Of Love In The Time Of Chocolate Cake

Guest Post

Love in the time of chocolate

Chocolate Cake

The rich chocolatey smell of the cake overwhelms my nostrils, coating the fine hairs with thoughts of warm crushed cocoa beans. I savour the heft of the slice in my hand, marvelling at the glossy, delicate swirls of chocolate butter cream. My mouth is heavy with saliva. I close my eyes and lean in for that first eager bite.
A bright shaft of light pierces my eyelids and a voice drills into my head: vasikana havasweri vakarara. Confused I open my eyes. Where is my cake? Where is the chocolatey goodness that was meant to transport me to confectionery seventh heaven? As my mother continues to bustle around the room, the clouds lift. It was all a dream. A beautiful tantalising dream cruelly snatched away by another person’s intervention. I was too young at the time to know that it would be a recurring theme, though sadly too often it was my dreams being snatched away in real life, with no warm bed to snuggle back into.
As a black girl growing up in Harare, I learnt early on that I did not have the luxury of sleeping in during the school holidays. By 6am my mother would have woken me up to get about my industrious day. Because my training to be the perfect wife could not be left to chance and circumstance and sleeping in after 6am.

Zimbabwean society places a very high value on a woman being married. As a young girl, your waking moments are devoted to furthering the cause of your future marriage. A family does not just raise a daughter, their combined efforts are preparing a wife. A woman who will not only be an excellent cook and homekeeper, but one whose focus is on keeping her husband happy. And if she can issue forth from her loins strong strapping sons to carry on his family life, she has fulfilled her God-given purpose. She has earned her title of A Real Woman. But A Real Woman training takes time and sacrifice. When you are younger, the unfairness of watching your brothers play outside, with their ball made from the brightly-coloured sacks the potatoes you spent hours peeling came in, becomes something of a permanent friend. You don’t yet possess the sophisticated lexis to describe the unfairness, but you feel it deeply. You feel it when you are the one to pluck that live chicken. Smell it when you need to clean and squeeze out its intestines. Bleed it as you cut deftly through the bones to make sure there is enough chicken to go around at dinner time, in the hope that no unexpected visitors drop by as dinner is to be served. Season that tomato and onion chicken stew with a large dollop of unfairness and as you suckle the marrow of those bones and lick the juices dripping down your arms, unfairness cuts off your contented burps because the mountain of dishes still awaits you. To be a good young black girl is to know service and unfairness intimately.

  • Zimbabwean society raises us to be perfect wives for imperfect men

A girl born into a relatively traditional Zimbabwean family is a potential return on investment in the bride price that can be charged for her. For those lucky enough to be blessed with natural good looks and child-bearing hips, their value increases exponentially. As early as when you are a chubby-cheeked toddler, aunts are already exclaiming what a pretty wife you will make one day. Before you even have full command of your own bowels, plans are already underfoot to offload you for a few beasts and healthy wad of cash. Because your beauty is not your own, your beauty belongs to the family to financially maximise on, at hopefully not too distant a point in the future.

So now it’s 6.01am. You have lifted your head off the pillow. And you groan inwardly at the thought of pillows because today is a laundry day and all the sheets need to be washed. Six pairs of sheets and pillowcases that need to be washed by hand, hung out to dry, ironed and then beds remade. All before 3pm because the evening meal needs to be prepared and ready by 6pm. You don’t want to miss the start of wrestling on tv by not getting your timings right. You trudge to the bathroom and complete a cursory ablution. You will bath once the laundry’s done and the house swept and floors polished and breakfast and lunch dishes put away and the meat simmering on the stove. 12 years old and you already have the house running like clockwork.

As you proceed to scrub the kitchen floor on hands and knees, your older brother trudges in from outside, trailing muddy footprints to the fridge. Sadly, you don’t yet know any expletives to tell him what a fucking cunt he is for dirtying your floor. But the anger is real and hot and burns in your throat. For all he knows about clean floors, there is a Floor Elf that whizzes in every afternoon and abracadabraes all the dirt away. You don’t hate your brother exactly, but you swallow the unfairness each time he walks into the house dragging in smells of sunshine and rolling around in the grass and the happy dampness of hosing each other down in water fights.

You go back to clean up his muddy footprints and look on the floor with a kind of grim satisfaction. You are confident you have done enough to ensure not being made to re-do it as your mother’s opprobrium rains down on you, warning you that uchatinyadzisa wadzoswa. What could be more humiliating than your future husband returning you to your family because you could not scrub a floor properly. How would you ever live down the shame of being a slatternly wife who could not maintain hearth and home? There wouldn’t be enough earth to swallow you whole!

To be an average Zimbabwean woman is to know the fear of never getting married. To be one of those women looked down upon with a certain degree of contempt and pity, with a side of What If She Steals Our Men fear for good measure. So you learn early on to comport yourself in a manner that makes people remark kuti mwana ane tsika iyeye. You sit with your legs tightly closed, and in lax moments where your legs betray you and fall open, one eagle eyed glare from your mother is enough to jam your legs back together, straining your muscles in abject fear of dropping your guard again.

Requests to bring more tea for the guests are a blessing in disguise as you can discreetly wipe away the sweat that has been pouring down your legs in superglued legs exertion. You are young, but the need to be nice in company has been drilled into you. Cautions of not running around like a wild animal chasing each other in your head. The burn marks from the carpet as you greeted each adult on your knees still stinging slightly. You answer questions politely, just enough information so they don’t think you are a bit slow, but not so much that they leave thinking that chimwana chiye chinoganhira. You serve guests with scalding cups of tea and chocolate cake, harnessing both your culinary skills and generosity. You clear cups and saucers quickly and quietly, making sure not to disrupt the adults. You know what it is to be a good girl. How then can you fail to be a good wife?

Through all this, the mud-trailing brother has come in and said a perfunctory hello and gone back to his outdoor games. You are told later on that boys don’t mature as quickly as girls do. You believe it because Mud Trailer can barely wash the skidmarks out of his own underwear, or make himself a decent toasted sandwich. Don’t even think about getting him to get that neat crease in his white long-sleeved school shirt. Somewhere else in Zimbabwe, your co-labourer is perfecting her skills so she can do all those things for him. She knows as well as you do, that a man doesn’t need to be able to not burn a hole in his shirt every time he picks up an iron. All these lessons in cooking and cleaning you have been learning have been for his benefit and for that of his family. Without a husband to validate those skills, really what is the point of having darkened your knees on so many floors and strained your neck hanging up those thick wet winter blankets?

