Update #18

My blog has been on the quiet side recently. In fact, I only wrote 3 blogs last month: my previous update, one about my current situation and the other about myย third attempt at 15km.

While my blog has been a little inactive, I got up to some fun things in June, which I thought would be nice to mention about for a change.

On the 9th June I went to see a stage version of Willy Russell’s play Shirley Valentine in Coventry with my parents. We’re all big fans of the film version and we admire Russell’s works (Blood Brothers is my favourite musical!). The production was really good and it was fascinating that Russell wrote the play with only one character on stage: Shirley Valentine.

The following weekend I went on a small trip to the National Justice Museum in Nottingham. It was an educational day out where I learnt about the history of the judicial system in Nottingham. There was also some history about women’s campaigning for the right to vote during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. I liked the artwork that I saw below:

National Justice Museum, Nottingham

I also had a go at putting my head in the stocks, which was harder than I thought it would be (I have a big head!).

What crime did I commit?! ๐Ÿ˜›

The weekend after Nottingham I went to Skegness for the day with one of my best friends. It was my first time driving over 200 miles in one day, which I actually enjoyed as the route was nice with pleasant views. We got up to all sorts including shopping, walking on the beach, a game of pirate crazy golf, trying our luck on the 2p machines and eating ice cream and fish and chips, although the fish I had was more like a whale!

A huge portion of fish and chips!

The weekend just gone was a very social one- my parents held a surprise birthday party for two friends who have recently turned 65. My father cooked on the BBQ and we had lots of scrumptious food over the weekend. Yesterday I ended up going to an afternoon tea with my mother, which was delicious (and a sugar overload!).

Yet another afternoon tea

My blog will probably be similar to last month, but I will try to post some content for the next few weeks. I have some more exciting stuff coming up this month. I’m off to France for two weeks for a much needed break on the 22nd July, which I can’t wait for. I will definitely write a blog about my fortnight away in France.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Update #17

Wow! We’re half way through the year already! Last month seems to have flown by in a blur, butย I got up to a lot looking through the posts on my blog for May.

My blog was busy food wise last month. I made two lemon drizzle cakes, one for a bake off at my new job and the other for a ladies’ night in. I preferred my second attempt at making lemon drizzle cake. I used a metal tin rather than a silicone mould and using plain flour with a little dash of baking powder seemed to make a better sponge.

I recently went to a food and drinks festival at Alexandra Palace called StrEAT Life. This was a fun day out where I got to catch up with one of my university friends, and where we got to try some tasty food (and drink a lot of Pimm’s!). Last weekend in general was a binge food weekend, as I also went to a lovely afternoon tea and had fish and chips in Cromer.

Fitness wise was a series of ups and downs in May. I managed to complete a secondย 15km run and my 16th parkrun, but I have started experiencing pain in my shins. This has made it rather difficult when running. I attempted to run 15km at the start of the month but I only managed 5km because my shins were hurting a lot. I intend to go out running this weekend, so I’ll make sure to put some Deep Heat on my shins which my father has recommended to help ease the pain. I’d like to complete another 15km run before I move onto 17.5km for my training for the half marathon (which is only 4 months away!).

Despite the pain in my shins, last month marked one year since I discovered the parkrun in Guernsey. I am so glad that I was told about the parkrun; I enjoy going to my local one when I can make it on a Saturday morning. I ought to have a go at other parkuns around the area for a bit of a change and to meet more runners.

I mentioned about a night out for the fitness aspect of my blog, which was Peter Kay’s Dance for Life. It was a 3 hour dance-a-thon, which I think counted as a good form of exercise. The Dance for Life was so much fun and everyone was knackered by the end of the evening from dancing so much, but everyone had a big smile on their face.

I’ve been very quiet on the feminist front as of late. There’s lots of things I’d love to write about, but it takes me more time to write a feminist blog. I think it would be good for me to write at least one feminist blog this month. Do you have any suggestions for what I could write about?

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

StrEAT Life Festival

Sorry that it’s been a while since I last posted! I’ve been rather busy with various things recently, including the content of this blog. My next blog will of course be my monthly update, so I wanted to squeeze in one more blog before it’s June tomorrow!

