sunset in Plymouth

Sometimes, having lived in the middle of nowhere my whole life, living in a city at uni can be a bit overwhelming. I have regular tantrums/panics about ridiculous things (“there’s no green“, “I can’t see the seasons”, “where are the trees”)- sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that there are beautiful bits of nature in cities as well:

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caterpillar disaster

In lieu of the world’s shortest sparklers, which literally fizzled out in the space of “OH they’re lit quick ru- oh they’re out”, and with Kieran sitting expectantly in the dark waiting for cake, I had to improvise with candles:

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Which, carried in the dark, gave the impression of some sort of weird sacrificial ritual for this slightly challenged caterpillar cake:

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Kieran was a happy bunny.

how-to-rocky-road

It’s Kieran’s pre-birthday celebrations today, and I’m making him a rocky-road-cake, so here’s a half-tutorial, half-I-can’t-believe-how-much-chocolate-is-in-this-thing-blog. 15 members of his family are coming along, so I’ve kind of double/triple/quadrupled the ingredient quantities, BEHOLD:

Bear in mind this is for 15 people, so this is a LOT of ingredients! Normally 5 chocolate bars, half a bag of marshmallows, and half a bag of digestives are enough for 4 people (or enough for me and Kieran).

So in this mother of all rocky roads, we have:

15 chocolate bars

2 bags of marshmallows

2 packs of digestive biscuits

 Now, this ain’t no fancy-schmancy rocky road, so all I put in are marshmallows and biscuits; you can add in any ingredients e.g. raisins/rice crispies/honeycomb etc, but since I love just plain good old fashioned rocky road, and am not a huge fan of the tiny disappointments that are raisins, I just use these.

First I fill a saucepan with a little water, just enough so that it can heat up the bowl without touching it:

When the water boils, put the heatproof mixing bowl on:

Be sure to leave room for a little cat who will come in to investigate the smells and hissing water:

“What doing, hooman?”

Next, break the chocolate up and melt it in the bowl:

Until it looks like this:


If you want to stretch the mixture and make it a bit thicker you can add in some milk:

but make sure not to add too much or it’ll get all weird and clumpy. When it looks like this:

Crumble in the biscuits:

Mix them in:

Then do the same with the marshmallows:


When it’s all mixed in, squish it into whatever’s big enough to hold it. It may look a little like crumbled dog poop but it’ll taste A-MA-ZIIINNNGGGGGGGGG
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Thunder & Lightning

We had a huge thunderstorm last night. I keep attempting to get a photo and just missing:

And the beauty of this electrical storm is being slightly interrupted for the neighbours as all they can hear is Kieran: “NOW!” and me: “bollocks!”

I finally managed to get the picture to show that this storm is so big it is literally lighting everything up like daylight:

Before                                                    After

Enormous crashing rumbles of thunder, proper Harry Potter lightning bolts, sky lit up, you name it. And this is Kieran’s cat, who is apparently “terrified of thunder storms”:

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He is ready for the storm.

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chocolate overload

There is a cafe in Winchester called ‘Chococo’, which as you can probably tell, does everything chocolate. I am a fully fledged chocolate addict and eat so much of the stuff that I’m probably half human, half chocolate bar myself- I had a mini panic in there, when there was so much chocolate stuff I couldn’t decide what was affordable on a student budget to gorge on first. I opted for “ice cream cookie sandwich”. The guy behind the desk had to double check that I wanted chocolate chip ice cream as well as all the other choc, but pfft, I’m not a rookie and this isn’t my first chocolate gorge, so on it went. Behold:

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Just to confirm how much chocolate is in this picture: on the left we have a mini dark chocolate and mint thing, which lets be honest is just a mouthful, on the right we have two dollops of chocolate chip ice cream squidged in between chocolate chip cookies, at the back we have (of course) tea in an adorable diddly teapot, and just in case there wasn’t enough chocolate in a double chocolate chip cookie sandwich, in the middle we have hot chocolate sauce in the widdly heart shaped bowl to pour over everything.

Might be my new favourite place.

over-analysing HP no.1

Continuing to over-analyse and obsess over Harry Potter…

One thing that always bugged me about The Goblet of Fire, in the second challenge of the Triwizard Tournament, is what did all the other students do during the however many hours the champions were underwater? In the first challenge, it would have been all “woooo dragons!” and in the third challenge there would have been the crazy maze to look at and whatever fancy wandwork McGonagall was doing when the champions were in distress and needed rescuing, but what did they all the spectators have to entertain themselves with during the looooong period where all champions were underwater, and all they had to look at was a flat lake surface for hours on end?

I like to think it was Dumbledore’s chance to whack out his stand-up comedy: img_3505