Category Archives: Lifestyle

Random | Back to School Supplies… British style?

You knew I had something like this coming, didn’t you? I just couldn’t resist, I truly had to compile this baby as soon as ‘Back to School’ hit the scene… just like it does every single year. Shall we get into the products themselves?

All stuff will be from Amazon, as it is easier for people outside the UK to get the exact products. + click the image to be redirected to the page!

I actually have a bag that is very similar to this. I use it everyday to uni and it’s really easy to throw on and go. £9.95 – BARGAIN!

It’s the freaking CUTE factor! I love this Beatles ‘Help!’ pencil case. I’m biased though… I love it (yeah, yeah, yeah)! – £9

Union Jack Ballpoint Pen, Laser Cut, Beautiful Design

Write in style and show your mates who’s boss! For 1.99, you certainly cannot go wrong!

Dr Who A6 Notebook

Exterminate bad grades with this Dalek notebook. – It’s super snazzy! – £2.99

London Underground Map Printed Pencils Set (4) -LON1263A

Choose your line and grab the tube! Awesome set of 4 pencils for £4.99!

Organisation is key, so don’t forget to buy an Academic Diary/Filofax! This London 2012 one is £6.99.

Know Your Stuff | UCAS

We are the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. Not only do we process more than two million applications for full-time undergraduate courses every year, but we help students to find the right course. We try to make things run as smoothly as possible by providing innovative online tools which make it easier for students and higher education institutions (HEIs) to manage applications and offers.

We provide application services across a range of subject areas and modes of study for UK universities and colleges. More than half a million people wanting to study at a university or college use our services each year. Our specialist services, the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), the UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS) and the Conservatoires UK Admissions Service (CUKAS) are used by more than 50,000 people every year.

We aim to help students make informed choices about higher education, guiding them, their parents and advisers through the application process.

We carry out research, consultancy and advisory work for schools, colleges, careers services, professional bodies and employers. We also offer continuing professional development tailored to meet the needs of individual institutions or subject areas. This ensures a long-term commitment to improving admissions processes across the industry.

 

Source: www.ucas.ac.uk/about_us/whoweare/

 

British Slang | ‘E’ and ‘F’

FROM http://www.effingpot.com/slang.shtml

Easy Peasy – A childish term for something very easy. You might say it’s a snap.

Engaged – When you ring someone and they are already on the phone you will get the engaged tone. In other words, they will be engaged. You would say you get the busy signal or the line is busy.

Excuse me – This is a great one! It’s what kids are taught to say when they belch in public. We are also taught to say “pardon me” if we fart out loud. Unfortunately in American “excuse me” means you are encroaching in someone’s personal space and you say “pardon me” when you don’t hear someone properly. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that actually Americans are not belching and farting all the time.

Faff – To faff is to dither or to fanny around. If we procrastinated when getting ready for bed, as kids, our Dad use tell us we were faffing around.

Fagged – If you are too lazy or tired to do something you could say “I can’t be fagged”. It means you can’t be Bothered.

Fagging – Fagging is the practice of making new boys at boarding schools into slaves for the older boys. If you are fagging for an older boy you might find yourself running his bath, cleaning his shoes or performing more undesirable tasks.

Fancy – If you fancy something then it means you desire it. There are two basic forms in common use – food and people. If you fancy a cake for example it means you like the look of it and you want to eat it. If you see someone of (hopefully) the opposite sex then you might fancy them if you liked the look of them and wanted to get to know them a little better!!!

Fanny – This is the word for a woman’s front bits! One doesn’t normally talk about anyone’s fanny as it is a bit rude. You certainly don’t have a fanny pack, or smack people on their fannys – you would get arrested for that! Careful use of this word in the UK is advised!

Fanny around – I’m always telling people to stop fannying around and get on with it. It means to procrastinate. Drives me mad!

Fiddle sticks – I have an old Aunt who is much too well mannered to swear. So when the need arises for a swear word, she will substitute “fiddle sticks”.

Filch – To filch is to steal or pilfer. The origin is apparently unknown.

