Ultimate chocolate cake | BBC Good Food


I just made this cake

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Very easy to make. Contains buttermilk – bit of a pain to find, but should be in big supermarkets. The recipe says cut into three. I think two would do, or making in two tins. The cake is moist so doesn’t need two lots of filling. My layers fell apart on reassembling them. Hopefully the ganache will keep them together. Oh, the ganache needs chilling before use. I over chilled mine as I had to go out, but a quick go in the microwave and it was fine. I put chopped raspberries between layers and on top. It’s very chocolatey and moist, so I think it should go down well. Ultimate chocolate cake | BBC Good Food.




This is as far away from God’s waiting room as you can possibly get. The other end of the scale. I’m told God wouldn’t approve of this particular waiting room anyway. If you listen to the Catholic Church, this is a gift, not an entitlement.

But actually, I think the kindly God that I believe in, would approve.

I sit and wait for my answer. I’m waiting to hear if my son, returned to me just two weeks ago, can stay.

I’m about to hear if he’s here for the long haul. Where he belongs. Or if he’s already left. Without me even knowing he’s gone.

To come so far, and leave with nothing scares me. But for now, silent pleas fill my head. Let this be right and let him stay.

They call my name.

BINGO. He can stay. The rest is up to me. The clinic will sign me over to my GP.

Eight months later, his name sits on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority database. A live IVF birth. One of more than 4 million children.

My views on IVF were laughably different five years ago. Of course we shouldn’t meddle with life. Where will it end?

Last year, one of the co-founders of IVF techniques died. My mother drew my attention to a reader’s letter in The Guardian.  Given the joy he gave to so many, shouldn’t Sir Robert Edwards be awarded the pomp of a ceremonial funeral? I agreed. He should. I would have stood and given thanks. For he gave me my son.

Just like any other baby. He smiles, he climbs, he hurtles around the house and the garden at a rate of knots. Oh, and he has a spot on the back of his neck perfect for kissing. It makes him giggle. And before I know it, he’ll be going to school.

I wonder how I went through IVF without going completely mad.

I didn’t realise how infertility changed me.




Bucket list?


A friend was telling me the other day about her bucket list – 57 things to do in her 57th year.  It got me thinking what mine would be, and I realised something that surprised me – I don’t have one.  I can’t easily think of half a dozen things I seriously want to do, let alone 57. So have I led an amazingly adventurous life? Not particularly. The things I’ve wanted to do – riding on a beach, walking with hawks, going to Glastonbury etc, were mainly achievable and mainly done. So maybe I’m just really dull?  Maybe.  But it’s also possible that I simply take pleasure in life as it happens to me.

A deeper hurt


I can’t sleep. It’s been like this for days. The irrational upset that is keeping me awake, it won’t subside. Tonight is the worst, I’ve cried. I cried deep heavy tears of a heartbreak that is yet to come. I don’t want the day to come, if I could have one wish it would be to freeze time.

it’s that time if year when children are preparing to leave nursery to partake in their new journey of school. This is not a journey we are taking just yet, we will be partaking next summer. So why so sad? I can’t do it. I just can’t. My beautiful baby is growing to fast. 

I remember the day we looked around nursery, it was January 2012, big one had just started walking and I needed to think about my imminent return to work. The heavens were shining on us as there was no waiting list. They are based 2 minute drive from my work, and utterly fantastic. 

That first year of big ones life was not a happy time for me, I clung to my baby heartbroken from the missed times together and here we were looking for somebody who could love and care for him while I went into the world to help provide a home for him. How I was in turmoil over leaving him, but that day in January when I juggled him and my driving licence out of my purse to show who I was something lifted. 

There is something about nursery, I don’t know what, but it’s there. A feeling I had, a feeling of trust, care and love. It radiates from the building, I knew this was the place for my most precious being. 

So on 27th February 2012, at 12 months 18 days old my beautiful baby started his journey at nursery. He settled in so well, he was happy. We were all happy, we have never had any reason not to be happy. I felt safe and loved. It has become to feel like family, we aren’t just paying for him to be looked after. These are our friends now. 

