Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blackberry, Honey and Polenta Cake - Best. Cake. Ever.

I had an excellent bake today. A really really good one. I bought some polenta on offer a while ago with the intention of putting it into a cake and I finally got round to it this afternoon and it was GLORIOUS. I had a quick browse on tinternet for polenta cake recipes and the one that immediately caught my eye was the Blackberry, Honey and Polenta Cake from The Independent. Seriously, think about those ingredients on their own and then combine them! Yum. The cake was very straightforward to make and just tasted insanely good - the polenta gives it a chewiness, the honey gives it this wonderful syrupy flavour and the blackberries melt into beautiful, rich, purple blobs of wintery, fruity goodness. Sorry, probably too many adjectives there. Got a bit worked up! I think the cake has an almost steamed texture to it, rich and a bit sticky... Having a little drool just thinking about it.

This is a pleasingly large cake too. The recipe calls for a 28cm, presumably springform, cake tin but I didn't have one so I used a 22cm square brownie tin and just had it good and deep instead. The implication of this was that the cake had to be turned upside down to get it out of the tin. This worked really well though because the blackberries had all sunk towards the bottom. I have defied baking gravity! Parts of the crust slightly collapsed onto/into the softened blackberries but I think this gives it a certain rustic charm. And did I mention that it is delicious?

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 300g blackberries (the recipe only calls for 200g but they came in 150g packets and I think this is a case of 'the more juicy and delicious British blackberries the better')
  • 275g softened butter
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g yellow polenta (is there another kind?)
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Grease and line your cake tin.
  2. Melt the honey in a saucepan and then stir the blackberries into the warm honey. The honey turns a beautiful rich purple colour. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder and polenta. Give your mixing arm a proper work out.
  5. Mix in the eggs and milk.
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and spread evenly. Stud the honey soaked blackberries into the cake mix. Pour over any honey that is left in that saucepan. Super pretty.
  7. Bake - the recipe said 1 1/2 hours but I found my cake was done in just over 1 hour, this will depend on your tin choice, oven power etc. Test with a skewer or knife.
  8. Cool briefly then carefully remove cake from tin. Eat while still warm.

Chuck x

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I don't have anything particularly intellectual to say just, would you look at those sleeves! I have been developing a bit of a jumper fetish recently and this represents a new pinnacle of jumper genius. Snuggly and sleevilicious (hard to know the spelling on that), thanks Merrimaking. I am stone cold broke at the moment but should I ever see money again I think I will invest - £35 seems very reasonable for that much sleeve. My hands would never go cold again!

(Merrimaking As Seen On Clear Your Heart)

Chuck x

Friday, October 29, 2010

Joining the Anti-Drug Lobby

I have been wanting to post this for aaages but obviously it has been a secret. This is the other side of the Belated Present Exchange (felt like some unnecessary capitalisation there, add some dramatic tension) - what I bought Bezzy B for her birthday. It is the wonderful Gemma Correll Pugs Not Drugs tote. I saw them a while ago and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to buy one and this was that opportunity. B and I share slightly obsessive puppy fetishes; we like to yell 'PUPPY!' and coo enthusiastically whenever we see a dog. It often unnerves the owner but we wouldn't want to risk missing said puppy. B is looking forward to growing into one of those old women who always have a tin of dog food in their handbag. Hence the bag was particularly appropriate. Dogs, rhymes and an important moral message - what more could you want??

Ms. Correll also has many other adorable things in her Etsy store and I do love to support individuals and independent retailers... Uhoh, going to end up talking myself into buying more lovely things. Was particularly charmed by the little extras that came with the bag - a postcard, a badge and a business card that was a piece of art in itself. Mmm, free things. Gemma Correll also has a very sweet blog where she posts illustrations and give-aways. I was particularly taken with her 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' inspired cartoon. Loved Sabrina... Did you know that Aunt Hilda was doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe? Despite my excitement at discovering this I never quite got round to going. Pity... 

Chuck x

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hand That Pen Over to Me, Poetaster

So I received a birthday present yesterday, lucky me. There was a decidedly belated present exchange between Bezzy B and I - we have both been equally disorganised this year. Better late than never though and my gift was totally worth the wait. So excited! She got me the beautiful pen nib earrings from Tatty Devine! It is love. I have admired them for years and they are the perfect for the aspiring writer. I have big love for Tatty Devine and these are one of my favouritest pieces. They're just fab...

