Week 3 Update: Old Pale, books and Vegan baking.

Let's start with the Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake:

Sadly, not my own recipe, but you can find it on the BBC Good Food Website. I did change the recipe ever so slightly. Firstly, I used Silver Spoon Caster Sugar with Stevia, which you use 1/3 less of than usual sugar and is lower caloried (even taking the 1/3 less into account) than ordinary caster sugar!

And then I used the same sugar again (just less) instead of icing sugar to make a drizzle, rather than an icing.

It's very lemony (with only 1 lemon actually used) and when I took it to work (everyone knew it was vegan and had low sugar, sugar in it) it went down quite well, with the highest compliment being "you can't tell it's vegan". It was however suitable for vegan colleagues and a colleague with a dairy intolerance, so we'll be having this again for cake o'clock in the future!

Brief snippit - the daily headaches continue and are becoming somewhat tiresome now. Some days are worse than others, and very few are migraines, but it's still frustrating, and some days, quite debilitating!

Walking (including hills) continues, even in inclement weather. On Saturday I managed to make it up Old Pale before my daily headache took me off to bed for the afternoon, sleeping straight through LittleBit's swimming lesson (whoops).

Although Old Pale is 176m above sea level, it's only 169m from the car park, but still, it's 169m closer to #EverestAnywhere and almost 2 miles towards #Walk1000Miles2018.

Dreadful photo (from phone in rain) of monolith at the top of Old Pale

I've also finished 6 more books since my last blog post!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (4/5)

This is actually a children's book and the protagonist is a small boy, Nobody Owens, who grows from 1 or 2 to around 14 years old through the books. A few chapters are spectacularly dark, but the descriptions are fantastic. Enjoyable and somewhat enigmatic plot, I think younger teens and up will enjoy this, although LittleBit wasn't keen on the opening chapter (she is only 10).

Capsule Craze: The Comprehensive Guide to Building Your Own Capsule Wardrobe by Rebecca Ellington (3/5)

I picked this up for free when it was on offer for kindle, and I have to say it's a pretty decent beginners guide. It includes a brief history of the concept of a capsule wardrobe, sections relating to over 50s and kids, a comprehensive view of female body shapes (including a note that there are no wrong answers, they are all beautiful, which is very cheering indeed), and a good section covering accessories. Nothing for men though, and typos throughout (which can be sorted out in an update, I'm sure).

I could have done with a little bit more detail on some sections and I'd have liked some suggestions on creating a self-sewn capsule wardrobe, (which was the group I was in when I saw it advertised) but overall, it's alright and does include a guide to the 21 day challenge to help you get started.

Murder on Christmas Eve various authors (4/5)

Some of these short stories were entirely worthy of full marks, others less so! Overall though, a very enjoyable collection of mysteries including police procedurals and detective fiction, with murders and thefts, from some very famous and much loved writers, including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Ellis Peters, GK Chesterton and Margery Allingham, to name but a few.

Sadly, no Cadfael, but we did meet Inspector Rebus and Father Brown.

Ring for Jeeves, PG Wodehouse (4/5)

What can I say? You either love Jeeves and Wooster, or you don't! I do.

Bertie isn't actually in this one, Jeeves is on loan to Bertie's chum, Bill Rowcester (pronounced Roaster) whilst Bertie is enrolled in a school to teach the fabulously wealthy to darn their own socks and other such useful things. He's mentioned a few times though, as I'm sure you can imagine, whilst Jeeves has to help Bill out of self-inflicted scrapes! A fun and lively, though fairly short, read.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (4/5)

I shall start by saying that I actively disliked the protagonist, Newland Archer, who was, to my mind, insufferable, self-centred,and probably a fairly realistic portrayal of 1920s New York Society Man!

However, I thought the writing itself was wonderful and the plot was captivating, if a little predictable in parts.

The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie (4/5)

Neither Miss Marple, nor Poirot in this one, but a recurring character who first appeared in a Poirot novel, Ariadne Oliver, does feature, albeit briefly, a few times.

It's been televised and shown a few times, so I already knew the outcome, but if you don't know, I shan't spoil it for you! We start with a priest being sent for, to administer last rites to a dying woman. In the TV version, he posts something to Miss Marple before he, himself, is brutally murdered in the street, however in the book, the police find a list of seemingly unconnected names stuffed in his shoe! Many of the people on the list are already dead. Can they find the connections and prevent any further deaths?

It's a good plot full of twists, but not quite my favourite.


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