Monday, 25 April 2011

Beautifully Bookish

Manny being a Bookworm. This is screen still taken from Black Books, a comedy dear to my heart. If you haven't heard of it/ seen it, do it now. you wont regret it.

Anyway I have been sent some books in exchange for writing reviews of them. Pretty sweet deal all things considered. Just a quick heads up- This is a slight departure from my usual posts and will, almost definitely, be a tad longer.

So the First book, Blood of the Rose by Kate Pearce, wasn't really my cup of tea. I feel bad saying this as it was so sweet of her to send me a copy, she even signed it.

The cover, and the bookmarks that came with it give you an impression of the sort of book it is. Its sort of Romeo and Juliet meets Twilight meet Mills and Boon meets Philippa Gregory.

Blood of the Rose is the second book in the Tudor Vampire Chronicles. Set during the reign of Henry VIII, it tells the story of a female vampire slayer, Rosalind Llwellyn, who belongs to a family of Druids sworn to defend the English monarchy. Long story short, she gets together with a bloke sworn to defend vampire interests. Cue cringe worthy soft porn moments, with a smattering of historical 'facts' to keep it off the top self.

Here are a couple of comedy quotes that pretty much sum the book up:

"His soft laughter made her want to lean into him and just surrender to his strength"

"Having Christopher in her mind and in her arm made her feel alive again"

"He wanted to breath in her scent, cover her naked flesh with kisses, thrust his aching prick into her warm, wet tightness..."

also, as expected, a healthy does of forsooths, mayhaps, perchances, and verilys.

Book number 2: Derek Murphy's Jesus Potter Harry Christ.

Gosh where to start?... An impressively heavy tome, it reads like an academic paper. Its divided into three parts, then subdivided. The subdivisions work as part of a cohesive narrative, but also allow you to pick and choose the parts you're most interested in. As a result it is easy to follow Murphy's logic and makes for fuss free reading.

A lot of research and effort have obviously been expended in writing this book, but at no point does it feel laboured or like Murphy has an axe to grind (an impressive achievement considering the subject matter). In fact Murphy presents the evidence and leaves the conclusions to the reader. Having said this there are points at which you do hear Murphy's own voice, in little asides to the main narrative. I should add however that these are delivered with such brilliant sarcastic wit that they only add to the experience, rather than detracting from his academic credibility. For example:

In response to the Biblical story of Genesis (1:1-31) "Everything was made perfectly in accordance to [God's] plan, and he announced that it was all very good. In the world He created, there was no death and no suffering, which suggests that the time and the basic laws of physics hadn't yet been installed" (226)

This was not the book I was expecting. From the title I thought there would be more about the similarities between Jesus and Harry, with some interesting facts about both thrown in for good measure. It is not, although the first chapter Sacrificial Half Breed Warlocks: Harry Potter as a Christ Figure does (obviously) focus on the two characters similarities, the rest of the book is a fairly detailed look at the roots, and development, of Christianity.

There are some fascinating tit-bits to be gleaned, and Murphy makes much of the pre christian ear and its belief systems, in particular Sun-myths which, is Murphy is to be believed, forms the basis of all alter religions, not to mention literature. He makes a very persuasive argument.

The titles of each chapter allude to popular culture enough that you can join the dots up yourself, without having to have things spelled out (Jesus, the Lion King: Astrological Foundations). This also allows you to muse on things uninterrupted, and go off in your own direction of thought. Conversely the subject matter of  some, Meeting Satan Again: Draco and Creation Myth,  appear predictable and yet will totally surprise you (although there are some familiar names that Potter fans will pick up on).

An understanding of classical culture helps whilst reading some of the more academically meaty bits, or maybe its just that those who have an understanding of Classics clearly have an interest in the subject, and will get more enjoyment from these bits... who knows?! Either way I thought it was a brilliant book, and highly recommend it.

If you like the sound of Jesus Potter Harry Christ, you can read it for yourself here.

If nothing else it makes for interesting dinner table debating, and is most certainly thought provoking.

Love to all


Sunday, 24 April 2011


Happy Easter Lovelies!

Easter has arrived, late this year. I have never really understood how Easter can be on a different day each year despite numerous readings of Augustine, Eusebius, and others. If i'm honest the whole Council of Nicea shabang confuses me. For those of you who have given up something for Lent, today is the day you can now indulge to your heart's content-enjoy.

We got so many tasty treats in at work, and I have been Easter eating for about a month now :). My personal Favourite are the Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Praline Mini Eggs. I am addicted to them, so much so that they have replaced the love of Giant Chocolate Buttons (a staple food at Grimmauld Place). We had a lot of fun arranging the Easter stock, and scrawling Easter messages across all the blackboards too.

Easter always makes me think of Spring; lambs, walks in the countryside, picnics, egg rolling, and of course Easter egg hunts. Colour wise it brings to mind verdant Greens, Yellows, and Pinks. it's such a happy holiday.

Obviously Easter is busy busy busy times for the chocolate biz, so I shall be touting my (chocolate) wares over Easter weekend, alas no bank holidays for me. However here is what I would have worn given the choice.

