Monthly Archives: August 2010

Hello again..

I am such a bad blogger, I do know that. There is no regularity whatsoever to Wintertime Clothes anymore, so much so that I don’t think I should bother trying to make anyone read it. If they do, then I’ll be delighted but it’s like it’s always on the back of my mind if I haven’t written a post in a while. It used to be sort of a daily blog, and I was good at keeping that up for a while but I can’t seem to do that these days. I love writing, I love it a hell of a lot, but if blogging’s going to become a chore then I don’t think I should bother trying to pretend that I do a post everyday. Maybe if I say right now that I’ll do one post a week, or two posts a week then I’ll manage to stick to that. I read somewhere once that blogs should be regular. That doesn’t mean posting everyday, but just post at the same time every day/week/month so that your readers know when to expect a post.

I also know that blog posts should be short. I’m not good at keeping things short though. Once I start writing I don’t want to stop and then I think of a topic that would make a good blog post but I don’t know whether to throw it into the middle or do a separate post straight afterwards about that topic. I usually go with the former meaning that this blog has no structure whatsoever apart from the fact that the post title will most definitely not be applicable by the last sentence. If you get my drift.

I think I first started blogging just to keep me writing regularly. An English teacher told me that you can’t just not practice writing and expect to get an A in your essay. She said just write, about anything and everything once you’re forming words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs in some coherent manner. Hopefully this is semi-coherent anyway.

If you like reading all this stuff that has no logical sequence whatsoever then I’m a very lucky blogger. Recently, I’ve kind of started thinking about trying to build up a bit of a portfolio or something. Some day in the near-ish future I’ll need to be sending CVs to newspapers looking for a bit of freelance work and I’ll need something to show them. I write here about once a week but to be quite honest this isn’t something I’d want to be sending to a newspaper editor. It’s fine for a blog, but that’s what it is. There are two articles I could include in my ‘portfolio’ so far, namely a piece that was published in the ‘Go’ travel supplement in the Times, and an article I wrote about Plugd Records which won an award in an Irish Times competition. This blog isn’t exactly on par with that stuff like..

Speaking of journalism and all that jazz, I’m beginning to think I should just do what I said I never would and do journalism in DCU or UL or somewhere. Forget that whole get-a-solid-degree-and-then-do-a-masters shite. Media studies in NUIM looks very tempting too because you can combine it with a arts degree so you take media and two arts subjects in first year, drop one of the arts and continue to degree level with media and one arts subject. There’s Irish and Journalism in DCU too but I don’t think that’s exactly what I’m after. Maybe I’ll completely change my mind by CAO time but at least I’m doing some bit of thinking about it all.

There’s two other things I was going to mention but I just found out that Reeling in the Years is on Youtube and I now feel like looking back on simpler times. Ahhh..

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Pasta and lentil bake

I do like cooking, it’s just I rarely get a chance to try out new recipes, because I generally just eat whatever my mother makes, and lunches are a bit of a low-key affair. Like a slice of bread. So today I stayed at home because I had a ridiculous amount of stuff to do. Also, having the house to myself I could make a mess and no-one would care. So that’s exactly what I did. This here is my pasta and lentil bake. At least that’s what I’m calling it anyway.

My pasta and lentil bake..

I didn’t really get the recipe from anywhere. I guess it’s a mix of macaroni and cheese and this thing that my friend’s mum makes.  But here’s what I did if you’re interested.

Ingredients:

Breadcrumbs, penne pasta, Vegan gluten-free cheese-flavoured sauce mix, puy lentils, red lentils,  1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, broccoli, courgette, tomato puree, water, salt, pepper, mixed herbs.

Think that’s it anyway!

1. First of all, cook the puy lentils and red lentils. About 15 mins for the red and a bit more for the puy lentils. I’m useless at knowing how long to cook things for though, so don’t take my word on this bit.

2. Add olive oil, the chopped onion, garlic, courgette and broccoli to a saucepan and stir over a low-ish heat.

3. Next add the red lentils and puy lentils along with about 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and a little water.

4. After a few minutes add some salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.

5. Cook the pasta.

6. Make the cheese-flavoured sauce according to the instructions on the packet. Mix with the cooked pasta and spread on top of the lentil and vegetable mix in the dish.

7. Finally sprinkle breadcrumbs all over the pasta.

8. Cook at 180 degrees Celcius for about 20 minutes.

And voila!

Mmmm..

