Showing posts with label whimsy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whimsy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

WWII Wednesday: Eggless Chocolate Buns ...

Over Christmas I watched (twice) Back In Time For Christmas, as I do enjoy social experiment type programmes and jump at the chance to watch them. My favourite moment will forever be Rochelle's comment about her gift of a new vacuum cleaner, which was something along the lines of: "I'll get started now, with a fag in my mouth and my new slippers" eluding to her two other gifts. My nan got a new pair of slippers every Christmas, so this also reminded me of her.

But I digress. This set me thinking about The 1940s House which I also really enjoyed. So, I pulled out my DVD and had a watch. This in turn reminded me of how much I used to like cooking and baking from WWII era recipes and I decided to bake.

I picked Eggless Chocolate Buns, as I always overthink eggs, so don't use them or buy anything with eggs in. I have made this recipe a lot and they're always really scrummy. However, I was midway into the recipe when I found I had run out of sugar, so I decided to make up the difference with maple syrup. Yes, well, you live and learn ...

These turned out to be the unsweetest cakes I had ever made. Edible, but with no sweetness whatsoever. Also, as we were 'enjoying' them, I remembered the Kilner jar of sugar in the bottom cupboard ...

Oddly this batch also looks like flying saucers.

*Cue scary b-movie voice over*
"The Cakes of The FUTURE!"
*Cue weird sci-fi noises*
"They came from beyond THE STARS!"
"They were odd, they were SUGARLESS!"

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Quantity: 12

8oz (225g) self raising flour or plain flour sifted with 2 tsps baking powder
1oz (25g) cocoa powder
3oz (75g) sugar
7 & a half fl oz (225ml) hot water  
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
few drops of vanilla essence
3oz (75g) margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 180c (350f) (gas mark 4)
Grease 12 hole patty tin

Sift the flour or flour and baking powder with the cocoa and add the sugar
Pour the hot water into a good sized bowl, add the syrup and bicarbonate of soda
Add to cocoa mix with the essence and margarine and combine
Spoon into patty tins and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until form to the touch
Remove from tins onto a wire cooling rack


Previous Recipes

Monday, 2 October 2017

Rang dang diggedy dang di-dang ...

Mmmm, saucepan tea ......

At 12.30am yesterday, our power went out. It was back on again soon enough and we thought that was that.

At 10.30am, just as we were ready for a second cup of tea, it went out again and stayed off until 12.30pm. In that time, we had to make tea by boiling water in a saucepan. See, I said we needed a stove top whistling kettle. And do we have one? No. No we do not.

In this initial time, I utilised my little Bluetooth speaker and listened to music via my iPod, while we drank tea. Then the doorbell rang and it was our neighbour wanting to know if it was just him with no power. As we stood there with cups of tea in hand and with music coming out from behind, we assured him it wasn't just him, but I don't think he was convinced, as I saw him eyeing my cup!

12.30pm, the power came back on and I was in the kitchen in a flash, trying to get dinner on early, for fear it would go out again and lo, it did go out again fifteen minutes later and stayed off until 7.45pm.

Initially it was all fun and games. I read a bit of It. I crocheted a square for my throw. I listened to music until my speaker lost power and then I lost my daylight, as it was also rainy and overcast, so by about 4.30pm, I couldn't see well enough to do anything. We tried to get an old Bush radio which runs on batteries working, succeeded, but the medium wave signal kept dipping in and out. There was only one solution, which I had fallen back on once, on a long journey when we had no car radio.

"Andy, sing for me," I requested.
"Sing what?" he asked, as if he didn't know.
"White lines," I replied.

I had in the car that time asked him to sing for me and he reeled off a full rendition of White Lines by Grandmaster Flash for me. I wanted a reprisal of that day. I only got part of it, as I was far too amused by the "Rang dang diggedy dang di-dang, Diggedy dang di-dang, diggedy dang di-dang" part.

We then played I Spy. He danced while flashing a torch around to some record on the radio. We had more saucepan tea and oh yes, he made beans on toast, by toasting bread on the gas hob. Mmmm, chargrilled bread.

So that was Sunday!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Five Favourite ... Literary Characters

Today I should like to ramble at length about my favourite literary characters and so without further ado ...

At number five ... Persuasion's Captain Wentworth.

Captain Wentworth is the one Jane Austen character that makes my heart flutter. I prefer him to Colonel Brandon and certainly to Mr Darcy. I am not unconvinced this is because of who portrayed him in the BBC adaptation - Rupert Penry-Jones, who I absolutely only like in period dramas. Put him in modern clothing and I am utterly and completely disinterested.

Captain Frederick Wentworth is a fictional character in the novel Persuasion written by Jane Austen. He is the prototype of the new gentleman in the 19th century: a self-made man who makes his fortune by hard work rather than inheritance.


