Friday, 31 October 2014

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

Martian cake coloured orange with green tentacles
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they said...
I've really been enjoying getting ready for Halloween this week. Last year I got back from Burma a couple of days before Halloween, but was so ill with viruses that I simply couldn't do anything for it. Let's face it, the workmates probably wouldn't have welcomed a lurgy cake. This year, it's been super just to put my terracotta pumpkin lantern in the fireplace, switch on my LED ornaments and listen to some cheesy seasonal tunes. And, of course, plan The Cake. I try to make one each year. This year I took my inspiration from 50s B-movies and made a Martian cake. I'm not great at decorating, so I went for a very easy red earth look, plus some marzipan tentacles and a fondant walker. Underneath all that orange-flavoured icing is a tasty chocolate and orange marble cake filled with chocolate fudge icing.


Tonight I plan to wrap sausages in puff pastry and call them 'mummy fingers'; as Mr Robot loves sausage rolls he doesn't care what I call them as long as they are plentiful. Also, Goth at the BBC is on BBC4. I can still fit into the dress I wore to see The Fields of the Nephilim in 1990, and might just be sad enough to put it on for the programme...

On the subject of Martians, my complimentary copy of The Sci Fi Chronicles, the book I contributed to, arrived this week. I actually wrote about HG Wells, writer of The War of the Worlds, for this, as well as Frankenstein and lots of splendid other old science fiction. It's weird; now I've got the book it feels vaguely underwhelming. For ages I was bouncing around like a kangaroo with excitement and now I've got it, my brain is going, “Well, it's words, that's what you do. What's special about that?” Stupid brain. Anyway, it's a chunky book, and it's ace to see how my contributions were edited and illustrated to become part of the whole thing, which is entertaining and comprehensive. I've really enjoyed reading the entries on things I love but didn't get to write about myself, such as Quatermass. Guy Haley, the editor, clearly put in a shedload of work splitting things up into subsets of science fiction and colour-coding them. (He is a Proper Writer, with multiple works of fiction to his name, and has his own blog called Haley's Comment.)

Over on Ravelry I'm participating in a Jim Henson-themed swap. I won't say much about what my partner likes as I don't want to give any clues about who I'm sending to if they're reading this, but it's great to be making things for a swap again. As much as I'm not keen on lots about the late 1960s and 1970s, the Muppets could only have come from that time, with all their colours, benign anarchy and cheery emphasis on equality. Knitting for the swap has thrown my 1940s cardigan off track a little, but I can live with that. I'm also thinking of embroidering another pillowcase, but that will definitely have to wait until the swap is over. The swap is on a time limit and so takes priority!

And, erm, I bought a dress. It's just the right time of year for a 1950s/60s buttermilk coloured broderie linen wiggle dress... Basically, I'm a little heavier than I was this time last year (too many Martians, probably... mmm, tasty Martians!) and none of my work skirts fit properly, so I did some cheer-myself-up shopping. Which is stupid and selfish as Christmas is on the way and I need to buy gifts. Still, I'll have a lovely dress to show for it.

Have you had a fun week? Did you do anything nice for Halloween? It's bonfire night next week, so I'm gearing up for jacket potatoes, MOAR sausages, and the sky over Trowbridge exploding...

9 comments :

  1. Excellent! Happy Halloween Mim!

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  2. Oh boo I thoroughly understand and sympathize with the shopping trip, I have done that often. Also I think you always find the perfect things when you aren't meant to be shopping for yourself!
    and at the end of the day you have found a perfect dress so all is good right?

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    1. Yup, I'm not going to be miserable at getting a new dress!

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  3. Your cake looks great, such fun! It sounds very tasty too. Congratulations on your book contribution, I think that is very exciting, allow yourself to be impressed!

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    1. I was really pleased with the cake - orange can be tricky. It wasn't overpowering, though.

      Next mission: a book with my name on the cover. Better get working...

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  4. I can't wait to see your dress, it sounds lovely! Well done on the book contribution too, that must feel great. P x

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    1. The book thing was kind of underwhelming. I should sit down and read it properly and take it in, I guess. I get more of a kick out of my knitting patterns!

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  5. What a fun cake, it looks wonderful! My husband insists on homemade (vegetarian) sausage rolls every Christmas Eve, he decided by himself that it should become a tradition and so it has!
    I saw that Goth at the BBC programme too, I was interested to see some of the bands who I had heard of but never heard and of course I love The Cult :)
    Congratulations on the book! I'd love to hold my own writing in book form ... one day.
    A Jim Henson swap, that sounds fun! Labyrinth is my favourite Henson vehicle. I look forward to seeing what you make for your swap partner xxx

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    1. It's good to have your own Christmas traditions, they make the season extra special.

      Seeing The Sisters of Mercy live on Top of the Pops was what blasted me straight into babygothhood; it was as though a lightbulb appeared over my head and I thought, "THIS is what I've been wanting!" I'd been listening to a lot of rock and metal but that wasn't quite right. Goth hit the spot. I still love it!

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