Whenever I’m cooking myself, I tend to do vegetarian dishes because I’m not a fan of red meat or even fish. Also, it’s far more likely that we’ll have the wherewithal for a vegetarian meal in the presses, but it’s not like I open the fridge and there’s a shelf of sirloin steaks and lamb shanks staring out at me.

I’m pretty sure this meal is vegan too, but please do correct me on this if I’m wrong. Usually it wouldn’t be vegan if you made your own cheese sauce, but my mum happened to have this sauce mis in the cupboard that she told me to use.

And to be honest, it was fairly savage and I’m pretty pleased with how it all turned out!

Enjoy!

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Autumn/Winter ’10

AW10. Two letters combined with two numbers that cause ridiculous amounts of excitement. I’m no exception to that fact. Summer is great and everything, and it is a nice change to be able to go out in just a dress or only have to throw on a cardigan instead a huge woolly coat. Maybe I’m weird, but the novelty of this all wears off pretty quickly for me.

I’m in the minority of Irish people regarding my opinions on the weather. Granted, it’s bloody handy to have this universal conversation topic, allowing us to sail through life without any awkward silences, but I don’t do the complaining thing. I like the cold. I don’t mind if there’s a grey sky outside. To top it all off, I’m not a huge fan of hot sunny days. Dear Lord ye’re probably all slowly moving that cursor up to the red x in the corner, no longer wanting to read such a strange person’s blog. Ok then.

But just think about the winter. You get to wear cosy tights and knee-high boots and leather shoes. You can layer away ’til kingdom come; tank tops and t-shirts and dresses and jumpers and cardigans and blazers and coats ALL WORN TOGETHER. I don’t know how this sort of stuff cannot cause excitement. I’ll also admit that alot of my clothes are dark coloured. Grey, black, navy, more grey, and a bit more black. Then there is the wonder that is a scarf. A scarf can change an outfit in a second. God almighty I love scarves.

Winter means lots of different materials and textures. It brings cold days spent hidden inside cute coffee stores drinking cappuccinos and hot chocolates. Long evenings by the fire with the rain lashing down outside. Hats and coats and scarves and gloves. Winter walks on the beach with the cold rain and wind. That Christmassy feeling when town starts getting busier and the night comes that little bit quicker..

I am very excited about being able to wear lots of nice new clothes though. It’s possibly my favourite thing about AW. In preparation I have so far purcahsed a pair of brown brogues, lots of tights and a new blazer. I can’t describe the blazer because I don’t know what it’s called but I’ll do an outfit post soon with it. The lovely Caroline was doing a bit of a clear out too, so I got two fab t-shirts and an unworn orange pashmina. And you know how I love my scarves! Not forgetting the two hoodies.. The tennis club won’t know what hit them.

Other things I may invest in include: striped top, woolly grey socks, purply sleeveless blouse in Topshop (it is amazing), a dress of some sort, an amazing leather jacket, more shoes and boots, a black shirt, more vests and tanks,  and alot more that I just can’t think of right now.

Time to go to town. Outfit post later if I can get someone to take nice pictures of me.

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Cooking plans..

This place must be pretty fecking different with all this ridiculously emotional shite hanging around and being all teary-eyed and whatnot. But to be honest I don’t really mind if ye all hate it because I see it as an investment in the future development and continuity of my blog. I’d sort of hit a brick wall and I was thinking of giving up this whole blogging lark altogether. Then, via Boards, I came across this 30 days of letters thing and reckoned that it would at least get me writing again. Which, fair fucks to it, it did. And reading through them one after the other you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m in the midst of an emotional breakdown. I’m not. I swear. I’m just pretty convincing with the emotional writing.

Leading on from paragraph one, I’m now formally announcing that from now on I am just going to be writing what I want to write. Forget what will draw the readers, forget making the place look aesthetically pleasing, forget any worthwhile journalism. This is just for me to rant and rave, to reminisce and discuss. I’ll post the odd photo of what I’m wearing if I get around to it, but apart from that it’ll be words all the way. So you’re just going to have to start making a cuppa tea before you sit down and click on the Wintertime Clothes bookmark in your browser. (You have it bookmarked, right? Or maybe you’re all into that RSS stuff. Whatever, you computer nerd.) Then you know you’re in for the long haul and you’ll just have to start at the top and finish at the bottom. Might help increase your attention span in this day and age of Twitter and texting and everything else.

