Friday, 29 October 2010

Stuff that I'm sure only I do

This post could also be entitled  "How to get funny looks from strangers" or "Reasons why I'm single" :->
Here is an insight into the life of Anna Railton.

Who is completely not crazy.


Watching Masterchef

 OK, so not completely out of the ordinary. However, whenever I do, I always seem to be eating something so incredibly un-gourmet it's ridiculous, e.g. a mug of custard (made from Bird's powder), or tuna from a can or a bowl of plain rice because I'd already eaten what accompanied it by the time the rice had cooked.

I am never going to make pancetta foam. Mainly because

{time to make pancetta foam} << {time for my brain to register the presense of bacon and OM NOM NOM NOM NOM}

Ditto with the elaborate puddings - all their constituent ingredients would have been eaten long before anything resembling the recipe could be constructed.

New maltloaf flavour excitement

OK, this is a little embarrassing. No one should get as excited as I did when I first saw this:
New packaging is crap though. Mainly because it doesn't match my cycling jacket now. Bastards.
They can levitate you know.

Quickly followed by...
Bearing in mind that I was wearing (used) rowing kit at the time, the other customers of the Ely Tesco must have had their fingers poised over the "call" button on their phone with the number to the nearest mental institution pre-dialled as I ran round the store almost crying with joy clasping the said baked product close to me.

Obligatory new maltloaf ranking:

Fruit loaf < Banana loaf < Cinnamon and raisin loaf < Maltloaf < Large maltloaf < 50% extra free large maltloaf*

*Have you seen these? They are huuugggggee.

So it wasn't even that good. Certainly not worth getting arrested for breaching the peace over. UPSETTING. Worth trying though.

Crying over split milk

I do this. I am not ashamed. Milk is the elixir of life. Without it there is no porridge, no coffee, no rice pudding NO ANYTHING GOOD.

Buying stuff in powers of 2

I attribute this to spending too much time in the maths department. Essentially, I only really feel comfortable buying stuff if it is a power of 2, i.e. if I wanted a cucumber or multiple cucumbers, I would buy one cucumber, two cucumbers, four cucumbers, eight cucumbers etc. Probably not 16 cucumbers because that is a lot of cucumbers.

Things get tricky if there are 3 for 2 offers. Three is sort of alright, and nine is fine as it's square. But not six. Six can go an die in a fire. It's a horrible number. A good way round this is if there are different flavours of stuff, I can get two of one kind and one of another.

Fucking hell. I've just read that through and realised how incredibly autistic I sound. But I suppose normal people don't do maths degrees. They certainly don't also walk round a city with tea in a mug with equations on it either because they want to and because they can. Not that I've ever done that. Obviously.

Anyway, this is why I usually end up massively overbuying food and why shopping in Sainsury's is like a weights session with my 8 cans of soup, 8 cans of chopped tomatos and 16 pints of milk.

Talking to the Master

For those who don't know, each college in Cambridge has its own Master who is someone whose had a long and distinguished career in something or other. The Master of Pembroke is a former head of MI6 and happens to quite like rowers. This is how I found myself in this position the other morning:
I like to wear slippers in the library and I was on the way to the library. Hence the slippers.
So that's how I ended up talking about rowing to a former intellegence chief while carrying purple fluffy slippers. I am fairly certain this has never happened to anyone in the history of the world ever.