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

2/3 cup margarine

2 eggs

1 T vanilla

4 T cocoa

2 ½ cups sifted flour

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ t soda

½ t salt

1 ¾ cup ice water

Method

  1. Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla till fluffy for about 5 minutes (electric beater or by hand).
  2. Blend in chocolate (sifted if lumpy).
  3. Sift flour with soda and salt and add to creamed mixture alternately with iced water..
  4. Bake in a round tin in a moderately hot oven until done (approximately 30 mins)

 

Guest Post by Eleanor Madziva

Bio

Eleanor is an itinerant Zimbabwean with a passion for picking lint out of her navel, while trying to find the best ways of not turning into a charred mess in the desert heat. Less a writer, more a person who writes.

Eleanor Madziva

Twitter @Madziva_Eleanor

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Of How To build A Business That Lasts: Vision, Mission & Objectives

More than 60% of all business ideas never live long enough to materialise and of those that do more than 80% do not outlast a single year. This is not to say the ideas are bad, well in some instances they are actually worse than bed, but some really good ideas just seem not to work out as they are intended. The current economic vision shift in most countries and in some instances the lack of economic vision, has led to the growth of the entrepreneurship sector.

Zimbabwe is no exception, one cannot surely ascertain the reason behind the sprouting of the informal sector in the form of small start-up, some allege that it’s an economic vision shifts whilst some suggest that its poor governance.

One thing we can all agree on is there is a steady increase in entrepreneurship, sadly most of these start-ups never get to experience the world outside the owner’s briefcase and if they do well they varnish from the face of the earth in less than a year. One then wonders, what could be the reason behind such massive failures, what can be done to increase chances of survival and who is ultimately responsible for business survival.

In my experience I have noticed that there are so many causes of these massive failures, however the most common one and yet rarely mentioned is the lack of vision by the owners of the idea/start-up or the company. Most start-ups do not have a vision, they just operate without determining where they are going, what is to be achieved or what they exist for. There is a common adage which says, it doesn’t matter which way you go if you have no vision because eventually you have no desired destination and it also happens that failure is the most common destination. If you put your business on autopilot and leave it to curve its own course well do not be surprised when you see it landing on the death zone aka business closure.

In my opinion every business, no-matter how small, needs a business strategy also known as strategic management. For improved chances of survival, one has to know which decisions to make, how to make decisions, have guidelines that dictates how everyone in that organisation ought to behave.

All businesses face money problems, reputation problems and yes intense competition, however, have you ever asked yourself how others survive. Some businesses are born from backgrounds of no finance at all, face unimaginable competition and yet have no good reputation to their name.

Despite all that, they standout and outshine or at least secure their future in the measure of the acquired advantage. But which advantage is this, how do they realise this advantage and how do they choose the route to take. I hear most freelancers in the web development circles crying foul about others charging as low as $50 per site. But with a well thought-out business plan with the elements of a strategy one can choose between low cost business strategy and differentiation strategy.

Knowing how you tend to position your business and how to eventually do it are two different things and they require a lot of commitment to master and ensure that the path you choose will ensure that you achieve that. This is a long road and it requires consistency and determination which starts with the following.

A business strategy is used to make sure that each and every decision made by any member of the start-up has value towards survival and growth of the business if every member of the start-up know what is to be achieved by the company then their decisions will be more inclined towards the interest of the organisation.

Unfortunately this is not the case in most start-ups, they leave the doors to their organisation unlocked and unattended and always act surprised when failure opens their doors and assert its dominance.

Lucky you dear reader, in this article I’m going to walk you through some of the things you need to make sure that exist in your company if you dream of having a company to run a year from now.

The first thing you need is a vision

Vision
Great writers such as Andree De Waal and Grant clearly stated that every excellent performing company has a vision. This is the reason why on almost every company’s website they put their vision. It is the ultimate destination that the organisation would want to achieve in a given time period. Without a vision written down, it doesn’t matter which decision you make because ultimately you have no target, which basically means you have no measure to judge your decisions or your employee’s decisions against. Everything you do in such a case will be right and unfortunately it will also be wrong. Take it from this perspective, how are you going to see if you are moving in the right direction if you do not set the direction you want to go. It is like a plane taking off an airport but has no intended destination, eventually it’s going to crash or disappear from the radar, whichever happens first.
After establishing a vision, then you need to take the next step.

Mission
A mission, just like the word suggest, is what you as an organisation intend to do. If you do not know what your company wants to do them it is going to fail because failure might as well be on its to do list. You can only determine your market size after determining the kind of problem you are fixing by what you exist to provide. Some companies take their mission to be..the best provider of office furniture in the country for SMEs. This forces a business to have focus and know how to best achieve their mission. There is a lot that can be said about the mission, however, in this 1st article I’m going to stick on the basics but I will definitely make effort to produce more detailed content that can help you and your business take the world head on.

Strategic Objectives
This is the next step, it joins the mission and the company strategy, objectives by their very nature are targets that each and every organisation, and individual, no matter how small should have. They help when trying to break the mission of the organisation down into manageable units. Unfortunately we often rush into starting all these business because the idea is so fascinating but never take time to set targets for progress sake. The most common outcome of such an approach is heartbreak and burnout. The idea behind the notion of objectives is to have portions of the mission focused on different sections of the organisation. Some objectives are financial, they solely focus on the financial affairs of the start-up and their contribution towards the mission of the start-up. As you might have correctly guessed, other objectives will be productive related, customer relations focused and so forth. The idea is to make sure that all corners that have an effect on the performance of the start-up are covered. If this is done professionally and well your company’s chances of survival will be improved drastically. The sooner we master these fundamental principles the better least our ideas become history and nightmares that haunts us day and night.

The issue of planning strategically the future of an entity is of great importance, it is surely a cure needed by most start-ups that we have today if the entertain hope of having a meaningful future. Depending on the reception of the first article I will make a more detailed article looking at the issue of managing start-up strategically and ensuring survival of start-ups.

Until next time happy money farming!!

Guest Post written by Douglas Mwanza.

