Recently in Life Category

5 Minute Microwave Cake

I was a little dubious of trying this at first. But when I realised that if I could get it to work, it would have the benefit of being no more than 5 minutes away from chocolate cake, I had to give it a go - wouldn't you?


4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 medium egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp oil
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large mug (we used a Pete's Eats Mug, and it was spot on for size)


  1. Add all the dry ingredients to the mug, and mix it all well. Add the egg and mix again, thoroughly.
  2. Add the milk and oil, and mix again - make sure you do it well!
  3. If you want, add 2-3tbsp chocolate chips at this stage, along with a splash of vanilla extract. Make sure you stir it again, really really well.
  4. Whack it in the microwave quickly (if you're slow, the chips sink and you end up with a half burn mess at the bottom of the mug). Cook it on high/1000watts for 3 minutes. You can watch, if you've got nothing better to do - your cake might overflow the mug.
  5. Once it's cooled a little, you can tip it out into a bowl - if you're feeling a bit greedy, you can eat the whole thing by yourself, but it will easily serve two. I had whipped cream with mine, but a hot chocolate sauce also wouldn't go amiss.

We've still got to try this a few more times, before we can get the recipe right, but for a quick chocolate fix you can't really go wrong!

So there you have it - possibly the most dangerous recipe in the world, if only because it means we are always but 5 minutes away from hot chocolate cake.

New Speakers

Well, the exciting world of music has now opened up to me, having been tempted by new speakers for ages and never really being able to justify spending however large an amount of money to buy some good high quality but loud speakers, I was browsing the other day and discovered the Logitech X 230 2.1 set, which I have to say, are able to kick out a lot of Bass, a little too much for my liking on anything other than with the Bass turned right down. However the quality and experience they provide is excellent for £25-30 speakers.

Unfortunately now poor Charlie is relegated to the other room whenever I want to play music ;-)

Long live the Prodigy and Pendulum! (and Innerpartysystem too...)


When I adpoted Biscuit it was a chance for me to try and give a better life to something that needed it - Biscuit was an adult hamster who obviously wasn't loved any more, so I wanted to prove to her that she was loved and could have a happy life after all.

So when she died, that purpose of mine was fulfilled - I'd given something a home that genuinely needed it, rather than going out and buying a "mass produced" baby hamster, or some other poor creature Pets at Home decided to sell for a profit with little regard as to where it was going. Understandably the lack of something "needing" me for food and cuddles left a bit of a hole so a hobby formed with Kev and I in going into pet shops (particularly those with adoption centres) and seeing what might need us.

When I went to Tamworth to visit Mum, I mentioned this to her and we ended up going to the Pets at Home there to see who was in.

There, catching 20 winks (instead of the usual 40) in a small cage in the adoption corner, was Charlie.

Charlie is a sort of butterscotch coloured hamster, and at the date of his adoption (Tuesday 8th September) he was four months old. And, in case you hadn't gathered, a boy. He also has only one eye.


Nobody knows how Charlie lost his eye. Some speculate that he lost it fighting a grizzly bear in the Rockies, though the guy at Pets at Home came up with two suggestions;

1:- Charlie caught his eye on something ill-placed in his cage after he was purchased as a baby, on one of his over-energetic climbing sprees.
2:- Charlie hasn't ever left the pet shop, and after getting too old to be kept with other hamsters lost his eye in a fight with a brother.

Either way he thinks he'd been in the vet-section of PaH (yes, they actually have a vets in many stores now) for a while as his eye socket healed over, but since it cleared up he'd been up for adoption and nobody wanted him.

At first I was entirely against the idea. Mum and Kev pestered for about an hour, but I was sad - so soon after saying goodbye to Biscuit felt like I was betraying her. But when I thought about it, I figured that logically looking after another adoption animal would be better than buying one, or spending forever going into pet shops and going "Aww..." and so, Charlie came home with us.

Kev has agreed to take joint responsibility of him and we're all slowly beginning to make friends. Charlie is naturally very jumpy if you catch him on his blind side, so we've been making extra effort to make a noise when we do have to pick him up (when he tries to jump off the bed etc.).

Hopefully in time Charlie will be as good a friend to me and Kev as Biscuit was - although he will never be a replacement, we will love him all the same.