I now realise I haven’t once mentioned my cooking plans. I’ll explain. The parents are going away for a fortnight next week (party on!!) and I’ll have to cook for me and whoever else is staying to keep me company. And I was thinking earlier about what I’m going to make, and I thought that writing a list here for you all to read would be a good method of brainstorming. Things to bear in mind include the fact that we have nine egg-laying hens in the garden, along with lettuce and tomatoes in the kitchen garden and greenhouse, plenty of fresh herbs and there’s generally cheese in the fridge.

So I need fourteen dinners. Hmm. Breakfast’s always just a slice of bread or a piece of fruit and, if I’m at home, lunch tends to be the same. So all that’s left is dinner.

1. Egg fried rice

2. Baked potato

3. Quiche

4. Omelette and chips

5. Pizza

6. Quesadillas

7. Coq au vin (there’s a few portions of this frozen in the fridge y’see..)

8. Curry

9. Fancy toasted sandwich

10. Pasta with sauce and veg

11. Macaroni and cheese (Hannah could provide this possibly? Or I’ll find a recipe..)

12. Gnocchi (Never made these before, but when I was on www.supercook.com the other night I discovered we generally have the wherewithal to make these so I may as well give it a lash..)

13. Ready-made meal from M&S (Caramelised onion and goats cheese tart)
14. Ready-made meal from Dunnes (Ravioli)
Shur I’m sorted! That list took about two minutes so I’ve plenty of ideas really. Maybe I should make a desert list? Chances are I won’t even be at home half the time for dinner but I may as well have this list here in case I’m stuck some night. I’ll also willingly accept any applications from any readers who’d like to come over and cook for me. I’ll provide the wine in return. Speaking of which, need to check is that offer still on in Tesco where you could get three 50cl bottles of McGuigan Shiraz for a tenner. They were fecking savage.. Or I could be like a normal teenager and just get beer. But no.
Right then, applications to be Niamh’s personal chef for one night only to wintertimeclothes@live.ie. Ha.

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#10 – Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to

Hi A,

Long(ish) time no see.. I miss you, y’know that? I miss the long chats we used to have about everything and nothing. I miss having you there whenever I needed to see a (usually) friendly face.

How’re you getting on anyway? I guess life’s kinda tough at the moment, but it’ll all work out. I’m sure of it. You’re pretty lucky to have some amazing people around you. And they’re even luckier to have you around them. How’s the other half? Hope everything’s going well in that department.

Any luck with some form of a comeback? It’d make my bloody day. Year, even. I’m a different person because of the time I spent in there with ye and I’ll never forget that.

I should call up to you some day soon.. Talkcha then..

Niamh x

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#9 – Someone you wish you could meet

Dear Matt Berninger,

I love your voice, your lyrics, your music and everything that your band does really. I fucking love ‘Alligator’. I know Boxer is sometimes considered to be a better album but Alligator was the first album I heard so it’s my favourite.

Everytime I see Alligator lying around the place it reminds me of when and where I bought it. On Record Store Day 2009 I purchased it, along with a Flaming Lips album, in Plugd Records in Cork. And I loved that place so much and that day was so good that it kind of adds extra memories to your album. I’d never heard your stuff before to be honest, until Albert in Plugd picked the CD out as what I should buy. He was so right.

I bought High Violet then a day or two after it was released, but up in Dublin this time in Road Records. Both record stores have closed since. Maybe I should stop buying ye’re records in stores I like.. Anyway, I got the High Violet poster too from the lovely Dave in Road. Fucking delighted I was.

In just a month’s time you’ll be in the same country as me. That’s pretty insane, right? I’d bloody well love to go to the Picnic. When ye were announced for it I died a little inside because the plan at the time was to go to Oxegen. But I didn’t bother with that so I could nearly go to EP instead. Christ that’d be amazing. Hmm..

So d’you think ye might be back in Ireland sometime next year because chances are I won’t make it to Electric Picnic and I’ll always regret not seeing ye? Or just come visit me. On a little holiday, like. We have a spare bedroom so you’re more than welcome to stay. And you could sing a few songs for me. That’d be nice. I’ll buy you a coffee in return?

Shur let me know anyway.

Niamh x

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#8 – Your favourite internet friend

Well hi there,

How are you? Shur I was talking to you pretty recently so there’s not much to say. Well there could be, but there’s not going to be.

Years ago I only thought there were weirdos on the internet, and the thought of meeting someone online was freaky fucking shit. But you’re not that weird thankfully! Although I think of you more as a real-life friend, we did initially get to know each other online. So for that alone, I thank the internet. It’s not all bad like, but you never hear stories like this in the media. Just the bad stuff..

See you soon, yeah?

Niamh x

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