Fit – Fit is a word that I have heard a lot recently – it seems to be making a comeback. A fit bird means a girl who is pretty good looking or tasty! A fit bloke would be the male equivalent.

Flog – To Flog something is to sell it. It also means to beat something with a whip, but when your wife tells you she flogged the old TV it is more likely she has sold it than beaten it (hopefully!).

Fluke – If something great happened to you by chance that would be a fluke. When I was a kid my Mum lost her engagement ring on the beach and only realised half way home. We went back to the spot and she found it in the sand. That was a fluke.

Flutter – I like to have a flutter on the horses. It means to have a bet, usually a small one by someone who is not a serious gambler.

FortnightTwo weeks. Comes from an abbreviation of “fourteen nights”. Hence terms like “I’m off for a fortnights holiday” meaning “I am going on a two week vacation”.

Fruity – If someone is feeling fruity then they are feeling frisky. Watch out!

Full monty – Since the movie has come out of the same name I have heard some odd Texan descriptions of what the full monty means. It really has nothing to do with taking your clothes off. It just means the whole thing or going the whole way. That’s it. Clearly when applied to stripping it means not stopping at your underwear! The origins of the expression are still under discussion. There are many theories but no conclusive evidence at the moment.

Full of beans – This means to have loads of energy. It is a polite way of saying that a child is a maniac. I was often described as being full of beans as a kid and now it is my wife’s way of telling me to keep still when she is trying to get to sleep. Strangely the same expression in some parts of the US means that you are exaggerating or talking bollocks!

Etsy Finds | The Tube Edition

As usual, just click on the links to gain full access to the Etsy store!

London Tube Map Day Handbag and Clutch In OneLondon Underground Subway Poster, 1924 - 8.5x11 Poster Print - also available in 13x19 - see listing detailsEarrings - MIND The GAP - London Underground Warning For Train Passengers

London Bridge iPad Case, Gents iPad Cover, SleeveVintage London Underground Railways Map Brass Cuff Bracelet - Map Jewelry

 

Discover London | Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is a jazz club which has operated in London since 1959.

The club opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London’s Soho district. It was managed by musicians Ronnie Scott and Pete King. In 1965 it moved to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street. The original venue continued in operation as the “Old Place” until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up-and-coming generation of musicians.

Zoot Sims was the club’s first transatlantic visitor in 1962, and was succeeded by many others (often saxophonists whom Scott and King, tenor saxophonists themselves, admired, such as Johnny Griffin, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt) in the years that followed. Many UK jazz musicians were also regularly featured, including Tubby Hayes and Dick Morrissey who would both drop in for jam sessions with the visiting stars. In the mid-1960s, Ernest Ranglin was the house guitarist. The club’s house pianist until 1967 was Stan Tracey. For nearly 30 years it was home of a Christmas residency to George Melly and John Chilton’s Feetwarmers. In early 1969, The Who premiered Pete Townshend’s rock opera “Tommy” at the club. It was the site of Jimi Hendrix’s last live performance.

Scott regularly acted as the club’s Master of Ceremonies, and was (in)famous for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. After Scott’s death, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene in June 2005.

In 2009 Ronnie Scott’s was named by the Brecon Jazz Festival as one of 12 venues which had made the most important contributions to jazz music in the United Kingdom, and finished third in the voting for the initial award.

British Food | Peach Crumble

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. As a sort of tribute to my love of all things British, I thought I’d try baking something quintessentially British. Apple crumble came to mind almost immediately… only I did not have apples. So instead, I googled ‘Peach Crumble’ and voilà, I was redirected to Nigella Lawson’s website (www.nigella.com), where I found this amazing recipe (even though it ain’t hers).

Didn’t it look gorgeous? I was pleased as punch!

Here’s the recipe I used. I hope you enjoy it! It is certainly delicious! Oh-so tasty!