Am going to wear them everyday forever!

For good measure here is the only audible version of Joanna Newsom's Inflammatory Writ I could find on YouTube. The video is painfully rubbish but if you close your eyes the song is as amazing as ever.

Thanks B, you are the best gift giver ever!

Chuck x

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Hell With Hooters

So, as you may or may not know, a Hooters opened in Bristol last Monday. I had been going to write about a wonderful birthday present I was given today but that is being postponed until tomorrow. I went to a talk this evening given by some of the women who have been leading the campaign against the new Hooters and my anger has been re-energised. I am pissed and I am spreading my rage across the interwebz. This is my Made in Dagenham spirit, my (small) call for gender equality!

Hooters is wrong. I am aware that there are plenty of people who think that it is just a laugh and don't see what all the fuss is about but they are wrong too. This may sound stridently definitive but we are talking about the normalisation of the woman-as-commodity ideology that is becoming worryingly prevalant in our culture afterall. The chain's USP is unclad women! They can market themselves as 'a family friendly restaurant' until they are blue in the face but they are selling sex. The 'family friendly' line is all the more terrifying because it shows the insidiousness of the commodification. Do we want to teach our children that is ok to ogle women like objects? The implications of raising a son wearing an "i'm a boobs man" babygro terrifies me.


Disappointingly Bristol City Council and Marks and Spencer are both supporting Hooters. The Council's licensing panel - three men, surprise!? - granted their licence despite a petition signed by of over 700 local residents. And I know right, your M&S! I was particularly horrified by this because I have always been a fan of M&S (hello Percy Pigs and superior basic pants) and now I am going to have to boycott them. I suggest you do too. They own the lease on the building and are responsible for subletting to Hooters. This despite the fact that they pride themselves on their ethical policies - ironically titled 'Doing the Right Thing'. Apparently gender equality is not an ethical issue. They are also members of the campaign 'Let Girls Be Girls' which aims to prevent the sexualisation of children. How does this square with the charming 'Does this diaper make my butt look fat?' babygro??

  • Boycott Hooters. Obviously.
  • Lodge an official complaint with Bristol City Council.
  • Make your voice heard at the Nov 16th Council opening meeting.
  • Boycott M&S. Sadly.
  • Write to M&S to air your disgust. Don't be fobbed off with excuses that this is 'merely a commercial decision' - that is not good enough and does not fit with their apparent ethical policies. Complain. Complain more.
The good news? The Sheffield Hooters fell through when ASK (the leaseholders) withdrew due to negative publicity and public protest. It can be done. Here is hoping it can be done again...

Thanks for reading,

Chuck x

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Interiors

I have actually put quite a lot of effort into my bedroom this year. There is my Art Heart obviously. There is a carefully edited selection of posters. There are some real artists prints that I have hoarded from Etsy and craft fairs and lovingly framed c/o Poundland (seriously, the place to go for frames - bargain). There are scarves and cushions and candles. It is my freezing cold but beauteous sanctuary. That said... I want to scrap it all. The only decoration my room really needs is this amazing Quentin Blake wallpaper! It is available from Osborne & Little and there are a couple of prints but my favourite is definitely the cockatoos...

So amazing! There are some subtler colour combinations but, frankly, if you are slathering your walls in Quentin Blake subtlety is probably not your priority. So smart. Just going to regress to childhood and Roald Dahl for a while if that is ok...

Chuck x

Monday, October 25, 2010

When I have fears that I may cease to be - John Keats

The fiction section of this blog has been rather neglected of late. Am going to try and rectify it but I can't really guarantee anything - my personal reading time shrivels during term time when I am faced with mountains of academic reading. I could do a review of Samuel Johnson's Rasselas (one of the many things on my reading list this week) but I am fairly sure it would be of interest to no one. SJ, as I like to call him (we're pretty tight), is a fun literary figure with many excellent things to say about breakfast, trees and Scotland and some interesting literary criticism. His dictionary had a massive impact on the English language but his proto-novel/fable is not very thrilling. Empty characters, very little plot and lots of philosophical moralising, tempting? I thought not.

