ness rambles, ness talks about life

a christmas away from home

merry-christmas-2984138_1920.jpgThis Christmas was my first spent away from home, without family, and with the burden of cooking resting on my shoulders and that of my friend.

It was a little bit hard, but FaceTime exists, and so do books.


On the whole, the meals that my friend and I cooked were edible. It’s been well over twenty-four hours now and neither of us have expired. We cooked an English Breakfast followed by a Sunday Roast followed by … nothing; we were too full.



  • If your muffin tray is rusted, just give up on making the Yorkshire puddings. DO NOT – and I repeat, DO NOT – use cupcake holders and put too much of the mix inside.
  • If you do this, bin it. Your Yorkshire puds will turn into Welsh ones – soggy.
  • … aaannnddd they will be like flour glue. Flour. Glue.
  • Maybe don’t use chicken gravy for pork. Doesn’t quite go._220206.jpg
  • Don’t get exotic sounding sausages. They do not match an English breakfast. You will bin them.
  • Don’t make cupcakes with no recipe with the remaining Yorkshire pudding mix.
  • Don’t overcook the cupcakes you just made.
  • Don’t eat the overcooked cupcakes you just made – they will be hard and they will taste like sweet bread with sugar granules and chocolate chips to garnish.


With breakfast, we watched Four Lions which is a dark British comedy about four terrorists. It was not an overwhelmingly Christmas movie.

We both FaceTimed home. I spoke to my parents about drugs and life and witches which entertained everyone involved, I think.

Afterwards, with dinner, we partook of Pride and Prejudice – and, please don’t slay me –  but I’ve never found Colin Firth to be attractive.


I suppose it is because the first time I ever watched him on-screen, I was quite small and he was just an ancient bloke on a TV diving into a pond for some reason unknown to me.

And then, I curled up on the sofa with a book, An Unlikely Duchess by Mary Balogh – which had STRONG AND MARVELLOUS Heyer undertones and so made me very happy.

And finally, we watched Spiderman: Homecoming with friends. I’ve discovered that I too need Captain America to be there to help me through life.

so, you broke a nail …


The house that my friend lives in has AMAZING acoustics and so she had a violin and I had a tenor recorder and we played carols and songs. We are going on tour soon – and will be bringing tears to people’s eyes. Tears of PAIN!

(I’m kidding. I just really love that joke.)

Presents were from as far a field as England, and as near a field as a Wal-Mart. We had stockings and opened presents like grown-ups. (I’m just kidding – we broke and opened a present each the night before.)


Was I homesick, you ask? Yes. A little. But I survived – with the aid of friends, plenty of FaceTime, movies, books, and sort of edible cooking.

Happy New Year!

ness talks about life

Valentine’s Day.

Ah, Valentine’s Day … the day where love, chocolate and flowers abound. I’ve never much paid attention to it. The only Valentine’s Day I have ever celebrated was spent at MacDonald’s.

It was a momentous occasion.

But, instead of languishing the dark depths of ‘I am so alone‘ I have decided to focus on one of my favourite fictional couples. Because … because. Just because.

… because there is no ‘Real Life Couple’ of which I am part. Let me weep. Let me wallow in my misery.

Nick and Nora Charles of the Thin Man movies

These two are marvelous. They are the very opposite of cliché. They solve murders and sip their beverages and walk their dog, Asta, and are so, so refreshingly not your typical movie couple.

They aren’t dramatic. They aren’t Romeo and Juliet. For one thing, neither of them are thirteen.

Yeah, Shakespeare, I’m lookin’ at you.

… and for another:

Nora: You know, that sounds like an interesting case. Why don’t you take it?

Nick: I haven’t the time. I’m much too busy seeing that you don’t lose any of the money I married you for.

dude’s a keeper

They also seem unaware that the key element of Fictional Romances (as a rule) are Misunderstandings. For instance, when Nora walks in on Nick with another woman in her arms, instead of acting horrified and storming out because her heart has been broken and will never, ever recover, this happens:

He pulls a face at her, she pulls a face back at him.

Situation = resolved.

I can only conclude that she trusts him. (What an astounding idea). All of which cements Nick and Nora Charles as one of the best fictional couples I have hitherto stumbled across.

Happy Valentine’s Day