Wednesday, 23 May 2012

In which Alice has a very exciting week...!

I had a very, very awesome week. :) Firstly, I finished my degree, and secondly, I traded in my boyfriend for an upgraded 'fiancé' model! ;)

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Finishing my finals was a pretty weird feeling. Good, but weird. I don't officially graduate until the end of June, but that will be a mostly meaningless ceremony for me - though I'm sure it'll be nice - as this is the moment where it really feels like it's ending. Eeek! I leave St Andrews on Thursday, for good...

Seeing as how Gav & I have so much history in St Andrews, I invited him over last weekend for One Last St Andrews weekend of Gavin & Alice. It had been miserable weather all week, but it perked up and got out beautiful, just for us!

We started the day with delicious pies from our favourite bakery, Fisher & Donaldson. This shop literally turned me into a meat-eater. Genuinely. I didn't eat meat before I accidentally took a bite out of one of these bad boys. Could you resist these pies?

Bean & Potato Pie


Though I've spent a lot of time around St Andrews Cathedral, which is probably one of my favourite places in the entire world, I had never actually climbed up St Rule's Tower, so I decided that Saturday was the day!

St Rule's Tower


I did not enjoy edging my way nervously up the tiny spiral staircase, but the view from the top was SO worth it~

View from St Rule's


View from St Rule's


Here's Gavin against the beautiful backdrop:

Gavin up St Rule's

.... and some shots Gav took of me and him up there!

Me up St Rule's
Le Couple

Our tower tickets also let us go into the Cathedral museum, which was full of medieval gravestones. I was in medieval nerd heaven.

Cathedral Museum


At this point, we were pretty much actually melting so we had some ice cream~

Ice Cream!


Then we walked along up the Fife coastal path, which is just gorgeous...

Grabby on the Coastal Path


A little way along this path at an unspecified location, you can scramble down to a little beach. If you scramble over the rocks for a bit towards what looks like nothing, you come across this steep slope with bits of rope hanging down. Pull yourself up the ropes, there's a secret cave ♥ 

Cave Gavin


I discovered this cave in my first year at uni and had a lot of cave adventures, where we lit a fire and toasted sausages and marshmallows and stayed very late and stumbled back home a little worse for wear... :P I invited Gavinpants to one such cave adventure as we were just getting to know each other quite well! We had a lot of fun, and I believe it was the next day we decided to be a 'proper' couple. Awwww. How very teenage. :P I introduced him to veggie fingers and he introduced me to gin and Irn Bru. A winning combination, hahah.

Here are some photos I dug up from Facebook from our first Cave Adventures back in March 2009, taken by my friend Fiona:

Me, my friend Anna, and Gavin

Gavin demonstrating his fire-lighting mastery
I honestly can't believe I navigated those rocks and slopes under the influence. It really is quite a scramble! I hadn't been to the cave since 2009, and I got thoroughly muddy scrambling up the path. God bless whoever put those ropes there, it was genius. Honestly could not make it up there without them!

Anyway, we had a look around the cave one last time, then walked back to the little beach where Gavin thought it appropriate to pop the question. ;)

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It was very lovely, and, well, obviously I thought it was a pretty good idea too! So I guess that's that. :)

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We finished off our lovely day with a delicious Japanese meal out and our second viewing of the Avengers at the cinema. (We are the biggest, best losers ever.)