So instead of a boring review of a boring book I thought I would give you, verbatim, something I have enjoyed reading recently. I love Keats, his character (as we know it), his letters, his poetry, and I was struck anew by his Shakespearean sonnet 'When I have fears that I may cease to be' yesterday. It is glorious so here it is:

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charactry,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the fairy power
Of unreflecting love; - then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


Chuck x

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wendy Bevan Cont.

So after posting a quite aged (I think) Wendy Bevan picture yesterday I thought I would see what she has been up to more recently. Good choice me! Why? A) I have learnt that she is "an angelic voiced jazz performer" (Glass Magazine) which is a pretty exciting thing to be alongside a photographer. And B) the below photos from August issue of the FT's How to Spend it magazine. They pretty much blew my mind. I love them. Beautifully composed, beautifully styled, beautifully taken. [N.B. Doesn't 'beautifully' start to look weird when you repeat it like that!?] The model is gorgeous and the Balenciaga dress and Miu Miu skirt look particularly amazing... It makes me yearn for a British seaside holiday!

I just love them. I hope you enjoy too.

Chuck x

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It is raining. The kind of incessant grey sheets of rain that seem to signal a pending apocalypse. My cold is clinging sullenly about my phlegmy lungs, scratchy throat and poor raw nose. It is a stubborn one. I know that I must shed my many layers of blankets, hoody and dressing gown and leave my warm(ish) room to go in search of celeriac. Things are generally pretty grim but fashion is still beautiful.

(Photography by Wendy Beven. Picture found on my PC, credit where it is due etc.)

Chuck x

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flat Pack Bunny

Is this ridiculous? Yes. Do I want it? Yes. I love you absurd flat-pack bunnies. You would not run away or be eaten by foxes or poo all over my house or gnaw through electric cables or eat my sofa (I know someone who had a house bunny - real dangers). You would just look super cute and potentially blow over in heavy winds. A small risk in comparison. Buy your flat pack bunnies from Garudio Studiage and your house will be a more adorable place. Le fact.

Chuck x

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Off to see Soulboy tonight and very excited I am too. I love the cinema and I love a nice bit of Northern Soul! Check out the trailer - it is going to be gooood. Romance, dancing, the 70s. I do love my period dramas. Just realised that this time last week I was on my way to see Made in Dagenham. Addict much?

I already know the soundtrack is AMAZE. Having been listening to it all day, bopping around my room and generally having an excellent time. Listen to it on Spotify here.

Chuck x

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Orange and Cardamom Cake - Take II

So aaaaages ago I made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's orange and cardamom cake (Guardian recipe here). It had a nice, super orangey flavour but it was quite wet. This was probably partially because I slightly undercooked it and I think partially because there is a bit too much liquid going down in the recipe. Not that I am complaining too much, we still ate the whole thing, but I thought that maybe I could tweak/improve it. This time I decided to make a sandwich cake rather than a loaf cake because I had more people to feed and they're just more glamorous. I used less orange juice and more cardamom and I did away with the slightly over-powering syrup because I decided that the cake didn't need it. I also decided not to bother with infusing the cardamom into a liquid, sieving them out and then flavouring the cake with the liquid - they just went straight in because a) it gives a stronger cardamom flavour, b) I think it is unnecessarily fiddly and c) I am lazy. I also used Shayma's (of The Spice Spoon) egg white trick because I think it makes pretty much the lightest, fluffiest cakes E.V.E.R...

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • The equivalent weight of your 3 eggs (approx 6oz) self-raising flour
  • The equivalent weight of your 3 eggs (approx 6oz) golden caster sugar
  • The equivalent weight of your 3 eggs (approx 6oz) softened butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • The zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 12 cardamom pods, husk removed and crushed
  1. Grease and line your cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
  2. Cream together your butter and sugar until they become paler and fluffy.
  3. Whizz your egg yolks into the butter and sugar.
  4. Fold in the self-raising flour, baking powder, salt, crushed cardamom pods, zest of the whole orange and juice of half of the orange.
  5. Separately whisk your egg whites into soft, firm peaks.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  7. Split mixture evenly between your tins and bake for about 20 mins/until your skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave your cakes to cool slightly so as not to melt your cream. Squeeze the remaining half of the orange onto the tops of both cakes.
  9. Sandwich the cakes together with some kind of dairy product. I used creme fraiche but I would consider doing it with Greek yoghurt because I wanted something quite sour/to counteract the sweetness of the cake.
  10. Eat!

