The Parasol Protectorate

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If you are currently reading Gail Carrigers Alexi Tarbattoi series or the Parasol Protectorate remit and don’t want to know spoilers DO NOT READ ON – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS

Like many things in my life I am active in what I do, whether that is work, listening, writing or reading.  I invest my time energy and emotions fully to any activity.  For many people this is un-comprehensible for others over bearing and intimidating for people like me a way of life.  It is what my partner calls passion and zest and his reason for loving me.  As a result of this my husband says he can always tell how enthralling a book is by my re-actions to it.  So when this morning I was sat reading Timeless this morning and tears started to flow and no no no was murmured my husband looked somewhat distraught.  To compile that with additional twists that actions Alexia was about to embark on my adversely affect her daughters legal guardianship at home and her added insistence of “No Mama” as to her actions “Dama, Dama” it was well aware that her Daughter may know about her unforeseen actions than Alexia.  However like any good author she draws you in and then leaves you with hope.

The thing I have most enjoyed about this series is like everything I have said before it is well written, the characters are well drawn out, the elements of steam punk did not culturally clash with the environment or are made believable by the credible writing allowing the reading to fore go the reality and plunge into the Parasols world.  Although reading this you know somehow this is the end of the series there is enough there left open to know that the story does not end there.  Part of you craves to know the outcome of the relationship between Akeldama and Ivy; Ivy and Nadasa, Biffy and Lyall, Biffy and Maccon, Biffy and Channing and more surprisingly the outcome of Prudence or Puggle or sweet chops to whichever her flight of fancy fills her with at the given moment in time.  But each you know is a story for another time.  It is also nice to find an author who is happy to leave the story where it is without having to extract every strand and leave it open for the mind to fill in as time goes on.

A read and a half full of real human emotion and sentiment in something that is described as a very supernatural environment but maybe when it comes down to it we are all supernatural in our very own way we just have to find it


The dangerous world of baking

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The sun is shining today and so we decided to have a lazy morning before rising and to go book ourselves on a stable management course at my step-daughters riding school at Goulds Green in addition to prevent us from not turning up as both my partner and I can be somewhat anti-social at times especially if we have had a bad day, we opted to pay for the two definite nights up front so there was no escaping the event.  As a result of the warm weather we thought we might head out at some time soon, but by the time we got back and had breakfast, more like Brunch given the hour and most people were already out and about or not available we ended up making arrangements to go visit friends tomorrow down at Shoreham by Sea.  In preparation of this event and on the last visit they were somewhat disappointed that no muffins materialized a plenty I opted to bake some malted double chocolate cup cakes, except the batch decided to bite back.  Upon taking the final batch out of the oven, the melted middle decided to fight back and I now have what can only be described as a nice blister blossoming on my index finger next to my thumb.

However if anyone would wish to re-make the cupcakes then the ingredients are below

4 oz of Butter

4 oz of Sugar

2 oz of ovaltine- or drinking chocolate can be substituted

2 oz of Plain flour

4 oz of Self Raising

4 eggs

2 oz of chocolate, dark, plain, white or a mix of your own choice, crushed

Cream together the butter and sugar until a soft smoothy creamy mixture is left at the bowl, no sugar crystals should be visible.  beat in the 4 eggs, it may look like the mixture is separating but if you beat hard and fast enough it will all come together.  Once you have a well beaten mixture with lots of air bubbles in there, sieve into the mixture the drinking chocolate, plain and self-raising flour.  Once it is all sieved into the liquid, gentle fold the flour into the butter, egg and sugar mixture until it is all mixed into together.  The result should be a gloopy mixture when a dollop is on the spatula and held sideways it takes three seconds to drop from the utensil into the bowl.  If it takes longer than this add in another egg and mix well until all bound together.  If too wet add small amounts of self-raising flour until you get the right consistency.  Once the right consistency is achieved, grease a muffin tray with butter making sure the sides are completely covered.

The oven should be set to 180 degrees to be heating through

Take two tablespoons and place a dollop of the mixture into each of the containers within the tray and place the tray into the oven for 20-25 minutes.  You will know when the cakes are ready as when you press the top there should be a nice bounce to them, if you are unsure insert a knife into the middle and the knife should come out clean.  If this does not happen place back into the oven for a further 5-10 minutes and then repeat the process for the next batch

The above mixture makes between 12-24 cup cakes/muffins

Right I am now going to make leek cannelloni with spinach, ricotta, mushrooms and black pudding with a white wine creamy Camembert sauce with side salad

Enjoy your evening and hopefully I wont burn anymore of myself in the preparation of dinner

Technology and me

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Yesterday I finished heartless, and then had my husband produce his kindle showing that he had set up Timeless on it, so we did not have to wait until the library received a copy so we can start reading it straight away; which is great except technology and I are not always the best of friends.