Ingredients

Peach filling:

  • 6 cups peeled, pitted and sliced peaches (in the winter can use 2 pounds frozen thawed peaches)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Crumble topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 3 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. sugar

Method

Serves: 0

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl with the baking powder and salt. Add the cold cubes of butter and, using the tips of your fingers—index and middle flutteringly stroking the fleshy pads of your thumbs—rub it into the flour. Stop when you have a mixture that resembles oatmeal.
  3. Stir in the sugars. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, place the peaches in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat well.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Add to the peaches and toss to combine.
  6. Pile the fruit mixture into a 4-cup deep pie pan and dot with bits of the butter.
  7. Take the crumble mixture and cover the peaches with it. Place on a baking sheet in the oven. Cook in the preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes. Eat at whatever temperature you prefer, although it’s nice if it can have 15 minutes to stand out of the oven to cool down a bit.

Lifestyle | The Tea Appreciation Post

In Britain tea is usually black tea served with milk (never cream; the cream of a “cream tea” is clotted cream served on scones, usually with strawberry jam, a tradition originating from Devon and Cornwall). Strong tea served with lots of milk and often two teaspoons of sugar, usually in a mug, is commonly referred to as builder’s tea. Much of the time in the United Kingdom, tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that some might imagine—a cup (or commonly a mug) of tea is something drunk often, with some people drinking six or more cups of tea a day. Employers generally allow breaks for tea.

How to drink your tea… British style!

Even very slightly formal events can be a cause for cups and saucers to be used instead of mugs. A typical semi-formal British tea ritual might run as follows (the host performing all actions unless noted):

  1. The kettle, with fresh water, is brought to a rolling boil and water poured into a tea pot.
  2. Enough boiling water is swirled around the pot to warm it and then poured out.
  3. Add loose tea leaves, black tea usually, although tea bags are sometimes used, always added before the boiled water.
  4. Fresh boiling water is poured over the tea in the pot and allowed to brew for 2 to 5 minutes while a tea cosy is placed on the pot to keep the tea warm. If the tea is allowed to brew for too long, for example, more than 10 minutes, it will become “over-steeped”,or “stewed”, resulting in a very bitter, astringent taste.
  5. Milk may be added to the tea cup, the host asking the guest if milk is wanted, although milk may alternatively be added after the tea is poured.
  6. A tea strainer is placed over the top of the cup and the tea poured in, unless tea bags are used. Tea bags may be removed, if desired, once desired strength is attained.
  7. Fresh milk and white sugar is added according to individual taste. Most people have milk with their tea, many without sugar.
  8. The pot will normally hold enough tea so as not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests. If this is the case, the tea cosy is replaced after everyone has been served. Hot water may be provided in a separate pot, and is used only for topping up the pot, never the cup.

Whether to put milk into the cup before or after the tea is, and has been since at least the late 20th century, a matter of some debate with claims that adding milk at the different times alters the flavour of the tea.In addition to considerations of flavour, is thought that historically, the order of steps was taken as an indication of class: only those wealthy enough to afford good quality porcelain would be confident of its being able to cope with being exposed to boiling water unadulterated with milk.

There is also a proper manner in which to drink tea when using a cup and saucer. If one is seated at a table, the proper manner to drink tea is to raise the teacup only, placing it back into the saucer in between sips. When standing or sitting in a chair without a table, one holds the tea saucer with the off hand and the tea cup in the dominant hand. When not in use, the tea cup is placed back in the tea saucer and held in one’s lap or at waist height. In either event, the tea cup should never be held or waved in the air.

Drinking tea from the saucer (poured from the cup in order to cool it) was not uncommon at one time but is now almost universally considered a breach of etiquette.

“The Tea Poem” (written when tea began to be rationed during WWII)

Cup of Tea, Cup of Tea You Are Just the Thing for Me

no Milk, No Sugar, It’s just Great Fancy herbal ones I hate

(No Chamomile I say for me No Parsley in My cup of Tea)

No Mint, No Thyme, No Red Red Rose Just Give Me Normal by the Hose

So keep your ration Book in Hand And we’ll drink tea across the land

And an extra cup for Granny too And all our dashing lads in blue.