The recent Bank Holiday weekend has been one full of good food (not all of it necessarily healthy!). I went down to London for the weekend and met up with one of my university friends and one of their friends on Saturday. Before I met up with them though, I was given a recommendation to try Edith’s House, a quirky cafe in Crouch End.

I needed a cool drink like a frappe or a milkshake, so I tried an apple pie pudshake. It was a milkshake full of ice cream and topped with thick whipped cream, and it tasted like an apple pie. It was very tasty, but also very filling! I had a 20 minute walk though, mostly uphill, which helped to ease my stomach a bit when I made my way to meet my friend.

Apple pie pudshake

The 20 minute walk from Edith’s House in Crouch End was to Alexandra Palace for the StrEAT Life Festival, a food and drinks festival which I also went to at the same time last year. The weather was glorious all day and I caught the sun (a bit too much on my back, but it’s tanned now). There is a lovely grassy area by the palace where most people relaxed during the day.

I wasn’t naked! I was wearing a crop top

After debating on what food to have, as there was a lot to choose from, I had a Greek BBQ pork and halloumi wrap with salad and a yogurt and mint dressing. It was delicious! I love Greek food so I was pleased to see a stand called ‘Greek Expectations’. My university friend had a Caribbean meal of exotic fish and rice, while his friend had some paella. It was nice that we all tried something different; we all wanted to try something that we don’t have on a daily/weekly basis.

Greek wrap

I also had an ice cream and a churro filled with banana custard, which were both delicious. I felt very full by the early evening, but pleasantly so.

After a lovely catch up and a day of hot sunshine, and as if I hadn’t already eaten enough food, I had an afternoon tea the following day! This was at a hotel in Enfield, in aid of a charity called Canine Partners. After an exciting magic card show, everyone had some afternoon tea. There were nine people at my table and there were plenty of sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I love a good afternoon tea, and this one was superb.

This wasn’t all for me!

And as if afternoon tea wasn’t enough, I had fish and chips on Monday in Cromer! After the afternoon tea I went to Cromer to meet up with my family who were camping there. I stayed overnight in a hotel with my mother (she doesn’t do camping) and we spent the day in Cromer the following day. When you go to the seaside in Britain you have to have fish and chips, and in Cromer the best place is Mary Janes. The fish was beautiful and the batter and chips weren’t too greasy.

Yummy fish and chips

I dread to think how many pounds I’ve put on over the weekend, but the food was worth it! I rarely eat food like this over a period of a few days and I enjoyed myself, which is the most important thing.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Lemon drizzle cake #2

Last Saturday I made a lemon drizzle cake for a bake off at work. I received positive comments from colleagues which was a good sign. I tried a little slice myself today from what was left over- it was soft and moist, and rather lemony but not too overpowering. I felt proud of myself, as I think it was the first time that I had made a lemon drizzle cake, or it’s been a very long time (I can’t remember).

Tomorrow night I am going to a ladies night in/sherry evening with my mother. My mother asked me to make a lemon drizzle cake for tomorrow, so I decided to leave it until tonight to make one, after finding out the verdict from work. I used the same recipe, but used plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder instead, as I had run out of self-raising flour. I also used a metal loaf tin instead rather than a silicone one, as my mother bought a metal one on Sunday.

Lemon drizzle cake ready to cook

I greased the metal loaf tin and put some greaseproof paper in as well to stop the cake from sticking.

Fresh out of the oven

Same as before, I poured over the lemon drizzle icing on the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. Again I had to pull the cake gently away from the edges of the tin to let the icing pour down the sides of the cake. After it had cooled down a bit, I took the lemon drizzle cake out of the tin.

Yummy!

I must admit, I prefer the look of my second attempt at lemon drizzle cake. You can see the drizzle icing on top of the cake and it looks more of a golden brown. My father said it was to do with the fact that I used plain flour with baking powder instead of self-raising flour. The shape of it looks better as well since I cooked it in a solid metal loaf tin, rather than a silicone one.

Hopefully it’ll taste as nice as my first attempt. I will find out tomorrow night!

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Many thanks,

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

Lemon drizzle cake

As you all know I love cooking, but I don’t bake very often. I’d love to bake more however, baking involves sweet sugary treats and I’d weigh a lot more if I made cakes on a regular basis. The only time I’ll make a cake is for someone’s birthday, a party or a charity event.