Cropped Bunnies Top, H&M, £
Cut Offs Shorts, Topshop, originally jeans (v. old ones)
Sandals, Schuh, £15 (mates rates)

Hoop Earrings, Gift from Phee, indulging my penchant for bling (a nod to my inner chav)
Bangles, collection from various sources.
Sunnies, Newlook, £4.99

Have a very happy Easter everyone, make sure you eat plenty of yummy treats!


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Glorious Garden.

As per usual spent last Tuesday with Phee. We had a lovely mini break in Lewes, enjoying the sunshine. In fact it got so hot, I had to ditch my jeans in favour of an improvised outfit made from stuff I found in my parents house.

I found the cardigan in Mums 'to give to charity' box. Belted it up, and safety pinned the top, as I don't seem to have inherited Madre's 'assets'. The 'skirt' is actually a tea towel.

The garden looked beautiful, all fresh, and green, and lovely. It properly felt like Summer- Yipee!!! 
The veg patch is coming along nicely too...


Blette. AKA Swiss Chard, a thoroughly under appreciated vegetable, and a family favourite. Theres a bit of Parsley in the corner, and some Rosemary too.

Delicious wedding cake!

The cake was super tasty, but also rather boozy and very, very rich! This combined with prolonged sun exposer made for some tricky feasting.

Even the creepy crawlies were out for some sunshine time.

Obviously as we were at the rents abode we raided the fridge and cupboards (has to be done) and found some Elderflower cordial, AND sparkly water- get in!

You are my Everest!
Phee reading studiously.

All together an absolute corker of a day, hope everyone is having a a good week!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Domestic Bliss

Grimmauld Place has an Ironing Board! This is properly exciting, as until now we have been using a hair dryer to dry, and de-crumple, any floaty chiffony lovelies. Inspired by this, and the fact that the delivery wasn't delivered at work (thus meaning I had a rather longer day than expected) I decided to cook.

I enjoy cooking, especially baking, the issue is that almost everything I make is inedible. This, coupled with the fact that there has been more than one occasion where Andy thought he was dying after eating my culinary delights, has resulted in a decrease in my kitchen time. However today I took the plunge and made goats cheese, and sun-dried tomato pithiviers.

Considering the above they actually turned out pretty good, if I say so myself.

OK so they got a tad burned but on the whole a success! No I didn't make the puff pastry, I bought it from Sainsbury's. But hey walking before running...

In case you want to make your own:

Puy Lentils
Sun-dried tomatos
Goats Cheese
Red Onion
Peas (I was trying to make it summery but in hindsight I think I would exchange peas for Spinach or something)
Cashew nuts

Olive Oil
Puff Pastry
1 Egg for glazing

pop it all together, stick together with egg, seal by pressing together with a fork then bake for 25 mins. I just cranked up the heat and waited for the pastry to go 'golden-brown'/a tad burned. YUM!

The new addition to the household!

The old iron.



Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Coffee Morning

Hello Tuesday!

Lovely day today, as per usual on Tuesdays. My parents have gone to France for their honeymoon so their house (avec garden!) is free for the week. In light of this Phee and I got up early, packed up garden going essentials, and set off for a glorious morning spent sunning ourselves in the, relative, privacy afforded by a garden.

These cups and saucers belonged to my great grandmother's mother
in-law (can't figure out what the relation is there, all I know is that they are very very old). 

Ah good old Tripe, can't fail to indulge the narcissist within...
Enjoying the beautiful day.

This was a bride's maid gift from Madre

Soaking up the lovely summer sun.
Sunning, and reading.
Phee reading classic horror- standard.
wending our way homewards.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The Wedding: Ring them bells and don't get the ring wrong.

The big day arrived- and my mother is now Mrs Madre, an honest woman, and all that jazz! I still can't quite believe it. 

The service was held in Anne of Cleeves' House, in Lewes. It was a gorgeous ceremony, the house was all decked out in fairy lights and sprigs of leaves and flowers. Many tears were shed (good tears of course).

Madre in her bridal best.

The moment Madre realised she was actually getting married!
(not sure what part the banana played in this revelation?)
Testing the shoes.

Phee working her magic

Ma's vintage ladies picking up make-up tips from the master.
Ma practicing her Royal Wave.

Donning the wedding tights.

Finally some bubbly!

Three Little Maids from school are we... (sort of ish)

Ma and I

My beautiful parents looking all in love with each other, bless 'em.

I love that last one- mum totally looks like the cat that got the cream :)

Collette and I dancing like little mentalists. If you hadn't already guessed, it was to Beyonce's SIngle Ladies (should've put a ring on it). 

There are heaps more photos that other people took. Sadly I got rather carried away with the free booze and forgot about my camera. Ill pop a few more varied ones up when I get hold of other peoples photogs!

oh nearly forgot, outfit:

Dress, Asos, £40
Tights, Primark, £1.50
Shoes, Primark, £14

regardez vous Phee's handy work, with these cute paper flowers. they are from this little fabric shop in the Laines, in Brighton. £1.50 a bunch, and you get about 12 in a bunch. 

Let me leave you with this rather manic looking one of me, Im guessing this was a few glasses of the fizzy stuff down the line?!...