28 June 2012

The Order of the Stick: Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales - Rich Burlew

This is a comic book which contains all the hilarity I've come to expect from Rich Burlew. Although unrelated to the main OOTS story-line, which meant I enjoyed it a little less than the other books it was still an enjoyable and relaxing read.

I'm not quite sure if I only get a lot of the jokes because I have some understanding of how role-playing works, growing up in a household where role-play night was a central part of our weekly structure. 

I think I'd only recommend it to people who enjoy that sorta thing.


26 June 2012

On being a First Year

I finished my first year at Uni a little over a month ago. I complained early on about various things. Some of those things didn't much change, others did.

After completing an entire year I'm still not entirely sure I fit there. I love the lectures and the atmosphere during the daytime but I was not somebody who was made for a nightlife! However towards the end of the year as money ran out and study became important people made less noise between midnight and 5am and I was able to get actual REM sleep.

The thing I would personally describe as the worst thing about living in halls is the fire alarms. Sure I know we need them, and I get that they need to be tested them, I don't mind them doing that during daylight hours for about 30 seconds. What was an issue was that at least once a week someone would come home drunk in the middle of the night and in their drunken state set the fire alarm off. There were 22 flats in my building, and with a fire alarm in every room it's unsurprising they were set off with some frequency. 

The fire alarm situation was epitomised by two incidents. The first was when, only two days after moving in, a guy in my flat decided to defrost a bagel in the microwave for 10 minutes while he went outside for a smoke. The result being that the bagel turned to charcoal, our flat was a solid smoke field and he earned himself the name Arty Bagel for the rest of the year.

The second incident was when at about Midnight the entire building was evacuated, by this point we knew the procedure, go down the stairs, mill around outside for roughly 5 minutes while you waited for security to turn up and send you back in. We were quite surprised when this time we were greeted by an RA running towards us in dressing gown and slippers 'GET AWAY FROM THE BUILDING'. We had to stay outside for over an hour that night, turned out someone's laptop had blown up...

In February this year, the very weekend my boyfriend came to stay with me for his birthday, someone else had a friend to stay. They went out for the night and got paralytic. They came back at 2am and my flatmate went to bed putting his friends up in the kitchen without access to a toilet. We were woken up not much later to very loud blasphemous cursing. My boyfriend, poor boyfriend, went out to investigate and was met by poo. Turns out the friend had pooed and then smeared it up and down our corridor and kitchen. The worst part, this 'friend' actually was in the same flat at a different Uni as one of my high school friends. For weeks we would walk around campus greeted by the phrase 'You're from that flat aren't you?' 'Yes, turns out we are.' 'I feel so sorry for you. I just don't understand why!' 

There were many and various other things happen in and around our flat including but not exclusive to; flooding, kitchen coitus and a very Sheldon-like *knock knock knock* 'George' *knock knock knock* 'George' *knock knock knock* 'George'!

Turns out I like lectures, but not halls. Who would've guessed?

What were your Uni experiences like?


24 June 2012

Revelations 22:1

'Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life. 
It was shining like crystal 
and was flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb'

We took the explorers down to the River on wednesday to go rafting. I was able to get some empty river shots and play around with the exposure.

I'm gonna be a little awol this week as I'm on holiday, but I hope everyone has a great week!


23 June 2012

Man of Iron - Catherine George

I liked the simplicity of this story. It followed the same basic principle of story-line as most Mills and Boon books; Man meets woman; they don't get on; they fall in love; there's a misunderstanding; everything is resolved and they can now live happily ever after! 

However because it was written in the 1980's rather than the present the norm is a little bit different. The people are a little more straight-laced and so they don't jump into bed hours after meeting one another. I liked it, it was refreshing.

I also liked that although the characters didn't get on to start with they weren't totally wrong together, you could still see how they could fit. It made the romance much more believable. 

The only thing I got a bit cross about was Jaime finding it possible that Antonia who so obviously liked him would then betray him for someone like her father who was clearly a very different person!

Linking up to Speed Date Night @ The Book Swarm.

Hope you've enjoyed what you've been reading.


18 June 2012

Sausage Casserole

I wish I had a picture to go with this, but I don't. It's my favourite dinner ever since forever! One batch will feed about 15 hungry adults so it's great to make and freeze some or to have for several meals on the trot. It comes from a booklet published in 1995 from the 'Family Favourites Recipe Competition' and each recipe comes with a quote from the person who entered it. 

This recipe was entered by Robert George who says "My son requests this every time he is home from school. He sneaks into the kitchen for a taste during cooking and requests it for breakfast, lunch and supper. He'd have it for elevenses if he could." This is how I react to it, my boyfriend and I made this when we stayed at home last summer while my parents went on holiday, we ate it for 5 meals straight before we decided we really should put some in the freezer!