I also have an aversion to Kindles as I am an old-fashioned kind of girl and I like the feel of paper between my hands and the weight of a book resting there, even if it does give me pins and needles at times and so being handed the kindle I was a little daunted by it all.  I am not saying I don’t see the benefits of the kindle I do – as it was I who bought it for my husband to be at the time to make it easier for him to carry about several books at once without having to use a knapsack to transfer them all in.  In addition to this a friend today commented on how much it has been a life saver for her, since having arthritis in both wrists it means she can sit and read again properly without worrying about sudden bouts of arthritic pain.

To be fair last night I did devour the first 5 chapters of Gail Carrigers Timeless and like all the others thoroughly enjoying it, with some already interesting mixes and hints dropped in to suggest that all is not as it first appeared from the first four books at all, already with some interesting twists appearing.  Nonetheless during the course of the reading I managed to skip two chapters by hitting the wrong button, and therefore losing my place, I also managed to skip pages causing chaos and havoc and some stress like frustrations tantrums.  As I said me and technology are not the best of the friends at times and another reason why I think I prefer ‘book’ books to technology.

Nonetheless I am continuing to pursue the reading and am enjoying the fact that I can see how far through the book I am but disgruntled because that will mean I will also know how close to the end I am too.

So here is to technology surviving the day and an un-emped Kindle being handed back to my partner either later this evening or early tomorrow

Have a good weekend


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After yesterdays some what harrumpphhh day, I think today has decided to get somewhat worse if that is possible

An unexpected late night last night as when my partner get home I could see he was decidedly shaken, thinking the worse had happened and that Great had passed away I panicked relief flooded me when I heard it was not.  However instead he had nearly been run off the road by an idiot near Heathrow airport, causing him to swerve out of the way and being lucky enough due to the lateness of the hour not hurting himself or anyone else for that matter.  I knew it must have been a close encounter as nothing really shakes my husband to the levels of where the first words that leaves his mouth are I need a stiff drink. Once supplied the above details were emitted from him.

We then opted to watch some mindless TV and ended up being rather late as we watched the a percentage of the Channel 4 Live Drug testing, which was interesting and intriguing to watch- looking forward to the catch up of the remainder before watching the results show this evening.

After deciding upon the hour and topic that this was rather intense we opted for bed and some light reading, in my case this was the finishing of Heartless by Gail Carriger now with only 70 pages left I am trying to extend the story further as I do not wish it to end.  However this is all credit to Gail herself who has written an excellent series of books based within the urban fantasy remit of writing, and created totally believable characters by bringing the essence of Victorian  England to live through the use of essentially a good command of the English language.  This is reflected quite noticeable through the correct usage of terms such as sense and sensibility to derive their moor original meanings than that given to their usage today.

As a result of this a late night pursued and therefore a late rise, which was closely followed by a telephone call from our doctors surgery requesting to speak to my husband as following his normal 6 monthly blood tests for his diabetes to be told, he needs to come in immediately for a prescription has they have found a low level B12 in his blood, which normally means additional B12 supplements to be taken.  However with my husband being diabetic the consequences could be far more reaching and devastating consequences, including dementia, nerve damage, pernicious Amenia and possible death in extreme circumstances if left untreated.

Having now returned with his medication supply of Folic acid I have resulted in good banter and humour – the way of the Brits to get through anything by referring to him as my little pregnant hubby and we shall have to be getting some good strong stout in to help with the increase.

Some time later

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And it would appear that I am still having problems publishing to here

My darling other half has promised to review and although he has not had the time to do so at the moment; I cannot blame him for this as I have spent the time looking for work and applying for jobs most of the time, meaning that even when he is at home I spend little time with him but with my face permanently attached to my computer screen job hunting

To make matters worse, the computer decided and quite categorically fell over a few weeks ago and although the new one is now working I am having teething issues with certain bits of software not operating as it should

Job hunting is proving as arduous and unpleasant as I remember and life being general unforgiving as we know with conversations being held and then nothing being forthcoming and so the cycle continues until an employee is brave enough to take on a tough north east cookie of a girl with a mind of her own and an opinion and does not shy away from a strong woman and so the hunt continues

Have often thought about going self employed but not sure how or what I would do to do so to be honest with you I feel like I know very little apart from how to fix people as it appears to be the story of my life, I fix people and then they abandon me and I find myself alone…. which often l leaves me wondering, although not broken, when will my husband wake up and leave an eternal fear I live with daily and fight to keep under control

Fingers crossed

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Well what a few weeks of hell- minor hell but still not pleasant.  I have not been able to post to Word Press as the system would not allow me to post despite having the most recent version of Firefox.  The PC itself kept white, yellow and Green screening after being on for a minimum of 2 hours and then would not load up again.

This has made job hunting difficult and far more arduous than it needed to be and then to be turned down for a brilliant job because I did not live on the door step is frustrating to say the least but we shall see what the future holds.  It was obviously meant to be but it now means I have a lot of work to do today so this is short and very brief

Lets hope I can now post