A blog full of randomness; about anything and everything.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I realise that I have been neglecting this place a bit recently due to a mixture of being back at uni and my grandpa dying :(

Helpfully, to make my mind off things I have started lectures today :) Five hours worth in a row!! But I love learning and so I was perfectly happy although a little frazzled by the end (but a cheeky Starbucks soon revived me!).

First off was a meeting with my History Special Subject Group - my speical subject being the subject which I have to base my dissertation around. Mine is Trade in Early Modern Europe which to most people sounds like a very boring subject but to me it looks amazingly interesting!! We discussed our proposed dissertation ideas - 2 other people are looking into doing piracy as well - grrr stealing my idea :p But they don't seem to be focusing on the same thing as me - in other words I think that they researched their subject by watching Pirates of the Carribean!! But now I have a more definate idea of what I'd like to do - not much of a change from my last update! I'm going to look at the relationships between the piracy, the state and trade. And possibly expand out from the Carribean so I can compare types of merchant and cargo in different areas and different methods and ways of selling the booty. Like the pirate havens in the Carribean that housed illegal markets. I will also look at how the state encouraged piracy with privateers and their letters of Marque and whether they were always followed. Then how piracy was dealt with when they were acting illegally. Now onto hard core research - library day tomorrow!

Next was theorizing texts - theories surrounding Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), The Turn of the Screw (Henry James) and Hamlet (Shakespeare). It was just and intro so hopefully I will find out more than this next week!

Finally there was Shakespeare and Co. Studying Shakespeare, what his inspirations were and how his texts have been transformed over time.
We discussed how Shakespeare was shaped by the fashions, audience, contemporaries and the players in his company. We also discussed whether a play is the actual text written down or the performance. If it is the latter then a play will always be in a state of constant transformation - each performance will be different with every new performance due to actors, fashions and the social background to the time of performance. Plays will take on different meanings to different audiences.

In other news my c button is being annoying and also I love Ewan McGregor - he is scottish and can sing and has a moterbike :D

He may be added to the list of numerous people I have said I would marry recently. The list already includes Poirot, Chaucer, Anton Du Beke and Brian Fortuna!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New Home!

So eventually I moved in to the new house. I feel that my resentment for the place is due more to resenting being made to move when I liked the old house so much. It's also not helped by the fact that when I walked in the only word appropriate for the place was shithole. The house has been empty for a year after a very bad set of students. The house clearly hasn't been cleaned for about 2 or 3 years and so only now, after several cleans, is it looking slightly more habitable. I took my dyson in hand and Frank my mop and a whole host of other cleaning products and am hopefully now feared throughout the realms of spider-dom (instead of the other way around!!). I think possibly the worst thing was the discovery of a headless rotting mouse corpse!

But now my room looks great :D And I'm liking it - although I keep falling off my bed despite it being a double one!! However, the freezer does not work leaving one small freezer shelf in the fridge for four students!! Also the gas oven is old and frnakly dangerous. You have to hold the flame in the back of the oven for at least 3 minutes while gas purs out at you before it will light and when it does a flame leaps out the front right where your arm is!! Then you have to hold the gas on knob in for a good five minutes to make sure it stays on!!

Oh well in nicer things. I have made more mini plushies :D I will also have a cross stitch to show you very soon and just because:


Friday, 11 September 2009


I have decided, should all other career plans fail or maybe just as a side career, that I shall make muffins. I love making muffins. Muffins can be made in any flavour you can possibly think of. I'd set up a little muffin shop - like the little shop in Chocolat apart from mine would be with muffins. It would be like muffilat! I would even be able to tell what kind of muffin you are just by you spinning a plate or telling me what you see in Rorschach test! My mum, for example, is a maple and pecan muffin or an espresso muffin and my sister is a carrot cake muffin. According to my Mum I'm a Rocky Road Muffin!!

Tomorrow I shall make Fudge Muffins :D The world is a better place with muffins!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

'That Little House in the Hill'

I couldn't find out how to tidy stuff away so it doesn't take up so much room so here is a link to my latest work of fiction(!!) which is over on Livejournal (the blog used for pointless quizes and not a lot else anymore!).