Definitely an improvement although I still want to play around with fillings. Some fresh raspberries would be amazing but obviously they are not in season. I was considering some kind of marmalade or damson jam to go with the orange but I decided that the cake was sweet enough sans jam. Anyway, it was much enjoyed by the large crowd who gathered to watch Downton Abbey with hot drinks and duvets (the only way to get the most out of a period drama!).

Chuck x

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nailed It!

My First Nail Art. I'm so excited. Obviously I would love me some WAH but I never seem to have the disposable cash so when I saw the below easy-to-follow leopard print nail tutorial on the fab Gem Fatale I knew I had to try it. She always has amazing, semi-achievable looking nails that totally perk up an outfit so I knew I was in good (well-maincured) hands. Even I was surprised when my nails came out this amazingly though!


The above photo is me trying out some colour combinations; these include Barry M Grey, Eyeko Vintage Polish (Chanel Jade-ish) and Eyeko Pastel Polish (baby blue). The pastel polish is a new purchase - made using Gem's ambassador code, bloggers unite! - that I am very pleased with. I decided I wasn't crazy about the grey though so I re-did it. The whole two coats of nail varnish, dots of nail varnish, hairspray, liquid eyeliner, topcoat thing isn't actually as tedious as you would expect, it just needs a little bit of time and it definitely works. Should you be in the library trying to do some reading this is an excellent little distraction...

Also, my little tip/contribution: Sharpies work even better than liquid eyeliner! Possibly they are quite damaging to nails but I have 2-3 coats of nail varnish under there which should act as protection. They come out thicker and blacker and I found them much easier to control. Had some slightly issues with smudging when I applied the topcoat but I don't think it is anything that can't be ironed out... This was innovation was made the way that all the best scientific discoveries are made (probably) - by rummaging in your handbag and pulling out the wrong thing. This photo didn't come out as well but I can promise they are even better than the eyeliner ones I tried to do.

The possibilities are now endless to what I could achieve with my Sharpie. Am going to have a good ponder and then create new magic once these nails wear off. So many possibilities... If you want to recreate/improve upon my attempts (difficult to imagine, I know) here is Gem's wonderful tutorial. Thank you for opening my eyes!

Chuck x

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Linkety Link

I cannot deal with how lovely/cute/heart-warming these photos of senior dogs are:

They completely made my weekend. Seen on A Cup of Jo. They make my insides go all gooey.

Chuck x

Made in Dagenham

So I was violently struck by the cold of death yesterday. It came out of nowhere and totally knocked me out. Went to bed on Friday feeling fine, woke up on Saturday with a throat so sore I couldn't speak or swallow, streaming nose, aching limbs... I was a picture. Was trying to do some course reading in the afternoon and couldn't get warm so I got into bed. Error - must have fallen asleep at about 5, woke up at 10.30 still knackered and then had to go back to bed at 11. Not a productive day. Which is why, in short(ish), there has been a delay in my ecstatic review of Made in Dagenham which I saw on Thursday.

I loved it! No real surprise since it combined two of my favourite f-words (that is feminism and fashion, obviously). The styling is fab; from all the women in their bras working in the factory shed to out protesting and partying. Rosamund Pike is beautiful as ever and impeccably put together as the upper class wife (and Oxford graduate, Jaime Winstone is a Twiggy type with peroxide hair and hot-pants, Andrea Riseborough (I think) has bigger hair and better eyeliner than Amy Winehouse and an amazing patent coat... The story is wonderful too and true! I felt really moved and inspired by the film, I even shed a little tear or two of delight. Here are 187 women standing up to a massive male corporation and winning. Protests work. I want to go out and make the world a better place for women! Over the credits at the end there are testimonials from some of the women who actually took place in the protest and news footage of the strike and it is just wonderful. I will be buying it on DVD when it comes out. The world needs more women like these.