At number four ... Christine.
Yes, the car Christine.

Little is known about beautiful, misunderstood Christine's past, except that she was the property of retired war-veteran Roland D. LeBay. I fell in love with her on sight and despite red being my favourite colour, I would never entertain a red car other than a 1958 Plymouth Fury.

Nobody knows exactly where Christine came from; in the movie, it is suggested that Christine was bad from the start, because she crushes a man's hand with her hood and kills another after he drops a cigar ash on her seat, all while she was being built.

In the book, it is suggested that she may be possessed by the ghosts of Roland LeBay's family; his daughter choked in the backseat- later information reveals that LeBay deliberately left his daughter in the back seat of the car, speculated by Dennis to be him attempting to sacrifice his daughter to Christine-, and his wife committed suicide inside her front seat.

Either one suggests that she could have been bad to the bone even before those, and that she killed LeBay's daughter, rather than LeBay's family possessing the car.

In the book, it is heavily implied that LeBay himself has possessed the car, though this is rather unclear. It's also hinted that she absorbs the souls of her victims, such as LeBay's family or Repperton's gang.

What is known, however, is that she becomes extremely attached to her owners, and kills those who she sees as a threat to her relationship. She also makes her owners become obsessed with her, and kills anybody who may be hurting them. She also possesses the power of regeneration, allowing her to repair any damage sustained in her independent rampages. However, it is unclear if this ability was limited at first; Arnie did some repair work on Christine when he originally purchased her, but she was shown repairing some damage on her own, making it unclear if she genuinely needed Arnie to work on her at first or if she was merely trying to 'blend in'.


At number three ... Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester.

Edward Fairfax Rochester: The master of Thornfield Hall. A Byronic hero, he is tricked into making an unfortunate first marriage to Bertha Mason many years before he meets Jane, with whom he falls madly in love.

In the world of period dramas, Mr Darcy seems to set most womens hearts racing but I have always far preferred Mr Rochester to Mr Darcy. For a start, I couldn't put up with a moody, brooding individual such as Darcy in real life. I can appreciate him on paper and on screen, yes, but in real life, no. He would drive me spare. I need humour and that comes with Rochester, he amuses me.


At number two ... Harry Flashman.

I know many, especially women, will loathe and detest Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE. I take him as he is, warts and all. He is tremendous fun.

Created by George MacDonald Fraser, Flashman  is based on the character "Flashman" in Tom Brown's School Days, a semi-autobiographical work by Thomas Hughes. In Hughes' 1857 book, Flashman, a relatively minor character, is portrayed as a notorious bully at Rugby School who persecutes Tom Brown, and who is finally expelled for drunkenness.

Harry Flashman appears in a series of 12 of Fraser's books, collectively known as The Flashman Papers. Fraser decided to write Flashman's memoirs, in which the school bully would be identified with an "illustrious Victorian soldier" experiencing many 19th-century wars and adventures and rising to high rank in the British Army, acclaimed as a great soldier, while remaining "a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady."

Fraser's Flashman is an antihero who often runs from danger in the novels. Nevertheless, through a combination of luck and cunning, he usually ends each volume acclaimed as a hero.


At number one ... Dorian Gray.

I first read The Picture of Dorian Gray (my favourite book) in the nineties and developed a huge crush on Dorian.
Honestly, I thought he was the absolute bees knees.
The cats pyjamas.
The cats meow.
I simply adored him. Adore him.
We even had a reading at our wedding from the book.

However, no film version of Dorian ever hit the mark for me. For a start they were all dark and Dorian is always portrayed as having fair hair and oh, this annoyed me!
But a Dorian with the wrong hair colour who looks the part in a good version is far superior to a correct hair coloured Dorian in a bad portrayal and adaptation.

Along came Penny Dreadful and oh my, Dorian may have dark hair but be still my heart, he is Dorian. He is perfection.

Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mode in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life.

Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin.


Before I go, I do apologise for not commenting on your blogs, I have been rather poorly these past weeks and am only just getting back on my feet now.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Want, Want, Want!


I neeeeeed this in my life!

Andy and myself were talking and as it's so, so like the Creepers truck in Jeepers Creepers, wouldn't it be funny and yes, somewhat cruel, to drive it around the back roads of America and get right up someones backside in this, hehe! Then you'd honk the horn and scare the bejeesus out of them.....


I just love that cracked back window!

Also, if I had a bottomless pit of money I would buy land with a hill and atop that hill would build an exact replica of the Bates Mansion from Psycho as it's my favourite house. I'd quite like the motel too but would use the units as individual garages.

What is life if you can't inject a hefty dose of whimsy into it!

Friday, 5 June 2015

She Wears Red Feathers and a Hooly Hooly Skirt

Except she doesn't.
I thought I would challenge myself clothes wise.
I challenged myself to wear a rainbow :) 
I decided I would start with a colour and then wear everything I have of that colour in different ensembles on consecutive days (it makes laundry a breeze, hehe!).