Not sure how good it is as I wrote most of it between midnight and 4 am!! But I'm never a very good judge of these things!! I always think my essays are way better than my fiction but very few people would stay awake reading essay after essay!! So I hope this entertains at least a teeney bit!! It was inspired by a holiday cottage I stayed in in a little village in North Wales. Which wasn't made of Oak, wasn't abandoned and didn't have a basement. But it was called Oak!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Pirates (of the Caribbean)

So after much research I think I may have come up with a working title for my dissertation :D Which means I have had to discard half of what I was researching! As my 'special subject' is trade in the early modern period I have to somehow answer something to do with trade and piracy - so I first decided to focus on how piracy impacted upon trade and how it was dealt with by those in power. So then I had to decide on place and a time period and other associating factors.

After having a search for what was out there in the way of books, journals and primary sources I decided foucusing on Colonial America and the Caribbean was probably the best idea. So then I had to pick what time period. Two major time periods stood out as the most interesting to me - The Buccaneers of the late 16th and early 17th century. Mostly privateers for the governments of the warring powers in the Americas (Britain, Spain, France and Holland) and the pirates that made Tortuga and Port Royal famous. Secondly there was what is commonly termed as the 'Golden Age' of Piracy (a term thought to have been used for the first time by Raffeal Sabatini author of Captain Blood etc). This is said to stretch between approximatley 1700 and 1730 and was a period of increased pirate activity in the Americas and West Africa. It is also the time of Pirates such as Blackbeard, Jack Rackham, Charles Vane and Anne Bonny. The increase in Pirates can be seen as a product of the governments. Wars had stopped and letters of Marque removed leaving many privateers without a legitimate job. Many turned to piracy. After lots of research I bhave decided to focus on the 'Golden Age' as it seems to have a lot more association with trade whereas the Buccaneers are more strongly linked with war.

Now i have to try and decide whether to focus on one country - say Britain - and their approach to dealing with Piracy as focusing on all four of the main powers may be too broad. If I was to focus on one country, I would pick Britain becuase I already know a lot about how they dealt with piracy - the installment of a British Governor, Woodes Rogers, in the Pirate Haven New Providence, King George's 1718 proclomation which pardoned any pirates who surrendoured themselves to the British and the tactics used to capture many of the famous pirates such as Charles Vane and the resulting mass executions.

I would also like to try and fit in something about the perceptions of the general public and how this effected how piracy was dealt with. Many people had and still ahve a romantic (Jonny Depp style) image of Piracy that just wasn't that accurate!

Other than having my head stuck in a book I have finally got round to doing some more sewing! First time I've felt up to it in days :) I've finished two mini plushies - a cat and a dove and am going to embark on making another dove and a sock monkey head next!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

100 Years

I realise that I haven't actually updated this for ages!! So here I am back to waffle again after my holiday, Brownie camp and general other horrible mind occupying stuff!

Just in case you don't know Guiding is about to celebrate it's 100th birthday with year of celebrations. It's been 100 years since several girls turned up uninvited to Robert Baden Powell's Boy Scout Rally at Crystal Palace. After the girls demanded to join the Scouts Baden Powell created the Girl Guiding movement with his wife Olave Baden Powell at the head of it.

And after 100 years of adventure and fun (I sound like some kind of advertisment now!) the movement is still going strong and is every bit as good as the Scouting Movement.

I joined Guiding when I was about a year old. My Mum started helping out at a Rainbow Unit and I came along with her every week and even had my own name 'Raindrop'! Eventually I was old enough to be a Rainbow and then a Brownie and a Guide. I left Guides aged 15 (you're supposed to leave at 14 but me and a friend wouldn't budge!) in 2004 after a trip to Our Chalet in Switzerland and had nowhere to go. We didn't have Rnager Unit and there hadn't been one in the area for a number of years. I stayed in touch with Guiding through the Brownie Pack that I was a Young Leader at - the pack just happened to be my Mum's unit! Whilst at the same time me and the aforementioned friend set about the task of bugging people into setting up a Ranger Unit and eventually in 2006 we got what we wanted :D The Ranger Unit was fantastic - we went on Barge Trips, Camps to Denmark and have recently attended WINGS international camp. Just before I turned 18 I started my Guider Permit so that I could become a Brownie Guider. Now I have two Brownie Packs :D

So I'm pleased to say I'm part of Guding during the Centenary (it also means lots of exciting badges for my blanket!) and have lots of adventures! I will be taking part in Adventure 100 Challange completing 100 challnages over the year - from climbing mountains, sailing and camping to learning about the past and planning for the future.