Douglas Mwanza

A business consultant specialising in the areas of strategy formulation and implementation.
Phone: +263 779 947 976
Email: douglasmwanza7@gmail.com
LinkedIn: Douglas mwanza7
Facebook: Douglas Dee Mwanza
Instagram: douglas_mwanza7

Of Left, Right And Wrong

GUEST POST: Raquel

Left Or Right

As a child, growing up was awesome experience. I was the second child and first daughter of a family of seven children, two boys and five girls. We girls in the middle the first and last born being boys.

Let me write about one unique memory which is still part of me. I am, rather I was a left handed child, I say so because I use my right hand now. To best describe it I am now ambidextrous. No; that doesn’t describe me well neither . Let me describe it further; there are things I do only with my left and there are things l can do with my right only and there are things I use both comfortably. I write with my right hand for I was forced to learn to write with my right and I wash with my left hand, for sweeping I can use both hands .

Being the first female child in the family meant I was my mum’s first student in “home affairs”. She taught me the ways of being a woman, especially when it came to domestic chores.

In the African setting where I come from, the left hand has some taboo functions. You can’t use your left hand to give or take anything from anyone, not even someone you are senior to and worse if it’s an elder. My mum did her best to correct me to the point I got confused. She would say “with that your left hand” using my local dialect and in defence, I tell her “…. it’s my right hand mum“.

Okay this is what I did after failing to identify which was my right hand. If l wanted to do anything, I first watched whoever is around me and I see what hand that person is using. I would then, in my mind’s eye, while still sitting where I was, move myself and turn to the position the person was and try to pick out which is my right hand. That was my means of escape and it really did help me. I failed several times, because if I was seated facing the person and tried to use the hand I saw the person using it would be the opposite hand. Getting directions to go anywhere was a tough one for me but I learnt to use makers.

I was always last to finish any task it was really awkward for me, at a point I became an introvert and then I discovered books. There no one judged me or corrected me, I could flow however I wanted without pressure. It was my place of escape and joy.
I believe my mum somehow gave up, but because the job had to be done, she only made her usual comment and she let me be.”Ka maskar ragai ni“, meaning that left hand. Funny people do at times complain even when it is my right.

Rachel copy

Bio:

*Rachel is a Church girl, a wife and a mother of three. A graduate of Mass-Communication. She calls herself a washer woman as she is into laundry and dry-cleaning business. A Nigerian from the Northeast state of Borno but lives in Abuja. She loves her mum. She loves reading and would love to write more if her muse would keep musing her.

She loves to be addressed with her pen name Raquel.
.

Of Coffee With Hayley

Coffee with Hayley

If you were having coffee with me on a Wednesday Midweekend Fiesta, I would be glad to introduce to you a friend of mine Hayley Ann Carstens… we managed (read that as I ran around like a headless chicken to catch up with her) to have a lovely chat:

hayley carstens plus size model

**Confession I am not really having coffee I am having rooibos herbal** And Hayley:

A cappuccino has to be it – its her go-to drink

~B: If you could describe yourself as a beverage which one would you best describe yourself as?

Most probably coffee actually [she laughs] uhm, I have a very strong and overpowering side but at the same I can be weak, venerable and subtle

~B: I am dying to ask you the question, “tell us about yourself” but I always  get stuck when I get asked that same question, so how about this “tell me what would you like me to ask you first and I will ask it next.

uhm I think a good question to ask people and one I love being asked would be what my end goal and passion is and why [she smirks at me].

~B: Okay okay, fair enough those are good questions. So what would you end goal and passion be and why? 

Well I’m currently at iStudy a college in Harare doing full component A-levels in English, psychology and business studies which will be my stepping stone to University. I have been offered over 30 scholarships so far and that is what will lead me to become a journalist and a creative writer. I guess one answer leads to the next [she laughs] my passion is the English language and writing. I fell in love with the English language about 6 years ago and its always been my dream. I love writing and English because you get given a topic and you can create the perception you want you readers to read, be it literal or metaphorical. There are so many boundaries and so many “you cant do this and you cant do that’s”, that it seems tough but you have no boundaries in another sense and you create you boundaries to extend to.

~B: Whenever I hear the word Model in my head I imagine someone tall and and and well you know the stereotypical model who looks like unlike a girl in the street… And here you are looking like you could live to next door to me…. Where do you get the confidence, are you on a mission? 

[Hayley laughs] That’s because I’m humble and because I don’t have that “I’m better than everybody else” attitude. I feel like we are all fair and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I have a crazy attitude and when the 2016 Zimbabwe Models Awards came up I was nervous but I also had that “I got this, I’m the best choice” attitude and I wanted to win and I did win, I got Best Plus Size Model. [she looks down and smiles]. Now it starts again for 2017 [she grins nervously].

hayley ann carstens

~B: Outside of just being there and looking like a breath of fresh fair, what are your other interests?

Funny enough, modelling isn’t something I ever thought I’d do or even consider but when the agency reached out to me and said that they wanted me – that is how it happened [She looks surprised]. I absolutely love reading, I love writing, I love binge watching my favourite series on a Friday evening while I write notes for my classes or just being with my friends in general, doing anything, as long as I’m with the people I love – I’m happy. I’m really easy to please actually, anything makes me happy and it’s the little things that matter. If there’s an adventure I can go – I will definitely be there [she laughs], I’m an adventure junkie.

~B: please, please, please, please do share what you read, then I can get to caption the next photo not just a pretty face, I have never used that cliché before… I am a storyteller and I have a soft spot for people who read, I might write something you like, right?

I absolutely love reading and I love learning different writing styles how different writers create the perceptions they want you to envision. My favourite author is Paula Hawkins and my last book was ‘I am Pilgrim’ which is authored by Terry Hayes. It’s a fictional thriller which is definitely worth the read.

~B: I adore Paula Hawkins and she is Zim born too!!!

hayley Carstens model

Not Just A Pretty Face

Where do you see yourself in the future? How supportive is your family in your dreams?

I see myself as a writer, I have a story I’m to write as soon as I’m out of University and it’s definitely going to be a bestseller. [she smiles confidently]. My family is remarkable, they support me till the end of time and we all support each other like that. We are always on call for one another and our relationships are better than good, the support is definitely above normal.