Hello! Goodbye Uni, goodbye Biscuit …

Right. Sorry for not updating for a while those of you who do read this - I've been really busy finishing my last year at Uni.

I did my dissertation on changes to sedimentary regimes due to tidal barrage schemes. It doesn't sound very interesting, but I found it fascinating! That scored a first in the end, so I was quite delighted with that score!

I graduated  with a high 2.i (68%. Grr.) so I'm really pleased with that mark- now all I need to do is get a JOB.

Biscuit died last month. I've missed her ever so much - I'll write about it in a separate post. It's amazing how much you can love something so small, and how big a hole they leave when they go. But she helped me through Uni and for that I'm eternally grateful to her!

I have every intention of keeping this better updated from now on. Promise. When I have something exciting to say, I'll say it, instead of thinking "I really have to update the blog at some point...".

About a week ago I got a frantic phone call from my housemate saying she'd adopted a hamster - consequently everyone fell in love with "Henrietta", but she didn't like the name it came with and we've since been trying to settle on a name for it - the three that have stuck have been Alfie, Hettie and another one I'm not going to repeat on here.

After an evening sitting and fussing the small ball of fluff I realised just how much I have been missing having something to care for and love of my own - Alfie-Hettie D. reminded me of my old Flash (the most friendly and lovable rat you have ever come to know) - so Kev and I went on a Quest to find a pet I could keep with ease but still have something to love.

And then it happened.

As the pet shop worker in the adoption section tipped a fat, abandoned ginger lump out of its obviously cosy bed I knew I wanted it - Kev to my left practically jumping up and down beside me showed he wanted it too. And those little black eyes just asked for a better life, so we had to take her home.

She chewed her way out of the container on the way home so we had to make her exercise ball up hastily - she chewed that a bit too but not in the time it took to visit Tesco, buy a cage and some bedding and come home.

So there you have it. Allowed or not, I now own Biscuit the Ginger Hamster - and I'm going to do all I can to provide a better and more loving life for her than she ever had before being abandoned in Llandudno.

On being a cripple.

Well its been just over a week now since I broke my finger. It's only a ring finger, you might think, because I sure did when I did it, but it's been significantly more debilitating than I imagined.

Firstly, your ring finger is very much a digit that goes without the appropriate recognition. Your thumb, deemed most important of all digits in the scientific world, allows you to grasp things easily. Your index finger is the main finger you use with your thumb, and is also good for poking people in the ribs. Your little finger is used to steady your grip on things, and your middle and ring fingers are just there for additional grip.

However, it turns out, I use my ring finger for typing (it is mainly my backspace and enter key finger, but it does other ones too when it's required) and its also the one I use for switching my laptop on. I use it for scrolling on the mouse pad (for instance, if I were highlighting text).

I currently can't:

  • Hold a pen and write properly.

  • Hold a knife to cut food properly.

  • Wash my hands.

  • Light the grill.

  • Use scissors.

  • Wrap presents.

  • And many more.

However, yesterday I noticed something very strange. My left hand has been used so much more this last week for a lot of things but now I'm beginning to use it without realising - I open my advent calendar with my left hand, I've started lighting the oven using the lighter with it, I switch on my laptop with the ring finger on my left hand now. I text more using the left hand than the right, I pick up cups to drink from with my left hand automatically (as a result, I've had to move the coaster (thank you Simon!) to the left hand side of my laptop rather than the right hand side). It's even getting to the point where I'm using my left hand to type for all the keys up to U, H and N to make up for the lack of keys my right hand now types, and my left hand and right hand are on equal usage terms for how I stab the space bar.

Pictured below is an example of just how clever my left hand is getting. I got frustrated at making such a mess of the kiwi when I ate with the spoon in my right hand, so let my left hand have a shot.

The Kiwi

The Kiwi

And So It Begins

Well, it would appear, what with student loans coming in and suchlike that it is the time for spending some money.

Recent aquisitions for myself include:

A 3.9m Combat (affectionately known as Dingbat)

A Samsung U600 (very thin and sleek, but taking time to get used to the txting facilities)

A CKB Deck (Custom built and light as a feather, hopefully it shall bring some more stylish board offs)

And of course, Leahs recent 'new stuff':

A 6m Combat (Tomcat the Combat)

A 7.5m Combat (On loan from Si)

A 0.7m Buster (WHY?!?!)