And now now as I see his friends prepare to leave, one had their last day today, I feel that deepness of sorrow grinding away in my heart. I’m scared. 

I’m scared that he won’t love school like he loves nirsery

i’m scared he will miss his friends who will likely go to other schools. 

I’m scared he won’t make friends and feel lonely 

I’m scared of bullying

im scared that saying goodbye to the family of nursery will break his beautiful heart.

I dread that last day, I feel the tears every time I think about him saying goodbye. I just can’t let my baby grow. I know he will most likely be happy and love school. He will have lots if friends, but the fear creeps up. 

I need him. I love him with such an intensity that him growing is a giant fear. I’m scared of his childhood becoming like mine. I don’t want him to feel he cannot answer questions at school as he doesn’t want to look like he’s showing off because he knows. I don’t want people to say things that will hurt him, destroy his self esteem. 

But most importantly I don’t want to loose him. My favourite time of day is the morning when he gets up and comes straight to me for our morning cuddles. I dread that day when he no longer says ‘mummy my favourite thing is nuggles’ and I fear that school will be that first step towards my beautiful baby moving away from me. 

Please time. Stand still. 

I pray for a day when I look back and think I was being a fool, but I fear that day. I fear what we will go through to get there.

so in September when you see that crazy lady, crying and clinging onto the school hate not ready to leave her beautiful child tell her it’s all going to be fine. Hold her, let the tears fall down, but tell her she will always have her baby because I hope to god somebody will hold my hand to ease that pain 

The Worst Neurobollocks Infographics on the Web


Might add this blog into my favourites 🙂


Regardless what you think of infographics (and personally, I think they’re largely a pustulent, suppurating boil on the bloated arse of the internet) there are some good, useful ones out there. However, these are vastly outweighed by the thousands of utterly ghastly, misleading, poorly-referenced and pointless ones.

Because I’ve been on holiday for the last week, my levels of rage and misanthropy have dropped somewhat from their usual DEFCON-1-global-thermonuclear-war-the-only-winning-move-is-not-to-play levels, so I thought trying to find the absolute worst neuroscience-related infographics on the web might be a good way to top the vital bile reserves back up again. And oh boy, was I right. There are some doozies.

First up is this purple and blue monstrosity titled ’15 things you didn’t know about the brain.’ Here we learn (amongst other howlers) that the capacity of the brain is 4 terabytes, men process information on the left side while women use…

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This evening I have been marvelling at toddler fingers, and how fantastically moveable they are when they work the way they’re supposed to. All flexible and loose and grabby, with wide open hands and a tilt to the wrist that no adult could hope to replicate without looking like a complete arse. Little fingers curled up in a ball and then doing the toddler wave (scrunching fingers as if grabbing imaginary raisins) and then clapping hands and then very gently, ever so delicately, touching the end of my nose just *so* with one little fingertip.

Tiny fingers that can already undo screw tops. That can take a coat off. That can ferret out the merest hint of a biscuit crumb from the smallest cranny in the highchair.

So many things that little fingers can do. All of them a marvel when you’ve seen fingers that can’t.

Aprons that make you smile.


I’ve never owned an apron before, I don’t *read can’t* cook! I don’t *again,read cant* bake so have never felt the need for a pinny.


I received a package one day, opened, frantically clawing at the paper, like an excited child on Christmas morning. My prize, an apron!

It was perfectly folded, I unraveled and immediately felt a pang in my heart, flutters in my tummy, then came a tear. I felt such a mix of happy emotions, how could an apron make me feel this way?

Well I shall tell you why, because this apron came from a wonderful lady, this wonderful lady is a part of a group of wonderful ladies (and man). These wonderful ladies live everyday with me, these ladies have been with me through pain, upset, depression, carried me when I could no longer cope, made me laugh and cry in equal measures.

This group of people mean more to me than they could ever realise.

I still don’t cook or bake but I do wear me apron everyday and everytime I wear it I think of these wonderful people, the apron has powers, it makes me feel special, because this apron reminds me of those wonderful people.

So to the person who bought me that special gift (you know who you are) it is much more than just an apron to me. You wonderful person!