Friday, 26 April 2013


It's slowly starting to even out, but I've always been a sweet person rather than savoury, so when I decide to make something I usually bake or throw together some sort of treat/dessert. This is pretty silly for a girl who's on a constant diet. I can't help but laugh though, thinking about the disasters I made at my Grandparent's house when I was little– think bagels covered in ice cream, squirty cream, raisins, honey and bicuits (basically whatever I could get my hands on and fit into a bowl). One of my first solo-attempts at baking was also at their house, when I decided to make bread & butter pudding. From what I can remember, it wasn't exactly a roaring success. 

On Sunday I was in a baking mood– and we had loads of bread in the cupboard– so I thought I'de give it another go. I just used a BBC recipe that you can find here. But I used a no-crusts bread, plus a few slices of a nuts & seeds loaf when I ran out of the other one (might try using that for a whole b&b pudding next time). If you love raisins like I do, smother it in them! You can use a packet of mixed dried fruit as well if you find plain raisins a bit boring– I took that route this time. I think the recipe didn't have enough sugar in it so sprinkled quite a lot over the top when it was done, make sure you taste it before you do that though (sorry, that's obvious I know).

Et voilĂ !

Easy peasy. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


I'm doing this all back-to-front, and even though actor's are meant to have good memories, I've probably forgotten half of what happened at my RADA audition so please, bare with me. For any of you who don't know what RADA is, it's the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art who crafted such phenomenal actor's as Michael Gambon and Anthony Hopkins.

I was meant to get the train down with my Dad so we could have a trip away together, but he fell ill literally on the morning of my audition, so my Gran swiftly took his place instead at 6am in the morning (bless her). So we got the metro to central station, grabbed a coffee and jumped on the train. This was probably my most nerve wracking audition because it was my first and  it was for flaming RADA, so I spent most of the journey going over my monologues.

When we arrived at King's Cross we headed straight for St Pancreas and got two all day passes. You're told by the school that the closest station to them is Goodge Street. This is true, but to get to Goodge St from Pancreas would mean changing lines when it's only two stops or so to get there anyway. So I bit the bullet, left Gran to have breakfast near Warren Street station (where we got off) and walked the rest of the way. It was actually really nice to peruse the streets around the school to get a feel for the area, and if you've got a map or a smart phone I'd definitely recommend getting off a stop early (as long as you've got plenty of time!).

After finding the academy, I went for a walk in the park just round the corner— Gordon Square Garden. Great place for running lines and not being looked at funny– I saw a woman doing some weird combination of tai chi and ninja-combat: making talking to yourself look normal.

20 minutes before my audition time I headed back to the school; I went in the green entrance that you see if you go on google maps. Don't go in there. It's the wrong entrance. Duh. I was redirected through the school to the opposite side (which doesn't look like the entrance to a drama school, just a white marble building with a small wooden door in the middle) and had to be buzzed in, which seemed to annoy the lady behind the desk (woops!). I checked in and took a pew on the bench next to the stairs.

Slowly, it started filling up with other auditionees, me being the only Geordie. What was really nice about RADA, was that every single student who went passed wished me good luck, or winked at me or asked if I was auditioning or something– it kind of settled the nerves for me a little. 5 minutes late, we were all escorted into a board room to fill in some extra forms (audition pieces etc) and double check our original forms, we were then introduced to two ex-students who took us across the road to another building. I didn't talk to mine much and she didn't offer much either. The school shocked me in a way, I think I was expecting some sort of grand, open space with lots of marble and a grand piano, what you get is a a large building that's quite messy, informal and higgeldy-piggeldy– takes the pressure of a little.

The group of ten was split in two and we went off to different floors– ours was the third, I think. We sat along a wall of windows looking at a glass box of a room (the blinds were pulled down– don't worry!) waiting to be called. I was bang on in the middle, so had enough time to stretch and think, but not so much time that I'd start freaking out.

The panel were lovely. A woman and a man, the former of which was actually on an episode of Sherlock (no pressure there then!). They asked me a few questions, some related to acting, some not (the first was actually "do you do sports?") and really helped calm the nerves. I was then given the space to perform, which was a little difficult as there was a pillar going straight through the centre of the room. But I persevered, started with my classical and finished with my modern. I was asked to go and sit back down and was then congratulated on my choice of classical monologue, as they had "never, at [their] whole time auditioning at RADA seen anyone do it before"– YESSA! Exactly what every actor wants to hear. After a few more questions I was free to leave, so went to find my Gran and spent the rest of the day looking round London.

