A Long Day in January

January

With Trump’s inauguration imminent, we always knew January 2017 wasn’t going to be a brilliant month. I feel like we really underestimated it, though. President Trump wasted no time in instating his campaign promises, with climate change bills destroyed and Obamacare disbanded, and plans for walls and bans on foreigners introduced. ‘Alternative facts’ are spread in a Big Brother-esque fashion. (How unusual for a politician to make good on their promises. Just our luck that the only one to do it is the dangerous, deranged alien from another planet.) Theresa May shows Britons up by chummying up to Trump on her US visit. I’d like everyone in the world to know that Britain didn’t technically vote for Teresa May to lead our country. Britain retaliates in the most British of ways, with a petition urging the government to cancel Trump’s state visit to the UK. It needs 100,000 signatures for it to be ‘considered for debate’ in Parliament. At the time of writing, it has 1.6 million. (There are 64 million people in Britain, in case you’re curious.)

On the celebrity death front, we hoped the last gasp that was Christmas 2016 was the end. 2017 tried really, really hard, but then Sir John Hurt died. (Odd that having portrayed Winston Smith in 1984, he should die just before we begin to live it in real life.)

Speaking of real life, January marked the beginning of my new life after handing in my Masters Dissertation at the beginning of the month. So now as an official lazy, job-seeking graduate, I’ve been putting my new-found free time to good use and spent most of January binge-watching TV and reading books.

The beginning of the month kicked off with Sherlock. It left me confused. I watched all the episodes twice (too much concentrating to watch it once) but I’m still unsure. I joined the Sherlock Fan Club shortly after series three was released, and I watched series one, two, and three back-to-back in the space of about three days. One and two were perfect. Three was probably wonderful following the series two cliff-hanger. Four was a little bit too try-hard. I wanted Sherlock to solve curious crimes with clever observations. I wanted to have that ‘oh yeah, that’s obvious now’ feeling at the end when Sherlock explains everything. I got self-indulgent character arcs and unnecessary siblings. Hmmm.

On to more satisfying programmes. A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix was every bit as creepy and kooky as I’d hoped and I loved it even more than the film (and I loved the film a lot). I’m now re-reading the series and I feel like I’m ten again. Also binge-watched the Goldbergs (hilarious) and caught up with The Middle (most underrated comedy hands down).

To make life seem more exciting, I’ve booked far too many theatre tickets to give me something to look forward to. First is Evita (‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ musical), then in February there’s Sunny Afternoon (‘The Kinks’ musical), and June brings The Addams Family musical. I quote lines from The Addams Family movies almost hourly so I have high hopes for the musical.

And for some unknown reason (more money than sense, I suspect?) I bought myself two tickets to see the Harry Potter musical (again. Don’t hate me ‘cause you ain’t me.). It’s not until April 2018 so no-one mention it until then.

You’d think with my life being so empty currently that I’d be doing a lot of baking and blogging. You’d be wrong.

cheese quiche

First up was a recipe for Cheese, Ham, and Onion quiche. As always, the Christmas cheeseboard extended to sixteen cheese varieties and many, many, many cheese-related baked goods, including a number of takes on this quiche.

cherry scones

Then there was a recipe for Cherry Bakewell Scones. These were made with cherry and marzipan and were delicious with clotted cream and tea.

Last recipe for January was for chocolate fondant tarts with hazelnut pastry. Like Nutella in tart form, the gooey chocolate filling plus the hazelnut pastry tasted so good, and was surprisingly so simple to make.

cheese scones

barley porridge

cranachan

steak and ale pie

This time last year were recipes for Cheeseboard scones– again, I guess I was trying to use up the Christmas cheeseboard! There was also a recipe for almond milk and barley porridge (from when I was going through a healthy phase) plus a traditional Scottish recipe to tie in with Burns Night with Cranachan and Shortbread. Finally we rounded off January 2016 with a recipe for Steak and Ale pie.

This is my life now. Reading it back this is the dullest January post ever. Life is dull. Job hunting is depressing. To top it all off, I’ve ended January with a full-blown cold. I’m not one to feel sorry for myself when I’m ill but right now I feel terrible so I’m on the sofa in pyjamas watching Netflix on the big telly. I have tea and blankets and many, many tissues. If it weren’t for all the nose-blowing and coughing, it would actually be quite nice.

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