I started with red.

Day One.
Friday 5th June

Green vintage hair scarf, gift from Curtise
Diamante hair clip, gift
Vintage faux pearls, inherited
Red knit top, retail
Black belt, vintage
Strawberry skirt, made by me
Red petticoat, ebay
Black ballet flats, retail

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Tidings

I did not grow up in a church going household, so Easter for me, was just like that of most of my school friends, it involved chocolate eggs ...

... or chocolate bunnies, which I could never eat as it just seemed wrong (I would never eat sugar mice either). 

 And then there was Easter television viewing ...

... except there was always one thing on the telly at Easter which I dreaded.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
I hated it, as it traumatised me deeply.

I was always shuffled towards the telly when this was on as it was animated and had animals and therefore was 'perfect' for me and I truly thought I was supposed to stay and watch it. 

It never occurred to me to just get up and switch over, or to just walk away.

To this day I can't watch it as the scenes with Aslan really upset me as a child and the memory of that stone table haunts me. 

I recall a recent Christmas when we were at my parents and the new version was on the telly. I found myself averting my eyes the whole time, until it became apparent that no one was watching it and it was turned over.

What are your childhood Easter memories?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Style Inspiration: Missy

The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: "flashes of inspiration". 


Before I begin ...
I was skimming through the photos I had taken for this post when I spotted something. "Wait a minute!" says I, "Monty Python moment!" and after showing Andy he persuaded me to do this little gif animation.

I then went to youtube and found a video of a man playing the honky tonk classic 'Roll Out The Barrell' on the piano and then started playing this GIF* at the same time ..... I am so easily amused! Maybe you are too, so go here to listen.

Can you believe that I left the spot I took these pictures on, came back inside to reset the camera and then managed to stand in the exact same spot on my return? 


But anyway, what about the main point of this post - Missy!

I haven't done one of these in an age, so as I have been pondering this one for a while, I took the plunge so I could have a go at Missy, the Time Lady from Gallifrey.

Oh Missy, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Mad as a dog in a bungalow ...

With exquisite taste in clothes ...

And hats and boots ...

And Doctors ...

Oh and then there's the chance for a cuppa. How civilised ...


Oh I do love her, she's fabulous but it was inevitable that I would as I loved Michelle Gomez in Green Wing.


Now, Missy's look is screamingly Edwardian, her entire outfit is sublime and how I would love such an ensemble of clothing! I would adore such, but my wardrobe holds not much in the way of Edwardian. I made a skirt once which is packed away and that's about it. 

I was very aware that my William Hartnell style inspiration outfit would be right up Missy's street, in fact someone on Pinterest named Missy (how strange) pinned that outfit of mine and said something along the lines of "This is so something I would wear". Oh that it was THIS Missy ......

So, I went for an air of Missyness, for fear of ending up repeating that aforementioned Hartnell outfit. I could wear that skirt again and the same jacket, or I could dig out the top half of my Victorian dress. I could surely find something that would do, as this isn't style replicating, it's style inspiration.

Then there's the hat. The funny thing is, Missy's hat is all but identical bar the cherries, to the hat I purchased, then went at with florist wire, black cotton and oodles and oodles and ooooooodles of trim and feathers for my Victorian outing, but I am sure she would like that hat too, as it's wonderful, even if I do say so myself. The hat when I got it was similar yes, but obviously my manipulation of the brim and ultimately very sore sewing fingers led it down a different path entirely.

This is my take.

I wore my Victorian hat and a brooch (which granted does not match) which belonged to Andy's late aunt Dorothy. I had trouble pinning it high enough as the pin flat refused to go through any thicker parts of the shirt. I also wore a pair of red jade earrings that I made myself.

I wore my recently retired white ruffle front shirt. I love it and Andy loves it but it's made of very thin white Indian cotton and is starting to tear at the sleeve seams so I have retired it.

I also wore a black lace belt, one of my new circle skirts with red organdy petticoat and my black boots as my brown ones which are more of a Missy statement are looking sorry for themselves and there may or may not be a spider living inside one of them.

Even if I do say so myself, my hair is looking very lovely today (said à la Danny from Withnail and I). 

Also, my hat is very dusty despite dwelling in a hat box.

And then came the outside shots taken with the help of a tripod as there was no one to take my picture for me. I ended up darting back inside each time I thought I heard someone coming!

Roll out the barrell, we'll have a barrell of fun ........

Pesky shirt gape.

roll out the barrell, we've got the blues on the run .......

                                                    So that's my take on Missy. I had fun.

* thanks for the link Kezzie!

I can't get Roll Out The Barrell sung in an overblown cockney accent out of my head ...... earworm!  

Linking up for the first time with TARDIS Tuesday.