After the usual, i.e Harrods, Selfridges etc, we went to Hyde Park for the winter festival (it was the 4th December) and sat in a German style pop-up pub and had a mulled wine. Now, if you happen to be going to London with an elderly person and you plan on doing the things I've just mentioned, don't. Just do one of them. It was a tiring day for me never mind my 60-odd year old Grandmother.

Nonetheless, we got back to King's Cross and got on to the train home– first class. Oh yes. But, first class with East Coast wasn't as good as I had expected. Yes, we got a nice meal, snacks and drinks included, with lots of extra leg room, but lets just say I was glad my dad had only had to pay an extra £15 for the upgrade; I don't think I'd ever pay much more than that for it.

All in all, a great day and a great audition. Exactly a week later I received a letter to inform me that I had been unsuccessful. That's life! There's nothing from stopping me trying again after all.


Monday, 15 April 2013


After a jam-packed birthday, I went shopping on Friday to prepare for Edinburgh the following day. It's safe to say I was a little freaked out at the short notice, I think I did rather well considering. With the John Lewis vouchers (and some birthday money) I splurged on some much needed new make up!

My favourite foundation, Dior Nude (20, light beige), a fabulous new lipstick from Bobbi Brown which is great for day-to-day use (22, Sandwash Pink) and the new YSL bb cream in clear– my new best friend.

I've wanted to try Clinique for a while and decided to start of with a wash/cleanse/moisturise pack for £20 (I went for the dry skin combination)- I'll decided what I think of it in a few days, although I'm already thinking I should've gone for the very dry-dry combo.

My favourite purchase of the day was my ted baker ipad mini case, it's just the sweetest little thing and has a handy compartment inside with room for papers/cleaning cloth.

Enough of my spending though! How was Edinburgh, I hear you ask? Phe-no-me-nal.

This was my itinerary:

Mignon, non?

The mystery was theatre tickets to see an RSC production of The Winter's Tale at the festival theatre- wait until you hear what happened!

So here's my weekend in pictures (with the odd, written burst of enthusiasm, description or short-story telling).

At Central Station, all coffied-up and ready to go!

These delectable things were from Hotel Chocolate– strawberry trifle (bottom left) was the best. 

Pink champagne, Charbonnel et Walker and the lovely goodies from Hotel Chocolate for our (surprisingly short) train journey, heaven!!

The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh.

The room was lovely, the chairs were ubber comfy and the docking station was very handy!

No, of course I didn't threaten to lock Jade up in the cell....

Mino's mexican restaurant on Rose Street (behind Princes Street). 

Best nachos I've ever had. But those bad boys were huge. We barely ate half, definitely should have shared.

Relaxing back at the hotel with champagne and truffles before heading out to the theatre.

This, is the Festival Theatre. Now, our tickets also had written on them "King's Theatre", which seemed to be the more prominent, so after google mapping our route and leaving so we'd get there just in the nick of time we headed for the theatre. In heels. 15 minutes later we arrived at the KT 5 minutes before the show was about to start, we walked up to the doors only to find that they were locked. We'd only gone and went to the wrong theatre! After flagging a taxi (and freaking out– on my part, Jade was all cool and calm) we were flown across the city to the Festival Theatre, 4 minutes after the show had begun. The helpful staff showed us to some empty seats at the back and reassured me that I wasn't completely stupid as several people had made the same "wrong theatre" mistake that night. After the interval we went to our proper seats and carried on watching and laughing to the fabulous RSC production.

I had to explain to Jade what was going on, but she wasn't so keen on the production. I loved it. All that analysing of classical texts has finally paid off!

My dress and bracelets were from Primark, the jacket is an old River Island purchase and you can find a link to my clutch here and where I bought my necklace from here.

My shoesies are from Miss Selfridge.

I believe Jade's dress was from H & M.

After deciding to walk home (nearly 2 miles, or more), we had to take off our shoes for some of the journey. To recuperate when we got back to the hotel I ran us a hot bath to sooth (and clean) our thumping tootsies while Jade made us some quality hot chocolate.

Part of my birthday weekend gift was a £50 voucher for the Waldorf's very own Galvin Brasserie De Luxe.

Jade LOVED the bread ;)

The trout was beautifully cooked and the mini potatoes were perfection.

Jade went for the traditional sunday roast (which I might have tried too– it was lovely).

Passion fruit soufflĂ© with chocolate ice cream; I can't put into words how beautiful this was.

Jade's chocolate tart with Ginger ice cream was nice, but a little heavy for me.

Always a good sign!

Oh and the wine was incredible, I had a glass of the Muscadet Serve Main, 2011. The water wrote that down for me so I could buy some for the mamma!

Two very happy, very full girls who most definitely did not want to go home!