Life is good! :D


A few days ago I posted about a random act of kindness from a stranger and how happy this made me.

Today, after getting up and deciding I was too lazy to rush getting out of the house to walk to Menai Bridge I went to catch the bus outside Morrisons. When it finally came it turned out the return fare was £3.something and all the change I had was a ten pound note. Just as the driver was about to turn me away from the bus journey a young man in the queue behind me offered me the 10p to make the change nice and easy for the bus driver to work out, and I was allowed to continue my journey.

I was talking to Haz about it and she says she read in a book that for every act of kindness you receive, you have to pass it on 3 fold (so my two acts of kindness now mean I owe some people out there 6 acts of my kindness) so it keeps on going. Obviously in the real world very few acts of kindness happen anyway and so nobody passes them on - but I am going to try and pass on some kindness to some other people in the world, be it lending them some change or helping rescue a cat from a tree or whatever.

On the way home I headed for the bus stop and Haz and Andy decided to come with me - but Jenny didn't have any bus fare. So I said I'd give it to her, I had plenty of change from the bus now so figured I might as well. When the bus came to pick us up, to my dismay it was a different company to the one I'd used to get over to Menai Bridge so my return ticked would have been wasted. But the kind driver let me on anyway.

Somewhere out there, 8 people (it would have been 9, but Jenny said my bus fare for her counted as one) should receive some kindness from me because the world has been so good to me today.

Restoring of Faith

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You might well have heard, Cadbury's have bought out a limited edition Wispa bar, a chocolate bar that I remember being my favourite from my early childhood years. Earlier today one of my housemates was eating a Wispa bar, and I nearly died - surely it couldn't be true? The Wispa bar was back among us?

 Anyway, it turns out that Morrisons has them on sale and they're selling out quickly. So I put on my boots and went up the hill, armed with a five pound note, ready to buy as many as I could (lets face it, if they are that popular I could easily make this fiver back on eBay, and if not, I have £5 worth of probably the best chocolate in the world).

When I got there I had a massive struggle (some may call this a quest, like finding the holy grail or something) to find where they were actually on sale, and by chance came across a 25-piece bag of Dairy Milk Treatsize "Pure Chocolate" on a buy-one-get-one-free offer. And so naturally I had to buy 50 chocolate bars for £3.

Now, I have only £2 left and realise this may be enough to buy 5 Wispas. I find a store attendent and he goes and gets a box from storage for me - and hands me 5 Wispa bars.

When I get to the checkout, much to my dismay I discover Wispa bars are actually 43pence each - meaning that 5 bars AND my 50 snacksize bars will take me over my £5 limit by 14pence. I apologise to the cashier, explaining my struggle, and face the fact I could have had more Wispa bars if I hadn't been so desperate for a combination of 50 dairy milk, Twirls and Cadbury's Bubbles bars(and yes, I am well aware this is just a slightly better formed Wispa bar but they're just not the same).

Then, something beautiful happened.

There was an old ish chap in the queue behind me. As the cashier told me I owed Morrisons £4.something he nudged my arm and held out his hand - containing a 20 pence piece. This was plenty enough for the fifth Wispa bar AND Cadbury's Mix bag; so I asked him if he was sure and he said "Yes I'm quite sure," and gave me the 20pence piece. I couldn't be more grateful to this man. By giving me this 20 pence piece he has given me another bar of chocolate, but he's also restored my faith in the fact that there are good things in the world too - some people are kind enough to help someone else out, even if its only over a bar of chocolate.

Thank you Morrisons Man. One day our paths may cross again and I will repay the favour - maybe you will be 14pence short of buying your favourite chocolate bar?

Fashion Police.

It occurred to me earlier that I am sad. What, I hear you cry? Leah, Queen of Fashion and all things good looking?

 Well a few weeks ago, when Frances was wandering about in her pink drysuit and pink BCD with pink cylinder cover etc, I realised that most of my dive kit is black or blue. But so is my kite kit (bar my kites, obviously, apart from my 4.8 which is black and mmm, but the Cent has a blue soulfly on it I guess).

And so, my mission to spend money on equipment that is mostly blue or black begins. May my days of red and black helmet, black jacket, red rucksack, camoflage trousers, blue gaitors and purple striped wellingtons be gone! Long live the era of sexy oversized black drysuits, pond weed filled hair or a sand covered face. As long as I coordinate.