Tea Cards

In the United Kingdom, and to a certain extent, Canada, a number of varieties of loose tea sold in packets from the 1940s to the 1980s contained tea cards. These were illustrated cards roughly the same size as cigarette cards and intended to be collected by children. Perhaps the best known were Typhoo tea and Brooke Bond (manufacturer of PG Tips), the latter of whom also provided albums for collectors to keep their cards in. Some renowned artists were commissioned to illustrate the cards including Charles Tunnicliffe. Many of these card collections are now valuable collectors’ items.

British Makeup | Barry M’s ‘Jewel Britannia’ – LIMITED EDITION

Proud to be british

 

This nail varnish is truly wonderful. It embodies the British spirit so well I get all giddy inside when I see it online! (crazy, I know…) Anyways, this is going to be my first Barry M product and a very special one at that… And it’s only £2.99! Get it from Boots or from the Barry M website – and hurry up!, it’s limited edition. Get your hands on this gem!

Olympics 2012 | The Opening Ceremony is today! + what to expect

Wherever you are, I just hope you have a fine evening and enjoy the Opening Ceremony (if you can watch it live, then awesome!). If not, why not throw a party and enjoy a couple of amazing meals with our friends in honour of the Olympics?

WHAT TO EXPECT! (from http://www.london2012.com/spectators/ceremonies/opening-ceremony/)

Receiving the Head of State

The Head of State of the Host Country is received at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by the President of the IOC. For the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen will be greeted by Jacques Rogge.

Parade of Athletes

A procession of the participating teams in the Stadium, nation by nation. Teams enter in alphabetical order, according to the language of the Host Country, apart from the Greek team, which enters first for the Olympics, and the team of the Host Nation (in this case Team GB), who march in last.

Speeches

Once all the nations have arrived into the Stadium, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe will give a speech, followed by Jacques Rogge. They will end their speeches by inviting the Head of State to officially declare the Games open.

Olympic Anthem and Flag

Once the Games have been declared open, the Olympic Flag is then carried into the Stadium and hoisted into the air as the respective Anthem is played. The Olympic Charter states that each flag must fly for the entire duration of the Games – placed in a prominent position in the main Stadium.

Oaths

A participating athlete, judge and coach from the Host Nation stand on the rostrum and, holding a corner of the IOC flag in their left hand and raising their right, take the Oath, vowing to compete and judge according to the rules of their respective sport,.

The Torch and Cauldron

The big finale is the entrance of the Olympic Flame into the Stadium. It is passed through the athletes to the final Torchbearer, who will ceremoniously light the Cauldron, indicating the beginning of the Games. The Flame will continue to burn for the whole of the Games.

Creative team

A host of world-class British directors and producers are leading the artistic team to stage the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Performers

A total cast of 15,000 will take part in the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which will be watched by an estimated audience of four billion.

WHWHAWJww

Know your Stuff | GCSEs

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is equivalent to a Level 2 (A*- C) and Level 1 (D- G) in Key Skills. (In Scotland, the equivalent is the Standard Grade.) Some students may decide to take one or more GCSEs before or afterwards; people may apply for GCSEs at any point either internally through an institution or externally. The education systems of other British territories, such as Gibraltar,[1] and the former British dominion of South Africa, also use the qualifications, as supplied by the same examination boards. The International version of the GCSE is the IGCSE, which can be taken anywhere in the world, and which includes additional options, for example relating to coursework and the language used. When GCSEs are taken by students in secondary education, they can often be combined with other qualifications, such as the Business And Technology Education Council (BTEC), the Diploma in Digital Applications (DiDA), or diplomas.

Education to GCSE level is often required of students who study for the International Baccalaureate or to GCE Advanced Level (A-level). GCSE exams were introduced as the compulsory school-leavers’ examinations in the late 1980s (the first exams being taken in the summer of 1988) by the Conservative Party government, replacing the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) and GCE Ordinary Level (O-Level) examinations. In June 2012, Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education, announced plans to scrap GCSE exams and revive O-Levels.