Food and the Trouble with Social Media

As many of you well know, I have a little bit of an addiction with social media. I can hear you nodding in agreement, probably as you try to ignore my latest inane tweet, attention grabbing Facebook post or “vintage” style photograph from Instagram. I should spend less time on these sites but they interest me very much.

I love being able to keep in touch with my closest friends on Facebook now that we have all been separate by university; I love the banter and debate that Twitter provokes and more recently I have enjoyed sharing pictures with everyone on Instagram. But it’s also nice to take a look back and see what kind of things one has posted. I did this, and I have identified that I have a deep fascination with one topic. Food.

I tweet about it, I post about it, and I even take photos of it and share them. It looks like it’s all I think about, and I’m wondering if it is something that should concern me, as I sit here writing whilst devouring some chocolate buttons.

I’m not usually a fan of “instablogging” but here are some of the highlights of my social media and food relationship from the past few months. I might even post some of the recipes in the future, so please let me know what interests you.  You can do this by tweeting me, commenting on here, on my Facebook page, on an Instagram post…

This is an in-progress shot of a pasta sauce I was making, made to the recipe that my Nonna uses (and her tomato passata bottles)

 

Here’s a very nice Pad Thai I made only the other night. I love Thai food in particular, and this is one of my favourite Thai dishes, plus it simple to cook. 

 

Insomnia and hunger do not mix. I made this Rocket & Parmesan salad with a balsamic dressing at about 1:30am when I couldnt sleep. On another note, I should probably stop watching Nigella Lawson

 

A Parma Ham and mozzarella ciabatta sandwich that I ate at my dad’s eatery Carlo’s Kitchen on Union Street. Very nice. Especially after a day of lectures and a train journey.

 

I made this vegetable soup myself! It’s so healthy, delicious and cheap which is perfect for being a student.

 

Finally, here’s me eating a pavlova that my mum made. Its my favourite dessert, and she made it on the day of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, hence the Union jack (and gin & tonic).

 

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IT’S THE END!

Finally, I have reached the end of my A Level exams! My last one, biology, was this morning and I have an amazing sense of freedom right now! Its great to be able to put all the exam’s behind me and just have a good time. I’m looking forward to going to some great parties, spending more time with friends as well as with my family. I’ve got a great trip coming up with my Dad which will involve lots of wine drinking and food, as well as a trip to Barcelona with friends, which will give me a chance to start  travel blogging again.

The pile of notes I don’t have to look at ever again!

I’m not entirely confident that I have got the right grades for the univeristy courses that I have applied for, so I’m researching courses to apply for on clearing already, as well aslooking at all my options. My geography and English exams went well, but biology, as always, was a struggle. I’m going to work hard this summer to make sure I have lots of options at the end of the year. I feel like this summer is going to be good for me, I’m looking forward to moving onto new things, and just having fun again!

You might have noticed already, but I’ve set up a new Facebook page for my blog. I don’t want to keep annoying friends and family with blog posts! It’s going to be the place for new blog posts and other content on Facebook, so like it if you like my blog! http://www.facebook.com/andreaavenablog

Is the St. George’s flag racist?

The St. George's flag flying over Downing Street.

Today I read a rather controversial article that quoted a poll, which suggested that nearly a quarter of English people believed that flying their national flag and being nationalist were a form of racism.  However, the same article suggested that over 80% of people felt patriotic towards the British Union Jack.

The Union Jack has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and its design now features on any tourist souvenir stall, to home ware shops and even in high street fashion. This may be attributed to the Royal Wedding Effect, which saw a boost in patriotism last year, and this year’s forthcoming Diamond Jubilee. However, it seems that the St.George’s flag’s popularity has declined in recent years.

Although I am in no way suggesting that all people who choose to fly the English flag are racist, it can’t be denied that the flag has unfortunately become associated with far-right groups and hooliganism. I feel that the population at large have become embarrassed to fly the flag because of these reasons, and I point the finger of blame at the minority of extreme nationalists we have to put up with in our democracy.

Maybe our English flag needs some rebranding – it is after all the flag of St. George, the Roman soldier who in mythology slayed a dragon to save a young woman, who is also our patron saint. St. George, after all, wasn’t English, and his day April 23rd, is celebrated in many countries around the world.

