I got through the end of something like this last year.

On Thursday, I went to a fireworks show with Jann and her pals in Southwark Park - although I know better firework shows exist, it was still pretty good, everyone remarked that it lasted a lot longer than they thought it would - and I did too! The fireworks were impressive, a wide variety. Me and a pal of hers felt it was better than the NYE ones, since it was a lot less crowded, more relaxed atmosphere and there were food stalls - the car-and-trailer types that you often see around in funfairs.

It was a good night, and tonight I went out with a friend of El's and her brother to the Giraffe in Chiswick. Whilst I've never been that great a fan of Giraffe for their slightly-overpriced stuff, I was subtlely impressed by an over-enthusiastic (literally.) waiter and some rather delicious grub (BBQ chicken and cheese quaesidilla thingy). Asking for water did not come with a sense of guilt (thankfully) so it was a good meal. I suppose the guy's service makes up for it, not always, but it did this time. Service (and smiling) is important!

I hope next week I hope I'll have a few pictures of travel - it's difficult to ride a motorbike AND take pictures at the same time, y'know. I rode out here and have been riding through some hellish (but rather fun) central London traffic which is about 10x worse than Bristol. Some excessive-mad filtering skillz are required... which I'm honing.. lol. I've been thinking about how I can grab pictures whilst on the road, without buying special equipment which costs a fortune... I still don't know how.

And finally - some pictures of late night 3am shopping at Tesco Extra Southall:

Action shot!

Look how tidy the shelves are! (the floors on the other hand....)
Peppa pig!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Triumph Bicycle

I spent last week working on the Triumph bicycle that is sitting in the garage. I've spent more than what it's worth on it... =/

But hey, it'll be the use that I'll get the most value out of. The bicycle is actually filthy, as if it hasn't been cleaned in some 20-30 years of use, and there is LOADS of gunk on it. I managed to date it to 1969 by reading the writing on the Sturmey Archer gears on the rear wheel.

This is the front wheel - look at that muck on it! No pictures of the rear wheel, but its a LOT worse than this.

The bicycle:

I've taken off the rear wheel and started cleaning it... I've had to take it apart almost completely.

And look at the shine on the rear wheel after cleaning! (took 2 hours....)

This is what the gear stuff and chains look like! MANKY!!

Cleaning up in progress:

Look at that chain! much better, aint it?! Took like, more than 3 hours I think.... lol.

I'm such a fan of fixing/repairing/restoring things! Getting your mits dirty sometimes can be SO rewarding... this feels so good to work on this project. Hope to have the bicycle set up by sometime late next week and I can ride around.. yay! Another method of getting around, without walking and without my motorbike.