People have been asking me lots of questions, so here you go! The finer points of the Alice & Gavin partnership. :)
  • It was a surprise, but I knew it was coming more or less! I don't know how normal that is, but the idea of being caught totally by surprise terrifies me. Ohmygoodness if someone just turned round out of the blue and asked me to make such a monumental life decision on the spot without having talked about it, I think I would just panic and vomit on them or something.
  • I did have input on the ring to some extent, but all ultimate decisions lay with Gavin. Didn't he do well? ;) I am a bit funny about metal and buying me a metal object without prior consultation is kind of a no-no! For example, gold totally freaks me out. (Ahh, my "quirks". Heh.)
  • It is palladium, which I find very exciting! I think it is the unsung cousin of the jewellery industry, especially for engagement rings. It's lovely! 
  • We don't have a date! We are in no hurry, and will wait for such a time as feels appropriate. I'm currently unemployed, and we would like for us to settle somewhere and have some financial ground to stand on before we do Wedding Spendies. (But don't worry. I have a pinterest! Hahah! I can plan on a budget. :P)
  • So yes, probably a long engagement, which suits us both. I know some people see it as a "we are planning our wedding" kind of announcement, but for us it also means a whole host of other things. Marrying is obviously our endgame, but we don't mind taking our time. :) 
  • I would kind of like to tentatively suggest spring 2014, but that is completely dependent on things going to the timescale I am imagining! First stage, graduate and find a job...!
  • There will be kilts. And a ceilidh. These things I insist upon. :P
I feel a little bit like my life is getting turned upside down right now, and it is indescribably lovely to be able to be so certain about something in a way people can understand. Also, of course, Gavin is, you know, the coolest person I've ever met, and he doesn't even have to try. (Sorry for paraphrasing Juno, but it's just so appropriate in every way!) I feel incredibly blessed to have found him so comparatively young, like I have a head-start on life! :) I mean, just look. He's the best.

Aaannnd that is quite enough soppy for one entry. ;) 

alice xox

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tricking myself into being healthy with homemade ice pops

As I type this, it is absolutely bucketing down with rain and I am curled up in bed under the duvet, shivering. Oh, Scotland. Even so, I am determined to persevere in my (apparently mistaken) belief that It Is Summer, and so I should Do Summery Things.


Along with the rest of the world, I am completely addicted to Pinterest, and these homemade lollies are inspired by a delicious looking pin. Please finish admiring my attempt before you click on this link, as mine are far less beautiful than theirs! They are popsicles made of fruit and fruit juice, and they are delicious.


The original recipe uses fresh fruit, but I just bought a big mixed packet of frozen fruit, because I am but a poor student. I think it works just as well, even if I couldn't slice them up and make the lollies as beautiful. I also used orange juice from concentrate, rather than grape juice. A delicious and excellent choice. It was super, super simple - I crammed as much fruit into each mould as I could, then poured the orange juice to fill in the gaps. Super easy!


I love these ice lolly moulds I found at Morrisons - especially the dorky little straw attachments so you can suck all the melted bits out from the bottom. Total genius!

Here's hoping summer actually arrives in Scotland soon...

alice xox

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I'm a sucker for things with big eyes and unusual proportions

Summer 2012 is kind of a big deal for the UK. It's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and there's this little event called the Olympics - you might have heard of it - that we're hosting. My mum got lucky in the ticket draw and so both of us are even going to down to London in August to see some athletics events. Being British, I'm very practiced at understatement, but if you'll allow me a moment of excitement...

YOU GUYS. THE OLYMPICS ARE IN LONDON. AND I'M GOING!

It's pretty much common opinion that the logo is a disaster. Not least due to its unfortunate... similarities. (I don't want to traumatise you, but read that wikipedia link, and you'll see what I'm referring to. I'm warning you though - once you know, you can't unsee it.) I'm not keen on the logo at all, but you know what I do love? I completely adore the mascots, Mandeville and Wenlock.

Their origin story was written by Michael Morpurgo, and it's really quite cute. Basically, they are two drops of molten steel that fall from the last girder of the Olympic stadium and come to life when a rainbow shines on them. A bit ridiculous, but stupidly cute. I know a lot of people think they're completely daft, but I think they're awesome. This is turning out to be a pretty dangerous opinion, as the shops are packed with adorable little Wenlocks and Mandevilles...



So much cuddly goodness! I just want to hurl myself at the shelves and take them all home. I haven't actually given into my cuddly mascot needs yet, but I did have a bit of an accident in the keyring section...

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There's something very Pokemon-esque about these guys. I love it, of course. I know I just love things with big eyes and ridiculous proportions, but they also fly around leaving a rainbow trail behind them (nyancat style!) and the little headlights on their heads light up in the dark. Too cute!

My personal favourite of all the Olympics merchandise so far. Yummy!
As if the shops aren't baiting my wallet enough, there is a bunch of awesome stuff floating around for the Jubilee, too.

If only I had £75 to drop on a teapot...
Union Jack rock!

Summer 2012 is also kind of a big deal for me. A week today, I finish my last ever exams! As you can see, I am hard at work, admiring the interior of John Lewis's. Oops? :D

alice xox