I personally would like to see the St. George’s flag flying in celebration of St. George. To me, it symbolises a link we have with people from many nationalities, which should be celebrated in this day and age. However, it seems that many people believe that the Union Jack represents them in a better way, and that is a great thing for our society. To me, it says that the majority of people reject the views of the extremist minority that have sadly tainted the St. George’s flag, and that to me is a very patriotic message to send out.

What are your views? Do you prefer the St. George’s flag or the Union Jack? Comment below  or on Twitter. 

It’s time for you to take a break

We’re one month into 2012 and this is my first proper blog post of the year! To be honest, the last four weeks since I counted down until midnight and made my New Year resolutions have flown by in a blur of school work, exams, getting university offers and generally planning ahead in my life.

Many of us have to constantly plan ahead and organise our days and weekends, and as we all know, it’s important that we take some time out for that. Making time for friends, family and having some fun can help you move forward in your life more effectively than obsessing over work and getting stressed by it.

I myself will be taking some time out next month to go on a ski trip with my sixth form friends. I’ve only skied once before, and that was nearly three years ago, so I hope that I haven’t forgotten how to ski – not that I was that much of a pro anyway! We’re going to be skiing in northern Italy, and I found out this week that they’re very heavy snow there at the moment, so we should have a good amount to land on as I inevitably tumble down the mountain.

Oh yeah, I am this good...

Another plan that I’ve made to have some fun is a trip to Barcelona in August with some friends. We’re staying in a hostel, got some cheap flights from EasyJet and we’re going to go and explore the sights, culture and bars (mainly the bars) of Barcelona.

Although this is really exciting for me, I know you’ll probably be wondering why I’m deciding to share my plans for holidays with you. Well, it’s only partly due to the fact that I’m suffering from exam-induced writer’s block, but also because these plans have made me realise what I want to do in life.

I always knew that I wanted to go to university to study, and socialise, and recently (just as I was applying, to be honest!) I knew I wanted to study Geography, but I have always been unsure of a career path. Well, it’s not a huge idea, but as I was looking at these trips I finally decided to become a travel writer. I know, it’s hardly like becoming a doctor, but I’ll be able to merge my passion for travel and knowledge about other cultures with writing and working – and for me I don’t think anything could be better.

As you see, this brings me back to my main point. We all get caught up in the blur of life, in the rat race to success, but taking some time out for yourself, your friends and your passions can really help you with finding the right bath in life.

(I just realised that says “right bath in life” and I was going to correct it, but it made me laugh and its kind of true!  You must find the right bath in life, that is of the upmost importance)

Oh na na, what’s my name

Rihanna was fantastic at the O2 on Wednesday night!

Hi Guys who read my blog, how are you all?

I’m very well at the moment. I’ve had another very busy week – I’m actually can’t wait for the half-term break which starts in a weeks time!

My week started with some friend’s parties last weekend – it was my friend Alex and Jess’s (yes they are twins) 18th Birthday last week – we all had a great time celebrating it on Friday and Saturday. It’s great to have friends that can drink as well as me know, I don’t have to feel like a total alcoholic being the only one drinking on a night out anymore!

The highlight of my week has to be the Rihanna concert on Wednesday though! I went with two friends and my brother to the O2, and I have to say Ri Ri was fantastic!

She opened the concert with “Only Girl in the World” and proceeded to dance, strip and whip her way through some of her hits, including my favourite “What’s My Name?” as well as “Pon de Replay”, “Rude Boy”, “Unfaithful” and many other hits.

Her vocals were amazing, even the huge fight  in the block next to us didn’t distract us (much) from  her performance!

She of course had many costume changes, pole dancers, chains & whips as well as lots of great dancers! I also heard that she got the tube with her fans to the O2, which I think shows her sense of fun!

Calvin Harris was supporting her, and his set was just as good. He played lots of his own stuff, includung his and Rihanna’s current number one, “We Found Love” which is currently my most played song on my iPod!

Anyway, that’s my two highlights of this week, amongst others. I hope you’ve had a good week too!

 

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