~B: What are your thoughts on the modelling industry in Zimbabwe? Any changes you wish to see?

Definitely. The modelling industry is so different from any other country. We are diverse and accepting which often leads to rude remarks about models. I recently saw a post on Facebook that states “Anyone can be a model in Zim, all you have to do is post a picture and claim yourself as a model and boom, you’re a model in Zimbabwe”. As shocked as I was by this and outraged, it made me little happy.[she smiles warily] 

Haylehann carsten plus size model

I mean, our country is known for being accepting and supporting no matter your gender, race, shape or size and that is something to be proud of. One thing I would change is the use of child models below certain ages being showcased because that could stir up a whole lot of problems and I think they should be a part of an agency but not advertised unless they are over sixteen per say.

~B: its almost Christmas this year I promised myself to dress up like Santa and call myself the Rasta Santa and help spread the Christmas cheer do you have a wishlist you would like to share (not that I will get you anything ha! But who knows who is reading this chat……

[she laughs] Definitely. I can’t say there is anything I would particularly ask for, I have traditions of things I buy myself each year and usually if there is something I want – I just go buy it in general. I would say that I crave adventure and to live through new experiences. So, readers,  if you can bring me the guy I like or pay for ten people to go somewhere new – I’ll thank you. [Laughs].

~B: What’s the one thing you never leave home without?

I cannot live without water. I can’t leave my house or even my bedroom for the living room without water. I don’t really drink anything besides water, coffee and the occasional wine [laughing]. I mean, I don’t drink fizzy drinks, things which are too sweet or, well, I’m a fussy person when it comes to drinking and I drink water more than anything but I also drink a lot of coffee.

~B: Thank you for the time, oh yeah just something quick for research purposes; (lets see your hands) we  just want to know before we start drawing googly hearts on your name single, taken or its complicated?

It’s complicated [she laughs]. I have someone but it is isn’t official as of yet. We are waiting for the best time to make it official but so far, it is what I would consider the perfect person for me and the perfect situation. [She’s smiling uncontrollably and blushing].

~B: Ooooh final question, absolutely the last one; if Aliens came and took over the world why should they make you their queen?????????

I am a very strong willed individual and I like to win. I’m motivated, I’m determined and I can be ruthless as well as very caring and supportive. When it comes to my job, my family, or my friends – I am a born leader. [Grins confidently]

~B: Yes we have a runaway imagination, thank you very much; ok last one; if you were an emoji which one would you be.

I’d be that one with its that ‘Yeah you know what’s up’ face

yeah you know what's up emoji

~B: Pretend we are on camera wave at the camera and do a few shout outs.

[Laughs and does Queens wave] Well, my only shout outs would be my family, my friends and my agency for the support and encouragement.

We thought you should us out too!!!!!!

If you were having coffee with Hayley and myself  we would tell you that she is a nominee in the Zimbabwe Models Awards and if you like what you see, what are you waiting for go vote, like her  Facebook page : Hayley Ann Carstens

Zimbabwe Models Awards Hayley Ann Carstens
~B

 

Photo credit Nyamie Photography

Of A Book Tour: The Curse Of Time

GuestPost:

The Curse of Time M. J. Mallon

If you were having coffee with me, we would have a quick chat with MJ (whom is neither Michael Jackson nor from Spiderman)  and a sneak insight into the characters from her up coming book Bloodstone Book 1 The Curse of Time……….

Bloodstone Book 1

Book 1 – Bloodstone

Thank you to Beaton for inviting me to guest post on his blog today.

It’s a delight to be here, I have enjoyed following Beaton for a good old while and I think we seem to share a similar sense of wacky humour.

I’m delighted to share with you my novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone a YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, UK.

If I was to pick a character or two that Beaton would enjoy I’d guess I’d start with Ryder my male protagonist, a narcissistic fellow who prefers to hang about in the shadows. He’s charismatic, beguiling, a curious young man with a mysterious side.

There are several young ladies in the story who might engage his interest too: Amelina, the main character is artsy, and magical, the mirror girl Esme will pull at his heart strings. Super confident Jade, jokey Ilaria, or serious, thoughtful Joselyn could capture his heart. Don’t forget gossipy Aunt Karissa who will undoubtedly make him laugh, as will her daft dog Toby.

Surely he will love the sleek black cat character: Shadow?

I expect he will be intrigued by The Grasshopper of the Chronopage?

If he’s a family man he will be curious to find out more about the terrible fate that has befallen Amelina’s  mum and dad…

There are a whole bunch of characters in The Curse of Time – I love them all and hope you will too.

Bio:

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: A-Z of my book reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In Bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

MJ.JPG

You can find MJ on various pages of the interweb

Amazon Author Page

Website mjmallon.com

Facebook Group to help support traditional and indie writers. #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Instagram: mjmallonauthor

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: M J Mallon author

Tumblr: MJMallonauthor

She has devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on Goodreads Review Account

~B

PS I must confess to being super curious and cant wait to read this…. its like being regular curious but I wear a cape

 

 

Of Serendipity: A Series Of Fortunate Events

Guest Post

guest post.jpg

Being someone who is interested in various sciences, I try to project a rational image to the world. But I encountered a set of coincidences during a recent trip to Belize that seemed too perfect to happen by chance. It almost felt as if some invisible force was organizing the flow of events; putting me exactly where I needed to be at the right times.

I recently spent six weeks in Belize. During the first half of this trip I was participating in an archaeological field school: living in a subtropical rainforest and excavating Mayan ruins. Once that program ended, I spent another three weeks traveling on my own. During this time I was learning about jaguar conservation, whilst also looking for opportunities to perform my master’s research. It was during this phase that the most incredible coincidences occurred.

One of these events unfolded during my second week of solo traveling. At this point, I was living in Bella’s Backpackers hostel in San Ignacio. I had several people I wanted to speak with in the nearby capital of Belmopan, but I had been unable to find affordable lodging there. So I opted to stay in San Ignacio and bus back and forth.

Bella's BackPackers San Ignacio, Belize.

The common area at Bella’s BackPackers in San Ignacio, Belize.

One day, I went to the immigration office in Belmopan to extend my visa. I spent several hours waiting in line, only to be told that I had to come back later. Frustrated and exhausted, I began to wander aimlessly through town. Eventually I found myself standing in front of Everest Indian Restaurant. I love Indian food, and I had accidentally found the only Indian restaurant currently open in Belmopan. And the food was incredible.