At my new place of work a bake off has been running for a while now and there was a gap for the week commencing the 8th May. So I decided to volunteer and offer to make a cake. Tonight I made a lemon drizzle cake ready for work on Monday.

I used a recipe book which I’ve had for 10 years now! I won it when I was at secondary school. The book is called ‘The Classic 1000 Cake & Bake Recipes’. It’s a brilliant book which I’ve used on many occasions. I referred to the recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake.

One of my favourite recipe books

Firstly I creamed together 100g of butter and 175g of caster sugar until there was a light and fluffy mixture. Then I gradually whisked in two beaten eggs, followed by 175g of self raising flour, 4 tbsp of milk and the grated rind of 1 lemon. I mixed it altogether until there was a smooth texture. I then poured the mixture into a silicone loaf tray and baked in the oven at gas mark 4 for 45 minutes.

Lemon cake ready to bake

While the cake was in the oven, I mixed together 4 tbsp of icing sugar and 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. As soon as it came out of the oven, I poured the icing mixture over the cake.

Lemon drizzle cake fresh of the oven

The only problem was that the icing kept on sitting round the edge of the cake, so I had to pull the silicone tray at the edges to let the icing run down the sides. Once the cake had cooled down a bit, I took it out of the tray and placed some sliced lemon on top for decoration.

Lemon drizzle cake ready for work

I think that the cake looks a little bit overdone, but hopefully it’ll taste great. I tried a little bit of the cake that was stuck to the silicone tray and it tasted sweet and lemony, which is always a good sign.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Many thanks,

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

Update #16

It’s the month of May- how did that come around so quickly?!

I’ll admit, the past few weeks have been hard for me. I won’t go into details, but it always seems to be the case that when your life is looking up, it’s going to come down at some point. I’m at the down point currently, but I’ve had the comfort of my family and friends and I know what I need to do to move forward. My blog definitely helps me in this respect, as I can look back on what I’ve achieved and how I’m developing as a person.

April saw the end of lent, which meant that I could start eating meat again! I have enjoyed being back on the carnivorous diet, but I continue to opt for vegetarian options when I fancy it or when it sounds particularly tasty (I had a spinach, cheddar and butternut squash tart this weekend, which was so good!). As per tradition (for the past two years), I had bacon in a hot cross bun for breakfast on Easter Sunday and then a lamb roast dinner in the evening.

Before the end of lent I made two vegetarian quiches which worked out rather well. One was spinach and ricotta and the other was made with Mediterranean vegetables. Since starting my new job I’ve not had as much time to cook in the evenings, but hopefully I’ll be creative one night (or during the weekends) and make something new to post on my blog. I like to maintain the foodie aspect of my blog all year round, not just around lent.

Last month I signed up for the Leicester half marathon. On Sunday 15th October I will be running 21km (13 miles) around Leicester, which will be my biggest fitness challenge yet. I need to go out long distance running at some point, since 5 months will soon whizz by before I know it!

I ran my fifteenth parkrun in April. It wasn’t my personal best but it was nice to run on a beautiful Saturday morning.

I’ve just thought of this target- it would be nice to be able to complete a parkrun in 30 minutes by the end of this year. I think that’s an achievable target, considering that my personal best so far has been 32 minutes and 19 seconds. All I need to do is run 2 minutes and 19 seconds faster then I will finish 5km in 30 minutes- I can do it!

The feminist front has been quiet for me last month, but I like to keep myself updated with what’s going on in the movement towards gender equality. I follow many feminist pages on Facebook, such as Women’s Rights News, My Favourite F Word is Feminismย and Feminists United. Generally there is a lot of positivity and empowering posts which make my day.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

Poclaretry- You are what you eat

As many of you know, I have a separate blog for my poetry. It’s been a while since I last posted on there, but the creative juices have been flowing again in my brain and I’m glad to have written a poem today!

I thought I’d share the link for it on here since it is linked to the foodie aspect of my main blog:ย https://poclaretry.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/you-are-what-you-eat/

The poem, You are what you eat, is about the societal pressures of seasonal treats and body image. It also incorporates how food shops and marketing play a big role in this ‘dog eat dog’ world of people being tempted to buy treats earlier than they really need to and how people should be looking after their body image by avoiding treats. It’s a double edged sword.

 

Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear