Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Chocolate Brownies

Today's recipe:


  • 225g dark chocolate
  • 175g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g plain flour
  • 55g cocoa powder


  • Preheat the oven to 160C and line a 20x30cm baking tray with foil.
  • Break the chocolate up into bits and melt with the butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.  I actually melt mine in the microwave which seems to be just as effective.
  • Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl.
  • Stir the chocolate and butter mixture into the sugar and egg mix.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder mix in and stir well.
  • Pour into your lined tray, smooth the top and bake for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool for a while and then cut into squares - should still be slightly squidgy.
  • Enjoy!

Little C had a morning out with daddy on the bike today allowing me to go shopping and have lunch out with Daisy without needing to entertain a toddler or rush back for nap time.  Once home I popped Daisy in her bed (which unusually she did not protest!) and spent some time with Little C.  He wasn't sure that he fancied baking, but as I got the ingredients out he got more and more curious until he actually started to climb into his highchair.  I did very little of the mixing - he's getting really good at it.  Big C couldn't believe the sight of Little C trying to "break up the chocolate" by eating it!  I also did very little of the bowl licking - every time I tried to get some Little C made claim to it - c'est la vie - he's gone to bed now so I can have as many brownies as I like!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A few random thoughts

Little C touching hands with little sister
It's been ten days since I last posted.  Given the last couple of posts I think you'll probably understand and forgive me.  Just now little Daisy is sleeping in her Moses basket, getting her Zs in now so that she can keep me awake through most of the night I think.  Doesn't she have beautiful little hands?

We've been away to Devon for the weekend.  It's a long trek with a two/three week old, a toddler and a dog from Scotland to Devon, but we had a good trip.  Big C did all the driving preserving me and my tiredness; the waggy-tailed-one is a great traveller; Little C played with his toys in his seat, slept when he needed to and enjoyed all our breaks; and little Daisy just slept the entire time in the car.  We made an overnight stopover in Stoke-on-Trent to visit my in-laws in each direction, which broke the journey up and made it much more bearable, as well as allowing us all to spend some time with Big C's family.  In Devon we stayed with Grandma and beetled around visiting lots of rarely seen family.  We were pretty busy, but managed to feel quite chilled and relaxed about it all.  From my point of view the only negative was the tiredness.  Bearing in mind the age of little Daisy and the fact that I am awake for several hours every night with her, I really appreciate and need my afternoon naps.  While away though, it wasn't so much her that was keeping me awake but Little C.  Unused to much light in his bedroom, or to mummy and daddy being in the same room, he woke up wailing at least once every night, and sometimes wouldn't settle again at all, which meant that I was awake from 5am on two mornings, and woken up for an hour at 1am a couple of times.  He also couldn't nap at all while we were away, which meant that neither could I.  I'm looking forward to getting back a bit of sleep to help me cope with night feeds.  I find that I can't settle her back to sleep very easily when I am so tired, I just feed and doze and hope she'll drop off again herself.
Teignmouth pier
Our trip made us even more grateful that we had made the move to Scotland.  Even here in the central belt things are much quieter and more roomy than on the crowded motorways of England, and the parking situation in Teignmouth, where the houses are piled up on one another on steep streets is just ridiculous.  We are now even more determined to take the next steps to continue improving our lives.  We are thinking in terms of economising, downsizing and generally making life simpler with a view to moving to an even more remote area.  I'm loving the plan.
I'm loving the image here.  Little sister lying on the floor in Teignmouth golf club while we have breakfast nearby.  My little sis bought us the sleepsuit.  She knows my preference for rainbow stripes and my aversion to dreaded baby girl pink!
As part of the downsizing and simplifying move, I logged on and registered with to sell some surplus books.  I got fed up with e-bay as the maximum post and packaging thing meant that it was costing me more to sell my books than I was getting for them! 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Feeling very happy

I feel a very lucky lady just now.

Yes, I've had a bit of the baby-blues.  Yes, I'm tired.  Yes, I'm aware that projects that I mean to get done, and housework, and cooking and all those things are taking a back seat just now and just not getting done...


...I look at my little boy, who is so clever, and so affectionate and loving, and sociable.  He feels a bit insecure at the moment.  He wants to "see mummy" (imagine the plaintive voice) and to know where I am.  Sometimes, especially when baby is asleep, he wants to cuddle up to mummy for as long as possible.  Other times, it isn't me that he wants to cuddle at all, it's baby, and he rests his head on her or squeezes on to her and I try to respond with positive "oh that's right, she likes it when you're very gentle" and restrain myself from the squealed "Careful!  You're squashing her!"  He's had Nana and Grandad here for a few days, and then Auntie Janet, and in the few short months since he last saw them, he's become much more sociable and ready to play and read, and he knows and uses their names...

...I look at my little girl.  She's not even two weeks old yet, and her due date isn't until Tuesday, yet she's an absolute joy already.  I know it's almost certainly wind, but I've had some cheeky smiles from her, especially when she's filled a nappy only minutes after I've changed it.  She snuggles up to me with such contentment, and nestles into the sling so comfortably.  She loves to be held, she loves her milk, she smells so good... 

...I look at my husband.  He would never agree to this, and will shake his head if he reads this blog post, but he looks after me.  He's a great daddy.  He's thoughtful and kind and clever and generous...

...I look at my dog.  The waggy tailed one.  She is gorgeous.  She is affectionate, patient (except where going out for walks is concerned), brilliant with Little C, smily, and great company...

...Friends and neighbours who are so kind and generous.  We have received gifts for new baby from neighbours who we know by sight (but don't know their names - for which I feel terribly guilty - I really should take more interest in the people around me and be kinder and more thoughtful towards them), from colleagues and ex-colleagues, from friends and acquaintances.  I would like to be as generous as these people are to us...

... Really, I'm a very lucky and happy lady.  I must have done something right somewhere to have this life.  I'll stop being smooshy and sentimental now, and get back to the business in hand, which is to have an early night and get some sleep so that I can cope with the night feeds later.