While there, a British expat struck up a conversation with me. I told him about my inability to find cheap accommodations in Belmopan, and he immediately referred me to the restaurant’s owner: Raj Karki. Raj had a large house with a spare room, but he was not ready to receive guests. Fortunately, a couple overhead Raj and I talking. They informed me that they were staying at a place called Belmopan Tiny Homes, and that the rates were reasonable. They gave me the owner’s phone number, and two days later I had moved there. By a stroke of luck, I now had a place to stay in Belmopan.

Belmopan Tiny Homes; Belmopan, Belize.​

Belmopan Tiny Homes on the Outskirts of Belmopan, Belize.​

A few days later I awoke with an urge to visit Raj at Everest. When I arrived there, he said that he had readied his spare room for me. I could move in at any time, and for the same low rate I was paying at Belmopan Tiny Homes. I did so, and this ended up being the best decision I made in Belize. More on this later.

During my last week in Belize, I was still focused on trying to meet with key people in Belmopan. I had some downtime one day, so I went to Guanacaste National Park. After a fantastic hike, I stopped to chat with the staff in the visitor center. A man walked in whom they knew, and I began telling him why I was in Belize. When I mentioned my interest in jaguars, he told me that he was the site manager at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This is an important area for jaguars, and earlier I had regretted that I would not have time to go there. Now, by some bizarre coincidence, Cockscomb’s site manager was standing right in front of me. These things are not supposed to happen in real life! Despite the unlikelihood of this event, the most important coincidence was still to come.

Stream Guanacaste National Park

​A beautiful stream at Guanacaste National Park, just outside of Belmopan

It was now July 3, and my last day in Belize. After a morning meeting with the Belize Forest Department, I chose to spend the rest of the day with my friend Raj. That evening I saw Raj going to great lengths to plant fruit trees in an empty lot. I asked Raj what he was doing, and he replied that he had planted many fruit trees throughout Belmopan. Why? So that when the trees matured, everyone could enjoy their delicious fruits. No one would know Raj had planted them, but he did not care.

I suddenly had an epiphany. At that moment, I was witnessing the type of behavior that would create a better future. Raj did not fit the environmentalist stereotype: he was well-groomed and identified as a businessman. Yet here he was, unknowingly engaging in reforestation, simply because he wanted to help others. In that moment, I realized what my next major task was. I needed to find more people like Raj, learn how they became the way they are, and share their stories with the world. Perhaps then other people will be inspired to follow their examples.

Everest Indian Restaurant

While in Belize, I visited many incredible places. But it was here, outside of Everest Indian Restaurant, that I learned my greatest lesson. It came ​not from a scientific expert, but from a humble restaurant owner.

Whether due to fate, chance, or some other factor; my time in Belize was one coincidence after another. These fortunate events helped me overcome challenges, better my circumstances, and forge new friendships. But most important of all, they gave me a better sense of what my next mission is. I need to locate more exceptional people like Raj, and figure out what lessons they have for the world.

Bio

My name is Josh, and I am a master’s student at Humboldt State University in northern California. My deepest love is for the natural world, especially wildlife. But my educational background is in psychology, and I greatly enjoy speaking to and learning from other people. As such, I am trying to find away to contribute to wildlife conservation by specializing in working with people.

My hobbies include reading, writing, and anything dealing with the outdoors. I have also recently found out that I enjoy traveling, and hope to do more of it in the future. The same goes for photography, although I am a true beginner in that field. Lastly, I spend a great deal of time thinking about topics that have absolutely no relevance for my life.

Josh at Mayan site of Tikal in Peten, Guatemala.

Josh standing on top of Temple 4 at the Mayan site of Tikal in Peten, Guatemala.

To find out more about Josh’s “Belize adventures” and his wildlife study on the interweb go to:

Blog: TheJaguarAndAllies.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/joshua.gross2

Twitter: Twitter.com/Myusername432

~B

 

Of The Home Renegade’s Curry #MEATLESSMONDAYS

A Guest Post

The Home Renegade’s Vegetable Curry!!!

Curry.jpg

I am not a “Home Cook”. The disaster I make in the kitchen, the absurd number of pots, bizarre amount of cutlery, and countless times I have to wipe down my counters is testament to that. When I cook, I am in a war zone, and I am the General sending my “troops” to inevitable victory. Because, I can cook. Very well. Just don’t call me a home cook… maybe, a Home Renegade. Because I am not prim and proper, or meticulous… I throw things in that pot and that pan, and BOOM (I’m shocked the explosion hasn’t been literal), a meal!!

So, I make it a point to do Meatless Mondays, just to get my people used to the fact that veggies do taste pretty good. This time, I had no idea what to make, I was way too lazy to go to the shops after work, cause all I was thinking of was getting to my hot stove and cooking (no, it was just because it was real cold!!). So with my measly haul of vegetables, I managed to make a pretty decent meal, I think. I mean, my husband and kid said it was nice; I’m not sure if it was true, or because I was giving them the scary mom eye that scares you into submission. In my defence, I had to make sure they ate their veggies…

So here is the “recipe:

Cooking oil

Curry powder

A mixture of vegetables (I had carrots, green beans, and butternut squash; at times I add cauliflower, baby marrow and sweetcorn) all chopped however you like

Onions (diced)

Tomatoes (diced)

Tomato Puree

Garlic

Salt to taste

I don’t measure a thing, I wish I did, then I’d be like a fancy chef on Masterchef who writes down their recipe before starting to cook. I’m a renegade guys! As long as it tastes good and is healthy, I am happy. How will I pass on my recipes to my kids though…?

Heat oil (a lot of oil, whatever a lot is to you) in a saucepan, and add onions and garlic. Cook till softened. Add curry powder at this point. (I just pour, till I’m happy… I need to start measuring things…). Add your tomatoes , and vegetables, and let simmer till tomatoes are mushy (forgot the culinary name…). Add tomato puree, water (water should be up there! *face palm*), and simmer for some time. ( I didn’t time it…). Add seasoning, and gravy thickeners if they’re your style and serve! Goes well with rice & rotis.