I am now going to attempt to erase this event from my memory.

~~~~~*****Mind bleach*****~~~~~


Cycling round Ely as dawn breaks listening to Eminem's W.T.P.

Is it bad that I think some of Eminem's stuff is really clever? Probably.
But this is mainly because this is incredibly specific. I bet you've never done October trials wearing BB leggings, your college one piece and this either.
Either that or The Prodigy (They call me Spitfire!!!! Oh yes they do!). Or Tallis. Or Charlie Parker. Or Sinéad O'Connor, who is incidentally the only folk-type singer I can bare to listen to. I went to the Cambridge Folk Festival this summer and it was all fine until they opened their mouths and started singing
I don't really like banjos either.
For some reason as soon as they do this, all enjoyment is completely sucked out of the music like some sort of  harmonic black hole. Once you go over the harmonic black hole event horizon you will form such an incalculably deep loathing of the artist that you will not ever be able to dispell it, even if they stop singing, produce a ukelele and play the Baby Elephant Walk on it while doing a handstand.

As a result of this, for most of the folk festival I could be found in the club tent listening to small timers playing the hurdy gurdy. Now that's an instrument and a half.
But yes, my mp3 player is a little schizophrenic to say the least. I see nothing wrong with listening to Pendulum (Immersion was the official sound track to this year's October trials - which is funny because it was In Silico the year before) then switching to Bach's "The Art of Fugue" without pausing for breath (which is so awesome it cannot be put into words. Contrapunctus 9 pretty much always makes me cry). 

But now you all think I'm some sort of music-y pretentious prat. But whatever.

Bach = max {Human achievement}

Fraid so medical science, NASA space program, Millau viaduct. You just got owned by a guy with a harpsichord from the 18th century.
EDIT: OK, so in reply to this:
Don't get me wrong, I love the bridges. Heck, I'm the daughter of an engineer!
Certainly, the Millau viaduct is nothing short of majestic (and it's a bit mental! Serious kudos to the french for going "Yeahhhh. Fuckit. Let's build a bridge 300m high. Because we are french and we can."). I'll be in so much awe when they manage to span the Bering Strait too. But a "few old tunes"? At the end of the day, a bridge just gets you from one place to another but Bach can repair holes in your soul. IN YOUR SOUL.

And I am very opinionated and am not going to budge on this :-)


  1. Re the kit worn for October trials.... December trials. Ridiculous kit competition. Bonus points for (a) shaving head or (b) having unnecessary internal organs surgically removed to be more aero / carry less weight, or any other measures that I deem to be more extreme than either or both of the above...

  2. This blog is so full of win! Love reading it :D

  3. "Things get tricky if there are 3 for 2 offers. Three is sort of alright, and nine is fine as it's square. But not six. Six can go an die in a fire. It's a horrible number. A good way round this is if there are different flavours of stuff, I can get two of one kind and one of another."

    That is so ... I want to say 'cool' at the same time as knowing that 'cool' is precisely the wrong word for what that is. You probably know what I mean :)

    Anyway. Your blog is awesome. :D

  4. @ Eudoxia n Jonost - cheers guys :-)

  5. Brilliant - if rather worryingly familiar in several places...

  6. Bach vs Millau viaduct?

    - admittedly, Millau was ‘designed’ by Norman Foster on a post-it in 30 seconds, but Michel Virlogeux and the team did a proper job designing a graceful structure to give us all something of tangible beauty vs a few old tunes (PS: Foster did a proper job on the Gherkin)

  7. Ahh Anna, i never knew you liked that hurdy gurdy so much ;)

  8. @pr - see EDIT at the bottom of post.

    @Anonymous2: Is that Toby? If so, hi Toby! *waves*
    Hurdy gurdy love! Woo!

  9. Personally I think the Millau viaduct is overrated anyway. It's puny compared to the Pearl Bridge or the Humber Bridge (which is in England so naturally better than anything French).

  10. The Millau viaduct was designed by Brits anyway, so we can claim it as our own :)

    Banana Maltloaf has been around before I'm afraid. I think they keep releasing it and then withdrawing it every so often because no one buys it.

  11. Mmmm. Bridges. Also mmmm trebuchets.

    Also never seen the Pearl bridge before. Jeez that thing is impressive.

    I also like the way they put in a random suspension bit to keep it interesting.

  12. That's a pretty damn cool bridge, but that's not THE pearl bridge

    (unless you knew that and were just posting it while the topic was on bridges and you had the rare opportunity)

  13. Ohhhh. Sorry, google images fail. Longest suspension span thingy ay? Nice.

  14. So, liking powers of two... the question is, whether liking powers of two is a contributory factor to your sport being rowing, or whether rowing is a contributory factor to you liking powers of two. Or neither. :-)
    Your blog is great, the pictures are sheer genius - and even my non-boatie housemate has decided to read it cos he likes a good rant dotted with amusing stick figures as much as the next person. :-)

  15. @ Anonymous.

    Powers of two.... rowing crews.... HOW HAVE I NEVER REALISED THIS? :-D Woooooo!