Cooking in the Secret Garden with Gordon Ramsay

I’m sure I’ve asked this question before but… where on Earth do Amazon get their recommendations from? I admity they’re usually pretty good at predicting what I’ll like, and in this particular case they may be right again but I’m totally confused about their reasoning.
Amazon UK says I should buy “Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite”. Fair enough. I’ve bought cook books from Amazon before, it’s not entirely out of the question that I might want one written by Gordon Ramsay. Maybe I’ll even buy it. But… underneath the recommendation there’s always a little sentence telling you why they think you might like it. Under Gordon Ramsay I spotted the words “Recommended because you rated The Secret Garden and more.” What? Why? What on Earth does a recipe book by a TV chef have to do with a children’s book about an orphaned girl who finds her way into a locked garden? As far as I can remember there’s no cooking in The Secret Garden and I’m fairly sure there are no orphans in the Gordon Ramsay book (although I suppose there may be gardens… or at least stuff that comes from the garden), so how does the fact that I enjoyed The Secret Garden lead Amazon to believe that I might want to buy a cook book? The mind boggles, or at least mine does.

I’m off to bed now. I know it’s not even 11 o’clock yet but the alternative would be falling asleep across the keyboard, which would be much less comfortable and leave me with key shaped imprints all over my face… not quite my preferred look for work.

How to do your laundry in a student residence

I was woken up at 10 to 3 this morning by my phone beeping. A text message. Was it a fire? A flood? Had somebody had an accident?

No! It was from E-Plus telling me I have no credit and should top up now, now, now becasue they so desperately need the money! Why do they feel the need to inform me of something I already know at such a ridiculous hour? Do they think waking people up will make them more likely to do as they’re told. “Yes E-Plus, I will put hundreds of euros on my phone. Just please let me get some sleep!” Maybe I should try it. I’ll call random friends when I know they’re sleeping and demand money from them. I’ll either end up rich or friendless…
Usually I don’t let it get to the stage where I have literally no money on my phone, but this time my boyfriend ruined that plan by answering the phone when I tried to one ring him. Who picks up on the first ring anyway? I bet if I’d actually wanted him to pick up it would have taken 10 rings, or 15 or 20. I suppose E-Plus is right really, I do need to top up my phone. But with what money? Hmmm? Answer me that one you lovely people at E-Plus.

There are many things I would like to do if I had money. Move out of this place for a start. This morning I had to spend 10 minutes cleaning the mud out of the bottom of the shower before I could actually get in and wash myself. Thank you so much whoever left the mud in there. I need to do some washing as well but I can’t… until Friday! There are 2 washing machines in my building. Two! For more than 100 people! To use a washing machine you have to get an appointment. So yesterday before work I trailed down into the cellar to try and get an appointment… There were no appintments left at all yesterday. For today every slot between 6 (when I finish work) and midnight (the last slot) was taken. Same for tomorrow. I managed to get one appointment for Friday evening. That’s one load of washing, two if I time it exactly right and manage to first get my washing into the machine dead on 7:30pm and then manage to get down there with my second load just as the first cycle finishes. Doing laundry in this building is a fine art.

I also need to get new clothes when I finally have money. Clothes for the summer. I’m not just saying this in an “I am female and I really need new clothes beacuse I just do and that’s all there is to it, ok?” kind of way. I really, really do need summer clothes. Or at least summer clothes that are suitable for work. I’m currently sitting here in brown pin-striped trousers, a top with three quarter length sleeves and a pair of boots with fur inside them. Yes, fur. My feet a boiling and I’m not even at work yet. So I need shoes. And I need skirts so my legs don’t have to boil in trousers. But most of all I just need money!

Things to do when you’re bored

My stats are telling me that those people that aren’t enquiring about Joachim Loew (please can someone explain to me what the obsession is?) mostly find my blog via Google searches for things like “I am bored”, “I’m getting bored” or “so bored now”. Unfortunately my blog isn’t very interesting, so all these poor bored Googlers probably went away feeling even worse than when they’d started. But just in case any of them does decide to stop for long enough to actually read something on my blog I thought I’d compile a list of things to do when you’re bored.

  1. Read a book. If you’re not normally much of a reader try getting hold of a book that a film you like was based on. The books are almost always as good if not better than the film. Stephen King’s The Green Mile for example is an excellent book, and one of the few I’ve read where the film actually stuck to the plot. If you’re female and enjoyed the film Beaches, see if you can get hold of the book by Iris Rainer Dart. Much, much, much better than the film.
  2. Go somewhere. If you have a bike go for ride, otherwise take a walk. Even in the smallest of villages there’s always somewhere you can walk. Take your mp3 player with you if you like and listen to your favourite music while breathing in the fresh air. Maybe you’ll find something else to do on your travels – a football game you can join in or a new shop to look in. You won’t be bored anymore and you’ll be getting some exercise. Double bonus!
  3. If you can afford it, try getting on the train or bus and going somewhere new for a day trip. You could even go by car if you have one. Take a trip to a nearby town that you’ve nevr been to before, take a look around and see what’s there. Or go to the zoo or sealife centre. Always fun, no matter what your age.
  4. Learn a new language. There are plenty of websites where you can learn the basics for free. To start you off here’s the URL for the BBC languages website:
    If you don’t feel like learning one language properly try learning four words in a few languages: Hello, goodbye, please, thank you. Brilliant for impressing the locals on your next holiday! They’ll be so much more friendly if you can thank them in their own language…
  5. If you’re not interested languages there are plenty of other skills out there waiting for you to discover them. You could learn to knit, or the art of paper folding or even teach yourself to play an instrument. The possibilities are endless.
  6. Start a blog. Write about whatever comes into your head. Before you know it loads of time will have passed.
  7. Bake a cake. Always fun, and you get to eat it afterwards. The only part that isn’t so fun is cleaning up the mess you make…
  8. Write a letter. It’s all about e-mails these days and hardly anyone sends proper post anymore. Sending snail mail is guaranteed to brighten up someone’s day as well as making you feel less bored.
  9. Play a game. A board game or a card game. Get your whole family to join in. Games nights are a lot of fun.
  10. Take an Open University course. They have so many there’s sure to be something you’ll like!
  11. Go out ans get some exercise. Join a gym or a football club. Take salsa lessons. Go jogging or take up yoga. There’s bound to be some kind of sporting activity you’ll like doing.
  12. If you really can’t think of anything better to do watch a DVD or play a computer game.
  13. Take a nap. You can’t be bored when you’re sleeping…

That’s all for now. I’m sure there are many more things I do when I’m bored, but right now I can’t think of them. If anyone else has any suggestions feel free to leave them in my comments. Maybe the next time a bored person stumbles across my blog they’ll find something more interesting to do than telling Google how bored they are…