Curry.jpg

So here you go! If you wanna try Meatless (day of the week) in your house, here’s a recipe for you. And my son actually eats the vegetables! So maybe it’s a miraculous way to get kiddies to eat their veges!!!

Until next time… Your Quarter Wife.

Quarter Wife.jpg

Bio

Rutendo Matongo (nee Sewani)

I love making lists! I love making lists with categories and subcategories! I’m not a neat person, but I love a compartmentalised life, where I can get information quickly. That was the inspiration for the Quarter Wife.  I love the nation of Zimbabwe! I live in Harare with my husband and son. When I’m not making lists, I’m working as a General Practitioner, and wondering which knitting project to start.

Twitter: @quarter_wife

Facebook: www.facebook.com/quarterwife/

Website: TheQuarterWife.WordPress.com

Thank you for joining do check out her blog you just might pick up an apple or two

~B

PS I cook in an almost similar fashion, and the good thing about it is no meal ever tastes exactly the same and the bad thing about it is No Meal Ever Tastes Exactly The Same.

 

Of Do what I want-Nots; Giving Advice

 Guest Post

guest

So during the beginning of this year, a friend, fellow blogger asked me if I would like to do a guest post on his blog. I got so excited. So happy to have been considered. Then I started to think: “What am I going to write about?” All these ideas started to run through my mind: “Well, easy, I will just write what I write about on my blog.”

You see, on my blog, I am writing about my writing, my book, and my projects. I just felt it not right to come as a guest and start doing the same thing I do on my blog. This had just been an opportunity I have been given to write anything. Then the writer’s block spell hit me. Giving up, I went on a vacation. Completely putting it out of my mind. Recently, I was reading his blog and saw a guest post. I thought to myself: “You know what? I can do this.”

I realised that I have a story that I would like to share. I know I didn’t want to do anything like on my blog. But hey,  story telling is my life. And here is my story.

Do What I Want-Nots

This is a story about the phrase “Do what you want” and how it got me into trouble. I know you think you can predict the ending but…just hear me out.

You see, I have developed a policy of not giving people advice. Instead I tell them to do what they want. Seriously, let’s face it, people are going to do what they want eventually. So that’s what I tell them. Interesting enough, people do not want to be told to do what they want either. They want advice. It is pretty weird that I can’t give people advice when they come to me, yet here I am after spending the last four years studying Psychology. You would think I could do better than that, don’t you? Well, you are wrong.

That is the same mistake people I know make. They think because I am studying Psychology, and in just a matter of three months I will be getting my degree in Psychology, I should be able to give advice. Yet all I tell them is to do what they want. Some of them would pause and look at me in total disbelief. Some of them would humor me and go, “Totally”. They are not really fooling me. I know they don’t mean, ‘totally’.I rant a lot. Let me get to the story I want to share with you today. This is the story about how my advice went wrong and all the consequences unfolded before my very eyes.

There is this girl, she was once my room mate. I really hope she doesn’t read this. ‘Cause I’m telling the story from my side, so it is going to definitely reflect badly on her side. But well… So she came to me sighing. I knew the sighing was a request for me to ask, “What’s wrong?”
So she told me that she really wanted to sign up for the Theatre Club but her friends were telling her not to.

“What should I do?” She asked.

Now me I’m trying to look all analytical but I know what I am going to tell her.

“I really want to join the theatre.” She added.

As a theatre kid myself, I would have told her to join the theatre. It is fun! That’s what I thought to myself. I would never tell anyone not to join the theatre. Then again, her friends probably knew her better than I did. Perhaps they knew how terrible she would be at acting. They did not want her to embarrass her self. Cut to me giving advice, after considering the confounding variables.

Just do what you want.” I said.

I thought she would read the clear message I was sending: “Don’t bother me with your friends-theatre drama”, but she did not get that.
No seriously I didn’t mean that. I was genuine with my statement. I really wanted her to do what she wanted to. However, unlike others who humour me and thank me for the advice, she wanted clarification.

What do you mean?

That was new. I never had to get out of my margins and explain what “what you want” meant. But I took the challenge.

I mean, you really want to join theatre, right?”
Yes.” She nodded.
You think that joining the theatre would make you happy, right?
Yes.
What about your friends? What will happen to them if you join the theatre?”

She didn’t have an answer for that.
I mean, maybe you will hurt your friends if you go to the theatre.”
No, it’s not about hurting them. I don’t know why they don’t want me to join.” She said. “They said that I always say I want to do something but then leave it in the middle.

Then it got too complicated for me. I did not want to be in a therapy, it began to feel like therapy. So I retreated to my old,

Then do what you want.

I saw the confusion coming back. So I tried to expagorate, “I can’t tell you what to do. You know what exactly makes you happy. I am not going to take your friend’s side and I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I want you to choose for yourself what you want.”

Then I went on and made my mistake statement, “I always do what I want.”

“I understand, thank you.” I knew that she wasn’t humoring me. She actually meant it. Now I was scared of the smile on her face and of what she understood. But I never thought it would be that bad.

Later on those days everyone started to notice her transformation from an angel to a complete devil. She would play loud music, bang the door whenever she wanted to, she would leave her stuff scattered everywhere in the room. That was just unacceptable. Well, she did join the theatre. The rest of the girls decided to do an intervention. I really did not want to be included in the drama, so I stayed on my bed. With my ear phones on and listening to the whole thing. Of course I wasn’t playing anything.

Then the girl started talking with her voice all the way up. She was slamming the table and throwing everything away. I got so confused at what could have upset her that much. Then I heard the statement that stuck into my head.

I am sick and tired of putting other people’s feelings ahead of mine. I am done. I will do what I want.”

DO WHAT I WANT

DO WHAT I WANT

I lifted my eyes from the book I was pretending to read. Our eyes met and my heart tore. I knew with the glance at me that she was referring to my “advice”. I created a monster. That was not right. Everyone else gasped at that. Then one girl said the words that will make her never come to me for advice again.

“Do you hear yourself? Do you really think that is a good thing to do? Ignoring other people’s feelings? What had gone into you? You are not the girl that I knew all along.” They were friends way before she met me. I thought to myself, this is the lowest I will ever hit.