Women of the world unite! To the streets!

Chuck x

Friday, October 15, 2010


(Source: my PC, credit where it is due etc.)

Chuck x

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Following Through

So last week I wrote about my longing to go and watch Made in Dagenham in full 60s style make-up. And I actually did it. Hurrah for me for following through on something. Kind of. Neither my make-up quantity nor my make-up skillz came up to Pixiwoo levels but I guess that is not really a surprise. Nic uses about 97 products on her eyes alone, I used four; Rimmel grey Kohl eyeliner, Urban Decay black Kohl eyeliner, Bourjois Clubbing (?) black liquid eyeliner and Collection 2000 Collagen Curl mascara. Most of my make-up is out of action because one of my make-up bags has exploded and I can't be bothered to clear it up. Two pots of Barry M Dazzle dust make an amazing amount of mess! The Pixiwoo 60s eye is brown-based but I don't have a brown pencil and I do lurve me some grey. I was also in a crazy rush because I hadn't really left enough time so they aren't super tidy but I am still quite pleased with them...

I had intended to go dressed up a la 60s too but a) was in a manic rush (see make-up) and b) turns out I don't really have all that many 60s outfits. Something to work on. So I just ended up running to the cinema in what I was already wearing. It should be stressed that I am not trying to be artistic with my outfit shot, I just couldn't find anywhere to put the camera and I'm not very good at auto-timer...

(Cashmere jumper from Mongolia, Pleather skirt from ebay, DMs from ebay, assorted crap from my room)

Here is to 60s make-up - will definitely try it again, properly, when I have some more time!

Chuck x

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Affordable Rob Ryan

How did I not know that Rob Ryan does greetings cards? I love his papercuts but they are obviously a wee bit out of my price range. Even his screenprints are £245+ on etsy (here) so not really achievable. And yet it turns out that Roger la Borde has been printing his fully cut-out greeting cards for the last couple of years. I came across them in Joy while I was pondering a dress (more on which another time) and they are adorable and only £3 in store. That is £3 for a bit of Rob Ryan in your life. I want one for my wall. I particularly like this one which says. 'this bell will ring when I hold a flower to your lips' and 'this bell will ring when you take me in your arms and hold me'. So sweet.

(Card from here)

Chuck x

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coconut Bread

Felt like an easy mid-week bake today. I saw this recipe for coconut bread in Jamie's magazine a couple of weeks ago and it seemed just the ticket. The Jamie mag is a new discovery for me (as in, this is my first issue) but I am totally in love with it, it is epic! It is jam packed with over 100 recipes and lots of big juicy articles including one I particularly enjoyed on salt. I love salt and I don't think it gets the credit it deserves so this definitely won me over. Other highlights included the breakfast recipes, the articles on eating with friends and the game season, the beautiful editorial on plums and Jamie's basic guide to stews. So many things.

My brain is not really working at the moment so I am going to try and be concise and give you my comments in semi bullet point things (see):
> The recipe below makes a lot of mixture. It doesn't specify to what degree you should fill the loaf tin so I guessed, I filled it to within about 2cm/1 inch of the lip. This was definitely enough because the peak of the loaf (mine came out quite steeped) was well over the top of the tin and the rest of the loaf was as high as I would feel comfortable with. This did leave a lot of mixture though, somewhere between 1/3 - 1/4 of the batch. Obviously this isn't a massive problem and I will cook the rest up tomorrow but I would consider cutting the quantities next time.
> I think it is stretching things a bit to call this bread. I really think it was more of a cake. This might be influenced by the fact that I ate my (multiple) slices while it was still hot and soft. I think it has hardened up a bit since then. I might try putting some in the toaster for breakfast tomorrow this will be the real test. I would also call this too sweet for a bread but maybe I am being unreasonable.
I am certainly being a bit incoherent so here you go...

