Archive | September, 2012

A moment of magic

16 Sep

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit Palma Cathedral (Catêdral de la Seu) on the island of Majorca, Spain. I went into the Cathedral alone just before midday and although I had read about what happens to the stained-glass windows at this time, I had completely forgotten until I entered the main chapel and saw this.

Catedral de la Seu, Palma, Majorca.

Convieniently, my camera chose this exact moment to start playing up and suddenly couldn’t take clear photos despite never ever having this problem before. I won’t pretend to know enough about cameras to know why or how, but if anyone finds themselves reading this that may know please do tell me as if I can save my little camera (a Panasonic DMC-TZ6) I really want to…it has served me very well and I can’t help but feel slightly to blame (The Exif details for this picture are here if this helps…

Anyway, perhaps due to my camera breaking down in the focus department or perhaps just due to the beauty of that building in that moment, how I felt there is something that I just cannot forget. It’s a moment I preserved and set down in memory, a feeling of peace and real tranquilty, a feeling that I didn’t really ever think could be encountered inside a building. It’s a feeling I have associated with being on a beach, listening to the waves crash and fall, or sitting in a meadow without a care in the world. But there I was inside on a 36 degree day, in a dark building surrounded by pillars and walls coloured by multi-coloured light and I felt truly peaceful.

Looks as if it were painted.

I am one of those people who likes to photograph and capture every moment, so I can cherish and never forget them. I can still see the image, I can still hold the memory. I’m a massive lover of old buildings in general, but ‘painted’ by the windows like this, it was just pure magic for me and fortunately, for now at least, the memory hasn’t faded.






6 Sep

Today’s number is 8.


I’ll admit they’re lacking a certain Sesame Street charm, and a few of them look like dodgy rip-offs of my beloved Elmo and Cookie Monster who featured so heavily in my childhood. Who am I kidding, my teens were pretty full of them too. As a joke my parents bought me a Tickle-Me Elmo for my sixteenth birthday. Best. Present. Ever.

So my little love affair with these two happy faces finally made its way into cake form, a form I hope to improve upon but for a first attempt I am quite content. I used white chocolate buttons and milk chocolate chips for the eyes, red butter icing applied with a fork for Elmo and pre-packed icing in a tube for Cookie Monster. Elmo also features a orange skittle nose and a chocolate chip mouth whilst Cookie Monster is aptly stuffing his ‘face’ with half a cookie. This attempt did give me ideas for next time at least – it would be just as easy to buy pre-made cakes or muffins and I’d buy chocolate ones to give the mouths some depth. Sounding all thoughtful here, but I really do find baking and cooking to be really relaxing and if anyone else wants a piece of this then I thought I’d let you know just how easy this was to make and do!

To ebook or not to ebook.

5 Sep

Something that has made me happy lately has been the price of paperbacks. I know this is a selfish, and perhaps pathetic joy to have, but as a lover of books and reading and as an English Student this is happy, happy news to me! Not to say I don’t buy the majority of my books second-hand anyway (thank you Amazon Marketplace!), but its nice to be able to pick up something that isn’t for a reading list but is an interesting read or the latest must have book (looking at you, 50 shades) for under £4.

I am not naive enough to realise that this doesn’t signal the beginning of the end for my beloved books in print. I don’t own a kindle, although the word yet does attach itself to the end of that claim quite easily. I do admire how accessible they make literature, how anything you want to read is just one click away. Stories are, after all, intended to be told and read and this easy to access element within ebooks and ebook readers does promote reading. It’s like when Penguin and Wordsworth publishing houses brought out their £1.50-£2 paperbacks of classics which were cheap because they weren’t a great quality copy. They contained the words I wanted to read, I couldn’t care less about their presentation. (Actually, that’s not strictly true… look how amazing these look!)

Look how pretty they are…so pretty I had to make a ‘Penguin’ moodboard…

With the loss of a large profit margin and price for the consumer, I ate up these books (not literally, don’t worry) and read a lot more widely and freely that I would have had I had to send five times the price on an individual book. Ebooks have this same quality, particularly when thinking about old ‘books’ that are within the public domain, and hence free, as the rights to their intellectual property have expired.

Another consideration in the decision to ebook or not is the impact on the industry. For someone considering a career in publishing, this downfall of printed material will change that industry, not hugely in terms of publicity but as with most elements of media and sales now, it’ll all move to the ever accessible internet and marketing through that medium.

I do love to hold a copy of a title in my hands, that new (or old) book smell and for practical study reasons, you can’t beat a hard copy of a text. But as the new age welcomes in ebooks and texts in a digital format, I suppose we better move with them. MP3s have become my favourite way to listen to music. No hassle with a CD player and storage, all in one place and I can take it all with me. You could easily say the same about books, but perhaps my little love affair with them will, in a few years time, make me into the contemporary equivalent of that person who still listens to vinyl on their record player. After all, if all books were to become virtual texts rather than tangible objects, we’d have rather empty bookshelves and bookcases, or even book-stairs.

If I miss out on owning one of these due to the rise of ebooks and fall of paperbacks I will not be very pleased.

It’s like the reveal of Superman as Clark Kent, but instead I take the glasses off.

3 Sep

So my brother tells me that if I’m striving to be a writer or working within media in this modern age then I must have a successful blog. I’m not so sure on the successful part, but this blog has been running for a while so perhaps that counts for something. The existence of this exact blog isn’t really known to him – I really do appreciate my anonymity in this regard, in both my internet and ‘real’ lives. But, perhaps it should be? I own a twitter page, a facebook page and although surely I do tailor what I write with the knowledge it is to be read by someone who knows me, I like to think I don’t hide myself within those words. I hope I don’t at least. Here, without anybody having the slightest idea who I am at least everything I say is barrier-less of this sort of self-censor-ism.

So, again, perhaps I should make the move to increase the me in this blog. I’m not suggesting that this isn’t already so self-centred that it makes that idea sound really, really ridiculous. But if you’re following what I’m getting at then I hope you understand what I am rambling about.

In my excuses to my brother and his comment I stated that I didn’t have enough to say. He laughed about that idea claiming I ‘have an opinion on everything’ and I choose to take that as a compliment. So I’m going to try and make this more of a regular thing. Like a public diary/journal, of sorts.  And I’ll work on making it more public and we’ll start right now.

So, for a third time, my name is Rachel and I’m a 20-year-old student. I like reading books that perhaps are a little ‘below’ my degree of English Literature and that don’t even try to masquerade as a classic. I watch way too much TV and most of which is a little bit ‘trash’ and to top that off I like watching films with a lot of action in, but cheesy rom-coms fit the bill also, to be honest I enjoy most films so this comment is a little redundant. I love to see new places and explore a little, flying also excites me massively but that’s also part of my upbringing (and a story for another day). I dislike judging people, eating mayonnaise and goats. I wasn’t what you’d have called an early bloomer in my teens. I’m not exactly what they would have called a bloomer at all to be honest, but I’m pretty much over that. I was obsessed with editing Youtube videos for 3 or so years, a fact that many don’t really know as I was embarrassed about this nerdy-ness. I wish I would’ve got over that lack in self-confidence well before as I should’ve been and should be proud of my little hobby and its 1,500,000 views.

Overall I’m your average human being and pretending to be otherwise is redundant. I have views, opinions, likes and dislikes and I guess I think that I’m unique, but then, aren’t we all. Not especially unique, just not shaped from the cookie-cutter either.