She misunderstood me. Do what you want, doesn’t mean do not consider other people. I meant it for productive things. Things like joining the theatre or maybe going shopping. For example me, I would do what I want when I know it is going to benefit me. Not doing any random thing just because I want to. Maybe sometimes I want to go for a walk but nobody else wants to, I will not sit around. As long as they are not holding my feet, I will definitely go for that walk. If I do something that annoys people, and they ask me to stop, of course I will stop.  When I get into a dilemma, that is when I pick what I really want. Or when there are more than one suggestion, then I pick the one that I want.

See, this is why I don’t want to give people advice.

Thank you for reading.

Alayina

 

Bio

Alayina.jpg

 

Alayina Halera, a Zimbabwean writer. I am a novelist, poet and reader. Favourite genre is fictional but I’m not that picky. An interest in writing fictional stories started when I was sixteen. That was when I set my goal to publish a novel. Way before then, I think when I was eleven, that was when writing became my hobby and quickly turned into a passion. So my blog has been a mixture of everything. I really do not have one thing I blog about. You’ll find articles, poems and about my writing projects.

Alayina blogs at Alayinah.Wordpress.com

**UPDATE**

This post has been pending in my drafts for a little close to three months, things came up, they always do, I never could quite find the time to finish and publish this guest post.. But today I scanned my newsfeed for unread posts; the first post I saw was hers I’ve completed My Studies

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Congrats and all the best

~B

Of Battle Of The Books

 

If you were having coffee with me……… we would be hosting a special guest author Candice Coates.

My dear friend Candice has two novels ready for publication Warden nor Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal.

She had an interesting dilemma of not knowing which one to get published first and so decided on an equally interesting concept of Battle of the Books where The Reader decides after reading teaser excerpts  from the books and completing a poll… the crowd favourite gets published first… sounds simple enough…

battle Sticker (1).jpg

We had an interesting chat with Candice about writing, books, battles and aliens grab a chair some coffee and join us……..

why a book battle?

The concept for the Battle of the Books came from my own indecision. First, neither Warden nor Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal are my first finished manuscripts, however, they are the strongest in my opinion. I chose to battle them because I was undecided about which should have the seat as my purchasable debut novel. The two tales are extremely different in character, but I recognize that the one published first may in fact set the tone for my audience. What better way to have the tone set than to have the audience decide.

-Whats in a name? How did you come up with the book titles ?

         Book titles are tricky things, aren’t they? I honestly believe that each tale named itself in a way. Whenever I think about either of them I think about them by the names they currently have. I’ve fooled around with other titles for Warden but nothing else seemed to fit. Nexus Gate is also titled ‘The Animal,’ since this book is a series, like Warden, but unlike Warden the story is told in a linear way. *SPOILER ALERT* Each additional title, like The Animal, is describing the character of Tucker John and where he is currently within his journey.

I know you would say you love both equally but …. is there one you are secretly hoping gets picked and why?

         You are right I do love them equally, but if I had to be the ultimate deciding vote for which would be published first, I would go with Nexus Gate 4037: The Animal. The concepts within this story, the struggle with morality, the confrontation with racism/colorism and just about any other ‘ism’ are relevant now, and honestly, has been for a while. This story deals with these issues in a straight forward, way but does so in a manner that allows the reader to be aware of the struggle but enjoy the growth and the flow of the story. I think I subconsciously told the story as an allegory for the mindsets of today. We are living in a world of extremist; people who are extremely ignorant of reality either because they are sheltered or by choice, people who are extremely hateful because of fear or how they have been cultivated. No matter which side of the spectrum a person is on, both are rooted in a form of fear, and when fearful people are the decision makers, the results are without a doubt devastating. The backdrop of the Nexus Gate shows you what that could potentially look like if fear wins from either end of the spectrum.

In short, comparing the two, Warden is an awesome ride of action and adventure. Readers will enjoy it, they will fall in love with the characters and the worlds created. But Nexus Gate will make the reader think, cause them to be a bit more introspective about their own views and thoughts and how they deal with people who are on opposing ends.

what happens to the one that comes second???????

        Even second place is a winner here. The second place holder will also be published but not for at least six months after the winner has had time to shine. Even now the second place holder is gaining a following and that is a good thing.

Do you ever get surprised at the way the story turns out? or that’s impossible every scene and plot is meticulously planned out on some vision board

   I am often surprised at how my stories tell themselves. I may have one idea but find that my characters have another. When I write I view myself as a stenographer. I type what the characters tell me. There have been times with stories I was working on that I was writing a scene straight from scratch and found myself literally yelling at the computer at the character whose scene I was typing, calling them stupid and asking them why they were doing what they were doing. I was appalled at their behavior but I just kept typing. Now, I do write out the ‘synopsis’ if you will, when I first catch the seed of a story, then I will type scenes as they come even if they are not in order. In which case, I save them in a file and work on the manuscript and when the story weaves in the direction of a previously written scene, I add it in.

if you could go back in time, to when you first picked up a pen, or was it typewriter what would you tell yourself?

I would tell myself to just have fun, and not to overthink the process. But I would also tell myself that there is a lot of work ahead, that the first draft is just that, a first draft of many. I would also tell myself not to have thin skin that every story is not for everyone and that is okay. Be confident in the work you’ve made no matter the negative feedback or silence that may come. If you’ve done an honest labor of love, be proud of that and celebrate the achievement even if only one person reads it. Perhaps the story was for that one person alone, and that too, is okay.

Early Bird or Night Owl

I am a struggling night owl. I’d like to get to bed earlier. For me, that is before 1:30am…most times I am in bed closer to 4am. I can get up early though without much issue BUT I will need a nap for obvious reasons. In my adult years, I’ve found that naps are indeed a blessing from God. Lol.

Tea or Coffee

Tea always. Coffee on occasion, especially in cake or ice cream.

lastly…. If aliens from the future, light years from now were to come to earth why should you be the first person they see before they ask to be taken to “our leaders”

Well, I am very hospitable and I think I would give them a good impression of Earth people. I am also pretty good with linguistics so communication might be easier for me. Also, who’s to say I’m not the leader 😛

candice

BIO: Candice Coates is a fiction writer, jumping from genres ranging from Speculative Science Fiction and Fantasy to Comedic Clean Read Romance and Drama, all with touches of her Christian faith. She is a lover of Ireland, tea, and just about anything with pistachios. When not writing she is creating visual art with pen or paint, or she is creating new designs for her handmade polymer clay jewelry line, Shizen Brook. To read more of her work you can find her at her author site, candicecoates.wordpress.com or icameforthesoup.com. You can also find out more about her and how to stay connected by going to www.about.me/candicecoates

_ _

 

sticker.jpgThe battle of the books promo started on the 20th February and will run till the 25th of March pop by her site read a bit and vote wisely…..