(side note - the sliced piece is buttered, this is why it looks quite wet) 

  • 400ml milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 200g desiccated coconut
  • 200g caster sugar (I used golden)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (instead of actual vanilla seeds because I can't really justify buying them - boo)
  • 100g melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Butter your loaf tin (unless you are using a silicone one like me, not that I am a fan but I didn't have much of a choice since I have apparently misplaced my real loaf tin).
  2. Whisk together your eggs and milk.
  3. Put the flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl together.
  4. Gradually mix in the egg mixture. This will take some arm power but eventually it will become smooth and sloppy.
  5. Mix in the melted butter and vanilla extract and then pour into the loaf tin.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour (until your skewer/knife comes out clean) and then leave to cool.
  7. Eat smothered in butter - you and the bread! Jamie suggests lime marmalade but I didn't have anything and butter makes everything more delicious.

(how it looks according to Jamie)

Chuck x

Monday, October 11, 2010

Food Reviewed: The Thali Cafe

Chances are that if you live in Bristol or spend any substantial amount of time here you will have already been to one of the Thali Cafes. If not, why not? You should! They are charming places to eat affordable, delicious, home-cooked Indian food. And they won the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards for Best Takeaway last year, presumably for their tiffin sheme. I didn't even know that Radio 4 had Food Awards - clearly something to investigate...

Anyway, I went for dinner with my housemates to the Clifton branch. I like the way that the different branches have different personalities. This is generalising on the basis of Clifton vs. Montpelier since I haven't it to Easton or Totterdown (great name). The Montpelier Cafe is smaller, homelier and more hardcore in that they only serve vegatarian and vegetarian non-dairy thalis. The Clifton Cafe is bigger, shinier and more accessible - they have served a fish thali for ages and they have also recently introduced a chicken thali. Our choice this time was based purely on geographical convenience though so Clifton it was and it was lovely. I just love their decor; bright pink and blue walls, lots of fake flowers, mismatched chairs, broken grandfather clocks, hilarious sepia photographs... Magnificently garish and so my cup of chai.

We started with poppadoms and homemade chutneys. There was a particularly fine coconut samba and a sweet, pleasantly unaggressive mango pickle. Then it was on to the 'Bombay city snacks' which are pretty much my favourite thing on the menu. They are killah! They are an onion bhaji, a perfectly fluffy potato samosa and a fragrant potato cake along with some surprisingly delicious side salad (inc. pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, sliced radishes and many other good things). My only complaint with these is that since you only get one of each snack they are quite awkward to share. Since I easily could have eaten three of each maybe I should have just got my own then... Next time. For my main I had the butternut squash thali that was on the specials and I definitely think it should come off the specials and onto the full time menu. I am biased towards butternut squash but I think it was objectively yummy, sweet and creamy. With the curry came perfect fluffy rice, a chapatti/roti, brown daal, more delicious salad and a chutney. My only nag is that I think that rotis should be light and hollow so that you can fill them with food and these ones weren't. They were thick and heavy. I have never had a roti in England that I have enjoyed though so maybe I should just stop eating them.

We had a discussion over dinner as to whether the thalis had been designed to be eaten by one person or two. We couldn't come to a conclusion. For one person they are an awful lot of food. I have a more than healthy appetite and managed to finish the butternut squash curry and the rice but I only managed half of the daal, half of the chapatti and a couple of bites of the salad. By the time I admitted defeat I was ready to pop. Seriously, trousers had to be unbuttoned in the restaurant. It was a hideous strain getting them done up again to go home. That said, I don't think it would be quite enough curry for two hungry people... Possibly I am just greedy though. That is a definite possibility. Another time I am going to try out the different kulfis for pudding (pistachio, mango or rose) but that will be reliant on me not eating myself into a food coma before the dessert course. Not sure I can promise that though...

(Photo from The Thali Cafe)

Chuck x

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pop-Art Housewife Geisha Whore

(As Seen On Fashion156)

Those were just a couple of words that popped into my head when I saw this amazing MAC makeup for Jeremy Scott's SS11 show on the Fashion156 blog. It is hypnotic. Love the way the brows look like staples and they seem to have done a glossy top lip and a matt bottom lip. What a gorgeous red too. Love.