You Need:

  • 450g Sausages
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 medium onions
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • Frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomato puree
  • 900ml stock
  • 1 smoked sausage
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin chick peas
  • 175-225g red lentils
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Oil
  1. Chop the onions and cube the potatoes. Sweat over a low heat in a large pot in the oil with the crushed garlic for 15 minutes. If you're in a hurry fry more quickly over a gentle heat.
  2. Cook the sausages but not the garlic sausage (grill/bake them) 
  3. Add the stock and lentils and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Chop the sausages and garlic sausage and add with the tinned tomatoes, chick peas and frozen peas.
  5. Add tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Don't over-serve the portions, it's filling and you'll be able to go back for seconds!
Enjoy this with many family and friends!


17 June 2012

Mark 12:17

'Then Jesus said to them, 
"Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, 
and give to God the things that are God's." 
The men were amazed at what Jesus said.'

Yesterday was the Church Fete. I helped on the Barbecue. The flags were flying. Everyone had a great day. I love this day that happens every year! A typical traditional British Fete!

Hope everyone else is having the best weekend they can!


15 June 2012

Book Beginnings: Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

'When I reached the 'C' Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning.'

This was an unexpected beginning, I thought the book, perhaps unfairly derived from the cover was  more about parties. And yet the character in question doesn't appear to be someone who would attend a party. 

I hope this book turns out to be as good, or better, than I anticipate it to be.

Have you ever judged a book by it's cover?


14 June 2012

The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett

I don't know about you but I love a trip onto the Discworld, it's so well established and all of Pratchett's characters are so much fun.

I first read a Discworld novel when a friend bought me 'A Hat Full of Sky' I loved Tiffany Aching and I've read 3 of the books which have her as the main character. I loved all of them.

The Colour of Magic was a bit different. This was partly because it was an adult novel, so some of the language used, more than the themes involved, were a bit more advanced, the humour was a bit more dry and a bit less obvious. It was still hilarious. It was also because it's the first of the Discworld novels, and as such there was a fair amount of world building to be done.

Pratchett picked the perfect character and story to fulfill this, the Disc's first tourist. Twoflower and Rincewind were perfect together. Brilliant interactions and depth of character. I have to say I like Rincewind that little bit more, but just because he's hilariously cowardly!

I'm linking up to Speed Date Night @ The Book Swarm.

On a slight side note, who else really likes cover art like these?


10 June 2012

Jeremiah 31:3

'And from far away the Lord appeared to his people and said,
 "I love you people with a love that will last forever.
 That is why I have continued showing you kindness." '

The Cubs went on a walk along the river. Loving the summer!


8 June 2012

Book Beginnings: The Order of the Stick: Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales - Rich Burlew

The Order of the Stick: Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales'So, my agent calls me up while I'm chilling in the ruins of a noble and just civilization - that's just how the Big X rolls - and he tells me I need to read this "The Order of the Stick" book. I tell him, Sheckie, I don't need to do anything, or do I have to remind you what happened to your wife when you told me I needed to cut down on the off-color jokes?'

The preface of this book, as 'written' by Xykon, big bad of The Order of the Stick story arcs is long and hilarious. I love the way Rich Burlew is able to personify each of his characters, even outside of their normal boundaries. I'm looking forward to reading this collection of short and unrelated comics.

I love the main comic, if you havn't read it you should check it out here.


7 June 2012

Sanctus - Simon Toyne

From the cover I expected this book to be pure fantasy set in another completely new world. From the Blurb you get a very good idea of what it's about. Either way this book more than surpassed my expectations.

Throughout this book I tried to second guess the plot and at pretty much every turn I was stumped.

The level of depth which is portrayed in all of the characters was amazing.  I feared for the safety of Liv Adamsen, at no time more so than in the ending, and I can't wait for second book to be released so I can find out exactly what's happened to her.

It was brilliant!

I'm linking up to Speed Date Night at The Book Swarm.


6 June 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee

I really love the Google Doodle we've had this weekend!

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

I might have mentioned it before but I'm definitely a monarchist. I love all things Royal, and I'm really glad that we have a Royal Family. So I have to say I've really enjoyed the Jubilee celebrations this past weekend, despite being ill!

I watched the River Pageant and the parade on Tuesday, but I missed Monday's concert.

The Queen is looking great for her age isn't she? I'd love to reach 86 and still be half as active as she is. I think she's and amazing woman, an inspiration.

Hope you had a good long weekend!


1 June 2012

Book Beginnings: For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls'He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees.'

I really like the way this seems to jump straight in with the action. I'd like to know why he's lying on the floor, although it is about guerrilla's during the Spanish Civil War so I guess that would explain it.

I've been looking forward to picking this one up for a while now.

Linking up to Book Beginnings @ Rose City Reader.