~B

PS do hit us up and let us know what you think thanks a bunch…..

 

Of A Cake For Every Season

guest Of A Cake For Every Season no rhyme or reason…….. By CatMac

If I were having coffee with you I’d bring a cake. I’d probably bake you a gingerbread which is my current go to recipe. It is a very simple cake but I love the stickiness of it, the unexpected spiciness of it, the buttery melt in your mouth richness of it. I would add some candles so it could be a belated birthday cake.

I would tell you that cakes and baking have always been very important for me. That I come from a long line of bakers and how proud I am that my daughter has followed in the tradition. We don’t make the same cakes though so she isn’t quite following in my floury footsteps. I’m a messy baker 😉

I would tell you how no sooner had my daughter got off the plane after an 8h flight at Christmas than she was in the kitchen baking cakes to take to her former teachers/my colleagues at school the next day. That’s my girl.

I would tell you about an Internet article I once read about an amazing lady who made a cake every day for a year and gave them all away. I would love to be that lady but am too lazy.

I would tell you that I used to prefer cooking to baking. I enjoyed the anarchy of combining any old ingredient and seasoning “to taste”. With age, I find the careful measuring out, sifting and combining of ingredients involved in baking to be satisfyingly soothing.
I would tell you that baking has long been a way for me to gauge my mental state. If I don’t bake, there’s a problem. However sometimes I can go into baking overdrive which isn’t necessarily a good sign either. This has recently been the case as I left a school where I’ve been teaching for five years and pupils who mean a great deal to me. I’ve been coming home from school and baking cakes for the next day’s farewell party and the next and the next…And that the slight saltiness in the cakes might not just have been from the butter.

I would tell you that baking has long been a way for me to share my Scottish culture. I was once asked to talk about my country by my daughter’s English teacher and baked over 100 pieces of shortbread to give to pupils. In over 30° C heat. And 80% humidity. The shortbread didn’t stay crisp and crunchy for long. The pupils didn’t seem to mind though.
the very best shortbread recipe

I would tell you how cakes have become an essential teaching tool for me. My first classes most years are “Show and Tell”s. I show a cake I’ve baked and tell my pupils how important baking is for me. I also tell them how lucky they are that I chose to talk about baking rather than walking. My smelly training shoes are a lot less appetising than my cakes. Then we have cake and juice. Sadly, none of my pupils has reciprocated with a “Show and Tell” cake. There have, however, been medals won at sporting competitions, necklaces bought by now dead grandmothers, bracelets gifted by older sisters now living overseas…..cakes break the ice.

I would tell you how I’ve run conversation classes for colleagues in schools where I’ve worked and brought in cake and coffee. In fact, I arrived in a new school a couple of weeks ago where I found some former colleagues who have fond memories of my cakes. And me, I hope.

I would tell you how one year I set myself the challenge of finding a cake for each literary work I taught. Our first novel dealt with the First World War “Regeneration” by Pat Barker. How better to convey the horror of trench warfare to my 16 yr olds than with….Trench Cake, I thought. It worked, the cake was not good. I explained to the teens that rationing, being in force in GB at this time, meant eggs were hard to get hold of so vinegar and baking soda were substituted as a raising agent. One boy told me that his mother baked like that and this brought it back to me that times are hard and I counted my blessings.How to bake a first world trench cake

Our next work was “King Lear” and I brought in an edible test for students…Eerie Eyeball Pops! And yes, they had read the play and recognised what scene the pops referred to.
eerie eyeball pops
I left these in the fridge to the last minute-30°C heat-and warned my pupils to let them reach room temperature before trying to eat them. A former pupil joined our class so I gave him one and he bit into it before I could warn him. Fortunately, his very expensive dental work held up.

Our last work was “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad and guess what? I serendipitously found a “Heart of Darkness” cake recipe. A delicious chocolate sponge with a ganache centre. Which I baked in a heart shaped mould, of course.
Heart of Darkness Recipe

I was disappointed this year to discover that all Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” inspired in me was….Shepherd’s Pie. I also drew a blank at Shaw’s “Saint Joan”. I had no idea what to bake but knew it would have to be burnt 😉

I would also tell you about a cake which I didn’t bake. I walk a lot and talk a lot. I met an old lady to chat with returning from my walk one day. I’d see her regularly pottering about in her garden and we’d have wonderful conversations. Do not ask me what about as she didn’t speak French and I didn’t speak Créole. But neither one of us believed in letting the language barrier get in the way of a good conversation. One day I saw lots of people outside her house on my way past and was happy for her that her family was visiting. I didn’t walk for a while and when next I passed by, her house was closed. I asked her neighbor where she was…only to learn that she had passed away. I had added her to my list of “lovely people to make cake for” and sadly didn’t find the time to do it. I will always regret this.

I would tell you that I usually give photocopies of my recipes with my cakes. I like to think that in years to come, when I’ve left this beautiful Caribbean island behind and perhaps even shrugged off this mortal coil, a former pupil will bake one of my recipes for their child or grandchild and tell the story of a Scottish teacher who baked. Wouldn’t that be the most beautiful way to be remembered?

I would thank you for inviting me for coffee and we’d eat our cake, at last. I’d apologise and comment that my cake really wasn’t as good as usual and I wasn’t sure what went wrong. We’d both agree that the world would be a much better place if only more people sat down to tell stories, drink coffee and eat cake together…..

Bio: Catmac

Baker of cakes, devourer of books, walker, talker, petter of cats and dogs and alleged teacher of English. I live with my concierge of a cat in the French West Indies. I would like to thank the lovely Beaton for inviting me to drink coffee with him
Cat.jpg

 

 

~B

Thank you CatMac☻☺♥ you can find her Twitter

Of all the cakes The Heart  of Darkness cake is the most poetic…

I only just discovered her Birthday was a day before mine .. Happy belated birthday, better late than never and never late the better….. 

if we were having coffee we would be having a birthday cake ♥☻ because what are birthdays but an excuse to eat cake