Chuck x

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fringe Benefits

Currently on my rather unexciting To Do list is 'trim my fringe'. It has got bad. The 'can no longer see out' phase was weeks ago. When straightened it now brushes the tip of my nose. This is clearly ridiculous, something must be done. I wish I was bad-ass and bone-structured enough to cut it like this girl's. What a dream - killer fringe, gorgeous retro maquillage contrasting with worn-in khaki and heavy, almost sardonically raised brow. Swoon. This is competing with BeyoncĂ©'s Bettie Page fringe as one of 'My Favourite Fringes of Recent Times'. Wow - that is going to be an amazing list to compile. I feel some procrastinating coming on...

(As Seen On the wonderful Mr. Newton - fab picture)

(Source: Bettie Reveals All)

Chuck x

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cable Knit Comparisons

So a friend came into lectures today in this adorable jumper. Cream, cable knit, bobbles, cute fit... I assumed it was either a very lucky, very well-preserved vintage find or one of the more expensive highstreet offerings. How wrong I was. Guess where it is from. Come on, guess. You're never going to get it. Oh alright, I'll tell you - it was from *drumroll* ASDA. And it is £14. I know right! Craziness.

It is also available in mustard, khaki-grey and red. I can't decide which I want most. I would say 'buy them all at that price' but I am a student so I probably shouldn't. Maybe just one then since I am on a bit of a jumper kick at the moment. Obviously cream is out since I don't want to match. Maybe the mustard? Oh, but what about that lovely khaki-ish one? And the red is lovely too... The red one actually slight reminds me of the gorgeous Adam cable knit jumper available on Net-A-Porter here. No, it isn't quite as lovely but £14 vs. $295? My wallet thinks that is a pretty easy choice.

Chuck x

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Smokin' Sixties Style

I am really looking forward to seeing Made in Dagenham since a) who isn't a bit fascinated by the 60s/myths thereof? b) the styling looks like it is going to be great and c) it is about about women striking for pay equality. Very important subject matter and so relevant - seriously, 15% less, people. Ridiculous. Anyway, more frivolously, I like to theme my cinema outfits and this is going to be a cracker. There is going to be an enthusiastically dolled-up girls' trip to see it soon and when we go I am going to invest the time to do this gorgeous 'modern 60s' makeup from the girls at Pixiwoo...

I have a slightly dangerous addiction to these makeup videos. I just find them totally gripping. Particularly around essay times. They make me want to buy hundreds of obscure makeup brushes and unrealistically expensive cosmetics. Their everyday looks are always great but I am in it for the more extreme looks. All time favourite obviously the drag queen tutorial, obviously.

Will need a steady hand. Photos if I manage to achieve anything presentable!

Chuck x

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


A beautiful image of a beautiful frippery. This is the kind of 'bra' (using the term fairly loosely) that I can only dream of wearing. So dream I shall. The photo makes me feel serene. Is that weird? Maybe it is the yoga kicking in from earlier... Anyway, it is Jak & Jil backstage at Proenza Schouler SS11.

Chuck x

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heart Art

I do. I Heart Art that is. And to prove it I have made a heart out of art for my bedroom wall in my new house. I saw a picture back in March on A Cup of Jo of someone who had done something similar with photographs  and decided that it was an achievable decor plan for me. Apparently this was a bit optimistic since I didn't get round to printing off enough photos in the six months I gave myself... Oops. Luckily I had a brainwave - I am a big art fan and whenever I travel or go to galleries I buy postcards of my favourite paintings/sculptures/whatever so I have loooads of those. Enough in fact to make a fairly substantial heart. I spent ages fiddling with it and it still isn't quite as heart-shaped as I would like but I am pleased with it nonetheless. I find it comforting to be overlooked by lots of my most favourite art while I am snuggled in bed...

My Art (l-r, from top):
Rembrandt, Misc, Van Gogh, Vermeer
Misc, Sickert, Hammershoi, Can't Remember (oops), Caravaggio, Velasquez
Degas, Van Gogh, Bernini, Degas, Memling, Canova, Degas, Velasquez, The Winged Victory of Samothrace
Titian, Whistler, Misc, Hiroshige, Titian, Singer Sargent, Bernini, Bellini
Hogarth, Titian, Cezanne, Hammershoi, Misc
Hammershoi, Caravaggio

Hurrah for fun decorating! Now I have to find something pretty to do with all my landscape art postcards... Project. I like the way this does give a pretty good overview of my artistic tastes. Does anyone else have any favourites?

Chuck x